Textures in Art

 
 Fredericksburg Cows. 12 x 24. Oil on panel.

Fredericksburg Cows. 12 x 24. Oil on panel.

 

Late one afternoon I slip out of a workshop class in Fredericksburg to photograph the fields and streams that have made the Texas Hill Country famous for its beauty. My car follows the twists, turns and undulations of a country road until I stop at a field dotted with bright bits of silky green grass edged with winter trees. Leaving the car behind, I sling my camera over my shoulder. Tiny speckled twigs snap under my feet. I inhale the cool air, smile and feel my shoulders relax, then pause to enjoy the textures of nature. The painting above is what I see. It is a perfect late afternoon, poised between winter and spring on a road whose name I do not know.
 
Interesting textures in life and art capture our attention and help us to slow down and enjoy what we see. Noticing the texture of the paint and how it is applied is another element in understanding art. In "Fredericksburg Cows" I allow some of the rust-colored underpainting to show through the green grass. Scratching the trees with the end of a wooden brush handle leaves lines to indicate roughness in the branches. Some areas have scrape marks from a palette knife so that the weave of the canvas shows through. The grassy area has a thin, transparent glaze over it to add depth and richness. The bight green in the foreground boasts a thick, buttery brush stroke. No individual blades of grass are painted; instead they are implied via the use of texture. The next time a work of art or sculpture catches your eye, take the time to look and see how the artist uses texture to create interest and capture your imagination.
 
Thanks for taking the time with me to enjoy the textures of the field on that perfect afternoon.
 
-Mallory