Oops! Missed one from Eureka Springs! June 16, 2010

White River Tree

One evening after we finished class at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts, I travelled with Bill and Sandy Barksdale to the White River for some viewing.  While Bill took photographs, Sandy and I attempted some quick watercolor sketches of the scene before us.  The late afternoon sunlight was enchanting as it picked up the bright yellow-greens of some of the trees on the opposite shore.  At the same time, fog was drifting over the water’s surface, and the colors of the river depths began to engage my imagination.

This sketch only measures about 10 x 6″.  I only had time to drybrush masking fluid for the highlighed leaves, then lay in the dark green shadows.  The water only took about 10 seconds to paint–about 4-5 horizontal strokes across the wet paper, and then plenty of salt sprinkled.  Nature did the rest.  Last of all, I blocked in a quick sky (probably 5-10 seconds, max).

The following morning, I rose early and found a seat on a shaded bench on the beautiful grounds of the Crescent Hotel where the school lodged me for the week.  As I entertained the hotel cat lounging at my feet, I scraped off the dried masking fluid and laid in a wet wash of light yellow-green to finish out the highlighed leaves.

Though I put very little time into this sketch, I’ve really grown fond of it, maybe because of the memories it brings back of two special friends I met at Eureka Springs.  I’ll always remember them taking me out to find places to paint, and especially Bill’s willingness to take me along as a fly-fishing buddy.  We certainly found willing rainbow trout by week’s end!

Thanks for reading.

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