I wanted to have a painting I could donate to the Arts Fulshear Art Walk that would have a good chance of selling, so I went for a Hill Country scene in the March – April time frame. This is when the live oaks are “shedding” and get that golden tinge, the bluebonnets go crazy and fields are marked with a mixture of golden and green grasses. However, the main focus that drives the scene, appropriately, is that fresh, clear spring water that runs over the limestone winding through the foreground past the oak and bluebonnets, twisting into the background. I’ve seen the clear, shallow streams hundreds of times and it never gets old.
In trying to design this painting, I had great artists to learn from such as David Forks, Larry Dyke, Dalhart Windberg and others. In fact, in viewing their paintings the theme was to typical, I wondered if my work would become “clique” and just another one. So, I personalized it. I gathered up a few recent plein air works, sketched a rough design and went to it.
Taking on such a detailed painting, I had to think simple. With a paper towel and acrylic paint, I wiped on a lose sketch after the design (above). The tree was a cotton ball, the foreground was a green smear ect. Simple. Over four days, I’d paint, stand back, go away, come back and then paint like crazy. At one point, I realized I needed more information for a background, and took off on my bike to do the plein air sketch about three miles away of the Balcone’s Escarpment, (the pic above) then immediately returned to paint it in using the color sketch. I’m sure from an outside view, it’d look like I have no direction or schedule, but every part of it is necessary. It’s a true journey of the mind on canvas where you have a set start, then find the rest of the painting along the way.
I hope this will find a home at the Art Walk and through the money raised, help a few others to find some joy in their own art journey!
Update: I decided to add a “work in progress” series of photos because it may bring in some helpful tips/comments. So here’s my thoughts as I worked through the painting: