Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Easel on Down the Road - Alabama

"Oh..oh Alabam... The devil fools with the best laid plans..." I can't help myself! Being a lifelong Niel Young fan, my brain sang that song endlessly as I drove the length of the state today. I painted 1/3rd of the way down, in Oak Mountain State Park, near Birmingham. It is the largest state park as well as home for a waterfall. I hiked part of the way to the bottom of the falls.  It wasn't very far from the parking area but I had to grasp saplings to steady my gate. I sweat pretty hard climbing back up (decidedly out of shape!) and chose instead to unpack my easel and paint near Peavine Falls Road, overlooking a gurgling runoff, just steps from my car.

I grew calm once painting. Yesterday's drive was grueling - 11 hours starting with snow and ending with torrential rain and a stay in a sticky Motel 8. I felt grim. Why was I doing this, again? Was there a point to leaving my warm (albeit snowed-in) home and studio, my wonderful boyfriend, my needy dog? I did not feel the pulse of the project, the urgency to drive and paint, drive and paint. But once the challenge of recording moving water was upon me, I forgot everything else and focused. Structure! A goal! The sun swept through the trees and the breeze was light and warm. Ahhh.

Tonight I am in a much nicer room and very close to the warmth of the gulf. Tomorrow I drive south to Naples, where my mom is eagerly waiting to see me. I will take a luscious three days off, then head to Atlanta, stay with an old friend and locate a landscape to paint, once more a citizen of the road.

1 comment:

  1. Anne, when will you come to Idaho? I love my chalk painting and have it framed and hanging. It is so beautiful. I was skeptical at first about purple in the painting but it was life changing to realize how many shades of purple are out there. We treasure it and wish you well on this trek!