Miss Nellie’s Pretty Place

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Story of the painting

“Let’s take GrandEst to see Miss Nellie’s Pretty Place”, suggested my son to his wife.

So we loaded my three grandchildren up in the car and drove out to this intriguingly titled area.

This year was amazing for the wildflowers in Central Texas, and since Miss Nellie’s is all about wildflowers, it was no exception. Every turn of the granite-graveled path resulted in new gasps of delight and glorious vistas of purple horsemint, black eyed Susans, bitterweed, daisies and gaillardias.

The grandchildren ran along the paths, enjoying the freedom of being able to run ahead as much as they liked.

Although the name suggests any number of delightful story possibilities, I was unable to discover much more than that it is named after a former senator’s mother. It is a wildflower conservation area located in Waco, Texas.

I snapped so many photos during our brief visit; I’ll be painting more of them as time goes on.

What do you think? Should I enter this one in the UArt online show?

Of Interest to Artists–Process

This piece is 18X24, on UArt 400. This is the largest piece I’ve ever done!

I enjoy doing wet underpaintings, so I began this one with an acrylic ink underpainting in basic values of local color.

I sketched some details in with charcoal after finding I was pleased with the way the underpainting turned out, and began.

I’m trying to learn to slow down, consider the “story” I want to tell, and use a much lighter hand as well as more considered application of color and details–less is usually more in painting as in many other activities.

It is helping me to make myself come up with one or two words or phrases that describe the story before I begin painting.

I used to let that word “story” intimidate me–I felt that it meant I needed to have some kind of elaborate narrative in my head for the piece.

But it doesn’t, so if that is bothering you, let me reassure you that it just means to express to yourself what the most important concept is. For instance, I kept in mind “evening light” “blue roof” and “horsemint and yellow flower patch”, keeping “evening light” as the main idea.

It is sometimes quite challenging to come up with these words or phrases, but I’m hoping it will help my to keep focused. I’ll let you know how it goes: it seemed to really help with this one!

Here are a few other process photos for those who might be interested.

Please comment and tell me whether you think I should submit this to the UArt contest and if the idea of focusing your thoughts on a specific story for your painting helps you.

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