This was a week in which I found difficulty getting on track watercoloring en plein air. I dashed 40 minutes to Waxahachie every day after school, but encountered hot, humid weather in the upper 90′s and found myself without any energy or enthusiasm to paint. Last night, north Texas got blasted all night long by vicious thunderstorms. I finished my school finals by 10:30, and stepped outside to an amazing 68-degree overcast day.
This is the first home I painted, in the 900 block of West Main Street. I kept all my sizes small today (8 x 10″) and as simple as possible. We are allowed to compete in the Paint Historic Waxahachie event with as many as five paintings, and as of today, I only had two. Today would be my last day, since tomorrow’s deadline of 2:00 will pass with my still being in school for a meaningless Teacher Work Day (today was the last day for the students). I have been working with an altered palette of late, and found real dynamics in Winsor & Newton Transparent Yellow. I mixed it with Winsor Blue (Red Shade) and got some amazing light green foliage variations.
After completing the first watercolor rather quickly, I returned my attention to this sketch of 902 West Main Street in Waxahachie. I had drawn this out in pencil two days ago, then lost the sunlight that had made the facade so striking. Yesterday I tried to begin painting on it, but made several bad decisions, and decided to lay it aside awhile longer. Today, having warmed up with the painting across the street, I felt ready for this one, and tried to render it many ways similar to Edward Hopper’s watercolor of the Methodist Church in Provincetown. I did manager to pull off a few of the techniques, particularly combining pencil work with transparent watercolor washes. Again I found the Transparent Yellow pigment to work very well in coloring the blinds in the windows of this historic house.
After matting and hanging the first two watercolors in the Ellis County Art Association, I journeyed back up Main Street, trying to decide on a house with American flags displayed. Since Memorial Day, Waxahachie has had flags fluttering everywhere. I finally selected this house that had about a dozen flags planted on the front lawn. I was struck by beauty of the porch pillars and hanging baskets at this house, so I thought I would try a quick plein air sketch of just a portion of it, again staying with the 8 x 10″ size. This is the smallest of my compositions, as I tried to work very quickly and bring it to completion.
And finally, the College Street Pub, one of my favorite haunts in the city of Waxahachie. I drew out this composition with an HB pencil two days ago, right after the house on 902 W. Main. But I was weak with fatigue, and the sun was extremely hot that afternoon. Today’s 68-degree temperature was ideal for painting outdoors. I loved the details on this building–the signage, the electrical wiring, the light and shadows–all of it appeared rustic to me, and I just had to paint it. I began work on it just before 4:00, and knowing the Ellis County Art Association office would close at 4:00, I saw no reason to rush this. I will make a quick dash to the office tomorrow before the 2:00 deadline.
Once this painting was finished, I realized that I had not had food since about 10:30 this morning. I had drunk plenty of bottles of water, but had had no food intake between 10:30 and 6:15. So, I decided it was time to re-visit the College Street Pub to enjoy some food and beverage and to salute a successful day. The last time I painted four watercolors in one day was during a paint-out competition in McKinney, Texas. That was several years ago. I’m thrilled that today I rose to the challenge. Today I felt an energy that has been rare of late. I’m grateful for the experience. Now, it’s time for bed.
Thanks for reading.