Daily painting #75: Potomac River

I painted this view of the Potomac from Swains Lock campground. A couple of nearby campers took an interest in what I was doing, and they seemed to like it, even though I was hogging a good campsite for a couple hours! I was especially interested in the strange little tree that seemed to be growing in the middle of the river.

Also, I found some relatively inexpensive linen panels, so I’ll be using those a lot over the next few weeks. I think I paint better on linen, but it’s ordinarily prohibitively expensive, so I’m excited about the switch.

Geoff Watson, “Potomac Tree,” oil on linen, 9” x 12,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Potomac Tree,” oil on linen, 9” x 12,” 2019.

Daily painting #55: Washington Aqueduct

I returned to Great Falls National Park to paint the old tavern there, but I didn’t like how it was going, so I wiped it out and chose a new subject — the Washington Aqueduct. More specifically, the dam for the aqueduct, just upstream of Great Falls. I like how the water is still and clear on one side of the dam and agitated on the other.

Geoff Watson, “Washington Aqueduct dam,” June daily painting #24, oil on panel, 9” x 12,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Washington Aqueduct dam,” June daily painting #24, oil on panel, 9” x 12,” 2019.

On the Potomac

I paid another visit to the Potomac River today. It was a partly cloudy, sultry sort of day, but it was still beautiful. A boater rowed right in front of me, and he asked if he could be in my painting. I am happy I was able to accommodate him!

Geoff Watson, "On the Potomac," oil on panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "On the Potomac," oil on panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Standup Paddle-boarding

it was too hot to paint outside today, but I tried anyway. (What's up with the 90-degree heat and high humidity in late September?) I got a bit overheated, and I had some trouble concentrating, but the painting turned out well enough. Several of these paddle-boarders meandered by, but I never got a good look at the boats/boards they pilot. I did my best. As I was packing up, I was treated to a glorious red sunset!

Geoff Watson, "Standup Paddle-boarding," oil on panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Standup Paddle-boarding," oil on panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Potomac Reflections

I found a shady spot by the Potomac River, near Swains lock in Maryland, and painted reflections from the far woods. I had on plenty of bug spray, but even so I was assaulted by a combined-arms force of stink bugs. Airborn bugs dive-bombed me while infantry bugs marched across my painting. Nonetheless, I managed to escape with a credible picture of the scene.

Geoff Watson, "Potomac Reflections," oil on panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Potomac Reflections," oil on panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

The Potomac from Swain's Campsite

It was a glorious day of 70-degree sunshine, and I spent the afternoon at Swain's campsite, a free campground adjoining Swain's Lock on the C&O Canal in Potomac, Maryland. I found an open campsite, and it had this lovely view, framed by trees, just as I painted it. It was one of those plein air paintings in which I didnt really have to change much to make the composition work. The atmosphere was quite jolly, as campers and day-hikers strolled around the river-side, taking in the view. The lock itself would be fun to paint, as would the canal, so I'll be revisiting this wonderful park.

Geoff Watson, "The Potomac River, viewed from Swain's,Campground," oil on canvas panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "The Potomac River, viewed from Swain's,Campground," oil on canvas panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Pennyfield Lock

Pennyfield Lock is Lock 22 on the C&O Canal in Maryland. Pennyfield's Inn stands guard over the lock, and the inn still operates today. You can rent it for a night or two from the National Park Service, as long as you don't mind having no electricity or running water. As it happens, two nice travelers named Steve and Jennel were staying there while I was painting the house, and I added them to the picture; they're hanging out at the fence. They liked the painting and bought it from me off the easel.

Geoff Watson, "Pennyfield Lock," oil on panel, 9" x 12," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Pennyfield Lock," oil on panel, 9" x 12," 2017.

Tavern at Great Falls

Plein air painters love The Great Falls National Park, and for good reason: there's no shortage of interesting subjects. I visited the Maryland side of the park today and started this painting. This old tavern stands guard by a lock on the venerable C&O Canal. The picture needs work; the only question is when I'll revisit the park. maybe later this week.

"Tavern at Great Falls," oil on panel, 9" x 12" (2017) (work in progress).

"Tavern at Great Falls," oil on panel, 9" x 12" (2017) (work in progress).