The first day of class at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts is in the books. I was so excited that I set my alarm for 5:30 and arrived at the school by 8:00. Class began at 9:00. Six students this year, same number as last year, and I love them all. All of them talented, all of them enthusiastic, and all of them wanting to push their skills further by exploring plein air watercolor. We worked our first day at the school. Tomorrow we meet in the historic district of Eureka Springs, and will paint the town, literally.
Class went from 9 to 4. I gave myself about an hour to decompress in this lovely living facility (Twilight Terrace at Sweet Spring), then returned to the site about 2 blocks from here where I began this plein air sketch yesterday at this same time. I spent one more hour on it today and declared it finished. After all, it’s just a plein air sketch, not a finished, polished studio piece. Maybe I’ll do that some other day.
This is the First Presbyterian Church of Eureka Springs on Spring Street. When I decided to work on it yesterday, I was fascinated with the rustication on the exterior of the structure, thought about how the ancient Romans introduced that to the Western world, and fancied this as a Roman Catholic Church. Now today I read the sign and saw it was actually Presbyterian (sorry Jean!). Nevertheless, it has that Roman look (to me). And I am aware that Vespers came from the Roman Catholic tradition, drifted to the Greek Orthodox, and was later adopted by the Lutherans. But I believe the word just means “evening” and I know that Presbyterians, Unitarians and other church bodies today use that word “vespers” to refer to some of their liturgical practices.
This was truly a “vespers” moment for me as I spent this evening’s hour finishing this piece. The slanting rays of the sun continued to wash the environment, and chase lavender shadows across the recessed areas of this scene. I really did not want to stop painting on it. But alas, I have overworked far too many watercolors (and may have this one as well!). So, I decided to let it go, and rest up this evening so I can teach another class tomorrow, and (hopefully) kick out another plein air watercolor at tomorrow’s vespers.
Thanks for reading. Eureka Springs is a beautiful place to paint!