This is a corner of one of the adobe farmhouses that are still standing (more or less) in Big Bend National Park. It’s the first in a projected series that has as it’s theme the contrast between the right angles and geometry of man-made structures and the shapes of the surrounding landscape. A right angle, regardless of how eroded it is, makes me think of the person who must have made it, and what it might have been like to be that person in that place. As I envision the series, they will all be based on historic structures in Big Bend.
Adobe Corner – 14 x 11 inches, watercolor on gessoed paper, $308.00
This is another in a series of dogwalk landscapes. You can see a nine patch quilt pattern from underlying layers in some areas.
Little Shrine – 10 x 10 inches, acrylic on panel.
I’m very grateful to Juror Bob Burridge for selecting my painting for the Naomi Brotherton Award out of an exhibition that included many outstanding and respected artists. Being recognized as Best of Show is a real honor. I found out about a week ago and still haven’t stopped smiling!
The painting is based on an old oil station in Jefferson, Texas, where the watercolor group had a paint out in the spring. My plein air effort was a failure, but the light and shadow shapes were so compelling that I tried it again in the studio. This painting was the result.
Faded Star, 21 x 14 inches, watercolor and gouache on gessoed paper.
So far my theater paintings have been at least partly gouache. This one, however, was done with watercolor only, using a wipe out technique. I really like working in a reductive way, so that the paint I take off is just as important as the paint I leave on.
This theater had a Zumba poster on the marquee. I’m not sure whether it is out of use or if they really hold Zumba classes inside.
Shoo Fly – 9×12 inch acrylic on panel
This piece continues the series of houses in my neighborhood, ones I see every day walking the dog. This one happens to be right across the street from my front door. I embedded a patchwork quilt pattern in the early layers of this one, a reference to the kind of home life that might have been anticipated by any of the people that have ever lived in the house. Shoo Fly is the name of the patchwork pattern.
White Rock Elder 1, 11.5 x 8 inches, watercolor on gessoed rag paper
Here’s another piece done with the same technique as the previous one. It’s all watercolor, even though it doesn’t look like it. It’s the acrylic ground that makes the paint behave so differently.
White Rock Lake is close to my house, and I have in mind a series on the older trees that ring it. This one is the first.
Faded Star – 21×14 inches, gouache and watercolor
I’ve neglected my website and blog even though I’ve been posting on Facebook and Instagram. It’s high time to do a little catching up.
Lately I’ve been doing some water media work where the removal of paint is just as important in the process as putting it on. Faded Star is a good example. The paper support was primed with acrylic gesso before sloshing on a combination of watercolor and gouache paints. Then portions were blotted away to create the image. The gesso and method of applying the paint introduces more unpredictability and encourages intuitive working. Starting with a mess and reacting to it has always been a favorite way of working.
This old oil station is one I encountered on one of the Watercolor Society paintouts. I believe it is located in Jefferson, Texas.
In the month of February I will be in a group show with many of my sketching buddies. It’s being held at the TVAA gallery, 700 N. Pearl, in Dallas. If you happen to be in the area, I would love to see you at the reception on Feb. 3, 2-4.
All of the pieces I will be showing are scenes or details from my neighborhood. Nothing is more than three miles from my house, and most of the subjects were found when I was walking the dog…so they are very close to home.
This watercolor is one of them. I loved the way the prickly pear on this house’s front step melted into the shadows, and the way the shadows of the corner, overhang, and hedge all merged to form one shape.
Invito – 8×8 inch watercolor – NFS
Last blog post I was planning a personal 30×30 challenge and here are the results. The intent was to experiment with watermedia every day, and I did a little of that, but mostly I ended up with studies for things I intend to paint again in a more considered way – those are the suburban landscapes.
The ones that are more experimental are numbers 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, and 19. There is a lot to consider in them about what worked, what didn’t, and why. Experiments are heaps of fun because they are done purely for the experience. If they end up being worth presentation, that is a rare bonus. Usually they suffer from “too muchness”. Too bright, too design-y, too incoherent, too unresolved. However, they are excellent dress rehearsals for do-overs that can take me in a bit of a different direction.
I always struggle with color because I always seem to end up going overboard even though I want to keep the color subtle. #18 and #23 are the closest to the way I want to use color right now. I’m glad that a few got close to the mark!
Number 10 has about the right amount of looseness. That is another difficult target.
There were a couple of do-overs within the 30 because I just couldn’t walk away from a motif when I missed the mark. And the one figure piece because that was the only watermedia I had worked on that day. It was included even though it didn’t really fit with the rest. Even the food court still life has more in common with the landscapes than the figure.
Putting them all together like this really helps in evaluating the individual pieces. I have got to get a wall in the studio fixed up soon so that I can view things side by side in real life!
This is another of the little waterfalls surrounded by Japanese maples in the Dallas Arboretum. The trees have started their springtime explosion of color while the sky and background still have their moody and somber winter look. This is an optimistic painting of renewal.
Garden Falls – 6×6 inch oil on panel, $108 plus $10 shipping and handling
Available for purchase through my Daily Paintworks gallery.