“No Longer Home” January 3, 2010

My Grandmother's Abandoned Home

My attempt at plein air watercolor on this day was not successful.  Texas remained dark and overcast, and the icy winds from the north I could not successfully repel with three layers of clothing, fleece cap and mittens.  I painted outdoors at Lyndon Acres for about 30 minutes, attempting a sketch of horses in the pasture, and trying to finish a painting started a couple of weeks ago.  Finally I gave up.

The image posted is of a drybrush watercolor I executed in 1990.  I will forever regret releasing it for sale, as the only record I have (posted) is this poorly-taken 35mm slide (I am not a photographer!).  I believe this remains my most successful attempt of the Andrew Wyeth-style drybrush that I have admired since 1968.  As a small boy, I slept in that bedroom window on many a night.  This building is what is left of my grandmother’s house.  I still remember the smells of that attic, along with the wasps, the sounds of rats in the walls, and my terror at the sound of every creak I heard in the depths of the nights spent up there.  It was already a very old house when I was very young, and the layers of stories told there are just as varied as the smells and sounds I experienced in the night.  The more I read of Andrew Wyeth’s fixation at Kuerner’s Farm throughout his life (sadly he died nearly a year ago), the more I wish to pursue studies of the McNeely Farm where I spent so much time growing up and exploring.

Currently, I am caught between the extremes of Andrew Wyeth’s drybrush (that avoids the saturation of hues, preferring to layer the neutrals) on the one hand, and the felicity of the French Impressionists in their pursuit of pure light and color as they worked en plein aire (something I discovered only last year).  So, for anyone reading these Blogs, I presume that you will be seeing future posts of an inquisitive artist trying to find his way between these extremes.  Incidentally, the paintings I pursued this afternoon in the cold were much brighter, but failures.  Perhaps I’ll have something better to show tomorrow, rather than an old, recycled drybrush.

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3 Responses to ““No Longer Home” January 3, 2010”

  1. lesliepaints Says:

    This is a beautiful vignette of your Grandmother’s house. Sorry I haven’t located you sooner. Will be watching for more. 🙂


  2. artbythepaintedbrush Says:

    Its beautiful, but boy it sounded cold out there.


  3. David Tripp Says:

    Cold indeed. I tend to get in a hurry when the weather turns blustery!


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