Posts Tagged ‘tornado’

Avalanche II

April 26, 2015

What a surprise awaited me when I opened the blinds to my living room Saturday morning and looked out into my back yard. The night before, I was at the Kimbell Art Museum, and they rushed us underground to avoid a tornado threat. I got home well after dark and didn’t think of checking my back yard, totally unaware of what was lying there to greet me the next morning. Crap. I called TXU to tell them there was a powerline underneath the tree. They wanted to know if I lost power? No. Were there sparks flying? No.Then they would get there when they could. Not yesterday, and not today either, apparently. So meanwhile, I get to look out at this titanic corpse of a tree that fills my entire back yard until they deal with the power line. Then I get to hire a crew to cut it up and haul it out.

Choosing to stay home the entire day, JUST IN CASE THEY CAME, I began reclaiming the rooms of my house that were set in disarray from my hauling out art work and furniture for last week’s festival. I don’t know how I manage this, but I trash out my house every time I get ready for an art festival, with all the matting, shrinkwrapping, packaging, packing and loading. Then when I return, everything just gets dumped back into the rooms, and I usually walk around it for a week before I get so sick of seeing it that I finally set to work tidying, and reclaiming my special work spaces.

Motherwell Room

Motherwell Room

Most of my art work is stored in the room I like to call my Motherwell Room. Robert Motherwell’s blend of artistic prowess with scholarly erudition has always had ways of motivating me to learn more, to be more. Thus, I have this room set up with all my Motherwell books, as well as a table for making art, and most of my unhanged art work arranged around the walls and stored in the walk-in closet.

Motherwell Room

Motherwell Room

I also reserve a corner of that room for my special reading. Saturday was given to a day of reading and painting.

Beginnings of a New Painting

Beginnings of a New Painting

It’s been awhile since I’ve sketched or painted railroad subjects. Here is a Union Pacific caboose I photographed a few years ago in the historic Handley neighborhood of east Fort Worth. I have a railroad series in mind that was inspired by some things I’ve read recently from Proust concerning the series paintings of Claude Monet. We’ll see how it all shakes out.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

I Would Rather Be Fly Fishing

April 5, 2012

I Would Rather Be Fly Fishing

Again, I admit a blog hiatus.  After last weekend’s three-day art festival, I was exhausted, returning to school at 7:35 the next morning, still ill from the allergy symptoms suffered last week, and totally run-down. I’ve spent most of this week in school and in bed, with little in between.

Two days ago, tornadoes destroyed over 400 homes in my city, coming within 1/4 mile of my house.  Surrounded by destruction, and looking at the faces of many of my students who have lost their homes, I’m devastated at this turn of fortune.  There is no describing the loss that I see all around me now.  There is so much pain.

I think I have finished this watercolor sketch that I began while in my booth at the last festival (Kennedale’s Art in the Park).  While my Art I students are finishing an assignment before sailing into the three-day weekend, I’ve been at my desk fiddling with it.  I changed the color of my shirt in order to make me stick out a little more.  Also I darkened and salted the water more for contrast and drybrushed lightly more weeds about my feet and landing net.  More tree foliage needed to be drybrushed as well.  I think I have done about all I can.  The setting of this sketch is Troublesome Creek, northwest of Denver, and east of the town of Kremmling.  The creek flows into the Colorado River.  Trophy trout cruise those waters, and I have pulled out dozens of them–rainbows, brookies, cutthroats and browns.  I even hit a grandslam the last time I visited there (all four species caught in the same day).

Soon, I hope to pursue a series of watercolors on the fly fishing theme.  I have dozens and dozens of digital photos on file that I have taken over the years during my own excursions to Colorado, north Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas in search of trout.  I am looking over a museum catalog I purchased on Winslow Homer’s fly fishing watercolors.  I attended that show when it came to Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum, and saw another major retrospective of his watercolors at the Art Institute of Chicago a few years ago.  I need to  devote more time to studying his techniques.

I miss Colorado so much that I ache.  It has been two summers since I last enjoyed those mountain streams and the thrill of painting the front range.  I wish to God I could get there this summer, but I’ll have to wait and see.

Tomorrow I will visit Malakoff, Texas for the first time and experiment with some plein air painting.  I am thrilled to have been invited to teach a two-day workshop there next Thursday and Friday.  I’m going there tomorrow to “scout” the town so I can know in advance what kind of landmarks my workshop participants can sketch in watercolor.  I really hope to meet some of the participants tomorrow when I get there.

Though I have been under the weather for a considerable time (and doing very little blogging) I have been immersed in the writings of Paul Gauguin (The Writings of a Savage).  I don’t have the itch to go to Tahiti, but I would love to adopt his “savage” lifestyle in the mountains of Colorado, if only I could go there for awhile.  I have no foolish ideas about living off the land and the trout I catch–I would be satisfied with canned goods.  But I would love to study the color and light there, the mountains, rock formations, streams and Aspens.  I really need to find new directions in my work.  I hate it when I feel that I am doing “hack” work, whipping out watercolors for the trade.  I’m only happy when I’m a student of this craft, always learning new things.

Thanks for reading.