Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Heatwave Relief in Texas!

This week has been fantastic.  Every evening the clouds bubble up and it cools off into the eighties!  Probably sounds funny to those of you in Oregon or some other "cool" place.  Well the "Relief" I'm referring to is the cool atmosphere in the Chandor Gardens - in nice, otherwise hot, Weatherford, Texas.  It is well worth the 62 mile drive to paint there basked in the breezes, the shade and the cool mist from the well water sprinklers.  Doug's Group, about 7 of us this time gathered yesterday for another painting session.

This painting is of an area called the bowling alley.  It's a long shady submerged terrace with a gazebo and three fountains at the far end of it.  The ferns and a sone wall covered with ivy frame the "bowling" part of it.  There are gates in the green hedges along either side that let the light flow across the lawn. The temperature where i was standing had to be at least 15 degrees cooler that the parking lot.  Thus the name of this blog.  Everything is crawling with some sort of green stuff.

I painted this fountain last week from the other side.  Last time I painted up close and personal views of the fountain and a little statue.  This time I decided to try to get the feeling of a larger area.  It was not easy.  I could define some of the levels and different planting beds more, but not in the time that the sun allowed me today.  At lunch time the Gardens were having a catered 'sit down' lunch from the Wild Mushroom Restaurant.  We ate in Mr Chandor's former studio and had Brie sandwiches with berries and angle food cake.  Doug quoted appropriately from an old artists book, written in 1909, on outdoor painting explaining that what one needs when painting outside was a "Rustic" to carry all of their equipment.  This is just about as close as you can come in this day and time to having a "Rustic" - having someone fix a delightful lunch.  This is my kind of "Rustic"!

Here is a photo of the bowling alley.  It is really obvious to me that a painter planned this garden. While painting this view, I kept noticing different things that he did do make it visually appealing.  The three tall fountains at the end, arches and holes in the hedges.  There was no water in the bowling green area but it has the feeling of calm that water brings.  Really a delightful area.  The more I looked the more enjoyment I found.

I decided to plant some succulents after visiting Chandor Gardens.  So I photographed some of their plantings loaded with different kinds of cactus and succulents.  There are so many different shapes and colors, textures - like a painting in a pot!  I found one of the cactuses (seen at right in the upper right) at Walmart and when I picked it up a man who was also perusing the cactus and succulents, said on my you have really picked a dangerous thing.  That has thousands of little spines and you will have to use a magnifying glass to pick them out if you even lightly touch them!  I bought it anyway because I really like the look.  But I know to wrap it in newspaper and handle it with care thanks to him.

I'm still searching for a proper planter.  More later on the propagation of such plants.

Below is the fountain area that was the subject of my second painting.  These two paintings required more that the usual
amount of time.  The difference in the light when I started
nd finished is obvious by the shadows.

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