Basking in the Afterglow of the Reception for the Twelve

With everything in place, Sandi waits to greet the Crowd

Constable described it like this: “I should paint my own places best. Painting is but another word for feeling.”

We’re still catching our breath, more than forty-eight hours after our reception at The Gallery at Redlands, where we introduced The Twelve. Wayne (alias “Hank”) is back in Arlington with me while Sandi continues to tweak the gallery and close out some business details. The Constable quote greeted me this morning, after a good night’s sleep, like a breath of spring air. Soon, Wayne and I will head to Broken Bow, Oklahoma to relive some childhood memories as we fly-fish the Mountain Fork River. And I will also plan my next watercolor compositions and short stories while we explore that familiar stretch of land and water. With his photography and my watercolors, along with our imagination, we hope to create new art charged with feelings and memories.

Dian Darr presents Wayne “Hank” White with a special gift

My long-time friends, the Darrs, paid us a special visit. Not only did Dian bake two large platters of cookies for our reception, she also presented Wayne (alias “Hank”) with a limited edition cast iron lidded skillet made by Camp Chef. She and her brother have attended several National D.O.G.(Dutch Oven Gathering) events. Recently in Canton, Texas, Dian won this skillet in a contest, and on this day presented it to Wayne (himself a Dutch Oven expert) as a special gift.

Posing with my Friend Ron Darr

Ron Darr taught me to fly-fish in the year 2000 and changed my life forever. Our bond has remained unbroken over the past two decades and I’m always sharing with him my fun in watercoloring fly-fishing scenes. He has one of mine that is similar to the one pictured above.

New Buddies at Breakfast: Stacy & Wayne

One of the many pleasures of this weekend involved relaxing with my artist friends. Wayne, Sandi and I arrived in Palestine Wednesday and Stacy Campbell joined up with us Thursday. Lorraine McFarland arrived Saturday, and the five of us shared a suite in The Redlands Hotel. Here is Stacy and Wayne sharing swapping tales and having a good time over breakfast at The Birds Egg, one of my favorite haunts in this town.

Lovely pair of books featuring poetry and photography of friend Barbara Tyler
The artistic card accompanying the gift, also by Barbara Tyler

Outside the gallery prior to the reception, I was stunned to see Barbara Tyler crossing the street. This remarkable artist has been my friend since our teaching days at Martin High School (she student taught there, then became my favorite subsitute before Utah took her away from us). Her twin daughters, both artists, were students of mine in Advanced Placement Art History, and daily wowed me with their intertwined sketchbook drawings and copious notes and comments. Barbara is a remarkable photographer and poet as these volumes display. Her watercolors are also a treat to viewers. Last and certainly not least, I am amazed at her creative skill in designing greeting cards, including the one above that came with her pair of books.

A difficult, emotional moment–introducing those who made this night possible

Words needed to be spoken to initiate the night’s event, and though I taught for nearly three decades, I found it difficult to speak without choking with emotion. I have come to love The Twelve along with Wade and Gail Thomas, the initial visionaries who gave birth to The Gallery at Redlands. They opened the gallery in March 2017 with an invitation for me to kick off a three-week solo show. This was a real honor following years and years of grinding it out with art festivals and sporadic gallery ventures. For four years I experienced the joy of sitting in this space, never dreaming that one day it would be handed to me to carry on. Thank you, Wade and Gail, for making all this happen.

Wade and Gail Thomas (original owners) with Sandi Jones and David Tripp

Wade and Gail handed the gallery off to us, but this night would not have happened without Sandi’s disciplined handling of detail. I had no idea of the depth and breadth of planning that this enterprise would demand. Technically, Sandi is a co-owner, but in all honesty I feel more and more that I am her assistant; her energy supersedes mine in every way.

Hank & Randy

My friend Wayne continues to fuel the inspiration that creates the stories surrounding “Turvey’s Corner.” I’m convinced that the watercolors and stories can produce a decent book and I’ve resumed planning for that as my next adventure. (By the way, I’m Randy in the stories).

Tripp standing with Cecilia Bramhall and Dana Morgan

Cecilia has also poured a great deal of work into this adventure. She has worked the gallery on a couple of occasions when Sandi and I were back in Arlington two hours away. Under her dedicated watch, several pieces have sold already. Dana Morgan, an artist friend we’ve known for twenty years who used to show in the same Hillsboro gallery as I, pleasantly surprised us when showing up for our reception. She drove many hours to get here.

Artist Tommy Thompson I have known since our days at the Fort Worth festival known as Jazz by the Boulevard (an event that has long since ended). We frequently showed up to display in the same festivals in Arlington. I’m delighted he said Yes to joining up with The Twelve. His New Orleans themed watercolors have successfully sold for decades.

Flowers from Stacy and Leigh
Our photographer friend Ian McVea captured this candid moment of Stacy and Leigh presenting me with a gift

A short while ago, Stacy and Leigh learned of my pursuit of this rare book by Henry Miller. Discouraged by its high price on Amazon, I resigned myself to finding it one day in a public library and checking it out. Just as our reception was underway, these two dear friends called me out into the lobby and presented me with this gift, and I couldn’t hold back the tears. Our mutual friend and teaching colleague Ian McVea was standing by with his camera to capture the unveiling.

I couldn’t believe my eyes! This rare book I have coveted for some time
Hug of Gratitude for the gift

And then Wayne White captured the moments following. I’ve been staring at this pair of pictures for two days now. Love you all!

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Tommy Thompson found patrons this night. His New Orleans and botanical subjects resulted in two sales that accented the beginning of our reception.

Opening night brought a flurry of sales for which the gallery remains grateful. Here is Tommy sharing in the celebration.

It’s early, but they’re already arriving

In the center, a pair of pastellists meet and converse for the first time as new friends and members of The Twelve. On the left (masked) is Lorraine McFarland from Rolla, Missouri. At right in the hat is Grace Hessman from nearby Elkhart. Both artists are avid plein air enthusiasts.

More coming in . . .
Spilling out into the lobby now
Wayne’s Fractured Glass Photograph of the river where he kayaks and fishes in Missouri
Wayne’s Photos on the Left; Lorraine’s Pastels on the Right
Ian Watson’s Acrylic composition in the center; Stacy Campbell’s Acrylic works on either side
Deanna Pickett Frye’s large floral compositions on the sides; Elaine Cash Jary’s Iris in the center
Deanna Frye’s four-foot oil on display in the gallery window facing the street
Deanna Frye with her work at the VIP party of Art Alley the night before our reception
Cecila Bramhall under the Tent at Art Alley

Tripp under the Tent at Art Alley
Sunrise stroll the day after the Opening
Departure time, group hug: Stacy, Wayne & Leigh

The morning after found all of us exhausted to the bone, but filled with gratitude for new friendships formed and warm bonding among The Twelve. Above is a photo of Wayne saying Good-bye to his new friends Stacy and Leigh. And I now say Goodnight to The Twelve and our faithful readers. You’ll be hearing more from us soon.

Thanks for reading.

3 Responses to “Basking in the Afterglow of the Reception for the Twelve”

  1. crmcbeath-urrutia Says:

    Thank you for the moment-by-moment description of your show, the gallery and all the artists who make up your Twelve. It is true, I live in NYC. I have been to a lot of art exhibits, and have a BFA in sculpture, from back when no women were in the Sculpture Department. But I am still more interested in the artists than the hype. You gave me the artists, in such a way that I can imagine myself there. Now that I know the history of the gallery and some of the artists, I can follow along. Thanks again. And, when you are on the river in OK, and if you happen to see an osprey fishing (returning from their migration), that’s probably me, sending you a “hello” message.

    Like

  2. Dian DArr Says:

    Your words and the glorious pictures warm my heart! I am full of pride over what you and Sandi have given to the art community. What a gift!

    Like

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