Return to the Plein Air Trail

Sat1

Completed Plein Air Watercolor in Waxahachie, Texas

Art appears in many forms. To some degree every human being is an artist, dependent on the quality of his growth. Art need not be intended. It comes inevitably as the tree from the root, the branch from the trunk, the blossom from the twig. 

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

Paint Historic Waxahachie officially opened Friday, but I could not make the trip, as I had school all day, and worked an art booth in our school carnival till 8:00 that night. Sleeping late this morning, I finally made Waxahachie in the early afternoon, and went to work completing paintings on site that I had begun in prior weeks but never felt satisfied that they were concluded. The one posted above required work on the first story window, and the door had not yet been drawn or painted. I also decided to experiment with a pair of new pigments I recently ordered– Daniel Smith’s brand of Quinachridone Gold and Quinachridone Rose. I floated these new colors into the brick facade of this building. I also masqued some tree limbs in the lower left corner and floated dark foliage colors over them. Once I stopped, I realized I had a much better composition than the one I aborted week before last.

Sat2

Balcony above Smalley’s Law Office

After turning in my watercolor to the Art on the Square Gallery for processing, I resumed work on another composition begun a couple of weeks back. Again I experimented with my two new pigments, and liked the depth of color the bricks were taking on. I also detailed some of the brick facade that had been merely sketched at first, and tried to refine the light yellow banister of the balcony.

I turned in a total of four paintings to the Art on the Square Gallery–the two posted above and the two courthouse portal paintings I worked on Friday and Saturday before the “early bird” plein air session expired. I then journeyed down to the pair of railroad depots that have been restored and picked out an area to compose featuring a bright red M-K-T caboose in front of one of the depots. The drawing went quite well, and the underpainting was doing as I wished it would. As 7:00 p.m. arrived and the sinking sun began to dim my subject, I decided to pack it in and return to it, hopefully tomorrow (Sunday) evening, if the sunlight is strong again.

By 8:00, I realized I hadn’t eaten since lunch time, so I treated myself to one of the best dinners I’ve ever had at the College Street Pub. The night air was pleasant and I found seating available on the back deck beneath the trees. Dinner and journal time were exquisite, and I was so happy that it was Saturday night and there was nowhere I had to be.

The day has been exhausting, but I’m happy that I managed to complete some work in plein air and wanted to take a moment to post and share it. Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to learn.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

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