Texas Landscape Painting: Crystal’s Grandma’s House


Texas Landscape Painting — “Crystal’s Grandma’s House”

I just finished this commission, and my client Crystal picked up her Texas landscape painting this afternoon. Another happy customer! My latest art patron found me by Googling ‘Austin oil painter’ — I was #1 on the list! Kudos to my Austin SEO expert — Thanks, Bruce!

Planning My Texas Landscape Painting

A lot of people around the country have a mistaken impression of Texas. They envision the whole state as a dusty plain with tumbleweeds blowing around. So I always try to give a more representative impression in my Texas landscape painting compositions.

Crystal wanted me to do this landscape painting of her grandmother’s house in time for Grandma’s birthday in three weeks. [Just the right amount of time pressure :)] She emailed me a couple photos and told me what things about the house were particularly meaningful. These included two little black chihuahuas on the porch and an American flag bandanna tied to the mailbox. Crystal grew up in this house and has lots of fond memories.

Grandma’s house was in Edinburg, TX, but is no longer standing. So Crystal thought a landscape painting would be a memorable gift. The house was surrounded by lots of flowering plants — roses, purple sage, bottle brush, plumbago and periwinkle. A large cedar tree dominated the photo; but I applied a little artistic license — mercilessly pruning the tree and moving shrubs around to expose the front door and more of the porch.

Crystal asked me to add a white swing to the porch; although it wasn’t there when the photo was taken. I just painted a suggestion of the swing; since it really wouldn’t have shown much at all if I hadn’t shrunk the tree. There were also two unique roof decorations that really didn’t show from the front view. So I made some ‘enhancements’ to the roofline to make these interesting “swooshes” show. These modifications illustrate the benefits of landscape paintings over photographs — the artist can add or interpret things that are not present in the pics.

A Familiar Texas Landscape to Paint

It was interesting for me to imagine the house from Crystal’s point-of-view. The completed landscape painting looked quite a bit like MY grandmother’s house in Corpus Christi, TX. So I wasn’t surprised to find out her Grandma lived in South Texas too. There was the same white clapboard house — red concrete porch, giant cedar tree on the right. So, of course, my latest Texas landscape painting stirred up fond memories of mine as well. How pleasant it was to paint this bit of nostalgia!

About Valerie Rawlings

Austin, Texas oil painter focusing on portraits, landscapes and still life paintings
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6 Responses to Texas Landscape Painting: Crystal’s Grandma’s House

  1. Carrie says:

    I don’t know which I like better, your landscapes or your still lifes. This is nice.

  2. Judy Scherer says:

    Beautiful grandma’s house. Looks very inviting, and you can almost hear the laughter and good times it held.

    • Those are very kind words. Thanks Judy! I hope this painting said the same to Crystal and her grandma! Landscapes are a little easier than portraits, but I had the hardest time deciding when this was done. Everytime I went back to it I fiddled with something and finally decided I was overworking it. I finally liked it after Crystal liked it!

  3. Judy Eagle says:

    ANOTHER WINNER!!!! Just love them all

    • Thanks, Judy! I hope you are unleashing your creativity too! Seems like you were longing to get back into painting a (long)while ago. Dang it’s been a long time since I’ve see you! You look terrific on FB!