Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Prairie School, Arkansas County

Prairie School
8X10, Oil on Panel
A couple of weeks ago, I took a trip out to the Delta for some plein air painting.  At the time, I thought I was about to get to go out to Idaho for some mountain biking and painting so I wanted to get some easel time before that.  The Idaho trip didn't pan out but I did get a couple of great little paintings from this trip.
I was walking through the town of Stuttgart, looking for something to jump out at me and taking pictures when I saw a sign for the Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie.  I knew there was a Grand Prairie Arts Center in town so I thought this might be it.  The sign told me to go 7 blocks away from downtown so I got back in the car and headed that way.  When I found it, I knew immediately it wasn't the Arts Center.  There were several pieces of antique farm equipment fronting a highway which looked to be good painting material.  I knew none of them would be things I would want to tackle en plein air right then due to the complexity so I photographed instead.  When I turned to the head back to the car, an old church steeple caught my eye.  On the other end of the museum grounds were several period buildings, the aforementioned church, a pioneer log cabin, this red schoolhouse, and a seemingly more recent fire department building.  I really wanted to paint the church but with limited time, I decided on the red schoolhouse.
Sometimes, things work out in strange ways.  I had decided before I laid down a single stroke that I would ask permission.  The lady inside looked a little bewildered when I asked if I could paint one of their buildings.  After I explained better that I was an artist painting en plein air, she asked if I would bring it in to see when done.  Long story short, this painting will be going to the museum as soon I get a frame on it to hang in the gift shop!

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