Thursday, November 17, 2022

Friday, July 27, 2018

If a Boulder Falls in the Canyon

...and no one is there to hear it - it's probably a good thing. Rocks the size of large trucks falling from 1,500 feet are nothing you want to be near. There is no telling how long ago this thing landed. For perspective it's about 60 feet tall and wide.

This is Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park. I painted this in studio from a photo I took years ago while rafting the Rio Grande. 

Original painting by Kent Brewer
Title: Canyon Solitude
Inventory No.: 0331
Size (inches): 14x11
Media: oil on birch wood
Location: Big Bend NP, Texas
To purchase click here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Stars, Storms and Serenity at Copper Breaks

My son and I recently took a camping trip to Copper Breaks State Park in far north Texas. I didn't bring any painting gear but I did take a camera, hoping for a few reference photos to bring home. The park is probably best known for its spectacular star-gazing which, by itself, is worth the drive. After a we arrived on a Friday night we set up our tent and gear by the light of a lantern, constantly distracted by the astronomical display above us. I couldn't wait to get a fire going so I could relax and enjoy the show which included several meteors. It is impossible to sufficiently describe the beauty of God's creation out here in the middle of nowhere - with "nowhere" being a 21st century definition of a place with no cell service. More on that later.

The first night was as good as it gets, which means that we didn't drive all that way only to settle for an overcast sky. And followed that up the next day with exploring, hiking, eating and relaxation. 

Read More  (this link will take you to my new blog address)

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Senior Pic

This old viaduct, built in 1933, was a spectacular entry into the small town of Waxahachie, Texas. As travelers crossed over its two lanes, high above the road below, the 1895 courthouse loomed a few blocks to the north. I’m sure it was a welcome sight to weary souls looking for a place to eat or rest. And while this experience is still possible (the town looks about the same as it has for over 100 years), things will be changing soon as the viaduct will be torn down and replaced due to some structural issues. I’ve painted this scene several times and will miss having it around. I’m thinking that the new structure won’t have the same appeal. The title of this work, The Senior Pic, is due to the family that walked by my easel on their way to the tracks under the viaduct for a photo op. I was able to capture that moment in the painting. By the way, this is the same location that was filmed in the Oscar-winning movie, Places in the Heart, from the 1980s. Thanks for reading.

The Senior Pic - 9x12 Oil on canvas.



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Make Your Own Paint-Saver Container

This is a handy little gadget that will pay for itself in no time by keeping your oil paint moist for several days.

I like to pre-load my colors using this device before heading out to plein air paint. Then I clip the small palette to my mixing palette as an extension. When I'm done I put the bottle in the freezer for re-use later on. It should keep for several days, if not weeks, depending on your oil brand of choice.

I have to say that you can buy a similar product called a Garage Palette for about $22 if you don't want to go to the trouble of making your own. The Garage Palette website recommends using clove oil to help slow down oxidation so I suppose that a couple of drops on a cotton ball placed under the palette would work just as well. Other oils might also work but I haven't tested any.

What you need:
Thermos Water bottle (about $8)
Back saw (or saw of your choice)
Piece of cardboard or mat board
Wooden palette (preferably used)

First, cut a piece of cardboard or mat to the size you need. This will be your guide for cutting the finished piece.

Don't make it too snug since you may have some paint build up over time that will require you to sand it down.

Cut your wooden palette to size. I used a back saw which worked well.

Super easy and keeps your paint where it belongs.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Roadside Furniture Series

I'm not exactly sure why but there's just something funny to me about roadside furniture. Maybe it's because they sit by the curb so completely out of place, like one of those tuxedo t-shirts. Once a proud possession of its owners, and now sitting in the elements, getting marked by passing dogs and soon to be headed to the dump (or picked up by someone really down on their luck) with it's only value being whatever loose change might still be found under the stained cushions.

It struck me that it might be fun to paint a series of stumbled-upon roadside couches, recliners, love seats and the like, just to see how they might be received in the art world. You just never know what crazy thing might catch on.

Admittedly this will NOT be a plein air series. Can you image the looks I would get from anyone passing by as I seriously paint a 20-year old Lazy Boy?

Roadside Furniture I - 8x10 oil on gessobord