Archive for March, 2012

New Watercolor of Ridglea Theater now at the Weiler House

March 18, 2012

Ridglea Theater

My most recent painting has been delivered to the Weiler House Fine Art Gallery (

Proud to Be Included in a Museum Exhibit April 11-May 27

March 18, 2012

One of Eight Watercolors Curated for a Museum Group Show

Eight of my watercolors have been selected to open in a museum show that opens next month.  The Arlington Museum of Art (Arlington, Texas) will open a show titled “5 x 5” on April 11, with a reception April 20.  I am enclosing a link for anyone interested in further details:

Thanks for reading.

Watercolor of the Ridglea Theater Finished

March 18, 2012

Ridglea Theater, Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth

It is rewarding to rise early on Sunday morning, enter the studio, and complete a large painting that has been in progress for a few weeks.  This is a 28 x 22″ composition of the historic Ridglea Theater on Camp Bowie Blvd. in west Fort Worth.  It is undergoing renovation now as the new owner wants to obtain historical status for this magnificent structure.

I didn’t move to Texas until 1977, so I have no early “vintage” experiences with this venue.  However, I am proud that I viewed Casa Blanca here on its 50th anniversary.  I also saw my first Coen brothers film here, Miller’s Crossing, and though I knew absolutely nothing about the Coen brothers at that time, I knew I had seen a film that was remarkably different from any genre I had viewed before.  I also saw A River Runs Through It at this venue.  So, I have some terrific memories filled with gratitude involving this theater.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday Night in the Watercolor Studio

March 17, 2012

Ignatius Saturday night

I’m embarrassed sending these “progress reports” when it seems I’m making little progress.  The myriad of details has really slowed me down, but I have worked several more hours on this.  Not sure if I’ll stay with it tonight, though.  I’m tired.

Thanks for reading.


A Voyeuristic Look into my Garage Studio

March 17, 2012


I took a break to straighten my back (leaning over that table is getting to me) and to let some of the sloppy areas of my watercolor dry out.  I took a look across my studio and thought I’d snap the picture for any of you who desire the “voyeuristic” look into my playground.

I never had the means to build a magnificent library interior, though my personal library exceeds 2,000 volumes and is scattered across my house, into my garage and into my classroom.  I also never had the means to build the dream studio, but I have taken an attraction to working in this garage during the temperate months of Texas climate (which are quite few).

You can see my antique doors in the background.  These hold my framed watercolors inside my booth tent during festivals.  Out of sight are my bookcases and stereo.  As I write, I have Muddy Waters More Real Folk Blues spinning on the turntable.  I’ve enjoyed his company throughout this morning, along with Rare Earth.

In the foreground, you can probably spot my bottomless cup.  Karl Barth kept his pipe bowl full, Robert Motherwell kept a cigarette burning between his fingers, I keep a cup of coffee steaming at my elbow.

Anyway, time to get back to work (play).  Just wanted you to see the realm that I have laughingly called my Man Cave.  It doesn’t look like much, but I do enjoy the peace and quiet out here, and it was especially sweet last 3 a.m.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday Morning in the Painter’s Studio, with Coffee

March 17, 2012

Saint Ignatius Academy Saturday Morning, in Progress

My graduate work (long ago) was in theology, and now that I’m up to my elbows in this study of an ecclesiastical structure, parallels keep running through my head between the life I once lived clustered in a scholar’s den and the one I live now in my painting studio.  The hours I’ve kept this week during Spring Break have been just as erratic as the ones I lived while working on a Ph.D.  I retired to bed at 3 a.m., and then rose a little after 8:00 this morning to return to the garage.

I pulled a volume from my shelf that has been a comfort since the early 1980’s: Revolutionary Theology in the Making: Barth-Thurneysen Correspondence 1914-1925.  When the theologian Karl Barth was a young pastor in the Swiss mining town of Safenwil, his sole sustenance in spiritual companionship came from another young pastor, Edouard Thurneysen, who lived on the other side of the mountain.  They kept up a brisk correspondence, updating one another on their scholarly and pastoral pursuits as they laid the foundations for Neo-Orthodoxy, a revolutionary theology that arrived with the First World War.

This excerpt from Barth made me laugh: ” . . . this hot summer will ever be unforgettable for me.  I amble like a drunk man back and forth between writing desk, dining table, and bed, traveling each kilometer with my eye already on the next one.”  I knew that sentiment while writing papers and sermons during the course of my graduate program, and have known it recently during this holiday when the obsession to work on larger watercolors seized me.

Today is a delicious Saturday morning, and yes, I am going to pick up the brush the moment I finish this blog.  The suburban sounds are pleasing, the light is clear, and the scent from last night’s rain is a sweet one rising from the lawn just outside my open garage door.  The neighbor is mowing (I’m so glad the guy we hired did our lawn yesterday, before the rain), and I’ve always liked the sounds of lawnmowers on the weekends across suburbia–never an annoying sound to me.

I’m going to enclose another passage from one of Barth’s letters: “[The writing of the lecture] is going at full strength and an unbroken pillar of smoke is rising from my pipe to the ceiling as in the best times of my life.”  I don’t smoke a pipe, but I do have a full pot of Starbuck’s coffee brewed, and my cup will remain full as Barth’s pipe bowl did on his best days in the study.

O.K., the Saint Ignatius painting posted.  A watercolorist colleague whom I greatly admire has just sent me encouragement to jump right in to the intimidating details of this structure.  And I shall.  While writing this blog, it dawned on me that I should try a complementary juxtaposition of violets and ochres as I work on the texturing of this rusticated stone exterior, and get serious about the shadows.  It’s time to make this composition “pop” and that is only going to happen when the contrast gets loaded in.  So, that’s my next step.

What a delicious Saturday morning!  Thanks for sharing this moment with me (all of you readers, and the lingering muse/spirit of Barth).

Nearing Completion of the Historic Ridglea Theater Watercolor

March 17, 2012

Ridglea Theater

As the hour passes 2 a.m., I’ve decided to call it quits on this watercolor I resumed after letting it lay dormant for about a week.  I believe I’ll have it wrapped up before returning to school Monday.  I still need to enrich the brick work up and down the tower facade.  Recently I’ve been caught up with the lower portion, especially the marquis portion of the facade.  I’ll be glad to return to the brickwork, hopefully later today.

Thanks for reading.  I’m pleased that I got in some quality painting time this week.  That will change when school resumes and I prepare for a couple of art festivals coming my way.  It’s going to get much busier the next two weeks.

Late Night Watercoloring in the Studio

March 17, 2012

Landscaping at Saint Ignatius Academy

It is not my customary practice to work on watercolors past midnight.  Yet here it is, 1:48 a.m. on a Saturday morning, and I’m still at it.   The Dallas Museum of Art stayed open till midnight, and the exhibit of American art during the 1920’s was overwhelming to me.  I was pleased also to find the Nasher Sculpture Garden open, and free.  The evening was enriching, with live music, food booths up and down the closed streets, and people everywhere.  When I got back home, I could not wait to return to the studio and resume work on some watercolors that I have begun recently.

This is some of the landscaping that surrounds Saint Ignatius Academy in downtown Fort Worth.  I got tired of working on the white building and its myriad of details, so I found it refreshing to lay in some greens and attempt to render foliage and flowers.  Maybe tomorrow (actually later today!) I’ll get back to the building details.  I’m getting attached to this painting as the building begins to take shape.

I have significantly improved the ambiance of my garage studio, moving my antique doors to create the semblance of an enclosed room, joining my tables, and better organizing my supplies.  I now have two 28 x 20″ watercolors going side-by-side, as I’ve resumed work on the Ridglea Theater piece, hoping to finish the latter before returning to school.  Throughout the day today, I’ve been spinning vinyl on my turntable, grooving to the sounds of Muddy Waters and The Beatles (not together!).  It’s been a long time since I’ve played LPs and I’m enjoying the music.

It’s storming over Arlington, Texas as I write this.  My smallest dog, Gizmo (a Shih-Tzu) is terrified of the rain, and never lets anyone sleep while it is storming.  He has suddenly burst into the garage,  so I have new sounds to add to the music that I’ve so enjoyed.  I hope by the time I’m sleepy, the storm will have passed.  Otherwise, Gizmo is not going to let me sleep in peace.

Thanks for reading.

In the Studio with Watercolor of Saint Ignatius Academy

March 16, 2012

Saint Ignatius Academy, Fort Worth

With regret, I watch this Spring Break drawing to a close.  I have just gotten my second wind with the watercolor endeavors.  I wish I could close out this large watercolor before returning to school Monday, but that isn’t going to happen.

I photographed this structure in downtown Fort Worth, south of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, a couple of weeks ago while out taking photographs with another watercolorist buddy.  I am fascinated with the Mansard roof (reminding me of my favorite Edward Hopper watercolors) and the overall look of this architectural French Second Empire style. 

I feel that I may have bitten off a bit more than I can chew, as I am devoting most of this 28 x 22″ surface to the church’s facade.  I’m already getting lost in this composition, and I barely have the top of it underway.  There is so much more detail to draft and pursue.  But I love the look of the sunlit facade so far.

Tonight, the Dallas Museum of Art stays open till midnight.  I have an itch to head over there, having learned that there are some Edward Hopper paintings in the new exhibition that has just opened, covering the Jazz Age.  Perhaps I’ll have enough energy, and renewed inspiration, to pursue this studio work later tonight.

Thanks for reading.


Watercoloring Saint Ignatius Academy of Fort Worth

March 15, 2012

Saint Ignatius Academy, Fort Worth, Texas

I’m a rather poor photographer.  I cannot seem to help but pick ujp all the pebbly texture of this cold-press D’Arches watercolor paper I use.  Here is an extreme close up of a watercolor barely under way.  The structure is Saint Ignatius of Loyola Academy just south of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in the southern part of downtown Fort Worth, Texas.  I photographed this structure a couple of weeks ago, smitten at how blindingly white it stood out against the deepening Texas sky, late in the afternoon.  Recently, I finished a large watercolor of the Fort Worth Flatiron building nearby, trying to capture the dynamic of sunlight playing off the yellow surface of that building.  I don’t know how it’s going to work, painting a white building under extreme afternoon sunlight, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough.  I regret that I waited so long into this Spring Break to begin this one.  School will resume Monday, and I’ll be barely up to my elbows in this one.

Thanks for reading.