Plein Air Gathering around Harding Spring

Landscape Enveloping Harding Spring

Landscape Enveloping Harding Spring

Geometry is our greatest creation and we are enthralled by it. . .  Man has drawn himself up like a giant, he has forged himself a tool.  He no longer works with his hands.  His spirit gives the order.  He has delegated to the machine the work of his clumsy and unskillful hands.  Freed, his spirit works freely.  On square paper he dreams.  

Le Corbusier

Rising early this morning, I was again greeted by the beautiful, warm sunshine of Eureka Springs.  Sitting on the terrace, I found fascinating ideas from a biography I’m reading on Le Corbusier.  As this young architect moved dialectically between natural forms and geometry, I was inspired to approach the Harding Springs and look at the Greek column and krater sitting in all their geometric stillness in the enveloping embrace of those beautiful shrubs, backed by the looming cliff, Lover’s Leap.

Painter at Harding Spring

Painter at Harding Spring

Painter at Harding Spring

Painter at Harding Spring

The Plein Air Workshop group arrived early and set up immediately, choosing their compositions around Harding Spring.

Jean's Rendering of a Neighboring Business

Jean’s Rendering of a Neighboring Business

Sitting in the midst of Harding Spring, Jean peered through the landscaping and across the street at a local business.  She decided to build a composition contrasting nature with architecture, flowers over against a stone building.  As she worked on this watercolor, she continued to build contrasting darks and lights, warm and cool colors between the building, the shadows and the flower beds.

Debbie's Plein Air Rendering of Lover's Leap

Debbie’s Plein Air Rendering of Lover’s Leap

After focusing on architectural rendering for two days, Debbie today decided to work with nature exclusively, hoping to keep it loose and Impressionistic this time.  She ended up with this Cezannesque-looking watercolor of Lover’s Leap at Harding Spring.  I was fascinated with her contrasts of warm and cool colors threading through the foliage and rock facade, much as Cezanne composed in his studies of Mont Sainte-Victoire.  At the end, she decided to go ahead and include the man-made railing at the top of the bluff.

Barbara's Plein Air Interpretaion of Lover's Leap

Barbara’s Plein Air Interpretaion of Lover’s Leap

Barbara was fascinated with the foundation stones and Greek monument along with the bluff and trees in this setting.  She worked feverishly on contrasting colors, seeking ways to make the bluff, tree trunks and monument emerge from the composition to take center stage.  On the rock facade, she experimented with a number of techniques until she came up with this satifsfying compositional conclusion.

I have only tomorrow morning left to spend with this class, and I miss them already.  Their daily enthusiasm was contagious, and I could not help catching their fever.  I cannot wait to see them in the morning, knowing their daily company has changed me profoundly as an artist, affirmed me as a teacher, and given me a new sense of vision in the pursuit of the arts.  My thanks goes out to all of them, and to all of you who take the time to read my daily musings.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.


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6 Responses to “Plein Air Gathering around Harding Spring”

  1. Shelley Says:

    I am so impressed with the level of artistry shown by these students (not to mention your own)! Such talent, and such inspiringly beautiful subject matter. I know how sorry you will be for the week to end.


  2. samantha Says:

    Love the calming colors and natural elements captured. Great work.


  3. BJR Says:

    Great work!…and what a fascinating town to paint in. We were through there a few years ago, and I was looking, looking everywhere. Now I would have to find a spot and paint. I’ve enjoyed your student’s work also. Wish I was there!


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