Posts Tagged ‘Padre Island’

Decompress, then Jump into the Next . . .

March 27, 2019

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Sunday Morning in The Gallery at Redlands

To be an artist is to live suspended above the abyss between recognition and artistic value, never quite knowing whether your art will land on either bank, or straddle both, or be swallowed by the fathomless pit of obscurity. We never know how our work stirs another mind or touches another heart, how it tenons into the mortise of the world.

Brain Pickings by Maria Popova, March 24, 2019

One of the greatest salves for my weary soul is reading “Brain Pickings” which come out on Wednesdays and Sundays. Maria Popova has poured out her life into beautifully written observations that nourish the artist continually. I am posting her link below. I appreciate this quote because I have known for years the suspension between the poles of recognition and authenticity, always wondering if I was accomplishing either, both or neither. I don’t worry about it as much as I did in the past; I love the work (play) of making art and can think of few other things that bring me this kind of pleasure.

brainpickings.org newsletter

The weekend was a bruiser, but successful. The Dogwood Trails Art & Music Festival kicked off in Palestine with a V.I.P. “meet the artist and presale” event under the big tent Friday night, and the place remained pack throughout the event, with patrons enjoying wine, cheese and finger foods while perusing the work of artists selected for the opening. The next day, I dashed back and forth from my booth to the Redlands Hotel. I gave my first ever public gallery talk on “Art in the Small Town,” and was very happy with the reception. I have been asked to do it again, and look forward to that.

gallery talk

My First Gallery Talk

Nostalgia is a personal experience I hallow as another might a religion.

N. C. Wyeth

Everything above was written Sunday morning after the festival, but I didn’t post the blog because I had to hit the road and make some other appointments. I have been invited to return to the coast to put a pair of paintings into a show focusing on sand dunes at South Padre. I have only been to the coast once since my artist-in-residency in 2015 and I have missed all of my friends there. The subsequent visit was complements of someone with real estate holdings who offered me a weekend in a condominium on South Padre so I could do some plein air painting of the coast. I dashed off a watercolor and promptly sold it when I returned to Arlington. Fortunately, I had taken a number of photos during my painting session, so I searched my archives till I found them, and this week have worked on a new pair that are nearly finished. I’m posting them below:

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First Sand Dune Attempt–16 x 20″ frame

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Second Sand Dune Attempt–11 x 14″ frame

After they are complete, I plan to re-post them. I’m still looking them over, making decisions on how to finish them. This has been an interesting endeavor. I wondered how to render the broad expanse of sandy wasteland, big sky, and strip of the Gulf on a small rectangle. I finally decided to create some kind of moving “action line” of dry brush of the vegetation, and leave large expanses blank save for subtle washes of color. This is new to me, so it’s probably going to take awhile to make a decision on how to wrap it up.

I love the N. C. Wyeth quote. “Nostalgia” is actually from a Greek word used in Homer’s Odyssey to describe Odysseus’s ache to return to his home. Nostaglia pervades the art I try to make, and this week I have known the pangs of longing as I worked on the  sand dune paintings, remembering my earlier times spent among the dunes reading, painting and thinking. It has been four years since my excursions on the island in the Laguna Madre during my residency, and three years since I taught a workshop on the site. I cannot wait to see the area again when I submit this work for the upcoming show.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.