Posts Tagged ‘Victorian home’

A Summer Victorian Experience in Granbury, Texas

June 29, 2011

Granbury, Texas Victorian Home on a Summer Morning

As a vacationing Texas school teacher, I refuse to give in to the hot summer doldrums.  Yes, today was another triple-digit day, with plenty more in sight.  Nevertheless, I set set my sights on yet another plein air excursion that would take me 226 miles down hot Texas roads, and would burn up the entire day.  But by day’s end I consider the excursion worth it, though I’m bone tired as I post this.

I hadn’t visited Granbury in a little over a year, never forgetting what a good experience it was, watercoloring in that Victorian town.  Though this Victorian was built only eleven years ago, it has that delightful “look” that holds my gaze and makes me want to paint.  Fortunately there was a huge tree throwing its shadow across the cross street, and I found the morning temperatures (in the shade) to be quite pleasant for the painting experience.  Granbury is a friendly town, and the neighbor to this residence walked down the street to greet me and to visit for awhile.  He gave me excellent background to the architecture surrounding me, and I hope to get back before long to paint the rest of the neighborhood with its beautiful architecture, fencing and landscaping.

After about 90 minutes, I decided that this one was finished enough and that it was time to find some lunch and move on to the next painting.  That would turn out to be in Hico, Texas.  That painting I’ll reserve for the next post.

Thanks for reading.


Colorful Victorian Home, Third Day of Waxahachie Paint-Out

May 29, 2011

Victorian Home on a Sunday Morning in Waxahachie

Today was the third day of the Paint Historic Waxahachie event.  I rose early this morning and drove straight to the town, looking for beautiful historic homes bathed in sunlight.  This was my choice today.  It turned out to be an excellent choice, as the wonderful residents of the home came out several times, bringing me cold bottles of water and fruit drinks.  The sun got brutal long before I finished, and had it not been for their wonderful hospitality, I probably would have stopped to go back the the Ellis County Art Association for bottled water, air conditioning, a comfortable sit-down, etc.!  As it turned out, I was able to stay with the painting and see it through.

I was not successful in matching the colors of the house to my pigments on the paper.  I always hate it when I come up short in that respect.  The house was absolutely gorgeous, and “popped” with color in the sunlight.  I’ll never forget the sensations I felt when I first saw it from my driver’s seat.  I had to turn the Jeep around and come back for a second look, and it only took me that second look to decide to give it a try.  I’m reminded of how the great American painter Edward Hopper often selected compositions to paint, when the said they “put out a call.”  He felt invited to enter that space and create a work of art.  That was exactly how I felt early this Sunday morning.  And the residents greeting me pleasantly and offering me cold beverages made it all the better.

Thank you for reading.

Weatherford Victorian Salute

April 24, 2011

Weatherford Victorian Salute (cropped)

Weatherford Victorian Salute (full painting)

It’s nice to sit in a Starbuck’s and relax with coffee as the Easter weekend draws to a close.  I feel the exhaustion of having painted the past three days in a row.  Yesterday was a plein air assault as I dashed to a secluded cemetery and pushed out a pair of watercolor sketches.  The rest of the weekend was spent in my garage/studio, staring at this enormous (by my standards–22 x 28″) watercolor that I began several weeks ago and abruptly abandoned, not knowing how to handle the lawn.  As stated in a prior blog, I photographed this Victorian home in January or February, while en route to the Brazos River in Possum Kingdom to fly fish for rainbow trout.  The winter sun captured my fancy as I saw it playing off this stately hilltop mansion in Weatherford, just west of the courthouse.  It so captivated me that I turned my Jeep around, and navigated the divided highway back around the estate’s property, found a storage facility where I could park my Jeep, and walked back to the property to photograph it with my digital camera.  I really liked the long sprawling hill filling the foreground, thinking of how Edward Hopper created his gorgeous watercolors of these settings in New England.

The house itself did not really create a problem for me–I just was not sure how to render all that winter grass, freshly mowed, but not yet emerald green, and not completely filled in either.  On Friday I pulled the painting back out, and as I listened to Muddy Waters on the turntable, I began chipping away at the lawn, and resumed work on the house which was only about 2/3 completed.  Any time the grass got too wet to paint, I just returned to work on the house, and when the house became sloppy and wet, I returned to the yard.  I have to admit, I got lost in the house, and totally enjoyed the immersion!  So many angles and details on a Victorian home, and all of them so attractive!

The funny thing is, I thought I would be working on this for at least another week, when suddenly, I stepped back from my work, took one more look, and decided to sign it and quit.  I think I did the right thing.  I have lost so many watercolors by overworking them until they collapsed.  I did not want to lose this one.

To ensure that I would not “diddle” further with the painting, I packed it in the portfolio and delivered it to the Weiler House Fine Art Gallery, which fortunately for me was open today.    (  The painting is now being framed and will stay at the Weiler.  I’m pleased that another piece of work has been added to my one-man-show to open in September.

Thanks for reading.

Plein Air Painting at the Art Festival

April 9, 2011

Granbury, Texas Victorian Home

Day Two of the Kennedale, Texas Art in the Park is in the books.  The day was successful on every level.  I completed two watercolor sketches of Victorian homes, using early plein air studies I had made.  The other painting I forgot to take out of my portfolio (it’s tucked inside my booth overnight).  The wind gusts exceeded 40 mph, making my booth act like a kite.  Fortunately everything is nailed, stapled, tied, wired or taped in place.  Nothing went anywhere.  Nothing flew.  Nothing broke.  Still the winds were a nuisance.  The conversations throughout the day were priceless.  Never before have I had so many friends, associates and patrons from former festivals come through my booth today.  Indeed, the chats made the twelve-hour day pass quite quickly.  Sales were excellent too (sold three original watercolors, in addition the reproductions, greeting cards, etc.)  And hopefully I’ve formed many new friendships.  Most of these people I would love to see again, and hope that that indeed will happen.

Oh yeah, the painting!  I did this one exclusively from a palm-sized Winsor & Newton watercolor field box.  I have grow to love this little piece of equipment, and keep re-ordering the cakes that get used up.  My palette thereby is extremely restricted, but I love the color schemes that come out of that restriction.  With all the interruptions that occurred throughout the day, I think it’s fair to say that I have about 45 minutes worth of painting put into this one, and I’m nearly ready to sign off on it.  I like the freshness of these quick sketches, and certainly like leaving some of the subject blank.

Another late night.  Another day of the show tomorrow.  To bed.

Thanks for reading.

Painting outside in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, June 14, 2010

June 14, 2010

Eureka Springs Victorian House

This is a rough watercolor sketch en plein air that I created while the students at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts watched.  The heart of it was done in 45 minutes.  The embellishments were added as the day continued to unfold and the students busied themselves in their own paintings of the same subject.  When I have more time, I will record the riches that I gleaned from working with these students–seven in all, and every last one of them focused and driven to study plein air techniques and explore new methods of watercoloring.  I wish I could have spent a month with them, they were that stimulating.

This particular structure is found on Spring Street in the historic section of Eureka Springs.  The owner of the establishment was a real treasure, offering my class full use of her facilities (dining, air conditioning, restrooms, etc.).  She made all the difference in the world, as we were working under an extreme humidity factor for two days at this location.

J. M. Alderice House, Waxahachie, June 2, 2010

June 2, 2010

J. M. Alderice House, Waxahachie

Today again was extremely hot and humid.  However, I could not stop staring at this house and the sunlight glancing off it.  I spent the first hour with the sun chasing me across the vacant lot adjacent the house!  Drawing was difficult as was painting and continually moving my chair and supplies.  Finally the sky clouded over, cool breezes stirred, and I could settle into this and enjoy it more.  The wet-on-wet got away from me several times.  But nevertheless–it is a spontaneous watercolor sketch with many accidents–some of them good ones, it turned out.  Overall, I’m glad with how it turned out.  Two hours and 15 minutes time total.

Thanks for reading.

A Sweltering Afternoon en Plein Air, May 29, 2010

May 29, 2010

Waxhachie 412 W Marvin

After a 90-minute Quick Draw competition, followed by by a 30-minute cataloguing session, followed by a 90-minute auction, followed by a one-hour lunch, chat, and paperwork on recent paintings at the Ellis County Art Association, Chris Toplyn and I drove over to West Marvin Avenue and took a good look at this gorgeous historic Victorian home. We decided to give it a shot.  I had no idea what I was climbing into!  I drew for 45 minutes (doing more erasing than drawing!).  Then I began laying down the washes, finally the dry brush detailing.  The humidity and 97-degree afternoon was sweltering in the shade!

However, the fabulous residents of this home came out and treated Chris and me as though we were royal guests, with cold drinks, fabulous conversation and very encouraging affirmations.  Our heart-felt thanks goes out to Rudy Mikula and his wife Jackie Montejano.  They really made us welcome.

After three hours, I decided that I had gone about as far as I could with this one.  With cooler temperatures, a more comfortable stool (and minus all that flurry of morning activity!) perhaps I could have given this a couple more hours of scrutiny.  I thoroughly enjoyed working on it.  But alas, the fatigue factor.  I rose at 7:00 this morning, and now sit here at 7:41 this evening, totally whipped.  I can hardly see to type this.

Thanks for reading.  I can’t wait for tomorrow!  I’ll post faithfully every day as I continue this Historic Waxahachie Paint Out.