Monday, April 27, 2009

On Location in Fredricksburg, Texas

I love ALL of Texas...but the Fredricksburg area in the Hill Country is one of my favorite places to paint and last week, I spent 3 glorious days there working on location (en plein air).  My cousin Connie Bernhard and her husband Dennis have a 500 acre ranch just west of Harper (22 miles west of Fredricksburg) and they provided "room and board" during my stay. (am I lucky or what?)  Their ranch is beautiful with rolling hills, a creek, sheep, cattle, and 2 llamas; "Tony" llama, and "Dolly" llama. Dennis' old home place is on the creek and I want to do several paintings of that location with the original outbuildings later on this year.  The painting  of the red barn is a "shearing barn" on their ranch.  The next one is a scene on the banks of the Little Devil River, north of their property about 8 miles.



The next is of a building on a historic site just east of Fredricksburg.  I liked the wagon under the overhang with distant hills.  The next painting is out on Grapetown Road.  I have no clue exactly where it is; The small rock structure out in the middle of a pasture with distant hills in the background made a nice composition. I'm planning on making another trip in the Fall when there's a lot of color all over the area.  My cousin's home is on a hill overlooking a beautiful valley; I have the perfect spot already picked out! 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Blue Ribbon for "Outta Gas"

Great news!!!! My painting, "Outta Gas" won First Place in watermedia category Friday night at the Visual Artists of Cedar Hill, TX annual open exhibition.  What a great way to finish up the week! 
"Outta Gas"
16" x 20" Watercolor

Saturday, April 18, 2009

October In The Valley

This has been a good week in the studio.  My favorite month is October and nowhere is it more beautiful than in the Colorado Rockies! Using several of my photographs for reference, this composition came together rather quickly; Aspens from one photo, a valley farm from another, a stream, and  mountains.  The rainstorm in the distance adds mood and atmosphere.  

October In The Valley
20" x 24" Watercolor
The past several days have been rain. rain, & more rain....perfect weather for studio work...(I have a difficult time staying inside when the sun is shining!)  Right now the Bluebonnets are blooming all over North paint gear is packed & I'm out the door first thing in the morning! The forecast is blue skies & temperature in the 70's.There's a perfect place waiting for me; a barn up on a hill covered with Bluebonnets! My weekend's going pretty good!

Saturday, April 11, 2009



Whew! 2 long days in the studio, but it was time well spent, I think. This painting is one I've had "in my head" for about 10 years. The waterfall is well hidden in the back country of the San Juan mountain range in southwestern Colorado.  I love that part of Colorado; it's the least traveled and affected by tourism. 

While I'm "on a roll", I think I'll get back to the my mind's eye, there's another painting that's been waiting for me; it's time to begin the journey.  I need to get all the studio time I can right week I'll be 4 days in the Georgetown, Texas area with family.  I'm taking my painting gear, hoping to get in a little plein air time.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


 90 Minute Watercolor Demonstration - Graham, TX
Last week, I traveled to Graham, Texas and gave a watercolor demo to the art guild...and boy-howdy, do they know how to welcome a visiting artist!  The afternoon started with feeding me a BBQ lunch (compliments of Sanderson's Restaurant).  My Demo lasted about 90 minutes; a 11x15 country road scene with some outbuildings. The group was fun to paint for; lots of questions and conversation throughout the demo.  The painting was raffled off and the winner was Ms. Beth Prichard.  The group expressed a lot of interest for me to conduct a beginning watercolor workshop later on this year.  I'm looking forward to it.

As soon as I loaded up my gear from the demo, I pointed my SUV toward Marble Falls, Texas....about 200 miles south to participate in the 3rd annual Bluebonnetts, Music & Arts Festival.  Three other painters were already there in a lovely home at Horseshoe Bend on the river.  We all turned in early...wanting to get an early start on the paint out.

"Trio"  11" x 14" 
Plein Air Watercolor
This painting is a total departure from my "normal" subject matter, but I just couldn't resist all the colors and abstract shapes of the performers on the open air stage.  Lots of fun to do...not to mention the really great music!
"Arbor Walk"  11" x 14"
Plein Air Watercolor
I came across this quiet space last year at the end of the paint out and didn't have time to paint it.  The arbor is in the side yard of the Wallace House B&B 1 block off Main Street.  The shadows created by the early morning sun combined with garden colors made a nice composition.  
I completed 2 other paintings, but haven't downloaded them from the camera yet.  I'll post them in a day or two after I get my paint out gear unpacked and do some studio time.  The exhibition and silent auction were successful for me; I submitted and sold 3 paintings. Nice 2 day's work!

March was pretty eventful and April will be even more so for me; 2 exhibition competition deadlines to meet, and a trip to Fredricksburg, TX around the 16th for a paint out with Outdoor Painters Society event, 2009 Plein Air Southwest.  I love my job!