Mark Keathley's Old Mill - (A Work In Progress)

Ever wonder what it would be like to watch an artist work on a painting from start to finish? Well, now is your chance as artist, Mark Keathley has started work on his next image, The Old Mill and he wants to take us along his journey from beginning to end. To start us off, he supplied us with the old photograph he has of the Mill in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee as well as his "study sketch" that he painted while actually visiting the site. 
An undated photo of the Old Mill which has been a prominent landmark in Pigeon Forge since the early 1800's.
Mark Keathley's study painting that he completed while visiting the site.
Update 1 (9/16/08):
"Every painting has it's challenges. Mostly just trying to simplify and focus on what it is you want the viewer to get excited about. When asked to paint the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge I was immediately taken with the setting. I loved how a person could disappear from the hustle of the small town and it's ever present traffic and find a refuge among this historic setting. The challenge, however, was that I didn't know what it was that would "grab" the viewer and make them want to sit for a while. With a blank canvas waiting on my easel, I laid awake last night wondering how I would "pull this one off" and make it special. Then it hit me. The River, the way I paint water is one of my forte's.  I can make the water so special that it wouldn't matter what else was going on in the scene.  So I decided I would start with my "subject" on this one and this is the first day's work."
 - Mark Keathley
Update 2 (9/19/08):
"I'm continuing to perfect the water in these stages, gradually adding some surrounding stuff, but again and again adding to the beauty and realism of this stream.  I want the viewer to feel safe on the shore, with a place to go around if they feel they must, but to be tempted, at the same time to just wade on it to the cool stuff."
 - Mark Keathley
Update 3 (9/23/08):
"This time around, my attention towards where the action is really taking place - the falls. It's there that you find life in motion...water's timeless persistence and power. The frothy cool cascade may well be the unsung hero here. That and man's ingenuity to capture its energy. Did you also happen to notice the shoreline is now a perfect place to watch the events unfold? "
 - Mark Keathley
Update 4 (9/26/08):
"Here the sun's rays shower the area and allow the viewer a chance to see the wonderful details that get hidden on cloudier days. The bright green grass seems to be getting its nourishment from the clean waters that ripple nearby. The world under the water also makes its appearance for the first time reminding us that life not only has height and width... it has depth as well.  "
 - Mark Keathley
Update 5 (9/30/08):
Update 6 (10/03/08):
Update 7 (10/06/08):