Painting Trip, Day 12

(Note… still catching up, so this post is about the class on Fri, Sep 18, 2015)

I wasn’t entirely sure I’d be able to get out of bed on Friday morning, but I did. As soon as I got up I wanted to photograph the beautiful view out the front window of my bedroom. It is a gorgeous sunlit area that takes your breath away. I hope I am able to paint it when I get home!

Carl Rd front view 3

Then the lovely Harriet made me an over-easy egg on toast with a glass of cold orange juice. It was perfect. Could I be any more spoiled?

I drove to the gallery and got the last parking place in front. Fantastic – now it won’t be hard to load up on this last day.

And that’s what it is today… the last day. I am both sad and glad. Sad because it is almost over… and glad because it is almost over. I have pushed myself as hard as I can but it has been worth it.

The people in the class are finally warming up to each other and having that usual bonding that happens. It is so nice to meet people from all over who like to do what you do. There is a great exchange of information and we really enjoy our little bit of time together. In this class I met folks from North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and other places I can’t quite remember. It is quite refreshing to expand your little world with new friends like this.

As soon as class started I raised my hand and asked “OK… who went honky-tonkin’ last night at Puckett’s???”

Everyone looked surprised when I said, “I did!!!”

The older ladies asked, “where did you get the energy?”

The younger folks asked, “Why didn’t you tell us there was going to be a party???”

I responded that I didn’t actually have any “energy” – it was just a matter of going in to Puckett’s when I heard that music playing. You just don’t hear live music like this very often. I do believe it would be worth making another trip down there to go to Puckett’s, drive the Natchez Trace, take photos and maybe invest in another painting workshop from the Leiper’s Creek Art Gallery. They represent spectacular artists, one of whom is Roger Dale Brown. Roger is also represented by Walls Gallery at the Greenbrier (where I took a class last week.) Roger is from the Lieper’s Fork area and here is one of his gorgeous paintings called Subtleties of Winter. It is an oil painting measuring 36 x 48 and was priced at $9750. I say “was” because it has sold already. Beautiful work! (Click to enlarge this and see it even better!)

Roger Dale Brown

Then we watched Colley do the demos and did our best to replicate them ourselves. What a job!! Here’s some of the class at their easels.


Camille at easel


Meg at easel


Jerry at easel

Later in the day, Colley grabbed his easel and ran to the back of the property at the gallery. He had had his eye on this lone square hay bale back there and was dying to paint it. We all followed him and found a seat on the ground or on the stone wall nearby. I sat on the stone wall after pushing hard on the rocks to make sure they would stay put.

No more did I sit down than my classmate Cheryl said, “be careful… there’s a wasp landing on your back.”

Cripes! “Let me know if anything happens,” I said.

“Oh, you’ll know!” exclaimed Cheryl.

“Well, folks,” I replied, “I’m allergic to bees and I have an epi pen in my purse.”

The group fell silent. Then Camille asked, “Where’s your purse?”


“My car keys are in my left pocket and my purse is in my car directly in front of the gallery.”

Everyone nodded their heads.

Now I didn’t really think I was going to get stung because I was sitting perfectly still and I wasn’t worried. So I broke the tension by saying, “I’m having a good trip but I don’t want it to get as exciting as using the epi pen!” Everyone agreed. And here’s Colley’s painting of the hay bale.

Colley hay bale demo 3 resized

Finally it was time to load up for the last time. I took my time and made trip after trip to the car. Once I was all loaded up, I went back around back and parked myself in a rocking chair for a bit.

I sat right next to Bill… a husband of one of the ladies in the class. He had been there every day… all day… in support of his wife. At first everyone wondered who he was but he soon became an integral part of the group. Bill walks with a beautiful hand-made walking stick and he would wander about during the day from the rocking chairs on the back porch to the rockers on the side porch to the picnic area under the wisteria. Everyone sort of kept an eye on him.

Bill in rocking chair resized

Bill was very proud of his wife and told me he was sure she could have taught this class if she wanted to. I thought it was a very sweet thing for him to say and I enjoyed chatting with him for a bit.

So the only thing left to do was go to the demo Colley was doing on Friday evening that was open to the public. I thought about not going since I had been watching him paint all week, but I knew only two of us out of the class of 15 were thinking of going. Most everyone was anxious to get on the road for home and had left the area. I was worried about the turnout and wanted to support it.

Colley at Green's Groc. 3

I needn’t have worried. Lots of people from the local community were there, including the homeowners of where I am staying, and Colley was very charming with his presentation. I have to say he works really hard to maintain his career and he is quite gracious in dealing with the public. There’s a whole lot more to being a successful artist than just painting! Being around him all week was a good lesson in many ways.

After the demo I bolted for my car to get back to my room. I could feel myself wearing mighty thin – I had put in a 12 hour day – and my eyes were wanting to shut. I let out a wistful sigh as I drove past the lit-up Puckett’s. No honky-tonkin’ tonight… I have to get up early and drive back to Ohio! All good things must come to an end.

I am so delighted I got to take this class with an artist I’ve admired for years. Here he is with me at my easel… what a treat!

Starr and Colley 2

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Patti
    Sep 21, 2015 @ 19:31:28

    What else can you say about your wonderful trip! I FINALLY got a picture of you!! What a blessing, Starr! “Subtleties of Winter” was beautiful!


  2. dozernation
    Dec 13, 2015 @ 07:48:42

    the subtleties looks like an Americana postcard – very nice


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