Archive for December, 2017

Approaching Yuletide

December 7, 2017

300 finished

Finally Finished with the #300

This watercolor marks the culmination of my 2017 series titled “The American Railroad Odyssey” featured at The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine, Texas. The subject is one of the steam locomotives that used to pull The Polar Express between Palestine and Rusk. I thought it fitting to enter the Christmas season with a splash of red as the Texas State Railroad 300 approaches the station in the night to pick up waiting, expectant children in their pajamas.

This has been an exciting week of business and pleasure in Lubbock, Texas. I have entered into an agreement with another gallery, Art for Goodness Sake Gallery & Studio located at 1810 19th Street. David and Leann Lamb-Vines have been such gracious proprietors and I have deposited in their gallery a substantial quantity of greeting cards (including the new sets of Christmas card trains) and limited edition signed and numbered prints. Already they have sold pieces of mine, and I’m excited to be in business with them.

Tomorrow I will give my last classroom final exam at Texas Wesleyan University and then plan to enjoy an extended holiday break before resuming with a pair of Humanities classes in the Spring. Some of my finest students have already signed up for that course, and I’m ecstatic at the prospects of seeing them again.

I have had the privilege of writing extensively in my journal this morning as I’m now reading volume 1 of Robert Motherwell, A Catalogue Raisonné, 1941-1991. A deep sentiment was triggered when I read the following words of something he experienced right after his first one-man-show:

This was the moment when Motherwell realized that he did not have to try to seek a single image, or give a real priority to any single image; that he wanted to create a body of work that would reflect the entire range of his sensibility and feelings, which he could explore in different images that would reflect different aspects of his being.

I found this liberating, because I, as an art history teacher, recognized that though Motherwell is often “branded” with his “Elegy of the Spanish Republic” and Willem de Kooning with his “Woman” series, that these artists did not stick with just one subject; they were not one-trick ponies, and never became their own fan of a single signature series.

Since March of this year, I have focused on train subjects in my watercolors, knowing I was going to launch this Railroad Odyssey show in December. But now I am ready to explore other subjects once again, as in the past I have delighted in a number of genres, including plein-air landscape, still life, American nostalgia and Blues music. Recently there has been a revived interest in my collage pieces of my academic heroes. I have plans to return to that genre as well.

The holiday season is offering plenty of new experiences, and I’m beginning to relax into this new life that beckons.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Winter Time

December 5, 2017

tuesday

It is the sense of the sublime that we have to regard as the root of man’s creative activities in art, thought and noble living. Just as no flora has ever fully displayed the hidden vitality of the earth, so has no work of art ever brought to expression the depth of the unutterable, in the sight of which the souls of saints, poets and philosophers live. The attempt to convey what we see and cannot say is the everlasting theme of mankind’s unfinished symphony, a venture in which adequacy is never achieved. Only those who live on borrowed words believe in their gift of expression. A sensitive person knows that the intrinsic, the most essential, is never expressed.

Abraham Joshua Heschel, Man is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion

In 1978, while a seminary student, I was introduced to Heschel’s classic book, The Prophets, authored in 1962. I was taken with this scholar’s approach to the study of Hebrew prophecy, and never heard his name again until I was reading some book associated with art (don’t recall what!) and read his name associated with this book Man is Not Alone. On a lark, I purchased the work through Amazon, and have been amazed at its contents. I took the book with me to the Randy Brodnax and Friends Christmas Art Show last weekend, and continued reading it during slow moments between sales.

20171201_161129

My booth at the Randy Brodnax Show

Reading the book made me ache for a return to the studio, as I always do when I’m stuck in a booth for several days. I am never able to express what I feel when I am working on a piece of art, and am glad to read such words as those above. “Ineffable” is the best word for the experience of creating art. Currently I am working on this Christmas railroad theme and about to finish another steam locomotive under a snowy night sky, as snow flurries are already beginning outside my window as I write this.

Winter time is a season I always anticipate with gladness, not only because of Thanksgiving and Christmas but also because of the transitions. Friday I’ll give my last final exam at the college and enjoy a month hiatus from teaching. My American Railroad Odyssey show at The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine will close December 16, and I will be in the gallery Fri-Saturday the next two weekends. Currently I’m doing business with Art for Goodness Sake, a gallery in Lubbock, Texas that began carrying my work two months ago. Once I’m finished at the college this week, I’ll transition into this “winter time” season where I’ll be able to focus exclusively on making art and re-stocking my inventory in the galleries and shops that carry my work. There is a possibility of a show in January, and if that comes to fruition, I’ll announce it immediately.

I love this time of year! Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

 

December 1, 2017

Sons of Hermann 

I am absolutely exhausted, having been here since 9 a.m. to set up. But the first night has been very successful, with crowds and good sales throughout the night. I just wanted to post a picture of my booth. There is still plenty of work to do tonight in order to be ready for tomorrow, so I am making this brief. Thanks always for reading. We’ll be open Saturday and Sunday.