Posts Tagged ‘Dogwood Art and Music Festival’

Kicking off a Busy Art Week

March 13, 2023

Quality “Executive Time” this morning

Hello art friends. The weekend was end-to-end action in Palestine, Texas, so I found no time to stop and blog. We have the 85th annual Dogwood Art & Music Festival arriving this Friday and Saturday, March 17-18. In a couple of days, an enormous tent will be erected by two crews that will cover the entire parking lot across the street from The Redland Hotel. Friday morning, thirty-two artists will arrive to set up for the VIP event that will run from 5-9:00. Tickets for the Friday night VIP event are $20 that provide the patron access to heavy hors d’oeuvres and an open bar hosted by Stella Artois and Roundhouse Liquor. There will also be live acoustic music, and patrons will have the first opportunity to purchase art from the artists who were carefully juried into this show, a host of paintings, photography, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, glass-making, fibers, and graphic design. Tickets may be purchased at the tent’s entrance. We’re expecting a blockbuster night with nearly twice the number of artists featured than last year.

Saturday’s festival will run 9-4:00. A parade will open the morning’s festivities, and the entire Palestine downtown will witness thousands filling the streets lined with merchandise booths, food vendors, live music, children’s entertainment, and of course, the Art Tent which will have free admission, as well as adding several booths of work created by local high school students.

This will be the fifth year of the massive Art Tent addition to this long-running festival. Local artist William E. Young, son of the famous Ancel E. Nunn, will be in our celebrity booth under the tent, offering for sale signed and numbered editions of his fifth and final installment of art commemorating this festival. Every year, William has created acrylic paintings of whimsical animal musicians busking in the streets in front of historic Palestine landmarks. I can’t wait to show you his latest contribution; it will be unveiled Thursday at a special event and must be kept under wraps until then. But below you can see the artist from last year under the tent, standing among his previous four editions:

Artist William E. Young

This year I have chosen not to occupy a booth under the Big Tent, but let my work remain in our Gallery at Redlands across the street, and instead be on hand to assist the artists with the loading in, registration and setting up. During the times I’ll be helping under the Tent, we have been fortunate to enlist the help of several of our gallery artists in keeping the Gallery at Redlands open and operational. They will be bringing in new work of their own to add to the already existing work in our gallery exhibit, and offering their pieces for sale. These artists include Steve Miller, Kathy Lamb and Amanda Hukill. You will truly enjoy visiting with them in the Gallery as well as meeting the VIP artists under the tent. Three other gallery artists from our group will have their work under the tent: Deanna Pickett-Frye, Cecilia Bramhall and Orlando Guillen. Sandi and I are proud that The Gallery at Redlands will be well-represented in this Festival.

The hour is getting late, the laundry is nearly done, and we have a multitude of chores bearing down on us before we return to Palestine. As chairperson of Hospitality, Sandi has been working overtime for several weeks now, and there appears to be no letting up in the remaining days before the celebration. I will be doing a demonstration and leading a watercolor workshop in Granbury Tuesday before heading to Palestine, anticipating that Sandi will get there ahead of me.

Maybe tomorrow I can share some of my current ideas about journaling. I’ve chosen to snap a few pictures of recent journal doodlings from my “executive time” bliss. When I go back to read old journals, I’ve found it easier to flip to the start of each day by having some kind of collage assembly embellish the page before I scribble out the stuff that’s on my mind.

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.


Back to Work

March 3, 2023

16 x 20″ watercolor underway

The sketch hunter has delightful days of drifting about among people, in and out of the city, going anywhere, everywhere, stopping as long as he likes–no need to reach any point, moving in any direction following the call of interests. He moves through life as he finds it, not passing negligently the things he loves, but stopping to know them, and to note them down in the shorthand of his sketchbook, a box of oils with a few small panels, the fit of his pocket, or on his drawing pad. Like any hunter he hits or misses. He is looking for what he loves, he tries to capture it. It’s found anywhere, everywhere. Those who are not hunters do not see these things. The hunter is leaning to see and to understand–to enjoy.

There are memories of days of this sort, of wonderful driftings in and out of the crowd, of seeing and thinking. Where are the sketches that were made? Some of them are in dusty piles, some turned out to be so good they got frames, some became motives for big pictures, which were either better or worse than the sketches, but they, or rather the states of being and understandings we had at the time of doing them all, are sifting through and leaving their impress on our whole work and life.

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

I open this blog, after a lengthy hiatus, with this soulful selection from Robert Henri, one of my heroes of art history. The man was truly a prophet, a visionary, capable of inspiring a circle of illustrators to become great artists, including one of my favorites, Edward Hopper. Throughout my life I have sought out role models, and what Henri has provided me as a template for life is this: the artist has value as teacher as well as creator. Throughout my decades of teaching in public schools and universities I often fretted that I lacked quality time for making art because of the teaching responsibilities. Now retired, I am discovering that teaching remains as important to life’s enrichment as creating. Now that Sandi and I own The Gallery at Redlands, I am surprised at the demand for art classes here in the gallery, and am loving every minute of these opportunities. I just finished a class yesterday in perspective drawing, and have a watercolor class filling up for tomorrow afternoon.

On top of all of this, I am still finding time to fulfill my dream as Henri’s “sketch hunter”–I have five new watercolors now in progress that have been cooking in my visual consciousness for weeks now as I’ve traveled about and spotted locations I wished to capture in sketchbooks and watercolor pads. Several completed watercolors are in storage, awaiting frames. Less successful ones are also in storage for future evaluation. Limited editions have also been processed, including my recent Clydesdale piece:

I’m proud that the first edition went out the door before I had a chance to make labels. These are now available in The Gallery at Redlands, measuring 11″(h) x 15″(w) and priced at $100 unframed.

The only reason for my recent blog hiatus has been demands in other areas preventing my sitting down to the computer. Our 85th annual Dogwood Art and Music Festival will descend upon Palestine March 17-18. Sandi has done ten times the amount of work I have in preparing for this. So have other members of the Dogwood Arts Council. We have reason to believe this will be our best festival yet, as we have a large tent covering the parking lot across the street from The Redlands Hotel that will feature 32 artists in their booths. This will be the first time I’ve opted out of being under the tent, keeping my art work in The Gallery at Redlands which will remain open for business throughout the festival. Thanks to artists and volunteers, I will be able to move back and forth from gallery to festival throughout the weekend and enjoy the company of all the artists coming into town.

Gallery at Redlands. My work area is always untidy

The watercolor started above will feature the Sacred Heart Church across the street. As I’ve blogged several times before, I enjoy waking up in our apartment upstairs to the sound of the 7:00 church bells, tolling nine times. I’ll never stop chuckling at that. I’m posting one of my earlier paintings of the church below. We’ll be painting this composition in tomorrow’s watercolor class.

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.

Palestine Dogwood Art & Music Festival this weekend

March 16, 2022
Just completed a 5 x 7″ longhorn, ready to frame

As time draws nearer, Sandi and I find ourselves proportinately busier. Yesterday was a blur; today promises the same. I’m now framing a new 5 x 7″ watercolor I completed fo a longhorn that photographer friend Dave Shultz photographed while out in the wild. My friend Wayne White is on his way to Arlington, Texas from Belgrade, Missouri. We expect him to arrive late this afternoon or this evening. We have a 48 x 48″ canvas that Stacy Campbell (who will join us under the VIP tent Friday and Saturday) painted of sculptor Jeffie Brewer, the one we are honoring in our Gallery reception Saturday night at 6:00. Jeffie is kicking off Art Tracks for 2022, having already installed thirteen enormous sculptures around town (and one in our gallery).

Emotions are running high for me. I’m looking forward to connecting with our gallery artists again, some of whom we haven’t seen since last year at this time. If you can make it to Palestine, the VIP event in the artists tent begins at 5:00 and lasts till at least 8:30 Friday night. Admission is $20 for the presale of art work, meeting celebrity artists William E. Young and Jeffie Brewer, and enjoying an open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a wine-pull and other activities.

Saturday night beginning at 6:00 is our Gallery at Redlands reception. Jeffie will be our featured guest and we’re serving wine, food and desserts throughout the night. We’d love for you to come join in the fun.

Thanks for reading.

A Working Day in Studio Eidolons

March 14, 2022
Early to Work Today

Painting autumn foliage or heavy snow in western Massachusetts, or the sloppy sidewalks of New York, or a crowded table at the end of a meal, or portraits of friends, Porter was a fiercely intelligent man who was in love with happenstance, accident, propinquity. There was a friction that developed in this work, between the informality of the subjects and the attentivenes of the artist. And Porter, a neurotic in love with the laid-back life, found himself in that friction.

Jed Perl, New Art City: Manhattan at Mid-Century, describing artist Fairfield Porter

The stories of Fairfield Porter and New York art in the 1960’s have fueled my imagination throughout this morning’s reading. In three days, we pack and leave for Palestine to set up for the weekend Dogwood Art & Music Festival. Friday night beginning at 5:00 will be our VIP Art under the Tent event, with patrons paying $20 admission to the pre-sale of art by twenty juried artists. I’m looking forward to displaying alongside Deanna Pickett Frye, one of the art show coordinators, and Stacy Campbell and Wayne White. We have chosen to have our booths side-by-side so we can have plenty of fun among ourselves throughout the night which will feature live music, an open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres and a spotlight on our honored artists William E Young who will sell signed editions of his most recent print commemorating this event, and Jeffie Brewer whose thirteen monumental sculptures have been installed all over downtown. Saturday night at 6:00 will begin our Gallery at Redlands reception where Sandi and I will celebrate our one-year anniversary of ownership of the gallery, offering wine, food and desserts. Jeffie will be our honored guest for that event as well.

Today I plan to get some more painting and framing in, as well as the printing of new greeting cards. Sandi and I printed off over a hundred of the cards last night, and more will come off the printer today.

5×7″ Greeting Cards with stories on the back
Paddington reading my journal and approving my drawing over coffee early this morning
Democritus looking down upon my work, hopefully with approval

Mornings in Studio Eidolons seem conflicted or scatter-brained, with my going back-and-forth from the drafting table to my writing desk. While a Georgia O’Keeffe movie plays on the TV, I’m beginning work on a longhorn and intermittently going to the desk to re-write another story about Hank and Randy (Wayne White and myself, with just as much fiction as history). I’m hoping to get out my book on Turvey’s Corner 63050 this year. I’m delighted that “Hank and Randy” will be side-by-side under the Tent this Friday night, he with his photography, me with my watercolors, and both of us with our stories.

Thanks for reading. We hope to see you this weekend.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Digging up Bones

February 10, 2022
Something I wrote long ago

I have made my world and it is a much better world than I ever saw outside.

Louise Nevelson

After a two-week absence, we’re delighted to land once again in our Gallery at Redlands for a weekend of business. The snow and ice last weekend kept us home, and the respite was delicious–hours in front of the fireplace with coffee, books, snuggling dogs, and plenty of time to catch up on college work I needed to complete.

While waiting to depart this morning from home, I dug out a small note pad I filled completely around 2006 or so . . . I was surprised to read what I’ve posted above. I don’t recall writing those thoughts though I still remember those sentiments from back in the days. In response, I decided to pack my Jack Kerouac Visions of Cody, half-read, to see about resuming it in the days ahead. Something creative is in the air here in Palestine as we ready ourselves for the Dogwood Art and Music Festival March 18-19. We’ll have plenty more to say about that in the days ahead.

Thanks for reading.

A Flurry of Ideas and Planning

February 4, 2022
Beginning watercolor of a chuck wagon

[Tennessee Williams described Hans Hofmann] as a bold and clear-headed man who paints as if he understood Euclid, Galileo and Einstein, and as if his vision included the constellation of Hercules toward which our sun drifts.

Jed Perl, New Art City: Manhattan at Mid-Century

The quote above greeted me over the morning coffee and my mind immediately started grinding its gears. I love the way thinking artists like Hofmann, Motherwell, Delacroix and Cezanne twist and turn intellectual fragments of thought and then conjoin them to seemingly discordant ideas to churn out yet another unusual perspective on art.

I have re-opened New Art City as we near the one-year anniversary of ownership of The Gallery at Redlands. I feel that Sandi has outworked me 3-1 with her recent flurry of activity in preparation of our gallery anniversary as well as the approaching 84th annual Dogwood Art and Music Festival in downtown Palestine. While she has worked the phones, emails, texts and social media, I have answered with a few of my own and a number of new paintings underway.

For any of you artists in the neighborhood, we still are receiving applications for booth reservations in our upcoming festival. Dogwood Art and Music Festival will be Friday night and Saturday March 18-19. Application can be made by The Dogwood Arts Council is providing a large tent to hold 10 x 10′ booth spaces for twenty artists. Artists will only need to provide proper furniture and lighting for their reserved spaces, the large tent will provide the shelter with 24-hour security on duty.

Friday night will be the VIP event with visitors purchasing tickets to enter the tent for the presale. A bar will be set up inside the tent along with plenty of excellent food and music provided by local musician Kevin Harris along with others he has lined up to provide hourly sets of live performance. The night will also spotlight local celebrities, painter William Young who has created the promotional posters which sell on site as signed and limited editions, and sculptor Jeffie Brewer whose monumental steel sculptures wll kick off Palestine’s annual Art Tracks event.

William Young Poster from previous festivals
Dogwood Arts Council gathered with Jeffie and his body of work

Saturday will feature all day festival action with the artists under the tent and local vendors set up on the streets for several city blocks. Buskers will also be performing in select locations all over the city.

Saturday night at 7:00 our Gallery at Redlands will celebrate its anniversary. In 2017, Wade and Gail Thomas opened the venue to kick off our Dogwood Festival, then in 2021 turned it over to Sandi and me. Jeffie Brewer will be our celebrity artist for the evening reception. In addition to his monumental sculpture displayed in our streetside window, we plan to have a number of his small pieces for sale in the gallery for that evening.

5 x 7″ bison sketch underway

I might appear distracted today as I work on multiple compositions and continually stop to scribble new ideas in my journal and continue reading from New Art City. This book fueled my inspiration in the weeks leading up to the opening of our gallery last year and I’ve decided to give it a second look this year along with perusal of my scribbled journal notes from last year.

I was schocked to find a number of striking parallels between Cezanne, Motherwell and Hofmann as I read throughout the day. It has been said that Hofmann, the quintessential teacher, would hold up before his students in class a blank sheet of paper and proclaim: “within its confines is the complete creative message.” I’ve always been awed by the thought that a two-dimensional artist can gaze upon a blank picture plane and think out a composition before making a single mark. In the current book I’m reading, Perl argued the following:

What Hofmann was saying was that when you drew a line on a piece of paper, you were creating a world.

I recall Robert Motherwell describing the act of drawing as “the organization of space.” As my eye moves from painting to painting in Studio Eidolons today, I’m intrigued by the possibilities of what can emerge from the white rectangle every time I approach a blank page.

I never fail to catch my breath when I look up from my work and find sweet Paddington asleep nearby. He’s always a comforting companion when I’m absorbed in my studio work.

We return to the classroom Monday at Texas Wesleyan University. I’m glad I still have a weekend to clean up some dangling details pertaining to my classes. 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.

Zwischen den Zeiten

January 18, 2022
Monday Night Demo before ARTIUM in Mansfield, Texas
Visiting after the Demo

Throughout the years, I cannot forget the title of a German Journal published in the early twentieth century, Zwischen den Zeiten translated “Between the Times.” Scholars like to use that tag line to describe early twentieth-century theology as Karl Barth’s neo-orthodoxy severed his era from the nineteenth-century Protestant theological tradition. I just completed the reading of the fascinating Unger book Picasso and the Painting That Shocked the World. That book describes in vivid detail Picasso’s life in Paris as he painted Les Demoiselles d’Avignon in 1907, thus severing twentieth-century modern art from the prior centuries. The juncture “between the times” I have used countless times to describe particular hinge-joints in my own personal life. Today is such a juncture. Last night I enjoyed an evening demonstrating watercolor before ARTIUM, an association of artists in Mansfield just a few miles down the highway from where we live. Sandi was kind enough to take pictures of the demo. Tomorrow is the first day of the spring semester at Texas Wesleyan University and I will give my first lecture before a new Ethics class. Today I take a moment to breathe “between the times” and prepare for the new chapter. Hopefully in the weeks ahead I will do a better job balancing art and academics than I did last fall.

We have an enriching weekend rolling up in just a few days. Deanna Pickett Frye, our Artist-of-the-Month for The Gallery at Redlands, will deliver a Gallery Talk Friday night from 7-8:00. Having just completed a second mural for the City of Palestine, Deanna is full of fresh ideas and insights to share as we gather to hear more of her world. She too is opening a new semester, being a Professor of Art at Trinity Valley Community College.

Artist-of-the-Month Deanna Pickett Frye
Deanna’s Current Mural Underway
Deanna’s First Palestine Mural

Deanna has also been working hard to put an application online for artists wishing to participate in our upcoming 84th Annual Dogwood Art and Music Festival March 18-19 in Palestine. She has made me one of the administrators for the application to be found on We are sending out an invitation to all interested artists to apply for a booth under the large tent set up for the artists’ section of the festival. A special VIP event will open the evening of March 18. Tickets will be sold for this event featuring a pre-sale of all artists’ work along with live music, food and an open bar. The next day will feature the entire festival which will occupy several blocks in historic downtown Palestine–merchandise and food booths, buskers, and children’s entertainment. The artists’ tent will also be open to the public for the duration of the day’s festival.

Artist VIP Tent from 2021 Dogwood Art and Music Fesival

I’ve missed a couple of days blogging due to all the events swirling around me. Hopefully I can find the time tomorrow to report more of what is happening. We’ll see how the first day of class goes.

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.