Posts Tagged ‘Flippin’

Closing Out a Serene Day with Good Thoughts and Artful Attempts

June 12, 2014
Taking My Time with the Hopper Study

Taking My Time with the Hopper Study

“What I wanted to do was to paint sunlight on the side of a house.”

Edward Hopper

Currently, it is 9:52 p.m., and I am enjoying a refreshing night life in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square, next to the fountain where dozens of children are screaming with delight as they get hosed.  Recent rains have dropped the temperatures to the upper 70’s, and it feels quite good.  This is a fitting closure to a good day–I have come into the downtown Fort Worth night with a bag full of books, journal, sketchbook and my laptop.  Tourist season is at high tide, and there are probably 75-100 people milling about the general area where I am seated.  It is all very good.

Fort Worth is taking on the same kind of expansion and improvements as Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann’s 19th-century Paris; from Sundance Square to the museum district, one can see only progress.  Some days I wonder if I’m feeling the same inspiration and scintillation as the French Impressionists as they sketched their rapidly changing environment.  I have serious thoughts of taking out my sketchbook, but frankly, I’m daunted as I am seated immediately beneath the enormous Chisholm Trail mural that overlooks this new-look Sundance Square plaza.

Above this entry, I have posted my start of the watercolor inspired by Edward Hopper’s Marshall’s House from 1932.  Yesterday afternoon was spent doing preliminary tonal sketches of it in my sketchbook.  I chose this model for study because I recently turned on to red pigments during my Waxahachie plein air watercolor experiments.  I have also been curious about experimenting with Q-tips on my cloudy skies.  It has been a few years since I deliberately piled up clouds in my watercolor skies, and I thought it time to return to this practice and see what I can learn.  So–billowing clouds and a bright-red roof on a dilapidated building with plenty of screened-in porch and screen windows and door to study.  Below I am posting a couple of close-ups of large watercolors I did a few years ago of a 1903 structure still standing in Flippin, Arkansas.  I was pleased with how my rusted-out screens turned out in these pieces.

Detail of Large Watercolor of 1903 Cabin

Detail of Large Watercolor of 1903 Cabin

Detail of a Second Large Watercolor of the same 1903 Cabin

Detail of a Second Large Watercolor of the same 1903 Cabin

With the Edward Hopper study, I’m experimenting with graphite in the wet watercolor to see if I can simulate some screen texture.  I’m in no rush with this overall watercolor sketch, as I have already applied several layers of wash over the rooftops and facade over time throughout this day.  Tomorrow I hope to get into some serious pencil drawing over the dried watercolor.  For that, I’ll be taking out a number of Andrew Wyeth drybrush watercolor and pencil studies.

I guess I’ve reported about all I need to on this particular day.  I have the itch now to write in the journal and pursue some good reading from some good books.  Midnight is still a couple of hours away, and I’m feeling quite satisfied.  Sundance Square is a lively, delightful place at night.  I’ve wanted to do this for over a year, and can’t believe I have waited this long.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not really alone.

Watercoloring a 1903 Cabin from Flippin, Arkansas

September 11, 2011

1903 Cabin Flippin Arkansas

Last spring, while judging a plein air painting composition in Cotter, Arkansas, I was taken to this wonderful rustic cabin dating back to 1903.  This structure was reportedly one of the first two homes built in Flippin, Arkansas, just about the time the railroad was coming through the town.  I was taken to this site just after sunrise on a morning that was threatening rain.  The cool, moist atmosphere and the gathering clouds cast such an amazing pall over the cabin that I set up an easel and went to work immediately, trying to capture a watercolor sketch of it.  Once I returned to my studio in Texas, I used the original watercolor sketch along with some reference photos taken with my digital camera, and created this piece.

I was most intrigued with the light and shadow playing across the table and chairs lining the porch, as well as the rusty screen covering one of the doors.  The entire cabin seemed alive with the dynamics of light and shadow flickering in the dim light of that spring morning.  I hope one day to return to this cabin for further sketches and studies.

Thank you for reading.  And thanks all of you who attended the opening of my One-Man Show Saturday night at the Weiler House Fine Art Gallery.   (   I appreciate each and every one of you!