Sunday, April 3, 2016

Painting What's All Around: Paint the Town, Marble Falls, TX

"Cacti On the Rocks" oil on panel, 14"x18." Photo by Saunders Fine Arts.
I had a great time at Paint the Town in Marble Falls, TX this past week. Marble Falls is just a short drive from our stay in San Antonio, so I was able to drive up each day and participate. One of the things I commend the organizers for is the tour of the area that they gave us the morning the event opened. We were driven to a number of interesting locations that none of us would have been aware of without the tour.

After that, we're all faced with the challenge of what to paint. Should it be the lighthouse, the lake, downtown or maybe the marina? The one thing I noticed everywhere was the cacti. No, they weren't blooming, but there's still something beautiful from a design perspective about the way they grow. As you look closer, you notice all of the subtle temperature changes throughout their pads.

Set up and ready to go.
I found an area near the On the Rocks bar and set to work. I looked for a grouping that created a nice foreground middle ground and background to pull the eye through the composition. As I worked I began to notice all of the subtle temperature changes throughout their pads. The challenge became choosing what not to paint. I painted and scraped down some areas repeatedly.

Getting lost in the details.
Too much. You can see that I scraped
down and repainted the background to simplify.

This was one of those pieces that I was never quite sure if it was finished. There came a point when the light had changed enough that it was time to call it quits. In the end, this was the piece I turned in for the final judging. I'm pleased to say that the judge, John Pototschnik,  awarded it Best of Show. - Patrick Saunders

© Patrick & Kimberly Saunders, Plein Air Streaming, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. Very nice painting. Are there any events going on in the Red Oak ( south of Dallas) area ?

  2. Congrats on your Best of Show. Well deserved.

  3. Great job and nice to see how you edited! Congratulations on the award too!! Less detail is the ongoing quest, right?!

    1. Thank you. And yes, suggestion of detail is always better than actual detail!