Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Calvert Bank

Plein Aire Painting on Main Street in Calvert, Texas. Artists Virginia Vaughan and Barbara discuss painting while participants spread out to paint. This is from where I was sitting in a doorway behind me, out of the wind. You can see part of the bank across the street, with the green canopy. I lightened the photo some so the background colors seem to be a bit washed out.
Main Street, Calvert, Texas from Zamykal Kolache Shop. The bank is on the opposite corner from Larry's Place (Dr. Wade's old office). During the Plein Aire Painting Workshop, some people worked on the balcony upstairs, while others worked on the street corner or across the street. I chose to do the bank from the corner view, along with what was once Mack Rembardt's Furniture Store, with the curved metal overhang. This was just one of several banks that we once had in Calvert.

This was my start at painting the bank on location, or en plein aire. I was struggling with a borrowed French easel that I had not used before and couldn't really figure out what to do with my palette. And, of course, I had to stop and visit a while. As we packed up to go paint the sunset, my "helper", got the palette, with wet paint, jammed into the French easel while closing it incorrectly, we learned. So, I lost the colors that I was using at the time, not to mention causing a big problem in trying to get the palette loose.
The shadows were long across the street at that time of day.
I had been interested, for years, in painting the orange bricks of the bank, with the sunset reflecting in the windows. I'm getting closer! I thought that this study might help toward that end , eventually.
I liked my trees and the hints of windows on the bank. I wasn't too happy with the dark sky, though. I would have carried it out, if I had not lost that color when the palette was cleaned. Since I had to start over with color, I tried for a Cerulean Blue sky that we often see in Texas. I liked that much better to keep the painting light. The darker blue worked well for the shadow on the building and the highway.

This was the next phase of the painting that I did at home. I lightened the sky and added some soft clouds, tried to straighten the edges of the buildings , the sidewalk, and the steps. The uneven edges of the street beside the curb bothered me, but I liked what was happening with the bricks and the highway in front of me. I found some photos of the bank because I knew I was going to need to look at something to put in the overhang and all those windows. I think I made the door too wide, and, with my weird vision, I could have sworn that there was a small curve in between the top facade and the top line of building. When I examined the photos, that small curve is not there, so I had to take that out. and work on the white line around the tops of the buildings.

Amost finished. I'm down to using a toothpick to do the tiny details on the painting! I had to really gather my patience to do all those windows! (I don't think I have a lot of patience!)
This part was dry so I could scan it. Since then, I have added a distant oak tree on the right behind the building. And I added some darker green to indicate the letters on the sign and clock. Like the metal scrollwork under the metal awning, I used a toothpick to add the darker green on the sign and the final tree.
I still plan to use some white for letters on the sign-I think. The green needs to dry a bit before I do that.
I decided to leave off the green canopy over the bank entrance. I think that is a more recent addition. For some reason, when I go to Calvert to sketch or paint, I'm trying to capture the buildings as they were-as I remember them. It's really hard to make myself record the buildings as they are-or even look at them as they are today.
When the finished painting is dry, I will post that, too.
This painting is 7" x 9" and was done in oils.
I hope that you will join us at the next Plein Aire Painting Workshop in Calvert Saturday February 21 and Sunday February 22. Remember that V.... is a finalist for Texas State Artist, so we will be working with one of Texas' outstanding artists.
Let me know if you are interested.
Local author, Kathi Appelt, has been named as one of the Newberry Award winners for her book, "The Underneath". This is such an honor. You can click on Kathi's name in my sidebar under Artists and Authors, and that will take you to her website.
I'm so thrilled for Kathi!
Kathi was instrumental in getting the BVSCBWI chapter started here. (That's Brazos Valley Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators). The national chapter is SCBWI.
And she has come a long way in her own career as a published author, speaker, and workshop presenter.
She is a very special, fun, and nice lady, too! Continued success, Kathi!


BC said...

We are going to have to make sure that you have a larger canvas for the next workshop. Maybe 8x10. Do like the way the Bank turned out.

Cecelia said...

Thanks, BC.