Posts Tagged ‘gallery at redlands’

Morning Coffee Before the Escape

November 8, 2018

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Preparing more Collage Materials

. . . the might-have-been is but boggy ground to build on.

Herman Melville, Billy Budd

“The things we could have done together.”

Steve Jobs speaking to John Sculley near the close of the film Steve Jobs

Days have rolled by since my last post. I just finished a whirlwind of activity between my college classes, art gallery and art festivals. In addition, there was plenty of travel for business purposes. And I have had some meaningful visits and conversations with friends. The fall season is always busy for art. And, I experienced a profound loss as well during this space in time. Hence, the quotes above.

At the time of this writing, I am preparing to meet my last college class of the week, and then will leave for the wilderness for awhile. The vacation was planned long ago, and it includes my closest and steadiest friends over the past thirty years. In fact, they were the ones that made the cabin arrangements and invited me to join. I am glad the day has finally arrived. I need the rest. This could prove to be the fullness of time.

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My Favorite Trout Stream within Driving Distance

Years ago, on a chilly November morning, I pulled four 20-inch rainbow trout out of this stream. It was the best fishing I had known in years, and I haven’t returned, until today. I hope the re-visit will fill me with the same calm that I knew back then. Few things stir me more deeply than the sounds of a flowing trout stream beneath towering bluffs. Times like this call to memory a text I read long ago:

Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise. 

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. 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.

I am haunted by waters.

Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

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My Attempt to Paint that Scene

I have packed my supplies for watercolor as the fall colors are peaking at this location (hopefully I can do some plein air painting, though forecasts call for temperatures to dip into the thirties). I also have a number of collage ideas surging in my head, mostly of Jack Kerouac themes. Happily, I sold my recent Kerouac collage to genuine friends I have happily known for a number of years. And of course, a stack of books have been packed along as well, mostly Kerouac, Thoreau, Annie Dillard, and a few others. I intend to devote days to meaningful conversations with my close friends, reading, writing, painting, journaling and thinking. I don’t yet know if I will have Wi-fii access where I am. So, if I go quiet a few days, the readers will know I am off the grid, which is also good.

At this time, I also wish to offer my sincere “Congratulations” to the Historic Redlands Hotel for being awarded Best Renovation/Rehab/Restoration by the Texas Downtown Association! I still cannot believe I have been offered the most beautiful gallery space in this special building!  And now, I have been joined by the best roommates I could ever imagine: Smooth Rock 93.5 FM. I miss the “boys” already. “Kevin and Marc in the Morning” from 7-10:00 provides great company for me at my desk every weekday morning.

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 Redlands Hotel, Palestine, Texas

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Joined by the “Kevin and Marc in the Morning” Personalities

So, until next time . . . thanks for reading.

I make art, hoping to discover.

I journal, being mostly alone.

I blog to remind myself sometimes I am not alone.

 

 

 

 

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Another Buddhist Monastery Morning?

October 29, 2018

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2:17 a.m.

This happens often when I spend my nights in the country at my favorite hideaway—I’ll retire to bed around 8 or 9:00 and find myself awake at this mystical/magical/meditative hour.

Waking in the midst of yet another night, I lay in the quiet darkness and could not stop thinking about the enchanting day I spent yesterday at this place. Having slept late into yesterday morning, I made the decision to spend the entire Sunday here and not make the fifty-minute drive to the gallery. Sundays in the gallery usually are spent completely alone; hardly anyone comes into the Redlands Hotel or gallery on Sundays. I manage to get plenty of work done then, but this time I just wanted to let the day drift by slowly with reading and contemplation.

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The owners of the Gallery at Redlands own this property where I am privileged to spend weekends when the Redlands is completely booked. They come out to their ranch to feed livestock daily, and I always enjoy moments visiting with them. But yesterday was different; they had more time on their hands, and stopped by for a visit on the veranda that extended for quite a stretch. The conversation inspired me so much that I wrote the rest of the day in the journal, fleshing out the ideas we discussed. They are just as inspired as I with the possibilities now for an art culture to take root in Palestine. With the arrival of the radio station in the gallery and the enthusiasm of the personnel there, I was able to see during the weekend’s Hot Pepper Festival the possibilities now awaiting all of us. We have decided to launch an art festival next fall for the very first time in Palestine. I’ll be discussing more of this in the months ahead.

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As evening descended, I sat motionless in the rocker, hoping for deer to come and visit. I wasn’t disappointed. Looking way off across the pastureland to my right, I saw one, two, three, four, then five deer emerge from the edge of the forest and slowly make their way out into the pastureland to graze. Turning my head back to the yard in front of me, I felt a jolt like electricity flashing through me—a deer was standing thirty yards directly in front of me. She had stepped out from the shadows of the trees behind the barn. As I continued to watch her, a second one then materialized out of the darkness. Then a third. A fourth. A fifth. A sixth. And as I continued to watch, I then saw silhouettes of more in the shadowed woods—seven, eight, nine and ten. I continued to sit still for about fifteen more minutes, watching all of them, grazing, suddenly jerking their heads up and standing erect, ears out, listening, then lowering their heads to graze, then heads up again—a continual rhythm of eating and watching for potential danger. Then, as if following a signal, one exited stage left, followed by the next, then the next, and in less than a minute they were all gone. I then looked out over the pastureland, and all the deer out there had vanished as well. The moment had passed.

Crossing a bare common, in snow puddles, at twilight, under a clouded sky, without having in my thoughts any occurrence of special good fortune, I have enjoyed a perfect exhilaration. I am glad to the brink of fear. In the woods too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life, is always a child. In the woods, is perpetual youth. Within these plantations of God, a decorum and sanctity reign, a perennial festival is dressed, and the guest sees not how he should tire of them in a thousand years. In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life,—no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground,—my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space,—all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all . . . 

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature 

Most of yesterday was spent on the veranda reading slowly and taking observational notes from Philip Kapleau’s The Three Pillars of Zen. Fifty-four pages into the text, I find myself very absorbed with this practice of zazen, having already become acquainted with it from occasionally teaching World Religions at TCU and Texas Wesleyan University, and reading Natalie Goldberg the past couple of days has once again brought these ideas to my attention. I cannot honestly say that I have spent time seated in the lotus position, and have yet to spend time counting my breathing, but I am intrigued at the Buddhist writings concerning enlightenment, and these writings convinced me to stay here at this country retreat for an extra day yesterday. Now, having risen at this hour, I have a few more hours to spend with these writings before driving to the gallery to join my radio friends.

7:25 a.m.

Smooth Rock 93.5 FM is in full swing with the “Kevin and Marc in the Morning” show underway. Kevin Harris and Marc Mitchell are always in good spirits when I see them in the studio, and this morning is no different, though they were stretched considerably by the weekend’s festivities. It has to be rough rising before daylight on Mondays when you have hosted a huge weekend event. The Hot Pepper Festival is in the books, and I’m sure they feel no regrets over its success.

And so, this is Dave, along with Kevin and Marc wishing you a splendid day as we send out our greetings from The Gallery at Redlands and Smooth Rock 93.5 FM, live from the historic Redlands Hotel in downtown Palestine, Texas.

Morning Coffee: The Calm Before the Calm

October 27, 2018

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Smooth Rock 93.5 FM before the Morning Broadcast

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Working on a Watercolor before the Festival Begins

Good morning to all of you, just ahead of the Hot Pepper Festival in downtown Palestine, Texas. What a beautiful day, already, bright and sunny with temperatures expected to top out in the seventies.

I awoke in the darkness, staying in my favorite store in rural east Texas. In the darkness of the kitchen I began re-reading with delight over breakfast Natalie Goldberg’s The Great Spring. The Zen-quality of her writing produced a great calm that I much appreciate on a festival day. Thanks to Natalie, I believe I am now experiencing the calm before the calm as I prepare for this festival day.

When I arrived in Palestine shortly after 8:00, I walked through block after block of vendors setting up their booths, and was so glad that this time I was NOT doing that activity (I just went through it, in the rain, a couple of weeks ago). Today I am in The Gallery at Redlands with Kevin Harris and Marc Mitchell. They are in and out of the gallery already, getting their new T-shirts out on display, and making final preparations for today’s broadcast. They are promoting the Hot Pepper Festival, and with this being their third week on the air, they can already feel the adrenaline rush of crowds building outside their “Window to the World”.  The parade is about to commence.

I am looking forward to renewing my acquaintance with emerging artist Orlando Guillen this morning. A couple of weeks ago, he introduced himself to me at the Edom Art Festival, just before the rains arrived and closed us down for good. Orlando told me he was setting up a booth, so I’ll have to go out and find him somewhere in this 12-block conglomeration of displays. Walking the streets this morning, I had the pleasure of meeting a first-time festival participant, Ashley Sturdivant. I still recall the excitement (and anxiety) of my very first art festival years ago. Ashley has a wonderful display set up and we’re all wishing her success in sales today.

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Display of Emerging Artist Ashley Sturdivant

We have a splendid day before us. As I write, the parade has just begun, and I am listening to Kevin and Marc’s live commentary on the floats passing by. I’m delighted that The Redlands Hotel has invited me to display my art out in the lobby of the hotel in addition to what I have inside The Gallery at Redlands.

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My Lobby Display

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“Kevin and Marc in the Morning” covering the Parade Live

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Marc Mitchell, sporting the new T-Shirt on sale today

The Red Fire Grille, across the lobby from The Gallery at Redlands, will be serving lunch on this auspicious day, from 10:00-2:00. The food here is fist-rate.

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The Red Fire Grille

After eighteen months of displaying out of The Redlands Hotel, I am still making the most precious friendships. Wade and Gail Thomas, owners of the gallery, are always there for me and unfailing in their encouragement and enthusiasm. Jean Mollard, owner of the Redlands Hotel, has welcomed me into this home-away-from-home since day one, and always introduces me to guests as “our Artist in Residence.” Kevin and Marc bring such energy to this place with their radio presence, but in addition to that, they are amazing men whom I am so proud to call “friends.” Conversations I have enjoyed with them in just the past three weeks have been life transforming.

Yesterday, I met a local writer, Jan Johnson, currently writing a work of fiction set in Palestine, drawing on her years of experience in this environment. Always, I feel so enriched when given the opportunity to converse with a writer, and I invite you to check out her work at http://www.janicejohnson.wordpress.com.

I’ve been at this laptop too long, and my coffee cup is empty. It is time to get back out into the booths and meet more artists. So, until next time, this is Dave signing off at the Gallery at Redlands along with Kevin and Marc in the Morning at Smooth Rock 93.5 FM, located in the beautiful historic Redlands Hotel in downtown Palestine.

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.

Early Dawn: In the Gallery with my Radio Roommates

October 26, 2018

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The Gallery at Redlands and Smooth Rock 93.5 FM

400 N. Queen St., Palestine, Texas

Waking and rising at 1:30 a.m. was not in my weekend plans. Sheer exhaustion drove me to bed at 8:00 last night. Since the Redlands Hotel is completely booked for the Hot Pepper Festival this weekend, I am afforded the opportunity of spending my nights in that old general store/residence that I have come to love so much. It is an hour’s drive out of Palestine, and remotely located on a dirt road. When I drove on to the property last night, three deer stood in front of the store to greet me.

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The Old General Store

This morning is one of those rare occasions for me to spend time in The Gallery at Redlands while my new roommates broadcast the “Kevin and Marc in the Morning” show on Smooth Rock 93.5 FM., just across the room. As I write this, they are already setting up shop in the broadcast booth. Their show airs from 6 to 10 weekday mornings. You can stream them live on https://www.smoothrock935.com/

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Kevin and Marc are both professional musicians. Marc’s band “blindpursuit” will be live in the studio this morning. Later today, the activity will increase as vendors arrive to begin setting up their booths in the streets outside. The festival will cover twelve blocks downtown. Kevin and Marc are promoting the event and will broadcast on location from 10:00 to 1:00 Saturday.

Last year, I set up my booth on the street. This year I have decided to stay inside the gallery, and the Redlands Hotel has invited me to extend my display into the hotel lobby.  I spent yesterday re-configuring the gallery to accommodate new work I have brought in, and today I’ll work in the lobby, setting up Pro Panels and hanging additional pieces.

Sorry to make this brief, but we’re crazy-busy today. Thanks for reading.

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View of the Gallery with Marc Broadcasting

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View of the Gallery with Kevin Broadcasting

Reaping the Whirlwind

October 15, 2018

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Sharing Gallery Space with Smooth Rock 93.5

As the clock crawls into the later hours of Monday night, I find myself home at last, seated at my desk, wishing to push out some quality words encapsulating the past several days. My last blog post was hurriedly texted on my phone, as patrons were swarming the Edom Art Festival Saturday morning. All that ended sharply at 2:00 when the skies opened and dumped rain all over us, thus ending the festival for good. At 4:00, the organizers called it quits, and we closed down the tents and bolted to our vehicles, many of them requiring tow trucks to get out of the fields. With soaked clothing, I drove 40 minutes to friends who are so kind to provide lodging to me when I do art activities in east Texas. Sunday morning, the official word of cancellation came, so there was nothing left for us to do but return to the scene of soaked desolation, break down our displays, and depart.

I managed to put in some quality fly fishing time on my friends’ property Sunday evening, landing one largemouth bass of 12″. By that time the rain had lifted and the sun was pouring across the pastureland. The evening was serene.

Monday morning found me in Tyler, Texas, judging the annual Tyler Palette of Roses art competition. Wow, 250 entries! I don’t know how long it took to judge the entire show, making decisions on Best of Show overall, followed by Best of Show in each category, then 1st, 2nd, 3rd places and honorable mentions for all the categories and sub-categories. Plenty of awards to be handed out. I’ve been invited to return Wednesday night for the reception and awards ceremony. The show was remarkable deep with talent, making judging extremely difficult. I’m proud beyond description to have been chosen to judge such an exhibition.

After the judging, I returned to Palestine and The Gallery at Redlands to work for awhile, putting the art work back into place and visiting with Marc Mitchell of Smooth Rock 93.5. I posted a photo above of the view from my desk, with Marc working at the broadcast booth alongside his son who was doing homework.

I managed to frame one of my recent paintings in time for the Edom Festival and have posted it below. Before working on the blog tonight, I managed to design a greeting card with the painting displayed on the front and my written remarks on the back.

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Plein Air Watercolor of Cloudcroft, New Mexico

11 x 14″ framed.  $200.

Well, the night is advancing, and my eyelids are getting heavier. It seems I have done little more than drive all over east Texas (Palestine, Edom, Bullard, Tyler) for the past four days, and my body feels it.

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.

Morning Coffee with Dave & Paul

August 19, 2018

Sunday Tillich

Reading from Tillich after Attending Mass

I am not a Catholic, but attending mass is something I do on occasion. The Sacred Heart Catholic Church is directly across the street from The Gallery at Redlands. I have painted it twice, and for over a year have felt serene every time I hear the church bells tolling the hours. John Donne’s “Meditation XVII” keeps coming back to me.

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Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Palestine, Texas

Among the books I packed for the weekend in Palestine was volume one of Paul Tillich’s Systematic Theology. I read this in its entirety over ten years ago (T. S. Eliot read it twice while crossing the Atlantic, and sent Tillich a “thank you” letter for the contribution). I still return to it frequently to re-read portions I have underlined and notes jotted in the margins. Among my favorite passages is the following:

Theology moves back and forth between two poles, the eternal truth of its foundation and the temporal situation in which the eternal truth must be received. Not many theological systems have been able to balance these two demands perfectly. Most of them either sacrifice elements of the truth or are not able to speak to the situation.

I will have to agree with Tillich on this point. The theologian Karl Barth struggled to bring together the current newspaper on one side of his pulpit and the New Testament on the other. That was 1914. Today I feel is no different. I love to read the New Testament, and am grateful that I was provided an education enabling me to read its Greek text. During mass this morning I attempted to read from my Latin Vulgate. I regret that Latin was never available to me, and though I work in the grammars, I have not paid the price in learning to translate it effectively. But still, I enjoy reading the text and learning what I can from it.

But the current news, well, I won’t waste time addressing that. In this country, I feel that religious leaders with the biggest megaphone are the least effective, or relevant, in bridging the message of the New Testament to bear on these times. And our nation certainly lacks courageous prophets of the ancient Hebrew heritage who withstood rulers clearly on the wrong side of the truth. Still, I search for meaning and coherence in this life we live these days.

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Sunday Morning in the Gallery at Redlands

The weekend spent in the gallery was refreshing to me, to say the least. I left here fifty days ago to travel, and I so loved my odyssey. But it was a thrill, feeling that I had a home where I could return. And the people of Palestine certainly made me feel welcome. On Saturday, a high school friend came down from Paris, Texas to visit, and I had not seen her since she graduated college and packed her car for Houston to accept her first teaching position. That must have been around 1976. So, we had much catching up to do.

And then Sunday, a dear friend that I met through this hotel a year ago came by for an afternoon visit. We hadn’t seen each other in about three months, so we also had catching up to do. What a homecoming this has been.

Sunday cloudcroft

(Sorry about the Reflection!) My Plein Air Watercolor from Cloudcroft

Sitting on the tailgate of a pickup truck, I began this 8 x 10″ watercolor on the edge of the town of Cloudcroft, New Mexico several months ago. I decided to frame it for the gallery and brought it down to add to the collection this weekend. We are offering it for $200 in its 11 x 14″ frame.

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(Ugh! Reflections!) Box Canyon at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico

One of my most thrilling mornings at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico was hiking back into Box Canyon, and pausing beside a stream to set up an easel in the shade and attempt this 8 x 10″ plein air watercolor of this magnificent bluff towering above me and the trees. I am still fascinated at the colors and textures and striations of massive cliffs, and am struggling to find the right color combinations for rendering them. I’ll continue to study this matter. This watercolor as well, in its 11 x 14″ frame, is offered at $200.

Today is the first day of the semester at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. I have two online classes ready for viewing. Tomorrow will be my first time in the classroom. Time to hit the books!

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Morning Coffee with Dave & William

August 19, 2018

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Pondering William Wordsworth, “The Prelude” 1850

Imagination having been our theme,

So also hath that intellectual Love,

For they are each in each, and cannot stand

Dividually.—Here must thou be, O Man!

Power to thyself; no Helper hast thou here;

Here keepest thou in singleness thy state:

No other can divide with thee this work:

No secondary hand can intervene

To fashion this ability; ‘tis thine,    

The prime and vital principle is ‘thine

In the recesses of thy nature, far

From any reach of outward fellowship,

Else is not thine at all.

William Wordsworth, “The Prelude,” 1850

After a fifty-day hiatus, I finally return to The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine, Texas for the weekend! I have so missed this place, though my recent travels through west Texas, New Mexico and Colorado played their restorative roles in my soul. I thought it fitting to pack my Wordsworth “Prelude” for this weekend excursion. Before attending the eight o’clock mass this morning across the street at Sacred Heart, I felt this urge to re-visit Book Fourteen of this massive work.

For decades, I have been fascinated with the way thinkers have continually bifurcated the human experience–soul/body, spirit/flesh, Apollo/Dionysus, reason/passion . . . on and on and on. I have followed these discussions with fascination and don’t believe I shall ever lose interest. And now here, with Wordsworth, we have intellectual love and imagination. They cannot be separated, and no one can help us sort out how to let them thrive. I would not be telling the truth if I said I understand fully what Wordsworth meant by these categories. I know he wrote this piece for Samuel Taylor Coleridge and pleaded with him to understand it on the author’s terms. I hope I can do that as well, but in the meantime, I am intrigued, at what I am reading, and hope I can get to the bottom of his ideas.

In the prior stanza, regarding imagination, Wordsworth equates it with “absolute power”, “clearest insight”, and “Reason in her most exalted mood.” And then he lays out these words which truly stir my blood:

This faculty hath been the feeding source

Of our long labour: we have traced the stream

From the blind cavern whence is faintly heard

Its natal murmur; followed it to light

And open day; accompanied its course

Among the ways of Nature, for a time

Lost sight of it bewildered and engulphed:

Then given it greeting as it rose once more

In strength, reflecting from its placid breast

The works of man and face of human life;

And lastly, from its progress have we drawn

Faith in life endless, the sustaining thought

Of human Being, Eternity, and God.

Wow! Personally, I have been applying this stanza to my own reasoning life from its childhood, formal education, attempted liberation, and now my senior years. It fits, even if I am not interpreting this piece the way Wordsworth meant it. I smile as I apply the words “lost sight of it bewildered and engulphed” to my many years of education as I thrashed about, trying to find my own way through all those voices and texts. I still do not know where exactly these verses will take me, but I am enjoying the odyssey, to be certain.

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Perhaps I should have titled this entry “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”?

I am introducing fourteen new watercolors to the gallery collection this weekend. I have posted a few of them above. I regret that the glare of glass interferes with decent photography. In hindsight, I wish I had photographed these before framing, but–live and learn. Seated at this desk, I am looking up at them with delight, and feel warmed by some of the best memories of my life with these recent travels.

Time to go to church. Thanks always for reading.

I paint in order to explore.

I journal, feeling alone.

I blog, reminding myself I am not alone.

Thrilling Transitions

July 3, 2018

Redlands first

Live your life, do your work, then take your hat.

Henry David Thoreau


Good morning from the Redlands Hotel in Palestine. I have taken my seat inside the newly-reconfigured Gallery at Redlands, Room 109. Fascinating changes have occurred inside this historic hotel, with more to come.

Redlands FM

In a previous blog, I mentioned that the Red Fire Grille came under new ownership earlier this year, and with that change came hotel renovations that created the beautiful RFG “Sparq Bar” just down the hall from the gallery. Patrons are now coming in great number to enjoy fine dining as well as cocktails in the evening. And just recently, the Red Fire Grille opened with lunch hours for the first time. Now we don’t have to wait till evening for people to visit the first floor of the hotel.

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You may have seen the new entry at the bottom of the window sign: Smooth Rock 93.5. The offices of this new FM station will be opening upstairs in Room 205, but the broadcast booth will be my new roommate in the gallery. This radio station, currently based in San Antonio, will be moving to Palestine this month, and launching their first broadcast August 1. The broadcast booth will occupy the south end of the gallery at the display window facing the street. Broadcasts will occur Monday through Friday, and I will work the gallery most weekends. But, with a college schedule of Tuesday-Thursday classes, I’ll be sure to spend some Fridays and Mondays inside the gallery so I can soak up the atmosphere of FM radio featuring Eric Clapton and other musicians of that genre. The radio has pledged aggressive advertising for the hotel, gallery, restaurant and bar, so naturally, we are all excited to welcome our new resident.

I arrived yesterday with my Jeep packed to the gills with all the art merchandise and furnishings from my festival last weekend. Once I unloaded everything into the gallery, it was time to begin work re-configuring the Gallery at Redlands to make room for our new residents. This involved moving the heavy desk from the site of the future broadcast booth to the front of the gallery near the lobby window. Then, we set up my Pro Panels to form a temporary wall separating the gallery from the broadcast area, but allowing passage on both sides from one space to the next.

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Redlands wall

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The gallery has a completely new, more intimate feel now.

Gallery window

The lobby of this historic hotel, dating from 1915, has been completely renovated, with offices removed and a large, open lounge area inviting people to relax in conversation, books, television, and drinks.

Redlands lobby

Redlands lobby 3

Redlands lobby 2

The Redlands Hotel, dating from 1915, is a veritable time warp for me every time I enter the main hall, and I’m thrilled that the gallery is in this hall. When I climb those stairs to move into the suite that provides a luxurious dwelling, I feel I’m supposed to be wearing spats from the previous century, a vest with watch chain, and a fat cigar in my mouth.

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The Gallery at Redlands is open, on the right

These are truly exciting days in Palestine, Texas. For anyone reading this, I sincerely hope you will find the time to visit us at The Redlands Hotel on 400 N. Queen Street. The rooms are absolutely stunning, and the prices are very reasonable. The gallery is improving each week, and come August we will welcome FM 92.5 Smooth Rock to the premises. Unfortunately, I will be out of town when that occasion arises, and I hope I will be able to stream the inaugural broadcast on the Internet. I’m preparing to leave for the mountains for some exquisite time to paint and fly fish. I’ll return to the gallery in mid-August.

Thanks always for reading.

I paint in order to explore.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Musings of Gratitude

June 30, 2018

Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient, who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide. I learn it daily, learn it with pain to which I am grateful; patience is everything!”

Rainer Rilke, in a letter to his young disciple Franz Xaver Kappus

Adobe

The Adobe Western Art Gallery located in the Stockyards in Fort Worth

Many days have slid past without my posting a blog. The online summer school class has kept me busy, as well as everyday matters that demand attention as well. Summers can be dog days for the artist, but I’m grateful that they offer a long spread of time to make art while the galleries and festivals slide into their annual hiatus. And with summer school ending next week, I’ve packed my art and fly fishing gear and am ready to take off for some serious fishing and plein air painting.

I love the quote from Rilke, and laugh at the impatience I suffered needlessly over the decades. In my senior years, things are making more sense, and my art is bringing me more pleasure than ever before. I’m proud to announce that I have been accepted into the Adobe Western Art Gallery at 2400 North Main ‘Street, in the Stockyards at Fort Worth. I have heard artists speak in awe of this gallery over the past ten years, and always wondered what it would like to be on the inside. My friend Wade Thomas, who leases the Gallery at Redlands in Palestine, pitched my work to the manager, and he invited me in. Currently I have only giclee prints in the gallery, but originals have been requested and I’m working earnestly on filling the order. I’m extremely grateful for this exposure.

MADE

My Set-up for the M.A.D.E. festival at Stage West in Fort Worth

Tomorrow (Sunday) from noon till five p.m., I’ll be at Stage West Theater for their annual M.A.D.E. (music, art, drinks, eats) festival. I had good times here for two years, then missed last year because it occurred during my Colorado vacation. I’m delighted this year to learn that I did not lose my place in line. In fact, they assigned me Booth #1. This will be first time I have been in the front gallery of the event. This will be my only summer art event, as Texas doesn’t seem interested in holding indoor events, and the temperatures today soared to 106 degrees. I’m glad that Stage West has the vision to put on this indoor show.

Thank you for reading. I hope to post again soon, because I have exciting news about changes on the way at the Gallery at Redlands in Palestine.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Meditations on a Saturday Morning

June 2, 2018

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Relaxing and reading in an armchair at The Gallery at Redlands

Sleep has been relatively difficult the past two nights, due to my mind refusing to shut down with my first summer school class beginning in forty-eight hours. I have never taught the Humanities online, so what I am accustomed to saying in person before a class now has to be loaded into a computer program for students to access. This involves use of a different set of skills on my part, and I realize that is a good thing. If only I could trust myself and relax into this, instead of this perpetual second-guessing and revisions of my decisions.

I took a break from my class work and resumed reading this delightful book, At the Existentialist Cafe. I am currently reading of the conditions of occupied Paris during World War II and Simone de Beauvoir seeking solace in the library of the Sorbonne, not hearing from Jean-Paul Sartre (who had been captured by the Nazis) and wondering if he was even alive. She was reading Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, and finding a measure of comfort in his theory that history had a way of adjusting as it moved through time.

I looked up from the armchair that I love to use for reading in this gallery, and my paintings arranged on the folding doors in front of me (posted above) provided me a satisfaction that I have trouble putting into words. Sometimes when I take a break from reading, I just like to look up at watercolors I have done from the past and lose myself in their memories. They all take me to places I love to remember, and recall stories that still shape my life.

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My work area this morning in the Gallery

At the time of this writing, I am back at the gallery desk, and have resumed work on my course. I am taking solace in Hegel’s view that history continues to shift back and forth between extremes, and from time to time finds a middle ground (that doesn’t last for long). I can see that from my study of history, and my observations of the past six-plus decades I have lived.

For the first week of class, I have set up for discussion a very recent New York Times opinion article by Frank Bruni, “Aristotle’s Wrongful Death.” I always want to begin a class such as this by engaging the university students in this perpetual debate of the value of a liberal arts education. With an American culture swirling in stupid these days (I’m still wondering how exactly Kanye West’s bipolar condition makes him a “superman”), I believe it is always appropriate to lead students into elevated reading and discussion.

Following the Bruni opinion piece, we will approach Immanuel Kant’s essay of 1784 “What is Enlightenment?” I find the writing very engaging, especially his provocative statement: “When we ask, Are we now living in an enlightened age? the answer is, No, but we live in an age of enlightenment.” I find that just as true today as in 1784. Never before have we managed such growth in technology and achievement, yet we still lack the ability to grow in ethical matters. In spite of intellectual achievement, we still maintain a culture of immaturity and intolerance. I feel at a loss every time I confront this reality.

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At any rate, I am grateful for the gifts I still enjoy in this life. This is a lovely gallery space and hotel where I feel very much affirmed and at home. Time spent here feels like an escape from the madness.

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.