Posts Tagged ‘cupola’

Finishing the Tarrant County Courthouse Cupola in Watercolor

September 7, 2012

Tarrant Country Courthouse Cupola

With my next art festival less than a week away, I find myself working late hours to stitch up the final details of works started last summer that were never completed.  This is a study of the Tarrant County Courthouse that I photographed during a beautiful sunset evening when the light glancing off the stone was enchanting to see.  I worked hard trying to find the right combination of yellows and purples to pick up the warm highlights and gathering cool shadows that captured my imagination that evening.  I keep hoping that I’ll return to this subject and explore it further.  I have spent some quality days recently in downtown Fort Worth, armed with camera and sketchbook, and would really like to capture more of the splendor of that city.  But, in the meantime, I have a festival coming up, so I continue with the matting, shrinkwrapping and finish-work on these lingering watercolor compositions.

Thanks for reading.

Another Satisfying Night of Watercoloring in the Man Cave

June 14, 2012

Painting the Cupola in the Man Cave at Night

What a delicious evening!  Texas temperatures are tolerable now.  Two of my dearest friends dropped by for a visit while I was in the man cave.  I would that they had stayed the entire night, I had such fun with them, conversing and laughing over so many areas.  Now that they’ve departed, I’m re-directing my attention to this Tarrant County courthouse cupola.  The colors are presenting quite a challenge, as I continue to work the reds, yellows and violets.  I just love watching the pigments floating around in the pools of water I keep dropping onto the paper.  I have Alabama Live on the stereo again.  Lord, can those men sing!  I just feel chills all up and down my spine when they burst out with those harmonies.  I have had the privilege and intimacy of playing in several bands over the past few years, and always lusted for that kind of vocal alchemy.  Maybe one day . . .

Now that the weekend has officially begun for me, I’m thrilled for this time to paint in the man cave.  In 48 hours I’ll be nosing my Jeep toward the Ozark Mountains of northwestern Arkansas.  It’s unlikely that I’ll have this courthouse finished before I leave, and I regret that to an extent, but I can hardly wait to begin my next plein air adventure in that exquisite Arkansas town.  I have been informed of my lodgings arrangement, and am so thrilled with the accommodations again, they are so good to me up there.  My nine watercolor students I have already spoken to on the phone, and they sound like a bunch of live wires.  I think we’re going to do an exciting work together, and cannot wait to form new friendships.

I have memories of this afternoon’s conversations with Janet Z. Capua drifting in and out of my consciousness as I work tonight.  What a treasure her friendship has become.  I dream of one day inspiring just half of the people she touches with her creative spirit.  I think I understand now why so many beat a pathway to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s door in Concord during those years that New England Transcendentalism flowered.  It has never been easy for me, finding a constellation of creative minds all working out of the same venue like I see over there in south Fort Worth.  They have quite a sublime work going on there.  I’m just proud to know them.

Well, back to the watercolor.  How nice not to have to worry about English IV in the morning.  Thanks for reading.

Late Summer Night Watercolor Session in the Man Cave

June 13, 2012

Tarrant County Courthouse

Darn!  It is approaching the midnight hour, I have to rise at 6:00 for summer school, but I’m addicted to late-night watercolor sessions in my man cave.  The itch returned this afternoon as I knocked around Fort Worth, talking to some friends, artistic spirits and business associates.  I wish I could have a studio closer to them so I could see them more often and more easily.  But then again, I probably wouldn’t be getting this kind of work done.

I was baffled by the colors reflected off the courthouse cupola last evening.  I have blown up an 8 x 10″ photo that I took, then zoomed in the structure more.  I’m trying to work Winsor Red and Transparent Yellow on the sunlit portions, then Winsor Violet and Alizarin Crimson in the shadows.  A few other colors are tossed in here and there, as well.  So far, I’m not getting the colors I saw, but if they look good, I won’t mind.  At this early stage though, I can’t really tell if they look good.  It also bugs me, working under this artificial light.  Even day bulbs don’t really get it done.  Oftentimes when the morning comes and I see my watercolor in the natural light, I find myself totally exasperated at the results.  Still, I’m finding the night to be very enjoyable nonetheless.  To me, the act of watercoloring is every bit as enjoyable as a good finished result.  Unlike Edward Hopper, I DO enjoy the act of painting.  It takes me to another world.  And tonight I am in a much better, more serene world, than the one that often accompanies me during business hours.

My heartfelt thanks goes out to Janet Capua tonight for looking at, and posting to my blog.  What are you doing up so late?!  You have plenty of cooking awaiting you in the morning.

Thanks all of you for reading.  Some of you know that I keep a journal, almost daily.  As I’ve posted before:

I journal because I am alone;

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Beginning the Tarrant County Courthouse Cupola

June 13, 2012

Tarrant County Courthouse Cupola

While the water floats about the Winsor Blues and Reds billow about, I thought I would pause, photograph and post again to the blog before it gets much later.  I think I’ll be at it awhile tonight.  Meeting new friends today, and connecting with some old ones has managed to inject some new energy in me.  Also, I feel my time in the man cave coming to an end, as I am about to leave for Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

I decided to begin a mid-size watercolor (17″h x 15″w) of the cupola of our Tarrant County courthouse.  The light playing off it last evening was breathtaking, and I find myself wishing to experiment with some new color combinations I haven’t tried before.

I’m getting a kick out of listening to Alabama Live on the stereo as I poke around on this watercolor.  During the past decade, I have missed listening to their rich vocal harmonies, and always wished I could be part of a group capable of pushing out that kind of sound.   I have only listened to their studio tracks over the years, but this live album has a medley of “There’s No Way/When We Make Love” that is a real heart-stopper!  Anyway, great musical company.

Back to painting!  Thanks for reading.

Watercoloring the Cupola of Ridglea Theater

March 2, 2012

Ridglea Theater Cupola

Today afforded little time for studio work, but at least I got something accomplished and learned a few things in the process.  The cupola of this Ridglea tower features a brick that is pinkish in tone, compared to the ochre cut stones on the actual tower.  It is a subtle distinction, but a distinction nevertheless.  As I began washing in the pink tones of the bricks, careful to delineate the archway arrangement of bricks, my eye kept going to the shadow side, and finally I decided on a mixture of ultramarine blue and cadmium red medium to render the shadow darker.  Once that was dry, it was time to re-establish the shadows inside the archway.  I had already used sepia and mixes of Winsor Green and Alizarin Crimson to lay in the shadows inside the archway on the right.  But as I looked at the archway on the shadow side, I kept noticing in the photograph that the interior was more atmospheric than what appears within the arch on the sunlit wall.  So, I decided again to go with ultramarine blue, but to concentrate it at the top of the shadow, then shift gradually to cadmium red medium as I worked my way down to the bottom.  One it was dry, I liked the look–more atmospheric than plain dark.

The birds were a little disturbing–something I’d never painted before (that I recall).  I just chose to go with a Cool Gray VI with an Albrecht Durer watercolor pencil, and moisten a brush to push the shadow colors across the rest of the body.  I did next-to-nothing while working on the birds, all the while praying that they would at least resemble birds.

The terra cotta roofing on both towers just involved some watercolor pencils and a moist brush.  I worked them over pretty quickly, choosing to avoid detail.  I used several different shades of red and green to get the terra cotta look, and mostly sepia and ultramarine blue in the shadows.

Thanks for reading.  Hopefully, I’ll get back to this again tomorrow.