Posts Tagged ‘Dogwood Trails Art & Music Festival’

Bowery Bum Fatigue

March 20, 2022
Outside The Redlands Hotel Sunday Morning

And we’re standing outside of this wonderland
Looking so bereaved and so bereft
Like a Bowery bum when he finally understands
The bottle’s empty and there’s nothing left

Dire Straits, “Your Latest Trick”

The words to the song above struck a profound chord with me last year when we finished the Dogwood Art & Music Festival followed by our Gallery at Redlands reception. It expresses how I feel after a big event. I find myself on the day after “standing outside of this wonderland” but actually NOT “looking so bereaved and so bereft.” What I feel was expressed perfectly by an elderly high school English teacher long ago, following a state convention of “Teachers of English”. Sitting in the convention hotel coffee shop, she said: “after these things are over I feel like a bowery bum with an empty bottle–just totally trashed physically though happy spiritually.” That was what I felt last year and this morning.

First Gravesite of Cynthia Ann Parker

Greg Gunnels, President of our Dogwood Arts Council, picked Wayne and me up at 7:00 this morning for some meaningful sight seeing around the Palestine vicinity. We had always wanted to visit Foster Cemetery to see the first resting place of Cynthia Ann Parker, mother of the last free Comanche chief, Quanah Parker. From there, we visited other cemeteries around Anderson County and viewed graves dating back to the late eighteenth century. The experience was sobering for me, as visiting burial sites always are. As I continue to age (I’ll be sixty-eight next month), I come to that serious thought that one day I won’t be doing this ever again–painting, drawing, blogging, journaling, thinking, remembering. One day I will cease even as these others have. And so of course I begin to question whether or not I’m doing anything of value during these final years (besides having a great time!).

Elkhart, Texas

Always looking for the next painting, I stopped by this ghost sign in Elkhart, Texas while the morning sun was still spashing the side of the building, and for the first time not finding an SUV parked on the concrete slab blocking my view of the entire sign and the grass beneath. I’ve been looking for the next ghost sign since painting my last one, exactly a year ago:

Hot Springs, Arkansas
View of the booth Wayne and I shared beneath the Art Tent

Wayne, Stacy and I had a blast sitting side-by-side in our booths this year, both Friday night and all day Saturday. Though we’re weary to the bone tonight, we have grateful memories of what we experienced this weekend.

My artist friends Wayne White and Stacy Campbell, joined by the ones who inspire me always–Ron and Dian Darr

Ron and Dian Darr (like family to me since 1990) made the 4 1/2 hour drive from San Antonio to spend time with us Saturday. Not only did we get to hang out in the booth, we also got to “party hearty” at The Gallery at Redlands anniversary gig that night.

The first guests arriving
Sharing Some Words from the Heart
Jeffie Brewer’s “miniatures”

Palestine native sculptor Jeffie Brewer had a knockout weekend under the tent and in the gallery as he kicked off Art Tracks 2022. His miniatures have been sold like hot cakes out of the tent, and continued so the first night in the gallery. These steel miniatures sell for $150 each and they’re going fast!

Fabulous Cake and Cookies shaped like Jeffie sculptures!

The cake and cookies were a big hit, compliments of Lulu & Kakes: Cupcakery and Sweet Shoppe, as was the food provided by the chef at Queen Street Grille. There would be no excuse for anyone leaving the party hungry tonight.

A relaxed moment with Jeffie at the end of the day

As our partying neared its end late last night, the artists began to sag as well. Stacy Campbell left for her Bedford home after the party, and Wayne departed for Belgrade, Missouri shortly after finishing the tour with Greg Gunnels and me. Sandi and I still had plenty of packing, tidying and loading in front of us. We got home about 9:00 tonight. The pups wore themselves out leaping about the house when we staggered in, and now, like us, they are ready to crash for the night.


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.


Pre-Dawn Musings from The Gallery at Redlands

April 3, 2021

What this country really needs is a good five-cent cigar.

Thomas Riley Marshall, Vice-President under Woodrow Wilson, presiding over a Senate debate

Waking at 3:15 this Saturday morning was not part of my plan, but here I sit in a darkened kitchen on the second floor of The Redlands Hotel, with an abundance of good feelings over the past couple of days’ events in The Gallery at Redlands. Closing out the final weekend of Palestine’s Dogwood Festival afforded us warm conversations with some of our gallery artists along with members of the Dogwood Arts Council. We also got to visit with dear friends whose workplaces are in this hotel along with a host of visiting patrons. And we have even made some new friends who live above their business just a block away. The vibe of Palestine continues to warm up in many ways similar to what I’ve been reading about the 1950’s surge of art in New York City.

And, speaking of New York City, I can no longer hold back on the thrill that greeted The Twelve as we were launching the opening of this gallery March 20. On that day, while some of us were under the tent for Art Alley (one of the Dogwood Festival’s events), I received a comment on this blog from a sculptor in Manhattan:

Congratulations, in advance, for what looks like a groundbreaking opening! Even here, from Manhattan, I can see art is an important part of this community, and a community that reveres art is a community alive!!! Do well and I look forward to more photos!

As some of our gallery artists and members of the Arts Council gathered round, I read the comment aloud from my smart phone, and they broke out in spontaneous applause! Two days later, when I posted a new blog, updating our art events here in Palestine and the success of our gallery reception honoring The Twelve, another post came up from our Manhattan friend:

Thank you for the moment-by-moment description of your show, the gallery and all the artists who make up your Twelve. It is true, I live in NYC. I have been to a lot of art exhibits, and have a BFA in sculpture, from back when no women were in the Sculpture Department. But I am still more interested in the artists than the hype. You gave me the artists, in such a way that I can imagine myself there. Now that I know the history of the gallery and some of the artists, I can follow along. Thanks again. And, when you are on the river in OK, and if you happen to see an osprey fishing (returning from their migration), that’s probably me, sending you a “hello” message.

Two days later, my artist friend Wayne journeyed with me to Oklahoma to fly-fish the Lower Mountain Fork River. As we fished those gently flowings waters, we watched for the osprey and re-lived the thrill of the Manhattan posts of good will.

The Gallery has been busy the past couple of days, but still I found some stillness and quiet and space to continue work on my latest watercolor (thank you again, Tim and Patty, for giving me the drafting table so I can work on art inside the gallery). Below is the reference photo I’m using for the painting, taken early one morning in Hot Springs, Arkansas when Wayne and I were returning him to his home in Missouri.

O’Bryan Building, erected in 1891. Hot Springs, Arkansas

While working on this watercolor, I’ve been exporing the building’s history online, and intend in future posts, as this watercolor develops, to share what I’ve learned about the layers of advertising making up the “ghost sign.”

The 10-cent Cigar portion brought to memory the famous wit of our Vice-President under Woodrow Wilson. As he presided over the Senate, he was known for his patience. But on one particular day, as Senator after Senator pontificated endlessly about what was needed to heal our nation’s ills, the Vice-President leaned over to the Secretary of the Senate and uttered those immortal words in the hearing of several nearby.

What this country really needs is a good five-cent cigar.

Currently, I see our country as very ill. But I have hope. Members of The Twelve told me repeatedly in the weeks leading up to the March 20 reception at The Gallery of Redlands that they were surprised and warmed by the good will flowing in all directions on social media: members of The Twelve who had not yet met were sending warm, enthusiastic thoughts to one another, admiring one another’s work online and looking forward to the day we would be together. Artists from the metroplex, from Amarillo, from Palestine and from Missouri earnestly looking forward to meeting face-to-face, some of them sharing a four-bedroom suite on the second floor of The Redlands Hotel. For four days, we went to meals together, sat and chatted in the gallery together, congregated in the hotel lobby, set up displays under the tent for Art Alley together, and finally, spent hours together the night of our reception. The temperature continued to rise, and lasting friendships were formed. Wayne and Paula were reluctant to leave and return to Missouri so soon. Metroplex artists reluctantly said Goodbye and returned to their neighborhoods. And Sandi and I could not wait for the next weekend to get back to Palestine and see the local artists again. What we all shared was this: social media, as we had experienced before, had been a venue of poisonous rhetoric, vitriolic attacks on people’s character, and a megaphone for discontent. But what we have experienced for over a month now is a genuine outpouring of goodwill to others not yet seen in person. And now that The Twelve have returned to their homes, the positive messages continue. And we wonder, what is wrong with the mainstream that seeks satisfaction in poisonous rhetoric on social media? Honestly, what is their return on this activity? Satisfaction? Pleasure? Happiness? Why can’t people seek healing for this culture? What is to be gained by all this negativity?

There are a number of things happening in The Gallery at Redlands that fill me with pride in this space. Sandi had the idea of bringing in more comfy chairs and intalling a Keurig coffee maker along with bowls of snacks put out. What we have noticed is more people entering our space and lingering longer, perhaps because they don’t feel assaulted by hungry sales people. They sit. They drink. They snack. And they visit. Recently I have enjoyed the company of an eighth-generation descendant of Cynthia Ann Parker, mother of Quanah Parker. I have also enjoyed an extensive conversation with a retired history teacher from Mississippi, and listened with awe to the experiences of a woman whose aunt managed the Carlin Art Gallery in Fort Worth and represented the works of Peter Hurd and Henriette Wyeth. Visiting with art lovers who look closely at our work and remain for meaningful conversations is just as satisfying as selling art, though we are very happy that sales have been steady since we’ve opened.

What our country needs, is more good will, more positive discourse. And we are warmed to find more of that going on in this community. May it continue. We are expecting that five-cent cigar.

The light is coming up outside, and I have a watercolor downstairs waiting for me. Like Henry Miller, I’m looking forward to taking a peek at it in the morning light that pours in through our gallery windows.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Raising the Tent for Art Alley

March 18, 2021
Workers assembling framework for enormous tent housing tomorrow’s V.I.P. event

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter to the world if you paint or dance or write. The world can probably get by without the product of your efforts. But that is not the point. The point is what the process of following your creative impulses will do for you. It is clearly about process. Love the work, love the process.

Ian Roberts, Creative Authenticity

Stepping outside The Redlands Hotel early this morning, my heart quickened when I rounded the corner and saw the framework for an enormous tent under construction. Friday night 5-9:00 kicks off the V.I.P. event for Art Alley, the fine arts portion of Palestine’s annual Dogwood Festival. V.I.P. tickets sell for $20 per person and attendees will have advance opportunity to purchase the art that will be under the tent when the Festival opens Saturday and runs till 4:00. Four of our Twelve will be under the tent enjoying the crowd along with the live music, heavy hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Our gallery artists under the tent, along with myself, will be Deanna Pickett Frye, Cecilia Bramhall and Stacy Campbell. Stacy is already on her way today, pulling a trailer down the highway, excited for the event. Deanna and Cecilia, local artists, don’t have the long travel, but are ecstatic all the same. And I, well I am in the gallery along with Wayne and Sandi, still stitching up details.

Rising this morning and sitting down to coffee, I looked out my favorite window again, in suite 207 of The Redlands Hotel, through the fire escape and at the stately Carnegie Library across the street, and breathed a prayer of thanks for being included in this endeavor. After years of grinding out work as an artist and coming to terms with the quote above that the world will get along just fine without my contributions, I have always wondered why it is that I was finally recognized and invited to participate in ventures such as this. Palestine is such a nostalgic town with this historic hotel, the Union Pacific yards down the street, a Catholic Church next door that gleams like a pearl in the sun, and people so friendly and unpretentious. I’m grateful to be invited to participate in these community events, and happy that I have a place to display my art, and even happier now to be surrounded by so many creative colleagues. We The Twelve breathlessly await the gathering Saturday night when we open the doors to The Gallery at Redlands and begin the next chapter in our journey.

Sitting next to the window in suite 207 of The Redlands Hotel

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.

Relaxing in The Gallery at Redlands

March 17, 2021
Wayne & Sandi Relaxed in Conversation

An artist learns by repeated trial and error, by an almost moral instinct, to avoid the merely or the confusingly decorative . . . to say what he has to say with the most direct and economical means, to be true to his objects, to his materials, to his technique, and hence, by a correlated miracle, to himself.

Irwin Edman, Arts and the Man

Wednesday night, forty-eight hours before our Art Alley under the tent outside The Redlands Hotel, the three of us have checked into the Redlands, unloaded most of our freight into the gallery, and have decided to relax into the rest of this night and get an early start to work in the morning.

Wayne and I drove all day yesterday from Missouri back to Texas, arriving last night exhausted. Then the three of us pushed ourselves all day today, completing tasks, packing, loading and then making the two-hour journey to Palestine.

As I write this, I am enjoying Wayne and Sandi’s engaged conversation in their shared passion of horses. Both of them ride, and Wayne is a retired farrier. Wayne has brought a relaxed presence into the midst of our recent frenetic schedule. So much still to accomplish. Friday night will be Art Alley. Details are below. We hope you will attend.

We invite you to join us again Saturday night when we hold our Gallery at Redlands reception for The Twelve.

Wayne, Sandi and I were so worn out when we arrived that we almost went upstairs to decompress and not even enter the gallery till the morning. But somehow we decided to come on in, turn on all the lights and sit surrounded by all this new art and just relax awhile and enjoy good conversation. Soon a man entered the gallery and began perusing the exhibit with intense enthusiasm. He visited with me a great deal in front of one of my watercolors of a defunct fireworks stand. As it turns out, his first real business venture involved owning a string of fireworks stands, and now, decades later, he was glad to stand before a painting and remember. I felt a kinship with him immediately as we both discussed how important it was for us to remember our formative past with gratitude and as much detail as possible. It now looks as though I will painting another fireworks stand in my future, and I’m thankful when someone else puts a significant idea in front of me like this. How fortunate that we chose to spend some time in the gallery this evening.

It’s been an exhausting but terrific day. I hope I can keep up the pace and send out daily reports on what we’re doing here in Palestine. Wayne, Sandi and I won’t be departing this place till Sunday. Tomorrow, Stacy Campbell comes down to join us and stay through the weekend. Lorraine McFarland is flying in day-after-tomorrow. The Twelve are beginning to gather and I feel enthusiasm rising. What a lovely world is being woven as we approach this weekend.

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.

Old Fishing Buddies Heading to The Gallery at Redlands

March 15, 2021
Wayne White, photographer and member of The Twelve (disclaimer: this is MY photograph; his are better!

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

This Monday morning makes me wish I could be in several places simultaneously, but in a sense, I guess I am. We do live in an amazing technological age where we can remain connected. Seated at my sister’s dining room table in High Ridge, Missouri I am working on gallery business (we have our opening reception of The Twelve at The Gallery at Redlands Saturday night) 659 miles away. And she is working from her home, connected to her job site at Boeing, 25 miles away.

Yesterday was grueling, driving through a rainstorm from Arlington, Texas to High Ridge, Missouri–there was never a break from the rain. But a wonderful, comfortable night’s sleep has started this morning off well. Later today I’ll travel an hour south to pick up Wayne White (the hero of my “Hank” stories on the blog). He will travel back to Texas with me tomorrow and we’ll put his photographs in the gallery. I’m so proud for him to be among The Twelve.

The Thoreau quote posted above knocked the wind out of me in 1989, and I still cannot read it casually, especially as I grow more conscious of age. Since Wayne and I reconnected on Facebook some years back after being separated since graduation, we have enjoyed annual camping and fishing trips together. After our Saturday night opening, we’ll find a place in Texas or Oklahoma where we can enter the stream and pursue our passion of fly-fishing. When I step into the stream, I will be reminded of Thoreau’s famous dualism–time and eternity. The quick-flowing water will present a challenge, as time and daily activities do, but my feet will be anchored on the eternal foundation. And as I fish, I will think of the myriads of experiences that have swept over, around and through me, but remain thankful for the core that has held me steadfast through it all.

Another immortal quote comes to mind from Norman Maclean:

The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.

Thanks for reading. We have so much to do before we open Saturday night at 7:00. We hope you will come to our event at The Gallery at Redlands.

P. S.–I haven’t done a very good job advertising the Friday night event in which I will also participate along with three other members of The Twelve. The VIP event Friday night from 5-9 will cost $20 for admission, and will feature eight artists under a big tent along with live music, heavy hors-d’oeuvres and beverages. I’m attaching the advertisement below:

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.

Meet our Potter, Paula Cadle, One of the Twelve

March 10, 2021

Paula Bruestle Cadle graduated from Rocky Mountain School of Art in Denver, Colorado. She joined Fletcher-Keating Graphics after art school and worked in advertising and commercial art for several years before concentrating on fine art.

Paula’s media includes clay and pen and ink. She prefers to focus on hand-built pottery but still does occasional graphic design. She describes her work as follows:

“My clay work is built with coils and slabs that are hand-worked into various shapes and styles. I use white earthenware clay and sometimes stoneware clay for the larger pieces. My clay designs are an extension of my love for drawing and graphic arts. I paint original designs on the clay using bright colors. Under-glaze colors are applied two or three times and then fired. A clear or colored glaze is sprayed or brushed on for a second firing. Some of my pieces have over-glazes in silver or gold and are fired a third time. I love colors and use them quite liberally. Sometimes I add weavings or other ornamentation for a unique appearance. My joy is in making the clay artwork and decorating it. Once finished, it is time to let go and move on to a new design or idea.”


Many who have visited The Gallery at Redlands in recent weeks during our redecorating have commented on the strong light that now floods the space. Sandi and I say that some of it is due to LED lights we have installed, but much of it is the brightness of Paula’s pottery that has recently arrived.

Thanks for reading and we hope you will visit us for our Artist Reception Saturday March 20 from 7-9 pm. Come meet The Twelve and feel the electricity and energy from these creative spirits!

The Gallery at Redlands Introduces Mark Hyde, Member of The Twelve

March 6, 2021
March Hare Ming Green Marble height 16″ $1800

The Gallery at Redlands is proud to introduce sculptor Mark Hyde of Forth Worth, Texas. We currently have three of his magnificent pieces on display in our lobby window, the one pictured above in Ming Green Marble along with a pair cut from Texas limestone. It has always been a desire of this gallery to include sculpture, and Mark is the first to step into this role.

Mark’s artistic odyssey has carried him through various media. A furniture maker by trade, he has been trained to cut with precision and confidence. However, stone was not his initial medium for expression. In years past, Mark has created work in ceramics, porcelain and mixed media. Later, he turned to wood and divided his time between sculpting in that material and making furniture.

Mark’s arrival at stone cutting is a fascinating story. An avid rock climber, he has had years of experience admiring the texture and form of massive rock formations. Ultimately he decided there were a number or advantages to sculpting in stone rather than wood. For one thing, stone sculpture can be displayed outdoors without fear of the natural elements deteriorating the material. But more important than this, Mark has found it difficult to secure large pieces of wood for sculpting, because our practical world lays claim to that material for furniture, architecture, or domestic construction projects. With stone, there is no problem; one can work with any size, no longer competing with carpenters, builders and architects.

Another reason Mark has come to favor stone cutting is because of its restriction to reductive carving. Though such a dynamic could create anxiety for artists paralyzed with the thought of making a mistake and ruining a piece, Mark finds considerably liberation in working directly with this material, often comparing it to the fearless activity of a jazz artist engaged in improv. Many times he begins with a general formal idea, but as he cuts, the sculpture seems to take on a life of its own, and like a jazz musician, Mark often finds himself spontaneously making a move on the rock and finding a pleasant surprise at the result.

The Gallery at Redlands is looking forward to our Opening Reception March 20 from 7-9 p.m. The Twelve will be together for the first time, and anticipate with gladness this opportunity to meet the public and celebrate the arts.

Thanks for reading, and we hope you will be able to join us in this festive celebration.

Mark, engaged with one of his works in Texas limestone.

Introducing Artist Elaine Jary, One of the Twelve

March 4, 2021
Graceful Pose 20.5h x 17.5w” Framed Giclée $275

Elaine’s Statement:

I’m so happy to be a part of The Twelve and The Gallery at Redlands; thank you David and Sandi! I look forward to many gallery events where patrons and artists can meet to discuss and view art in a beautiful environment.

My life as an artist began when I was a child. As long as I can remember, I loved to draw. I had a natural ability. After high school, where I always took art classes as electives, I earned a BA in Graphic Communication and wanted to be an illustrator, but life had other plans for me, and I worked in the corporate environment in administration and marketing for many years. Fast forward to 2011 when I decided to learn watercolor. The latent desire to create art was unleashed and I’ve never looked back. I find I am drawn to the subject of nature, especially birds. Many of the reference photos for my bird paintings are taken from the window overlooking my back yard, and I think of my paintings as “windows to nature.” I want to capture a moment of beauty in our natural world that is perhaps fleeting and easily overlooked.

Recently I was looking for a file on my computer, and I came across an entry that I wrote on September 14, 2019 entitled “The Beauty of Life”. It describes a perfect day for me as an artist:

This morning I traveled 50 miles to McKinney to be the featured artist at the coffee shop “Filtered” and had a blast painting and interacting with passers-by, and talking with Donna, the gallery director. Then I came home, and Z and I had a wonderful late lunch at an Italian restaurant in Southlake. Arriving home, I took a nap, called my mom, went over to my son’s house and visited with his family, including my 7-year-old grandson Cash, whom I adore; came home and worked on art projects. Life is good and I am grateful. The universe is mysterious, beyond human comprehension. Why is there life; what does the cycle of life mean? How is my tiny life relevant to anything in the scope of the universe? The answer is that my life is important to the people in my life to whom I am connected by love. What is love? I don’t know how to explain it, but I know it is the only thing that makes life worthwhile. Love as in our feelings for people we are close to, our feelings for our vocation, our feelings for our environment, our desire to help each other, our desire to connect with others. My art is my connection to others beyond the small circle of my family and friends; my connection to humanity.


Thank you, Elaine, for being a part of The Twelve, and for sharing your art and life with our expanding community. We look forward to a warm gathering March 20 when we open The Gallery at Redlands.

And The Twelve thanks our readers for staying in touch with what we are doing, this labor of love.

Wearing Several Hats

March 3, 2021

Keeping a daily blog is not as easy as it once was. We still enjoy retirement to the fullest, but recent commitments are tending to crowd my schedule. Up until a few weeks ago, I was only an artist and daily faced decisions no more complicated than What should I paint next? Since February 1, we have taken ownership of The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine, Texas and have been working feverishly to get the space ready for our opening March 20. Lining up work from a dozen artists has had its immeasurable rewards, but has taken considerable time out of our weekly routines.

In addition to this, we have committed to working out on a regular basis, retaining the services of fitness coaches. The result is that our bodies are finally responding favorably, but again, there are fewer hours available in the week for leisure.

I have also continued my practice of Watercolor Wednesday, teaching three-hour sessions at Show Me the Monet Art Gallery in Arlington. Above I have posted a remarkable watercolor of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch, done by one of my most enthusiastic students. I usually average three Wednesday sessions out of each month. This class is not only rewarding from watching student success; it keeps me painting regularly. In fact, my demo from today I have decided is worthy of a frame. I would show it on this blog, but I believe the student outperformed me, so I’ll let the viewers enjoy hers instead.

Tomorrow I will introduce you to another member of The Twelve. I am trying to keep up this practice every other day. All of this is just to say I am wearing multiple hats as I try to continue being an artist while carrying out other tasks of being a gallerist, blogger and physical fitness enthusiast. Life is fuller now as it becomes busier, but no complaints.

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.

Meet Cecilia Bramhall, One of The Twelve

March 2, 2021
Cecilia Bramhall Collection, Featuring Be a Unicorn in a Herd of Heifers, Oil, 16 x 20″ $450

Today we proudly introduce Cecilia Bramhall, one of The Twelve who will open our next show at The Gallery at Redlands, Saturday night March 20 from 7 till 9:00.

Cecilia did not pursue art until she was in her forties, though the passion to create hounded her from her youth. Her misfortune was the negative criticism she received from her high school art instructor, a sad story I encounter too many times when talking to artists who have found success in their later adult years. The negative high school experience convinced her that she lacked the talent for art though she was possessed with the passion. At Texas A&M University, Cecilia chose Biomedical Science as her major and graduated with a Bachelor of Science with pride, though she still wished to pursue the arts.

Cecilia’s fortune changed dramatically in 2009 when she discovered the Cordovan Art School in Round Rock, Texas. The owner and teacher of the school, John Howell, proved to be the inspirational mentor she wished she had known in her high school years. Mr. Howell encouraged her to pursue oil painting, convincing her that she had the skill, the focus, and most importantly the desire and confidence to develop. Her skill set improved dramatically in the coming years as Mr. Howell challenged her to avoid pencil and charcoal, approaching the canvas directly and confidently with the paint brush. Throughout her nine years at Cordovan, Cecilia is most grateful for this direct method of oil painting and now acknowledges that she has no choice but to create.

Residing in the country outside Palestine, Cecilia thrives in her converted barn, renamed Tin Roof Studio. Her daily routine is a genuine romance, similar to stories we read of Jackson Pollock at Springs, Long Island, walking out of the kitchen to take a couple of dozen steps across the property to enter the studio with spacious windows open to the light that inspires her to create afresh nearly every day. This artist is so possessed with the act of creation that she finds it not unusual to begin painting at nine in the morning, and suddenly it is three in the afternoon and she hasn’t even stopped for lunch. “Life in the zone” keeps her pushing for new ideas in painting.

Cecilia paints with the hope to spark people’s imagination, to see a story or simply make one up. Her art engages viewers to fuse reality and fantasy. And though our Gallery is scheduled to open officially with an artists’ reception March 20, two of Cecilia’s paintings have already been purchased with enthusiasm.

Cecilia’s website is We invite you to check out her work online, and please attend our opening March 20.

Thanks for reading. Cecilia, as one of The Twelve, hopes to meet you in the days ahead.