A Quiet Moment Beneath the Ellis County Courthouse

Paint Historic Waxahachie

Paint Historic Waxahachie


No one can get anywhere without contemplation.  Busy people who do not make contemplation part of their business do not do much for all their effort.

I am reading these words at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning, waiting on the morning to brighten so I can make the 40-minute drive to Waxahachie and attempt another plein air painting.

As I read from The Art Spirit, I find myself enraptured with Robert Henri, an artistic spirit reflecting the perfect combination of thought and action.  We read about how much of a fireball he was in his studio at 806 Walnut Street in Philadelphia.  Students from the Pennsylvania Academy of Art filled his apartment and hung on his every word as he read to them from Whitman and Emerson, challenging them to find a style all their own.  The Ashcan School emerged from this leader and band of disciples.  I had always known Henri from history as a man of action.  But now on my second reading of his book The Art Spirit, I am continually shocked by his erudition, his depth and breadth of thought.  Such powerful ideas as his could not have been drawn from a life on the run.

. . .

Arriving in Waxahachie, I circumnavigated the Ellis County Courthouse, seeking a distant view with its cupola rising abve the cityscape.  Constructed in 1897 by  Boston architect Henry Hobson Richardson, this building is now classified as Richardsonian Romanesque Revival.  The morning sun was bright, and I loved the look of this courthouse rising above the town, and the right side of the composition framed in by leafed-out trees.  My position was just outside the College Street Pub, its awning protecting me from the heat and glare of the sun.  It turned out to be another serene morning for painting in the open air.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.


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