Posts Tagged ‘College Street Pub’

Return to the Plein Air Trail

May 6, 2017


Completed Plein Air Watercolor in Waxahachie, Texas

Art appears in many forms. To some degree every human being is an artist, dependent on the quality of his growth. Art need not be intended. It comes inevitably as the tree from the root, the branch from the trunk, the blossom from the twig. 

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

Paint Historic Waxahachie officially opened Friday, but I could not make the trip, as I had school all day, and worked an art booth in our school carnival till 8:00 that night. Sleeping late this morning, I finally made Waxahachie in the early afternoon, and went to work completing paintings on site that I had begun in prior weeks but never felt satisfied that they were concluded. The one posted above required work on the first story window, and the door had not yet been drawn or painted. I also decided to experiment with a pair of new pigments I recently ordered– Daniel Smith’s brand of Quinachridone Gold and Quinachridone Rose. I floated these new colors into the brick facade of this building. I also masqued some tree limbs in the lower left corner and floated dark foliage colors over them. Once I stopped, I realized I had a much better composition than the one I aborted week before last.


Balcony above Smalley’s Law Office

After turning in my watercolor to the Art on the Square Gallery for processing, I resumed work on another composition begun a couple of weeks back. Again I experimented with my two new pigments, and liked the depth of color the bricks were taking on. I also detailed some of the brick facade that had been merely sketched at first, and tried to refine the light yellow banister of the balcony.

I turned in a total of four paintings to the Art on the Square Gallery–the two posted above and the two courthouse portal paintings I worked on Friday and Saturday before the “early bird” plein air session expired. I then journeyed down to the pair of railroad depots that have been restored and picked out an area to compose featuring a bright red M-K-T caboose in front of one of the depots. The drawing went quite well, and the underpainting was doing as I wished it would. As 7:00 p.m. arrived and the sinking sun began to dim my subject, I decided to pack it in and return to it, hopefully tomorrow (Sunday) evening, if the sunlight is strong again.

By 8:00, I realized I hadn’t eaten since lunch time, so I treated myself to one of the best dinners I’ve ever had at the College Street Pub. The night air was pleasant and I found seating available on the back deck beneath the trees. Dinner and journal time were exquisite, and I was so happy that it was Saturday night and there was nowhere I had to be.

The day has been exhausting, but I’m happy that I managed to complete some work in plein air and wanted to take a moment to post and share it. Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to learn.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Late Afternoon Plein Air Painting in Waxahachie

April 24, 2017

Structure, I believe, is the giver of light.

Louis I. Kahn


By the time I finished all my school responsibilities late this afternoon, I was so fatigued that I was trying to talk myself out of the 40-minute drive to Waxahachie to continue work on the Painting Historic Waxahachie project. By the time we reach the submission deadline May 11, I want to have as many paintings as possible to display and sell. But I was sooooo tired!

The weather was 81 degrees and brightly sunny, and when I parked on the courthouse square and saw the magnificence of the Ellis County Courthouse towering above, reflecting the late afternoon sun, I was glad I decided to make the trip. I set up my easel on College Street again, and like last Saturday, a strong, cold wind was blasting up the street. It felt really good on my back, and removed any discomfort that a Texas sun would try to bring.

Drawing this courthouse has always been a chore for me. I lack formal training in architectural rendering, and am always intimidated when I attack a building, one small piece at a time, with pencil on paper. I drew on this a long time, and erased plenty. Finally, when time came to flood the sky with blue hues, I felt that I had a chance at a decent composition.


The afternoon passed quickly, and again the Waxahachie folks proved themselves to be among the most friendly on the planet. I talked to over a dozen people–artists working on this same project, couples out for a stroll, and a couple of young girls interested in becoming artists who were out with their mother. All the conversations were engaging, and I appreciated every good sentiment.

Once the sun set and the light turned to gray, I knew it was time to stop and take a day or two to evaluate whether this is finished or needs further development. Unfortunately I have meetings tomorrow afternoon and night, so I won’t be able to paint tomorrow. Hopefully by Wednesday I will have made a decsision on this one. At any rate, it turned out to be a great afternoon for painting.


The College Street Pub has become my favorite “decompression hangout” in Waxahachie when I am in town painting. Dinner was a great experience this evening as temperatures continued to cool and I enjoyed the back patio with its soothing surrounding scenery. I spread out my three Waxahachie paintings and spent some time taking critical notes on them and making decisions on what to do next.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to learn.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Painting the College Street Pub in Waxahachie, Texas

May 28, 2013
College Street Pub, Waxahachie, Texas

College Street Pub, Waxahachie, Texas

I didn’t get to Waxahachie until after 3:00 p.m. today.  School had me tied up.  Once I arrived, I decided to check out College Street, just off the town square.  I was delighted to find some lingering sun on the facade of this College Street Pub.  I painted it last year from an oblique angle, and decided this time to give it an “Edward Hopper” full-frontal, horizontal view.  The slant of light was perfect.  The cool breezes were inviting, and I decided not to hurry on this one.  I worked slowly, gladly, until the light began to fade slightly after 6:00, and someone at that moment parked in front of the pub with a quad cab 4 x 4, completly obliterating my view.  I was ready to stop anyway–fatigue again, but nevertheles a sense of gladness and gratitude for the late-afternoon’s opportunity.

I entered the pub and treated myself to a tuna melt on rye with cucumber salad, and a frosty glass of Stella Artois on tap.  Then I retired to the gardens out back with a cup of coffee, read some more Robert Henri, wrote in my journal, and recorded seven critical notes of what I need to do to improve this painting tomorrow when I return to finish it.

Another good day of plein air activity.  I am so deeply grateful for that.  I feel the weariness, comingled with the joy of a decent day’s work.  Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.