Sunday, September 25, 2011

Back to the Fort Worth Stockyards

Bill Pickett Sculpture
8 x 10
oil on canvas
Saturday my friends and I returned to the Fort Worth Stockyards to paint. We had  a great group. including Chase Almond, Olivette Hubler, Sabine Higgins, Steve Miller, Hai Chi Lee, Janice Weaver, Trish Davidson Wise, George De Chiara, Margie Whittington and her friend Connie (I don't remember Connie's last name.) The weather was great for being outdoors and some great art was created by my friends. I began two paintings and finished neither of them although I'm going ahead and posting one of them. The one I'm posting is a life sized, or larger, sculpture of the famous African American Cowboy, Bill Pickett. It needs some more work still but there are some things that I like about it anyway. I  went back today to work on it some more and instead I started a third painting. (As if I needed more paintings to work on.)
One of the cowboys and horses  that I may use as the model for my sculpture.
One of the things that we like about the Stockyards is that there is so much to paint. There are cowboys and cowgirls in authentic 1800s gear performing twice daily cattle drives at 11:30  and 4:00. During the cattle drive the street is cleared and the cattle are hearded down Exchange Street as tourists from around the world watch and take photos.
The very orderly cattle drive.
The longhorns know the routine and walk placidly down the middle of the street. There are some really great looking steers in the herd. I've sculpted and sketched them many times. However  after talking to the cowboys about their gear I'm kind of thinking I may try to sculpt a mounted cowboy. I've never sculpted a horse so this will probably be a long slow process.
View of Exchange Street
The architecture is really interesting in the Stockyards. Some of the most distinctive architecture in the city is found in this area. There are lots of great colors and shapes. It is a lot of fun seeing how different artists interpret it.
Fort Worth Livestock Exchange
One of the most beautiful buildings is the livestock exchange with its Spanish arches, red tile, and cupola. It has a nice green lawn with shade trees in front where everything from armadillo races to pony rides occur.

In addition to watching the cattle drive, visitors can sit on a longhorn for a photo.. And of course nothing says Texas more than a Cadilac with leather seats and longhorns on the front!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

On my own in the Botanical Gardens

Pots of Color
8 x 10
oil on canvas
     Anyone who knows me knows that when I paint out I usually have a group along, but today I went out to the Botanical Gardens on my own. (I probably will do a bit  more on this painting, but if I wait until then it might not get posted until next weekend.) It was a bit warm today since I didn't have much shade but I enjoyed it. I chose these pots because of their shapes and the colors of the flowers in them. (I decided to paint them last weekend when I was at the Art in the Garden Show and I think they had more blooms then.)

My subject before I took some liberties with it.
      The good thing about planting in pots is that you can add color to almost any spot . Plus it is easier to keep them watered than large beds, especially in times of drought,  like this year.
Monarch butterfly
    As I painted I noticed that there were lots of monarch butterflies flying around. I haven't seen any butterflies in quite a while. Every year the monarchs migrate across our state on their way to Mexico. It is one of the signs of fall, and something I always  look forward to, just like the long v formations of ducks and geese that will be heading south later.

Hibiscus in the center pot.
      Hibiscus are one of the plants that do so well in pots. They have large blooms and come in a variety of colors including red, yellow, pink, and peach. The bad thing about them in my opinion is that the blooms don't last very long and if you don't bring them in they will freeze in the winter. I  think there may be some now that are more hardy.

View of the garden. The best thing about this photo are the puffy white clouds. There is a chance of rain tonight!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Outdoor Painters Society Paintout in Glen Rose

Fall in Glen Rose
8 x 10
oil on canvas
       This weekend the Outdoor Painters Society held a paint out in Glen Rose on Friday and Saturday. I had to work on Friday but I drove down to Dina Gregory's for the barbecue dinner after work. Dina lives just out of Glen Rose in a little place called Eulogy. On the way down we had a pouring rain. It was almost hard to drive in all the rain. Dina has a beautiful log cabin type home in the country . She has huge porches on her house with great views, so many of us chose to eat outdoors and enjoy the rain and cooler temperatures. There were many people there that I didn't know but several that I did including, Sheri Jones, Sabine Higgins, Randy Saffle, David Schultz, Joyce Thomas, Debob Jacob, Tina Bohlman and others. I left quickly after we ate since I didn't want to try to find my way home in the dark in pouring rain.
Me, painting along the Paluxy River.
I drove back on Saturday morning with Cecilia Robertson to paint. We set up along the Paluxy River by the old stone mill, which is the oldest building  north of Waco in Texas. There was a bit of color along the river, as well as some water in it thanks to the rains. Several other artists painted here including Sheri, Sabine, Debob, Olivette Hubler, Carolyn  Cobb, and Christy Kidwell. I saw some great art being painted today.
Me painting along the Paluxy River.
Around lunch time many of the artists went to lunch at the Green Pickle. Cecilia, Debob, and I ate with David Schultz, Linda Schindler, and a lady I didn't know. There were several other tables of artists in the restaurant. I think we all got burgers, they were great. For dessert we all shared the last piece of coconut pie in the restaurant. It was really good, the waitress's "granny" had made it that morning. After lunch, Cecelia and I drove back to Fort Worth. Some of the others continued painting and others went home too. It was a really nice day.
Sabine Higgins packing up as Olivette Hubler paints.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Christmas in Cowtown Donattion

Tandy Hills Snow
6 x 8
oil on panel
     This is a painting I did from a photo I took at the Tandy Hills Park (a little while ago.) After this summer of record heat it still brings back pleasant memories.
     It began to snow heavily as I drove to the park. the flakes were big and wet as I got out of my truck and began to walk around. In no time the snow began to accumulate. I was the only one around and I felt like I was miles from the city. It was beautiful.  Eventually I knew I had to leave before the roads iced over. So I headed home, built a blazing fire, and enjoyed an evening at home.
      So, when I was asked to donate to the Junior League's Christmas in Cowtown I thought this was an ideal painting. The event is in early October when it will probably still be in the 90s. Hopefully this painting will add to the Christmas spirit of the event.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

For God so loved the world.

For God So Loved The World
4.5 x 8.5
I posted this version in wax quite a while ago and it looked pretty similar since the wax was almost this color but here it is in bronze. My goal was to create a piece that was somewhat impressionistic. This is the first figurative piece I've ever cast and I really enjoyed creating it. I don't know that it is a sculpture that will sell but it is one that I wanted to create.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Art in the Garden Show

Southwest Garden
8 x 10
0il on canvas
    This Saturday was Fall Gallery Night in Fort Worth. I participated in Art in the Garden at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. This was the fourth annual show and more people than ever attended. I sold my painting pretty early in the evening.
     I believe this was the best show ever as far as quality. Many of my friends that I paint with were represented in this show including Sheri Jones, Ann Hardy, Olivette Hubler, Beatriz Welch, Darnell Jones, Chase Almond, Carol Ivey, and Jan Bateman. I always enjoy seeing everyone's work together especially when they are similar in subject. It is really great seeing how differently each artist interprets a scene or subject.
Here is my painting and Beatriz's painting.

Here are paintings by Ann, Darnell, two by Olivette, and Jan.

View from the gardens.

More lilies.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Water Garden

Water Garden
5 x 7
oil on canvas panel
    This is a small painting that I started last weekend at the Dallas Arboretum. It was actually the first water lily painting that I did. It isn't as painterly (loose) as I'm going to try to be doing but I went ahead and finished it in the style I began it.
    We didn't reach 100 today so I enjoyed working on it on my patio. We actually are expecting some days to only be in the 80s next week. That will be great. We have water restrictions now. It has been a real struggle to keep things green. Hopefully we will get some rain in the near future. Right now about the only color in my gardens is from my crape myrtles and roses. My favorite rose is an old rose I got from my grandmothers garden when she passed a few years ago. It seems like as long as they have some water they don't mind the heat. Based on singing, my birds, domestic and wild, seemed to be enjoying the break in the heat today as much as I was.
                This is the new dove I bought to keep my old dove company. At first they didn't care for each other
                         much but as I was out painting today I noticed that It seems now like they are getting along much           
        better. I really enjoy hearing their cooing in the morning . It is a cool and relaxing sound to me.

This is one of two antique roses that I brought from my grandmother's garden. It has small pale pink blooms. She often kept them in a vase on her kitchen table.   The other rose I got from her garden has small red blooms, however it isn't in bloom  right now,    One of the things I love about these old roses is that they are so hardy and disease resistant.