Friday, January 23, 2009

Yellow Rose of CostaTexaRica

I was born in Houston about the same time dirt was made. Houston was a lot smaller and safer then, and my childhood memories of growing up there have a kind of magical quality to them. I won't bore you with recounting them, because each of you had a childhood too, or you wouldn't be sitting there reading this, and the last thing you wanna do is read about somebody else's childhood. But I do want to dwell a second on Texas. I painted the yellow rose above and for three weeks went around mentally humming "The Yellow Rose of Texas", ...I came very close to crossing the border into LooneyBirdLand. It must have showed, cause people would come up and ask me if I needed to lay down and take a few aspirin.
Here in Costa Rica, I meet a lot of tourists from everywhere...lots of Europeans and Asians. Whether stemming from a deep sense of concern for others, or just plain being nosy, I ask a lot of questions. One of my favorite questions is "Where all have ya been on your travels"? I'm amazed how many folks have been to Texas and equally amazed at their impressions of the state, from "really sucks" to " absolutely, wonderfully fantastic". Well now, what a conundrum. But, thinking about it. Texas IS so diverse, those reactions are understandable. If a person was blindfolded and set down in South Texas, he might think he was in a tropical paradise. Set down in Galveston or Padre Island, ...Texas is white beaches by the sea. Set down in East Texas...thick woods and hiking trails. Houston or Dallas...the Metropolitan scene. Big Bend..the Grand Canyon. Abilene in February...the Arctic. El Paso...the desert. Lubbock...Mars on a bad day. So I painted this yellow rose as a salute to Texas.
I usually paint wildlife, so this rose was a bit of a challenge. I experimented around with something called Interference color. It's a pearl textured medium you mix in with your paint and it lends a somewhat iridescent quality to the painting. Not sure I like it. It sure doesn't photograph or scan well and you can notice the effect on the right of the rose. It's called interference because it "interferes" with the transmission of color and results in this lustrous image. They really are doing some neat things in the science world with visual effects. I managed to get hold of some of that material they're developing for cloaking and invisibility and mixed some in with my acrylics. I did a frog painting with it, but I haven't been able to find it, so I don't know how it turned out. Think I'll just stick with my little plastic paints.


  1. Wow, it sounds like you have such a cool life! I visited Costa Rica a few years back, it was gorgeous! We checked out Nicaragua too, loved Granada!

  2. Aha, Rachel...Costa Rica is indeed a marvelous country. And Granada, Nicaragua is charming and very friendly. I posted a blog a few days ago with the chihuahua at the door of a Granada home. The architecture in Granada is fantastic and I have a wealth of pictures, some of which I hope to get on canvas soon. Thanks for dropping by.

  3. OK, here is an utterly absurd comment, but I can't resist. You can sing almost any Emily Dickinson poem to the tune of the "Yellow Rose of Texas." Try it!

    "Because I could not stop for death
    He kindly stopped for me
    The carriage held but just ourselves
    And immortality."

    Sorry if I have ruined Emily Dickinson for anyone.


  4. Howdy James - thanks for stopping by my blog - I love how you have really captured Texas in this post... How cool to live near volcanos and rain forests! keep up the great blogging...
    Nancy and the fatties in Flower Mound