I've been traveling to teach workshops, and just returned from a week-long event in San Angelo, Texas. The second annual En Plein Air Texas competition. Thirty-five painters were invited to compete, and the organizers have incorporated all that's fun and good about taking part in these events: the locations, hospitality, promotion, opportunities to meet the public and art collectors, and a field of very talented painters.
NOON SHADOWS was my first painting of the week. Actually, it was the second. Monday morning was unexpectedly cold. After finding a very nice subject, I enthusiastically set-up to paint…standing under the shade of a giant tree in a stiff and continual breeze. After two and a half ours of struggling to paint with stiff fingers, shivers and a runny-nose, I scraped the canvas down and wiped it off. Great start for a painting competition! As I sullenly loaded up my gear, I vowed to my canvas panel that I would make good use of it before the day was over. I needed to get back in the saddle, or this cowboy's confidence would be crushed.
Right after eating my lunch-sandwich and cookie, I set-up my easel and panel in the sun, on the banks of the Concho River and challenged myself to capture the lovely warm reflected light in the shadows of these trees. (By the way, knowing from the start why you're doing a particular painting is your best insurance of its success!) I usually am not drawn to paint at noon, because of the less dramatic light, but I needed to get painting, again. I could feel early on that it was going pretty well, and enjoyed recovering my confidence that I can actually paint! After meeting my little personal challenge, I felt that the rest of my painting week would be a good one, and it was.
I finished eight paintings, all of which I was happy with, and sold four at the weekend exhibit. More importantly, I strengthened my personal resolve that I don't quit, I can get it done, have fun, and keep growing. Here's the secret: persist, adapt, and overcome.
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
11X14 oil on canvas panel
subjective realist landscape paintings