Old Towne Burleson, Texas January 13, 2010

Old Towne Burleson, Texas

I would have identified this as my first plein air watercolor, but as it turned out I only sketched in the composition and laid in a few basic washes, and then got cold feet.  It was my first attempt to paint on location, and I was feeling pretty insecure with it.  Moreover, I had arrived early in the morning when there was an empty parking lot between this subject and me.  By and by, as cars began to fill the lot, the bottom third of the composition was no longer visible to me.  I had taken a picture earlier with my digital camera, so I took it home, and returned to this piece weeks later, completing it in my studio.

I usually make many compositional changes as I put my watercolor together, rather than copying my subject in toto. The only change I made here was the dark red building–the actual one was metal and just blended in with the rest of the composition.  I needed to put an accent somewhere to give this some kind of pop.  This location is in Burleson, Texas, at 108 S. Main Street.  There is a cute renovated business district there that includes Babes (fried chicken), J. J. Mocha’s, gift shops and other fine restaurants.  I was seated beneath the awning of a now-defunct Barbecue place, and looking east toward I-35.

I never was completely satisfied with the outcome of this.  However, I did sell it at the very next art festival in which I participated, so I guess someone liked it.  At any rate, the experience confirmed for me that I did want to get used to painting on location.  And I did about two weeks later at the “Paint Historic Waxahachie” Plein Air event.  So, as it turns out, this watercolor marks an important place in my personal history and development.  One more note–this was the first watercolor where I made use of my new Winsor & Newton watercolor field box, a complete watercolor kit and palette that fits in the palm of my hand.  That remains one of the finest tools I have ever purchased in the way of art supplies.  I wish I had known of it ten years ago.

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2 Responses to “Old Towne Burleson, Texas January 13, 2010”

  1. lesliepaints Says:

    The detail in this is incredible, David. Telephone poles.I like the telephone poles. Artistic kicense with the red building! It makes the whole painting! Beautiful.


    • David Tripp Says:

      Thank you, Leslie. I’ve been fascinated with utility poles from my childhood, even before I knew I would paint them. I’ve always like the linear patterns they create, and when I was on long drives with my parents, I loved watching those patterns change as our car moved along (maybe that kept me from being so bored on long road trips).


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