Posts Tagged ‘Waxahachie Texas’

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.


Lazy Afternoon at Zula’s Coffee House. Last Day of Waxahachie Plein Air Competition

June 2, 2011

Lazy Afternoon at Zula's Coffee House, Waxahachie, Texas

Today marks the end of the plein air competition in Waxahachie (for me).  The deadline for entering work is tomorrow (Friday) at 2:00, and I will be stuck in school for the entire day.  The last week of public school is a total waste of time and resources, if I may offer my frank opinion.  Prime time every day this week has been spent in a high school where everyone–student and teacher alike–has already mailed it in.   I’m happy that I managed to crank out seven paintings since last Friday–six of them between Friday and Monday, and then the past three days on this one (again, prime time spent in school, and left-over, late-afternoon time, painting).

Zula’s Coffee House is my favorite place to land when I’m in Waxahachie, Texas.  Terra, the proprietor, has this way of making any patron comfortable and grateful for setting up in this coffee haven, any time day or night.  It has become a popular venue for folk singing, book discussions and various other small group activities.  Wi-Fi makes it a great place to work on the laptop when deadlines are pressing.  The coffee house is located on Business Highway 287, on the north side of downtown Waxahachie (Main Street).  It is far enough away from the town square to escape the traffic noises of midday, and has a life of its own (which the town square lacks after 5:00 p.m.).  The open meadow across the street provides plenty of space for anyone with an active eye and a dreamy imagination.  During the fall of last year, I painted the meadow in all the bright colors that the late afternoon sun yielded.  Again, this is a sweet spot to land for anyone who is a lover of art, books, music and of course, coffee!

Thanks Terra for a very rewarding three days.  I’m glad I finally got around to painting this splendid venue.

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.

Fly Fishing on the Brazos Watercolor Sketch Finished

February 27, 2011

Fly Fishing the Brazos

I decided to add a diminutive fly fisherman working the currents in the lower left-hand corner of this sketch.  If I decide he doesn’t “work out,” then I’ll crop him out when I mat and frame the composition.  I’m glad to have another watercolor sketch “in the box,” and delighted that I had yesterday’s outing/odyssey.  But now I’d like to finish up that Eureka Springs BIG painting.  I’m getting kind of tired of looking at it and want to sign it off and drop it off.

Thanks for reading.


Autumn Afternoon at Zula’s Coffee Shop Waxahachie, Dec. 17, 2010

December 17, 2010

Waxahachie Autumn Afternoon

Finally out of school for Christmas vacation!  I am pretty backed up–I have completed a number of watercolors and have many more in-progress, but haven’t found quality time to blog any of them.  Too many school responsibilities as the semester comes to a close.

One afternoon, at the height of the fall season, I traveled south to Waxahachie, Texas.  There was some art business to wrap up at the Ellis County Art Association.  I always love to stop at Zula’s Coffee House, now located on the north side of town on Business Route 287.  As the afternoon light began to fade, I saw this fabulous meadow across the highway from the coffee shop and decided to sit at a picnic table outside and try to capture it before the light was gone.  The wind made things pretty difficult, and the darkness came quickly.  Fortunately I had taken a decent digital photo of the site.  I returned to the site one more time to tweak the plein air colors in the foliage.  Then I took this painting out to my garage to paint in the pure light of the afternoons, looking at an 8 x 10 print I made of the photo.  I’m happy with how it finally came out.  Texas has had a lengthy and comparatively colorful autumn this year.  I find these rare, and am very grateful that I got out a number of times this season to capture the colors and light.

Thanks for reading.

Best of Show, Paint Historic Waxahachie, June 4, 2010

June 4, 2010

Best of Show Waxahachie

I still cannot believe it–Best of Show at this year’s Paint Historic Waxahachie.  After eight mostly sweaty days and nine watercolors produced, I’m deeply grateful to be given this.  The quality of the overall show overwhelmed me this year, with 55 artists taking part and creating over 200 paintings.  The quality and professionalism of the work displayed throughout the exhibition space knocked the wind out of me.  I’m honored to be included in this rank of painters, and proud that I got to spend time talking with them and looking at their craft.  This is a moment I’ll always remember and cherish.

Last Day of the Waxahachie Paint Out, June 3, 2010

June 3, 2010

Stop, Look and Listen

The last day of painting for the Waxahachie Paint Out brought overcast skies and marvelously cool breezes.  I could have stayed all day.  Chris Toplyn joined me and we had the good fortune of meeting up with Gaylord O’Con from Dallas.  The three of us painted the entire afternoon, enjoying the cool, along with the mutual encouagement.  It’s been a great week in Waxhachie.  I’ve managed to kick out eight watercolors, and definitely feel drained from the endeavors.

Thanks for reading.

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 Hot Afternoon at Trackside, June 1, 2010

June 1, 2010

Waxahachie Trackside

Another extremely hot day, nearing triple digits.  Today was the official last day of school.  The next two days will be final exams.  I’m nearing the end of the school term, but also nearing the end of the Paint Historic Waxahachie event.  The event ends Friday at 2:00, which means Thursday evening for me, since Friday is a teacher’s workday at school all day.

My friend Chris was under the weather from the grueling schedule and harsh weather.  So I traveled solo to Waxhachie today, arriving around 2:00 after finishing my school responsibilities.  I decided to do this trackside structure, two blocks southeast of the town square.  I feel that I did some “hack work” since I’ve done these kinds of structures before.  This looks similar to a Decatur painting I completed last summer.  The bottom line: there was no real discovery for me in this work.  No risk.  Nothing new.  Just another painting that I seemed to “whip out for the trade.”  Perhaps it is.  My objective this week is to experiment in plein air, but also to create as many works as possible for sales or at least inventory replenishment.  I guess the heat was so unbearable that I just wanted to get another watercolor piece completed, and hope for better conditions tomorrow for painting.

It was good to get home earlier this evening.  I have a mountain of school work to complete, and hope to get to bed early enough to get decent sleep so that tomorrow I can get through the schoolwork and return to Waxhachie with enough energy to do some decent work.  Maybe I’ll get two paintings accomplished tomorrow–I hope to anyway.

Thanks for reading.

Trolley Car in Waxahachie, Texas, May 31, 2010

May 31, 2010

Coffee House Trolley, Waxahachie, Texas

I went to work on this vintage trolley car parked illegally on Main Street outside Zula’s Coffee House in downtown Waxahachie.  The sun grew hotter and the humidity worsened.  Consequently I have little to say about this one.  The quality of light was such that I had trouble separating the trolley from the building behind it.  Both were in the same value range, and I just couldn’t seem to fake it by inventing shadows and such.  I usually stay pretty true to what my eye can see.  At any rate, I guess it’s better to have a watercolor than not to have one.  It’s my sixth watercolor now in four days.  I feel like a bricklayer, I’m so tired as I type this.  The heat, humidity and constant watercoloring and daily drives to and from Waxahachie are beginning to wear me down.  I hope I’ll find some stamina and continue pushing these out (but I would like for them to improve!).

Nevertheless, I do indeed look forward to tomorrow’s plein air adventure.  Unfortunately, I have to go to school first.