Archive for the ‘art festival’ Category

Prepping for the Final Weekend in Waxahachie

May 12, 2017

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Honorable Mention at Paint Historic Waxahachie judging

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Sold on opening night of Paint Historic Waxahachie reception

It was a good night.  The courthouse window posted above received an Honorable Mention and a gift certificate of $100 for Jack Richeson & Co. art supplies.  And before the evening was over, my first attempt at the courthouse sold. I drove home happy, thinking about tomorrow’s endeavor.

I will participate in the town square paint-out tomorrow from 9-12:00, followed by the sidewalk art sale from 1-3:00. My plan is to paint at least three 5 x 7″ watercolor vignettes of the courthouse cupola to insert into 8 x 10″ mats and simple frames. We’ll see if they can sell. Meanwhile, I have six additional paintings hanging inside Art on the Square, 113 W. Franklin St. (on the square!) still looking for a home.

If I still have the stamina after 3:00, I plan to retreat to the scenic areas surrounding the town of Waxahachie and focus on some landscape painting. Artists who have registered for Paint Historic Waxahachie can still create new work to sell until 5:00 Sunday. I have blocked off this weekend, hoping to have enough energy to continue painting till it’s over.

Thanks for reading.

Waxahachie Paintings Completed

May 11, 2017

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“Romanesque Redivivus”

The week has been a long grind, but I managed this afternoon to complete painting #7 and titled it “Romanesque Redivivus” since the architectural style is known as Romanesque Revival. I’m too sleepy tonight to record thoughts or musings with any kind of depth or twist, but I did want to show my readers this final painting. All seven paintings are now framed and six of them will be entered into the judging tomorrow. Wish me luck, and thanks for reading!

Crossing Language Barriers

May 10, 2017

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All good drawing or painting is compositional.

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

And so I come to my final night before turning in everything by the competition deadline. Paint Historic Waxahachie will continue until Sunday at 5 p.m., but the judging for the competition takes place Friday afternoon, and all work must be submitted by noon Friday. That means Thursday at 6 p.m. for me, because I cannot leave school in time to get to Waxahachie by noon on Friday.

The painting above will need to be completed and framed by tomorrow evening, so I’ve decided to spend tonight looking it over and making compositional decisions regarding the crowns of trees surrounding the structure underneath. I’m satisfied with how the building has turned out, but am unsure of just how to fill in the foliage around the bottom perimeter. I’m confident I’ll make a decision by the time I pick up the brush tomorrow afternoon.

A wonderful encounter took place on the sidewalk today as I worked on this piece. Three men who work at the Foot Spa near Art on the Square came over and looked at my work, speaking only their own language (Japanese?–I’m still unsure). They gestured to me with thumbs up and smiles and nods and continued talking among themselves as they pored over my work in progress. Finally, the man in the red shirt took out his smart phone, typed Asian characters into his keyboard, and then hit translation. He then showed me his phone–“INK?”  I shook my head and typed “WATERCOLOR” into my phone and showed it to him. Quizzically, he copied “WATERCOLOR” into his own phone, hit the translation key, and then nodded and smiled and gave me a thumbs up.  He then spoke in his language to the other two, and they then nodded and continued to talk.

I felt like I was in the “Dances with Wolves” movie as Kevin Costner tried to discuss “BUFFALO” with the Sioux visiting his campsite. But I felt wonderful.  They hung out with me for about fifteen minutes before returning to work, and we never exchanged words. Yet there was a wonderful connection, thanks to art and phone technology. They watched me paint a little while longer before customers began showing up at their business again.

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My new friends from the Foot Spa

Before retiring for the night, I prepared six 11 x 14″ frames and one 12 x 16″ to take to Waxahachie tomorrow afternoon. The paintings I’ve completed have to be framed for display, competition and sale. Once the deadline passes, I have to option of continuing to make new paintings in hopes of selling them, or I may just collapse into a long overdue rest period. I’m not sure yet what will happen after 6 tomorrow evening. It’s been quite a grind, but I’m happy with all of it, and cannot wait to see my trio of new friends when I return tomorrow.

UPDATE !!!!   Someone named Caryl just read my blog a few minutes after I posted it, and emailed me to say the men are Chinese, and the establishment is Yayas Foot Spa, featuring ancient Chinese foot massage techniques. Thank you, Caryl!

Thanks for reading and following our events.

I paint in order to learn.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Weary in Waxahachie

May 8, 2017

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Waxahachie Depot on South Rogers Street

I am so thrilled, surprised and grateful to see so many following my blog as I make my daily trek to Waxahachie. Today I was more tired than ever, since I was out late last night and rose at 5 this morning to face my classes at school.  As soon as I was free, I made the drive south and managed to finish this caboose composition that I started two days ago and couldn’t seem to manage. I haven’t participated in Paint Historic Waxahachie over the past two years due to scheduling conflicts, and I am finding myself far out of rhythm this go around. It seems that I have to set up two to three times on separate days before I can finish a simple 8 x 10″ painting, and in prior years I was doing them within the hour.

My intention this evening was to complete this painting and then try to start and finish a second one in just one sitting. But I was too sleepy and too out of the mood once this one was finished and hung in the gallery. So, hopefully tonight I will get a decent night’s sleep and find sufficient energy tomorrow evening to start and finish a painting.

Meanwhile, thanks all of you for following me this week.

I paint in order to learn.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Thoughts on Thoreau and Gestalt

May 4, 2017

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There are many craftsmen who paint pleasantly the surface appearances and are very clever at it. There are always a few who get at and feel the undercurrent, and these simply use the surface appearances selecting them and using them as tools to express the undercurrent, the real life.

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

This afternoon and evening were unusual in that I had nowhere to be, and nothing in particular to do–no meeting, no deadline, no mandate. Once the sun began sinking low, and the temperatures lingered around 70 degrees with cool winds blowing, I drove to my favorite local green belt, puchased coffee, and sat on a park bench with my journal, my copy of Henri’s Art Spirit and my own thoughts.

I have often thought about Henry Thoreau’s retreat to Walden Pond, what some scholars refer to as a Gestalt–his attempt to clear out his mental debris from a cluttered life in Concord that would not seem to settle down. I find myself often in that state of mind. I have only eighteen class days remaining before I cap a twenty-eight year tenure in the high school classroom. Retirement is nearly here, and frankly, I’m not sure what I am thinking, or if I am even thinking about it at this time. Yes, I have occupational plans already laid out for the next year, and no, I don’t feel that I am going to miss the high school classroom (certainly not the weekly schedule).  It’s just that I have a very full calendar now, with little time to stop and ponder what this is all about.

Tomorrow, after a full day of teaching, I’ll set up for Martin High School’s first carnival that will run from 4-8:00 p.m. I’ve been asked to set up a booth with my art, so I’ve chosen to sell greeting cards, prints and signed & numbered limited editions, everything running from $5 to 100. I’ve decided to donate 50% of all sales to our A.V.I.D. program with which I’ve been identified the past three years.

Saturday and Sunday will find me in Waxahachie, Texas to kick off the official start of Paint Historic Waxahachie. This plein air event will draw more than fifty painters from as far away as Houston to create as many paintings as possible during the following week. If possible, I will travel to Waxahachie daily after school next week (40-minute commute) to put in my part.  There will be a judging the following Friday, and then all paintings will go on sale through that weekend (May 13-14). So far I’ve managed five small watercolors of historic downtown Waxahachie. I’m not sure how many more I’ll manage this weekend and next week, but I’ll do as many as I am able.

Reading Henri’s work on the park bench this evening reminded me of what I’ve always wished to do–find a way to convey the undercurrents of life that I experience when looking at particular scenes that surround me. I want to know that I have skill to render subjects attractively. But much more, I wish to evoke an emotional response from my viewers, because an emotional impulse is what drives me to paint those particular subjects. The undercurrents of life that give those subjects meaning–those are what drive me to paint and seek an artful life.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to express.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Waxahachie Portals

April 29, 2017

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A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.

James Joyce, Ulysses

Finding time to blog has been difficult of late. Since my last post, I have made several journeys to Waxahachie, forty minutes from where I live, and leaving in the late afternoons after a day in school has often found me fatigued once I arrived. Still, I managed to slog through a couple of compositions, but by the time I arrived home late at night, I was too sleepy to blog, and still had school to prepare for the following day. So it goes.

The weather has been pretty uneven lately, thunderstorms alternating with bright sunshine. Sometimes I wonder if a washed earth emits different colors, as I have been fascinated with the way the Ellis Country courthouse seemed to “light up” before my eyes late in the days. As earlier stated, I seem to arrive on site, too tired to paint, and have spent much time circling the courthouse looking at it from all angles. On this particular afternoon, the sun popped out as I was gazing at the southwest corner of the building. The curvature I found fascinating, and I wanted to find a way to capture the pink marble and red granite surrounding the window.

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Once I stopped with this one, I was satisfied with the compositional arrangement, though I felt that I had “missed” on the color of the stones. A very dear friend and teaching colleague of mine who is also an architect, paid me the ultimate compliment when he looked at this sketch the day after, calling it “a poem.”

Returning a few days later in the week, I found myself tired again, and walked listlessly around this same building, looking for something to try and capture on paper. Again, the sun came out just as I was rounding the southeast corner of the courthouse, and as it had rained earlier, I again found myself smitten at the sight of the colors on the building.

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Determined this time to focus more on the color of the marble and granite, I worked more deliberately on those hues, hoping not to overwork it.

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Time has now expired for the “early bird” plein air painting of Waxahachie. The main portion of Paint Historic Waxahachie will kick off next Saturday, May 6, and will last through the following Sunday. I can use this week off, hoping to regather my strength and stamina for that following week, when painters from all around will descend on that town and crank out a high volume of work. I’m glad I chose to sign and pay up early so I could tune up with five paintings before the starting gun. I’ve definitely been out of plein air practice.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Post Festival Decompression

November 6, 2016

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My booth display at the Genny Wood Fine Arts Show & Sale in Bullard, Texas

The weekend in Bullard, Texas was fine as far as art shows go, but sadness overwhelmed this small town.  Ten-year-old Kayla Gomez Orozco disappeared from her church Tuesday evening, and over a hundred law enforcement officers including the FBI and over a thousand volunteers combed the region looking for the young girl.  Her remains were found Saturday evening, and the depths of sorrow in her family and town cannot be described.  I spent the day Saturday inside the festival visiting with fellow artists, patrons and townspeople who had only one thing on their minds.  At this hour none of us know what to say.

Thanks for reading.

Silly Halloween Moments Yield to Festival Preparations

November 3, 2016

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Yes, I am that one sitting at my teacher’s desk pretending to ignore the giggles of my students entering the classroom on Halloween morning.  It was a fun day, and once it was complete I returned to the task of gathering my inventory for the Genny Wood Fine Art Show & Sale in Bullard, Texas this Saturday from 9-4:30.  The indoor show will be held at the Family Life Center of the First Methodist Church.

I have been privileged to be invited to this show for a number of years now, and always look forward to renewing the friendships I’ve developed in the Tyler, Texas region.  It has taken several days to gather all my art, as I have inventoried 107 separate pieces, not including several hundred greeting cards and over a hundred 8 x 10″ prints.

This is my last scheduled festval for this calendar year, and like the farmer who turns his attention to repairs and general maintenance during the winter months, so I too will be shifting my focus to updating my depleted inventory, creating new paintings, and making plans for the coming year.  2016 has been very generous to me, and I’m grateful for that.

I appreciate so much the kind comments posted about the proposed watercolor workshop we have scheduled for the island on the Texas Laguna Madre November 20-22 (on my previous blog post). I’m getting excited as that date draws nearer.  I have also updated my website (www.recollections54.com) for any of you who wish to take a look at it.  The cover features one of my later Laguna Madre watercolors.

It’s well past time to hit the sack as tomorrow will be busy with a full day of school classes followed by a two-hour drive and set up for the Saturday show.  I’m really looking forward to this one.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

A Past Worth Remembering

October 11, 2016

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Wayne’s Bluff

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David’s Bluff

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Ron and Dian’s Bluff

And so it is with our own past. It is a labour in vain to recapture it: all the efforts of our intellect must prove futile. The past is hidden somewhere outside the realm, beyond the reach of intellect, in some material object (in the sensation which that material object will give us) which we do not suspect. And as for that object, it depends on chance whether we come upon it or not before we ourselves must die.”

Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way

Preparing for the upcoming Edom Festival of the Arts has put me in a satisfying frame of mind. Sorting through stacks of watercolors has floated abundant memories toward the surface of a resistant consciousness–resistant mostly due to fall semester industry.  Most of these memories have been most welcome–memories spanning the splendid summer of 2016.

Pulling three watercolors of bluffs from the stack, I have chosen to name the first one after a friend of mine known since the second grade.  Wayne and I have recently re-connected, thanks to Facebook, and have spent some quality time on Missouri rivers kayaking and fishing. I miss him during the months I live in Texas, as he still resides near my home town in Missouri.

The second bluff I have given my own name.  The memory of that post-Thanksgiving morning of 2015 when I was driving through the rain still stays with me.  The memory is mostly comforting.  At any rate, I enjoy looking at this composition as the location is only about four miles from where I lived throughout my youth.

The final painting I did en plein air while vacationing with my friends Ron and Dian Darr in South Fork, Colorado.  I worked on three paintings in this genre outside their travel trailer as we ate and visited together.  Every time I look at this painting, I recall how delicious times are when spent in conversation with these two kindred spirits.

When I sit in my booth in Edom this weekend, I’ll be looking at these works, feeling gratitude for the generous hand life has extended to me.

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.

Preparing for the Big Game

October 11, 2016

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Leonardo is the Hamlet of art history, whom each of us must recreate for himself . . . 

Kenneth Clark, Leonardo da Vinci: An Account of his Development as an Artist

My distracted personality has been tested of late, with time divided between reading several excellent books, completing watercolors, grading papers for school, and preparing inventory for my biggest art show this year: Edom Festival of the Arts, to be held this next weekend, October 15-16 in Edom, Texas.

In recent weeks, I have managed to complete several works which are now being framed or matted professionally for their first public viewing:

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Summer Shell (Claude, Texas)

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Rounding the Bend (Eureka Springs, Arkansas)

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Resting in the Heat (Brookfield, Missouri)

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Arkansas Repose

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Sleepers (Lexington, Texas)

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Autumn at the Back Door

The gas pumps and bucket of apples I had completed long ago and tucked into my portfolio, completely forgetting about them till they were rediscovered yesterday.

Because of yesterday’s school holiday, and Friday’s travel time to east Texas for setup, I have only a three-day week at my school, which in many ways will make it much busier. Once the weekend arrives however, and my booth is set up, I intend to enjoy the October weather of rural east Texas, as well as the crowds that fill the rolling pastureland where the festival is held. Though the location is rural and remote, thousands of patrons pour in from Dallas, Plano, McKinney and several populous cities from the metroplex.

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Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to understand.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone