Friday, March 25, 2011

Langford General Store - Big Bend National Park

The Painting - Revisiting an older work from around 1997. This watercolor (14"x18" on 300# Waterford) was created in-studio - the Langford General Store ruins in Big Bend Texas, built circa 1927. This former store/post office is literally in the middle of nowhere, but was a stopping point for visitors seeking the healing waters from local hot springs. Springs That still exist today. A non-native palm tree shades the structure and was probably planted there in the 30s judging from old photos. I've got to figure that this palm must be living off of some underground spring since it's not exactly tropical in this part of Texas.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Paint Gap Hills in Big Bend National Park

The Painting - From 2003 a quick (and tiny) memory sketch (watercolor - 6"x4") of the Paint Gap Hills in Big Bend National Park. This was the view from our primitive camp site in the floor of the Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas. An awesome place to experience nature with no other humans for miles - and stars beyond description. A place so dark at night that car headlights can be seen 15 miles away.

Tip - explore your memory bank for en plein air paintings of the mind. What is french for "in the open mind?"

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Waxahachie M-K-T Depot

The Painting - Another en plein aire of the newly restored Waxahachie M-K-T Depot. The majority of this painting was done last Sunday. I took my son and his bike out there yesterday to finish it. He cheerfully rode around the brick-paved depot while I fought the wind. I'm not really sure what I think about this one. I'm still struggling with too many unimportant details. 

Tip - Don't struggle with unimportant details! Especially distant objects. Squint your eyes and paint what you see, but forget about the other stuff.

People I met - The family photo sessions were out in full force once again. I can't blame them. The weather was perfect.

Finished Painting
Before Reworking Sky
A post note on this. I wasn't happy with the sky (see right image) so I took a chance and reworked it which goes against my Cardinal Rule of leaving the sky alone. But fortunately I used a particular blue that is less staining than others so I was able to wet the paper and remove a lot of the paint. Some of you may think the first sky looks better, but personally I'm glad I reworked it. I also added a few shadows and suggested bricks on the ground.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Hidden Masterpiece

I stumbled across a photo of my son's nursery from 2003. I had painted this landscape with acrylics before he was born. I started out with no idea what I was going to do so I began with the tree in the corner and went on from there. Somehow this image wound up on the front page of the Waxahachie Daily Light that same year, along with an article about my art.  

We sold the house a year later and I've been told that someone painted over it since we moved. Okay, it has been 7 years, but little did they know what a famous artist I would become someday. I'm not sure exactly when that will be but they will rue the day!