Just outside of Bellville, Texas the landscape starts to turn to rolling hills as you go farther west towards the Texas Hill Country. My friend Myrrh and I found this beautiful spot to paint just at the beginning of wildflower season. As always we drive down a Highway looking for “promising” farm roads to explore. Just exactly what makes a road “promising” is a bit of a mystery, if we can see farms or water or an interesting barn in the distance, we’ll try that road. Sometimes whichever one of us is the passenger is on her phone looking at a map. But maps (unfortunately) don’t show “good” barns or pretty vistas. So we drive. And sometimes we have to do a lot of driving. And you know what, we never get lost. That’s because, well, we don’t know where we’re going so by definition we don’t get lost. At the end of the painting day we get on the nearest highway and head back to Houston.
This was just another road off the highway. We wondered what was down that road and we used one of our phones to look at a map. There were two houses/farmsteads down that road. Really we were wondering what the dog population was around here. We didn’t want to be surprised by an unfriendly dog. It’s always a balance to find someplace that is off the main road with a place to park without blocking the road, or getting stuck in mud, but we don’t want to be too isolated. Oh, and a safe distance from guard dogs! Now you can see why sometimes we drive around for a while before we find a good “view” to paint with all our other requirements.
The weather was very cooperative on this day. Just a few clouds passing by, consistent sun, not enough wind to blow things away. A lovely spring day in Texas. You can see the 52 second stop-action movie recording my painting, a sort of demo video, above. At one point I decided to put a shadow at the bottom of the painting so I waited until a cloud passed overhead so I could see the shaded grass color and then I quickly wiped away the bottom of the canvas and put in paint to represent the grass in shade. At the end I must have bumped the camera because the camera moves away from my painting to the view of what I’m painting. Oops, I was too busy painting to notice.
Aha, now you’ve caught me. There were just a few Indian paintbrushes (the red flowers) at the edge of the road off in the distance so I went with that and added more. It’s a good thing to change up a scene, adding or taking away what makes a better painting in the end. Because that is the goal for me, not so much to make an accurate recording of the scene, but to make a compositionaly pleasing painting that captures the feeling of the place I chose to paint. Thank you for visiting my blog!