Posts Tagged ‘Queen St Grille’

Saturday Night in the Gallery

October 26, 2019

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Palestine Victorian. 8 x 10″  $150 with white mat

It’s not what you put in but what you leave out that counts.

Andrew Wyeth

Palestine, Texas has been chilly all day, but the crowds still came out for the annual Hot Pepper Festival. I chose to stay warm inside the gallery, and brought this 8 x 10″ watercolor to a close. After spending hours detailing the part of the Victorian home that most commanded my attention, I decided to fall back on my favorite Andrew Wyeth compositional dictum that the strength of a composition depends on what you omit, allowing the viewer room for imagination in viewing. Frequently I choose to leave the peripheral elements blank, believing that the viewer will then focus on the portion of the subject that first caught my eye and held my fascination.

The Redlands Hotel has already installed many of my watercolors in the Queen St Grille, across the lobby. Tonight they have selected three more to hang in the side room of the Queen St Bar. I’m proud to see my work hanging throughout the hotel now.

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Tonight as I paint in the gallery, I am listening to an adaptation of the original broadcast of H. G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds.  This 1938 CBS radio broadcast is being reenacted before a live audience at the Nickel Manor down the street from the Redlands Hotel. Smooth Rock 93.5 is carrying the broadcast and Alan Wade is in the studio now making the sure the radio signal is steady. Listening to this chilling broadcast is quite an experience and makes me wish now to re-read the novel. Having read it in junior high, I’m confident that there is so much more I could enjoy from the text in my later years. Here is the link to the Palestine broadcast event:  https://www.visitpalestine.com/events/2019/hg-wells-the-war-of-the-worlds-live-radio20191026_19453156590346373319748.jpg

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While listening to the broadcast, I’ve been chipping away at a number of compositions begun this past summer while vacationing in Sedona, Arizona. The gallery has experienced quite a number of patrons passing through, and the conversations have been most enjoyable.

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.

A Weed by the Wall

October 16, 2019

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Saturday at Edom Art Festival

To-day I am full of thoughts, and can write what I please. I see no reason why I should not have the same thought, the same power of expression to-morrow. What I write, whilst I write it, seems the most natural thing in the world: but yesterday I saw a dreary vacuity in this direction in which now I see so much; and a month hence, I doubt not, I shall wonder who he was that wrote so many continuous pages. Alas for this infirm faith, this will not strenuous, this vast ebb of a vast flow! I am God in nature; I am a weed by the wall.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Circles”

This morning, while reading Harold Bloom’s The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime, I came across one of my favorite Emerson musings from his engaging essay “Circles.” Not long after his 1836 catapult into the spotlight of American fame, he began writing about these rhythms, the ebb and flow that creative spirits know so well. We cannot be in that creative flow all the time; there is always the balancing rhythm of repose, stagnation, or stasis. I know that experience in creative rhythms as well as emotional highs followed by exhaustion.

Looking back over my blogs, I realize that I last posted on Friday, while waiting out a rainstorm so I could set up my booth for the Edom Art Festival. Now, four days have passed, and it seems like only a matter of hours. Yet, I feel that I packed a month’s worth of experiences in those few days.

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Two Views of my Booth

I cannot say enough about the loveliness of the festival and the gorgeous weather both days–bright sun and cool temperatures. What pleased me the most was that my booth was packed most of Saturday during business hours. Generally, during a festival, there are those down times when no one is dropping by to shop. But Saturday, the booth was occupied nearly the entire day with anywhere from two-to-eight shoppers, and my heart overflowed with good feelings, knowing there was some kind of meaningful connection between the viewers and my paintings.

Since the festival, I have already been back to Palestine, home to Arlington, over to Fort Worth to teach my Tuesday morning Humanities class, and now I’m back in the gallery in Palestine. There is much to do, but it feels good this morning not to be chasing a deadline. The only major chore before me is putting the gallery back together as I have unloaded my festival gear and paintings. It is time to make the gallery look like a gallery again instead of a storeroom in need of tidying.

The text from Emerson is very timely this day. In recent weeks I have vacillated between creative explosions and hiatus. Right now, I feel that I am at rest (and gratefully so) but at the same time feel this surge of ideas waiting for new expression. There are a number of watercolor and drawing ideas in me that I would like to get out, and hope to, as soon as I put this gallery back together. I always loved the Frank Lloyd Wright remark, boasting that he could merely shake buildings out of his sleeve. There are times when I feel that about paintings, and it’s a sublime feeling. Yet, at my age, I also am very aware of those dormant periods, and they no longer trouble me. I know that the body needs rest as well as exercise, sleep as well as travel. Likewise, the creative bursts will naturally be balanced with times of repose.

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I usually enjoy a good book while sitting through seven-hour days at art festivals. On Saturday, the booth was filled with patrons all day, so reading was out of the question. But on Sunday, during church hours, the festival grounds were quite empty, so I opened my backpack to discover that I had not packed any books! No art supplies either. So . . . with a ballpoint pen I entertained myself the first few hours by scribbling out tree sketches in my journal while posting random thoughts. It reminded me of a recent pledge to try and push myself in the Leonardo da Vinci direction of keeping sketchbook/journals. Maybe I’ll get there. I like the way my mind wanders back and forth between ideas and images, and hope that I’ll develop a habit of moving back and forth between drawing and writing. At any rate, it was a wonderful way to pass the time for a couple of hours Sunday morning.

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Queen St. Grille, Adjacent to The Gallery at Redlands

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New Installations at Queen St Grille

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I am honored that The Redlands Hotel has invited me to extend my gallery work into the restaurant across the lobby. Jean and Mike have been gracious in allowing me to store my excess paintings on the fifth floor of the hotel. Now they will have better exposure hanging in this lovely dining area. The Gallery at Redlands is also getting a facelift as some water damage was sustained on one of our walls due to an air conditioner malfunction. Today will be divided between repairs and reinstallation in the gallery and the new possibilities excite me.

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Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to explore.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Painting Nostalgia

September 21, 2019

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Latest Addition to Turvey’s Corner 63050

Saturday has been a splendid day for painting and visiting with friends here in Palestine. The gallery has provided a wonderful space for creating and I’m thankful for all those who have made this possible. Tomorrow I plan to take this painting into the Queen St Grille during brunch (11-2) and see if I can complete it. I have another pair of paintings in progress that I might choose to rotate in and out of the circle as I make painting decisions.

If you have a moment, check out the Queen St Grille on the recently updated website for the Redlands Hotel–http://redlandshistoricinn.com/dine.html

It’s been a nice, relaxing evening here in 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.

New Addition to Turvey’s Corner Series

September 21, 2019

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Every now and then one spies Turner’s vulnerability to depression, or pressure, and his need to escape.

Franny Moyle, Turner: The Extraordinary Life & Momentous Times of J. M. W. Turner

I wanted to take a moment and share with my readers a new watercolor begun last evening while working in The Gallery at Redlands. When I came downstairs this morning, I disliked the work I started last night–the pigments appeared heavy to my eye. Throughout this morning I have tried to work more in lighter, transparent washes, and focus on some details. I believe it is starting to shape up now. I may possibly finish this during tomorrow’s brunch in the Queen St Grille across the lobby. I’ll be painting there from 11-2.

I’ll post again later today (unless this painting takes an ugly turn!). It is a quiet Saturday in Palestine and my combination of reading and painting has been soothing to the soul. I’ve enjoyed the quiet space to read in this biography of J. M. W. Turner. The times of withdrawal I know with great familiarity as they have punctuated my years in the best ways possible. I brought my Greek New Testament to Palestine with me over the weekend and have been translating the passages from the Gospels that describe the withdrawals of Jesus from his public ministry. Though I myself left the pastoral ministry long ago, I have nevertheless maintained a rhythm of public and private activity throughout my teaching career, and now retired, find it much easier to find space for solitude. These quiet times are invaluable in the way they recharge my battery and impel me to move forward again. Last Monday, after giving a public presentation for which I had prepared for a number of months, I lapsed into this delicious quiet, enjoying a week of only two appointments, and then retreating once again to Palestine. I could not have ordered up a more perfect day than this.

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.

Creative Weekend in the Gallery at Redlands

September 21, 2019

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If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?

Albert Einstein

The Einstein quote arrived at a perfect moment this morning, as I was beginning to feel concern over the pile of tools cluttering my gallery desk top.  I felt serene, entering the sacred space early this morning after a good night’s rest. I had worked the night before until quite late, beginning a new watercolor to add to my series “Turvey’s Corner 63050”.

The throbbing of Union Pacific diesels two blocks away can be felt this morning through the floor of the Redlands Hotel as a slow-moving freight lumbers past the railyard. Palestine slumbers beneath overcast skies, while gray covers this old downtown section like a comfortable old quilt. Music wafts into the gallery from the lobby area, and I have enjoyed the past few hours, moving back and forth between this new painting and reading a biography I acquired recently on Joseph Mallord William Turner.

The weekend is a lovely gift as I find myself with no pressing deadlines or appointments. Sunday I will be painting in the new Queen St Grille again during brunch hours (11-2). I was invited to do that last Sunday and the restaurant had its largest Sunday crowd to date. I’ve been invited again, and gratefully accept. I love the Redlands Hotel and its soothing atmosphere. Friday morning, I enjoyed the radio guys again, Kevin and Alan in the Morning at Smooth Rock 93.5 broadcasting out of this Gallery at Redlands. I miss the fellows over the weekend, but appreciate the quiet studio space. I am managing to pursue creative eros with this new painting in progress. Hopefully there will be enough of it to show on the next blog . . .

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.

 

Palestine Texas is Humming this Morning

September 13, 2019

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Luxurious Friday Morning in the Gallery

. . . they remind you of Saturday mornings when you were six and knew the day was young and blue just by looking over the fence through pale smokes of whoever it is is always burning something on Saturday morning (and hammering on nails in the afternoon).

Jack Kerouac, Visions of Cody

Waking early this morning in the Redlands Hotel, I listened while the city slowly awakened in the dawn. As I lay still, these words from Kerouac read at bedtime last night returned, and I continued to listen to the city sounds of traffic, the Union Pacific railyard two blocks away, and the occasional shout from a pedestrian. Across the street, Sacred Heart Catholic Church tolled the hour and I could feel the vibrations of the sound. Memories washed over me. As a boy, I lived in the neighborhood of a small town, and now recall those early mornings awakened by the sounds of lawn mowers, hammering, the occasional passing car, dogs barking and choruses of birds in the yard.

I decided to return to The Gallery at Redlands for the weekend, having sorely missed this environment for a number of weeks. The gallery provides a wonderful ambience for study and reflection, and I am working to put the finishing touches on my Monday night presentation before the Society of Watercolor Artists in Fort Worth. I have been invited to work on my watercolors in the Queen St Grillle Sunday from 11-2:00. The Redlands Hotel has made some fabulous changes to the menu and hours. Several of my paintings now hang in the restaurant, and The Gallery at Redlands is adjacent to the establishment. I look forward to meeting new friends during Sunday brunch, and of course, I always look forward to watercoloring in the midst of company.

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Queen St Grille–a Gorgeous Dining Environment

A long time has passed since I connected with Kevin and Alan in the Morning on Smooth Rock 93.5. I always enjoy their morning radio time, and was invited on the show this morning to put in a plug for the Sunday brunch painting event arriving in a couple of days. The past two years have brought many changes to the Redlands Hotel, and for me the highlights have been the radio station in the gallery and the restaurant across the lobby. Every time I come here to work, I feel that I am living in the midst of a thriving, affirming community in downtown Palestine. My warm thanks to all of my new friends here.

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Kevin Harris Managing the Morning Show

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Alan Wade in Good Spirits Always

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Victoria Minton-Beam, also with Smooth Rock 93.5

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Constantly Experimenting

Returning to my journals from August 2018, I am re-reading the scribbled notes from my last Colorado sojourn and the morning I worked to solve the problem of painting evergreens in the sweet mountain air. I took notes on a five-step process, and have been working the past few weeks to refine this approach. Currently, I have six sketches in process, and this weekend thought I would start four additional ones. I always think that if I have several going at the same time, I will be less afraid of screwing up a painting. Last month, I began fifteen compositions of a scene in Sedona, Arizona, and they are still in a box with only one further attempt to push them along. Out of the fifteen, I have one finished piece that I don’t find very satisfying. The rest are still sitting there, waiting. I thought I was taking them to the Monday demonstration in Fort Worth, but have recently decided to try my luck with the evergreens. No pressure, right?

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.