Cleburne resident Pam Hurst sat tucked under an entryway of the Ellis County Courthouse. Paint tubes and messy brushes were scattered around her.

"I haven't painted outside in a long time," she explained. "I did this 10 years ago. I had pretty good success with it."

Hurst looked down at her canvas and back across the street toward the building that houses Big Al's Down the Hatch in downtown Waxahachie. Color moved from her brush to the canvas.

Hurst is one of 37 registered painters who participated in the 14th annual Paint History Waxahachie event hosted by the Ellis County Art Association. The event ran from May 17 through May 26 to leads up to the 51st annual Gingerbread Trail Tour of Homes this weekend.

The event is open to all association members, but nonmembers could register to become members online to participate, association member Mary Wyrtzen said. It is all about promoting Waxahachie and Ellis County, she added.

Wyrtzen explained artists stop by the association's office to check in and get their materials stamped before taking to the streets of Ellis County to paint historical landmarks.

They are required to paint outside with materials that were approved by the association. The most important rule though was to paint outside, Wyrtzen added.

Hurst participated in the event 10 years ago, and she decided she wanted to try again. This time, instead of using watercolors, she moved to acrylics.

"It's kind of a different animal when you're outside," Hurst said. "You have to deal with a lot of different things."

She said she had to handle the harsh wind that blew while she painted this past week, which is why she set up against the historic courthouse.

"I found a good little spot back here where the wind's not blowing me," Hurst noted with her back almost touching one of the doors on the courthouse.

Painting isn't new for Hurst, either. She's painted since she was eight years old and it progressed as she grew up with parents who were also interested in artwork.

"I just grew up like that," she said. "I just wanted to do it."

Hurst typically focuses on painting landscapes, so it was a challenge getting out of the studio and changing her style a bit. She most recently started painting pet portraits for her friends.

"I paint a little bit of everything," Hurst noted.

She added that Waxahachie is a great city to host an event like this.

"It's a great place to have a paint out," she said.


Samantha Douty, @SamanthaDouty