Posts Tagged ‘genre’

Eureka Springs Sidewalk Cafe Finished!

February 27, 2011

Downtown Eureka Springs

What a thrill finally to finish this big one!  Just before the thunderstorms arrived, I laid in the final washes on the sidewalks and streets and declared it finished.  It’s been quite a weekend.  A long fly fishing excursion, a painting on location, time well-spent in conversation with a friend (and watching him attack and successfully complete his first watercolor) and finally, finishing this composition.

The Crescent Hotel is featured on the ghost sign high above the gathered lunch crowd.  “Ghost sign” is appropriate, as the Crescent Hotel is famous for its resident ghosts.  I did not know until my second night there last summer that I was staying in a haunted room.  That provided plenty of imagination at night when the lights were out and I heard creaking noises in the corridor just outside my door!  At any rate, I survived, and would love to stay there again.  I’ve been invited to participate in a faculty show at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts, and feel strongly that I should enter this piece, once I get it framed properly.  I can’t wait to show it to my gallery director.  I think this could be a good piece for my One Man Show this coming fall.

Thanks for reading, and for following the progress on this one.  Glad it’s done.  Time to move on to the next!

A Close Second to a Parisian Sidewalk Cafe

February 24, 2011

Sidewalk Cafe Life at Eureka Springs

Texas temperatures are getting better–80 degrees and sunny today.  My garage has turned into an art studio/man cave for me, with a portable TV/VCR playing an assortment of tapes for my listening pleasure while I paint–lectures on Friedrich Nietzsche, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams to name just a few.  I feel myself entering this composition that I’ve tinkered with for several months now.  I can almost hear the voices around the table discussing poetry, philosophy, theology, books–all the artistic elements that keep us alive and alert.

This setting is in downtown Eureka Springs, Arkansas, where it was my profound privilege to teach a week of plein air watercolor classes for the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.  It was my first time, and I have an application pending there now, hoping with all I have that there will be a class again this year.  My two favorite towns so far are Waxahachie, Texas and Eureka Springs, Arkansas, for on-site watercoloring.  Both towns boast streets lined with Victorian architecture, flower beds, cute shops around the downtown district, and compositions for painting in any direction one looks.

This particular painting is huge by my standards–30 x 22″–and it involves elements that are outside my comfort zone–people and a myriad of details.  I have avoided genre painting for a number of years, realizing that there are countless artists “out there” who do it so exceedingly well.  But I recently read something from the Journals of Henry David Thoreau that convinced me to go for this: “There is always room and occasion enough for a true book on any subject, as there is room for more light on the brightest day, and more rays will not interfere with the first.”  All I had to do was substitute “painting” for “book,” and I got his point.  My contribution to this genre of painting will in no way diminish what has been done by others, and yes, there is room in this world of art for me to contribute as well.  So . . . with that in mind, I was liberated to go after this composition.

Today was quite a full day–high school classes by day, a trip to the veterinarian this afternoon, and a college class tonight.  But there is still time to engage in the arts, and I so love returning to my studio, even when the day has been filled with “work.”  Thoreau said (I believe in Walden) “To effect the quality of the day is the highest of the arts.”  That I must remember.  Though packed to the rim, today has nevertheless been “artful.”

Thanks for reading.  Talk to you again tomorrow . . .