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Sketching in Lewis County With Sue Gorman

My friend, Sue Gorman, lives in one of the prettiest areas in Kentucky. It is where the rolling hills start to become Appalachian Mountains. It is scattered with a few small, isolated communities, and is an artists paradise. I’m reluctant to tell everybody about it, because we humans have a tendency to destroy anything nice.


There aren’t many people who would have fun sketching with me, since it involves a lot of standing in one place and enjoying/analyzing the scenery.  However, Sue is a talented landscape artist, and we are both perfectly happy sitting by a covered bridge with our sketchbooks.


I don’t use a lot of photos, and even though I was surrounded by breathtaking scenery, I didn’t take a single picture. Fortunately, Sue shared this photo that she took while we were at the Cabin Creek covered bridge.

a sketch of Cabin Creek Covered Bridge - Lewis County, ky

Here is a little bit of how my process works. I did 3 different sketches at the Cabin Creek Bridge.  The first sketch is the most realistic. A camera could never photograph this scene, but it has the main elements of the location in the correct place. The first sketch is usually how I get to know the scene.

second sketch of cabin creek covered bridge - lewis county, ky

For the second sketch, I was in the same spot, but I tried to eliminate everything that was not part of the answer to my question, “what is this drawing about?”

Third version of Cabin Creek Covered Bridge

This third sketch is from a different view. I moved a few things around so that the design would fill the space a little better. It is still based on a real and true place. Hopefully i didn’t make so many changes that you can’t tell where it is, but at the end of the day, who cares? it looks great, and it’s ART, not a documentary…in my opinion, a photo is better for that job anyway!

ipad drawing of trinity from crooked creek road

This is a different place (Trinity), a different creek (Crooked Creek) it is the first sketch, but I got enough information to come up with a strong painting.

Lucky for me, Lewis county is a short drive from my house. After spending a day there, I am inspired by that area’s natural beauty. I am planning to spend a lot more time there. An artist could spend a lifetime in that small corner of Kentucky and never be bored. Thank you Sue Gorman and Sam Brevard for the hospitality!

3 thoughts on “Sketching in Lewis County With Sue Gorman

  1. What a pleasure it was to host / accompany Ken on this exciting journey. Our different painting styles have always seemed to compliment one another even tho our process’s are not the same. I always learn something profound just by spending a short amount of time in his company. As the year unfolds there will be more opportunities to follow Ken on various trails off the beaten path. If you ever wanted to improve your sketching abilities and learn more about the surrounding communities this is the chance of a lifetime. Come join us next time!

    1. Thanks Sue, I was equally inspired. It’s great energy when creative folks get together! I’m heading for a sketch trip to the hills in Germantown/Minerva/Augusta today…come along!

      1. Sorry I have to go in the opposite direction to do something with Sarah this afternoon. Love the farms in that area, wishing I could make it.

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