Monday, January 13, 2014

#142 Roadside Tree - plein air

Plein air from this past weekend. Painting with several other artists in rural Ellis County near Five Points, including Doug Clark, Olivette Hubler, Nancy Bozeman, Tina Bohlman, Steve Miller and DeBob Jacobs.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

#141 Leans To The Left - plein air

9x12 oil on gessobord
Another example of really nice folks living in rural Ellis County, after a few of us had set up to paint along a fairly busy country road near Five Points, the owner of the property pulled up and offered to open her gate for us to go inside for a better (and safer) location. All we had to do was lock it up when we were done. My friend Doug left her a nice thank you note on the barn door.

The only inhabitant of the place appeared to be an overly friendly white cat that was quite taken by Mary Rabien's petting skills, leaving her with only one free hand to paint.

My first attempt at painting this "lean-to" was not so great so I wiped it and began a smaller version. With not much sunlight left in the day I quickly established my local color and ended up finishing this in about 45 minutes.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Closing Out 2013 en plein air

#140 Winter Bales - 11x14 oil on canvas panel
Over the Christmas holidays the weather was good enough to work in two days of plein air painting in rural Ellis County. I, along with several other artists from the area, eventually settled on the thriving community of Five Points, which is about 6 miles southwest of Waxahachie.

The best thing about these two outings was just discovering how beautiful this area is since I have never really explored it since moving here in 1997. Lots of rolling plains, rich farmland, an old cotton gin, white rock creeks, barns, open vistas and the very beginnings of the caliche escarpment that runs from Cedar Hill to Austin. That ridge forms a nice blue backdrop to the area that reminds one of the Texas Hill Country.

The people in the area seem to be quite friendly and interested in our "intrusion of culture" in their very peaceful community. One farmer stopped and told me he thought I was out there "grilling burgers." Once he saw what we were doing he seemed very interested in purchasing some of our art since he's a collector and even offered to let us paint on his property. "I'll even grill you some burgers" he told me.

#139 Five Points Cotton Gin - 12x9 oil on canvas panel
 Mary Rabien, a fellow artist and good friend, was talking to a man that lived across from the Five Points Cotton Gin Co-op and found that he was a little confused about us wanting to paint the gin... not realizing that we didn't want to actually paint the building itself, with buckets of Sherwin-William exterior.  Maybe a nice creamy yellow satin.

Along that line of confusion, the owners of the hay field where I was painting had heard that some artists were painting their hay bales. Laughter ensued when they finally figured out we had no desire to paint the bales themselves, though I suppose stranger things have been called art. Such is the way of plein air painting and interaction with people, which simply enriches the whole experience. Just one more reason that I love plein air so much because of the story behind the painting that happens more times than not.