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Welcome to the Art Guild's Archives!

January 6 - George Boutwell - Watercolor with a new look

     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.

January 6 - George Boutwell - Watercolors Like No Other

     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 artist full 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 and acid-free. (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.
     Grasses 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, he 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 below.

                                        

 Judy Franklin                 Rose Jacobson              Eileen Lyster               Bobbee Watts

 

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