Paint Out in Waxahachie- 2009

For the fourth year I have participated in the "Paint Out" in Historic Waxahachie, Texas. This "Plein Air" event is sponsored by the Ellis County Art Association and was, as always, a fun few days of painting.

I was able to paint for most of 6 days...some days being more productive than others. (After painting for a couple hours on a house portrait, I ended up scraping it off the canvas and starting again the next day) I painted several locations around town, including 2 pastels and an oil painting on the square. I also painted a couple of the old victorian houses, as well as a pastel of a smaller home a block or two off main street.

Pastel of Historic Courthouse
Pastel on sanded paper

One of my favorite painting locations was in an old alley, a block from the historic courthouse, with all its disorder, gutters, smells and an illusive alley cat. (Artist Mary Rabien pointed this alley out to me one morning while I was trying to find a locatoin to paint. Thanks Mary, great spot!)

Mary Rabien
Mary Rabien painting Waxahachie courthouse from alley.

At this location I painted a power pole with three transformers and the tops of the buildings that made the alley. It's called "The Powers That Be".

Setup in alley
S.Miller painting in alley.

Powers That Be
Painting titled "The Powers That Be"

Another favorite location, not only for me, but for many of the 50 participating artist, was down by the railroad tracks and the old train depots.

Grain Silos

This area is off the square a couple of blocks and has two old depot buildings, a feed store and some old grain silos, all of which seemed to communicate well to the artist....."Paint me".

Grain Silos

I painted the grain silos and railroad tracks. I was actsually at this location a couple days with artist Jerral Derryberry, who not only is an excellent artist, but a great teacher as well.

Jerral Derryberry
Jerral Derryberry painting the historic Waxahachie courthouse.

As in the previous years, all the work created during the "Paint Out" event were taken to the historic "Chautauqua" auditorium to be judged by plein air artist Bruce Peil. Fellow artist and friend Ted Clemens won "Best of Show" with an oil painting called "Along College". Another friend, Tina Bohlman won 1st place with a beautiful watercolor. I was very happy to win the "Peoples Choice" award.

The competition was followed by an art sale at the Chautauqua. Below are a few photos from the event and some of the paintings.

Star & Light Spangled
Star & Light Spangled - Oil on canvas panel

Home Again
Home Again - Pastel on sanded paper

Hidden - Oil on canvas

Don't Walk
Don't Walk - Oil on panel

Courthouse setup
S.Miller on courthouse lawn working on a pastel painting, watercolor artist David Tripp in background.

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Plein Air Ramblings...
• Paint Out in Waxahachie, Texas - 08
Paint Out in Waxahachie, Texas - 06-07

The French expression en plein air means "in the open air" and is most used to describe the act of painting outside in the environment. It is by far the most enjoyable painting experience. Most who try it once are hooked.

Part of the appeal for painting "en plein air" is the natural light. While painting from photos gives the artist more unrushed time, photos do not capture all the subtle colors and depth that can be observed in nature.

Usually, plein air paintings are done quickly, within a couple of hours and are painted on smaller panels or canvas, rarely no larger than a 12" x 16". The primary reason for the short time and small painting surface is the ever-changing light. Light and shadows will change dramatically in a 2 hours span of time.

You can learn more by clicking here!
What is a Giclée?

Like the long standing European tradition of rendering one image at a time, these giclée images are printed one at a time on canvas. These unique prints capture even the most subtle tints and minute details of the original painting. Giclée prints render deep, saturated color which are as close to the original artwork as is possible.