Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Riverwalk Colors


Mark Keathley

Riverwalk Colors

24 x 48



-Gabriel Diego Delgado

The San Antonio River has a rich and elaborate history; steeped in celebratory recognition by indigenous settlers.  In 1536 Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, a shipwrecked captive of the Native Americans, makes his way with his captors to the southern part of  Texas; he is one of the first to describe the elegance of the river in what is now San Antonio. 

 Fast forward 300 years and in 1809 La Villita develops across the river from Mission San Antonio and the Villa de San Fernando.  Another century later in 1936, Jack White, owner of the White Plaza Hotel, and the Mexican Businessmen's Association stage the first river parade. The early 1940’s saw the completion of the walkways, stairways, footbridge, rock walls, and Arneson River Theater.  In the midst of the 1960’s counter culture revolution, San Antonio voters approved a $500,000 bond issue for Paseo del Rio improvements.  The decade from 2000-2010 saw the scenic landscape drastically change with various additions of commerce on the river walk with the opening of such landmark businsses and well known restaurant chains like: The Drury, Mexican Manhattan, Landry's, Hotel Valencia, Pat O’Brien’s, Watermark Hotel and Spa, Five & Dime General Store, Hotel Contessa, Rainforest Café, Waxy O’Connor’s, Iron Cactus, Culinary Institute of America, Pearl Stable, Aztec Theatre, Drury Plaza, Saltgrass Steakhouse, and the Grand Hyatt, among many others.

 Contested as a bucket list pilgrimage of many national and international tourists, but also a nightly adventure playground by the newly established urban residents, the Riverwalk can play a variety of roles for anyone- including Muse.

 While many artists have chosen to paint the San Antonio Riverwalk, from hobbyists to en plein air to easel painters- all try to capture the metaphysical essence of such a national treasure.

 Mark Keathley’s new riverwalk landscape offers a painterly panoramic version of an extended vantage of the crowded umbrellascape for lackadaisical café cruising.  Complementing, vibrant and rich hues of spring flair compose the color palette in Riverwalk Colors, a 24” x 48” oil on canvas. Cool river reflections shimmer and mimic the playful plants and manicured vegetation that smatter the iconic river-scape. Rustically rendered architectural structures line the right flank of the painting, leading us in a one point perspective along a curving waterline.  Spanish tiled roofs, stucco facades and the Riverwalk Vistas’s signatory brick exterior contrast the seemingly organic pathway on the left riverbank.

 Extraordinary care was taken to capture the sunlight peering down onto the cobblestone, warming the ever so inviting casual dining area.  Highlights in the stone wall create glowing accents by the furthest table, affixing the center point of the painting.   Sunspots act as vibrant spotlights that dance down the pedestrian sidewalk as light filters through various tree canopies.

 Keathley achieves a new level of nostalgic integrity by allowing us, the viewer to experience his own fond memory of San Antonio by placing us in his shoes, a perfect picturesque moment.  Thank you Mark, Thank you!

 © Gabriel Diego Delgado

To purchase work by Mark Keathley, Please call J.R. Mooney Galleries at: 210-828 8214, or visit us at

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