Posts Tagged ‘Burleson’

A Second Attempt at Watercoloring the Country Churchyard

April 23, 2011

Cahill Cemetery

This is a super-quick watercolor sketch I attempted at the Cahill Cemetery, having finished the one posted under the heading “Elegy in a Country Churchyard.”  The weather was too nice, the breeze too soothing, and the surroundings too quiet for me to leave at just that moment.  I cannot express the depth of gratitude I feel to be alive, to have the time and space to pursue plein air watercolor experiments and to enjoy space and quiet like this afternoon.  Working in pubic education can be taxing, to put it diplomatically.  Weekends are sacred to me, and what is more appropriate than finding a churchyard in a quiet countryside to spend some quiet moments, the day before Easter.

The Cahill Methodist Church is 2.7 miles east of I-35W on F. M. 917, south of Burleson, Texas.  I have found this a splendid place for weekend retreats from the city, and this is my sixth watercolor sketch done on these premises.

Thanks for reading.

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GATX freight, April 15, 2010

April 15, 2010

GATX Freight train, Burleson, Texas

I just wanted to post this one quickly for the blog.  I need to get back to work on the festival “stuff.”  It’s 9:12 p.m. and I have much to do still.  Hope you enjoy this GATX freight that I painted at the same location in Burleson (but I stayed a safe distance from the tracks this time!).

Getting Ready for an Art Festival, April 15, 2010

April 15, 2010

Southbound Union Pacific Freight

I have a three-day art festival beginning tomorrow (Friday) at Art in the Park Festival in Kennedale, Texas.  This afternoon, I have been a juggler with too many balls in the air.  Sixty-four postcards were mailed, and email strand was sent, and announcement was made to stuff over two hundred teacher mailboxes in the morning, I finished this small composition and a companion piece involving a GATX freight train in the same location.  I’m nearly finished with the Union Pacific #844 that I began a week ago.  I have printed several dozen 5 x 7″ greeting cards with my watercolors on the cover,  Oh yes, and I taught three different subjects today at school.  Hopefully tomorrow will be calmer after the festival gets underway (but first I have to teach three more classes, then dash to the park and set up my 10 x 10′ booth.  My wonderful wife will assist me in that, as she has also in a myriad of other details related to this festival.  How fortunate to have someone that committed to this enterprise.

Here is a southbound Union Pacific freight in Burleson, Texas that I began last month.  I recall, with amusement, that I had set up alongside a dual set of tracks, working on the structure in the distance, when I heard the whistle of the distant freight and scurried to get out my digital camera.  Thinking the train was on the far set of tracks, I stepped close to the tracks nearest me, and zoomed in on this freight and took the picture, so I could paint it in my studio later.  When I lowered the camera, I realized that the train was on the tracks right in front of me, and was highballing in my direction, closing the distance fast!  Stupid!

Union Pacific en Plein Air, March 28, 2010

March 28, 2010

Southbound Union Pacific Freight

It was chilly in the late Texas afternoon, but I enjoyed some plein air activity at Lyndon Acres while my wife rode her horse.  I had photographed this southbound Union Pacific freight a few weeks ago while I was watercolor sketching in the old part of the town of Burleson.  The sky I laid in Friday night just before dark (and posted recently).  Yesterday afforded zero opportunities for painting as I had a day filled with errands and then Gallery Night was last night.  Happily, I sold a framed watercolor while there (on my website http://www.recollections54, titled New Mexico Road House).

I’ll be posting this watercolor in progress alongside an identical one featuring a GATX diesel leading the freight.  I’m trying to decide on how much finish work to do with these 8 x 10″ compositions.

Thank you for reading.

Idyllic Pastures, January 25, 2010

January 25, 2010

Yesterday I posted my newest watercolor in progress “Jennifer in the Hunt.”  Since today I had Jury Duty, I only have had time to render one more horse in that painting.   I didn’t see that as sufficient work to re-post the picture.  I’ll wait for more progress before I present that one again.  So . . . here is one of my earliest attempts to watercolor-sketch a horse.  I wish to develop skill in rendering horses—such beautiful creatures.  My wife rides, so I am around horses much more lately, but have trouble fighting back the insecurities.  After all, this is Texas—and any tree shaken will dislodge a dozen excellent equine artists.  However, I’m going to enter that zone and do what I can.  I titled this one “Idyllic Pastures” because the sun was getting low, and I was fascinated with the play of light off the beautiful coats of the grazing horses.  Not feeling competent with the watercolor, I put plenty of drawing into this one, with graphite and water-soluble graphite, as well as watercolor pencils.  A few touches of Winsor & Newton watercolor pigments were applied as well.  I was happy with the overall result, and did a few more.  I’ll post those at a later date (maybe as soon as tomorrow if I don’t make more progress on “Jennifer in the Hunt”).

Old Towne Burleson, Texas January 13, 2010

January 13, 2010

Old Towne Burleson, Texas

I would have identified this as my first plein air watercolor, but as it turned out I only sketched in the composition and laid in a few basic washes, and then got cold feet.  It was my first attempt to paint on location, and I was feeling pretty insecure with it.  Moreover, I had arrived early in the morning when there was an empty parking lot between this subject and me.  By and by, as cars began to fill the lot, the bottom third of the composition was no longer visible to me.  I had taken a picture earlier with my digital camera, so I took it home, and returned to this piece weeks later, completing it in my studio.

I usually make many compositional changes as I put my watercolor together, rather than copying my subject in toto. The only change I made here was the dark red building–the actual one was metal and just blended in with the rest of the composition.  I needed to put an accent somewhere to give this some kind of pop.  This location is in Burleson, Texas, at 108 S. Main Street.  There is a cute renovated business district there that includes Babes (fried chicken), J. J. Mocha’s, gift shops and other fine restaurants.  I was seated beneath the awning of a now-defunct Barbecue place, and looking east toward I-35.

I never was completely satisfied with the outcome of this.  However, I did sell it at the very next art festival in which I participated, so I guess someone liked it.  At any rate, the experience confirmed for me that I did want to get used to painting on location.  And I did about two weeks later at the “Paint Historic Waxahachie” Plein Air event.  So, as it turns out, this watercolor marks an important place in my personal history and development.  One more note–this was the first watercolor where I made use of my new Winsor & Newton watercolor field box, a complete watercolor kit and palette that fits in the palm of my hand.  That remains one of the finest tools I have ever purchased in the way of art supplies.  I wish I had known of it ten years ago.