Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rock Island and Katy Depots

Another in a series of depot paintings in Waxahachie. I set up shop in the shady breezeway of the old Rock Island Depot looking south towards the Katy. My first plein air in several weeks. 

The trains still roll between these two architectural gems. They just don't stop anymore. How I wish they did. And I would gladly trade the Hell-a-shish horn of the freight train for the quaint sound of a steam locomotive. I don't blame them for using them, what with i-pods and car speakers keeping people from hearing them. But they are beyond belief loud. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Greeting card sized watercolor for my Step-Father, J.D. Littlejohn. Painted  from memory - the restored Katy Depot in Waxahachie. I've painted it so many times that photo references are not necessary.

This only took a few minutes... which is less time than it would take to go to Target and find one. Hallmark, Schmallmark!

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

House Across the Street

I set up my easel on the front porch to paint my neighbors house during the Paint Out last week. Built in 1910, their home was one of five on tour for the annual Gingerbread Trail.

Another artist friend of mine, Ted Clemens, set up while I was painting and I decided to include him in my composition, though he appears to be about 40 pounds heavier here. His painting from this outing sold to the mother of the homeowners and I'm sure it will grace the walls of their home for many years. Ted is an excellent oil painter that I have enjoyed spending time with over the last three years. He won First Place during this year's competition.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Signing Your Masterpiece

For as long as I can remember I've been obsessed with trying to find the perfect way to sign my art. It may sound like an insignificant task. I mean, how hard could it be, right? Well, I have several paintings that I like well enough, but I can't stop thinking to myself when I look at them that I could have done a better job on the name.  I know for a fact that there are artists out there that are intimated by the whole process. Worried that they might mar an otherwise beautiful artwork with a distracting eyesore in the corner that just won't go away. Signatures should never be the focal point of your painting, good or bad unless your name is Oprah.

Most artists tend to have signatures that evolve over the years. This is a good thing. As our talents evolve, so should our brand. And they can often give you a good idea of a timeline for when it was created. Over the years I've gone from strange looking stylized letters of impossible legibility, to simply signing my everyday signature in pencil. Within the last year, I think I've settled upon a style that I will keep for a while. It's a style that I can replicate with ease using a rigger brush and you can actually read it without much effort. The timing for the change is probably good because I feel like I'm evolving my style lately. The only problem is that now I have to change my heading logo above and get some new business cards.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Best in Show - 2011 Paint Historic Waxahachie

Tonight was the Awards presentation for the week-long Paint Historic Waxahachie Plein Air competition. I'm happy to post that my watercolor Tin Roof Monday won Best in Show.

This whole event was a lot of fun. Not only winning an award, but getting to talk with fellow artists about our experiences throughout the week and enjoying some great bar-b-que in a wonderful setting inside the historic Chautauqua building in Getzendaner park.

Previous awards for this show:
2010 Honorable mention (Rogers Street Bridge)
2009 Honorable mention (Main Street House)


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Paint Historic Waxahachie Plein Air Event - Painting #1

This was my first painting of the 2011 Paint Historic Waxahachie plein air competition. I took a day of vacation and on Friday afternoon I set up across the street from this old freight depot near downtown. I call this "Non-stop Destination". 12" x 16" watercolor on 140# Arches cold press.

It was very windy, as it was for the entire  4 days I painted for this year's event. But my new easel held up great against 40 mph gusts. I felt like this turned out pretty well so I was encouraged to trek on. The next morning was the "Quick Draw" event on the square with several other participants. After 90 minutes of painting we were required to stop and place them up for bid during a silent auction within the confines of the local Farmers Market. A truly silent auction, as in very few people around to bid because of the extremely windy conditions. Pottery blowing over and shattering, canopies flying away. Quite a scene. My quick draw wasn't finished and I wasn't thrilled with it but someone did bid on it.