Saturday, February 5, 2011

Jacksonport Courthouse, Jackson County

Jacksonport Courthouse
8X8, Oil on Oak Panel

The weather last weekend here in central Arkansas was fantastic!  We had highs on Saturday in the 70's!  Sunday was pretty decent too so I took a trip up to the Delta in northeast Arkansas to paint and take pictures.  I stopped first at Jacksonport State Park in Jackson County.  The town of Jacksonport is at the confluence of the White and Black Rivers.  Back in the day of steam boats, this was a bustling hub of commerce and the Jackson County courthouse here was a focal point of early pioneer life.  When rail became the transport mode of choice, Jacksonport was supplanted by nearby Newport in terms of both commerce and legal power.  The county seat was moved from Jacksonport to Newport and a new courthouse constructed.  This once marvelous example of Mansord Architecture fell into disuse for many years before being bought in the 1960's by a conservation group and a lengthy restoration begun.  I did two paintings here.  This was my favorite because of the play of light across the highly pitched roofline.  The other I guess I'll do some studio work and maybe post it later.  It's a small 5X7.

After leaving Jacksonport, I explored Newport as the temperature began to drop.  Then I headed east to Poinsett County and the anomolous landform of Crowley's Ridge where I did another small painting which I'll definitely finish out in the studio.  After that, I rolled through Cross county and Woodruff County as clouds rolled in and I rushed to finish picture taking and get home.

I can already tell that painting in the Delta is going to be very different and possibly quite difficult for me.  The sky is very dominant in the flat land of the Delta.  Pure landscapes will be very much skyscapes.  The easy way would be do a bunch of almost identical looking, non-descript fields with distant treelines or grain silos.  But I'm never one to take the easy route. 

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