Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Not PC (positionally correct)

Around 1988 while vacationing in Big Bend National Park, I took a slide photo of the J.O. Langford ruins (built c.1927), which are near the Hot Springs along the Rio Grande River.

watercolor from 1997
About 9 years later I painted a large watercolor (left) using that slide as a reference. Amusingly it wasn't until a few weeks ago I realized I had painted the watercolor backwards. The palm tree is actually on the right side of the building. Such are the perils of using slides for references.

By the way, I'm convinced that the palm tree has tapped into one of the springs that the area gets its name from. I stumbled across an old photo of the building from the 1930s showing a small palm tree in this exact location. Palm trees are not normally found in the Chihuahuan Desert. I would not have guessed that a palm could live over 80 years, much less in the extremes of this part of Texas.

My recent rendition is positionally correct this time. And it's an interesting comparison to see a watercolor I did 16 years ago next to a new oil painting from the same photo reference. The people in the oil were family and friends that were actually in the photo (and left out of the watercolor).

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