Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Murals

Well, Jill Parr and I finished the Christmas mural panels today about noon - they will be placed "under" the tree on the Ellis County Courthouse lawn Wednesday morning, Nov. 25th. The Mayor will officially light the tree, Friday, November 27, at 7pm. The City of Waxahachie, Parks & Recreation Department, purchased all the materials....Jill and I donated our time
It's been a long time since I have painted "big" and I really had fun! Here they are:

The panels are 2' x 8' and took a combined total of 60 hours. After the primer dried, we each took a small brush loaded with yellow and began to make "loose" line drawings of the elements; drum, truck, trike, glass balls, snowman, decorated gifts and ribbon...until all 4 panels were "blocked in". Then we began painting the base colors; mid-tones using red, yellow, blue,green & purple. That took about 2 days. then we began to build up the shapes with shading & highlights. This is when we began to "get excited"....the panels were almost glowing! What fun! Did I mention that I love my job? What a way to begin the holiday season!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Different Media and Process - Christmas Murals

The past couple of days, another artist, Jill Parr, and I have been painting four 2'x 8'plywood panels that will be placed around the City of Waxahachie's Christmas Tree on the Courthouse lawn. To give the tree more importance over all the other trees on the lawn, it has been elevated and placed on a metal frame, 2' high x 8' square. The panels will be attached to 4 sides of the frame...if all goes as we imagine, the tree will appear to be "surrounded" by colorful gifts, toys, and decorations. We have about 6 more hours' work to do, mainly involving touch-ups,shading and highlights. What fun I have been having! this is waaay out of my comfort zone and Jill has taught me a lot about "painting big", working out of 1-gallon cans of latex paint!

On Friday night, November 27, citizens of Waxahachie and Ellis County will gather around the tree as the Mayor "flips the switch" to light the tree and officially open the Christmas Season in Downtown Waxahachie, Texas. I'll post photos of the panels in the "almost done" stage, then later, I'll post photos as they're being attached to the frame under the tree... then post the "final photos" when the project is complete. What a way to begin the holiday season!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Awesome Autumn" wins again!!!

"Awesome Autumn" 20x24 Watercolor

Even though I haven't posted anything lately, doesn't mean that I'm not working! Since returning from Hawaii, things have been jumping around here!

The next several days after my vacation, I served on the committee for the ECAA annual membership show - taking in entries, hanging the exhibition and preparing for the opening reception and awards presentation November 14th. I'm excited to announce that my painting "Awesome Autumn" won 1st place in the Professional Division! The exhibition is available to view during regular building hours through December. It's a great show; our membership is loaded with talent.

I've been preparing for an OPS sponsored "Paint Southwest" event...ordering frames, etc.
(more on that in a later post) I teach a weekly watercolor class (more on that later too) and I'm very involved in the administration-side of Ellis County Art Association and Fine Art Museum...the association is facing financial decisions revolving around our historical building that needs considerable foundation repairs. We love our 100+year old building but it sure is difficult to maintain. All the rain this year after a long serious drought took a toll on it. The cost will be substantial which means pursuing a grant. Anyone involved with non-profits and grant-writing are aware of the amount of time the process takes. I'll be working with the committee on that; we have a professional grant-writer, but she needs help with research, estimates, etc.

As I said, even though I haven't posted anything, doesn't mean I'm not immersed into art & art-related projects! Stay tuned - I feel a need to disappear into the studio for a day or two ;-)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Day 4 - Maui, Hawaii -

Today, I went back to Lahaina town....there are so many paintings just waiting to happen! This is a little park behind the library that's on the seawall. Looking north from the park, the seawall walkway goes for about a mile with shops and restaurants lining the street. It's a favorite place for the locals to eat lunch, relax and just "hang out". Several came over to see what I was painting. I met some very nice people today. One of the "perks" of working on location!

Lahaina - Maui, Hawaii

"View from the Sea Wall"

12x16 Plein Air Watercolor

Only 2 days left before I must return to the "mainland"....I'll be painting tomorrow near our condo on Ka'anapali Beach.....I love my job!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

DAY 1 - Maui, Hawaii - Plein air

Here I am in Maui, Hawaii! I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to visit this beautiful island for the 2nd time in a year. Last year, I left my plein air gear at home, and traveled only with my sketchbook. This time, I brought all my gear with the intention of doing at least 4 good plein air paintings. On Tuesday morning, I drove to Ma'alaea village and boat harbor. The trade winds were blowing about 4o mph, and it was a challenge just to keep my easel upright! My whole setup blew over twice...but no harm done to equipment or the painting!

"Old but still Floats" - 9x12 Watercolor

This old teakwood sailboat caught my eye right away! the lovely brown weathered deck and bright blue sails in a harbor full of 'shiny new boats' just needed to be painted!

DAY 1 - continued - Maui, Hawaii - Plein air

After painting in the Ma'alaea Harbor, I loaded up my gear and drove back to Lahaina town. This is an old whaling village near where we are staying. There are probably 100 places to set up and paint and it's hard to make a decision....fortunately, the available sunlight helps me to decide. The late afternoon sun put this ice cream store in "backlight" and the main street in bright light....a great composition that didn't need any "tweeking".

"Ice Cream Store" - 9x12 Watercolor

I nearly out-stayed my available light! I was so intent on capturing some of the detail of the ice cream store building and the time got away from me....I looked up and it was nearly sundown! By the time I got my gear packed up, it was almost dark! A long painting day...the harbor in the morning and the Lahaina in the afternoon - great start to my "plein air vacation"!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

DAY 2 - Maui, Hawaii - Plein Air!

Today, I wanted to paint in the "upcountry" of Maui. A local artist, Julie Houck, told me that the "upcountry" was a great place to paint! The drive time was almost an hour and I got a late start. (Breakfast on the patio of our condo was so nice! Chatting over coffee with my husband, his brother and wife was so relaxing....and I AM on vacation.....!)

9x12 - "Downtown Makaweo" Watercolor

Makaweo is called Maui's "Cowboy Town" - historically, it was the center of the ranching and farming area also know as "the upcountry" on the island of Maui. I was tempted to stop several times and set up my easel (the sugar cane museum & factory really caught my attention) but I was "on a mission"! I drove around in the town of Pa'ia (I hope I'll have time to go back before I go home) for about 30 minutes then continued on up to Makaweo. The "main street" (Baldwin Ave) is quaint with turn of the century, historic store fronts. Local art is popular here and there are several galleries. What a great day!