Posts Tagged ‘Redlands 12’

Artful Morning in the City

November 12, 2021
Carnegie Library at Dawn, View from our Second-Floor Suite at The Redlands Hotel

My firm belief is that one paints, as one writes, not out of a theory but out of the vividness of an experience.

Rollo May, My Quest for Beauty

Rollo May’s writings have been a gift to me, again and again, not only from the book quoted above, but also his masterwork Paulus, about the theologian Paul Tillich as a teacher, along with The Courage to Create, a marvelous companion to Tillich’s The Courage to Be. Though a psychologist by profession, Rollo May was also a practicing artist and (to me) one of the most able writers describing the dynamics of the creative process. I have read The Courage to Create countless times, and yet still return to it to glean more from its pages.

More recently, I have been digging trenches through the first of Martin Heidegger’s four volumes titled Nietzsche. Now, after more than a hundred pages, I find myself dizzy and short of breath as though having climbed to the summit of one of Colorado’s Fourteeners. In the winter term 1936-37, Heidegger taught a course on Nietzsche, based on the unedited manuscripts of his Will to Power (unfortunately, Nietzsche’s sister mangled them to create the monster work that stamped the ghastly postscript onto his brilliant life’s work). Out of the semester’s teachings, Heidegger published an essay “The Origin of the Work of Art”. This essay I read while on the island in the Laguna Madre back in the summer of 2015 when I was serving an Artist-in-Residency for Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. That essay inspired the watercolor study I did of the cord grasses one afternoon on the island:

2015 Watercolor “Cord Grasses” from my Stay on the Laguna Madre

Now, six years later, I have made the decision to dig under the foundations of Heidegger’s essay, which involves the four volumes of lectures from his 1936-37 winter term. The part I am reading now pertains to Nietzsche’s theory of Art as a configuration of will to power. The readings have continually rendered me breathless, and at the same time, resentful of being sandbagged by so many appointments and responsibilities of late. Hopefully the smog will soon clear and I will be able to report further on these amazing insights I’m having the pleasure of gleaning from these magnificent pages.

Sandi and I have returned to Palestine and The Gallery at Redlands for the weekend. Since the Hotel is already wonderfully decked out in Christmas Holiday attire, we are beginning now to trim our Gallery with some of the same. I also have plans to resume my recent experiments in winter evergreens. I managed to knock out a pair of them last Saturday during Art Walk, and spent some of this past week going through my archives and pulling out reproductions of past work to use as models for new work. Hopefully today and tomorrow I’ll be given time to pick up the brush and see what I can pursue next.

Snowy Evergreens (Sold, but working on another)
Snowy Evergreens (still available at $80)
Snowy Evergreens (Sold, but working on another)

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.

Local Artist Cecilia Bramhall Demonstrates in The Gallery at Redlands

September 28, 2021
Cecilia Bramhall in the Gallery at Redlands

Palestine artist Cecilia Bramhall will be the new face of The Gallery at Redlands the next pair of weekends. Saturday from 10-5:00 she will be set up with her easel, working in oils inside the gallery. Cecilia loves meeting new people, and will delight in visiting with patrons as she works. A large display of her newest work will also be assembled in the lobby window of the gallery as well as in the front spaces. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to meet her. Cecilia will also occupy the gallery all day the following Saturday, October 9, while I am set up at the Edom Art Festival.

Cecilia did not pursue art until she was in her forties, though the passion to create hounded her from her youth. Her misfortune was the negative criticism she received from her high school art instructor, a sad story I encounter too many times when talking to artists who have found success in their later adult years. The negative high school experience convinced her that she lacked the talent for art though she was possessed with the passion. At Texas A&M University, Cecilia chose Biomedical Science as her major and graduated with a Bachelor of Science with pride, though she still wished to pursue the arts.

Cecilia’s fortune changed dramatically in 2009 when she discovered the Cordovan Art School in Round Rock, Texas. The owner and teacher of the school, John Howell, proved to be the inspirational mentor she wished she had known in her high school years. Mr. Howell encouraged her to pursue oil painting, convincing her that she had the skill, the focus, and most importantly the desire and confidence to develop. Her skill set improved dramatically in the coming years as Mr. Howell challenged her to avoid pencil and charcoal, approaching the canvas directly and confidently with the paint brush. Throughout her nine years at Cordovan, Cecilia is most grateful for this direct method of oil painting and now acknowledges that she has no choice but to create.

Residing in the country outside Palestine, Cecilia thrives in her converted barn, renamed Tin Roof Studio. Her daily routine is a genuine romance, similar to stories we read of Jackson Pollock at Springs, Long Island, walking out of the kitchen to take a couple of dozen steps across the property to enter the studio with spacious windows open to the light that inspires her to create afresh nearly every day. This artist is so possessed with the act of creation that she finds it not unusual to begin painting at nine in the morning, and suddenly it is three in the afternoon and she hasn’t even stopped for lunch. “Life in the zone” keeps her pushing for new ideas in painting.

Cecilia paints with the hope to spark people’s imagination, to see a story or simply make one up. Her art engages viewers to fuse reality and fantasy. Patrons are always captivated by her smile an positive attitude. Conversing with her is always a genuine delight.

Multi-Tasking in The Gallery at Redlands

August 11, 2021
ARISTOTLE

All men, by nature, desire to know.

Aristotle, Metaphysics

Warm, positive thoughts lifted me from my bed on the second floor of The Redlands Hotel this morning. Leonard Cohen’s opening words from “Anthem”:

The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what has passed away
Or what is yet to be

Just the sound of that music in my head prodded me to face a new day and a new task as naturally as birds begin each morning with lively song. My online Humanities course for the coming fall semester has been on my mind daily while continuing to assemble the content. But this morning when I re-opened my files and notes, I felt I was writing a new chapter. And in fact, I am. Aristotle’s Metaphysics is reading like a brand-new text to me now, though I have ploughed through its pages for thirty years.

Currently I am dividing my time between Aristotle and the new paintings I have in progress on the drafting table. I would normally call this a conflict, but over breakfast I enjoyed a Ted Talk presentation on Youtube by Tim Harford: “A Powerful Way to Unleash Your Natural Creativity.” In the presentation, he presents his perspective on Slow-Motion Multi-Tasking, with intriguing examples from the work of Einstein, Darwin, Michael Crichton and Twyla Tharp. He convinced me that is alright to multi-task so long as I learn to slow it down and let one task help feed the other rather than conflict.

Reading, writing, composing, painting . . . and several people have already come into the gallery offering pleasant conversations. All of this is working together nicely, and I feel that the world is affirming today. We need more of that. Once I get more progress done on the paintings, I’ll post them for readers to see. In the meantime I thank you always for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Vaquero

August 10, 2021
Cropped Image from one of my larger watercolors

Years ago I created a watercolor on a full-size sheet of paper depicting the Fort Worth cattle drive that occurs twice a day in the stockyards. I awoke this morning with an idea about cropping out a vaquero in the composition to see if I could create a decent piece with just him in the shot against a Southwest backdrop.


Beginnings of a 5 x 7″ watercolor study

If I can pull off a decent 5 x 7″ study of this, then I’ll move up to an 8 x 10″ painting in hopes of creating something presentable in a frame.

Thanks for reading.

Business Opening Back up Around Gallery at Redlands

August 10, 2021
Queen Street Grille Re-Opening for Lunch Today

Queen Street Grille curtailed its activity lately with the departure of their chef a few weeks ago. Today a new cook has opened the restaurant for lunch. The evening menu is still light as we wait for a new chef to assume duties around August 20. It’s great to see more people coming into the hotel now for dining. The bar is still keeping its regular hours as well.

We have moved things around in the gallery as new art has arrived to replace the pieces recently sold. I still plan to stay on the premises at least until tomorrow. I’ve enjoyed renewing acquaintances with friends in the neighborhood I haven’t seen lately.

Planning for the “Wayne & Stacy” Show next week!

Barring a COVID roadblock, we’re scheduled for our next Gallery Talk for Friday night August 20 at 7 p.m. Wayne will travel from Bonne Terre, Missouri and Stacy will come from Bedford, Texas. Together they will share their perspectives (and humor) about the creative dynamics the artist experiences. You won’t want to miss this event in The Gallery at Redlands.

I hope later today to present some new work online as I continue my own creative pursuits. For the moment, it’s geting a little busy in the gallery so I’ll need to sign off for now . . .

Ring the Bells that Still Can Ring

August 7, 2021
Leonard Cohen, Pencil Drawing Created this Morning

There is a crack, a crack in everything. Thats how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”

The church bells from Sacred Heart across the street from the gallery woke me this morning, as they always do. But this Saturday morning was different. As I listened, I heard in my mind’s ear Leonard Cohen singing “Anthem”–“Ring the bells that still can ring . . . ” Tears came to my eyes. Really. I found myself wishing I had packed his book The Flame for my weeklong stay here in Palestine. The Flame is a collection of Cohen’s final writings and fragments he had attempted to publish before his death. Fortunately for us, his son gathered up all the work, edited it and wrote a precious Introduction. Now I wish I had it in hand to read today.

I feel thoroughly refreshed by Cohen’s rich collection of ideas this morning. For a number of days I’ve felt flat; ideas were not coming, and I expect them. When I stop experiencing such visitations, my world loses its color and flavor. I’m going to try now to explain what I mean by all this . . .

The Neo-Orthodox theologian Karl Barth discussed how the word of God becomes The Word through the act of proclamation. When I first read this, too much Fundamentalist ideology inherited from my youth was still clinging to me. I thought the Word of God was the King James Version of the Bible. Fortunately I grew beyond that in the ensuing years. I believe now that the Word, the Oracle, is potential at any moment of any day, through any avenue. Teaching for three decades, I always hoped that the words I put out would occasionally become a Word for that particular student who was lost, floundering. Every time I found out that something I said or wrote touched someone profoundly, I felt like sinking to my knees in prayer of genuine gratitude. I want everyone to know that sublime feeling of being touched by the reception of a Word.

This morning, Leonard did that to me by way of the church bells tolling. The visitation still leaves me trembling inside. I showered and breakfasted with only one thing in mind–getting downstairs to the Gallery and digging out supplies so I could render Leonard’s portrait in pencil. I did it. I framed it. I’m offering it through the Gallery now for $50. If no one purchases it, then I will continually enjoy its company as often as I look up to see it.

$50 Framed 8 x 10″ Pencil Drawing in The Gallery at Redlands

Sacred Heart Church seen from inside The Gallery at Redlands

To all my readers, I wish the best of Saturdays. As for myself I’m delighted that I’ll be staying here in Palestine till the middle of next week. Come by for a visit if you are in the area. And I hope that in the midst of today, a special Word will come your way. When it does, embrace 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.

New Additions to the Gallery at Redlands

June 24, 2021
We have added a new plaque to our gallery display
Lovely Plaque displaying recent article from County Line Magazine

Greetings from Palestine, Texas at The Gallery at Redlands! As is the custom, I arrived here around noon Thursday and will remain till 9 p.m. closing time Saturday night. We just proudly hung the plaque that arrived a few days ago, containing the entire article from County Line Magazine published April 28 to celebrate the gallery re-opening under our ownership and featuring The Twelve. I also spent the bulk of this Thursday afternoon hanging new work and rearranging the display of earlier pieces.

Cecilia Bramhall has brought out a large collection of new work!

If you have not been by the gallery recently, you will want to check out Cecilia Bramhall’s new body of work. Some of this was on display last weekend for our city’s first “Art Walk”, but I myself did not see it as it was displayed on the other end of town in one of our area businesses. Now we proudly make a provisional home for it as patrons begin the adoption process.

Grace Hessman pastel

We have also just received word that Grace Hessman, one of our pastelists, has new work coming into the gallery soon. It is currently being framed for presentation.

Grace Hessman work
Nearing the finish of this watercolor of Sacred Heart across the street from the gallery

I am hoping to finish this “Sacred Heart” watercolor by the end of the weekend. Recently I’ve had more time to work on it while in the gallery during the quieter hours.

If you are in the vicinity of Palestine, Texas, I’ll be here at 400 N. Queen Street, Suite 109. The Gallery at Redlands has brought in a considerable amount of new work waiting for buyers to come in and claim it. On behalf of The Twelve, let me 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.