Posts Tagged ‘Ferris Texas’

Turning the Page

May 26, 2014
Plein Air Watercolor Sketch of Closed Lumberyard in Ferris, Texas

Plein Air Watercolor Sketch of Closed Lumberyard in Ferris, Texas

I write to preserve memory.  I write what should not be forgotten.

Isabel Allende

I awoke to a new and refreshing day, feeling that I had turned the page in a most significant way.  Last night’s festival ended, and loading out took forever, getting me home finally around 1:00 a.m.  I turned off the phone and all alarms, sleeping a delicious sleep until a little after 10:00 a.m.  Following breakfast and a shower, I had this itch to jump into my Jeep and head for Ferris, Texas, where the Waxahachie plein air group would be spending the day, painting the landmarks.  But I knew I would get in this evening, late, exhausted and fretful that I had Philosophy and English classes to prepare.  So . . . I forced myself to sit at my writing desk and go to work.  As I worked on the English II assignment, covering work by the Chilean writer Isabel Allende, I came across this quote from her that fits my own painting and blogging philosophy.  What a difference that made, setting the table for my Ferris excursion!  I put this qote on a small piece of paper, folded it, and tucked it into my pocket to carry with me as Edward Hopper carried the Goethe quote about in his own pocket when he was out looking for subjects to paint en plein air:

Look until you become fascinated.

Trust that you will see something.

If you learn to wait, the objects will slowly sink into your consciousness

And they will acquire a significance that can be measured in color and feeling.

Goethe

Arriving in Ferris, I felt so serene, knowing I did not have deadlines hanging over me for the rest of the day.  Parking in a public lot, I pocketed my keys and strolled all up and down the main street of this town, looking at every building, every landmark, every detail.  Nothing really held me.  I looked, but did not become fascinated.

If you learn to wait . . . 

Returning to the Jeep, I next drove a circuitous route around downtown, and then saw this closed lumberyard, the front office of the building looking exactly like my grandparents’ house in southeast Missouri that I have painted so many times in past years.  I knew I had to give this one a try.

If you learn to wait the objects will slowly sink into your consciousness . . . 

I set up my easel in a vacant lot across the street from the site, and set to work.  Eventually the owner of the property came and chatted with me for awhile, and I learned so much more about this business and its history.  I was gratified to learn that I am not the only one who recognizes the character oozing from every corner of this structure.  The owner told me that it is frequently photographed as a backdrop by people from all around the area.  I later learned that the leader of our Paint Historic Waxahachie movement has also picked out this building to paint in past years.

When I was about 90% finished with the work, the heavens opened up and dumped rain all over me and this watercolor.  I sprinted to the Jeep, drove to a nearby gazebo and finished the work as best I could from memory of the building.  I’m happy with how this one came out and believe I will price it at $200 for the upcoming Waxahachie sale.  It is an 8 x 10″ piece that I’m getting ready to tuck into a white 11 x 14″ mat and enclose in a plastic sleeve.  It’s been a good Memorial Day.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Plein Air Watercoloring in Ferris, Texas

May 18, 2014
Abandoned Structure in Ferris, Texas

Abandoned Structure in Ferris, Texas

Language is the house of Being.

Martin Heidegger

Sunday morning, like Saturday, I awoke to a 68-degree temperature with plenty of sun and pleasant breezes.  I chose this morning to try out Ferris, Texas, and found more subjects than I could paint in a week.  The first structure I saw on the west side of downtown was this one I’ve posted.  The moment I saw it, I thought of an Andrew Wyeth watercolor titled “Prevailing Wind” that I saw a couple of years ago in an exhibition at the Tyler Museum of Art.

"Prevailing Wind" by Andrew Wyeth

“Prevailing Wind” by Andrew Wyeth

I feel embarrassed to say that I tried “channeling Andrew Wyeth”, but he is my idol, and he certainly was on my mind the entire time I worked on this plein air composition.  I thoroughly relished this opportunity, the sun was nice and strong on the building, and I was shivering with wonder as I worked at reproducing that cupola on the watercolor paper with the trees framing it.  I always find corrugated rusted iron a problem to do in watercolor, and am never satisfied with my results.  I chose to stop early on this one, and not overwork it the way I did yesterday’s gas station.

This composition I tried on 140 lb. D’Arches hot pressed paper.  I abandoned hot pressed paper about eight years ago, because I found it difficult to layer washes without wiping out what was put on earlier.  I have to say that I found this slick surface a comfort to draw on, and I rather enjoyed what was happening with this sketch.  I think I’m going to try some more watercolors on hot press surfaces and see where it takes me.  I prepared this paper by soaking it and stretching it on a canvas stretcher.  The winds dried out the work very quickly, making it much easier to work outdoors with speed.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.