Posts Tagged ‘business district’

4:30 A.M. in the Painter’s Studio

March 29, 2011

Eureka Springs, Arkansas Flat-Iron Building

This morning, I entered the garage studio at 4:30 and worked on this for one hour.  Now, I sit in my darkened classroom–ambient perimeter lamps providing the only light, and pause to write in my journal, reflect, and perhaps put out one more blog on this piece.  The last piece contained somewhat of a rant–I was tired and ready for bed, yet I choose not to erase it.  I’m not pleased with my school district, or with our state legislature that has made decisions leading to the demise of public education funding in Texas.  But I’ve written all I intend to on that subject.  This day began with art, so it promises to be a good day.

No signature yet, but this painting is nearly finished.  As I pause and look over it, I realize that tinkering with details and “finish” work tend to suck the freshness and spontaneity out of a watercolor.  So it is likely that I will just add a signature and let it go.  I’m very happy with the last two 8 x 10″ pieces of the historic Eureka Springs business district.  My brief sojourn there during Spring Break was a cold and overcast one, nevertheless I managed to take a few photos, and am very pleased that I recorded the experience, and, I believe, these two paintings do indeed reflect an overcast, winter light.  In a more perfect world, I would have a painter’s studio on the top corner floor of this flat-iron.  Monet gushed that he didn’t have to leave his backyard at Giverny to find compositions to paint during his final decades.  I believe that if I could look out from this top floor, over the scintillating Eureka Springs town, that I could very well say the same.

Thanks for reading, and have a fabulous, artful day.

Five A.M. in the Painter’s Studio

March 28, 2011

Worm's-Eye View of Eureka Springs Business District

As an aging teacher, I have become certain of two things: (1) A man’s character is his fate, and (2) days that begin with art are better than those that do not.

(99% of that opening statement is not original, but as a creed, I offer it as 100% heartfelt)

For those of you who have followed my blogs, you are aware that I am suffering a slow-burn of fury and indignation that our school district (superintendent actually) has chosen to postpone (probably cancel) the International Baccalaureate Diploma program that my high school was going to inaugurate in 2012.  With that action, my heart/intellect was brutally amputated, and going to school every day I now find to be extremely difficult.

This morning, I rose at 4:30, went to the garage/studio (wow, the cold front had dropped temperatures to the 40’s!), and painted on the above work for about 90 minutes.  I found the experience so affirming and satisfying (something that has largely disappeared from the daily school routine) that I seriously believe I will try it again in the morning.

My college painting professor rose before dawn to paint in his studio, and usually expressed chagrin that he didn’t see that kind of “drive” in us when we dragged into the painting studio in the afternoons.  I am now about the age he was then, and I think I see his perspective.  At any rate, painting is a healing salve for me now, and I’ll continue to look for ways to pursue it.  By entering the studio at 5:00 a.m., I give to art the best part of my day, the best part of me.

Thank you for reading.

An Edward Hopper Perspective of Eureka Springs, Arkansas

March 22, 2011

Second-Story View of Historic Eureka Springs, Arkansas

My pulse is pounding to paint, and it’s been so hard to find the quality time.  The last days of winter were spent last week in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  I’m doing this small (12 x 14″) watercolor composition from a photo I took from the balcony of a cool hotel in the historic district of this town.  I couldn’t resist the opportunity of trying out an “Edward Hopper” perspective, as I recall that he composed some of his New York City watercolors and oils from this high-angle view.  I seem to recall the French Impressionist Camille Pissaro doing the same with his “modern” Paris and its expanding boulevards.

So much is surging through me these recent days.  I’ve been indulging in Imagist poetry from Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Willliams, and now am re-reading James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I’ll have more to say of all that later, hopefully today.  I just walked away from the painting to allow it sufficient time to dry.  I’m itching to get back and work some more.  This particular scene definitely has my attention.

Thanks for reading.