Posts Tagged ‘Eyes of Texas Fine Art Gallery’

4:30 a.m. Start . . .

September 19, 2022
4:30 a.m. sketch

A drawing is simply a line going for a walk.

Paul Klee

I woke this morning around 4:30 with the Paul Klee quote in my head. Unable to return to sleep, the urge to draw a horse whispered to me in the darkness. So, without question I rose, plodded silently down the hall to my Studio Eidolons, and drew the horse head posted above. I like it enough to finish out the body contours with accent lines, then put it into a 4 x 6″ mat and install it into a 10 x 12″ frame and put it in the Gallery at Redlands for sale. If nobody purchases it, the drawing will at least keep me good company. The Palomino was at the Stone Creek Ranch where I just completed a watercolor workshop and packed home years’ worth of memories.

Thanks for reading.

The Dawn

September 17, 2022
Looking out my Redlands Hotel window at the morning light (laptop plays YouTube image of New York City)

He sat there depressed and waited. He had learned this from the river: to wait, to have patience, to listen.

Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

I cannot explain yesterday’s depression. I’m grateful that that was yesterday. Sandi and I were totally exhausted from our Arkansas/Missouri travels that included five days in Mountain Home, Arkansas where I taught a watercolor workshop to some amazing participants (I’ll post later about this). After that, we traveled to Missouri to visit precious friends and family (more on that later), then returned to Cotter, Arkansas where I fly-fished the White River that night and the North Fork River the following morning (more later). Then we drove the remaining eight hours home, arriving shortly before 10:00, washed and dried our clothes, then I was up early the next morning to travel two hours to Palestine and pick up our gallery life where it was left September 3. Not everything was smooth as I transitioned back into my Texas life, but I’m ready now to write it off to exhaustion/depression. Waking at 5:00 this morning, I felt rested for the first time in nearly two weeks, and now I’m ready to open this new chapter, or, as Emerson would say, draw a new circle.

Re-reading Hesse’s Siddhartha has put new energy in my soul this morning.

“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?”

“That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past, nor the shadow of the future?”

“That is it,” said Siddhartha, “and when I learned that, I reviewed my life and it was also a river, and Siddhartha the boy, Siddhartha the mature man and Siddhartha the old man, were only separated by shadows, not through reality.”

With this post, I send out my love to Wayne White, Evelyn McMillan, Clarry Hubbard, and Sandi Jones. These are my loved ones (chronologically) from 1961 to the present. During our recent St. Louis visit, we were enriched with three days of backyard visits by day and campfire confessions by night. Throughout those days and nights, I genuinely feel that I heard them and they heard me. These senior years are so precious to all of us as we look back over our respective journeys and seek ways to extract meaning from all the twists and turns in the road. I’m still warmed by my friends’ stories, and hope that I have offered something of value to them as well.

Wayne Evelyn and Sandi
(left to right) Sandi, Clarry, Evelyn, Wayne
(left to right) Clarry, Evelyn, Wayne

Most of all, I am grateful to Hermann Hesse this day, for sharing Siddhartha’s revelation about life. I realize that my youth, my maturity, and my old age are separated only by shadows. Like a river, my life comprises all those stages now concentrated in the dawn of this new day. I’m grateful to be here. While with my friends, we mused over the ones we have known and loved who have passed away, and wonder why we have been allowed to remain on this earth a while longer. And we all expressed our gratitude for life, for the chance to draw a new circle.

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.

Saturday Night Painting in the Gallery

August 20, 2022
Tribute to Ancel E. Nunn

It has been a whirlwind of a Saturday, and now we’re about an hour away from closing our Gallery at 9 p.m. Finally, I have the time and leisure to sit down again before the in-progress watercolor of the ruins of Ancel E. Nunn’s studio at the 19th-century foundry across town here in Palestine. I’m still making decisions about how much decay to depict on the beautiful billboard replica he painted inside his work area.

Most of this day was spent at the Tyler Museum of Art in a meeting with a large contingent of East Texas artists making plans for future exhibitions. We are delighted that some of them have taken out ads for the new Eyes of Texas Fine Art Gallery magazine coming out in November. I have also taken out another full-page ad, along with our Gallery at Redlands ad, and a host of our artists who have decided to sign on again.

Jeffie Brewer’s work in The Tyler Museum of Art

There is no describing the warmth I felt when I passed this window inside the Tyler Museum of Art and spotted this Jeffie Brewer sculpture. Coming back “home” to The Gallery at Redlands late this afternoon, I had to pause and take this picture inside our gallery. We cannot describe the pride we feel in having this sculptor’s work inside our venue as well. Jeffie is a native of Palestine and now lives and keeps his studio in Nacogdoches.

Jeffie Brewer’s work inside The Gallery at Redlands
University of Texas Tyler School of Nursing

Once we finished the meeting, we traveled to the School of Nursing to see where my watercolor is hanging in their current exhibition. We are excited at the opportunity for exhibiting in the future at their College of Pharmacy, and then later at their new Medical School now under construction.

We have a number of irons in the fire, but we’re feeling the rising enthusiasm from our colleagues at the approaching fall art season.

Thanks for reading.

Gallery at Redlands Musings

August 18, 2022
Fading Afternoon Sunlight in The Gallery at Redlands
Unfading Memories of the Colorado Morning Light
Initial Masquing and Pouring Attempts

Every rational creature has all nature for his dowry and estate. It is his, if he will. . . . he is entitled to the world by his constitution. In proportion to the energy of his thought and will, he takes up the world into himself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

The Gallery at Redlands has been relatively quiet during this Friday afternoon/evening and I have returned to take some pokes at the large watercolor I began several weeks ago, then erased and began again yesterday. Re-reading my journal entry from the morning of July 13 while we were in Colorado has stirred my blood and my readiness to pursue this pouring technique once again.

For as long as I live, I will recall that 46-degree morning when I took the photo above at 6:29 a.m. Sipping my coffee to stay warm, I was mesmerized at the quality of light and color that embraced me as I stood and stared from the cabin deck. Over and over, I thought, “How on earth could I ever attempt a watercolor of such a splendorous view?” I know I cannot match the photographer, or the reality of what I stood and beheld in that moment. But I want to get back to a point a decade or so ago, when I depended on the luminosity of the watercolor paper under veils of wash to reflect light back to the viewer.

It has been years since I read Emerson’s Nature in its entirety, and last night I began it afresh. The quote posted above convinced me to study harder, poke harder, stare harder, and attempt to capture a better quality of light and color in my compositions. Looks like it’s going to be a long afternoon, but I’m ready and focused.

Thanks for reading.

Remembering Palestine’s Celebrated Artist, Ancel Nunn

August 13, 2022
Beginning watercolor

. . . a hoarder’s haven, the product of a deadly anxiety about letting go of things too steeped in memory–until they are paralyzed into a uselessness so complete one cannot even make the most necessary repairs.

Lee Jamison, Ode to East Texas: The Art of Lee Jamison

Since I arrived on the Palestine scene in 2017, I have heard countless stories about the legacy of local artist Ancel E. Nunn, who passed away in 1999. I’m embarrassed to testify that I didn’t visit the ruins of one of his studios until this year. I had to see the site because I had heard countless stories about the mural he had painted inside of one of his favorite advertisements, Bright & Early Coffee.

Greg Gunnels, president of the Dogwood Arts Council, offered to take me to the location, and we had to search for the structure because it was completely engulfed in trees. Once inside, Greg himself wondered if we had the right building because there was no sign of a mural. As it turns out, the mural was between the blind windows pictured below.

The ruins of Ancel E. Nunn’s Studio

Since that day, I have sadly learned that inquiries were made about preserving the mural, but nothing was ever finalized, and now it is gone forever. The quote above from artist Lee Jamison describes perfectly what happens when someone purchases a building and merely hoards it without protecting it.

As I stood in the midst of these ruins, my memory traveled back in time when I stood among the Greek ruins: Temple of Apollo, Temple of Poseidon, and others. Then, as in the present, I felt a sense of loss as I stood there contemplating. I felt the loss of something monumental that had touched the lives of many. Yet, as I stood there, I eventually felt a counter-feeling of Presence. I was standing in the studio of Ancel E. Nunn. I was standing in the space where he thought out countless paintings and executed his most famous pieces that now adorn museums and special collections. And I felt something stirring within, and I’m feeling it again today.

The ancient Greeks had a word, pneuma, that is translated “wind” or “breath.” The English New Testament translates it “spirit.” Today when I think of inspiration or ideas, I think of that word and the ancient metaphor of a breeze stirring or breathing quickened. And I feel that artists, writers, musicians and other creatives struggle just as much as I do, trying to explain that stirring that we all welcome.

Thank you for reading. I plan to continue posting this painting on the blog as it progresses.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Return to Byzantium

August 11, 2022

Gallery at Redlands Lobby Window

And therefore I have sailed the seas and come

To the holy city of Byzantium.

William Butler Yeats, “Sailing to Byzantium”

Weeks have passed since I entered The Gallery at Redlands, and all day I have wanted to shout from the rooftops of Palestine “I’m Back!” and send this blog post up the flagpole and say “Hi Everyone! It’s Great to Communicate Again!” But alas, the gallery has been busy all day with details (I refer to as “wingnuts”) that are not interesting to post. It’s been great seeing my local friends again, and I’m happy that I was actually missed. Now, the 7 p.m. mark has past and I’m still trying to get this blog wrapped up.

The good news of today was that my watercolor titled “Palimpsest” has been juried into the Granbury Art Association’s Fall Show. This will open in September at the Shanley Houser Center for the Arts at 224 North Travis Street, Granbury.


After a good night’s rest I should be able to publish more tomorrow. This is the first day in weeks that I haven’t napped in the afternoon, and I’m beginning to feel the fatigue.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday Morning Musings in the Gallery

May 21, 2022

Good morning from The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine, Texas. By the time you read this, we will most likely have already departed this place. The reception for The 2022 Summer Exhibit for The Eyes of Texas Fine Art Gallery will be held from 4-7:00 today at Barons Creek Vineyards, 115 Bridge Street, Granbury, Texas. Many of our artists featured in Volume 7 of this magazine will be in the show and Sandi and I are looking forward to a reunion with them. Some of the Palestine artists are already in Granbury for the event; others will be caravanning there soon. I’m happy to have my cover feature hanging in the show as well as the ghost sign painting I created last year from Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Jazz on a Saturday Night. Framed watercolor featured in the show (also on the magazine cover)
Palimpsest. Framed watercolor featured in the show

Early this morning while quietly reading from Harvey Cox’s When Jesus Came to Harvard, I found my mind fixed on this notion “gap periods” in the lives of people who have made history. Much has been wondered over what happened to Jesus of Nazareth between the ages of twelve and thirty of John the Baptist from his infancy till he emerged in the trans-Jordanian wilderness, of Saint Paul during the three years immediately following his conversion. In my general studies I have been interested in what happened to Ralph Waldo Emerson when he quit the ministry and traveled to Europe for two years, what exactly occurred in the life of Henry David Thoreau during his two-plus years dwelling at Walden Pond, and what happened to Robert Johnson when he left the juke joint in derision and returned much later as the most accomplished Blues guitarist in the south.

The gap years. I believe most of us have them in our personal histories. I believe many of them mark defining moments in our life development. I know that my own odyssey is peppered with gap periods and I still treasure many of them. As I write, I’m anticipating my next gap as I pack and load for my trip back home to St. Louis. I still haven’t decided how long I’ll stay away. But I’m looking forward to the change in routine, and anticipate good things resulting. I’ll be dropping words like bread crumbs along the way; I don’t intend to disappear. Thanks always for reading me.

Retired, Again

May 4, 2022
Sweet Respite in Studio Eidolons

All the arts we practice are apprenticeship.The big art is our life.

M. C. Richards

I delivered my final lecture this morning at Texas Wesleyan University and with that I strolled off the campus feeling retired, again. But this time not semi-retired. In 2017 I walked across the parking lot of Martin High School, a great burden rolling off my shoulders, and felt retired, but then signed another contract with the university for the fall, and now it’s taken me another five years before realizing that enough is enough. No more of this semi-retired stuff. Having just turned sixty-eight, I realize I don’t have to remain employed. Thirty-seven years of university lecturing has been fruitful, for me, but is no longer needed. Yes, we have The Gallery at Redlands to tend, but that does not require the energy that keeping a class schedule demands.

Sitting in my Studio Eidolons with the windows open on this cool afternoon, I am thinking of the possibilities that now lie ahead, and wonder how long it will be before I realize that this is not just a summer vacation; I will not be returning to a campus schedule in the fall. How long before I actually feel that reality?

Tomorrow we leave for our Palestine weekend, and will have to rearrange the gallery to accommodate new work and pull out several pieces to deliver to Granbury next Monday for the next Eyes of Texas Fine Art Gallery exhibit. I’m proud that my watercolor of the Fort Worth Jazz Lounge sign will be featured along with Sabrina Franklin’s oil painting of the Leddy’s Boots and Saddlery sign. Both are featured on the cover of volume 7 of the magazine that just came out. We are also making available signed and numbered editions of the pieces for sale. Other artists featured in the ads of this edition will also be highlighted in the exhibit.

I hope to have more to report tomorrow. For the present, I’m planning on returning to some quality reading that has not been available for several days.

Thanks for reading.

Magazine Party Afterglow

April 22, 2022
Gallerist Sandi Jones and Publisher Gloria Hood aglow in morning conversation

 A pure instrument is certainly sure to give forth pure sound. So has this instrument of 291 kept itself pure as possible that it thereby gives out pure expression.

Marsden Hartley, commenting on Alfred Stieglitz’s Gallery 291

Artist Marsden Hartley described Gallery 291, opened by photographer Alfred Stieglitz at 291 Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1905, “the largest small room of its kind in the world.” My blood is stirred by everything I read concerning the energy that flowed out of that small attic room. And my blood is stirred now as I write this, having experienced what we did last night in The Gallery at Redlands as we held our Magazine Launch Party. My prayer is that The Gallery at Redlands will prove a “pure instrument” that will “give forth pure sound.” We are an extension of this long twisting path of art history, and proud of the opportunity to contribute a chapter.

(Left to Right) Dogwood Arts Council President Greg Gunnels, Radio Personality Kevin Harris and Myself

Before I post pictures from the party, I want to record this special time spent with Greg and Kevin as the event was winding down. Taking our inspiration from ancient Byzantium and the New York City art scene, we found ourselves absorbed in conversation over possibilities in East Texas as this art movement continues to build momentum. Art, live music venues, theater performances and literary circles are humming with greater intensity in Palestine, and we have lately sensed the same kind of renewal in neighboring communities. With his extensive background in radio, Kevin Harris is exploring ways to promote the arts in Palestine and build relationships with the other cities around us. This magazine launch is just the tip of the spear.

Concerning the visual arts, I’m thrilled that fellow gallery participant Deanna Pickett Frye and I will open next weekend at Artscape 2022. This will be held in the Dallas Arboretum. Friday night is the VIP event for members of the Arboretum. Saturday and Sunday, the art festival will run from 10-5:00. This is my biggest art event of the year and Deanna is trembling as she prepares for her debut there. We’re delighted to know that our booths will be in the same “neighborhood” in this large sprawling festival, and we will have boxes of this new magazine to hand out to art enthusiasts.

May 9 will open a new show in Granbury, Texas at Baron’s Crossing, 115 E. Bridge Street (on the town square). New limited edition giclee prints will be made available of the two pieces of art on the cover of the new volume 7 of The Eyes of Texas Fine Art Gallery.

Volume 7 just released at the party and available at select galleries and public venues

Sabrina Franklin (painter of the Leddy Boots sign) and I just completed the arrangements with the printer this morning to produce 11 x 14″ reproductions of the paintings for the show. Other artists featured in the magazine will also have work hanging in the exhibit opening May 9. More details will follow.

Gallerists Sandi Jones and David Tripp with Publisher Gloria Hood

The Gallery at Redlands was packed with artists, sponsors and interested patrons from all across the community. Gloria inspired the crowd with her remarks charged with visions of what we can expect to see in the months ahead as we continue to promote the arts. Once the magazines came out, we had great fun as artists and sponsors autographed their ads in the magazine, and we laughed that we were acting like high school kids when the annual yearbook comes out and everyone wants autograph mementoes for future perusing.

Gallery artist Cecilia Bramhall autographing for the Co-Ed Shop
Cecilia Bramhall ad and QR Code

Gallery artist Cecilia Bramhall was among the first to join the Gallery at Redlands when it opened in March 2017. A local oil painter, Cecilia often runs the gallery in our absence, and in fact will be keeping gallery hours next weekend while we show at Artscape 2022.

Gallery artist Deanna Pickett Frye autographing my magazine

Deanna Pickett Frye and Cecila Bramhall were the first artists to join The Gallery at Redlands with me when it opened in March 2017. They have become family to us, and Sandi and I cherish every memory with them. As mentioned above, Deanna will enjoy her first Dallas Arboretum experience next weekend. Deanna has also been lighting up downtown Palestine with her public murals of late.

Deanna’s latest mural
Deanna’s half-page ad
Sponsor Jody Davis autographing her magazine ad for me

Jodi Davis has been a wonderful art patron, and when taking out an ad for the magazine, requested to be photographed with the painting she purchased from me “so I can market David.” I’m still touched by the memory of the words I heard that day. Thank you, Jodi, for all you do for our community.

Gallery artist Kathy Lamb seeing the magazine for the first time
Kathy Lamb’s page in the magazine

Gallery artist Kathy Lamb entered our family after Sandi and I assumed the ownership of the Gallery last year. She also has her own studio and showroom down the street from us at their home in the historic Nickel Manor. Her passion is oil painting and her fame around the city is widespread.

Mary Raum and Grace Hessman

Mary Raum, Tourism Marketing Manager for the City of Palestine, is the one who exploded the city’s presence in this new magazine issue, successfully landing Palestine as a “Destination City” with her three-page spread. Grace Hessman of Elkhart, Texas, also joined our gallery “family” last year shortly after Sandi and I became the new owners. Grace, a pastellist, has remarkable vision and imagination and I enjoy every opportunity of discussing art with her.

Two of Mary Raum’s three pages marketing City of Palestine’s arts
Grace’s Ad and QR Code
Gallery Artist Orlando Guillen and his daughter

Gallery Artist Orlando Guillen joined our family recently at the close of the Dogwood Art Festival under the tent. Orlando sculpts from raw materials recovered from the local salvage yard, and his enormous Bedroom II depicting Vincent Van Gogh’s painting of the artist’s bedroom adorns our gallery window display.

Orlando Guillen’s Bedroom II
Here I am swapping autographs with Sandy Speer from The Co-Ed Shop
Celia Campbell Polster, Executive Director of the Dogwood Arts Council

Celia Campbell Polster pours all her creative energy and enthusiasm into promoting the arts in Palestine. She was the prime mover behind our recent Dogwood Art and Music Festival and continues to seek ways to elevate the presence of the Dogwood Arts Council in spreading the spirit of good will among artists and art enthusiasts.

Current lobby window display of The Gallery at Redlands in The Redlands Hotel

Well . . . it took two days before I could finish this blog. The first picture taken the morning after the party encapsulates the afterglow felt by Sandi, Gloria and me as we sat around the breakfast table recalling every good detail from the night before. Descending to the gallery at 10, I was to find out that there would be zero time to blog; the laptop was on my desk with the first picture mounted from 10:00 till I closed at 9:00 and drove the two hours back home. Today was no different. We finally arrived in Palestine around 3:00 this afternoon, and now, at 9:24 p.m. I am finally proofreading this to send up the flagpole for all our patient readers. Thank you for waiting for me. I cannot describe the love I feel for these artists, sponsors, and art lovers of Palestine who have embraced Sandi and me and given us a genuine home where we can live out our dreams.

We cannot say enough about The Redlands Hotel and the perfect home they have made available for our gallery and lodging. Jean Mollard and Mike Searcy are always on hand to support every effort made on behalf of the arts. And they are never without a kind word of encouragement for what we try to accomplish.

Our thanks also goes out to local photographer Dave Shultz who does all the website work for the gallery, hotel and Dogwood Arts Council. Dave took all the pictures posted above, and many, many more. Thanks always, Dave, for all that you do!

Thankfully, local free lance photographer J. Bryant was present to capture our event. He managed to capture a shot of Dave doing his work!

And we thank you for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.