The Red Shawl

This is oil on canvas, 9″x12″. This painting was so much fun. I started it with the intention of painting a very loose painting with broad strokes but I guess the subject ended up dictating the way I handled the paint instead of me. As I painted, the subject showed that it lent itself to more delicate detailed strokes, so that’s what happened. I can get carried away with the details and it takes more of an effort to actually not paint the details, but in this case I like the details. This was done from a photograph I took of a model, that is an old Dutch shawl wrapped around her that I bought when we lived in Holland ten years ago.

Yesterday I drove over to Memorial Park to take pictures of the trail riders as they came into the park to camp before the big Rodeo Parade downtown this morning. I was hoping for pictures of cowboys sitting around campfires with their horses tethered to trees. Instead I got rows and rows of pick-ups and RV’s with horses tied to bumpers. Hmph. So much for my romantic vision of the Old West!

I took photos of the Salt Grass Trail Riders as they came into the park, they are the oldest group of trail riders. When I was in elementary school here in Houston we would read books and then as we finished each book we would advance along a Salt Grass Reading Trail map the teachers had handed out. It was all just a fun way to get us to read books no doubt concocted by clever teachers and I forget all the details, but I remember there was coloring involved. It figures, I don’t remember much about elemtary school but I remember the map we got to color!


  1. February 27, 2010 / 3:32 pm

    Joan, this is just lovely. The drape of the shawl and the model’s hair falling on her back is beautiful. I love the colors and the softness.

  2. February 27, 2010 / 5:26 pm

    Hi Linda, thank you for visiting my blog and for your nice compliments! You are always such a kind supporter of my work,

  3. February 27, 2010 / 6:55 pm

    You’ve been busy! I agree with Linda, the shawl and hairwrap are outstanding. You worked so many colors and textures into the shawl, but all by suggestion and nothing too over-done or busy, it’s amazing!!

  4. February 27, 2010 / 9:57 pm

    This is quite lovely! I love the atmospheric quality and the moody red with texture.

    We, too, are having rodeo days this weekend and it is fun to watch the parade with all the different groups.

    My great uncles used to ride as Texas Rangers (as I recall) in the Rose Bowl Parade many years ago. Which reminds me, some of my people settled in Texas in the 1870s. Have you read The Captured, by Scott Zesch? It’s a real page turner.

  5. February 28, 2010 / 5:42 am

    I am interested that you say you didn’t stay loose with your application of paint. I don’t think anything is over worked or detailed at all. The suggestions of color on the various cloths are just right and so lovely.

    I grew up in Houston, and love seeing the photo of the trail riders. Did that take me back! I will be there during rodeo time in March, but I don’t think I will get to go.

  6. February 28, 2010 / 9:43 am

    Beautiful palette for the girl with the shawl Joan and very successful painting. I agree, sometimes the subject itself dictates how we apply the paint. It’s so hard tuning in to what our intuition is saying and what our planning is/was saying at the same time.

  7. February 28, 2010 / 6:20 pm

    This is my fave on this page. Great brushwork and spontaneity!

  8. March 2, 2010 / 12:43 pm

    Joan, thanks for your kind words on my blog this morning and for “finding me” so that I may “find you”. Nice work. I look forward to following in the future. Wishing you continued happy painting!!

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