Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Youth Art Month-Chick One

Chick One
11" x 14"
This was my first "Chicken Clinic" piece, started at the first Plein Aire Painting Workshop in Calvert last October. I've done a little finishing on it, signed it, and I'm calling it finished.
The "Chicken Clinic" is an exercise, designed to loosen up artists and to familiarize them with their palette and painting techniques. It's fast, loose, and free, and begins with shapes.
I had a little trouble because, for one thing, my Max II paints, that clean up with water , dried too fast and they were like painting with sticky chewing gum. Using a lot of turpentine with them, helped that problem some. But they were still hard to move around on the canvas.
You can use various mediums with the Max II paints, the same as you would use for normal oils, so that might help. But, out on location, we just had low odor turpentine.
Another thing that I had problems with was getting up and down out of a chair, to see the demonstrations close up. My knees just don't like that at all! So, I tried to stay put, and see from where I was. I thought I would put all my effort and discomfort into getting up, one final time, when we left the location. And I worried that my chair would turn over, or that I couldn't get up after sitting a while. Still, I thought it best to just stay put and try to see from where I was. (My knees have needed replacing for years, so that is the reason for the problem with getting up and down from a chair.)
My eyes also have problems (wet Macular Degeneration and cataracts), so I don't see colors, lines, or even things as they really are. We started with a sort of oval shape for the head. Then there was this nice curved line, going from the back of the head to the body, which was another larger oval. V...., our instructor came by to check on everyone's progress, and she commented that my curved line made my bird look like an egret, with a curved neck. It turned out that the curved line I seemed to see, was actually a cone, with straight outside edges. No curves. That was just the AMD making me see a curve when none was there.
I fixed it, but you can still see that curve, working in the neck of my rooster!
We got in the basics of the rooster, with most people coming out with a really good looking rooster. I had things placed and colors, but it didn't look a lot like a rooster should!
I thought, "I should have looked at a rooster before I tried to paint one!"
My rooster looks like it came out of one of the old cartoons that we used to see in the movies. The hint of an eye, looked like a cartoon eye, he had a little smirk on his beak, and a nice round cheek. So, after looking at it for a while, I just went with some of the cartoon features that seemed to want to come out. (I know I watched a lot of cartoons at the movies, and read a lot of funny books when I was young!) I defined his eyelid and eye, a little more, added a little more blush in his cheek, lightened his legs to show more against the dark background, added more color in his tail, added the "hangy down thingy" under his beak, and added more lighter red on his wing. Not a lot of changes, but enough to call it finished.
I'm going to have to look at what roosters look like!
The second one was better, and somewhat different. Progress.
Barbara brought me some pictures that she took at the Plein Aire Workshops. I'll add those on my blog, now that I have them scanned. Good thing I scanned them yesterday. A thunderstorm rolled through this morning, so I unplugged the computer. Now, my scanner isn't working-again. Happens everytime I unplug this machine. So far, I've made it work again by unplugging and replugging it in, for a while and, eventually, it starts to work again. A time to get off the computer and do something else, I guess.
Does anyone remember the old club house at the Bryan Municipal golf course-the little lake with the nice dam? I wish they would build that back. I think I found a picture of one that was in Corsicana that looks something like it, but I'm not sure if I am remembering correctly.
I want to paint the little dam, with that nice clubhouse across the lake, at sunset. I always thought that this was such a nice place to go, as we drove by. At that time of day, we could see the men and ladies, going up the steps, dressed in their formals, going to a dance or event at the clubhouse.
I guess that, if I paint it at sunset, it won't matter a whole lot about what color it was, because it would be in shadow, with the sunset behind it. I seem to remember it as being kind of a light grayish brown brick, with wide steps going up to the second floor in front. I can't remember if that led to a terrace, or if that was covered.
The canvas is ready, have a couple of photos we took of the dam, but I can't find the ones we took when the water was running over the dam a few years ago.
I think I need a little different angle on the dam, though.
Another thing that I have been staring at for a while, and "studying on"! I about decided that it might work better to go sit there and paint on location. But... where would I sit? In the car wash across the street, in the middle of a busy street intersection? That's the place I am trying to paint it from. My photos are all a little too far over so I don't see part of the dam. And, of course, the clubhouse was torn down long ago and replaced with something that looks like a long, low garage for a lot of golf carts. I guess there are clubhouse facilities in there for golfers, too, but, since I don't have an interest in golf, I don't know what is there. It's set back off the street, so you can't see it very well.
I missed the entry time for the Art Teachers show at the Art Center in College Station. It was Friday, I understand. I had a date of the 30th, but that was when the show opened. Maybe I'll have something ready for the Art League Members Show in June.
Go out to see the Art Teachers show at the Art Center in College Station. I'm sure that there is some very interesting work.
See my sidebar for more information, or check out the calendar on the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley website.
Chuck Norris is receiving an award tonight at the George Bush Library in College Station. I surely would like to take Ashton to see it. He has been wanting to go to those things, but most things did not seem like something he would be interested in, lately. This one should be great for everyone to see.
We probably won't get to go. You have to get tickets at the MSC on campus, and it's very hard for us to get over there since we don't have a reason to go there. We would have to pay at the parking garage in order to have a place to park, and have to walk over to the MSC, and that is just too much for us. They did have tickets at the Eagle, but now they are saying to go to the MSC for tickets.
Wish Chuck Norris would give my grandsons some lessons!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Youth Art Month-Linda Lane Sunset

Linda Lane Sunset
6" x 8"
This is another one of the small oil paintings, part of my homework from the Plein Aire Painting Workshop in Calvert. We get to see some really nice sunsets beyond the oak tree and across the open field across the street.
I did this one last week and, already, the new leaves are covering a lot of my view.
As I painted, I used V....Vaughan's limited palette of primary colors, plus white. Which is what you really need to make all the other colors. And I kept in mind what I watched her do as she painted those early morning sunrises in Calvert.
If you are familiar with Harry Ahysen's work, her colors remind me so much of what he used. In his workshops, we asked him what colors he used to get those magnificent pinks and purples. He laughed and said, "Oh, you mean Pepto Bismol Pink and that new Spanish color, Jello!" See, that stuck with me through all these years. I can't remember what he said about purple, though. I think that was stuck in the sentence somewhere.
Ahysen's paintings just glowed, too. I think it was his use of mediums. He mixed 3 mediums together, Grumbacher Medium #3 (or was it #2!), Copal, and something else that I never can remember until I see it in a catalogue. He also used some Liquin.
So far, I've just been using low odor turpentine, as V.... directed when we were outside painting. And I have been using some of the Max II paints, with Bob Ross Titanium White and Cad Yellow Light. I need to use my Liquin before it dries up, like a lot of other things that I have!
We found that the Max II paints dry out a lot faster, especially outside, making them hard to handle at times. I had to use a lot of turnpentine to make them move on the canvas. Otherwise, it was like trying to paint with sticky chewing gum!
The idea of the Max II paints was to keep the odor down since they clean with water instead of turpentine. But, they can be used with any medium or thinner, just like regular oil paints. So, we end up with some fumes anyway.
I've learned that the circus will be in town on the day of the Sketch Crawl, Saturday April 11. Ringling Brothers will have a one ring circus show with animals and perfomers at Reed Arena, ending on the 11th. They will be here several days before that.
This might be a possibility of a place to draw, at least for a little while, during the Crawl.
Of course, you have to buy a ticket to get into the circus, but there might be an opportunity to just watch from outside and do some sketching of people and any circus performers who happen by. Just a thought.
Let me know if you want to join us for the Sketch Crawl. And if you have some ideas about getting more people involved and where we might work. We're going to start here in downtown Bryan. A group can also start at Mud Creek Pottery in Calvert.
One more thing about Sketch Crawl. If you would like an official Sketch Crawl t-shirt, they are available on the Sketch Crawl website. http://www.sketchcrawl.com They are not required, but I thought it was a neat idea. There is time to order one if you want one for the event.
Go over to the Art Center in College Station to see the Art Show of work by area Art Teachers. Look at my sidebar for more information. You can also attend the reception at the Art Center to honor the teachers. Check the Arts Council of Brazos Valley calendar for more information.
Plan to go downtown Bryan Friday evening for First Friday. Lots of art, music, food, entertainment, and activities are being planned for all to enjoy. Check out the Downtown Bryan Association website and The Frame Gallery website for more information.
Thanks for reading and sharing!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Youth Art Month- Spring Sparkle

Spring Sparkle
6" X 8"
This is another of the starts, or homework assignments from the Plein Aire Painting Workshop. I've been watching the bare limbs on the Oak tree and Crepe Myrtle in my yard, fill with tiny leaves and, with the rain, burst into full leaves. This was one afternoon, when the sun put sparkles onto the leaves and the grass. There was a spot of maroon with a sparkle on top of the Crepe Myrtle leaves. Now the bush is full and I can only see the top of the Oak tree, with some yard behind and beside it. The rain did wonders for growing things.
There is a concern, though, about low temperatures harming things like gardens and flowers that people have already planted.
I think of that "Easter Snap"-cold weather for Easter, so it is not all that unusual to have cold weather in spring.
It looks like another beautiful day in the neighborhood, as Mr. Rogers used to say. Cold and windy, though. I hope that you are getting out and enjoying the Robertson County Fair, the Brazos County Youth Livestock Show, the Physics and Astronomy Open House at the George Bush Library, the Bryan ISD student art show at Bryan High, the Silver Campus cafeteria, or any of the other activities going on today. Maybe you can just get out and enjoy the Bluebonnets.
The Brazos Valley Art Teachers will be showing work at the Art Center in College Station this month, starting Monday. Be sure to go out and see art work from this group. For more information, see my sidebar, or go to the Arts Council of Brazos Valley website.
Time to start thinking about Sketch Crawl Saturday April 11th. You can even order an official t-shirt from the website, http://www.sketchcrawl.com. There are people participating in Dallas, North Texas, Waxahachie, Austin, Georgetown, Houston, Calvert, Bryan, and other places in Texas. Also various places around the United States and the world. I hope that you will join in.
You can see pictures and read more about it in my older posts, and on the group, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BrazosValley_Sketchers or Brazos Valley Sketchers on FaceBook. Also there is information on the Brazos Valley Art League and Arts Council website, KAMU, the Eagle, KBTX tv, etc.
Let's plan to draw the Brazos Valley this time!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Youth Art Month-Spring Bath

Spring Bath
6" x 8"
The above little oil painting was done this week, before the leaves came out and the grass started to grow. In late afternoon, the sun comes from behind the big oak tree, and makes a little sparkle on the grass by the street and into the yard. A very peaceful sight. Water from rain filled the bird bath, but I haven't noticed any birds coming to drink. Squirrels have been scampering across the lawn, though.
This is part of my homework assignment from the Plein Aire Painting Workshop in Calvert with V....Vaughan. Only 12 more to go!
The weather man said that there is a typical Blue Norther, as he pointed to the blue on the map indicating cold, snow, ice in the panhandle. But, he is young and I wonder if he has ever seen one! I think he is referring to the fact that it is going to get cold, fast, or that his weather map shows blue for cold. But, with a real Blue Norther, the sky gets dark blue in the north, while the sky is still a clear cerulean blue, and it is hot and still, ahead of the norther. The sun is shining, the wind is starting to blow from the north and it's getting colder.
I think that it has been 15 or more years since we have had a blue norther. I'm thinking that the last one I remember seeing was about in 1988, but I'm not sure about that.
When we started Brazos Writers, probably about 1986 or '87, one of the topics we selected to write about was "The First Blue Norther". I could not think of a story idea for anything! But I had a picture stuck in my mind to do, and I'm still thinking of it! I decided that I needed to see one before I could paint it, and there hasn't been another Blue Norther since! I have some sketches, some ideas, but I keep hoping that we will have a real Blue Norther again.
I know. I just need to do it, as I remember, instead of trying to think of it ahead of time.
Lots of things going on this weekend. *************
Go over to Bryan High School to see art work by Bryan ISD students in the Silver Campus Cafeteria.
In Hearne, go to the Robertson County Fair to enjoy the fair activities. Included is an art show by residents of Robertson County. There is also a carnival, food, and lots of activities.
In Bryan, at the Expo Center, there is the Brazos County Youth Livestock Show, with acitivities and showing of animals.
At the George Bush Library, there is the big Physics Department Open House for the public, with speakers and many things to experience. Along with that, the Astronomy Department will also participate.
Tonight, both departments are having things at the Bush Library, along with a speaker.
College Station ISD art students will have a show of their work on May 2. More details later.
Of course, the 22nd World Wide Sketch Crawl is just around the corner, Saturday April 11, 2009. If you are in the area, join us in Calvert or Bryan, or in your own community. See the website at http://www.sketchcrawl.com. I have registered under Bryan/College Station/Brazos Valley Area. Please go there and add your name if you would like to join us.
You can also put your e-mail in the box at the top of my page to join Brazos Valley Sketchers.
There are groups in Georgetown, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Waxahachie, North Texas, along with many cities around the U.S. and countries around the world who will be participating.
Did you see on Channel 13 from Houston that they have added a wheelchair ramp at the Sea Wall so that handicapped people can enjoy the beach? Sounds like a good idea. It's across from the Convention Center.
Also, from Channel 13, they reported that Galveston still needs a lot of help. The Jesse Tree was featured in one broadcast, showing that they are still working out of a damaged building, but trying to help people who have lost everything. They help with money for things like gas bills, food, clothing, and whatever they can. They told of how dramatically donations have dropped, now that there is little about Ike and Galveston on the national news. Channel 13 has a report on almost daily, about the recovery from Ike.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

National Youth Art Month- My Chick

Loose Rooster
8" x 10"
Another painting from the workshop. I added a few touches to my rooster and am calling it finished. This was done during the "Chicken Clinic" portion of the plein aire painting workshop in Calvert with Virginia Vaughan in February.
The "Chicken Clinic" is an exercise, designed to "loosen up". So this rooster, and the others in the group, were painted fast and loose.
Scroll down and you can see the earlier posts that show us painting during the "Chicken Clinic" and the results displayed in the show window of Mud Creek Pottery in Calvert.
Nancy Standlee has two watercolors of a couple of roosters, done in a workshop in Granbury, Texas, on her blog today. You can find a link to her blog by clicking on her name in my sidebar.
Nice watercolors, Nancy!
Greta Watkins has been working on a series of portraits of people she knows in downtown Bryan. These are going to be part of a show at Art 979 and the Village Cafe in downtown Bryan opening June 5. This is going to be part of the Art Step/Art Walk. Art 979 and the Village Cafe are online and are located at 210 W. 26th Street in Bryan. You can see some of Greta's portraits online and on her FaceBook page.
Another little tidbit about Art 979 and the Village Cafe. I've read that they have Swing Dancing on Wednesday evenings. Now that sounds like a lot of fun! Something to watch, now, although it used to be a lot of fun in my younger days!
The Brazos Valley Art League spring judged show at the Art Center in College Station is ending. Next up there is the Art Teachers show. See my sidebar for more information.
Join my list of Followers, subscribe to my blog, sign my Guest Book, and pass this on to others who might be interested. Thank you for reading!
March is National Youth Art Month
For those of you on my e-mail, I apologize if you happened to get this twice. It didn't seem to send, so I pressed Send again, and it looks like it went to some addresses twice. I apologize. Computer mysteries!

Monday, March 23, 2009

EDM Challenge # 215

Draw Your Thumb
Every Day Matters Challenge #215
8.5" x 11"
For a change of pace, I thought I would share a journal type of entry from my sketchbook. Each week, the Every Day Matters group issues a new challenge to draw something. Number 215 was to draw your thumb, and people could add what their thumb was on, etc. I probably should add a little color to this, but the drawing and note about it is done.
You should be able to click on the picture and enlarge it so that you can read what I wrote.
The practice of drawing your hand at different angles, and different times of your life, is a good exercise. I thought of collecting things like photos of the artists' hands as I meet them, beginning with the workshops of Harry Ahysen in Hearne.
Drawing my own hand is getting to be a big challenge because of all the jillions of patterns of wrinkles that are appearing. I think that would take a long, long while to draw! However, Myrna Waknov did some interesting work with wrinkled skin, using watercolors, by using tissue paper. I think it would be very interesting to take a workshop with her because of all the experimentation she does, and comes out with amazing portraits. I haven't tried the tissue paper approach, thinking that, if I am studying something, like my hand, I should examine every line, shape, and shadow!
I used a Pitt pen over pencil to do the above drawing.
This was something personal to record. Not a huge thing, but it did happen. My left thumb was giving me a lot of pain. At that time, I was seeing an Orthopedic surgeon about my knees. He wanted to do surgery. I didn't have the time, money, or the bravery to go through knee replacement, so I was getting shots every few months and taking Vioxx. That worked for me. I asked him about my hand and he did x-rays. He told me that I had arthritis in the joint and that there was not enough space between there to get a needle in for a shot. He suggested that he could fuse the bone, or remove it to relieve the pain.
Right then, I knew that I needed my thumb! I could imagine a useless thumb, either stiff as a board, or one that just dangled in the breeze, if he did surgery. I said no to that and said I would just take asprins, put heat on it, and massage it.
As I look at all the wrinkles appearing, I can also see that the joint in my thumb has sunk in. I can push on the joint and move it back in place, but it goes right back. It looks weird, to me. I think that the right thumb is beginning to do the same thing, but just a tiny bit, so far.
I know that people can get along without a thumb, a finger or two, a hand, arm, etc. But just think of all the things that you use your thumb for. You grip things, shuffle papers, type, tie, and all sorts of things. The first thing I thought of was shuffling through paper work at school and doing art work. Sculpture in clay especially. I used my thumbs a lot when I made clay heads. I thought that I might do those in wax, someday, if I ever got to the stage where I had arthritis in my hands, or became blind!
Drawing my thumb became a thoughtful exercise for me.
If you are in this area, be sure to go out to the Brazos Valley Art League Show at the Art Center in College Station, before it closes. Check out their website and the Arts Council of Brazos Valley site for more information. This one was judged.
Mary Ciani Saslow, from the Architecture Dept. at A&M, was getting ready for the Faculty Show at Stark Gallery in the MSC. Stark Gallery is online, as are the galleries in the MSC. And I have a link to them in my sidebar. I know that show will be interesting. So many creative people!
Of course, we are hoping for a big turnout for the 22nd World Wide Sketch Crawl on Saturday April 11. Hope that you will join us! We are trying to get groups started all over the Brazos Valley area, Bryan and Calvert, in particular. Click here http://www.sketchcrawl.com for more information.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Painting The Eloia in Calvert

This was my view of Main Street during the architectural session of the Plein Aire Painting Workshop with V....Vaughan in February. This was a spot where I spent a lot of time during my life, watching the traffic on Highway 6, people on the sidewalk, and the picture show, the Eloia. If I was going to the show, I watched to see if it was time to go yet. If I was undecided about going, I might have watched for my friends. I could see who was going into the show, see what was playing, and when they rolled out the popcorn machine, ready for customers. I had a good view of a place that I loved to spend time, the Eloia.
The Eloia was named for Miss Eloise, Carl Allday's wife. Miss Eloise, with her red hair and pale skin, sat in the ticket booth selling tickets while Carl and their son ran the projector, sold popcorn, and made sure that everyone was behaving in the theatre.
During the workshop, I had a good view of the theatre, from a spot that had sentimental attachment for me, and it was warm and out of the wind!

This was my start during the workshop. I took a photograph so that I could finish my painting later. Also, on this small canvas, it was important to focus on one area and not the whole block. My thoughts were on the theatre and afternoon matinees on the weekend, and night time shows when the neon lights reflected on the building and the street.

At home, I added the clear blue sky that we experienced that afternoon and started cleaning up some areas. Darkening the north side wall of the theatre was something else that I decided to do. I thought a purple wash over the greenish wall might make it look more gray, like the concrete that it is made of.

Almost finished- I decided to keep this fairly Impressionistic and not add in all the little details of decorations, windows, and such. I like the way that the reflection and shadows in areas, like under the overhang of the old hardware store, give the impression of windows and woodwork. I just hinted at some of these things.

Finished- I think! I debated about adding in things like people, the Eloia sign that isnt' there anymore, and the popcorn machine. Probably that means another painting with the older features. I noticed that the current awning on the old hardware store on the left, doesn't let people see the windows that used to be above the overhang. Years ago, the hardware store had an overhang that was level with the one over the Eloia. It also had some pull down awnings, with green and white stripes.
This is an 8" x 10" oil painting on a canvas board. The finished painting is for sale.
I thought you might like to see the different stages of this painting. Virginia has a link to my blog and the story of the workshop on her blog today. So, I wanted to show what my painting looks like, finished. It does look better than the scan, to me.
Spring Break is winding up here. The last weekend for going to the beach, traveling, having fun somewhere, or just catching up on rest and sleep.
For me, I'm glad that the British comedies are going to be back on tv tonight after weeks of fundraising by Houston PBS. I'm looking forward to an evening of "Last of the Summer Wine", "Keeping Up Appearances", and Are You Being Served", along with a pan broiled chicken breat and a baked potato.
I spent a lot of this Saturday putting gesso on some canvases and cleaning my turpentine bottles. My gesso was almost dried, but I was able to add water and stir to make it spreadable again. That also meant clearing the island in the kitchen , spreading out newspapers, and carrying all my materials into the kitchen. I needed to prepare a couple of larger (16" x 20") canvases, and finish the package of 8" x 10" canvases that I bought for the workshop in February. I like a smoother canvas and don't care for the textured look of the rough canvas, when it is scanned. It's a little harder to work on, I think, as well. Those Dalhart Windberg canvases, that have layers of gesso and are sanded smooth, sound like they might be nice to work on.
Thank you for signing my Guest Book and subscribing to my blog!

Plan to join in the 22nd World Wide Sketch Crawl Saturday April 11, 2009!
Robertson County Fair
Hearne, Texas
March 26-30

Friday, March 20, 2009

Plein Aire Painting Workshop in Calvert IX

More Photos from the Plein Aire Painting Workshop
with V....Vaughan
Calvert, Texas
February 21, 2009
Top Photo- The Eloia theatre on Main Street-my start. The two buildings on each side of the theatre, the old Allen Hardware Store and the bank, now the Boll Weevil antique shop, are both green. I thought I was using a lot of beige tones on the Eloia, which is white, but it seemed to look green still. I was looking at the buildings from inside Mud Creek Pottery. This was once my grandfather's dry goods store, Conitz Dry Goods. I spent a lot of hours during my life, looking out this show window as you can read about in previous posts. So this view was special. It was also warm and out of the north wind! This was the point where I stopped as we moved on to paint the sunset. Since then, I have done more on the painting, which I will show in another post.
Second Photo- Barbara's painting of the Masonic Lodge. This building is across Main Street, or Highway 6, from Mud Creek Pottery. Barbara painted it as it is today, without the triangular shape and pole on top of the facade. You can see a bit of the Calvert Hotel across the railroad tracks, behind the Lodge building, in her painting. This is Barbara's photo.
Third Photo- Kerrie's photo of the start of her painting of the Masonic Lodge building. I like the way that she showed the building with her painting in front of it. Looks great, Kerrie!
Fourth Photo- We packed up our equipment at Mud Creek Pottery and headed for the an open area where we could watch the sunset. We intended to paint the sunset, and possibly the moonrise, if we could see it. Barbara selected the road near the Country Club where we could see the sunset, and the light across some weeds that seemed to glow.
But, as it worked out , V.... did another demonstration of painting the sunset, in a cold wind. The rest of us watched, wrapped up in our blankets and coats, and huddled together against cars. That north wind was cold! But we learned as we watched V.... deal with the elements and paint. Due to the nature of the sun going down fast, and the wind blowing things around, V.... chose to not use her easel, but just held her canvas and worked from her palette on the ground.
She is more experienced at working fast and knowing her palette well, which is an advantage in such paintings.

Fifth Photo- Virginia's finished painting of the sunset on the Country Club Road west of Calvert. It's amazing that she could do this while fighting a north wind and the cold. She didn't even seek shelter behind a car, like the rest of us, but only had the protection of her coat while she stood out in the road to paint.
We were startled when a car came down this road, looking like it was heading straight for us. Fortunately, there was a curve and we were on a different road off of the main road, so the car disappeared around the curve beside us!

Thanks to Barbara, Kerrie, and Virginia for use of their photos to help tell the story of the workshop. Now, don't you want to get out and paint something too!?!

Virginia has more workshops coming up, and we plan to have another one in Calvert in October. You can contact me for the one in Calvert, and also about Sketch Crawl April 11. See V....'s blog or website for her workshops and shows in other places. http://www.v-vaughan.com/ or http://www.vvaughan.blogspot.com/ . http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BrazosValley_Sketchers or the group on FaceBook, Brazos Valley Sketchers .

Ending the Workshop
Sixth Photo- After the sun set, we ended the day with supper at the Dixie Cafe in Hearne. Not the best photo, but it helps to tell the story of the workshop day. Barbara and Kerrie are in this picture, as everyone finished eating and visited.
Seventh Photo- Sonny and Virginia conversing after eating in the Dixie Cafe in Hearne.
Eighth Photo- We had talked of painting on Sunday morning, but, with a forecast of 27 degrees we decided against it. The morning was glorious, though, with sun streaming across wide lawns in the quiet little town. I took the bottom photo through my bedroom window, that's why you see the screen.
We packed our cars and drove to Zamykal Gourmet Kolache shop on Main Street for breakfast. Jody was busy since the program about her on "Texas Country Reporter" was on the morning before and this morning, too. We enjoyed eating our kolaches and visiting with people who came in the shop. And Barbara and V.... took the tour of the shop, while I visited with Pat R.'s wife.
I am hopeful that Reba's research on the old families of Calvert can be found and published, as she had planned before her death.
After breakfast and visiting, we all went our separate ways and headed for home.
It was a very nice, productive weekend, workshop, and experience. And we had it all, in the way of weather conditions to paint and enjoy!
Scroll down to see previous posts about the beginning of the Plein Aire Painting Workshop.
Go out to the Robertson County Fair next week in Hearne. I know that the young people are working hard to get their entries in the fair ready to show, and the adults are ready to enter work in such things as the art show, needlework, cooking, etc.
The carnival is always fun, too. Hope that the weather stays nice for them.
Thank you for reading and sharing!
Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Plein Aire Painting Workshop in Calvert VIII

Painting on Main Street
Calvert, Texas
Plein Aire Painting Workshop with V....Vaughan
Saturday February 21, 2009

Top Photo- (by Barbara)-V.... shows Toni how to look through a view finder, made with the hand, to isolate parts of a subject when drawing or painting. This was taken on the south side of the Mud Creek Pottery building, out of the north wind of a new cold front.
Second Photo- After lunch at the Wooden Spoon, we returned to Mud Creek Pottery, moved our equipment, to do some painting on location on Main Street. This time, architecture was the subject. Clear blue skies were such a change from the morning clouds. But colder temperatures and a little wind, made painting a challenge. Most of the group set up on the south side of the building, making some protection from the wind. In this picture, Kerrie and Barbara set up on the street, behind a retaining wall, and painted the Masonic Lodge across the street. In this photo, you can see part of the old brick streets in the cross walk.

Third Photo- SuZan set up her French easel on the sidewalk on the south side of the building.

Fourth Photo- Despite the protection from the building, SuZan still battled a little breeze. You can tell from the way her paper towels are blowing!

Fifth Photo- Toni selected a bench on the south side of Mud Creek Pottery to do her architectural painting.

Sixth Photo- This was the view that I selected. Through the show windows of Mud Creek Pottery! I really thought that others might join me to stay out of the wind, but they all ended up going outside. I had already moved my things to this spot and didn't want to move again, while others were moving outside.
I painted in comfort from a place where I spent a lot of hours during my life. When this was my grandfather's dry goods store, I spent a lot of time, looking out these windows, decorating the windows, watching people on the street and the cars passing on Highway 6, and, especially, watching the Eloia (the picture show) to see if it was time to go to the show or who might be going when it opened. It's still sad to see it closed. My focus was on the old theatre, which has been closed for years, another place where I spent a lot of time during my life.
V.... talked with me about my choice and we discussed focusing on the lower part, more than the whole scene. I had decided to just indicate the two buildings on each side, the old bank and the old Allen Hardware store, and focus on the Eloia.

Wish they would restore the Eloia to the way it was when it was rebuilt after the fire in the 1940s. It had all the latest features, back then-just before wide screen came in.

Another thing that I spent a lot of time doing in this spot, was straightening underwear boxes and displays, sitting on the floor of the show window, putting on pin tickets and stringing handkerchiefs. Toot used to sit on the show window ledge and write letters when there were no customers. I liked to get behind the counter when we had to do inventory, while others were counting merchandise in other parts of the store. Grandpa would wrap the inside cardboard from bolts of material with butcher paper and we would write on those. When we finished, he would take all the boards to the desk in the back of the store, and transfer all that to one of the books. I liked counting the boxes of hose and socks, behind that counter, where I could watch out the show window and dream while I counted.
Here's an interesting site. Margaret loves to sew and create! If you need jeans or other things altered, or if you need a cute creation, or something monogramed. Margaret is the person to call. I'm going to put a link to her website in my sidebar under The Jeans Lady.
It won't be long until the 22nd World Wide Sketch Crawl! There is some discussion about it on various blogs and lists. The big day is Saturday April 11, 2009. I hope that you will join in. It really makes a nice day.
I'm trying to decide if I should add the sign that used to be on the Eloia theatre in Calvert, or leave it off as it looks today. I like to do things the way that I remember them, when they were at their best. But, on my painting, I have the slanted awning on the old hardware store, the way it is today. In older pictures, that awning is flat and flows into the overhang at the Eloia, with windows above the overhang in the hardware store.
I thought it should, perhaps, have life, with people, and the popcorn machine. But, maybe, that is another picture. Decisions.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Paddy's Day! Lunch Time At The Workshop

Lunch Time at the Workshop
Plein Aire Painting Workshop in Calvert, Texas
with V....Vaughan
February 21, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I hope that you're wearing your green today so that you won't get pinched! And I hope that you are celebrating and having a fun day today. May the luck of the Irish be with you. And may you catch a leprechaun and get yourself a pot of gold that never runs out. (A lot of us could use one of those, especially these days! Where are you. magical little man with your big pot of gold!)


Photos From Lunch Time at the Workshop

Top Photo- V....'s painting demonstrating shapes and values. She looked across the street to paint the awning at what was once the Western Auto Store. This is the painting she referred to when assigning homework.
Second Photo- Another of the resident cats at Mud Creek Pottery welcomes customers at the cash register. He seems to be posing, waiting on someone to paint him or photograph him. This is the same cash register that was in Conitz Dry Goods Store for many years.

Third Photo- Workshop participants took time out for a photo in Mud Creek Pottery. On the couch, left to right, Barbara, Toni, Kerrie. Standing, left to right, SuZan, Cecelia, Sonny, Virginia.

Fourth Photo- Lunch at the Wooden Spoon. Toni, Barbara, Cecelia, Virginia, and SuZan.

Fifth Photo- After eating, the group stopped in to look at several shops on their way back to Mud Creek Pottery. In this photo, Jody Powers gives her welcome to new customers to V...., Barbara, SuZan, and Toni. Earlier in the morning, particpants had enjoyed kolaches from the shop, Zamykal Gourmet Kolaches, while V.... painted the sunrise.

Sixth Photo- Three alumni from the tv program, "Texas Country Reporter", gathered in Mud Creek Pottery for a photo before the afternoon session of the workshop. V.... was on the program last spring as she returned to her family farm to paint for one last time. She also attended the Texas Country Reporter Festival recently. Sonny was on the program in 1997. And Jody was on the program this same weekend as the workshop. They noted that the programs are rebroadcast from time to time, so their segments can still be seen. Also, DVDs are available on the Texas Country Reporter website.

By lunch time, the sun was out and the temperature was dropping after the cold front passed. We had experienced quite a few different situations from spectacular clouds all the way to clear blue skies during the day.

Next photos: Painting Main Street


I hope that you will subscribe to my blog, sign my Guest Book, and add yourself as a Follower of my blog. The Guest Book is at the bottom of this page. The subscribe button and Follower section are both in the sidebar on the right. They are easy to do.

And, if you are interested in drawing and painting in this area, I hope that you will join the FaceBook group or the Yahoo group for Brazos Valley Sketchers. There are pictures on both sites.

Sketch Crawl will be here soon, Saturday April 11. Make plans to join in, wherever you are!


Thank You for Reading and Sharing!

I appreciate you!


Monday, March 16, 2009

Plein Aire Painting Workshop in Calvert VII

Photos From the Chicken Clinic
plein aire painting workshop
with V....Vaughan
Calvert, Texas
February 21, 2009

Top Photo- Barbara uses her cigar box guerilla box set up in Mud Creek Pottery during the "Chicken Clinic". Barbara has taken many workhops with V.... and we joked that this was her 79th rooster.
Second Photo- Sherbet, one of the Mud Creek Pottery resident cats, helped V.... as she conducted the class. The class was busy painting after a demonstration and instruction.
Third Photo- Sherbet made himself at home with a little nest for napping in V....'s "magic trunk" of art equipment.
Fourth Photo- Cecelia and SuZan, painting during the "Chicken Clinic". You can see some of the other results of the "loosening up" exercise in the foreground.
Fifth Photo- Rooster Row. The completed paintings of roosters were displayed in the show window of Mud Creek Pottery during the day.
I couldn't get online to send my blog most of yesterday and had some trouble again today. I had put pictures on the blog, but the internet was not working right, so I am a bit behind. Even Yahoo seemed to have problems.
Scroll down to see the weekend blog, as well as this one.
I'm still having trouble with My Picture what-ever-it-is-called today. (I think I may have too many pictures! Or maybe not.) I'm trying to print a photo of the old sign on the Eloia to add that to my painting of the picture show in Calvert. But, it is hanging every time.
Next post, we went to lunch, then moved outside to paint. Well, some did while some of us stayed inside Mud Creek Pottery, out of the wind, and painted while looking through the big show windows.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Plein Aire Painting Workshop in Calvert Part VI

Painting Workshop Photos
V.... Vaughan
Inside Mud Creek Pottery
Calvert, Texas
We had moved inside Mud Creek Pottery, just ahead of a bit of wind and rain that hit as a cold front moved through. V....taught and we painted as the north wind blew and we listened to the sound of welcome rain outside. The studio and gallery was a great place to work on a cold Saturday.
Top Photo- Barbara and Kerrie talk during the "Chicken Clinic". Kerrie told us about the new baby chicks that she had coming in, just in time for a cold night. I decided that I need to look at some chickens and roosters, even pictures of them, before I try to paint one!
Second Photo- The potter painting. Sonny is an all around talented person, from sculpting and throwing pots, painting signs, to painting and drawing.
Third Photo- SuZan and Toni painting during the "Chicken Clinic". This is an exercise designed to loosen painters up.
Fourth Photo- V.... disonnected her palette from her easel and demonstrated mixing paint for the group.
Fifth Photo- Toni watches V.... as she talked about the shadows formed by the awning across the street on what was once the Western Auto store.
After the workshop, Vaughan assigned homework. So, if you participated, you have some painting to do. Hope you are working on it!
I was so thrilled to have "EastEnders" back on PBS last night! It had been so long since I watched it, that I had to get used to it all over again, it seemed. It felt funny to realize that one of the main characters had, in real life, died and was buried since the last time we got to see the program.
It's been cold and rainy, for which we were glad, but now the sun is out, it's warming up, and I can see the new leaves popping out on the Crepe Myrtle in front of my window.
Thanks for reading and sharing. If you haven't signed up for my blog, or for the Brazos Valley Sketchers groups, I hope that you will do so.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Plein Aire Painting Workshop in Calvert V

V....Vaughan Painting The Sunrise
Calvert, Texas
February 21, 2009
Here is another group of 5 pictures from the Plein Aire Painting Workshop in Calvert Saturday February 21, 2009.
Top Photo- V.... Explains. Light is a very important part of Vaughan's work.
Second and Third Photos - V.... smiled as she told of her recent experience while she was doing a Paint Out in South Carolina. The wind kicked up and she had to grab her painting equipment. As she did, her turp can fell off her palette and rolled down an alligator slide and into the water. She reached, with her non-painting hand, into the water to retrieve her first-ever turp can. She thought of the alligators and quickly removed her hand from the water. She lost her can. She advised that the alligators don't like to feed when it's cold, so they just sat there, not moving. Quite an experience!
Fourth Photo- Side view of V.... painting just north of Calvert.
Fifth Photo- The finished painting. This is V....'s painting of the sunrise in oils. You can see more about it, and the price, on her website at http://v-vaughan.com/ or her blog at http://vvaughan.blogspot.com/ .
This completes the series of pictures from the sunrise painting demonstration.
After our sunrise experience, we packed up and went back to Calvert and moved our painting things into Mud Creek Pottery on Main Street. We set up our easels inside, just as the wind started to blow and the rain fell with the cold front moving in. Our timing was just right!
We spent the morning in Mud Creek Pottery, painting and getting instruction from V.... It was a perfect place to work with lots of room and light from the big windows. And, of course, it was warm and dry. A real plus on that day.
You can check out V....'s website and blog to see her upcoming workshops and shows. She has a couple that are going to be several days long in some very interesting places. We are talking about having the next plein aire workshop in Calvert with Vaughan in October.
If you use FaceBook, and are from Robertson County, Texas, there is a group for you! I just found it late this afternoon. Now we need something for Calvert!
Thanks to Barbara and V.... for letting me use some of their pictures on my blog to help tell the story of our day of painting in Calvert. If anyone else has some to share, I would be glad to use them-especially if you have pictures of the work you did that day.
The 22nd World Wide Sketch Crawl is coming up Saturday April 11th. Hope that you will be joining in- where ever you are. http://www.sketchcrawl.com/ .
If you are interested in drawing, painting, etc. in the Brazos Valley area, you might like to join http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BrazosValley_Sketchers , or Brazos Valley Sketchers on FaceBook.
If you want to start a Sketch Crawl in your community, that would be great! I'll be glad to answer any questions, or you can just check out the Sketch Crawl website.
Locally, we are planning to meet at Mud Creek Pottery in Calvert or the LaSalle Hotel in downtown Bryan. Register with Greta Watkins at the Frame Gallery in Bryan.
It's Free! And open to everyone. Sketch, draw, paint, journal, or doodle, alone or in a group.
It really is a nice day!
I will be so glad when the British comedies return to their time on Saturday nights on PBS after these weeks of fund raising. I think that "East Enders" will return this Sunday night. I'm watching the re-run of Glen Beck's special program instead of "Last of The Summer Wine", "Keeping Up Appearances", and "Are You Being Served". I wish they would bring back "As Time Goes By" and "Monarch of the Glen". It's like missing an old friend when my programs are not on!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Plein Aire Painting Workshop in Calvert IV

Plein Aire Painting Workshop Photos
Calvert, Texas
February 21, 2009

These are more photos from the sunrise painting demonstration by V....Vaughan in Calvert, Texas Saturday February 21, 2009. They aren't quite in order, as you can tell by her hair. She started with her hair down, but pulled it back into a pony tail as she worked. The location for the sunrise demonstration was on Sunnyside Road, just north of Calvert.

Top Photo: The edges of a cold front as it approached from the north.

Second Photo: Gate where we were working as the sky began to lighten.

Third Photo: The same gate as the sun rose from behind the hill.

Fourth Photo: V.... pulled her hair back as a little breeze began to blow.

Fifth Photo: V.... painting the sunrise, before she pulled her hair back.

I have been asked about Virginia's painting equipment. She uses a tripod, but someone modified it for her by making the palette. So it isn't something that you can find in a store or catalogue.


Thank you, V...., for the kind words today!


You can see some of the Robertson County, Texas newspapers online, now, at http://www.robconews.com/ . I'll add a link in my sidebar to this website.


More pictures from the workshop to come. So far, I've shown the beginning with the sunrise demonstration and getting ready. We had a full day until after sunset, after that. If you missed the first pictures, just scroll down.


If you haven't signed my Guest Book, you can find that at the very end of my page. Scroll all the way down. Be aware, though, that I can't reply unless I have your e-mail, or some way to contact you.

Thanks for reading and sharing!
Happy Spring Break- to those of you who are starting that holiday.
Relax, and stay safe!