Posts Tagged ‘Winesburg Ohio’

East Texas Plein Air, June 18, 2010

June 18, 2010

Grand Saline, Texas

Friday morning, I headed to east Texas with Gaylord O’Con, a painting buddy I’ve recently met.  The temperatures again soared to triple digits, but we got an early start on the morning, leaving Dallas around 6:00 a.m.  We first settled beside this abandoned cotton gin.  I wanted to capture some of the dynamics of the huge tree shrouded in shadow in front of the gin, along with the railroad crossing behind it.

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.

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.

Thinking of Edward Hopper, May 30, 2010

May 30, 2010

819 Main Street Waxahachie

Edward Hopper was quoted as saying “All I wanted to do was paint the sunlight on the side of a house.”

I had my “Edward Hopper” moment this morning as I cruised Main Street in Waxahachie, Texas, searching for something to paint en plein air. I saw the facade of this vacant house peeking out from the heavily shaded foliage of the trees out front, and I had to leap out of the Jeep and try to capture it.

Thirty minutes into the experience, the sun found me.  Like a stooge, I failed to note that I was seated on the western side of the trees that had formed such a nice canopy over my sidewalk.  Thanks to the width of Main Street, I realized to my chagrin that I would spend the rest of the time under the sun.  The temperature rose into the high 90’s and the humidity was fierce.  I developed a headache.

Two hours and fifteen minutes into the project, I decided that I had done about all I could do without becoming sun-sick.  I’m glad at least I used sunblock while I was out in it.  I would like to return to a subject such as this, and spend more time developing the foliage overhead and flowers underneath.  I would have done it today, but alas, I’m a wimp when it comes to Texas heat.

Thanks for reading.  I decided to call it a day after this one.  I’ll begin again in the morning when it is cooler, and see how many watercolors I can get done as the day unfolds.  Today was just too hot and miserable for quality painting.

First Plein Air attempt in McKinney, Texas May 1, 2010

May 4, 2010

605 College Street, McKinney, Texas

This is the first of four attempts I made at plein air watercolor sketching in McKinney, Texas, May 1.  My following three blogs piece together the entire story.  It was a splendorous day for painting in the open air, and by the time I finished my 4th painting, I was exhausted.  But it was a “good” exhausted.  I felt like a weary fisherman, bringing home his stringer of fish by day’s end.  I have another plein air event scheduled for Granbury, Texas weekend-after-next.  I’m already rested from the McKinney excursion, and cannot wait for Granbury.

McKinney, Texas plein air activity, Saturday, May 1

May 4, 2010

601 College Street, McKinney, Texas

The blog post following this one tells the whole story of my plein air activity in McKinney, Texas on May 1.  It was organized by the Southwestern Watercolor Society.  This watercolor sketch is the second of four that I created on that day.  I had finished the first painting by 10:15, and began this one around 10:30, finishing it just before noon.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous and the historic homes and properties were full of color.  I especially delighted in the juxtaposition of the rock and brick facade colors of this historic home against the deep, deep green shadows forming on the property just to the right.  The Garrett Art Gallery at 111 E. Virginia (on the town square) provided a space for us to hang our work to be judged.  I was delighted (and quite surprised) to be awarded First Place.  There were scores of magnificent works cranked out that day by twenty-two watercolorists.

The Garrett Art Gallery will be hanging this painting, framed, along with other framed works created that day by the other artists in a special exhibition to be held July 10 through August 12.  My three other watercolor sketches will be matted,  shrink-wrapped, and placed in bins in the gallery as well.  All work will be up for sale.

Thanks for reading.

Some Plein Air Activity in McKinney, Texas May 1, 2010

May 4, 2010

Residence, 508 Tucker St., McKinney, Texas

May 1 proved to be a beautiful day for getting out and engaging in plein air watercolor activity.  The Southwestern Watercolor Society set aside the day for just that.  I rose at 6:00 that morning, and made the 90-minute drive to the historic town, and immediately found College and Tucker streets lined with historic homes bathed in the morning light.  This one, actually, I began after lunch, so it was bathed in afternoon light!  The owner found me on College Street painting another home (one I will post in a separate article), and told me of this house, built in 1894.  Tom, an optometrist living in Colleyville, still owns this house where he grew up.  His parents acquired it (I believe) around 1947.  A student of architecture once told him that it is a Victorian style, visited by Colonial Revival and forecasting Arts and Crafts.  Quite an eclectic mix.

I found this composition very enjoyable in the making, until the sun came out and bore down on me (I don’t “do sun” very well).  So, I took several digital photographs of the house in the event that I take another run at it.  As for this sketch, I took it to cooler environs (shadow side of the McKinney courthouse) that afternoon, and modified it by adding an arrangement of violets and greens to the shadows.  The actual house is gray with maroon corbels, and very attractive.  However, my watercolor sketch turned out very drab gray, with corbels that didn’t quite match the burgundy that I admired.  Adding the cool colors to the shadows improved it somewhat.  I think I might have some further plans for this, in some additional sketches.  We’ll see.

Thanks for reading.