cypress limb with Spanish moss / charcoal and chalk

This is a quick sketch that I did so I could decide what size canvas to buy for the painting. I scouted the scene yesterday. It’s a nice wooden overlook over the swamp off a side path with less foot traffic. I took a whole sheet of charcoal paper on my drawing board because I knew I want to go large with the painting. 18″x24″ isn’t big enough. I bought a 30″ x 30″ canvas for it.

The Spanish moss is pretty with the sunlight shining through it. I drew all of it with chalk but it’s not all lit at once by the spotty light coming through. The treetops are getting some fall color. We didn’t have frost yet. I hope the cypress trees get orange.

Once I was driving down a country road close to Claremont looking for a place to park next to the road with a view of the swamp and there were no parking places. I was kind of lost and found myself on Burnt Cypress Road and I’m saying to myself, “Where are the burnt cypress trees?” Then I went around a curve and there next to the swamp with a dark hill behind them were the brightest red trees I ever saw. The trunks and foliage all looked like they were on fire! I was there on the right day at the right time to see it. I stopped and looked but didn’t take a picture and couldn’t paint it. I want to go back some time.

Anyway, I’m going to go whole hog on this painting. It could take a while. People already think I’m nuts out there all alone painting. Most plein air painters work small and in groups but I’ll be going with the large canvas and haul my art supplies in my beach cart. I like to take a lot of stuff out with me when I paint. Most plein air artists only take a few colors and brushes and I don’t know if a pochade box will hold a 30 x 30 canvas, I doubt it. Whole hog means I’m not going to skip steps. I’m following the old tradition for this one. Except I want to take my yardsticks and tape my brushes to them like Matisse, because that’s fun. That might make the painting have a more modern look.

Most people seem afraid to go out on the overlook when they see me there. Today I was taking a break and I saw a family come down and stop half way. I said, “You can come on down, I had my shots.” So they did. Sometimes people see I’m left handed and avoid me, I think. That’s a sure sign that I’m crazy and unpredictable, right? Since when did I care what people think? So, yardsticks with brushes taped on. I’m going for it.

Oh yeah, I’m sane though. 100%

13 thoughts on “cypress limb with Spanish moss / charcoal and chalk”

    1. They’re left handed? Good! Funny that they forced lefties of my mom’s generation to use their right, like it was a sign of witchcraft or something. I think it scared a robber away from me before when I was painting in a dangerous place in Richmond. He carried on a couple weird meaningless conversations with me but I’m pretty sure it was the same perp who robbed some women and he didn’t rob me. I chalked it up to criminals being superstitious. Also when I was painting that view in Richmond a cop popped up in front of me seemingly out of nowhere and I said hi to him and he talked a little. I figured a neighborhood watch person called the cops on me for suspicious activity in a high crime area. Did you ever hear that left handed people do the devil’s work? Maybe people aren’t as superstitious over there in New Zealand as they are in PA. Hell, I met witches in VA too. I don’t know, I just have to guess why people act afraid of a weak old girl like me.

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