Welcome to the Art
2005 January 9 - George Boutwell
Boutwell sketched a landscape, took it nearly to completion for us in
less than three hours, and entertained us with stories while doing it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Show & Tell
Linda Morales Christine
Niekamp Bobbee Watts
2004-2005 - Providence Hospital Rehab Room
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
next meeting. Dues must be current to