Posts Tagged ‘cityscape’

Fort Worth Flatiron Watercolor, Still Under Construction

February 7, 2012

1906 Flatiron in Fort Worth, Texas

I laid this watercolor aside a few days ago, allowing it some time to “compost.”  I start getting uptight and anxious when I get this deep into a composition and start wondering about how to finish.  I have lost a good many paintings to over-work, because I could not learn to let them go while still fresh.  Nothing to me is worse than the experience of siphoning off the energy of a composition by working it to death, long after it looked “finished” and exciting.

Since my last post, I have worked and re-worked the foreground pavement, and continued re-drawing and correcting problems in the portals and lower windows.  The park at the right has gotten plenty of attention as well.  I still have plenty of sculptures and embellishments to render on the building facade, and will either pursue those next, or decide to begin a large composition of the historic Ridglea Theater on Camp Bowie Blvd. in west Fort Worth.  I spent the afternoon yesterday photographing the site, and have already begun two sketches of it today, one in pencil and the other in quick watercolor.

My plan is to complete a series of Fort Worth city landmarks on large pages such as this one (22 x 28″).  Hopefully I can have three-to-four of them in progress at the same time, therefore not allowing myself to tighten up on any particular one of them.  In the past, my work has suffered less when created in that manner.

Thanks for reading.

Gazing upon Landmarks from our Past

January 26, 2012

Fort Worth Flatiron

This historic Flatiron building, located at 9th & Houston on the southside of downtown Fort Worth, Texas, was erected between 1906-1907.  The inspiration behind the building was the famous New York City flatiron.  With my frequent walks around Fort Worth’s Sundance Square, I usually cannot resist a stroll to the south side so I can see this magnificent structure, particularly on sunny mornings when the east side of it is washed in the yellow sunlight.

I have been at work on this piece for a couple of weeks, but sadly, I cannot seem to give it any more than an hour at a time, sometimes only five-to-ten minutes.  There are simply too many distractions getting in the way.  I can say that finally there is enough pigment on the paper that I can get “more interested” in the painting aspect, although there is still plenty of detail drawing to pursue, and I do find that time-consuming.  Perhaps with the approaching weekend I can shut myself into the studio and see how far I can push it.  The size is daunting (28 x 22″) and I must confess that I am frequently “lost” in the details of it, but I  believe I’ll have a decent painting once it is completed.  Meanwhile, I’m trying to find a little more joy in the process, and hopefully that will occur when I have more time to invest in it.

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 (http://www.recollections54.com).  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.

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 http://www.weilerhousefineart.com.

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 (http://www.weilerhousefineart.com).  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.

Watercoloring the Haltom Jewelers Clock

July 21, 2011

Haltom's Jewelers Clock, Sundance Square

This morning, I rose bright and early, determined to go after this clock that I have avoided from the start.  I spent about 30 minutes on it, then quit to work out at the health club.  Returning, I labored over it again for about an hour, then quit again,  This afternoon, I am chipping away at it yet again.  My fear has been that the clock would melt into the background, so I keep backing away to study my reference photos taken on location, to get a good read of the surrounding contrasting colors.  As I’m getting deeper and deeper into this painting, I’m aware of my tendencies to “choke,” as I fear doing something that will un-do whatever good work I laid as a foundation.  So far, I’m pleased.

Thanks for reading.

Watercoloring Haltom Jeweler’s, Getting Lost in the Details

July 20, 2011

Haltom Jewelers details

By now you have probably guessed rightly that I am terrified of painting this monumental clock.  I’ll get to it, when I’m comfortable with it.  Meanwhile, I pursue the endless details.  I’ve heard it said that the Devil is in the Details, but I have always found the Sublime in the Details, at least when it comes to drawing and watercoloring.  I get lost when this occurs, and I find it totally enjoyable.  My breathing changes when I detail a watercolor just as profoundly as when I step into a mountain stream with a fly rod.  Considering that Texas is facing yet another triple-digit temperature day today, I could wish to be wading a mountain stream, but oh well–I’m glad to be painting.

Thanks for reading.

Chipping Away at the Watercolor of Haltom’s Jewelers, Fort Worth, Texas

July 19, 2011

Haltom Jewelers plugging along

I feel that an apology is owed my blog readers.  It has been several days since I’ve touched this watercolor, and therefore, posted on the blog.  Several other details in my life have managed to crowd out my watercolor time.  This is entirely my fault, as I’ve felt somewhat burned out on this piece for several days, and really hated to pick up the brush when my heart was not in it.

I did get out yesterday evening to the Fort Worth Stockyards, north of town, and did a plein air piece of the historic Hotel Texas.  The attempt was a disaster, as again, my heart wasn’t in it.  I choose therefore not to publish that sketch.

Tonight I put my best effort forward, and once again am beginning to develop an interest in this piece (particularly, to finish it!).  I began work on the Worthington Hotel windows in the upper left corner, did some more pencil rendering of that magnificent clock, and darkened the background foliage to push the clock forward more effectively.  Also I began work on the ground-story brickwork of the Jewelry store.  Plenty of details are starting to get my attention.

Hopefully tomorrow I can turn the wheel several more revolutions.  Thanks for reading.

Watercoloring the Windows at Haltom’s Jewelers, Fort Worth, Texas

July 12, 2011

Haltom's Jewelers Windows, Fort Worth, Texas

Most of this afternoon and this evening have been spent on the right-hand side of this large composition.  Therefore, I chose to crop the photo to show anyone interested in what has just been rendered.  The earlier posts show the entire painting surface.  There is still so much to be done.  I am pleased that I attempted to paint reflections and wooden blinds as seen in the windows instead of merely blacking them out, as has been my custom.  This could be one of the stronger parts of this overall painting.  Sleepiness has not yet overtaken me, so I believe I’ll stay with this one on into the night, as I have done the past two nights.  However, I’ll hold off posting until tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.  I’m starting to catch some momentum with this one.