The Bluegrass Painter Blog

Entries in plein air (3)


Casselman River Bridge Anniversary

A favorite subject of mine, the Casselman River Bridge State Park will be celebrating its 202nd anniversary on Saturday, September 26th.  Events at the park will include history presentations, a fireside program and an Outdoor Quick Painting event.  While I won't be able to attend the Plein Air event, I encourage local artists to participate. Here is a synopsis of the event as provided by the Park.  

Spruce Forest Artisan Village will also be celebrating the anniversary of the Casselman River Bridge by hosting its third annual Outdoor Quick Painting (Plein Air) event on Saturday, September 26th. Registration will take place at the Village Church from 8 am until 10 am. There is no fee to register. More information on the painting event can be found online at

Casselman River Bridge State Park is a 4-acre parcel located east of Grantsville in Garrett County on U.S. Route 40. It is a popular area for fly fishermen, photographers, and history enthusiasts. When the 80-foot bridge was erected in 1813, it was the longest single span stone arch bridge in the United States. Skeptics predicted that the bridge would collapse once the supporting timbers were removed - yet the bridge stood, serving as an important link on the National Road from 1813 to 1933. Although the bridge no longer carries vehicular traffic, it is open to pedestrians.

Today the Casselman River Bridge stands as a picturesque relic of Maryland's early transportation history, and a tribute to those who designed and built the National Road. To the east of the bridge is the "Spruce Forest Artisan Village." The village’s historic buildings were moved from various locations in Western Maryland and restored on the site. They currently serve as studios for a variety of artists. Adjacent to Spruce Village are the Penn Alps restaurant and gift shop, a historic structure that dates to 1818, and Stanton’s Mill, a working grist mill originally established in 1797. 

While I won't be there in person,  I just stocked the Penn Alps Craft Shop with a new supply of cards.  You'll also find some of my prints and art along with many other local artisans.  


Photo (1)Untitled work completed after a plein air session earlier this year.  
View more images of the Casselman Bridge in my Garrett County Collection.  


Saturday Afternoon Project 

Inspired by a recent outing where I found I was not equipped well to paint on location, I decided to see what I could do to improve my situation.  I made this from an old cigar box and a small photo tripod we had lying around in the garage.   I doubled up the bottom, put a fitting in to accept a threaded mount.   Then I modified the tripod to mount the box, added  a small cable to hold the lid at an appropriate angle for an easel, and I thought I might be on to something....

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Photo (3)
Here it is, getting a little action.

Garrett County Plein Air Painters Off and Running 

Pleinair1On May 3rd, a group of interested Garrett County artists gathered to discuss our mutual interest in plein air painting in and around Garrett County, Maryland.   Four of us gathered for our first session on Sunday May 17th at the Casselman River Bridge State Park.  The day started out questionable as far as the weather goes, but by 1:30 the sun was out and things had warmed up.  We all had a good time sharing ideas, techniques and logistics.  If you're in the area and would like to join us for a future session, please email me at  Below is my work from our first day out.  I used Derwent Aquatone Watercolor Sticks and mechanical pencil.  


Photo (1)