Posts Tagged ‘park’

Watercolor of Trees at Edom Festival of the Arts

October 18, 2011

Afternoon Trees at the Edom Festival of the Arts

Though a few days have passed, I still  find myself lost in wonder, flooded with residual memories of the Edom Festival of the Arts.  The weather was perfect, with mornings beginning in the low 70’s, and plenty of sunshine taking temperatures up into the upper 80’s.  Midway through the first day, I turned around, and was caught by surprise at the sight of this tree behind my booth, flooded with color and light.  I think I felt a tinge of what the French Impressionists experienced–that impulse  that drove them outdoors with their easels to paint en plein air.  I set up my own Winsor & Newton easel and went to work, completing this on the first day of the activities.

Painting out in the open, in public view, also affords conversations with curious onlookers, and thus opens up avenues for new friendships.  I was enriched by that as well.  The temperatures are falling in Texas.  We reached the fifties this morning, and my Man Cave is cooling considerably this evening, with winds coming through the open door.  I’m anticipating some rewarding ventures en plein air as our autumn runs its course.

Thanks for reading.

Calling my “Bluff” at Eureka Springs

June 15, 2011

Eureka Springs Bluff

A hot, humid, sticky day in Arkansas, thanks to midnight thunderstorms the night before.  Our plein air class from the Eureka Springs School of the Arts began the morning at the Turpentine Creek Cat Refuge south on Highway 23 out of Eureka Springs.  My students asked me to do a demonstration, painting a slumbering Bengal tiger in the shadows.  I tried.  She turned over about a dozen times in the first 10 minutes.  My attempt of course was a disaster.  The students paintings that ensued however showed much more promise.

Our afternoon session was spent on Spring Street near where I am residing this week.  The students gravitated toward this beautiful bluff and flower bed shimmering in the sun.  They called my bluff, asking me to do a painting demonstration of this scene, knowing I had never tried to paint a large natural rock surface.  I suppose I did O.K. on this (much better than on the tiger, which I won’t bother to post!).  After the students finished at 4:00, I noted that two students wished to remain for about another hour.  So I took this sketch back out, having only roughed out the bluff, and tried to knock out some flowerbeds (another first for me).  I lost the light as the evening shadows lengthened, so I will need to come back to this one.  The flowers and foliage are not quite finished.

An inspiring day for plein air painting, once again.

Thanks for reading.

Contemplating a 1920’s Bridge Amidst a Gathering Storm

May 30, 2011

Vintage Waxahachie Bridge Beneath a Gathering Storm

What a splendid morning to engage in plein air painting.  Temperatures were in the seventies this morning (a welcome relief from the triple digits we’ve experienced the past three days).  Waxahachie has some beautiful parks and walking trails.  One of the trails winds its way under this 1920’s bridge.  When I looked up at the gathering storm clouds, I knew this was going to be my first painting attempt of the day.  As it turned out, I got the best of both worlds: I laid in the sky first, which was overcast and filled with billowing storm clouds.  Then the sun popped out, the sky turned bright blue, and shadows returned to the bridge, along with highlights in the foliage enveloping this structure.  So, I got to put in the dark turbulent sky, and then got to follow up with nice shadows and highlights.   I call that a perfect world for painting!

Thanks for reading.  I went on to do another quick painting, so I’ll prepare that one to post next.

Part 3 of the Entire Saturday of Plein Air Watercolor Painting

May 8, 2011

Andrew Wyeth Meditation on a Tree

This was my final successful stop on my all-day Saturday plein air excursions.  I stopped occasionally for coffee, journaling, and a little book store browsing.  There are two more tree studies in progress, but not good enough to post and blog.  Perhaps I will return and make something better of them.  The winds really got up, and thank goodness for a good Winsor & Newton watercolor easel with a successful mechanism for clamping the watercolor block in place.  Everything else, including my leather art bag, was getting knocked over by the gusting winds.

All I can say about this work is that I got totally lost in the bark of the trunk.  I felt as though I were “channeling” Andrew Wyeth, though I realize how arrogant that sounds.  I don’t pretend to approach his greatness, his eye, his technique.  But what I intend to say is–I feel for the first time in years that I have a sense of how he must have felt when he got lost in a dry brush study to the point where he lost all track of time.  I honestly don’t know how long I lingered over this work, but it was totally satisfying and I didn’t want the day to end.  When I get lost like that, or “in the zone” of watercoloring, I wish that I could seize the tail of that comet and ride it forever.  But alas, Proust has reminded us that all attempts to seize such Gifts result in their dissolution.  And so this study came to an end, but I cannot wait for the next time such a Moment arrives.  I’m still grateful for the experience this day as I think over yesterday’s activities.

Thanks for reading.

Part 2 of “An Entire Day of Watercolor Plein Air Painting”

May 8, 2011

Foot of a Tree in a Sunny Saturday Park

I have already posted Part One of my Saturday plein air activities, where I began in Sundance Square.  From there I moved on to Chisholm Park in Hurst, Texas.  The sun was getting up and I required shade (sun block was starting to get drippy!), so I thought I would try to capture some trees.  I liked the mottled sun spots all around the base of this tree, but once I got into that, I lost interest in the rest.  High up in the tree was a juncture that I found fascinating, and I knew I could not fit it onto this page.  So I aborted this one and moved on to “part three.”

Thanks for reading.