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Painting the Place

March 3, 2012

Woodland Lakes RV Park, Woodlands-Conroe, TX

I headed out at 8am this morning, and a few minutes stroll took me to this spot at the end of the little lake that’s outside our front window.  The rig you see on the left in the photo is not ours.  We’re just on the other side of that one.  The weather today has been a bit on-and-off.  I spent about an hour painting, and then one of those little cool breezes that tell you the weather’s changing came up.  I turned and looked at the sky and realized it was beginning to threaten a bit.  I work in opaque watercolor, so rain isn’t a good thing for painting outdoors.  I packed up and headed for the house.  The motorhouse, of course.

At Water's Edge, 7x9, Gouache

I set the easel inside and, deciding it was okay if I got wet, walked up to the office.  It didn’t rain, after all, but I did get a coupon for another week of free wifi.  The lady at the office said they have found a way to get me out from behind the easel and get some exercise.  They’ll  make me walk to the office every week to get a new coupon.

When I got back to the RV, the sky didn’t look quite as bad, so I set the easel up just outside the door and put some finishing touches on this one.  What I’m finding is that by going outside, whether standing near a subject or sitting outside the RV on a camp chair, I’m getting more comfortable with the outdoor work, even after just a few days.  When I focus on the learning and practice aspect, and forget about doing sellable paintings, I seem to approach a subject with more confidence.  And yes, the grass here is that green.  The Houston area has had a lot of rain in recent weeks.

The Other Side of the Lake, 9x12, Gouache

I also did a bit more work on this view across the lake from us.  I started this one on Wednesday evening, worked on it looking out the window on Thursday morning, then a bit more while sitting outside on Thursday evening.  It’s been overcast most of the time, so the light didn’t change all that much.  I don’t know if this one is finished or not, but it has been an interesting challenge.  Maybe a bit ambitious for this size.  I’ve done about 8 or 9 little paintings so far this week.  All of them have been studies of the scenery here at the RV Park.  All have been painted directly from nature.  Not a single reference photo has been used.

I’ll get back to studio work eventually.  But for now, this is a refreshing, educational change.  There’s also something immediate about it, painting scenes where we are at the moment.

Pretty cool.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. William R Moore permalink
    March 3, 2012 3:51 am

    Ralph,
    I like both. I especially like the the variety of color and the rhythm and texture of the tree shapes in the second painting. You really paint excellent trees. Good job on the pines, too.

  2. Yorky permalink
    March 3, 2012 8:51 am

    Lovely work Ralph.

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