Archive for March, 2021

Anticipation Rising: Thursday night working in The Gallery at Redlands

March 11, 2021
One-and-a-Half Weeks before we Open with our Meet the Twelve Reception

Enter The Twelve

We are The Twelve.

Ruminating, fashioning, presenting,

Offering creations, gifts to our brothers and sisters.

Pondering our world, we re-shape,  we re-cut, we re-color,

Inviting prismatic light to reach diverse eyes.

We are The Twelve.

In quiet studios we dream, we feel, we cry.

We say Yes! to the invitation to create.

Our creator fashioned us in His image,

The Imago Dei, the faculty to create.

We are The Twelve.

Our paintings, pottery, photographs and sculpture weave a tapestry

Of collective lives, tightly woven fellowship of belief.

We are The Twelve.

Converging on The Gallery at Redlands, we join in chorus

To celebrate lives immersed in the arts,

Adhering to words of our patron Saint Matthew:

Art still has truth.

Take refuge there.

We are The Twelve.

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Sandi and I gratefully received word that our initial COVID vaccines are scheduled for Saturday morning. Thus, we’re working in The Gallery at Redlands during mid-week. On Sunday I’ll be heading to Missouri to pick up Lorraine McFarland’s pastels in Rolla (she will fly to Palestine for the opening of our gallery, and forunately will not have to pack her artwork onto the plane). After Lorraine, I’ll head to Bonne Terre, Missouri to pick up Wayne White (alias “Hank”) and his photography, and together we’ll return to Texas. We have plenty of conversational catching up to do.

We earnestly hope you will be able to join us for the celebrations next weekend. Friday March 19 from 5-9 is the VIP reception for Art Alley. Eight artists have been selected to display and sell their work under a large tent with ten-foot spaces between each booth to comply with COVID protocol. Tickets are $20 per person and are required for attendance which will feature exhibits, heavy hors d’oeuvres, alcoholic beverages and live music. Four of our Twelve artists will be featured in this event.

Saturday night March 20 from 7-9 will feature our Meet the Artists reception for The Twelve. The conversations online between artists who’ve never met before has been so gratifying to read. Art lovers who read the blog and Facebook also have reached out with affirming words of praise to this group of artistic spirits. Sandi and I cannot wait to spend a couple of days with them as they begin arriving in Palestine.

Meanwhile, details continue to arise that must be addressed. The hour is drawing late, so I will close this and say Thank You for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Meet our Potter, Paula Cadle, One of the Twelve

March 10, 2021

Paula Bruestle Cadle graduated from Rocky Mountain School of Art in Denver, Colorado. She joined Fletcher-Keating Graphics after art school and worked in advertising and commercial art for several years before concentrating on fine art.

Paula’s media includes clay and pen and ink. She prefers to focus on hand-built pottery but still does occasional graphic design. She describes her work as follows:

“My clay work is built with coils and slabs that are hand-worked into various shapes and styles. I use white earthenware clay and sometimes stoneware clay for the larger pieces. My clay designs are an extension of my love for drawing and graphic arts. I paint original designs on the clay using bright colors. Under-glaze colors are applied two or three times and then fired. A clear or colored glaze is sprayed or brushed on for a second firing. Some of my pieces have over-glazes in silver or gold and are fired a third time. I love colors and use them quite liberally. Sometimes I add weavings or other ornamentation for a unique appearance. My joy is in making the clay artwork and decorating it. Once finished, it is time to let go and move on to a new design or idea.”

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Many who have visited The Gallery at Redlands in recent weeks during our redecorating have commented on the strong light that now floods the space. Sandi and I say that some of it is due to LED lights we have installed, but much of it is the brightness of Paula’s pottery that has recently arrived.

Thanks for reading and we hope you will visit us for our Artist Reception Saturday March 20 from 7-9 pm. Come meet The Twelve and feel the electricity and energy from these creative spirits!

Meet Wayne White (alias Hank!), One of The Twelve

March 8, 2021
Photograph developed onto glass 7.2 x 9.6″ comes with stand or can be hung on wall $110

(I have to get this out of the way, quickly!)–Wayne White, my school pal since second grade, has been the inspiration for my “Hank” series of paintings and stories I hope to publish in a book titled Turvey’s Corner 63050. Readers of my blog have already seen the stories and watercolors, but the paintings have not been on public view. When we open The Gallery at Redlands with our show of The Twelve on March 20 (7-9 pm), four of the paintings will be on view, and Wayne will be present, not as my mascot, but as a photographer/artist in his own right. In a few days I’ll depart for St. Louis to pick up him along with his work, and we’ll return together for the opening.

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Since the second grade, Wayne and I were in classes together and in friendly competition with each other and a third fellow, Glen Land. In drawing and painting we were always eyeing each other’s work and vying for first place in competitions and praise from our teachers. I believe I can safely say we were in a tight three-way tie. But when it came to athletics, there was no competition; Wayne was the premier athlete in every sport.

Once high school arrived, Wayne was in sharp demand for basketball, baseball and track. All the coaches wanted a piece of him, and he would eventually land the captaincy in varsity basketball. In Art I, we shared a jerk of a teacher (this story is parallel with what we published earlier with readers in our introduction to Cecilia Bramhall, another member of The Twelve). Early in the ninth grade, the art teacher, looking over Wayne’s work, said “Better stick with track.” Wayne was shattered, dropped out of art and focused his entire high school career on sports. At that point we went our separate ways and didn’t find each other again until Facebook came on the scene.

Though dropping out of formal art classes, Wayne was never finished with art itself. He laughs today at his memories of developing 110 Fuji film, reading photography magazines, and trying to understand the dynamics of framing photographs as works of art. In his everyday life, he looked at the world around, constantly musing, “How can I turn that scene into a work of art?” In 1976, Wayne’s art world expanded with his purchase of a 35mm camera, and then when the digital age arrived, he finally accepted it (reluctantly, he says, referring to himself as “old school”).

We can accurately describe Wayne as a Renaissance man, with an imagination that fuels several pursuits in his personal life. He has recently retired from work as a farrier, though he still has his own horses and frequently focuses his blacksmithing skills, shaping and fashioning iron. Wayne is also an avid fly-fisherman, freqently kayaking down the various rivers in his county south of St. Louis. I also like to call him the Cowboy Cook. Wayne is a master of Dutch ovens and cowboy coffee. Everytime he cooks for us on camping trips, I am flabbergasted at how he keeps several Dutch ovens going simultaneously along with a coffee pot hanging over the fire, and all the food items come out at the same time, steaming hot on the plate! His camping skills also amaze me; I’ve never seen him use a match or lighter to start a fire for cooking. He is strictly a flint-and-steel igniter. I am excited, just thinking about our next time setting up tents and camping alongside a stream somewhere. But both of us are much more excited to attend the opening of our gallery on the night of March 20. Please come and meet Wayne and see his excellent work.

Wayne is also a successful blogger. You can read his musings at https://ramblingsofafarrier.com/

Thanks for reading.

Early Sunday Morning in The Gallery at Redlands

March 7, 2021
Quiet Time for Reading and Reflection, The Gallery at Redlands, Palestine, Texas

For many artists, their profession is a mysterious calling, a way to create something unique while rebelling and living outside of society, yet never losing sight of the need to move society. Most artists must persevere against enormous odds in pushing their talent forward. For many, there are no rules or guidelines in the silence of the studio–and, more terrifying, no audience in the loneliness of the studio.

Murray Dessner, Foreword to Living the Artist’s Life by Paul Dorrell

At Work in Studio Eidolons, Arlington, Texas
Working in my Undisclosed Texas Location

The Redlands Hotel is generally quiet on Sundays, and that is when I manage to get most of my work done. This Sunday was a rare exception. The Gallery at Redlands witnessed quite a stream of people passing through, and the conversations were pleasant. Sandi and I are bemused, and happy at the same time. Since we took over the gallery February 1, we haven’t really been open for business, but still managed to sell five paintings. It feels unusual to have patrons perusing the gallery while we are still installing furniture, hanging paintings and adjusting lights. But that is OK.

The quote posted above rang my bell early this morning. I’m looking forward to talking to The Twelve when they finally gather here in The Gallery at Redlands March 20 for our Opening Reception. I’ve wanted to talk to kindred spirits for years about the dynamics we experience when working alone in studios, with our eyes fixed on the days we enter the artists’ marketplace. For years I have known the tension of my private vs. public life (artist vs. public school teacher). Now retired, a different tension has caught me by surprise: artist vs. gallerist. Friends have recently asked me if I am leaving behind the life of an artist to pursue life as a business man. My simple response: No. Daily I am thinking out paintings, waiting for an opening to pursue the next one. I anticipate it will happen soon after our March 20 Gallery Reception if not sooner.

This blog had its inception at 7:30 this morning. Now, it is 4:13 and I am still trying to wrap it up, such has been life in The Gallery at Redlands this Sunday. Our hope is that this will continue.

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.

The Gallery at Redlands Introduces Mark Hyde, Member of The Twelve

March 6, 2021
March Hare Ming Green Marble height 16″ $1800

The Gallery at Redlands is proud to introduce sculptor Mark Hyde of Forth Worth, Texas. We currently have three of his magnificent pieces on display in our lobby window, the one pictured above in Ming Green Marble along with a pair cut from Texas limestone. It has always been a desire of this gallery to include sculpture, and Mark is the first to step into this role.

Mark’s artistic odyssey has carried him through various media. A furniture maker by trade, he has been trained to cut with precision and confidence. However, stone was not his initial medium for expression. In years past, Mark has created work in ceramics, porcelain and mixed media. Later, he turned to wood and divided his time between sculpting in that material and making furniture.

Mark’s arrival at stone cutting is a fascinating story. An avid rock climber, he has had years of experience admiring the texture and form of massive rock formations. Ultimately he decided there were a number or advantages to sculpting in stone rather than wood. For one thing, stone sculpture can be displayed outdoors without fear of the natural elements deteriorating the material. But more important than this, Mark has found it difficult to secure large pieces of wood for sculpting, because our practical world lays claim to that material for furniture, architecture, or domestic construction projects. With stone, there is no problem; one can work with any size, no longer competing with carpenters, builders and architects.

Another reason Mark has come to favor stone cutting is because of its restriction to reductive carving. Though such a dynamic could create anxiety for artists paralyzed with the thought of making a mistake and ruining a piece, Mark finds considerably liberation in working directly with this material, often comparing it to the fearless activity of a jazz artist engaged in improv. Many times he begins with a general formal idea, but as he cuts, the sculpture seems to take on a life of its own, and like a jazz musician, Mark often finds himself spontaneously making a move on the rock and finding a pleasant surprise at the result.

The Gallery at Redlands is looking forward to our Opening Reception March 20 from 7-9 p.m. The Twelve will be together for the first time, and anticipate with gladness this opportunity to meet the public and celebrate the arts.

Thanks for reading, and we hope you will be able to join us in this festive celebration.

Mark, engaged with one of his works in Texas limestone.

Oops! Forgot to Blog . . .

March 6, 2021

Since taking over the ownership of The Gallery at Redlands February 1, I have tried to blog every single day about the work taking place here. Friday (now yesterday) was packed with activity between Arlington, Dallas and Palestine, and next thing I knew, midnight had arrived and I had not stopped once to post a blog.

I’m enjoying several books these days, one of them being Paul Dorrell’s Living the Artist’s Life, which I bought and read in 2006. Now I am re-reading it (a habit of mine). Dorrell is a writer by trade who has been in a successful gallery business for decades, and I now want to share a quote from the book that arrested my attention since reading it early Friday morning:

Depression is a common malaise, even more common among artists. I mean look at what you’re up against: nobody needs your work; when you’re unknown, no one wants it; for years you’ll struggle to emerge from the amateur level to the professional, and even then people will be largely indifferent to the thing you create; you’ll have to surmount enormous odds to ever make a comfortable living from your work; you can’t walk away from it because it won’t let you; you have to create, even if it kills you; and the whole time you’re trying to give this gift of wonder to the world, the world doesn’t hear you because it, for the most part, doesn’t speak that language. Who the hell wouldn’t be depressed?

But take heart. Consider how fortunate you are to have your talent and vision, when many people don’t even know the deeper meaning of vision. Consider how fortunate you are to feel alive. That is nothing to be depressed about. That is cause for jubilation.

This statement stirred me profoundly. I still recall with sadness my deep-seated depression and dissatisfaction with the artistic life in the mid 1980’s and into the 90’s. When you feel that no one gives a damn about you and your contributions, when you struggle just to pay bills and keep yourself fed and healthy, and you’re convinced that no one out there is aware of you–I cannot think of a darker sense of despair.

I am so thankful that I was able to claw my way out of that pit. Surprisingly, working as a high school teacher and adjunct college professor exhausted me to the bone, but my spirits for the most part lifted, and remained on a high plain.

I never in my life even once considered that I would one day become a gallerist. After a month, I still look at this in a state of wonder and deep-seated gratitude. Yes, Sandi and I are frequently exhausted by the amount of planning demanded by this, but Wow, how wonderful life is now, and all I want to do is encourage all the artistic spirits out there to keep believing, to keep striving to live the dream, to be bold enough to assert the value of their creative endeavors. To me, there is nothing more sublime than creating something original, to look at something emerging from the void, and knowing that it is your will that is giving that piece its existence.

The hour is nearing 1:00 a.m. I’m going to close with some pictures we took just before locking up the gallery and coming upstairs to sleep off our exhaustion and prepare for an even better day tomorrow.

Thanks always for reading!

Introducing Artist Elaine Jary, One of the Twelve

March 4, 2021
Graceful Pose 20.5h x 17.5w” Framed Giclée $275

Elaine’s Statement:

I’m so happy to be a part of The Twelve and The Gallery at Redlands; thank you David and Sandi! I look forward to many gallery events where patrons and artists can meet to discuss and view art in a beautiful environment.

My life as an artist began when I was a child. As long as I can remember, I loved to draw. I had a natural ability. After high school, where I always took art classes as electives, I earned a BA in Graphic Communication and wanted to be an illustrator, but life had other plans for me, and I worked in the corporate environment in administration and marketing for many years. Fast forward to 2011 when I decided to learn watercolor. The latent desire to create art was unleashed and I’ve never looked back. I find I am drawn to the subject of nature, especially birds. Many of the reference photos for my bird paintings are taken from the window overlooking my back yard, and I think of my paintings as “windows to nature.” I want to capture a moment of beauty in our natural world that is perhaps fleeting and easily overlooked.

Recently I was looking for a file on my computer, and I came across an entry that I wrote on September 14, 2019 entitled “The Beauty of Life”. It describes a perfect day for me as an artist:

This morning I traveled 50 miles to McKinney to be the featured artist at the coffee shop “Filtered” and had a blast painting and interacting with passers-by, and talking with Donna, the gallery director. Then I came home, and Z and I had a wonderful late lunch at an Italian restaurant in Southlake. Arriving home, I took a nap, called my mom, went over to my son’s house and visited with his family, including my 7-year-old grandson Cash, whom I adore; came home and worked on art projects. Life is good and I am grateful. The universe is mysterious, beyond human comprehension. Why is there life; what does the cycle of life mean? How is my tiny life relevant to anything in the scope of the universe? The answer is that my life is important to the people in my life to whom I am connected by love. What is love? I don’t know how to explain it, but I know it is the only thing that makes life worthwhile. Love as in our feelings for people we are close to, our feelings for our vocation, our feelings for our environment, our desire to help each other, our desire to connect with others. My art is my connection to others beyond the small circle of my family and friends; my connection to humanity.

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Thank you, Elaine, for being a part of The Twelve, and for sharing your art and life with our expanding community. We look forward to a warm gathering March 20 when we open The Gallery at Redlands.

And The Twelve thanks our readers for staying in touch with what we are doing, this labor of love.

Wearing Several Hats

March 3, 2021

Keeping a daily blog is not as easy as it once was. We still enjoy retirement to the fullest, but recent commitments are tending to crowd my schedule. Up until a few weeks ago, I was only an artist and daily faced decisions no more complicated than What should I paint next? Since February 1, we have taken ownership of The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine, Texas and have been working feverishly to get the space ready for our opening March 20. Lining up work from a dozen artists has had its immeasurable rewards, but has taken considerable time out of our weekly routines.

In addition to this, we have committed to working out on a regular basis, retaining the services of fitness coaches. The result is that our bodies are finally responding favorably, but again, there are fewer hours available in the week for leisure.

I have also continued my practice of Watercolor Wednesday, teaching three-hour sessions at Show Me the Monet Art Gallery in Arlington. Above I have posted a remarkable watercolor of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch, done by one of my most enthusiastic students. I usually average three Wednesday sessions out of each month. This class is not only rewarding from watching student success; it keeps me painting regularly. In fact, my demo from today I have decided is worthy of a frame. I would show it on this blog, but I believe the student outperformed me, so I’ll let the viewers enjoy hers instead.

Tomorrow I will introduce you to another member of The Twelve. I am trying to keep up this practice every other day. All of this is just to say I am wearing multiple hats as I try to continue being an artist while carrying out other tasks of being a gallerist, blogger and physical fitness enthusiast. Life is fuller now as it becomes busier, but no complaints.

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.

Meet Cecilia Bramhall, One of The Twelve

March 2, 2021
Cecilia Bramhall Collection, Featuring Be a Unicorn in a Herd of Heifers, Oil, 16 x 20″ $450

Today we proudly introduce Cecilia Bramhall, one of The Twelve who will open our next show at The Gallery at Redlands, Saturday night March 20 from 7 till 9:00.

Cecilia did not pursue art until she was in her forties, though the passion to create hounded her from her youth. Her misfortune was the negative criticism she received from her high school art instructor, a sad story I encounter too many times when talking to artists who have found success in their later adult years. The negative high school experience convinced her that she lacked the talent for art though she was possessed with the passion. At Texas A&M University, Cecilia chose Biomedical Science as her major and graduated with a Bachelor of Science with pride, though she still wished to pursue the arts.

Cecilia’s fortune changed dramatically in 2009 when she discovered the Cordovan Art School in Round Rock, Texas. The owner and teacher of the school, John Howell, proved to be the inspirational mentor she wished she had known in her high school years. Mr. Howell encouraged her to pursue oil painting, convincing her that she had the skill, the focus, and most importantly the desire and confidence to develop. Her skill set improved dramatically in the coming years as Mr. Howell challenged her to avoid pencil and charcoal, approaching the canvas directly and confidently with the paint brush. Throughout her nine years at Cordovan, Cecilia is most grateful for this direct method of oil painting and now acknowledges that she has no choice but to create.

Residing in the country outside Palestine, Cecilia thrives in her converted barn, renamed Tin Roof Studio. Her daily routine is a genuine romance, similar to stories we read of Jackson Pollock at Springs, Long Island, walking out of the kitchen to take a couple of dozen steps across the property to enter the studio with spacious windows open to the light that inspires her to create afresh nearly every day. This artist is so possessed with the act of creation that she finds it not unusual to begin painting at nine in the morning, and suddenly it is three in the afternoon and she hasn’t even stopped for lunch. “Life in the zone” keeps her pushing for new ideas in painting.

Cecilia paints with the hope to spark people’s imagination, to see a story or simply make one up. Her art engages viewers to fuse reality and fantasy. And though our Gallery is scheduled to open officially with an artists’ reception March 20, two of Cecilia’s paintings have already been purchased with enthusiasm.

Cecilia’s website is www.ceciliabramhallart.com. We invite you to check out her work online, and please attend our opening March 20.

Thanks for reading. Cecilia, as one of The Twelve, hopes to meet you in the days ahead.

Weekend Work in The Gallery at Redlands

March 1, 2021
View of The Gallery at Redlands from the Lobby of The Redlands Hotel

The artist must cultivate his own garden as the only secure field in the violence and uncertainties of our time.

Meyer Schapiro, Modern Art–19th and 20th Centuries, Selected papers (letter written in 1957)

From Friday through Sunday night, Sandi and I kept busy in The Gallery at Redlands, hauling in furniture, installing lights and hanging new artwork. The weekend proved just as rewarding as tiring. Today if feels good to do absolutely nothing but read and relax at home. The Twelve are happily producing new work as I write this, and throughout the weekend we heard from over half of them, expressing their anticipation for a great event when we convene March 20 from 7-9 pm. The Meyer Schapiro quote I recognize from the concluding pages of Voltaire’s Candide, and the words have been my comfort for years. Art has been my refuge through decades of turmoil and change, and again I fall back on those immortal words from Matthew Arnold:

Art still has truth

Take refuge there

I am working at introducing a member of The Twelve every other day. The response has been very warm and we thank you for that. We shall keep you updated on our progress.

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.