Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I had a nice long stretch of painting time and laid down the backgrounds for the cacti, rocks and logs. 
Nan Henke
Texas Hill Country Art

Monday, June 21, 2010

Watercolor Tip #1 (with apologies to Nike)

At some point you stop redesigning the composition of the painting and you have to start making marks on the big piece of paper - just DO it! 
Here I am placing the red cactus flowers in the foreground.  Because of the camera lighting, you cannot see that I am standing in a dark room.  The paper is taped to the door and behind me is a photo projector, sitting on an ironing board. 
I have found this to be the best way to combine several photos into one composition.  You can move the projector forward or back, up or down, until the size and location of each photo is correct and melds into what you have already drawn.
Nan Henke
Texas Hill Country Art

Monday, June 14, 2010

"What do you DO as a ranch hand?"

I was suprised by this question last week and responded, "A little bit of whatever needs doing!" 
Here is a photo that is part of one task that I have set myself: to sneak 21st century technology into the operation of an old fashioned Texas Hill Country ranch.  
When we run a lot of cattle through the squeeze chute (it is humane, I promise!) to give them tests or vaccinations, I take a digital photo of each face.  Then when one solid black cow out of a group of thirty solid black cows loses her identifying ear tag (think of losing a pierced earring) I can match her face to one of the  photos and make her a new tag: Yellow 151. 
Thirty black cows may all look alike from the highway as you drive by, but this one has one ear lower than the other, only one cowlick, located almost on top of her head, a smooth dark nose and three little ridges above each eye.
Nan Henke
Texas Hill Country Art

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Inturruption for Inspiration

Feeling artistically slumpy... 
Went for a walk in the Cibolo Nature Center...
Inspired by these brown eyed susans....
Went home and painted them fast!
Not my usual style, but I like it!
Now I can return a little fresher to the commissioned painting I am supposed to be working on!
Nan Henke
Texas Hill Country Art