Friday, June 29, 2012

In the Good Ol' Summertime~~Photography of Cypress Creek and More

 Texas Hill Country Summer Fun
 by Cindy Morawski

Reflections of Summer Fun

Tiny Turtle in a Sunny Spot
When I think of summer, I am reminded of childhood summer days of fun that I had with the Little Beaver Creek in Pennsylvania.  Lazy afternoons of swimming with my brother and friends.  Exploring adventures along the water in hopes of finding turtles, tadpoles, and other signs of life.  These were all a part of savoring and enjoying the outdoors.  It helped me to appreciate many things as I grew up.  I still am grateful for those small wonders.
Duck Portrait
I returned to life along the creek this past week.  Now that I live in Texas, the water source was the Cypress Creek of Wimberley.  Paul and I checked into Creekhaven Inn, a bed and breakfast on the Cypress Creek.  On the first day, Paul and I enjoyed an afternoon swim in the local park's Blue Hole, a refreshing spring-fed delight.  Watching the boys and girls swing out on the rope and flip into the water, brought countless memories of fun and friends growing up.  Splash!  The water offered a cool refuge from a recent triple digit heatwave for June.  The stately cypress trees lined the banks.  The water was so clear that you could see the stones lined up on the bottom.  The creek's colors also possessed a blue-green cast.  Very inviting!  I could see why it was rated as one of the Top 10 Swimming Holes of America.  
Crepe Myrtles along Mill Race Lane

Day two led us on a morning hike along Mill Race Lane.  The original millrace once extended for 3700 feet from a dam across the creek to a millpond where water could be gathered to start the water wheel of the mill.  In the 1850's, William C. Winters built a saw mill and later a grist mill that were powered by the Cypress Creek.  The mills served the community for miles around.  The hand dug millrace canal or channel is still visible along the road.  Although the mills are now gone, the grinding stones are still in Wimberley and located at the Ozona Bank near the city park and bridge. 

Fern over the Creek
 A walking tour of downtown Wimberley will not only remind you of its history but also of its culture.  Art galleries, theaters, and shops offer lots of diversions from the magic and beauty of its outdoors.  Good food also awaits its visitors as well.  We had the Tuesday lunch special of chicken and spinach enchiladas at the Wimberley Cafe on the Square.  The food and service rated four Texas stars!  Yum!  Lastly, our final stop took us to the Wimberley Glassworks on RR12 outside of town.  Paul and I watched a demo of skilled artisans crafting a beautiful hand blown glass art piece.  It was an amazing finish to our little hill country get-away.  Another treasure to add to the list of "must sees."   
Relaxing on Cypress Creek
Texas Agave
Summer Highlights

Whitetail Deer and Fawn

Along River Road,
A Scenic Landscape
along Cypress Creek

Blue Hole, a Texas Treasure

Downtown Wimberley's Cypress Creek
Red, White, and Blue Bunting on the Square
Happy 4th of July!

Summer Reflections

Shady Water Oasis,
A Refuge for People and Wildlife

Green and Shady Tree Row on the Creek

Wimberley GlassWorks Landscape,
A View from the Inside to the Outside~~ Featuring Hand blown Glass

Wishing you lots of Summer Fun!
Happy July 4th!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Teaching Pastel Drawing and Painting for a Summer Youth Program

Ruthie and her Pastel Artwork

Danielle and Mom Painting a Sunrise/Sunset

 Randolph Art League and the Universal City Library Team Up with a 2012 Summer Youth Art Program

Teaching a Pastel Class,
Colorful Summer Fun!

~~by Cindy Morawski

Last Monday on June 18th, I met with a group of students aged 6 through 10 at the Universal City Library.  The Randolph Art League has teamed up with the Universal City Library to teach art classes to the local youth this summer.  Artists from the league are instructing children in everything from painting to jewelry making.  From 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. last week, my class learned about the history of pastel painting and drawing.  I also had fun with two lessons.  The first included creating a landscape and the second lesson featured drawing birds and animals.  Choosing a palette for a sunrise or sunset was part of the first lesson.  My students selected their materials and then started.  Vera Smith and Brigitte Tuttle, RAL artists, also assisted me in the class. 

I loved my students' creativity and enthusiasm.  They focused on the steps and ended up with some great artwork to take home.  Many more classes will continue through the summer.  What a wonderful way to spend some free time!  I'm glad that I was a part of it.  If you'd like to learn more about this educational program, please call or go to the following website.  Universal City Library--210.659.7048/

If you'd also like to join the Randolph Art League, our first fall meeting will take place at the Universal City Library, 100 Northview Drive, Universal City, TX, on September 5, 2012, at 7:30 p.m.  Meetings will continue throughout the year on the first Wednesday of the month.   

New Painting, New Art Class!

Finished Student Painting!  Nice Work!

True Colors on Display

Way to go, Isaac!

Ellie and her Southwest Artwork
Decisions, Decisions . . .

Vera Smith, at end of table, Creating Artwork
and Assisting with the Class

~~Happy Summer Discoveries!!!~~


Brigitte Tuttle, RAL Artist and Helper

Monday, June 11, 2012

TEXAS Hill Country Landscapes from our State Parks

When the Clouds Went over the Mountain,
Texas Hill Country View near Utopia

Painting Scenes from Texas
by Cindy Morawski

Last autumn, as I made a roadtrip stop near Utopia, Texas, I looked out over this landscape. The view came back to me in shades of blues, greens, and warm shades of gold. The sunshine was bright and beautiful, the sky~~ blue and dazzling, the clouds~~ puffy and on the move.  The clouds seemed carefee, and they easily crossed a nearby ridge of the Texas Hill Country, San Antonio's version of local mountains.  I photographed and sketched while there.  I remember the wind picking up.  I had to put on my jacket because the temperature had dipped.  It was a November afternoon when I was painting plein air.  Recently, I returned again to this Texas landscape in my studio.  It was a place of peace and happiness for me.  The sky and vista called my name. 

Clouds in the Creek,
Lost Maples Natural Area

I have a long list of interests in life, but one that not everyone would probably guess, would include stone or rock-skipping.   Last fall, I joined my grandkids, Andrew and Ari, in a little competition on the waters of Lost Maples Natural Area or Park.  We all searched for the perfect stones.  Ones that were thin, lightweight, and oval-shaped.  They had to be aerodynamic.  I had some experience in this hobby afterall.  I had started on the Little Beaver Creek in my childhood while growing up on a farm in Pennsylvania.  After I lined up my rock-skippers on the shoreline among the soft grasses, I took aim and threw.  One . . . two . . . three . . . four . . . five . . . six skips!!  Jumping up and down, I felt like I'd won an Olympic event.  Whew!  Laughing, I looked up to cheer on the children.  Andrew, was that seven skips?  Way to go!  Ari, you're next.  You go, girl!  Let's skip across the clouds in the creek

Rooted in Long Shadows,
Garner State Park

I'm a big fan of our Texas State Parks.  Last year, I kept going over the parks that I had visited.  One Texas state park that I hadn't been to in awhile was Garner.  In November of last year, Paul and I, along with our dogs, Rusty and Phineas, spent an afternoon at this glorious park.  I brought along my camera and sketchbook and proceeded to snap, snap.  With sketchbook in hand, I noted the blue and purple shadows in the late afternoon along the river.  The leaves on the trees were slowly drifting down, reminding me that in another week, the bright shades of the reds, oranges, and yellows, would be gone for another year.  We hiked around that afternoon through the long shadows of the tall trees.  The dogs chased their ball, kicking up the scattered remains of windblown souvenirs.  Paul and I sat on top of a cement picnic table taking in the landscape.  I'd traveled to Garner mostly in the spring before.  This felt like a new and fresh adventure.  Recently, I wanted to capture this memory in my studio.  So, I took up my pastels, and started.  I examined my old photos, sketches, and notes.  The scene leapt to life.  I willingly returned to Garner. 

Happy Discoveries!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Open to Possibilities~~Painting a Big Sky

 A Day in the Clouds
Pastel Painting
~~Cindy Morawski~~



A day in the clouds
Lost in dreams of light and wind
A place of wonder.

~~Cindy Morawski


Open to Possibilities

When I look upon a big, open sky, I see possibilities.  That sky looks like you could just walk right into it.  Play in it.  Meditate in it.  A day in the clouds.  

I first viewed this sky in Abiquiu, New Mexico, last fall in early October.  I stayed at Ghost Ranch for a week~~ hiking, painting, studying, and getting inspired.  My visit helped me rest, renew, and regroup.  Painting the spectacular landscapes was certainly a part of it.  But, it wasn't the only thing.  

While I painted this landscape in my studio last week, using several photo references that I had taken while in New Mexico, I kept humming this old tune . . .  "Blue skies shining on me, Nothing but blue skies do I see."  The music and words created a rhythm and harmony that helped me get in the flow of creating. 
I first laid down an underpainting; then, I proceeded with sketching my shapes.  After that, I chose my color palette.  Next, I continued by alternating the use of my hard and soft pastels to create my vision of the sky that inspired me to paint.  As I worked, I'd step away and re-examine.  What did I want my viewer to see?  I hoped the movement, color, and light of the sky's clouds would come across.   What do I see?  The sacredness of nature.  The endless possibilities of seeing the world through a different lens and new eyes.   

I'm going to frame this painting with a Rio Grande grey wood frame.  Please feel free to come by my gallery online or at my home for a closer look. 

Wishing you blue skies!
  • Mockingbird Studio & Gallery,  8603 Waldon Hts., San Antonio, TX  78254,  phone:  210.522.0706