My two painting that didn’t make the cut into Archway Gallery’s juried exhibition opening tonight in Houston. Almost three hundred pieces were submitted and forty made it in. These two are is each 11″ x 14″. Graphite underdrawing and watercolor on Arches 140lb. cold press. My first entry in a juried show since 1962. Yes, 1962. I was a child; taking adult painting classes. My teacher, Mrs. Keen, encouraged me to submit a pastel still life. I got a ribbon. What kind I don’t recall.
These are inspired by my walks on White Oak Bayou about a mile from my home. The pile of tires is, or was, under Interstate 10 on the White Oak Trail. I was inspired by the shadows and light, and intrigued by the subject matter. The pedestrian bridge is very close by on the same trail. The smell of the creosote railroad pilings evokes some childhood memory, and I thought would be challenging to paint. Last year some graffiti artist spray painted three cute umbrella on the metal supports.
I’ve always admired the art of, and particularly this painting done in 1516, by Albrecht Dürer from the National Gallery in D.C. Particularly when I read this description of the painting from the Gallery’s voluminous volume of selected works, and Dürer’s ability to:
“lay open the fine net-work of the heart and brain of man”…”to make us see deep into the soul until we understand, for example, the character of this ugly, resolute individual, whose personality, flashing out through luminous and asymmetrical eyes, exerts a powerful spell. His is the face of the Reformation”.
So I thought I would make my own attempt to capture him.
A drawing of a friend of mine, done on brown-toned paper, using soft graphite and white charcoal. She was sun-silhouetted from across a room and I rushed over to her to for a photograph, thinking it would make a good subject for a painting or drawing. A year later I gave it a shot, and after several false attempts on a white sheet, decided to initiate the new tinted drawing pad I’d just bought. Very happy with the result.
With all that’s been going down in our country lately, my sanity and peace of mind needed a total break. So I got off social media, and quit reading the news; at least for a while. Art, specifically drawing, has been my lifesaver. I was looking at a garage sale college art book and found these great black and white photos of classical sculpture heads. So I decided to try copying several of them, not in pencil, but ink. Besides being near smear-proof for this lefty, I love the challenge of trying to mimic the subtle shading using crosshatching. But more importantly, creating these detailed renderings almost totally absorbs me, and helps me forget all the insanity out there. I am very grateful for that.
As Winston Churchill said about creating art, specifically his:
Painting is complete as a distraction. I know of nothing, which, without exhausting the body, more entirely absorbs the mind. Whatever the worries of the hour or the threats of the future, once the picture has begun to flow along, there is no room for them on the mental screen.
…I painted in watercolor.
I wanted to create chalk drawings on my front walkway and sidewalk for Halloween, but was disappointed with the store-bought color choices. So I made my own, using a variety of powdered temperas colors, water-mixed with plaster-of-paris. Once ready, I poured the goop into tiny paper cups. When dry, they were popped out and piled in a plastic bin for use. Fun!
What do you do when you’re at Houston’s fine art museum for a Friday morning creative talk and you don’t feel up to “networking” beforehand or simply listening to the speaker once it starts? Why, you take out your pen and sketch of course!
I sketched this woman on the bus last month. As with all the pen and ink sketches I’ve done while riding to and from my former job, I had about 15 minutes to create the image. See more here.