Updates from the Eureka Springs School of the Arts Plein Air Activity

Director of the School

The third day of our school found us planted in the Historic District of Eureka Springs.  Just as we were setting up to paint, we were greeted by the broad smile and bubbling enthusiasm of our school’s Executive Director, also a published author.  She paused in the midst of her hectic schedule to wish us all well.

Painting the lovely springs at Howell & Spring St.

This is one end of my “instructional” circuit.   It was amusing that the students spread further and further apart in opposite directions as they continually found new subjects to paint.  By day’s end, they spread about 300 yards up and down Spring Street.  At one point, I was walking all the way to Carnegie Library to get to the opposite end of this one!  When I finished giving advice, I would say, “See you next time, in about an hour.”

When Sitting Gets Old

This student quickly found out that she would never run out of flowers to paint on this lovely street.

Finding the Shade

This pair of sisters would quickly find out that the intersection was a busy one, and that tourists and well-wishers would be looking at their work throughout the day.  It was a rewarding effort today, and the public could not have been more enjoyable for visiting with while working over the paintings.

Eureka Springs

Near the close of the afternoon session, I set up my easel at Springs and Howell to sketch quickly this piece of the garden beneath the bluff.  The calm dignity of the Ionic column pedestal was what caught my attention, and I loved gazing at the stained surface of it that seemed to be an extension of the rock wall that served as its backdrop.

Last night brought new adventures.  Two of my students invited me along to Chelsea’s, a local bar that serves the best pizza in Eureka Springs.  Wayne the Train was stopping over at Eureka Springs en route to Springfield, promising to play live music for the night.  He added his powerful Hank Williams-style vocals and acoustic guitar rhythms to the lead guitar and upright bass skills of another pair, and the trio belted out rock-the-joint music for hours.  Wednesday nights are “Drink and Draw” for the local artists, and the three of us were included, even though we were not local (they’ll let anybody in?).  For $5, we were handed whatever art supplies were available  (abundant acrylic paints, brushes, palettes and canvas boards of all sizes).  I did an on-site portrait of the rockabilly trio that entertained us all night (I won’t bother to post that image), and found the enterprise to be great fun.  That is why I am posting this the morning after–I got in quite late, and therefore needed to sleep well past 5:00 as well.

As I write this, it is raining hard outside.  I had to pause, take my coffee out on the back deck, and breathe deeply the cool, refreshing air.  We are scheduled to paint all day at the train depot, but our alternative is to work inside the studios at Eureka Springs School of the Arts.  That would be a nice alternative to the recent flurry of outdoor sessions.  Besides, we have a walk-through studio tour this afternoon, and could use some time to get all the work of the week out for display.  Every student will matte his/her best work of the week for the exhibit.

Thanks for reading.

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