Plein Air Watercolor Painting in a Kayak
Second Dock from Louisville Bridge
Recently, when visiting my home state of Tennessee, I had the opportunity to plein air paint in a kayak on Fort Loudon Lake in Louisville. I had my paper taped to a piece of plexiglass protected in a bag strapped to the top front of the kayak and the rest of my supplies in a small backpack. I searched the coves around the house where I spent all of my childhood summers until I found a place to paint in the shade. This was in July, when heat and humidity are high. I would then tie up to an overhanging branch, or wedge myself into driftwood. Each painting took from three to three and a half hours. I am putting them in the order they were painted. Each day when I returned, my glass jar containing my paint water was a deep green color. When I returned to my home in New Mexico, my son Paul told me that he and his brother Daniel had been back in those coves when they were younger and had seen a snake six feet long. Glad I didn’t know that as I was painting. Image size: 6” x 10.” Framed size: 12″ x 15.” Price: $240.
Boatdock Road Boathouse
This boathouse is located in the cove adjacent to Louisville Landing Boatdock. I’d like to paint this boathouse from a different angle, but this is the one I could get from the shade. Perhaps another time, in a cooler season, I can use my wonderful Guerrilla Painter umbrella and an anchor, so I can position myself more in the middle of the cove. The boathouse door has interesting patterns I’d like to capture. Image size: 6″ x 10.” Framed size: 12″ x 15.” Price: $240.
Third Dock from Louisville Bridge
When I took off in the kayak to find a place to paint, I knew that I needed to watch the weather, as it was forecast to rain later in the afternoon. The day before, there had been the same forecast and it didn’t rain. I got so immersed in this painting that I didn’t realize that a big storm was brewing until it started to rain. It was what I call a gullywasher. Buckets of rain doesn’t begin to describe it. I managed to get the painting in the plastic bag before the rain really started coming down. I thought I’d wait it out. Then there was thunder and lightning. The steel kayak paddle concerned me, so I decided to go shelter under the bridge a couple hundred yards away. I could barely see the bridge when I paddled towards it. When I got under it, a young fisherman helped stabilize the kayak. We spent the next twenty minutes chatting. Then the rain stopped, the lake was like glass, and mist was rising everywhere. I kayaked back to our dock, took out the painting, and noticed that the darks I had put in earlier had faded with the raindrops. I got my palette out, put the painting on a bench, and put the darks back in. There’s also a little boat dry docked by the shed that had gotten lost in the storm, so I put it back in. I used my watercolor pencils to get some of the details back. Image size: 6″ x 10.” Framed size: 12″ x 15.” Price: $240.
Louisville Cove Boat House
This area is called Lackey Creek, in Louisville. This is the furthest afield I got in the kayak to paint. This spot was perfect, as there was shade from overhanging trees and a dead tree wedged into the ground where I could stabilize my kayak and tie it to one of the branches. I was so hidden, the few people that went by in boats did not see me. I had to leave in a hurry because I heard thunder and noticed that the sky had darkened considerably since I’d gotten there. I was about thirty minutes from our dock and made it back before the rain hit. Image size: 6″ x 10.” Framed size: 12″ x 15.” Price: $240.