Have Brush. Will Travel

Setting to Work on my Next Commission

A whisper ran through the crowd as it watched the two artists, one short and sanguine, the other tall and diffident, shake hands and exchange a few friendly words:

“Still producing marvels, I see.”

“As usual! What about you, have you nothing in this year?”

“Not a thing. I’m having a rest, looking for a new idea.”

“Don’t be funny. You don’t need to look for new ideas!”

Emile Zola, The Masterpiece

Reading this passage over coffee this morning gave me pause. I’m always astonished at how art imitates life; nearly everyday in my casual reading, a line of words lifts off the page, mirroring what I’m experiencing at this particular point in my life. Talking on the phone recently with artist friends, I find that we are all on the same page–no longer physically present in public exhibitions, and in the meantime working in our private spaces, developing new ideas as they come.

As the coronavirus has raged across the land, my entire art calendar has been systematically cleared. My last event was a one-man-show in Dallas that ran through the month of February. Since that time, all art festivals and gallery events on my 2020 calendar evaporated, even the ones running from October through December.

But I’m not complaining. This hiatus has truly been a gift in so many ways: I am more rested, travel less, stress less, and enjoy quality time in the studio painting, reading, writing in my journal, composing short stories–all those things I can now do with quality time abundant. For over a month, I experienced stress, feeling there was something I was supposed to go out and do. I had to remind myself “No”, there is nothing to be done out there. Relax. Rest. Make art at your leisure.

Other gifts have surprised me as well. Suddenly I am scheduled for art classes. I conducted one last week. Another happens tomorrow. And two more are scheduled for August. Commissions also piled up (I usually have one at a time). I am finally down to my last pair of commissions and should have them completed within a week or so.

So. This is just to say: if anyone out there wishes to commission a work from me, I am a hired gun with plenty of time on my hands. If not, I’ll continue to enjoy painting what I wish, when I wish. And always, I will post on the blog what I have going on.

Fort Worth Flatiron Building in Progress

Last week’s class involved watercoloring a section of the historic Flatiron building located in Fort Worth, dating from 1907. I have already painted it a couple of times and sold it. The print at the top is a photo of the last painting I sold out of the gallery where I’ve been invited to teach classes (I now am represented by an additional gallery–Show Me the Monet, located here in Arlington). The painting in progress at the bottom is what I was using as a demo when I taught the class. I decided not to throw it away but see if I could pull another decent painting from it. So, I’m working on it at leisure.

I haven’t checked to see if there is still available seating for tomorrow’s session. We’ll be painting wildflowers (specifically, firewheels as they appear on the islands in the Texas Laguna Madre). If any of you local readers are interested, please call the gallery to reserve your spot at (817) 468-5263. The one-time class meets tomorrow (Thursday, 7/30), 2-5:00. Cost is $55.

Sample of tomorrow’s “Firewheels” class

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.


2 Responses to “Have Brush. Will Travel”

  1. Dian Darr Says:

    Love that we are learning to use this time differently. It takes so long to adjust to getting rid of the “what should I be doing” when so many are suffering around us. Your Flatiron painting is one of my favorites and is hanging in our Master bedroom.


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