Archive for the ‘Andrew Wyeth’ Category

Making Art does not have to be an Exorcism

January 15, 2022
Framed Watercolor 16 x 20″ $400

Painting isn’t an aesthetic operation; it’s a form of magic designed as a mediator between this strange, hostile world and us, a way of seizing the power by giving form to our terrors as well as our desires. When I came to that realization, I knew I had found my way.

Pablo Picasso, quoted in Francois Gilot’s Life with Picasso

With temperatures plummeting into the 20’s, we’ve built a nice fire and settled in for this Saturday night. I’ll be working late on my university syllabus due Monday with classes beginning Wednesday. But I wanted first to frame the watercolor that I finally completed and put it on the blog before returning to the school work.

I’ve understood Picasso’s theory of art as exorcism for about thirty years now, and always enjoy re-reading his testimony concerning it. I believe I understand his perspective, but do not myself follow it. But it gives me a chance to respond with my own views.

When I make art, I am reproducing the world I want to remember: my Proustian world with all its rich memories that delight my senses as I embrace, enfold and try to mold them back into visible form. Many people use memory, calling up mental images to hold their past, to bring their past back into their present. I draw and paint the objects, the narratives most precious to me.

In the spring of 2011 I had the privilege of judging a plein air competition sponsored by the White River Artists of Cotter, Arkansas. During that three-day venture, I was taken to this rustic cabin in Flippin, Arkansas, dating back to 1905. This was one of the first two homes built in that town. Currently it sits on the property of Ozarks Realty on U.S. 62/412 west of the town of Flippin. I spent a delicious morning sketching this cabin with watercolor en plein air. Once I returned to the studio, I created two additional paintings of it, closer to a 20 x 24″ scale. Both of them have since sold, but the image continues to abide with me. So I’ve decided to try and render a third one.

Plein Air attempt
First Attempt years ago
2nd attempt

I cannot describe every sentiment that visited me while I worked on this piece. I will happily join some of the artists from the 2011 event in September for a four-day watercolor workshop. I cannot believe that it will have been eleven years since I last visited this location. Another sentiment I felt while painting was the feeling that Andrew Wyeth was looking over my shoulder nodding his encouragement and approval as I worked. His masterful drybrush watercolor studies of rustic subjects always abide with me when I’m in the studio.

Monday night I’ll be conducting a live demonstration and giving an art talk for ARTIUM, an arts association in Mansfield, Texas. We’ll gather at the Chris W. Burkett Service Center at 620 S. Wisteria Street from 6:30-8:30.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

The Apple-Bug has Hatched

January 8, 2022

Everyone has heard the story which has gone the rounds of New England, of a strong and beautiful bug which came out of the dry leaf of an old table of apple-tree wood, which had stood in a farmer’s kitchen for 60 years, first in Connecticut, and afterward in Massachusetts — from an egg deposited in the living tree many years earlier still, as appeared by counting the annual layers beyond it; which was heard gnawing out for several weeks, hatched perchance by the heat of an urn.

Who knows what beautiful and winged life, whose egg has been buried for ages under many concentric layers of woodness in the dead dry life of society, deposited at first in the alburnum of the green and living tree, which has been gradually converted into the semblance of its well-seasoned tomb may unexpectedly come forth from amidst society’s most trivial and handselled furniture, to enjoy its perfect summer life at last!

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Waking at 4:30 this morning, I lay in the darkness of The Redlands Hotel and allowed my mind to embrace the new ideas visiting in the pre-dawn. This precious story from Henry David Thoreau I have not read or taught for over twenty years, yet it arrived in my half-awake consciousness to punctuate the New Year meditations I’ve been scribbling in my journal for nearly a month now. I lay there in the darkness this morning, wondering what kind of heated urn had been placed on my consciousness to hatch this story. Finally reaching for the light, I decided to begin the day and head for the kitchen to sit at the table awhile and write while the ideas are still fresh.

When I think of the sixty years it took for a “beautiful bug” to emerge from the dry wood of the kitchen table, I cannot help but look back over my own sixty years of hacking through my own wilderness of earthly experiences. The voices of teachers, words from texts, co-mingled with sights and colors of my surroundings have combined their efforts to weave a tapestry that I survey daily with hope of a fuller undersanding.

As I write this at the kitchen table in suite 207, I think of a partial watercolor on the drafting table on the floor below me in The Gallery at Redlands. I worked on it till nearly 10:30 last night before turning out the lights and coming upstairs. Now I think of the painting lying in the darkness below waiting for me to come back for today’s visit, and I am ready.

Yesterday during a watercolor class in the Gallery, Vanessa, Jessi and I mused over the perennial question asked of us about how long it takes to create a particular work of art. We concluded that the answer corresponds to the years comprising our ages–the watercolors we were making at that moment have been “under construction” throughout our entire lives. So . . . if someone asks me how long it took to create this watercolor of an Arkansas cabin, my answer would be “sixty-seven years.”

Sixty-Seven Years and Counting

I’m ready to get back to work on this watercolor, glad that the morning is early and it is still dark outdoors.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Arkansas Cabin Study

January 5, 2022
Working in Studio Eidolons on Arkansas Cabin

Sagot: I’ll show you what makes it great. (He goes to the bar and picks up the Matisse. He takes it out of its frame. He holds up the frame.). This is what makes it great.

Gaston: The frame?

Sagot: The boundaries. The edge. Otherwise, anything goes. You want to see a soccer game where the players can run up into the stands with the ball and order a beer? No. They’ve got to stay within the boundaries to make it interesting. In the right hands, this little space is as fertile as Eden.

Steve Martin, Picasso at the Lapin Agile

This morning I was reading one of my favorite plays (above) over coffee before a nice fire (temperatures outside are rising, so it appears the fireplace weather will be suspended awhile). The text above leaped off the page at me, because I had been re-reading Heidegger’s lecture on Nietzsche titled “Rapture as Form-engendering Force”. In the heart of the lecture is the discussion of the ancient Greek conception of form and matter which always gets my attention as a two-dimensional artist. Recalling a painting I’ve done at least four times of a 1902 home in Flippin, Arkansas, I pulled the images this morning and decided I would take another crack at it, this time allowing the entire structure to be in the composition rather than just the right portion. I haven’t paid enough attention in the past to compositional matters and the picture plane. Part of my 2022 Resolutions includes addressing that.

Remains of a 1902 Residence in Flippin, Arkansas
(sold)
(sold)

The two large watercolors have been framed and sold, and I’ve since decided I want to create yet another one, this one in the structure’s entirety.

I’ve tried to put in extended time in Studio Eidolons today because yesterday burned up four hours of round-trip travel to Palestine. The good news is that the Tourism Bureau granted the $15,000 request for which the Dogwood Arts Council had applied for an upcoming public art event. the not-so-good news is that I put in zero time yesterday in the studio. I’ll try not to let that happen in the future.

The January calendar is already filling up. I have scheduled a watercolor class for two in The Gallery at Redlands Friday afternoon. Beginning next week, I’m on the calendar to teach Watercolor Wednesdays at Show Me the Monet Gallery in Arlington at Gracie Lane Boutiques. My dates are January 12, 19 and 26 from 1-4:00 p.m. If any of you wish to sign up for a class, phone Gracie Lane Boutiques at 817.468.5263. They are located at 4720 S. Cooper St., Arlington, TX 76017.

I will also be speaking and giving a live watercolor demonstration for Mansfield’s ARTIUM the evening of January 17. And I also accepted a contact to teach an Ethics class again at Texas Wesleyan University on Monday and Wednesday mornings. One class vs. three should be much more doable for me with everything else going on. I’m pleased also that I have been accepted to participate in Artscape 2022 April 29-May 1 at the Dallas Arboretum. This is one of my best festivals of the year, and I’m already gearing up to crank out as much fresh work as possible to frame and package for the booth when that date rolls up.

There is much that interests me as I pursue this cabin painting yet again. I have so much I want to learn in rendering the rusty corrugated iron roof, the rusty screens in the doors, the stained wood siding, the cut-stone steps in front, and finally the wildflowers and green foliage framing up the cabin. For several years I have wished to return to this cabin painting and am glad to be starting out 2022 on this project.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Earthquake

January 3, 2022
Morning Coffee in the Living Room
Entering Studio Eidolons

And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world.

John Steinbeck, East of Eden

During my REM moments this morning, I was actively drawing and watercoloring in my dream. Waking and stretching, I was already in the mood to draw and paint, but insisted on staying with my ritual–making coffee, building a fire and settling into the living room chair with Sandi and the napping dogs to read and write for a spell. I don’t know if one prepared me for the other, but the REM followed by what I read over coffee, produced a seismic quake in my imagination as words and images like jagged shards of glass thrusted and jousted among themselves to the point that I wondered where I was going to begin once I entered Studio Eidolons.

This book I’m reading by Miles J. Unger, Picasso and the Painting That Shocked the World, is written so masterfully. While reading the chapter of Picasso’s transition marked by his painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, I found the following words:

The story of how he arrived at this breakthrough is no less fascinating for being a tale of false starts and circuitous detours, more a case of a man feeling his way tentatively in the dark than of a hero striding boldly toward the light.

I needed that, as I was reeling from the earthquake of clashing images and ideas that I could not seem to harness before settling into my reading. This is what I had scribbled in my journal before Unger’s text set me squarely back on my feet again:

Clashing ideas, images, projects and wishes have been thrust through my consciousness since I awoke, like shards of jagged glass, like Picasso’s cubism. I have so many paintings & stories & projects slashing and clashing against each other, tearing into and ripping each other. And I wonder how on earth I can get them to fly in formation. Like E.T., I wish I could just lift a finger and make them all orbit in synchronicity. I wish I could take up my guitar, put my fingers on the right frets and strum that chord that resonates with the full-throated aesthetic beauty of all those elements working together. And then I read Unger’s description of Picasso stepping into that seam that held the disparate fabrics together before and after cubism. It appears that he stumbled his way into the discovery. Perhaps my stumbling, bumbling is OK.

Shaking off the anxieties, I am ready now to enter the studio. And as I paint, I’m sure I will find the peace and repose that always accompanies good moments in these endeavors. And who knows–maybe I’ll be able to produce something that can have a good effect on other viewers as it does on me while I’m making it. I close with these soothing words from Matisse, penned in his “Notes of a Painter” in 1908:

What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Turn the Page, and Draw

January 1, 2022
Studio Eidolons, morning of January 1, 2022

A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance

On the morning of December 15, I awoke and lay in bed quietly for nearly an hour. It was still dark. I didn’t care what time it was, but knew I was close to dawn. And yet the mental dawn had already occurred. A series of visions had visited me in my half-sleep and by the time I was fully awake, I knew what I was going to do as soon as I finished the college semester, the watercolor commissions, the trip to St. Louis, Christmas, and the return to The Gallery at Redlands to set up the January show for Deanna Pickett Frye.

Now it is the first day of 2022, more than two weeks after the pre-dawn visitation, and I am finally taking up the project that knocked on my visual door. Last night before the New Year dawned, I commenced sketching and journaling.

New Years Eve Musings
First sketch of Jan 1, 2022

Rising this morning, I decided I wanted to follow up on what I reviewed last night in my Studio Eidolons regarding the sixth-century Canons of Chinese painter Xie He. I am absorbed with this idea of qi that is translated as “breath, vapor, spirit” and was believed by the Daoists to be the vital force animating life and art. This is discussed in the First Canon. The Second one discusses the “bone method” and focuses on the strokes of the pencil or brush that enable the composition to breathe.

2nd Sketch of Jan. 1, 2022

I have posted a few of the sketches that grew out of this discovery, and I have finally begun watercolor sketching to see if I can transfer this “bone method” to the point of my brush. This first day of the New Year is proving to be fascinating to me.

More later. Thanks for reading.

Creative Eros, Ebbing and Flowing

July 25, 2020

Our moods do not believe in each other. To-day I am full of thoughts, and can write what I please. I see no reason why I should not have the same thought, the same power of expression, to-morrow. What I write, whilst I write it, seems the most natural thing in the world; but yesterday I saw a dreary vacuity in this direction in which now I see so much; and a month hence, I doubt not, I shall wonder who he was that wrote so many continuous pages. Alas for this infirm faith, this will not strenuous, this vast ebb of a vast flow! I am God in nature; I am a weed by the wall.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Circles”

Emerson has been a polestar for me since my first year as a teacher. I still remember my liberation the day I read “Circles” and came to understand his sensitivity to the natural ebb and flow of the creative lifestyle. From that day forward, that idea has been brought to my attention repeatedly, reading it in the poetry of Walt Whitman and in the interviews of a number of twentieth-century painters. Long ago, while in the ministry, I learned that parishioners often deceived themselves, believing they could receive the gift of perpetual spiritual bliss. In my years of teaching, the question was repeatedly put to me–how can one sustain a high level of creativity? From the days of reading this Emerson essay, my answer has been the same–one cannot sustain that peak of spiritual bliss or creative eros. Life moves in circles. We require intake if we are to output. We must inhale in order to exhale. We must rest in order to exert. The ocean ebbs and flows. These rhythms are natural and inevitable.

I don’t think I’ve ever knowingly tried to cheat the natural order. I know the stories of creative spirits taking amphetamines in order to sustain creative exploits for up to 72 hours without sleep. I have always been alarmed at that thought. In my years as a graduate student, I recall drinking coffee and swallowing No-Doz tablets in order to stay up an entire night typing a paper to meet a deadline. But I believe I always returned to my bed the following evening. I never thought it possible to sustain beyond that. Besides, if staying awake were the only prerequisite for creative eros, then the chemical answer would suffice. But the reality is, excellent sleep, diet and exercise can still yield a day of zero creative eros, despite the peak physical condition.

Creative eros comes and goes. For a number of weeks I have faithfully shown up at my studio daily to read, reflect, write and paint. There have been some good moments, but nothing to write home about (hence the recent blog hiatus). But this morning, when I awoke, the fire was lit—I’ve been in the studio the entire day, spreading my attention across five watercolors. In earlier years I would have been concerned about A.D.D., but I think I am just interested across several subjects today, and have enjoyed grazing from more than one pasture. Reading has been rewarding as well, though usually I pick up a book while waiting for a watercolor to dry. When working on a number of them, I just move from one painting to the next, not requiring a book for those drying periods. Still, I’ve been nourished by Hemingway, Zola, Emerson, and have been spending quality time in a number of Andrew Wyeth books. A splendid day.

All of these are still in progress, but I’m in no hurry. The process has been most engaging. Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

October 19

October 19, 2019

20191018_125244-14864075319216306801.jpg

20191018_125353-14071940646470921969.jpg

Sundance Square. Fort Worth, Texas

The sunwashed cool days of this weekend have been so satisfying. I feel that I am finally rested from the past couple of weeks of activities requiring constant travel. Sitting outside at a Starbucks in downtown Fort Worth, I read through a journal of mine from the winter of 2015-16. Finding notes I took on N. C. Wyeth, I rediscovered the historical events that all occurred on today’s date–October 19.

On this day . . .

. . . 1902. N. C. Wyeth arrived in Wilmington, Delaware to study under the illustrator Howard Pyle.

. . . 1932. Andrew Wyeth entered the studio of his father to begin his apprenticeship as an artist.

. . . 1937. Andrew Wyeth opened his one-man-show in New York City. It sold out the following day.

. . . 1945. N.C. was killed along with his grandbaby, struck by a freight train when their car stalled at the crossing.

I feel that I’ll never see October 19 the same again.

Thanks for reading.

Warm Thoughts in a Dark Morning

February 17, 2018

redlands finished oxbow

Completed Painting from Old Town Palestine

Paginini had a formula: toil, solitude, prayer.

Carl Sandburg, “Notes for a Preface”

redlands studio dark

It is Saturday.  Above me, the heavy sounds of the bells of Sacred Heart Catholic Church toll the six a.m. hour. This marks the second weekend I have spent in the basement studio recently completed at The Redlands Hotel, a place that has that warm feel of a second home for me. This still sanctuary beneath the Gallery at Redlands provides space to breathe when the daily round of activities begin to wear me down physically. And the spaciousness of this studio apartment suite with kitchen, bedroom and bath has given me a perfect place for quiet and reflection.

basquiat

For years I heard the repeated stories of Jean-Michel Basquiat in the 1980’s working in a basement studio below Annina Nosei’s gallery in New York City. Because he was African American, comments were made about his being locked in a basement to create paintings for the gallery overhead. He was offended at this, commenting that those remarks had a “nasty ring.” He argued that if he had been white they would have called him an artist-in-residence. For months I have felt deeply honored, being introduced here by Jean Mollard as Redland’s artist-in-residence. I’ll never find words to express my appreciation for being a part of this.

Almost a year ago, Wade and Gail from nearby Crockett, Texas had a dream of opening a gallery in Palestine, a town with triple the population of Crockett. They had already enjoyed their gallery, “Stories of Texas”, that they opened in their hometown, and wanted to open a second one. In March, 2017, they opened The Gallery at Redlands with my three-week solo show. Once the show ended, I was invited to remain, and have enjoyed this special place as my home-away-from-home ever since, spending most weekends here.

gallery at redlands

As 2017 drew near its close, Jean and Mike talked with me of all the changes they were about to make at this historic hotel. Now, less than two months later, I cannot believe my eyes when I enter the ground floor of this 1914 hotel.

Redlands

What used to be the hotel office has suddenly opened into a spacious lobby with comfortable seating areas.

redlands bar

A second office was reconfigured to allow room for a bar with a direct entrance to the Red Fire Grille which came under new ownership in January. Now, in addition to fine dining, patrons can move into the bar area, or into the new lobby seating area, or across the hall to The Gallery at Redlands.

redlands red fire

Redlands lobby

gallery

The change has already been dramatic. During weeknights, more people are showing up and moving about from the restaurant, to the bar, to the lobby and to the gallery. The Redlands Hotel is beginning to take on the aura it knew back in the years when it was an actual residence in the middle of a thriving downtown. And that is precisely the romantic narrative that flooded my being the first time I set foot in this building.

Redlands Wyeth

Tribute to Andrew Wyeth

Last night I said farewell to a painting that had been my companion for forty-two years. I painted this oil while a junior at Northeast Missouri State University. Throughout twenty-eight years of high school teaching, it hung in my classroom. I thought I would never sell it, as I had only two oil paintings remaining from my college years. This one was painted as a tribute to Andrew Wyeth, my patron saint. During the winter of 1975, I took my freshly-stretched canvas north of the college about fifteen miles to Queen City, Missouri, then west several miles out on Highway W to an old farm with a ragged fence line. Setting up an easel, I carefully painted one fence post with its single strand of barbed wire and crumpled mesh. Then I worked carefully on the dead grasses beneath. Returning to the art studio, I rummaged through Professor Unger’s still life objects in the store room, and settled on these remains of a nail keg, spotlighting it carefully. Once it was completed, I felt that I had turned a significant corner on my art endeavors.

Rearranging the gallery display, I decided to hang my oil to fill a large space, not really anticipating a sale. It hung for barely twenty-four hours. Amazing. Forty-two years on my living room walls from apartment to apartment, house to house, and then only one day in a gallery before it found a new home. I’m not feeling any sense of loss; I would not have hung it had I not been willing to part with it. I’m just moved at how the patron viewed it last night and continually praised it, even requesting to have it moved to a better-lighted area so he could view it more closely. The gentleman and his wife looked at absolutely every painting in the gallery, returning to several repeatedly. Seeing someone else like it so much filled me with feelings I cannot describe. I think I have always been that way–seeing someone else happy to look at something I made and wanting to own it is much more rewarding than my continued possession of it. I just hope the patron finds half as much pleasure with it in his company as I have known in the past.

Shakespeare wrote a certain amount of trash–because his theater had to have a new play next Tuesday. 

Carl Sandburg, “Notes for a Preface”

Out of the Steam

Out of the Steam

Along with the Andrew Wyeth tribute oil, the patron also purchased this original watercolor for his spouse. I completed this one just last fall for the train show I was putting together for the gallery. After the patrons departed, I was glad that I was able to go down to the basement studio and retrieve two more framed paintings to fill the gaps in the gallery display. I managed to frame and hang the Oxbow General Store painting yesterday (displayed at the top of this blog). I also have two smaller ones ready to frame and hang today. In 2010 I made a commitment to become more prolific in the event that I would need to meet an increased demand. I’m now glad I did that. Currently I have The Gallery at Redlands filled, as well as a solo show in the Hillsboro Public Library, along with two works at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, and three more entered in a competition. One thing hasn’t changed–I get more pleasure out of making art than selling it. That’s why I’m happy now that some of my pieces are beginning to sell, because I cannot hang all these works in my own home, and loathe the idea of storing them in closets. I only hope that with the increase of quantity will come the increase in quality, because I only wish to get better at this.

The creative geniuses of art and science work obsessively. They do not lounge under apple trees waiting for fruit to fall or lightning to strike. “When inspiration does not come to me,” Freud once said, “I go halfway to meet it.” Bach wrote a cantata every week, even when he was sick or exhausted. Though most composers would kill to have written even one of his best pieces, some were little more than wallpaper music. Eliot’s numerous drafts of “The Waste Land” constitute what one scholar called “a jumble of good and bad passages [that he turned] into a poem.” In a study of 2,036 scientists throughout history, Simonton found that the most respected produced not only more great works, but also more “bad” ones. They produced. Period.

Sharon Begley, “The Puzzle Of Genius,” Newsweek, June 28, 1993

palestine herald

redlands little oxbow

As with the first painting, I’ve decided now to pause and let it “compost” awhile as I turn my attention to framing some other finished pieces. I need to make some compositional decisions on this one before it gets out of hand. I’m unsure at the moment how I want to finish it out.

I started this blog at 6 a.m. Now it’s 9:53, and probably time for me to go upstairs and open the gallery. This has been a nice, quiet, rewarding morning in the downstairs studio. Thank you for sharing the moment with me.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Opening Day of Art on the Greene

May 26, 2017

Fishing Memories

Fishing Memories–Now available in limited edition

In the artist, there are two men, the poet and the worker.  One is born a poet, one becomes a worker.

–Emile Zola, letter to Paul Cecanne

An artist is developed, not born.

–Robie Scucchi, art teacher, note written to me in my ninth-grade research paper

At 3:00 this afternoon, Arlington’s Art on the Greene art festival opens for the weekend, closing Sunday night.  I am bringing out for the first time a new set of signed-and-numbered giclee prints of Fishing Memories, the original painting now hanging in a competition at the Desoto Art League.  This print is full-size and priced at $100.  The first edition has already sold (in fact, the sale is the reason the prints are actually a reality today).

I have begun reading an engaging biography, Cezanne: A Life, by Alex Danchev.  The quote from Emile Zola came from this reading.  I’m grateful that my high school art teacher wrote to me what he did when I was so young–I never forgot that statement.  In my opinion, talent is only a small part of being artistic, and one has the capability of improving and maturing over time.

After such a spastic schedule over the past several weeks, I had a dear friend help me with the setting up of my art booth last night (thanks so much, Kelly!), so I was afforded a delicious evening of rest and retirement to bed early in anticipation of a festival weekend.  Being rested now, I am festival-ready, and enthused about how my booth is shaping up.  I’ll send pictures probably later today.

waxahachie final

If any of you readers are in my area, I will be in Booth #30, in the heart of the park, and adjacent to the major walkway going through the midst. I have a prime location (thank you Steve and Janis!).  We will be open till 8:00 tonight.  I would love to see you.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Pining for Plein Air Activity

April 5, 2017

South Fork Pine

Plein Air Watercolor Sketch of Colorado Pine

My one-man-show will close Sunday, April 9 at 5:00 p.m. and I hope to take a day or two to catch my breath.  Then I will dive head-first into my favorite annual plein air painting event: Paint Historic Waxahachie.  Artists who registered in advance were given the green light to begin painting April 1, but I’ve been too busy with this show and my daily school responsibilities–next week, I hope.

The watercolor sketch posted above is in my show at the Gallery at Redlands. I painted it in Colorado last summer while relaxing with daily fly fishing and plein air watercoloring. My pulse rate changes dramatically when I am in that Rocky Mountain environment, and I cannot wait to return there for an extended vacation this summer. Every time I look at this small painting, I recall those beautiful, chilly, sun-drenched mornings when I sat out on the porch of my cabin with my coffee, surveying the South Fork of the Rio Grande rolling by below.

I truly miss those days, and can’t wait for them to return.

Thanks for reading.