Posts Tagged ‘Tarrant County Courthouse’

Finishing the Tarrant County Courthouse Cupola in Watercolor

September 7, 2012

Tarrant Country Courthouse Cupola

With my next art festival less than a week away, I find myself working late hours to stitch up the final details of works started last summer that were never completed.  This is a study of the Tarrant County Courthouse that I photographed during a beautiful sunset evening when the light glancing off the stone was enchanting to see.  I worked hard trying to find the right combination of yellows and purples to pick up the warm highlights and gathering cool shadows that captured my imagination that evening.  I keep hoping that I’ll return to this subject and explore it further.  I have spent some quality days recently in downtown Fort Worth, armed with camera and sketchbook, and would really like to capture more of the splendor of that city.  But, in the meantime, I have a festival coming up, so I continue with the matting, shrinkwrapping and finish-work on these lingering watercolor compositions.

Thanks for reading.

Lingering over a Courthouse Watercolor Experiment

June 16, 2012

Tarrant County Courthouse

What a whirlwind of a day!  It began at 5:00 this morning, in the quiet of my man cave, pondering words from the Journals of Henry David Thoreau.  From there I had the quiet privilege of bending over this Tarrant County courthouse watercolor that I began only a few days ago.  Then I had the privilege of teaching a two-hour watercolor lesson in my studio.   Next came some computer work, helping a friend digitize his watercolor and format it to fit onto a greeting card.  From there it was mad dashes to an art supply store, a frame shop (twice), a gallery (twice), a grocery store, a tire center to get mine rotated, a gas station, laundry, packing, gathering my art supplies and gear, and now here I am, at nearly 7 p.m., needing to get some sleep as I plan to rise before dawn and hit the road for the seven-hour drive to the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.

One item I was unable to cross off my agenda was finishing this courthouse watercolor.  I had fervently hoped to finish it during the morning hours, and if not, to have time and energy to complete it tonight.  That will not happen.  I will just have to let it sit and compost for a week before I can take it up again.  For the next week, I will trade in studio work for plein air work (a trade I am always happy to make).

So, until tomorrow dear friends, the next words you read from me will be coming from Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Thanks for reading.

I journal because I am alone;

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

The Dawn with Henry David Thoreau

June 16, 2012

Tarrant County Courthouse

Rising at 5 a.m. on a summer Saturday morning might seem odd, but this kind of day demanded it.  I have dozens of “annoying” errands to complete before I leave in 24 hours for Eureka Springs, and I have this courthouse watercolor I would really like to complete.  So, there it is.

Mornings that begin in watercolor are better than mornings that do not.  But I chose to begin this morning with Henry David Thoreau.  I’m reading from his Journals, and was greeted with this word this morning:

The atmosphere of morning gives a healthy hue to our prospects. . . .  We enjoy a diurnal reprieve in the beginning of each day’s creation.

And so, I’m ready to go after this courthouse, and it is my hope to finish it today–I do not want to leave it dangling for a week while I’m away in Eureka Springs.  Before I close, another gem from Thoreau’s Walden:

It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do.  To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.

Thanks for reading.

I journal because I am alone;

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

 

Thoreau Wins Out Over Picasso in the Studio Tonight

June 14, 2012

Close up of the Tarrant County Courthouse Cupola

This has been a day filled with reward, and I’m feeling grateful for the gifts.  I’m growing weary of the close, tight work this courthouse cupola is demanding at this moment.  An hour ago, I felt a kinship with Picasso who spent late, late nights in the studio, sometimes toiling till daylight, always spinning out new creations.  But my eyes are starting to fail me, and my back is getting tired of hunching over the drafting table.

Besides, this beautiful volume of Thoreau Journals has been sitting at my elbow, and I think it’s time that I drink from his waters.  With a little reluctance, I’ll turn off Alabama Live and listen to the night sounds outside my open garage door.  I haven’t done much quality journaling on this day, and I think it’s time to get some good things on the page.

Thanks for all of you who follow me on this blog.  It has been a rewarding spread of days lately.  Talk to you tomorrow!

I journal because I am alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Another Satisfying Night of Watercoloring in the Man Cave

June 14, 2012

Painting the Cupola in the Man Cave at Night

What a delicious evening!  Texas temperatures are tolerable now.  Two of my dearest friends dropped by for a visit while I was in the man cave.  I would that they had stayed the entire night, I had such fun with them, conversing and laughing over so many areas.  Now that they’ve departed, I’m re-directing my attention to this Tarrant County courthouse cupola.  The colors are presenting quite a challenge, as I continue to work the reds, yellows and violets.  I just love watching the pigments floating around in the pools of water I keep dropping onto the paper.  I have Alabama Live on the stereo again.  Lord, can those men sing!  I just feel chills all up and down my spine when they burst out with those harmonies.  I have had the privilege and intimacy of playing in several bands over the past few years, and always lusted for that kind of vocal alchemy.  Maybe one day . . .

Now that the weekend has officially begun for me, I’m thrilled for this time to paint in the man cave.  In 48 hours I’ll be nosing my Jeep toward the Ozark Mountains of northwestern Arkansas.  It’s unlikely that I’ll have this courthouse finished before I leave, and I regret that to an extent, but I can hardly wait to begin my next plein air adventure in that exquisite Arkansas town.  I have been informed of my lodgings arrangement, and am so thrilled with the accommodations again, they are so good to me up there.  My nine watercolor students I have already spoken to on the phone, and they sound like a bunch of live wires.  I think we’re going to do an exciting work together, and cannot wait to form new friendships.

I have memories of this afternoon’s conversations with Janet Z. Capua drifting in and out of my consciousness as I work tonight.  What a treasure her friendship has become.  I dream of one day inspiring just half of the people she touches with her creative spirit.  I think I understand now why so many beat a pathway to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s door in Concord during those years that New England Transcendentalism flowered.  It has never been easy for me, finding a constellation of creative minds all working out of the same venue like I see over there in south Fort Worth.  They have quite a sublime work going on there.  I’m just proud to know them.

Well, back to the watercolor.  How nice not to have to worry about English IV in the morning.  Thanks for reading.

Late Summer Night Watercolor Session in the Man Cave

June 13, 2012

Tarrant County Courthouse

Darn!  It is approaching the midnight hour, I have to rise at 6:00 for summer school, but I’m addicted to late-night watercolor sessions in my man cave.  The itch returned this afternoon as I knocked around Fort Worth, talking to some friends, artistic spirits and business associates.  I wish I could have a studio closer to them so I could see them more often and more easily.  But then again, I probably wouldn’t be getting this kind of work done.

I was baffled by the colors reflected off the courthouse cupola last evening.  I have blown up an 8 x 10″ photo that I took, then zoomed in the structure more.  I’m trying to work Winsor Red and Transparent Yellow on the sunlit portions, then Winsor Violet and Alizarin Crimson in the shadows.  A few other colors are tossed in here and there, as well.  So far, I’m not getting the colors I saw, but if they look good, I won’t mind.  At this early stage though, I can’t really tell if they look good.  It also bugs me, working under this artificial light.  Even day bulbs don’t really get it done.  Oftentimes when the morning comes and I see my watercolor in the natural light, I find myself totally exasperated at the results.  Still, I’m finding the night to be very enjoyable nonetheless.  To me, the act of watercoloring is every bit as enjoyable as a good finished result.  Unlike Edward Hopper, I DO enjoy the act of painting.  It takes me to another world.  And tonight I am in a much better, more serene world, than the one that often accompanies me during business hours.

My heartfelt thanks goes out to Janet Capua tonight for looking at, and posting to my blog.  What are you doing up so late?!  You have plenty of cooking awaiting you in the morning.

Thanks all of you for reading.  Some of you know that I keep a journal, almost daily.  As I’ve posted before:

I journal because I am alone;

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Beginning the Tarrant County Courthouse Cupola

June 13, 2012

Tarrant County Courthouse Cupola

While the water floats about the Winsor Blues and Reds billow about, I thought I would pause, photograph and post again to the blog before it gets much later.  I think I’ll be at it awhile tonight.  Meeting new friends today, and connecting with some old ones has managed to inject some new energy in me.  Also, I feel my time in the man cave coming to an end, as I am about to leave for Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

I decided to begin a mid-size watercolor (17″h x 15″w) of the cupola of our Tarrant County courthouse.  The light playing off it last evening was breathtaking, and I find myself wishing to experiment with some new color combinations I haven’t tried before.

I’m getting a kick out of listening to Alabama Live on the stereo as I poke around on this watercolor.  During the past decade, I have missed listening to their rich vocal harmonies, and always wished I could be part of a group capable of pushing out that kind of sound.   I have only listened to their studio tracks over the years, but this live album has a medley of “There’s No Way/When We Make Love” that is a real heart-stopper!  Anyway, great musical company.

Back to painting!  Thanks for reading.