Archive for the ‘Vintage cars’ Category

Two New Watercolors for The Gallery

July 24, 2021
Sacred Heart Night, 11 x 14″ framed watercolor. $150
Shelton Hall, 11 x 14 framed watercolor. $425

Our human tendency is to concentrate the world upon a stage. We construct proscenium arches and frames in order to contain the thing that is larger than our comprehension, the plane of boundless possibility, that which reaches almost beyond wonder.

N. Scott Momaday, The Man Made of Words

The weekend in The Gallery at Redlands proved satisfying, again. I’ll be here a couple of more hours tonight before heading back home to Arlington. I managed to complete and frame a pair of watercolors as I stayed here Thursday through Saturday. They are now on display in the gallery, and I’m closing out my stay by reading the wonderful words of Momaday, truly a man made of words. I love his statement above, about how we carve out stages and display niches to present the images that arrest our attention. Palestine is a town filled with “paintable” structures, each containing its own rich history.

Thanks for reading.

New Work in The Gallery at Redlands

July 22, 2021
Shelton Hall, 11 x 14″ framed watercolor. $425
The essays, stories, and passages in this volume are in some ways the reflections of one who has wandered far and wide in the world, has seen many things, and has recorded the experiences which most excited the days and nights of his journey. They may seem random observations, recollections, and evocations of place and procession. Such an impression does not offend me. My aesthetic sensibiliites are such that they can accommodate pronounced variation and spontaneity. Besides, I do not think that these works are random at all. Rather I perceive the writings herein as the pieces of a whole, each one the element of an intricate but unified design. They are the facets of a verbal prism,if you will, patterns like the constellations.

N. Scott Momaday, The Man Made of Words

N. Scott Momaday has articulated in words what I have tried to do in images for several decades now. The watercolor posted above was completed last night and now hangs in The Gallery at Redlands. The subject is a piece of the "image prism" I have worked on throughout my life, and the stories I write to give deep background to my paintings are, I hope, a "verbal prism" much as the kind Momaday assembles in his engaging essays and stories.

Palestine, Texas feels good this Thursday afternoon following a private watercolor lesson I just gave in the Gallery, a very engaging and successful lesson that thrilled me to the core. I guess I should go ahead and mention this for anyone interested--I charge $40 for the first hour and $20 for an additional hour, and I supply all materials. My students nearly always complete a successful 8 x 10" watercolor in two hours time, and I can teach a student virtually every trick I know in that space of time. 

By the time this weekend has run its course, I hope to have some surprising images to post on the blog. I have some new ideas to try out and am feeling giddy now to have some space and time to pursue them. We'll see how they turn out.

Thanks for reading.


I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remnd myself I am not alone.

Aging and Loving

July 21, 2021
Shelton Hall, Old Town Palestine, Texas (still in progress)

I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for . . .

Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

We have not yet been home a week from our Colorado excursion, but already I find myself firmly set in the daily schedule of my usual life divided between Arlington and Palestine, Texas–a life we had escaped last week for a few days. Daily, I re-open journal pages and sketchbooks from the Colorado hiatus and review the many photos taken, not wanting those memories to fade . . .

Always when traveling, I pack several books, never sure exactly what is going to hold my attention while vacationing. This time I took Martin Heidegger’s Poetry, Language, Thought, Larry McMurtry’s Comanche Moon, my Greek texts of Homer’s Odyssey and my New Testament, and Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Every day on the deck of our Brookie Cabin, I found time for journaling, watercoloring in my sketchbooks and reading from Heidegger and Dillard. PIlgrim at Tinker Creek I have read twice, but the text is so rich I continually find myself re-reading passages that though highlighted had been pushed down the corridors of fading memories, needing refreshment.

I have posted above the passage that knocked the wind out of me (as if breathing at 8,000 feet wasn’t difficult enough already). Annie wasn’t very old at the time she wrote that, but the depth of feeling seized me then, and of course seizes me much more at my current age.

I’m never sure how to address this issue of aging, but these are the things on my mind this morning: First, I have been aware of a sedentary lifestyle for decades, but lacked the inititative to do anything about it. Reading books and making art and driving long distances are not acts that improve physical conditioning. Weight gains and aging finally drove me to hire a personal trainer, and for several months in the gym, I’ve experienced the Greek αγωνία as muscles have been stretched and torn. I gratefully realized the improvement last week when in the stream fly-fishing, that my footing had much improved over the slick rocks underneath and my stamina was better wading upstream against torrential currents. Scaling the hills back to the cabin also came easier. So yes, I am much grateful to Inner Strength Fitness for pointing me in the right direction, healthwise.

But of course, there is no reversal for aging. The longer I live, the more I realize how much I love life and want to suck out its marrow, as Thoreau expressed in Walden. I am not living a life of regret over past decisions, but I do regret the feeling of doors slowly closing on the road ahead. My watercolor posted above, nearly complete, depicts a subject that has pulled at my sentiments since the 1980’s–an America I knew as a child in the 1950’s that is slowly vanishing from our landscape, but not my memories. I call my company Recollections 54 because it points to my birth year along with the decade that shaped my earliest impressions. The city of Palestine is replete with these relics from the past, and I’m grateful now to possess a gallery in what I know to be the best part of that town–the historic Redlands Hotel, built in 1914 and still maintained with pride and dignity. But as I continually survey the aging buildings and properties about me, I feel the corollary of my own life that continually resists entropy.

Tomorrow I will return to Palestine and The Gallery at Redlands, hopefully complete this watercolor, then begin a new composition, picking out yet another of hundreds of its monuments from the past. We have exciting events on the horizon in Palestine as we continue to pump new life into its art scene. Next month will witness the return of Wayne White, my “Hank” hero from the short stories I’ve been writing for a book to come out sometime in the future. On Friday night August 20 at 7:00, Wayne will team up with fellow Gallery at Redlands artist Stacy Campbell to host our “Gallery Talk.” Few people can “slap it around” better than Wayne and Stacy when it comes to discussing art and humor. You won’t want to miss that event. And then the next day, Saturday August 21 will be our third “Art Walk” that will take in over a dozen businesses in downtown Palestine from 10:00-3:00. At 7:00, our concluding summer concert event will feature Carson Jeffrey. A number of Palestine creatives have pooled their enthusiasm to pump up the fine arts in town and I’m proud to play a part in the events.

The morning has stretched into the afternoon already. I plan to spend the day in Studio Eidolons to see what I can cook up next. I hope to write you from The Gallery first thing tomorrow.

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.

Commission Finished

February 3, 2019

20190203_1439318488020209179048172.jpg

Thank you, all of you who have shown interest in the development of this watercolor. There have been requests to post it, so here it is, everything except the signature. This was a labor of love, as the stories behind it warm my heart and are very similar to experiences I knew, growing up and visiting my grandparents on the farm. The patron is a published author, with many fine stories to tell. I hope she publishes the stories surrounding this picture, as they have kept me good company while working on it.

Thanks for reading.

Preparing for the Big Game

October 11, 2016

edom-festival-entrance

Leonardo is the Hamlet of art history, whom each of us must recreate for himself . . . 

Kenneth Clark, Leonardo da Vinci: An Account of his Development as an Artist

My distracted personality has been tested of late, with time divided between reading several excellent books, completing watercolors, grading papers for school, and preparing inventory for my biggest art show this year: Edom Festival of the Arts, to be held this next weekend, October 15-16 in Edom, Texas.

In recent weeks, I have managed to complete several works which are now being framed or matted professionally for their first public viewing:

claude

Summer Shell (Claude, Texas)

loco (2)

Rounding the Bend (Eureka Springs, Arkansas)

brookfield-gas

Resting in the Heat (Brookfield, Missouri)

arkansas-truck

Arkansas Repose

lexington-pumps

Sleepers (Lexington, Texas)

bucket-of-apples

Autumn at the Back Door

The gas pumps and bucket of apples I had completed long ago and tucked into my portfolio, completely forgetting about them till they were rediscovered yesterday.

Because of yesterday’s school holiday, and Friday’s travel time to east Texas for setup, I have only a three-day week at my school, which in many ways will make it much busier. Once the weekend arrives however, and my booth is set up, I intend to enjoy the October weather of rural east Texas, as well as the crowds that fill the rolling pastureland where the festival is held. Though the location is rural and remote, thousands of patrons pour in from Dallas, Plano, McKinney and several populous cities from the metroplex.

edom-2

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to understand.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone

 

Swimming in Ideas

August 1, 2016

arkansas

We sail because our mind is like a fantastic sea shell, and when applying our ear to its lips we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore.

Abraham Heschel, Man is Not Alone

The day has been quite fulfilling, as I’ve enjoyed Heschel’s engaging work, and picked up the brush after a two-day hiatus.  I picked up my Arkansas truck watercolor from the frame shop and love the presentation the framers put together. Then I turned my attention to the train from Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  This is a rather large composition and it’s going to require some focussed time. So far, it seems that I am doing much more drawing than painting, but I enjoy that too.  Thanks for reading.

train (2)

 

Memories of an Arkansas Vista

July 7, 2016

arkansas finished (2)

There is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.

Thomas Merton (quoted in Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)

On this quiet Thursday, I completed my second reading of this magnificent Annie Dillard book, and am closing in on completing this watercolor I began yesterday. I am not happy that my Jeep is suffering difficulties, and was taken to the dealership Saturday, and as of today, they still have not even looked at it.  Six days is too long for anyone to be without their sole possession of transportation. Nevertheless, being housebound, I am completing other tasks, that I hope are not “itsy-bitsy” by Merton statndards.

This truck I photographed while traveling across Arkansas last May on my first of two trips out there to conduct watercolor workshops and judge plein air competitions.  The sight of the sun glinting off the corroded steel of the abandoned vehicle, as well as the liveliness of the surrounding landscape, filled my imagination with such delicious satisfaction, that I turned my Jeep around after traveling an extra mile, and returned to this spot, got out, walked as close as I could to the vehicle, and took several photos with my phone.  Only now, two months later, do I get around to painting the scene.  I was not able to get it out of my mind.

Painting over the past two days has yielded a large quantity of satisfaction for me, as I stared very closely at this composition, crawling around in the weeds and foliage, examining the barbed wire, and scrutinizing every square inch of the faded truck.  The only breaks I took were to read more from Annie Dillard and rest my eyes from the visual details of the painting.

Today I am tired, and still waiting for word on the Jeep.  But I’m happy to have finished a book, and am staring across the room at this watercolor to determine what else needs to be done to it, if anything.

Thanks for reading.

Changes

December 28, 2013

Transitions from Magnolia to Mobilgas

Transition from Magnolia to Mobilgas

The ever-whirling wheel

Of Change; the which all mortal things doth sway.

Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene

Finally, I post this painting that I completed a couple of weeks ago for one of my Christmas commissions.  The owner requested a 1950’s-era filling station (I believe it was 1959) when Magnolia changed to Mobilgas.

With the coming of the New Year, our minds wax pensive with resolutions as we continually confront changes in lives, our environments.  I have been reading lately from the Book of Ecclesiastes (Qohelet) as I do in the closing days of every year.  The aged author seems to complain that amidst all the changes that there yet remains “nothing new under the sun.”  Personally, I grew weary of the adage years ago that “The only constant is change.”  But I live with that, and wrestle with it throughout my years in education, and now personally as I watch 2013 wane and prepare for the unknown features of 2014.  I do love the face of Janus, the Roman god, looking in two directions simultaneously, and continually think of January as the hinge between those two worlds.

This has been an excellent day to reflect and sort out some matters, while reading and painting (and blogging).  And I can indeed testify that I am looking forward to the new age about to dawn, even though it brings the typical anxieties.  Currently I am so grateful for the “down time” for reflecting and creating new things.  I won’t return to school until January 6, and plan to suck the marrow out of this week that lies ahead.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

 

There’s a Certain Slant of Light

December 15, 2013

First Waking Moment of Sunday

First Waking Moment of Sunday

There’s a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.

None may teach it anything,
‘Tis the seal, despair,-
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, ‘t is like the distance
On the look of death.

Emily Dickinson

I love Emily Dickinson’s work, but have always wondered over this verse.  Like Edward Hopper, I love slanting light, and I love the quality of winter light the most.  So, when I awoke this morning and saw this on my bedroom bookcase, the words of Emily’s poem immediately flashed across my consciousness, and pulling the poem from my book, re-read it.  Still it reads with a sorrow that I never feel when gazing at winter light.  I always wonder if I am misinterpreting her in this poem.

I could not wait to enter the studio with such clear, cleain light flooding my house.

Race Horse Commission

Race Horse Commission

I am spending today, trying to finish this final commission to be devlivered on Monday.  That will make three commissions in three days signed, sealed and delivered.  A load will roll off my back when that happens.  I am overwhelmingly grateful for those two ice days that opened up a four-day weekend for me.  Withouut that precious time, I’m not sure how I would have pulled off these commissions.

Two Commissions nearly ready

Two Commissions nearly ready

The gas station painting will be delivered to its new owner this afternoon.

Christmas Commissions in Progress

Christmas Commissions in Progress

The Jeep painting I delivered yesterday.  I’m starting to feel like Santa Claus.

Back to work.  Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Creative Eros

December 11, 2013

Another restless night in the studio

Another restless night in the studio

. . . those who present directly and immediately the new forms and symbols are the artists–the dramatists, the musicians, the painters, the dancers, the poets, and those poets of the religious sphere we call saints.  They portray the new symbols in the form of images–poetic, aural, plastic, or dramatic, as the case may be.  They live out their imaginations.  The symbols only dreamt about by most human beings are expressed in graphic form by the artists.  But in our appreciation of the created work–let us say a Mozart quintet–we also are performing a creative act.  When we engage a painting . . . we are experiencing some new moment of sensibility.  Some new vision is triggered in us by our contact with the painting; something unique is born in us.  This is why appreciation of the music or painting or other works of the creative person is also a creative act on our part.

Rollo May, The Courage to Create

All arts create symbols for a level of reality which cannot be reached in any other way.  A picture and a poem reveal elements of reality which cannot be approached scientifically.  In the creative work of art we encounter reality in a dimension which is closed for us without such works.

Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith

Though I have been away from the blog a couple of days, I have not been away from the arts, have not abandoned the creative eros.  Yesterday’s return to school after two snow-closure days pitchforked me back into the chaotic maelstrom of two schools trying to re-set the damaged bones of fractured schedules.  The college had to reschedule final exams, students had to set appointments to make up missed exams because of transportation issues on icy roads.  Yesterday I faced a hectic day in the high school, then spent the entire afternoon and evening at the college with final exams and scheduled make up exams.  But I did extract some quality library time spent in the arts section on the third floor.  I managed about ninety minutes of reading and reflection between appointments.  And my soul was elevated.  I didn’t want to leave that sanctuary.

Today was unusually different.  Coming out of the shower this morning, my mind and imagination shifted into overdrive.  I was scheduled to lecture on Paul Tillich in the 7:35 Philosophy class.  His ideas were tumbling about in my head, and I was having quite a time lining them up for presentation.  The class was ready and receptive, and I felt that the creative spirit of the man visited us.  If there is a heaven, and if I’m permitted to enter, then I would love for nothing more than to see Paul Tillich waiting at the harbor for me when my ship arrived, taking my hand and saying, “I’ve waited for this moment to meet you.  We should have travelled that earthly odyssey together.”  If only I could spend eternity asking him the questions I’ve saved up all these decades.

(I drew this with a fountain pen late one night in my office in 1999, as I was preparing to lecture on Tillich the following morning.  The text I generated spontaneously as I was sketching the portrait.)

After I finished my classes, I was able to return to the watercolor activity.  The top painting is 99% complete and will be delivered Friday.  The bottom painting is getting closer to completion.  A third one, in progress, is lurking in the docks and hopefully I will complete it this weekend.  I’ve made many promises this Christmas, and it appears that, thanks to the snow and ice days, I will manage to finish these tasks and (hopefully) make some patrons happy.

Meanwhile, I’m restless with all my reading throughout the day and evening with Rollo May and Paul Tillich.  I love reading about the creative process, the urge one feels to bring order to the chaos that greets us daily and to make something of it that speaks to our hearts and to others who look and appreciate.  My life as an artist and educator has had its shaky moments.  But as I draw nearer to this holiday season, I’m finding peace with a number of elements that have eluded me throughout the decades.  There are a few things I believe I am coming to understand better, and with that new sense of understanding comes a measure of peace.

Thanks for reading.  It’s time to return to the painting.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.