Warm Thoughts of Thanksgiving

April 6, 2017

artists

The Gang

The struggle to mold something into language is like the resistance of the towering firs against the storm.

Martin Heidegger, “Why Do I Stay in the Provinces?” (1934 radio address)

Feeling trashed-out due to long afternoons and late nights sifting through business-related data and paperwork, I’m a little thin on inspirational reading tonight, and ready for bed well ahead of my usual bedtime. But as I prepare for my final weekend at The Gallery at Redlands, I’ve received such affirming news throughout this day from friends, colleagues and students planning to make the two-hour trek to east Texas this weekend and wish me well. My feelings of gratitude are impossible to mold adequately into words, just as Heidegger stated in his radio address above.

Making art is a solitary enterprise.  No one can do it for you. And I haven’t placed much stock in collaboration on artistic work. But I know how it is to feel isolated and out of step with the world at times when I’m submerged in my work. When I find occasion to reach out an connect with other kindred spirits, I know I have found something special in this life. I’ve posted a picture of the circle of artistic spirits that I’m honored to know as dear friends. We gather weekly at a cafe on the north side of town to exchange ideas, inspiration and to build one another up. They have repeatedly turned my life and emotions around to the positive side just by their words and enthusiasm. For years, I had wished to know the kind of camaraderie experienced by the Ash Can School, the French Impressionists, the Lot Generation and the New York School as they found a cafe or bar where they could gather and flourish. Finally, I have found a place and a circle of souls to provide that nurture. So, I thank you–Pam, Kelly, Stacy, Elaine and Ian–for what you bring to the table of artistic inspiration. There are so few like you.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

Pining for Plein Air Activity

April 5, 2017

South Fork Pine

Plein Air Watercolor Sketch of Colorado Pine

My one-man-show will close Sunday, April 9 at 5:00 p.m. and I hope to take a day or two to catch my breath.  Then I will dive head-first into my favorite annual plein air painting event: Paint Historic Waxahachie.  Artists who registered in advance were given the green light to begin painting April 1, but I’ve been too busy with this show and my daily school responsibilities–next week, I hope.

The watercolor sketch posted above is in my show at the Gallery at Redlands. I painted it in Colorado last summer while relaxing with daily fly fishing and plein air watercoloring. My pulse rate changes dramatically when I am in that Rocky Mountain environment, and I cannot wait to return there for an extended vacation this summer. Every time I look at this small painting, I recall those beautiful, chilly, sun-drenched mornings when I sat out on the porch of my cabin with my coffee, surveying the South Fork of the Rio Grande rolling by below.

I truly miss those days, and can’t wait for them to return.

Thanks for reading.

Thoughts Gathering in the Late Night

April 4, 2017

fishing-memories.jpg

Fishing Memories–$1200 framed

day 2b

To speak of these things and to try to understand their nature and, having understood it, to try slowly and humbly and constantly to express, to press out again, from the gross earth or what it brings forth, from sound and shape and colour which are the prison gates of our soul, an image of the beauty we have come to understand–that is art.

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

I would be lying if I were to call this an inspiring day–after a full day in school, I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening gathering data, crunching numbers and doing all those things related to the business side of art.  I would always rather squint into the surface of a watercolor composition than between the lines of a spreadsheet.

Now that the hour has drawn late and I still haven’t found sleep, I thought I would reward myself by returning to some James Joyce texts. I’m more than halfway through Ulysses, and reading that has been an uneven experience.  Tonight’s reading was rather opaque, so finally I put the volume down and picked up his Portrait to re-read some of the portions I’ve highlighted from earlier readings. The one I quoted above is one of my favorites as the protragonist of the story thoughtfully articulates his theory of the art making enterprise. I find a close similarity between Joyce, Emerson and Heidegger as they describe the origin of art as springing from a struggle between the person and the natural world. In the days ahead, I hope I can spend more time working on the ideas of these three intriguing writers and see if I can explore further what they sought to expound.

But I believe I should retire to bed so that I may have some kind of a pulse when I face my classes yet again tomorrow.

The image I’ve posted above is one of my favorite watercolors that I worked on during winter months two or three years ago. It is my largest painting still in my collection and offered up for sale in the show at The Gallery at Redlands which closes Sunday.

Thanks for reading . . .

Anticipating the Final Stretch

April 3, 2017

Durango SilvertonEureka Springs Iron Horse

sandi (2)

Ridglea Theater

Haltom Jewelers

My soul overflows with feelings of good will tonight as I rest and think over all the splendor of this past weekend at the Gallery at Redlands in Palestine, Texas.  It was the second weekend of my One-Man-Show, and we will close out the show this coming Sunday, April 9 at 5:00.  Immediately afterward, I’m anticipating a great time as I gather with some of the artists of Anderson County Arts Council for dinner and planning of future art endeavors.

I regret that I did not blog from Saturday onward, but I was covered up with patrons and friends who had journeyed a long distance to spend the weekend with me. And I’m excited at the news that other friends have expressed a desire to come out this final weekend. Palestine is a couple hours out of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, but plenty of my loving friends have made the trip and kept me in great company.

I have posted images above of the limited edition prints that all found a home this past weekend. We’re very happy with the sales and success of the show to date. When I have more concrete information, I will gladly pass it on to my readers, but some conversations have transpired over the past 72 hours that have my spirits soaring–Palestine is an historic railroad town, and I’ve been asked to take part in some very exciting art endeavors associated with their railroad history and popular local events. I can’t wait to burrow further into these possibilities in the weeks and months ahead. So stay tuned . . .

 Thanks for reading.

I make art to satisfy my curiosity.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

gallery

View from the Gallery Window

April 1, 2017

finished (2)

Completed watercolor of downtown Palestine, Texas

. . . and the philosophical light around my window is now my joy; may I be able to keep on as I have thus far!

Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin, letter to friend Boehlendorf dated December 2, 1802

Saturday morning began for me on a second-story balcony with coffee and Heidegger’s essay “What Are Poets For?” I was so enriched by the ideas from the essay that I descended the stairs and opened the gallery at 9:00 rather than 10:00 so I could enjoy some time writing at the desk, and then resume work on the watercolor I have been playing with since I started it over a week ago. I finally decided to sign off on it and offer it as a watercolor sketch, unframed, measuring 11 x 11″ for $100.

The day shortly after became busy beyond description with a steady stream of patrons in the gallery, some sales, and wall-to-wall meaningful conversation. I feel that I have made a number of new friends for life. The Palestine experience has been deeply fulfilling. I can’t wait to open again in the morning.

Thanks for reading.

Soothing Morning 

April 1, 2017

“Poets are the mortals who, singing earnestly of the wine-god, sense the trace of the fugitive gods, stay on the gods’ tracks, and so trace for their kindred mortals the way toward the turning.”

Martin Heidegger, “What are Poets For?”

After a good night’s sleep, it is so rewarding to sit early in the morning over a cup of coffee and a Heidegger essay, and wait for another opening of the gallery. Palestine is a great town for weekends, I have found out. And these opportunities to relax and chill between Gallery hours have been a salve to my soul.

After my coffee and reading, I will still have an hour before the gallery opens at 10. I think I will enjoy that quiet space to work further on this watercolor I have been tinkering with since the show opened last weekend.

Thanks for reading.

A New Look in the Gallery this Weekend

March 31, 2017

redlands

The Gallery at Redlands, 400 N. Queen St., Palestine, Texas

The Gallery at Redlands has readied itself for a new look this weekend, with a large framed watercolor added to the right side of the window display, featuring Angel’s Nest, a lovely Victorian home in Weatherford, Texas.  There will also be newly editioned prints coming out, featuring equestrian and hunting scenes and an iconic Coca-Cola sign hanging on a garden gate. These are all new pieces showing up for the first time in public.

I am looking forward to returning to a watercolor I started last weekend, setting up my plein air easel with a broad view out the display window facing the highway. From here I can see the railroad trackage beyond Highway 287, and enjoy the trains rolling through as the weekend unfolds.

painting

Watercolor in progress of the building across the street from the gallery

I have been so delighted with all the news coverage this show has gotten, and the recognition this new gallery is experiencing. The Historic Inn of Redlands is a magnificent building, erected in 1914, with beautiful suites for rent. Last weekend as well as this weekend, my friends made the trip here and enjoyed the overnight accommodations. Among these friends I have enjoyed, two of them are graduates of my high school whom I hadn’t seen since 1973. What a reunion! Amazing to find out that friends I knew in the greater St. Louis area relocated in my vicinity. Facebook has made many such reunions possible, and the social media has done an excellent job marketing this show. One of my friends from Tennessee whom I last saw in the 1980’s followed this show and made his purchase this morning online. I never thought such things possible until now. I feel that I am living a lifelong dream, pursuing the arts and renewing friendships.

The community of Palestine has also been so welcoming. In addition to the owners of this hotel and patrons of this gallery, I’ve made the acquaintances of a number of city officials and citizens wishing us well. I also want to extend a special shout-out to Mary Raum, from the Visitors Bureau who has used social media to heighten the awareness of this show, and personally directed a truck driver arriving from out-of-town who inquired where this gallery was located.  He had been following the show on social media.  Hats off as well to the Palestine Herald-Press who feaured our show on the front page of last weekend’s edition, thus steering many of the tourists arriving for the Dogwood Trails Celebration to this site.

The experience here in Palestine has been rewarding, and I would love to meet any of you reading this who may be close enough to come out and visit.  I will be here Friday afternoon as well as Saturday and Sunday this weekend. We close next weekend.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Another Limited Edition for the Weekend Show

March 30, 2017

Christmas at Spencer's Grill horizontal

Christmas at Spencer’s Grill

And finally, I’m bringing this limited edition back out for the weekend show at The Gallery at Redlands, 400 N. Queen St., Palestine, Texas.  It is priced at $80.

Spencer’s Grill is located on Kirkwood Road (old Route 66) in St. Louis, Missouri. The business has been there since 1947, and the colorful billboard that advertised the place caught my eye since the days I was too young yet to read. Nearly every time I visit my family in St. Louis, I go to this establishment for an old-fashioned breakfast, seated at a counter stool, feeling that I have entered Edward Hopper’s painting Nighthawks. I guess I will always be a painter of memories.

Nighthawks_by_Edward_Hopper_1942

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

New Work for the Weekend Show

March 30, 2017

sandi (2)

The Splendor of a Morning Ride

rhett

Surveying the Results

As my show continues through the next two weekends at The Gallery at Redlands, 400 N. Queen St., Palestine, Texas, I am bringing out more work not on display before. The original watercolors featured above have already sold. I have on hand two limited editions of the equestrian subject, and one of the pheasant hunt. The equestrian limited edition sells for $100 and the pheasant for $80.

These subjects I used to paint quite often in my past, but I’ve gotten away from them recently. Once this show is over, I intend to return to some of my earlier subjects, particularly railroad themes and Victorian homes. I haven’t gotten to paint seriously in several weeks as I’ve been busy getting ready for this show.

Thanks for reading. I have at least one more image I hope to post later today.

Bringing out New Work for the Show

March 30, 2017

durango silverton

Durango-Silverton Train, limited edition giclee print

Throughout today, I intend to post new images of work to be added to this weekend’s one-man-show at The Gallery at Redlands, 400 N. Queen St., Palestine, Texas.  The above image is a limited edition giclee print of the Durango-Silverton Railroad that I painted in watercolor, years ago. The original has long since found a home, but the prints have been quite popular, and last weekend I sold out of the gallery the last one in stock. I managed to place a new order Monday for six that will be ready for pick up before I return to the gallery this weekend. These images are $70 and are preserved shrinkwrapped against a foamboard backing.

Several more giclee prints are forthcoming, and i will post images of them later today when I have a break in my schedule.

Thanks for reading.