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Welcome to the Art Guild's Archives!

2005 January 9 - George Boutwell

George Boutwell sketched a landscape, took it nearly to completion for us in less than three hours, and entertained us with stories while doing it.

 

He uses watercolors in a unique way, making limited use of thin washes. Most of the painting was done with dense paint applied to a dry surface. He used a 1 1/2" Oxhair brush for the washes and some small sable brushes for details, but most of the painting was done with stubby brushes and sponges. The stubby brushes are some his then small daughter ruined many years ago. While contemplating how to punish her, he realized that they might have possibilities. He uses them like stamps to apply irregular blotches of paint. The sponges are just larger versions of the same thing. They are crammed into cylinders ranging in size from pen shells to radiator hose. This technique is especially effective for leafy trees and flowers. For grass, he uses a fan brush to apply paint and a serrated clay tool to scrape some of it back off.

Mr. Boutwell paints on Hot Pressed Crescent 115 Watercolor Board, which he finds more forgiving than watercolor paper. As with any watercolor, good planning is the key. He pays special attention to getting values right. To mask areas that he will return to for details at the end, he uses Incredible White Mask (in small bottles to keep it fresh) and applies and removes it with Incredible Nibs.

His paint preference is Windsor Newton Watercolors, which he finds to be more consistent in color from tube to tube than other brands. His background in four color (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) printing made it easy for him to limit his palette to a few "primaries." He paints almost everything with Windsor Blue, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Yellow Light and Cadmium Red Light. Actually, he began using just blue and Sienna. After he got good at that, he added red, and later yellow. Occasionally, he will use a violet or some white for highlights, but he warns against using too much white. He hasn't cleaned his palette in over 30 years. He considers some mixing of his primaries to give a consistency to the painting and a more natural subduing of the colors.

Mr. Boutwell began drawing very early and decided to make it his career when he won a contest in his k-8 school as a fourth grader. His mother passed away when he was only 2 years old. After that he and his father drifted around. He was always the new kid and had problems socializing. Shy about talking, he drew instead. Soon he discovered that the other kids were impressed and accepted him more quickly.

As an adult, he moved from an ad agency to art director for Texas Highways when that was an internal communication for the Texas DOT. He talked his boss into doing a special issue for the San Antonio Hemisfair. A legislator saw the issue and liked it so well that he got it turned into a magazine to attract tourists. George wasn't making much because his lack of formal training limited him to a low employment classification. He took a course to get a certificate, was moved up in rank, and earned more. However, he feared becoming stuck in a routine job with too little time to develop his own artistic style, so he quit and made an effort to get into galleries.

His experiences with galleries were not happy. They were slow to appreciate his unique style, and they wanted him to limit himself to a narrow range of subjects to establish him as a niche artist. He wasn't willing to do that, and soon pulled his paintings from the galleries and began selling them in street shows. Selling directly to the public has worked well for him. He began in Austin, where he had a Victorian house he loved, but he did mostly country scenes.

One patron asked why he didn't move to the country. George said he would if he could find a Victorian house on a hilltop with a pristine view. The patron located one near Clifton. George moved there, and has never regretted it. Many of his paintings are of scenes at his ranch, but he paints scenes from all over Texas. He travels the state to sell at shows and take photographs he can use as resources for his paintings. On the ranch, he has done much restoration of his house and has built a large studio and warehouse. He prints an annual catalog and also has a web site, so many of his sales are mailed to buyers.

George loves to paint. In fact, he says he gets grumpy if he goes without painting for a couple of days. As a result, he has a great many paintings from which he makes prints, calendars and note cards. The expense of printing and the warehouse space needed to store large runs of these have led him to invest over $10,000 in equipment to make his own prints. Lower printing costs have paid for the equipment in just two years, besides which he has avoided having to build an additional warehouse, since he can make prints to order instead of having to warehouse stacks of them.

He has discovered that many art buyers assume that anything under glass must be a copy. To combat this misperception, George now coats his watercolors with varnish. He gives them a couple of coats of Crylon Acrylic Clear with UV protection and a coat of Acrylic Gloss Medium so that his originals can be displayed in open frames.

We would like to thank Mr. Boutwell for a wonderful presentation. To visit Mr. Boutwell's web site, click on http://www.gboutwell.com/

Show & Tell

                             

    Myrl Luper               Linda Morales        Christine Niekamp       Bobbee Watts

                             

                                                        Nancy Cagle

                             

                                                        Jean Larkie

 

2004-2005 - Providence Hospital Rehab Room

The Art Guild has 56 paintings currently on exhibit at the Providence Out-Patient Rehab center in addition to the Central Texas Dental Care office in Hewitt.  In the hospital's next newsletter, they will announce the Art Guild's desire to exhibit in other departments.  This exhibit will hopefully grow to cover additional centers throughout the Hospital.  If you are interested in exhibiting at Providence Hospital, there will be a sign-up sheet at the Art Guild's next meeting.  Dues must be current to participate.

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