George Boutwell demonstrated his
painting for us three years ago this month. He sketched a
landscape and took it nearly to completion in less than three hours,
entertaining us with stories throughout. See below for what
it looked like at the end of the demo. Those lucky enough to be
there will remember it fondly, and will be ready for a repeat
performance. Those who missed it might want to see the report from
our Archives. Go to
www.artguildct.org, click on the Archives button on the left side of
the page, and scroll down the list to 2005 Jan. Or just show up
and be amazed.
George uses some traditional
watercolor washes, but then he applies dense paint with odd brushes and
sponges, finishing up with a fine brush for details. The result is
impressive, which explains why he has been able to market his art very
successfully. We meet at our usual time and place, the Waco
Charter School, 615 E 25th Street, 1:30 for refreshments and
conversation, with the meeting beginning at 2, and the demo soon
thereafter. First time visitors are free, so bring friends along.
And please bring some of your recent work to share at Show and Tell.
George has made his home in Clifton for 20 years after working in Austin
as a gallery artist, an abstract impressionist, and art editor and
senior editor of Texas Highways magazine. After he began to sell
his work at Art in the Park, he decided he would make his living as an
time. He has achieved great success in painting realistic Texas
scenes, using watercolor, and now shows only in Texas. He said he
has spent as much of his creative energy in marketing his work as in
painting. From the beginning he obtained names and addresses of his
customers and sent postcards and flyers to all of them.
His website has also been very successful. He started small with
production paintings selling for $20-$30. He now does his own
scanning and printing of his original
works, so he can have the first proof of the painting the same day as it
is completed. He sells originals, full size prints, cards, and
calendars. e does his own framing, with barn wood frames making up
70% of the business. He and his wife have a gallery at their home
near Clifton, which is open weekdays, 9:00-5:00, and on weekends by
appointment. He handed out catalogs to those in attendance, which
included some twenty visitors.
For his demonstration, he sketched a landscape at sunrise on a misty
morning. He worked on hot press 515 watercolor board, which is 100% rag
(He also likes to work with 115 rag surface board.) He likes hot press
for its smoother surface. He used Windsor Newton colorless masking fluid
to mask areas he wanted to keep light in color. He put it on with the
brush in the cap, since the masking fluid is hard to remove completely
and can ruin a brush for painting. He let the masking fluid dry for
fifteen or twenty minutes, and then
applied a wet-on-wet wash in the sky area, using cadmium red light and
Windsor blue. For the trees along the horizon, he used a cheap sponge in
a radiator hose dipped in the paint.
were painted with a palette knife which had a serrated
end (at right), with a fan brush (at left), and with a fine pointed
brush. (He sometimes uses a plastic fork to achieve the effect.)
He used a piece of clear celluloid to blot paint on the road to provide
texture (below left). To add additional texture, he spattered some paint
hitting his brush against the handle
of another brush (below right). He said that he discovered many of
his techniques while cranking
out production paintings early in his career. He recommended doing
such painting to improve discipline and speed up the painting process.
He reminded us that the only rule in painting is that there are no
rules. The guidelines that are often suggested by experienced painters
are not meant to be followed rigidly; they are just a help in starting.
When the background and large areas of the painting were done,
removed the masking fluid and painted a house and windmill in meticulous
detail along the horizon (at left). Ground fog was suggested by
using white gouache to make the grass detail fade with distance, and
lightening and blurring
the edge between the grass and the background trees and buildings (at
right). His palette includes cadmium red light, cadmium yellow light,
burnt sienna, Windsor blue, and sometimes violet, along with white
gouache, which he uses occasionally. He said he hasn't washed his
palette in 30 years, and it looked it!
Toward the end, the audience gathered closer to see the finishing
details and to thank George for his most interesting demonstration (at
right). Although George will do some touching up, the painting was
essentially finished in about two hours. It is shown below as it
appeared at the end of the session.
We also thank Violet Piper, Myrl Luper, Ellen Foster,
Christine Niekamp, Bobbee Watts, Rose Jacobson, and Gloria Meadow for
the refreshments, and those who brought art for Show and Tell, shown