Archive for the ‘Chevy’ Category

Rendering a Christmas Card in Watercolor

November 26, 2011

Christmas Card in Watercolor

This is going much slower than I conceptualized.  I’ve been chipping away at this 9 x 12″ watercolor all afternoon, and feel that I am moving at a snail’s pace.  The sad thing is that I have a second 9 x 12 standing by!  My intention was to create two original watercolors that would be reproduced as Christmas cards, and I really thought I would need one day to kick the two of them out!  Now here I am on Day Two, and I have only one about 1/3 of the way finished.  Oh well.  At least I’m getting some kind of production out of my holiday.  More later!

Thanks for reading.

Making Christmas Cards over the Holidays

November 26, 2011

Making a Christmas Card

I apologize that more than a week has passed since my last post.  Too many disruptions that were school-related and then holiday-related.  Finally I manage to get back into the studio!  The “man cave” (garage, actually) is quite chilly as winter winds are blowing across north Texas today, Saturday.  But thanks to a heavy sweater, I’m managing to find some contentment in this space, and oddly enough, I’m listening to The Teaching Company VHS and DVD lectures on Aristotle.  I’ve had a curiosity about his ethics these past months, and thought I would devote some quality time to hearing lectures on the topic.  So far, I’m finding them quite engaging.

Yesterday afternoon, I journeyed to Fort Worth’s Sundance Square to see everything set up for the Festival of Lights that took place last night.  For several years now, I’ve had good intentions to photograph the complex “Santa Stage” and do a series of Christmas watercolors on the subject.  I am in the process of setting up my own “store” on and I did not think the store would be complete without Christmas cards.  I have begun two that are 9 x 12″ in size, that I plan to digitize and reduce to 4 x 6 or 5 x 7″.  We’ll see how that one goes.  I’m getting lost in the profusion of bright primary colors in the Sundance stage and wonder at this point how I’m going to unify the composition.  But at any rate, I’m having fun chipping away at the piece.  We’ll see how it all turns out.  Hopefully I can post more progress later tonight.

Thanks for reading.  Sorry for the lengthy hiatus.

Downtown Fort Worth Musings

October 19, 2011

Ghosts of Sundance Square

I’m still working to finish a pair of Harley watercolors, that I’ve already posted.  Today’s schedule was too full for me to get in some real quality painting time.  I’m posting this picture, because of my afternoon spent rhapsodizing over the downtown Fort Worth vistas.  Here are the remnants of what used to be Red Goose Shoes and the Sundance 11 Theater.  My history with Fort Worth extends only as far back as 1977, and I love to hear stories of these business establishments from locals who knew these places during their viable years.  Hats off to memories that matter, and to those of you who keep them alive.  I’m hoping that my near future will witness the painting of the Flat Iron building on the south side of Fort Worth, and the Ridglea Theater, now being restored on Camp Bowie Blvd., in far west Fort Worth.  Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading.

Plein Air Afternoon in Sunny Downtown Fort Worth

September 25, 2011

Haltom's Jewelers, Fort Worth, Texas

On this sunny Sunday afternoon, I began two plein air watercolor sketches, blending Prismacolor watercolor pencils with Winsor & Newton pigments.  The 97-degree temperature tested my patience.  I took reference photos of both locations and decided to finish them inside my air conditioned studio.  This is the turret that sits atop Haltom’s Jewelers on Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth.  I am looking forward to rendering the knight in shining armor, standing in the enclave.  The building was originally for the Knights of Phidias, so I was told by a tourist passing by and noting my work.  The fellow was visiting from Lowell, Massachusetts, Jack Kerouac’s hometown.  I enjoyed my visit with him.

Thanks for reading.

Lingering Ghosts of Sundance Square

September 8, 2011

Lingering Ghosts of Sundance Square

Marcel Proust reminds us in his Remembrance of Things Past that the mere sight, sound or smell of something has the power to transport us back to primal memories from our childhood that fill us with warmth and gratitude.  These are the kinds of subjects I attempt to capture in watercolor for my company that I have named Recollections 54 (  This past summer, while cruising Sundance Square one morning, I saw how the sun washed the yellow, blue and red facades of the Red Goose Shoe store and what used to be the Sundance 11 theater.  Though saddened by the demise of these companies, I felt at the same time a gratitude for the memories that flooded my being.  Having grown up in St. Louis, I watched the Red Goose Shoes commercials on children’s television and fantasized about the golden eggs filled with prizes available with the purchase of a pair of shoes.  I also recall the abundance of art deco theaters that I frequented in the greater St. Louis area during those early years.  Now they are mostly gone.  When I encounter sights such as these, I linger in the moment, feeling that profound sense of loss, but also an exhilarating presence.  The memories matter, and they leave me with a comfort too profound for words.

Thank you for reading.  My One-Man Show opens Saturday night from 5:00-9:00 at the Weiler House Fine Art Gallery, 3126 Handley Drive, Fort Worth 76112.  I would love to see you there.  Currently, we have about forty watercolors at the location, ready for showtime.

Rhapsodizing over Red Goose Shoes and Sundance 11 Theater Downtown

September 6, 2011

Downtown Sundance Square, Fort Worth, Texas

Downtown Fort Worth still affords plenty of memories for the romantic who looks for remembrances of yesterday.  Over the Labor Day weekend, while perusing photographs I took of Sundance Square on a quiet weekday morning back in July, I decided to attempt a watercolor of this viewpoint of Red Goose Shoes and what used to be the Sundance 11 theater.  Though both businesses are now defunct, it is nice to see the building facades still intact, and still sporting nice color schemes from yesteryear.  It is getting harder to find yesterday’s relics, as buildings decay and face demolition.  I wonder how long downtown Fort Worth will retain this “look” I’ve come to enjoy so much.

Today was a lousy school day–four classes in four different classrooms on two floors.  Nevertheless, I took this painting to school with me, and spent plenty of time looking at it during breaks in the classroom action, and actually got to “poke” at it every now and then.  I hope to have it finished within the next two days.  My One-Man Show opens Saturday night.  I never intended for this piece to be in the show, as there are about forty works ready for display.  Nevertheless, if this one turns out O.K., it would be nice to add it as well, since the show is featured in a Fort Worth gallery (Weiler House Fine Art Gallery

With the Arlington Independent School District deciding to dump an extra class on every high school teacher, I’m fighting extra hard to extract quality painting time from this disastrous work schedule.  Every other day involves teaching four 90-minute classes with no conference planning period.  Nevertheless, I’m committed to painting and blogging, and will do my best to continue creating art at the rate of past years.  Following my One-Man Show will be five art festivals, so the season is beginning to heat up.  I’m ready and motivated.

Thanks for reading.

Red Goose Shoes Revisited, Sundance Square, Fort Worth, Texas

September 4, 2011

Red Goose Shoes, Sundance Square, Fort Worth, Texas

After a two-week hiatus, it was meaningful to return to the studio early on a Sunday morning and pick up the brush once again.  Throughout my childhood, Red Goose Shoe Stores were abundant, and recently I have made attempts to render these abandoned store fronts in watercolor.  An earlier example from this year may be found at the following site: which is located on the south side of St. Louis.

The one I began this morning may be found in downtown Fort Worth on Sundance Square.  The store is no longer viable, neither is the theater next door.  Nevertheless the shells remain intact and splendid for anyone interested in viewing them.  This particular watercolor is mid-sized, measuring about 18 x 14″.  There were plenty of errands to run today, thus my time on this piece was constantly interrupted.  Nevertheless, I would say that I have probably invested about three hours total time in it, and hopefully can put in much more tomorrow during Labor Day.  School began two weeks ago (we reported for duty three weeks ago) and unfortunately I have put in zero work on watercolor since reporting.  But now that I have begun a new piece, I’m confident that the art work will pick up once again and gather some momentum.

I had the profound pleasure of meeting two other watercolorists who just happen to live in my neighborhood–Carolyn Collum and her mother Grace.  They dropped by my studio for a visit and to talk business concerning Kennedale’s Art in the Park festival coming up next spring.  I was overwhelmed at the quality of work they brought for me to see, and enjoyed showing them the pieces I still have here in my home.  We had the privilege of passing a couple of pleasant hours of conversation over coffee and tea.

Bill Ryan, proprietor of the Weiler House Fine Art Gallery, also stopped by to pick up more work for my One-Man Show which opens next Saturday, September 10.  (  I had no idea how exciting it would be, wrapping up the final installment of framed paintings and loading them into the back of his SUV.  The walls around my house are quite blank now, but I cannot wait to see the opening of the show.  I estimate that there will be more than twenty framed watercolors on display, and at least a dozen more matted.

Thanks for reading.  It’s a joy to be painting again.  I’ve been away too long.

Finished Watercolor of Haltom’s Jewelers, Sundance Square, Fort Worth

July 27, 2011

Haltom's Jewelers Completed

Thanks, all of you readers who followed this painting along with me.   I never felt alone in the endeavor.  Thank you for the posted responses, the encouragement and above all, your continued interest.  I’m happy that this one is finally closed and in the books.  I’ll be taking it to the Weiler House Gallery for framing today.  You can check out the website of my gallery at

Thank you for reading.


Haltom’s Jewelers Watercolor, Sundance Square, Nearly Complete

July 26, 2011

Haltom's Jewelers nearly finished

I’m trying very hard to have this watercolor wrapped up and delivered to the Weiler House Gallery by tomorrow (  The latest obstacle interfering with its successful completion is our air conditioning breaking down today.  It is only 102 degrees outside now, meaning that the inside of my studio is a cool 90 degrees.  I find this exceptionally irritating, especially since I called in our problem Saturday morning and it only took four days for someone to come and announce that the motor was nearly dead, and that ordering and receiving the replacement would take a minimum 48 hours–then 3 hours after he left, the motor gave up the ghost.

At any rate, I still hope to finish this tonight and deliver it tomorrow.  I will take one final photo of the completed work.  I hope all I need do is complete the downspout and vertical slice of brick facade running down the right side of the composition.  Of course, if I stare at it long enough, I’ll no doubt find other things to do to it.  Nevertheless, I’m sticking with my self-imposed deadline.   Tomorrow, then.

Thanks for reading, and especially for following up on this particular watercolor odyssey.  It’s been an interesting path for me.

Continuing the Haltom’s Jeweler’s Clock, Sundance Square

July 21, 2011

Haltom's Jewelers Clock, Sundance Square, Fort Worth, Texas

It’s hard for me to take a decent digital photograph in the comparatively dim light of my studio as opposed to outdoors in the daylight.  But I wanted to get this latest development out there on my blog.  Thanks to those of you dear readers who always offer so much encouragement, and provide the impetus for me to continue, even when I am tired, or on the verge of burning out.

I was terrified of watercoloring this clock, because I had no clue as to how to mix the bronze colors (still don’t!).  I’ve been using Aureolin as my base, with touches of Cadmium Red Medium and the occasional Winsor Green.  For tighter work, I’m relying heavily on a Dark Sepia watercolor pencil (Albrecht Durer brand), and sharpening it frequently to create clean edges where I can.  I’m just about finished with the monument.  The major thing that remains now is heavy street shadows with all kinds of variation going on.  We’ll see how they come along (probably tomorrow–I’m getting tired!).

Thanks always for reading.