Plein air Painting at the Dallas Arboretum

Dallas Arboretum

Today offered perfect weather for plein air painting.  My friend Chris Toplyn and I journeyed early to the Dallas Arboretum and met three other Fort Worth painters for a day of painting.  This is my second attempt of the day.  I’ll try and pull a photo of my first one from my BlackBerry.  I failed to photograph it with my good camera, and sold it off the easel before remembering to get a good shot of it.

I stared at this subject for a long time before finally deciding to try it.  I was really transfixed at the sight of the distant dead growth contrasting against the explosive yellows of the foreground tree.  Finally, I decided that if I tinted the background in lavenders instead of the gray that I actually saw with my naked eye, that perhaps a complementary composition would be pleasing to the eye.  My real interest in painting this was the stark, “druidic” looking tree that invited an Andrew Wyeth-type of drybrush study.  I still am not satisfied with my way of handling stark, dead winter trees, and I spend hours poring over illustrations of Andrew Wyeth drybrush studies of this subject.  To me, he is the master.

Painting this subject brought pure pleasure to me, as did the affirming comments from passersby.  The Arboretum was overrun with people on this gorgeous day, and  I enjoyed every conversation.

I plan to visit the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens on Thursday, hoping for a continuation of this gorgeous painting weather.

Thanks for reading.




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