I like to joke about how I look homeless with my old painting clothes and seeming worldly possessions at hand when I paint on location. I now know for certain that that look is no joke.
Recently I was toting my painting gear under a bridge next to a creek. I wanted to paint the underside of the old Rogers Street Bridge in Waxahachie. Approaching me were a couple of people walking along the hike and bike trail. The woman looked a bit like she may have experienced a few hard knocks along her path in life-just sayin'. As they got closer I heard from above, "BEEN THERE, DONE THAT."
Oh, how priceless those words were to my ears. Confirmation complete. My day was made. Another funny story to share with my non-homeless art-types of tales from the field.
But what to say in response? I had to say something. I mean, she was a kindred soul reaching out to a fellow club member. Should I just give her a knowing-nod of solidarity followed by a "I hear you sister?" Or should I try to explain my situation, risking her feeling embarrassed?
Then I heard her ask, "is that your place?" Well, at this point I have to come clean, as it were. I can't claim this down-by-the-river-under-a-bridge as my "place."
"I'M PAINTING," I shouted up to her and her companion, motioning with my hand as if using a brush, trying to explain myself. Immediately I could see her spirit deflate and I knew that my homeless card had just been turned in.
She walked on without saying another word. If ever there was an opposite of "fifteen minutes of fame" then this was it.
This is one of the numerous jetties along Galveston Island's east-facing shore. My photo reference attempted to, but didn't quite, capture this awesome morning light as the sun had just broken the horizon.
Cameras just can't see the way our own eyes can but plein air paintings at this time of day can be frustrating as the light is so quickly fleeting. You would need to be set up and ready to paint well ahead of first light and rely on a lot of memory for the sunlit granite.
#241 Jetty Sun - 11x14-inch oil on canvas panel.
Purchase information available here.
Santa Elena Canyon stretches for seven miles along the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park. The limestone walls on each side of you eventually climb to 1,500 feet and form the border between the United States and Mexico.
History is rich here with thousands of archaeological sites within the park which hold traces of the material remains of 10,000 years of Native American occupation of the Big Bend. Some cliff art can be found in this canyon if you know where to look.
On a rafting trip many years ago, our guide took us on a side canyon tour where we were able to cool off in a small but deep pool of water. Surely some of the purest water on earth, having been filtered through solid limestone for many years before eventually exiting the rock at the base of the cliff. There were even ferns growing out of the overhanging formation above us.
This oil on Gessobord is 10x8-inches.