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AGCT Program Folders/2021 Programs/221 Spring Exhibit

Welcome to the Art Guild's Archives!

June 27 - Carleen Bright Arboretum Show

Bring your paintings for our show to the Arboretum Monday, June 27, between 9 a.m. and noon.  The topic is "Scenes Around Waco".  Bluebonnets, lake scenes, zoo animals, farm animals, & children are okay so long as they could be from around here.   Please call Ellen Foster at 756-0347 to let her know how many paintings you plan to bring, if you have not already reported that.  Dues must be current to participate.

June 5 - Richard Skurla - Abstract Landscape

Richard Skurla came to Waco from Colorado and soon established a gallery, studio, and art store on Austin Avenue. He showed us how he develops an abstracted landscape. He began with a discussion of various brushes and their uses, which some members had requested. He showed us some of his brushes that had worn into entirely new shapes over the years, but remained favorites because their unique shapes were useful. Flat brushes tend to get their corners rounded into something more like filberts, and most brushes get shorter, and therefore stiffer, with use.

Richard passed around a photo of a Colorado river on which he had drawn rectangles framing several compositions worth painting. He made some small patches of several blues on his canvas, explaining his preference for Prussian blue over French ultramarine, and manganese blue over cerulean. Wiping those off, he began the painting by sketching the basic shapes in the scene using thin oil paint and a small, stiff brush.

Then he began to block in colors (mixed with liquin to promote rapid drying), greens and purples for the hillsides and ridges, and a variety of colors in the river. He uses about fifteen colors on his palette to provide the bright, pure colors that he wants to end with. In the meantime, he grays them by mixing his colors with their complements, or warming or cooling them with adjacent colors, but he recommends against using earth tone colors. Richard emphasized that landscapes should have something interesting almost anywhere you look, rather than having only one point of interest.

He moved around to different areas of the painting, filling in the sky, the rocks along the banks and in the river, and brush in the foreground. The river was developed further by darkening patches where shadows of trees on the hill to the right would fall, and adding reflection from the sky. He also made the tree line on the left bank more irregular.

He continued to refine the image until he had achieved a quite nice impressionistic painting. He explained that he had originally learned to paint impressionistically, and that by starting with this representational image, he grounded his work in reality so that he could convey a sense of the original scene to viewers of the final painting.

Finally, he began to abstract (or "Skurlafy" as his students call it) the painting by laying in thick layers of attention-demanding bright colors with a painting knife.  If he thinks he has overdone it and made things a bit too garish, he brushes the surface paint some to mix it with the base layer and tone the colors down.

Richard promised to finish the painting, and invited us to come by his studio at 1621 Austin to see it. The gallery is no longer open, so call (756-3321) before dropping by, or go on a Thursday evening, when he has classes. In fact, you may want to go for lessons, which are offered from 6-9 p.m. Thursdays for $15 a session. He also invited us to a showing of his students' work on Saturday, June 11, between 1 and 8 p.m. We want to thank Richard for a very helpful demonstration.

Show and Tell



  Pat Blackwell              Bill Franklin              Judy Franklin         


    Larry Garza              Jean Larkie            Gloria Meadows     


Christine Niekamp                          John Vasek                      


Pat Blackwell brought a Texas theme saw blade clock in honor of Mr. Skurla, who said at his last demo for us that his gallery would never display bluebonnets on saw blades.  Along with several bird carvings, John Vasek brought several stages in making one: a block of wood, the head and body shapes cut out with a saw, and these shapes glued together and partly carved (against the red background above).

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