Archive for the ‘horse’ Category

New Greeting Cards made from Recent Watercolors

August 30, 2021

Monday has been dedicated to my Ethics lecture class and Humanities online class, so it doesn’t appear that I’ll get around to art work till tomorrow. However, early this morning I did create two new 5 x 7″ greeting cards from some of my recent paintings, and these I’ll install in The Gallery at Redlands later this week. I sell the cards at $5 each or 5 for $20.

Hat Creek Revisited (we still don’t rent pigs)

Captains Woodrow Call and  Augustus McRae, finally retired from the Texas Rangers, ride out daily to work their Hat Creek Cattle Company. “All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream.” (T. K. Whipple, Study Out the Land). Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove continues to enrich our lives and feed our imaginative visitations.

Night Vaquero

Black care sits behind the horseman

Horace, Ode, iii.1.4o

Peering out from beneath the shadow of his brim, the vaquero turned his head and listened. He had just heard something in the stillness of the Arizona night. Twenty miles of riding had sent him into a dozing mode, but now he was alert and stiffened to listen further.

The horse seemed unbothered and continued to plod slowly along. The rider decided that they had pushed far enough along on the day’s ride, and a week of riding still stretched out before them. Searching the horizon line of silhouetted buttes, his eye enjoyed the cool ranges of violets and indigos. Somewhere along the strand, he and the horse would find a place to nest for the night.

I am truly enjoying the lifestyle change with the university coming back into my life. The Ethics lecture class I am grateful to lead, and the student responses, both written and oral, have been most engaging. Hopefully I can find a way to navigate the scholarship and the art as I’ve been called on to do before.

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.

Finished Lonesome Dove Sketch

August 29, 2021
Hat Creek Cattle Company (and we still don’t rent pigs), Watercolor 11 x 14″ framed. $350

His plan had been to observe and sketch a cattle roundup for Scribner’s. But as soon as Wyeth was mounted and facing a herd, he became a cowpuncher. Outfitted from hat to stirrup, he hired on at the Gill Ranch and set out with thirty-five cowboys to “hunt and to bring together thousands of cattle scattered over a large part of the country known as the free range.”

N. C. Wyeth: A Biography

Reading the N. C. Wyeth biography along with Larry McMurtry’s four novels unfolding the Call and McCrae saga has motivated me recently to put out a group of watercolor studies of cowboys, horses, longhorns, bison, etc. This is the last one completed and now displayed in our lobby window of The Gallery at Redlands. My next adventure is to paint mules against some magnificent scenery sent to me by a teaching friend, thank you Peggy Kirkland!

And I thank the rest of you for reading.

Finishing a Quick Study

August 28, 2021

Why do we seek climates warmed by another sun? Who is the man that by fleeing from his country, can also flee from himself?

Horace, Ode, ii. 16. 18

One telling Socrates, that such a one was nothing improved by his travels: “I very well believe it,” said he, “for he took himself along with him.”

Montaigne, “Of Solitude”

Reading Montaigne on this early Saturday morning has proved to be a great beginning to a day in the gallery/studio. I am happy to find myself in good company when in solitude, but I also confess that the company will improve greatly once Sandi enters the gallery!

My plan is to finish this 8 x 10″ watercolor today and frame it for the Gallery. We will head back home tonight, but I’m delighted to have begun & completed a painting in the short time we were here.

Back to work! 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.

Quick Work on a Pair

August 27, 2021
Attempting the Lonesome Dove Pairing

I cannot believe the afternoon has already arrived. It’s been a busy Friday in the Gallery at Redlands. I began this 8 x 10″ watercolor around 9:30 and have been dividing my time between Lonesome Dove and Aristotle (painting and Texas Wesleyan ethics lecture). I know this sounds nuts, but I love it everytime two seemingly disparate fields flow into one another. While waiting for portions of the watercolor to dry, I’ve been re-acquainting myself with Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Four Causes as expounded in his Physics.

Aristotle argued that all living things have formal, material, efficient and final causes embedded in them. The efficient cause refers to the energy, the urge for one to develop, to strive, to mature toward that final, complete cause. The final cause is the target, the terminus, the realm of completion. And when people ask where the final cause resides, the answer is: within you. Aristotle (later echoed by T. S. Eliot and a host of others) held that the end is already contained in the beginning. People have their own ways to interpret this, but I like to think about my own impulses to make art. From the time I was quite small, I had the urge to draw, to color, to create my world on paper. No matter what trajectory my life followed, in education, in employment, in profession, I always came back around to art, because it was in me.

Another aspect of this Aristotelian argument that appeals to me is the notion of the painting already residing in the surface, though I’m staring at a blank piece of paper. I’m not as anxious as I used to be to touch the brush or pencil to the paper, because I can already “see” what I want to do within this white rectangle. The reason I couldn’t wait to begin today’s watercolor is because I have had this image in my eye for days after countless hours spent sorting out photos and movie clips of Lonesome Dove. My only regret with this small piece is that I left no room behind the characters; I really wished to overwhelm the composition with the Llano Estacado. Maybe I’ll attempt this again later with more background available.

Thanks for reading.

Putting Down the Brush and Re-Opening the Books

August 16, 2021
Artist Cecilia Bramhall and myself experimenting in watercolor

After framing the six new watercolors I created, I found myself exhausted early yesterday evening. Sleeping in late today, I descended to the gallery a little later and found the atmosphere full of activity. Mondays are ususally slow in the hotel with the restaurant and bar closed on those days. But Cecilia was ready for a refresher course in watercolor, and I found myself in the mood quite quickly. In the middle of our exercise I was surprised by an offer from Texas Wesleyan University to teach an additonal class in Ethics. I accepted. So, come Monday I will deliver my first class lecture in several years and will open up a new online course simultaneously. Time to get back to the books, and my heart is filled with enthusiasm and gratitude for this new adventure.

I want to say a few words about the paintings that held my attention over the course of this past week that now are in the gallery for sale:

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Dream, 11 x 14 in the frame. $200

Georgia O’Keeffe once said that if she painted the Peternal enough times, God would have to give it to her. A few summers ago, we rented a casita adjacent to Ghost Ranch in Abiquu, New Mexico. The Pedernal was visibe from the front patio, and I painted it every day for a week. I modeled the painting above from a plein air watercolor I did from the interior of Ghost Ranch. The Indian flute player was added at the end of the exercise, on a lark. I thought the right side of the composition needed some weight.

Desert Odyssey in an 11 x 14″ frame. $200

This is my second attempt at a mounted vaquero modeled from a painting I did of the Fort Worth cattle drive that occurs daily in the Stockyards. I decided to transport the mount to an Arizona setting since I fell in love with the Sedona region a couple of summers ago. A few weeks ago, I was pleased at the results of some scumbling I did with a soft lead pencil as I attempted a watercolor sketch of a boulder. I tried some scumbling with a dark sepia watercolor pencil as I worked and re-worked the rock formations and ground cover in the background of this piece. I feel I have turned a corner with the use of these pencils on dried out watercolor surfaces.

Watching for the Rise. 8 x 10″ in the frame. $100

Several months ago I roughed out a few fly-fishing subjects, trying something I hadn’t done before–wetting my brush and “painting” with water the contours of the fisherman and then dropping in the pigments to watch the color flow and billow. After “fleshing” out the fisherman’s body, I then went back in and laid in a few essential details and accents.

Vaquero. Sold

This was my first attempt at recreating the vaquero from an earlier painting of the cattle drive. I wanted to experiment with a night sky and try to render a rocky horizon in something more than a mere silhouette. I still have much to learn about night colors. The most enjoyable part of working on this one was the myriad of details of all the rigging draped about the horse and rider.

Longmire Stroll. 8 x 10″ in the frame $125

This is my second attempt to render Walt Longmire from my favorite television series. Again I enjoyed looking for ways to shape and model the hat and shadows on the face. I’m still trying to figure out how to use watermedia for facial shadows beneath hats. Too many times I have revised subjects such as this until the area became overworked. I’m learning to stop much sooner and leave the simplicity of watercolor wash. While making this decision I thought of Hemingway’s philosophy of writing: “The Power of Less.”

Serene Pastureland. 8 x 10″ in the frame $125

Back in 2009 I often accompanied Sandi when she went to visit her horse to ride. I made several quick plein air watercolor sketches of grazing horses, keeping things loose. All those paintings sold years ago, but fortunately I kept photos of them. Retrieving this one from the files I decided to open up and experiment with colors I’m not accustomed to using in my work. I laid down the light green wash before painting the horse over it, so you can see the green in his legs. I also allowed some of the blue sky to show through on his body. Just experimenting with some ideas . . .

It’s past 10 p.m. now as I complet this. It’s been one of those days with many, many interruptions to my blogging attempt. But at least I finally got all of it down before retiring to bed. Tomorrow is another day and I still have much work left to do for Texas Wesleyan University. I’m glad to be back in the classroom, but will find ways to continue making the art and writing about it. Thank you always for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.


August 10, 2021
Cropped Image from one of my larger watercolors

Years ago I created a watercolor on a full-size sheet of paper depicting the Fort Worth cattle drive that occurs twice a day in the stockyards. I awoke this morning with an idea about cropping out a vaquero in the composition to see if I could create a decent piece with just him in the shot against a Southwest backdrop.

Beginnings of a 5 x 7″ watercolor study

If I can pull off a decent 5 x 7″ study of this, then I’ll move up to an 8 x 10″ painting in hopes of creating something presentable in a frame.

Thanks for reading.

Typical Multiple-Stimulus Day . . .

August 9, 2021
5 x 7″ watercolor in 8 x 10″ frame. $150

. . . it all began October 25 which was also the great moment of discovering my soul, yet reconciled to downstairs as a cute cozy place only now to find myself hounded to the end and have to pack and leave and head for the hell and gone even from the desk I only finished repairing three days ago and which was going to be the scene of studies and the whole vast ordered universe of my life which I loved, I have to, go, like a fugitive, staggering again in the dark . . . I’m in love with my life and I’m sticking to it–I mean the belief in it. I may be a distracted wretch but I am still a man and I know how to fight and survive, I have before.

Jack Kerouac, Visions of Cody

I feel that Kerouac’s Visions of Cody is On the Road on steroids, or more accurately, benzedrine. When I read it this morning, I thought “Whoa! I need to wake up a little more to digest this!” I suppose it was a good stimulus; the day has been filled with preparations for my online Humanities course this fall as well as phone calls and visits to area Palestine businesses to solidify final details for our monthly Art Walk taking place Saturday August 21. If COVID doesn’t interfere, we plan to resume our Gallery at Redlands Art Talks with a special edition of Wayne White and Stacy Campbell on Friday night August 20.

Breakfast with Stacy and Wayne during the weekend of our gallery’s opening

I really hope we can pull this event off; it’s one none of us would want to miss! Wayne will be coming all the way from the St. Louis vicinity to join us for the weekend festivities. When he and Stacy get together to discuss their art, they cannot seem to leave out the comedic routine! I’ve missed the two of them, especially the laughs.

5 x 7″ watercolor of horse in 8 x 10″ frame $100

8 x 10″ watercolor of The Pedernal of Georgia O’Keeffe fame in 11 x 14″ frame $150

Walt Longmire carrying Winchester & Stanley. 5 x 7″ watercolor in 8 x 10″ frame $100

In the midst of the college preparations and the Art Walk business, I managed to find quality time to continue work in the watercolors. I’m now fitting them into frames for gallery presentation. The day has brought plenty of satisfaction. I’m glad to be lingering in Palestine. It’s likely I’ll stay here till Wednesday.

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.

Pulling Out all the Stops in the Studio

August 4, 2021
Several art projects in progress in Studio Eidolons

A great truth is like a mountain that one walks around, and the changes of its contour as one moves his position only emphasize and revivify its majesty.

N. C. Wyeth, final letter to his son Andrew Wyeth, February 16, 1944

A few years ago, I purchased a volume containing the complete letters of N. C. Wyeth. I have always known that he was a prolific reader and allowed great literature to fuel his artistic imagination. His life as an illustrator has inspired me for years, and frequently in the studio when I find my assignments and commissions stacking up, I return to him for added inspiration and encouragement.

As stated previously, I will return to Texas Wesleyan University this fall as an adjunct instructor to teach an online course in the Humanities. Since learning this, wave upon wave, layer upon layer of rich memories of teaching this discipline has overwhelmed me. Days in the studio are now divided between the academic and creative arts disciplines and so far I am liking that feel, though I am getting tired more easily.

Working on the Humanities course

I will be teaching art, literature, philosophy, religion and music from antiquity to the seventeenth century. I have done this dozens of time throughout my life, but since my last go around in 2019, a number of new realms have opened for me that I would like to pass on to the students. We’ll see if I can get these tucked into my new curriculum.

5 x 7″ image will be priced at $100 once it’s installed in an 8 x 10″ frame

The first of several horses is signed and ready to frame. I’m still puzzling out new ideas for color schemes on the horses’ bodies.

First quick sketch of cowboy

My artist friend and former teacher colleague Stacy Campbell presented me yesterday with a Stanley for storing my daily coffee. In response, I’ve kicked out this quick sketch of Sheriff Walt Longmire from the Netflix series, toting his Stanley and Winchester. My immediate plans call for watercolor sketches of horses, bison, longhorns and cowboys. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes from them.

I am excited that our new website is under construction for The Gallery at Redlands. Dave Shultz has been blazing away at it for several days and it appears to be well over half completed already. As soon as it is ready, we’ll launch it for all of you to see.

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.

Thoughts from Studio Eidolons

August 1, 2021
Home Again Sunday Morning. And it Feels Good

Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it means to live as an artist: in understanding as in creating.

Rainer Rilke, letter dated April 23, 1903

Sunday morning feels serene, being back home again in Studio Eidolons, looking out on the bright morning sun splashing across “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and thinking good thoughts. Most of the weekend in The Gallery at Redlands was filled with meeting and conversing with patrons and squeezing out a bit of time to experiment with watercolor sketches of horses and working up the nerve to use brigher, splashier colors like I was doing earlier with my bison series. I have yet to frame any of the horses because I’m still trying to determine whether or not they are worthy of display in the gallery. I brought them all back home with me. Hopefully I can continue working on them this week.

Experimenting with watercolor sketches of horses
Dave Shultz working on a new website for The Gallery at Redlands

We are thrilled to announce finally that a website for The Gallery at Redlands is under construction. Dave Shultz and I finalized our plans yesterday while he was in the gallery and today he is already working on it. We will gladly keep you updated on this news.

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.

Playtime in The Gallery at Redlands

July 23, 2021
Loosening up with some Pen & Ink Sketches

Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth, I believe. He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience, to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder about it, to dwell upon it. He ought to imagine that he touches it with his hands at every season and listens to the sounds that are made upon it. He ought to imagine the creatures there and all the faintest motions of the wind. He ought to recollect the glare of noon and all the colors of the dawn and dusk.

N. Scott Momaday, The Man Made of Words

Friday morning in The Gallery at Redlands finds me at play. I finally sat down to gaze upon the cover of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. Charlie Mackesy, to me, is the gold standard for pen & ink as witnessed by his exquisite sketches of the characters in this lovely children’s book. I purchased a Pentel Arts Pocket Brush medium brush pen and sat down at the drafting table to see if I could possibly discard a lifetime’s practice of uptight, anal drawing. Yesterday, I sat down for my first attempt, copying Mackesy’s horse as quickly as I could with a rigger brush and bottle of India Ink. It didn’t go down very well.

First Attempt, using Rigger Brush & India Ink

Today’s attempt with the Pentel Brush Pen showed some improvement with the calligraphic style lines of varying width, but I still found myself very sloppy with the attempted hairline whips of arc-shaped lines. I think what I need to do is use the pen brush for heavier, calligraphic variety sweeps, then refine my fine lines using a tech pen. I’ll try that next.

The Momaday reading inspired me this morning, reminding me of my recent attempt to break the restraints of my former color palette. Having done more plein air work recently in canyon and mountain settings, I’ve decided to loosen up and try some of the quinacridone gold and red hues I’ve been purchasing from the Daniel Smith brand. The result has been some bison sketches of which I’ve sold several already at $100 apiece for 5 x 7″ watercolors mounted in 8 x 10″ frames.

Lone Bison, 8 x 10″ frame, $100
Friday Morning in The Gallery at Redlands

Downtown Palestine has been relatively quiet this morning, aside from drop-in visits from friends in the community whom I dearly love. Conversations with them are always warm, positive and enlightening. It looks like it could be a lovely day for experimental art work and creative eros.

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.