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.
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.
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?”
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!
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!