David A. Windham thumbnail

Bennie Lee Watkins

I put the wraps on Bennie this evening. I also spent part of the evening roaming the yard and woods trying to coerce the horses back into the pasture with a bag of apples and I think the moonlight walk was healthy for my disposition. Regarding the painting, I’m a bit more pleased with it than the previous study and I had some doubts along the way, but I’m glad it’s coming back like riding a bicycle. I’m still not very happy with the overall composition… it’s a bit boring and contrived. I went out digging online for some of the regional portrait artist I could find. I really like what’s going on with Ben Long at the Fine Arts league of the Carolinas in Asheville and these are a couple folks who stand out regionally: Paula Rubino, Jill Hooper, Daniel Graves, and Fletcher Crossman. I really like how Crossman is giving them a contemporary treatment. Needless to say, after flipping through a couple hundred images of some good portraits, I realized what I needed and I went digging through my images for better compositions that I can’t paint in a bit smaller format. This way, it won’t take me as long to complete them, perhaps just a couple sittings and I can concentrate on the fundamentals and not worry about filling a three foot canvas. I’ve started two new paintings. I’ve been stacking up the pears and apples from the yard and working on a still life. I’ve also started two new portraits on smaller canvases. One of Jude Acers (from a photograph I took in New Orleans) for all you chess people out dey. And then another one of my neighbor Tom Clark, who likes to bring us fresh vegetables and flowers every so often. And since most of my tomatoes were a bust this year, I’ll give the portrait to one of his children or grandkids in return.