Posts Tagged ‘It’s a Dream’

Six New Watercolor Greeting Cards for the Festival

April 4, 2013
Lurking Bomber

Lurking Bomber

The ten-year-old boy looked bewildered as his uncle tied the red-and-white bomber onto his pale blue monofilament line.  “Why does it go backwards?”  His uncle paused, took one last deep drag before tossing his Lucky Strike, exhaled, and said “Dunno.  Maybe it’s supposed to look like a crawdad.”  The boy just shook his head, held down the button on his Zebco 202, and tossed the plug into the dark pool, just on the edge of the stand of cattails, and began his slow retrieve.

Darting Heddon Zara Spook

Darting Heddon Zara Spook

The sun rose hot that August day, on the final morning of the boy’s first fishing trip with his cousin.  They rowed the dilapidated dinghy to a quiet, shaded cove on Hunnewell Lake and anchored just on the edge of the brightly-colored lily pads.  The Zebco 202 whirred as he tossed his Heddon Zara Spook to the far edge of the floating foliage and the lure landed with a quiet plop, just six inches from the largest pad.  He began his slow retrieve, and his heart pounded as he saw the slow-moving shadow emerge from beneath the pad, closing on his lure.

Shallow Descent of the Lucky 13

Shallow Descent of the Lucky 13

“Trust me,” said the old man standing and peering over the surface of the lake.  “I’ve been on these waters my whole life.  I know these fish.  Just let that plug lay out there a full minute, till all the ripples are gone  Then jerk your rod to make her plop and go under, and reel as fast as you can for about four or five feet to make her dart back and forth.  That makes the bass mad.”  So he did it.  And sure enough, on the first cast and retrieve, he made a four-pound, nineteen-inch large-mouth bass mad.

Trolling the Tiny Lucky 13

Trolling the Tiny Lucky 13

It made no sense to the boy, tugging on a pair of oars, rowing a John boat across the spacious Hunnewell Lake. His uncle told him this is how trolling works.  “You just cast as far behind the boat as you can, prop your rod-and-reel in the stern, and let the jerking motions of the boat provide the action for the lure.”  No sooner than the uncle spoke those words, the boy let out a gasp as he saw the three-pound large-mouth bass launch from the distant wake of the boat, shaking his head back and forth, the brightly-colored lure flashing next to his gills.

"It's a Dream"

“It’s a Dream”

The Red River stills flows through my home town
Rollin’ and tumblin’ on its way
Swirling around the old bridge pylons
Where a boy fishes the morning away
His bicycle leans on an oak tree
While the cars rumble over his head
An aeroplane leaves a trail in an empty blue sky
And the young birds call out to be fed. 

(text by Neil Young, “It’s a Dream”)

Plein Air Botanical Gardens

Plein Air Botanical Gardens

The aging artist angled his Jeep into the diagonal parking lane at the Gardens.  It was Good Friday, the sun was emerging slowly from leaden, overcast skies, and the Gardens were beginning to come alive with walkers, joggers, photographers, and children at play. Setting up his easel in a stand of pines, the man trained his eye on the bark of one solitary trunk, and considered how he would go about rendering its gnarled portrait against a forest-green field of shaded pine needles.

Today concluded our four days of STARR testing.  As I walked about the room filled with ten students testing, monitoring their work, I composed five new narratives for these new greeting cards coming out at tomorrow’s festival.  It was a good way to spend the walking around time, and helped the day pass.

Time to pack and load.

Thanks for reading.

Watercoloring Saturday in the Man Cave

March 30, 2013
Plein Air Painting of Waxahachie Bridge

Plein Air Painting of Waxahachie Bridge

The Red River stills flows through my home town
Rollin’ and tumblin’ on its way
Swirling around the old bridge pylons
Where a boy fishes the morning away
His bicycle leans on an oak tree
While the cars rumble over his head
An aeroplane leaves a trail in an empty blue sky
And the young birds call out to be fed.

Neil Young, “It’s a Dream”

A couple of years ago, during the “Paint Historic Waxahachie” plein air event, I set up my easel beneath this 1930-era bridge as a storm gathered overhead.  I was happy with the results, and rather surprised that I have been unable to sell this painting.  Oh well.  A few weeks ago, as I drove along the highway, listening to Neil Young on my CD player, this song played, and I captured the image of what I wanted to do next.  I am usually disappointed in my efforts of painting from a painting, but nevertheless that is what I attempted in the Man Cave today.  I used the old painting above to create the one below.   I enjoyed the experience.  Now I’m drained, and I suppose that after a good night’s sleep, I’ll decide tomorrow whether I like this one or not.  It not, I’ll give it another try, because I certainly want to master this composition.

Neil Young-Inspired Watercolor

Neil Young-Inspired Watercolor

Thanks for reading.