Monday, June 8, 2009

No Circus Today, and Catch-up on Plein Air

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus arrived in town last week, and are camped out in the Civic Center parking lot until the end of next week when the circus performances begin. This is a 2-week layover that allows the performers and many of the other staff to take some vacation time, so nothing much is happening until they all get back in town. But the elephants and "lions and tigers and bears", and various circus trailers, are all sequestered in the parking lot. Several of us plein air painters (Lydia and Tracy Host, Jami Buck, Laura Worsham, and me) tried today to get inside the compound so we could do some plein air painting of this unusual subject material - but to no avail. The nice fellow we talked to said that we could try again next week when the managers (those who can make a decision) come back into town. So we'll be there with our most persuasive manners employed. Stay tuned.

We then headed for Washington Square to squeeze in some painting. Laura Worsham documented us with her ready camera. The rest of us sketched or painted. I tried out some new "interactive" acrylic paints I just mail-ordered, trying to paint on gessoed watercolor paper. I was not impressed, as the paper/gesso combination just ate up the paint - too absorbent! By time I got home, I was a frustrated artist - so instead decided to finish the oak tree painting I started a couple of weeks ago when Jami Buck and I went to Washington Square on our own. I loved this grand old oak with it's huge limb reaching all the way to the ground. The challenge was to depict the various colors in the shadows on the trunk, showing the twisted musculature of the trunk, as well as the mossy bark and resurrection fern growing on the limb. Here it is - I think this is pretty much finished - but may need to add a little more color on the limb to reflect the foreshortening. This is oil on canvas, 8 in x 10 in.

I also "fiddled" more with my River Shack painting I started a couple of months ago. I decided to inject a little life into the painting by adding some pelicans on the dock posts. Last week my husband and I took a drive down to the coastal areas and photographed some pelicans so I could include what I hope are some realistic pelican poses. Here's what I hope is the final product. This is oil on board, 9 in x 12 in. I'm looking for a frame for these two paintings and may take them down to the Cathedral Square Gallery this week.


Jami Buck said...

I LOVE the tree! It's really lovely the way it is.
Cute pelican goes perfectly in the shack painting.

christian and amanda said...

i used to climb on that one as a little girl...i think silas has climbed on it, too.