Archive for the ‘art festival’ Category

Slowing Down and Savoring the Gift

December 9, 2019

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Precious Monday Morning Silence

The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood. His intercourse with heaven and earth, becomes part of his daily food.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

With overwhelming gratitude, I entered my suite at the Redlands Hotel last night after breaking down the weekend Christmas Show, loading, then driving two hours back to Palestine from Dallas. Deciding not to set an alarm, I slept in this morning, but woke from dreams so distressing that it took nearly an hour of wandering around the suite before I could shake the troubles loose and return to my comfort zone, pictured above.

At that moment, I changed my plans of departing by noon for my home. Instead, I am spending the entire day in the Gallery at Redlands, taking my time with the unloading of the Jeep and restocking the gallery, and making sure I give plenty of time for thanksgiving and reflection over the warm weekend I experienced at the Randy Brodnax and Friends Christmas Show at the Sons of Hermann Hall. This is my third year joining this assembly of twenty-or-so artists,  and their love has been so affirming for me during the holiday season. My pulse has finally slowed down, and I am reading quality material and thinking good thoughts. I’m glad the troubling dreams prompted me to slow down, linger, and enjoy this gift of life.

I posted the Emerson quote above because it reminds me of something I had been taught in earlier years about the thought of Immanuel Kant, the Prussian philosopher who crowned the Age of the Enlightenment. He wrote volumes about the way in which our internal mind organizes external stimuli. As an artist, I will never tire of studying this. While sitting through the weekend show, I continued my reading from Sir Joshua Reynolds, and yesterday came across this same idea of the artist organizing the data received from the world:

My notion of nature comprehends not only the forms which nature produces, but also the nature and internal fabrick and organization, as I may call it, of the human mind and imagination.

These words were delivered December 10, 1776. Tomorrow will mark the 243rd anniversary of their delivery into our intellectual atmosphere. This morning, refreshing these words in my journal, I decided to write a blog to discuss my core values regarding the making of art. As I present this, I want the reader to know that I am not trying to tell others how they should approach art. I love the diversity, the expansive constellation of creative spirits that comprise the artist network, and will never cease loving to hear of their perspectives. So, if you would like to respond to this blog, please let me know about your approach to art. I listen, and learn from others. Tell me how you approach this enterprise.

I shall begin by saying that my chief inspiration for art comes from my reading, listening to YouTube lectures, and observing objects with my eye. Though I gladly teach workshops, I don’t enroll in them to learn the techniques of others. At my age of sixty-five, I have already added a number of tools to my toolbox, and still add new ones as I discover them in my own laboratory, or hear from an artistic friend, or read of some new tool. But I do not focus on the tools of the trade nearly as much as I do the philosophical framework of art in the abstract. Hence, my ideas come from reading broadly, and I delight in the essay, the biography, poetry, history, philosophy, theology–all of these areas add contours and accents to what I am assembling.

At my age, I have also cut back severely on competition. Entering competitions requires money and following rules that sometimes are not my own. I don’t like an organization dictating to me the specifications of framing, or telling me that if I use India Ink (which I have done with two of the last one hundred paintings), that it must be less than a certain percentage of the surface area. I have also grown tired of researching the judge to find out what genre s/he prefers when handing out awards. And finally, I have never once sold a painting hanging in a competition, though I paid out money to enter and frame it.

Which leads to the next item: I am not pursuing “signature status” of any particular watercolor society. I already have a doctorate, and have never included Ph.D. in my signature. So why would I want to put initials following my signature to signify I have “status” with a professional watercolor agency?

Which leads to the next item: At my age, I no longer worry over my resume. I have deactivated my status with Linked In because I am not seeking a job. I am retired. I am no longer thirty years old. I have a very lengthy resume, and was required to update it for the university once a year, but now I am not at a university, and frankly, I never opened and read my resume unless I was required to update and send it somewhere. For me personally, resumes are boring. I never read them. Ever. Because I am not on some hiring board that is required to evaluate someone else’s credentials.

OK. So I have poured out some paragraphs of what I am not. Now, what am I exactly? This is the more difficult part of my confession. To start with, I am still a dreamer. I still have the fascination I had when I was four years old, standing in my yard alone on a breezy day, feeling caressed by the world, feeling observed while I was observing, and wanting in some way to respond to that Presence. That little boy is still in me, and I still tremble before the Presence.

My life is still a narrative, from one moment to the next, on any typical day. A story is always emerging from me, and the people who surround me continually pour stories into my imagination. Words they speak frequently put images in my head for paintings. Paintings are also revealed to me by the landscape, and by objects. My brain is drained from exhaustion when I spend hours in a museum, an antique store, a bookstore, or a lengthy walk through a different neighborhood. Everything I encounter puts out a call to create a drawing or painting.

Throughout my days, I sense a continual internal dialogue with other creative spirits who have long ago departed this planet–Edward Hopper, Andrew Wyeth, N. C. Wyeth, Paul Tillich, Robert Motherwell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau. I continually return to their written and visual works because they created them to communicate with others, and I am honored to be counted among their listeners. And every time I complete something I feel is worthy, I breathe a prayer of thanks to them for their continued encouragement.

Though I have slowed down today, my art and furniture are not going to unload themselves, so I suppose the time has come to begin the task of re-organizing the gallery and tending to business affairs that need to be addressed today. But thank you for taking the time to read me, and please, if you have ideas you wish to share, I would love to read them, and I am certain many of my readers would as well.

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Thanks again for reading.

Shultz reduced

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

Church Among the Artists

December 8, 2019

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The artist is the origin of the work. The work is the origin of the artist. Neither is without the other. Nevertheless, neither is the sole support of the other. In themselves and in their interrelations artist and work are each of them by virtue of a third thing which is prior to both, namely that which also gives artist and work of art their names–art.

Martin Heidegger, “The Origin of the Work of Art”

Sunday mornings at the Randy Brodnax & Friends Christmas Show always generates a warm vibe when we gather for “Church in the Bar.” The gathering is not irreverent as some would think the title suggests. I can think of nothing lovelier than gathering with kindred creative spirits for a moment of giving thanks and listening to meaningful music and testimony. Last year, Don Gallia got my attention as he played harp alongside a pair of guitar pickers. The diffused light filtering through the frosted bar windows cast a warm light over his form as he leaned into his harmonica and blew out the most soulful tunes. I sketched and photographed him repeatedly last year as well as this year, and am certain that I’ll attempt some watercolor sketches of him when things settle down a bit.

The Heidegger passage cited above first soaked into my consciousness in 2015 during the week I spent on the Laguna Madre island as Artist-in-Residence for Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. During the week on the island, the Heidegger essay became an important part of my artistic core, and this morning the words revisited me as I watched Don play and attempted to sketch his form. During this festival I’ve had some time to draw in my sketchbook and record some key ideas as I plan my next move. I love the thought of art creating me and me creating works of art. The relationship of the three is amazing–art is the primal force that creates me and the work. I keep turning the three over and over in my thinking. As an artist, I create the work, and the work creates the artist in me. Prior to both of us is this primal force we call Art.

We are about to begin our final day of the art festival and will be open till 5:00.

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.Shultz on website

Randy Brodnax & Friends Christmas Show Pleasures

December 7, 2019

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My Art Booth in the Bowling Alley of Sons of Herman Hall

Pleasures abound this Saturday morning in the Sons of Hermann Hall in the Deep Ellum  district of Dallas, Texas. The weather outside is gorgeous and the friends have been streaming through my booth all morning. I wish I could visit with them for weeks! Some of them I haven’t seen in a year.

The conversations have already filled my imagination with new ideas for painting, so, as soon as I get out of here, I should return to making art. I want to say Thank You to all of you who have been so encouraging during this 2019 run. I’m happy that my new website, davidtrippart.com, is already getting attention and patrons are reaching out to me. Soon, I’ll have the online store set up so anyone can buy online instead of trying to contact me by phone or email.

If you have time to come out and see me, I’ll be here Saturday till 6:00 and Sunday 10-5:00. We are located at 3414 Elm Street, Dallas, TX 75226-1720.

Until next time then, thanks always for reading.

I make art in order to discover. 

Shultz reduced

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

Relaxing Before the Christmas Festival

December 6, 2019

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Last Year’s Randy Brodnax & Friends Christmas Show

. . . success in your art depends almost entirely on your own industry; but the industry which I principally recommended, is not the industry of the hands, but of the mind.  As our art is not a divine gift, so neither is it a mechanical trade.

Sir Joshua Reynolds, Discourse 7. December 10, 1776

Late tonight, I’m blessed with this delicious moment in my room at The Redlands Hotel to settle into bed and read while awaiting sleep. The day has been a full one, packing and organizing my gear at home, then driving two hours to Palestine to select work from my gallery for  this weekend’s Randy Brodnax and Friends Christmas Show at the Sons of Hermann Hall in Dallas. This will be my third year to participate in this venue, and I am looking forward with gladness to reuniting with the artistic spirits there.

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Tonight I am reading a thought-provoking address from Sir Joshua Reynolds, founder and first president of the Royal Academy of Arts. During my years of teaching Advanced Placement Art History I thoroughly enjoyed discussing his contributions with my students, but only now am I getting around to reading his actual writings and public addresses. As for myself, I was a late bloomer when it came to appreciating scholarly study, but I’m glad the itch finally came. I love making art, and I love learning as a student of letters and philosophy the fresh ideas that drove many of the creative spirits whom we revere today.

This will be my last festival for 2019, and I’m hoping for a good time. For any of you readers who are in the Dallas area, I hope you will take the time to come visit us. The Sons of Hermann Hall is an amazing venue for an art festival. I am blessed to be a part of this tradition. We will be open 5-9 Friday, 10-6 Saturday, and 10-5 Sunday.

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Thanks for reading, and I hope you will check out my new website:

davidtrippart.com

     Shultz reduced

I make art in order to discover. 

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Layered Mornings with Einstein

October 25, 2019

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Morning Watch with Einstein Reading

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

Albert Einstein, letter to his son, February 5, 1930 (thank you Walter Isaacson!)

Twelve years ago. Summer 2007. Heavy rainstorms pounded Leadville, Colorado. Safe inside the Mountain Laundry, I inserted coins into the washing machines to clean two weeks’ worth of clothing during my trek across Missouri, Kansas and Colorado. The storms chased me off the headwaters of the Arkansas River in the Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains. While the laundry churned and I plotted the remainder of my trip across Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, I opened a volume I had just purchased: Walter Isaacson’s Einstein: His Life and Universe. Not only did the book convert the coin laundry into a sanctuary that dark stormy morning; it kept me company the rest of the trip. But by the time I reached home, I put it back on the shelf, having read only the first 108 pages. So I reopened it this morning (Wednesday) and decided to begin from page one and finish the work. Every biography from Isaacson is a true gift; I have read in their entirety his works on Steve Jobs and Leonardo da Vinci. The Benjamin Franklin tome met the same fate as Einstein, but I intend to go back and finish that one too.

The quote above about riding the bicycle resonates with me at this moment in life. The past couple of weeks have been frenetic as I have moved from demonstrations to workshops to art festivals to private art lessons. A few days of rest intervened, and I feel much renewed from that dormant period. But now it is time to kick it up once again; I have the Hot Pepper Festival this weekend in Palestine, followed by a workshop, followed by a plein air event. Finding the balance to continue on this bicycle has not come automatically for me, but I am focused on the effort.

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Reproduction of my 1990 pen & ink drawing/collage

5 x 7″ in white 8 x 10″ mat–$20

In my earliest years of teaching high school art, I created a pair of pen & ink drawings of Einstein partial portraits and then completed the works as collages. I gave them away as gifts, but photocopied them before letting them go. In the decades since, I have digitized them and sold them as greeting cards for $5 each or placed them in a good framable size mat to sell for $20. After all these years I am still proud of the pair of works, and now that I am immersed once again in this biography, I intend to begin a new series on Einstein.

Today is Friday. I am settled into The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine for the weekend’s Hot Pepper Festival. My friend Patty, a marketing specialist who has an office in this hotel, told me that her husband Tim had a drafting table he was willing to pass on to me if I had use for it. Enthusiastically, I received it and now have it next to my gallery desk near the window so I can work on art here in the gallery without converting this nice desk into a work table. Thank you Patty and Tim!  I hope to begin some new Einstein-related art in addition to my watercolors in progress throughout this weekend’s festivities in Palestine.

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View of the Gallery through the Lobby Window

Einstein long face

Reproduction of my 1990 pen & ink drawing/collage

5 x 7″ in white 8 x 10″ mat–$20

My renewed reading in the Einstein biography has flooded me with new ideas that I am transferring to my world of art from his world of physics and music:

Music continued to beguile Einstein. It was not so much an escape as it was a connection: to the harmony underlying the universe, to the  craetive genius of the great composers, and to other people who felt comfortable bonding with more than just words. He was awed, both in music and in physics, by the beauty of harmonies.

I was always a poor student of science, but reading this biography allows me to transfer some of Einstein’s ideas to my own creative world. Because of this reading, I am renewing my studies in aesthetics, seeking to understand better the laws of composition lying at the foundation of good art.  As I look over these composite drawings of Einstein from 1990, I intend to begin a new series in the Gallery today. Waves of enthusiasm are sweeping over me as I prepare these new materials.

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Kevin Harris doing the Morning Show

I always enjoy mornings with Kevin while he does his radio show on Smooth Rock 93.5 FM. He invited me into the studio this morning to pitch this weekend’s activities with the Hot Pepper Festival that runs through Saturday. I will work in the Gallery as before, and take a few trips out into the streets to meet the vendors, always in the hunt for local artists to promote. Festivals always excite me, and I of course am glad to have a permanent headquarters inside this gallery. I won’t have to travel and set up a temporary festival booth until December, I am happy to say.

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“Thinking of Jack Kerouac”

30 x 24″ framed watercolor–$400

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1902 Cabin from Cotter, Arkansas

24 x 30″ framed watercolor–$300

I have put out two new large framed watercolors in The Gallery at Redlands. In addition to these, I have a number of works in progress that I intend to resume today, covering subjects ranging from historic landmark homes to landscapes. In addition to the composite Einstein pieces and some new railroad themes, I should be pretty busy with the creative process throughout the weekend.

Jean Mollard, owner of The Redlands Hotel, always introduces me to her guests as the “artist in residence.” I have always relished the sound of this introduction, since I first heard it in 2015 when Texas A&M University Corpus Christi named me their artist-in-residence for that week-long Laguna Madre excursion. Prior to that, I was stirred by the sound of the title during my university years when the institution brought in an artist for a short series. But here at The Redlands, it is so much more. The community has embraced me, making me feel a genuine part of these surroundings. I cannot express in words the absolute beauty and class of this hotel and I am humbled to dwell in it.

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The New Queen St Grille Bar now Open for Business

The Queen St Grille, across the lobby from The Gallery at Redlands, had to wait for a liquor license before opening the bar. The process was completed last week, and now this beautiful space is open. The bar area is small and intimate, with access to the Queen St Grille to the left and an additional room conducive to meetings to the right.

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To the left, the bar has direct access to the restaurant

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To the right, a meeting room is being prepared as well

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My Attempt at a Panorama

Activity is beginning to heat up at The Redlands Hotel. It is now Friday nearing noon and the sounds of people are beginning to fill the lobby. Time for me to get back to work. Following Einstein’s dictum, I need to keep this bicycle moving if I hope to sustain any kind of balance.

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.

A Weed by the Wall

October 16, 2019

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Saturday at Edom Art Festival

To-day I am full of thoughts, and can write what I please. I see no reason why I should not have the same thought, the same power of expression to-morrow. What I write, whilst I write it, seems the most natural thing in the world: but yesterday I saw a dreary vacuity in this direction in which now I see so much; and a month hence, I doubt not, I shall wonder who he was that wrote so many continuous pages. Alas for this infirm faith, this will not strenuous, this vast ebb of a vast flow! I am God in nature; I am a weed by the wall.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Circles”

This morning, while reading Harold Bloom’s The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime, I came across one of my favorite Emerson musings from his engaging essay “Circles.” Not long after his 1836 catapult into the spotlight of American fame, he began writing about these rhythms, the ebb and flow that creative spirits know so well. We cannot be in that creative flow all the time; there is always the balancing rhythm of repose, stagnation, or stasis. I know that experience in creative rhythms as well as emotional highs followed by exhaustion.

Looking back over my blogs, I realize that I last posted on Friday, while waiting out a rainstorm so I could set up my booth for the Edom Art Festival. Now, four days have passed, and it seems like only a matter of hours. Yet, I feel that I packed a month’s worth of experiences in those few days.

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Two Views of my Booth

I cannot say enough about the loveliness of the festival and the gorgeous weather both days–bright sun and cool temperatures. What pleased me the most was that my booth was packed most of Saturday during business hours. Generally, during a festival, there are those down times when no one is dropping by to shop. But Saturday, the booth was occupied nearly the entire day with anywhere from two-to-eight shoppers, and my heart overflowed with good feelings, knowing there was some kind of meaningful connection between the viewers and my paintings.

Since the festival, I have already been back to Palestine, home to Arlington, over to Fort Worth to teach my Tuesday morning Humanities class, and now I’m back in the gallery in Palestine. There is much to do, but it feels good this morning not to be chasing a deadline. The only major chore before me is putting the gallery back together as I have unloaded my festival gear and paintings. It is time to make the gallery look like a gallery again instead of a storeroom in need of tidying.

The text from Emerson is very timely this day. In recent weeks I have vacillated between creative explosions and hiatus. Right now, I feel that I am at rest (and gratefully so) but at the same time feel this surge of ideas waiting for new expression. There are a number of watercolor and drawing ideas in me that I would like to get out, and hope to, as soon as I put this gallery back together. I always loved the Frank Lloyd Wright remark, boasting that he could merely shake buildings out of his sleeve. There are times when I feel that about paintings, and it’s a sublime feeling. Yet, at my age, I also am very aware of those dormant periods, and they no longer trouble me. I know that the body needs rest as well as exercise, sleep as well as travel. Likewise, the creative bursts will naturally be balanced with times of repose.

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I usually enjoy a good book while sitting through seven-hour days at art festivals. On Saturday, the booth was filled with patrons all day, so reading was out of the question. But on Sunday, during church hours, the festival grounds were quite empty, so I opened my backpack to discover that I had not packed any books! No art supplies either. So . . . with a ballpoint pen I entertained myself the first few hours by scribbling out tree sketches in my journal while posting random thoughts. It reminded me of a recent pledge to try and push myself in the Leonardo da Vinci direction of keeping sketchbook/journals. Maybe I’ll get there. I like the way my mind wanders back and forth between ideas and images, and hope that I’ll develop a habit of moving back and forth between drawing and writing. At any rate, it was a wonderful way to pass the time for a couple of hours Sunday morning.

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Queen St. Grille, Adjacent to The Gallery at Redlands

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New Installations at Queen St Grille

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I am honored that The Redlands Hotel has invited me to extend my gallery work into the restaurant across the lobby. Jean and Mike have been gracious in allowing me to store my excess paintings on the fifth floor of the hotel. Now they will have better exposure hanging in this lovely dining area. The Gallery at Redlands is also getting a facelift as some water damage was sustained on one of our walls due to an air conditioner malfunction. Today will be divided between repairs and reinstallation in the gallery and the new possibilities excite me.

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Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to explore.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Waiting out the Rain at Edom Art Festival

October 11, 2019

The Shed Cafe

Watercolor of my “Second Office”

Outisde it is 45 degrees and raining. Fortunately for me, The Shed Cafe is adjacent to the festival grounds, so I have a warm, dry place to wait for the rain to subside before I set up the tent for this weekend’s Edom Art Festival. Forecast calls for 0% precipitation tomorrow, so my heart is gladdened. Today’s rain is expected to stop in the next hour or so and I can get back to work. Meanwhile I am enjoying this coffee on a cold morning.

I am adding an artist’s chapter to my cycle of paintings and stories for this new series Turvey’s Corner 63050. Following is my true story to accompany the painting above:

At sixty, the artist came to realize that life comes heavier and wearier. The Edom Art Festival offered to him his first crack at a juried, high-end art venue. Setting up his booth on a chilly October Friday, he thought over all the ways he could trim expenses for the weekend. By nightfall, he decided to postpone hotel rental until the final night, thus guaranteeing a good night’s rest before breaking down at festival’s end. So, tonight he would sleep in the back of his Jeep Grand Cherokee parked on the perimeter of the festival grounds, at the edge of the deep forest. The Jeep did not offer the most comfortable sleeping accommodations, and most of the night was given to tossing and turning before the sleep of exhaustion finally conquered his constitution.

Waking at dawn, he stumbled out of his vehicle and trudged up the hill through the darkened festival grounds. The morning was chilly and foggy as he walked past row after row of shuttered booths. Rounding the privacy fence at the end of the pasture, he entered the parking lot of the Shed Café and his heart leapt with joy at the sight of the eatery silhouetted against the dawn sky, smoke billowing from the chimney, and the crisp October winds bringing to him the aroma of coffee and frying bacon. What a splendid morning to encounter! With breakfast finished, he found a comfortable seat on the Shed porch, opened his journal and poured out his gratitude on the pages while watching the sun rise over the distant tree line. The festival was going to be a sublime experience.

photo of early morning Shed

The Shed, Photographed years ago when I Rounded the Privacy Fence

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Lunch at The Shed today, waiting out the Rain

All my years spent at the Edom Art Festival and The Shed are warm memories indeed, and I am grateful to be invited back this year for another round. The rain outside appears to have stopped, so I have a house to build!

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.

 

Festival Season has Arrived

October 10, 2019

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Reconnected with Christy Town, my Former Student

Go into Nature raw and simple and just sit quietly doing nothing other than allowing Nature to become accustomed to your presence.  Soon enough, often just beyond what you had taken to be the threshold of your patience and perception, Nature steps forward and begins to reveal its features to you. Rush it and you will never see it. Grab for it and it will give you nothing of its real self, only what you set out to grab.  But wait a while longer, and the place begins to breathe audibly, to creep and flutter, beat, to speak in a thousand ways.  You listen.  That is today’s conversation.

Peter London, Drawing Closer to Nature

Today (Thursday) is a genuine gift to my exhausted life. For days I have been driving long distances on the road, keeping several engagements as promised, and now am happy to have an entire day to relax and enjoy the environment in The Gallery at Redlands before loading up for tomorrow’s festival.

After teaching my class Tuesday at Texas Wesleyan University, I loaded the Jeep and headed for Palestine so I could pack up all my supplies for the following day–an all-day plein air presentation and demo at the Central Texas Watercolor Society in Waco. Rising at 6:00 the following morning, I made the two-hour journey and was deeply moved to see  Christy Town, a former art history student of mine from the Martin High School days of 2005. She went on to become a teacher and artist and I found it so humbling that she chose to spend a day with me in this session. She has posted a lovely account of the day on her blog: https://theartlabtx.com/2019/10/09/plein-air-painting-day/

As if meeting Christy wasn’t enough of a shock, I then was greeted by Trish Poupard, a fabulous west-coast watercolorist now living in Texas. She attended my presentation recently in Fort Worth at the Society of Watercolor Artists meeting, and decided to make a two-hour drive here to see me again. You can view her remarkable body of work at https://trish-poupard.format.com/#4

In the morning, I shall leave for the Edom Art Festival, now in its 46th year. The event will be held 10-5 on Saturday and Sunday, and the art work in the booths is high end. This is one of my two top festivals of the year, and I am looking forward to the lovely weather and crowds of art lovers with high expectations. You can learn more about this event by checking out their website: http://visitedom.com/edom-art-festival/

This festival will witness the first showing of my newest series, Turvey’s Corner 63050. I have four new watercolors for this series, in 16 x 20″ frames and ready to sell:

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church hotel watercolor

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The lovely Redlands Hotel has been my welcoming home this week as I’ve juggled my tasks between Waco and Edom. My morning walk today provided a lovely 72-degree temperature with cool breezes and bright sunshine. The hotel was magnificent in that light.

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The Redlands Hotel, 400 N. Queen St., Palestine, Texas

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So Many New Businesses Added the Past Year!

Approaching the side entrance to the hotel, I stopped to marvel at all the new occupants I’ve come to appreciate over this past year of growth. What once was a quiet hotel has now turned into a humming beehive of activity even on weekday mornings. I keep the gallery door propped open, enjoying all the ambient sounds emanating from the lobby traffic. And of course, I love chatting up the patrons who drift into the gallery for a look.

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The New Queen St. Grille, Lovelier than Ever

Jean and Mike have now taken the ownership of the restaurant formerly known as Red Fire Grille. The chef and staff have remained on board, so the food and service are still the epitome of fine dining, and many more patrons are now finding their way to this location to enjoy the best food. The rib-eye I chose last night capped the end of a perfect day.

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The Finest 12 oz. Ribeye

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Kevin and Alan in the Morning

Kevin and Alan were at the top of their game this morning with Smooth Rock 93.5. I’m proud to know I may be in America’s only art gallery that includes a radio station broadcasting live. These fellows are the most pleasant roommates I could ever hope for in the mornings. When you get the chance, stream them live on your phone, computer or tablet. They broadcast live from 7-10 weekday mornings. The station continues to play smooth rock 24-7 after the morning show ends.

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Kevin Harris Top of the Morning

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Alan at the Top of his Tech Mastery

I regret to close out this morning’s blog, but I have a ton of packing and loading to do before heading out in the morning for the Edom Art Festival.

Thanks for reading, and if you are in the area, I would love to see you in Edom.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

Morning Thoughts from the Gallery

April 30, 2019

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Where there is no vision the people perish.

Proverbs 29:18

The scholars are the priests of that thought which establishes the foundations of the earth. No matter what is their special work or profession, they stand for the spiritual interest of the world, and it is a common calamity if they neglect their post in a country where the material interest is so predominant as it is in America.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The Method of Nature”

creel redone

Thinking of the Next Catch

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Trophy from the “Spirit is Ageless” Art & Writing Contest

Artscape 2019 at the Dallas Arboretum is in the books, and I am still awash in splendid recollections from the weekend spent there. As of this writing, I am finally rested from the exertion of breaking down the show, driving it home, then rising yesterday morning to drive two hours to Palestine and unload all my festival gear and art work at the Redlands Hotel, then put the Gallery at Redlands all back together again.

Sunday at the festival allowed me some time for reading in the shade, and Emerson’s essay penetrated my soul in a way that escapes words. I often have to close the book, sigh, and gaze into the distance to absorb the beauty of his prose. What a lovely literary sage he is! I have difficulty explaining the “spirituality” of  art, but I told my students over the years that I am happier making art than selling it, or sitting in a festival or gallery showing it off. The act of painting restores my soul, making me feel alive and purposeful on this earth. The material benefit of selling art is appreciated, but the restored spirit I feel while making it far exceeds the rewards of sales or words of praise.

Part of the weekend activities included a reception at CC Young: The Point & Pavilion adjacent to White Rock Lake. I accepted the trophy posted above as they read my written submission accompanying the watercolor:

Though the old fellow spent most of his days drinking coffee and dozing in his shed, he still kept his fly fishing gear piled on the chair across the room in perfect view so he could continue to remember those days when fishing was at its best. He smiled at every memory of Indian Creek with its holes teaming with black bass, and Beaver’s Bend with the long gurgling runs lined with rainbow trout.

The neighbors entered his darkened house after several days of silence, and found him dead, seated in his rocker, his half-cup of cold coffee at his elbow. The fishing gear was still piled in the chair across the room, offering mute tribute to his wholesome days.

This morning’s pleasure included spending time on the air with Kevin Harris and Alan Wade on Smooth Rock 93.5. I miss Marc Mitchell, who recently accepted a position with the Palestine Herald-Press, just down the road from the Redlands Hotel. Alan has provided warm friendship and excellent conversation, and adds another quality presence to the broadcast team.

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 Refuge of Art

April 25, 2019

Art still has truth. Seek refuge there.

Matthew Arnold

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Seated this morning in The Gallery at Redlands, I confess that Art is indeed my refugue, my inner calm. I have heard fishermen claim that even if they fish all day without a bite, it was still an excellent day. I disagree. No matter how serene the surroundings, if I fish all day without success, I am soured. But art is a different story; I can paint all day and create junk, but I still have experienced a sublime day. The act of making art floods my being with sentiments that are just as genuine as the satisfaction I know when creating something worth viewing.

Soon I will be packing my art out of here to take to the Dallas Arboretum for Artscape 2019. I set up Friday morning and we have a Members Only Preview Show that evening. The actual show opens Saturday morning at 9:00 and runs till 5:00. Same hours on Sunday.

https://www.dallasarboretum.org/events-activities/artscape/

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Smooth Rock 93.5 is broadcasting at the moment, so I am keeping things quiet at my end of the gallery. After the morning show is over at 10:00, I’ll begin taking down my paintings and loading the Jeep for the show. Meanwhile, it feels good to enjoy the calm of the morning, and spend this quality time reading and scribbling in the journal.

My next blog will feature photos of my new booth appearance at Artscape 2019. I have made a number of profound changes in my display, and after a month of seeing the visions in my head, I look forward to seeing the real edifice raised in the morning. And then, I hope to enjoy a pair of relaxing days seated in the booth, meeting art lovers and feeling the genuine gratitude of being invited to participate in such an event as this. I love the environment of a quality art festival, and this particular one is one of the most successful I have experienced over the past fifteen years.

Throughout my decades of employment, I cannot say that I was always surrounded by creative, optimistic personnel. But art festivals are different–from set up till break down, I always find my neighboring artistic spirits to be filled with a joie de vi·vre that buoys my spirits. And I look forward to seeing many of these artists whom I haven’t seen in a year. Catching up is always a joy. Being a part of this kind of community reminds me of how blessed I am.

This book, Culture Care, that my friend Ben gave me yesterday is providing much food for thought this morning. I hope to have more to say about it in the days ahead. But now, the broadcast team has finished their work of the morning, and it is time for me to load the paintings.

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.