Posts Tagged ‘John Greenleaf Whittier’

Gratefully Snowbound in Texas

February 14, 2021
Lovely snowfall outside Studio Eidolons

So all night long the storm roared on:
The morning broke without a sun;
In tiny spherule traced with lines
Of Nature’s geometric signs,
In starry flake, and pellicle,
All day the hoary meteor fell;

John Greenleaf Whittier, “Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyl”

My 1881 edition of Whittier

The weather forecast told us snow would fall throughout the night. Sure enough, when dogs woke me at 5:45, wanting to be let outside for their constitutional, I was delighted to see the lovely carpet of white across the back patio. Even more, I loved going to the woodpile to kick snow off the top pieces of wood to bring inside and start a fire in the fireplace. I had to wait for the dogs to stop frolicking in the unknown powder before going back inside.

As I write this in the afternoon, the snowfall has not abated, and is not expected to. We went to the store yesterday with all the multitudes to stock up on provisions, as we are expecting about five days of plummeting temperatures and additional snowfall Wednesday. What currently falls is not expected to go away as temperatures remain in the teens. This is highly unusual for north Texas.

I am ecstatic to announce that I have begun a new cycle of Hank stories to continue my Turvey’s Corner project. I awoke with the dogs this morning, and new Hank adventures visited me in my sleep. All day I have been typing and the pages are piling up. I am not yet ready to release the stories as they are still rough drafts. But by the time we open our Gallery at Redlands March 20, I’ll be ready to let them out. My boyhood friend Wayne White (alias Hank) will be joining us, not only to display his photography in our new showing of artists’ works, but also to join me in presenting a gallery talk on the latest from Turvey’s Corner. I am ecstatic that the public will finally meet “Hank” and get a chance to know him better and see his work along with the new things I’ve been creating. We anticipate an exciting weekend March 19-20, as this new group known as The Twelve will present the new face of The Gallery at Redlands. It appears that enthusiasm is already building in Palestine; a painting from one of our new artists sold last night. Congratulations, Cecilia!

a new sketch in progress of Fort Worth’s Tower 55 from a photograph taken in 1975 (part of the Hank saga)
newly completed watercolor from the Hank saga in an 8 s 10″ frame. $100

I am delighted to have an excuse not to get in the truck and drive somewhere to keep an appointment. With the lovely snow falling harder by the hour, I love sitting here in Studio Eidolons and watching it while writing Hank stories, watercoloring, sketching, reading, and scribbling in my journals. I cannot think of a more wonderful way to pass the day.

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.

Finished the Poetry and Cigarettes Still Life

November 20, 2012

Poetry and Cigarettes

My Thanksgiving Holiday is off to a satisfying start.  I have completed work on this small 5 x 7″ still life that features an 1881 copy of Whittier’s Poems and an old Lucky Strike cigarette tin I found in an antique store years ago.   A few weeks back, I surprised myself by doing some close-up studies of antique doorknobs.  This has only whetted my appetite for more.  I have had a fetish for old objects such as these, and have stared at them for years, wondering if I could ever render them in pencil or watercolor (I have always envied other artists who did).  Finally, I decided “Why not?”  I’m glad I finally got around to giving this a try.

The PBS Voices and Visions series has been an inspiration to me since the early 1990’s.  Recently I was directed to the website where all the documentaries can be streamed.  What a wonderful companion piece for the studio!  While working on this still life, I have listened, with deep emotional stirrings, to the presentations on T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens and Walt Whitman.  The laptop is such a great accessory to have handy in the man cave.  My cat even seems to enjoy napping to the sounds of the sonorous voices reading the poetry and opining on the lives of these great writers.  My watercolor supplies, volumes of poetry, a laptop and a cat–who says you can’t have it all?!  I’m looking forward to vacationing in my cave for awhile.

Thanks for reading.

Further Work on the Watercolor Still Life of Poetry and Cigarettes

November 20, 2012

Poetry and Cigarettes Thanksgiving

I shall always be grateful for school Thanksgiving holidays beginning on Tuesday afternoon.  After nailing down a few necessary tasks, my plan is to escape to the man cave this evening and take a serious look at this 5 x 7″ watercolor I began day-before-yesterday.  I feel myself drawn in, more and more, as I gaze on these objects beneath a strong light, and spend quiet moments reading poetry and finishing the Rollo May book My Quest for Beauty.

Hopefully, I’ll have more to post this evening.  Thanks for reading.

A New Still Life Watercolor, with Thoughts of the Fireside Poets

November 19, 2012

Still Life Watercolor of Book of Poems and Cigarette Case

I must be half-nuts.  I have three or four watercolors still unfinished, and here I am, starting on something else.  Last night, I was reading selections from the Fireside Poets, and came across this 1881 volume of John Greenleaf Whittier.  As I thumbed through it, I thought, with great delight, that I was possessing a volume that was for sale on a book shelf while this poet was still living.  Many winters ago, when Texas had snow, I read “Snow-Bound” from this old volume, enjoying a fire and a cup of coffee.

So, last night, before I could talk myself out of it, I dug out my old Lucky Strike cigarette tin, laid this volume on top of it, and began sketching.  Once I had the composition blocked out, I was in the mood to paint, so I took out my Winsor & Newton field box (I recently replaced the pans with colors from the palette I adopted about six months ago).  I am finding a strange satisfaction, painting this small still life with a small paint box instead of the large palette and butcher tray I had grown accustomed to using in the studio.  I am also doing much more pencil work with this piece than is my usual custom.  I’m not sure where it is going to take me, but I’m enjoying this new twist.  This composition is probably not going to grow beyond 5 x 7″.  It is extremely rare for me to work so small.

I have nearly finished the Rollo May book begun over the weekend: My Quest for Beauty.  I will have plenty more to say about that, but wish to return to painting for now.  The man cave is providing an excellent environment, and I have the  “T. S. Eliot” documentary from Voices and Visions playing on my laptop.  This is a great moment.

Thanks for reading.