Since I didn't take any photos of Day Three, painting the historic neighborhoods, I will go to Day Four... painting on The Coosa River. The Coosa , a major energy source for these parts, moves like a slow Southerner as it meanders through Gadsden. It provides scenic beauty, recreation and is home for an abundance of wildlife, both in the River and in its backwaters.
I was envisioning painting a sunrise here all week having been greeted every morning by a clear and welcoming sunrise. This day, however, was a gray drive all the way there... until I parked and got out with my easel... the clouds parted and I had a two minute window to get set up in record time and quickly blocked in the rising sun and its reflection. Working on a panel toned with orange and with a minimal pallet plus the addition of Holbien's Grey of Grey, I was able to get the proper tones of the sky before the clouds overtook and calmed the glow. Then it was a matter of putting in the darkest parts of the landscape to give me the info I needed to bring Coosa Sunrise, 12x12, oil/linen panel, all together as the morning got brighter.
My second painting of the day is Condo On The Coosa, 12x12, oil/linen panel. I wanted to make this overlooked old building with its pink rose bush take center stage over the landmark Broad Street Bridge in the background. Very few people knew of its provenance as the ticket booth for the Alabama Princess Riverboat that once gave rides up and down the Coosa.
While I was rapidly painting Coosa Sunrise, I was mildly aware of a few vehicles parked at the dock where I was painting... apparently people taking in the sunrise, a few waiting to fish. As I was packing up my days work later that afternoon a white SUV pulled up beside me. The driver told me she had sat there for a while that morning watching me paint. She picked up her three young sons at school and brought them down to see the artist painting. Her middle son, she told me, is autistic... he couldn't write his name but he could draw beautifully anything you put in front of him. I was only too happy to show them the paintings I had with me as he then held out some little drawings for me to see. This experience totally made this trip worthwhile as well as confirming the value of having plein air painters visible in the community.