Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Purple Door

Purple Door, 9 x 12

A group from Laurel Daniel's last plein air class has been meeting for Wednesday paintouts over the last several weeks. This morning we were invited to paint at a beautiful old German farmhouse in central Austin, built in the 1800s. The couple who owns it has, over the years, created a unique setting with an amazing variety of flora, stone walkways and large antique artifacts arranged throughout the property. As the weather in central Texas continues to warm, the lush shade here makes it all the more attractive to plein air painters.

By the way, today I painted from the center out, ala Richard Schmid. Hence, the large unfinished areas around the edges. The reason for doing it this way is that there was so much going on visually at this site,  this offered a way to isolate an area of interest.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

San Gabriel Park

San Gabriel Park, 6 x 8

PAA painted in Georgetown this morning, at the town park along the San Gabriel River. Though there were plenty of picnickers, the slow moving river and overcast skies kept the feeling very low key.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Enough Time To Play

Complements To Bull Creek, 6 x 8

This morning, a group of us met to paint along Bull Creek. Knowing I wouldn't have as much time as usual today, I decided to bring a small board and some pallet knives and just have fun.

I like the abstract quality of pallet knife paintings, and in this case I added to the abstraction by painting the simplified forms in the complements of their actual color. (Actually, here I used split complements, which gives you more colors to choose from, and theoretically still allows the colors to work in harmony.)
I found this a fun way to try something a little different.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Holding Back

Holding Back, 9 x 12

This painting was a long time in completing. The subject is from our last Plein Air Austin paintout of April, at Mansfield Dam. I blocked in the main shapes and colors and not much more while on site and hadn't gotten back to it until today. I think I knew I had a big challenge ahead of me to make this complex structure both believable and compelling. Overall, I'm happy with how it turned out and something close to elated to have it behind me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Silent Path

Silent Path, 6 x 6
Plein Air Austin had its paintout this morning at a place called Wizard Academy in Driftwood. An unusual name, as is the place itself. It is a marketing academy, but the grounds are very Zen-like, lots of quiet, beautiful surroundings. It seemed more designed for spiritual retreats, complete with an open-air chapel, but apparently that's not the case. In any event, they were very happy to have us out, and that included my dog, Major, which we both appreciated very much.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Old Driftwood

Old Station Driftwood Texas, 8 x 10
click to purchase

This morning, Plein Air Austin met in Driftwood, about twenty miles southwest of Austin. This gas station is one I recently drove by, so I was glad PAA had a paintout scheduled here. While painting today, a former local, who was attending a church fair on the property I was painting from, came up to chat. It turned out he was a third generation Driftwood resident who knew all about this Texaco station. To him, this was once a johnny-come-lately. He remembered that, as a boy, before it was an old gas station, it was Driftwood's post office. Learning this might explain the sign overhanging the front steps, which reads,"Driftwood Elev. 1045. " Signs like this were typical identifiers at old postal stops. On the other hand, it might be that as gasoline was first becoming available to rural America, some old post offices in the narrowest of wide spots in the road might have taken on double duty for some time. I wonder if this was one of them.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Right Turn

Right Turn, 6 x 8
This is the last of the paintings from the PAA retreat, done Sunday morning before Laurel and Julie headed back to Austin. The water here looks muddy, but being the Guadalupe, it is actually very clear. The brownish color is from the reflections of the ledge faces in the early morning sun.