Archive for the ‘Sundance Square’ Category

Images that Evoke Memories

July 28, 2014
Scat Jazz Lounge, Fort Worth, Texas

Scat Jazz Lounge, Fort Worth, Texas

Every true artist has been inspired more by the beauty of lines and color and the relationships between them than by the concrete subject of the picture.

Piet Mondrian

A few years ago, I paused one night in a Fort Worth alley and photographed the lighted sign of this sub street-level jazz club.  Finally I am getting around to painting it, because the brightness of the lights and color against the smoky brick walls attracted my attention, and took my imagination back to my pre-literate childhood.  

My father worked at a Chevrolet dealership on Kingshighway in St. Louis when I was a small child. I cannot shake those memories of the lit-up signs downtown that I was not yet old enough to read. And I still recall those smoke-stained brick walls everywhere, colored by the downtown smog. The eyes of my memory still can see the signs, hear the traffic, and smell the stench of burn barrels on virtually every corner of that working-class district.  

The first time I saw Piet Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie-Woogie, I knew I wanted to attempt to paint neon signs and light bulb signs in watercolor.  The clash of the primay colors was always scintillating to my visual perceptions.

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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My website www.recollections54.com has just been updated.

February 17, 2012

Sunlight on the Fort Worth Flatiron

I regret that I let my website languish for so long.  I am at http://recollections54.com.  It just got updated, and should be updated further next week.  My latest watercolor is now on the home page, and the actual painting is now in the Weiler House Fine Art Gallery. (weilerhousefineart.com).  I have every intention of beginning my next watercolor over the 3-day weekend that is beginning in just a few hours.

Thanks for reading.

Finished the Fort Worth Flatiron Watercolor

February 9, 2012

Fort Worth Flatiron, 1906-7

I am happy to sign this one and proclaim it “completed.”  I thought I would be finishing it over the weekend, but had some unexpected time on my hands last evening in the studio, and managed to chip away at the final details during this day.

Thanks, all of you who have watched this from its inception.  It took awhile, as I found little quality time to focus on it.  But finally, after a couple of weeks, it’s finished and I can move on to the next composition.  I’m looking seriously at the historic Ridglea Theater on Camp Bowie Blvd., on Fort Worth’s west side.

Thanks always for reading.

In Progress Watercolor of Fort Worth Flat Iron Building, Downtown

January 6, 2012

Fort Worth Flat Iron Building

After an exhausting day of lecturing my way through three Art History sections, I finally had the opportunity to return to this full-size watercolor (22 x 30″) of an historic Flat Iron building on the south side of downtown Fort Worth.  Though the building is a considerable walk from mainstream Sundance Square, it is nevertheless worth the walk to view it in all its dignity.  I have wanted to paint it for several years, and quite frankly have felt intimidated with all the details on the building.  But now I have the serious urge, so I’ll see where it takes me.

I have another major watercolor project to tackle this weekend, that is long past due.  No doubt I’ll be posting that one as well.  I sincerely hope I can get some quality work done on this pair of projects with what time I have left Friday through Sunday.  Next week promises to be a brutal school schedule.

Thanks for reading.

Second Watercolor Christmas Card Completed

November 29, 2011

Second Christmas Card

Somehow, I managed to finish this second Christmas card tonight.  The schedule has been hectic, but I’m glad it’s done, and I’m thrilled that my Nietzsche session is already prepared for tomorrow’s class.  I don’t know how it all happened, but I’ll take it!

I look forward to posting the two new Christmas cards on my cafe press site in the very near future.  I have wanted to design Christmas cards for years, and have taken forever to accomplish this feat.  Hopefully I can continue to add appropriate Christmas images and build a collection for sale in the coming years.

Thanks for reading.

Creating Watercolor Christmas Cards in the Man Cave

November 29, 2011

Christmas card workspace

It’s hard to find quality time to paint when school is in session.  Nevertheless, I retreated to my Man Cave (dirty garage!) immediately after school today to resume work on Christmas card #2.  Tonight, with the help of a dear friend, I plan to resume work on my “store” opening soon at cafepress.com.  So, during this brief interlude between school and technical support, I find joy in painting once again.

Once this card is finished, I’ll post a tighter image of it and discuss what I’ve discovered in the process of rendering it.  As for now, all I can say is “Hurray for Prismacolor watercolor pencils”!  They are making the task go very quickly and efficiently.   It would be wonderful if I could finish this tonight, but I have my doubts.  Tomorrow my Philosophy class begins work on Nietzsche, and I still have plenty of prep work to do on him tonight after I finish work on Cafe Press.

What I am about to write may appear to have nothing to do with my painting, but I know in my heart that it does.  Yesterday I resumed my interior dialogue with some great minds that I had abandoned months ago.  The demands of my daily schedule, and certain priorities I had established simply pushed them out.  And to them I have now happily returned.

Since the 1980’s I have been absorbed with the history of ideas, and that particular discipline (I hope) has been able to rescue me from becoming too pedantic in the courses I teach.  I must say, with regret, that the abandonment of this fruitful dialogue more recently turned my high school courses into catalog summaries of the essential elements assigned to each discipline.  Since yesterday, I have worked to find my way back to the multidisciplinary path I once knew, and have come to miss.

My reading has been primarily in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and T. S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” and “The Waste Land”.    But thanks to The Teaching Company, I have had the enriching experience of listening to VHS tapes and DVDs on Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition as well as An Introduction to Greek Philosophy.  I have been filled with lectures on the Presocratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle as well as Erasmus, Descartes and Spinoza.  Though I cannot describe how the fellowship of these thinkers has seeped into my painting, I can at least testify that they have soothed my mind and put me in a proper space for painting.  Hours pass by that feel like minutes.  I’m glad to be back once again in the company of these magnificent minds.

Thanks for reading.

Beginning the Second Watercolor Christmas Card

November 28, 2011

2nd Christmas card

Here is the beginning of my second Christmas card from Sundance Square.  The subject is the same platform, only I have moved to the right-hand side of it to try this look.  I seem to have picked up a little speed since the first attempt.  Unfortunately, I have school work to turn to now, so hopefully I can resume this one tomorrow afternoon.

Thanks for reading.

Finished the First Watercolor Christmas Card of Sundance Square

November 28, 2011

Watercolor Christmas Card of Sundance Square

I finally finished my first Christmas card of the season and have actually printed off several versions to test the product.  I now have a second one underway that I hope to post later today (even if unfinished).  I’m glad finally to get a start on Christmas products for my company Recollections 54.

This is my first announcement–I am setting up a “store” at cafepress.com.  I have already uploaded a number of watercolor images to place on tote bags and stationery.  I have decided now that I want to have a line of Christmas cards to offer.  I hope to have the store online and ready for purchases before this next week is up.  The image just posted will certainly be available.

Thanks for reading.

Closing in on the Finish of a Watercolor Christmas Card

November 27, 2011

Watercolor Christmas Card of Sundance Square

The details on this 9 x 12″ watercolor are really slowing me down today.  It looks as though I’ll need one more day to finish it.  What a surprise–I really expected to finish this on the first day instead of the third.  Too many details and colors, I suppose.  I am getting “drawn in” as I focus on the composition, however, and I’m really finding the Prismacolor watercolor pencils to be a real asset in this enterprise.  I’ve experimented with this product for over a month now, and am finally getting some results from it that are pleasing to me.

Thanks for reading.  I really hope before another week rolls by that I’ll have two new Christmas cards ready for production.

Watercolor Christmas Card Shaping Up in the Cold Night

November 26, 2011

Christmas Card Shaping Up in the Cold Night

I got pretty sleepy as I continued tooling over this small watercolor (9 x 12″) that I’m hoping will reproduce into a decent Christmas card for the 2011 season.  About an hour after I quit, I got this incredible post that encouraged me, and I couldn’t help but return for another round.  As temperatures outside reached downward toward 30 degrees, I found the garage getting intolerably cold, even though I was working in a ski sweater.  Right now, I’m wrestling between hauling all my watercolor supplies into the house or just settling into a comfortable book and waiting for sleep to arrive. At any rate, I’ll no doubt have to drag the supplies into the house in the morning.

Thanks for reading.  This particular watercolor/Christmas card is starting to get hold of me.