Posts Tagged ‘Texas State Railroad’

Return to Painting with a Surge

November 19, 2017

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Leaving the university Friday morning, with a one-week Thanksgiving vacation in front of me put a considerable wind at my back. I arrived at The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine (my home away from home) in time to give a two-hour watercolor lesson to an artist with considerable experience and talent already. Watching her work was a real inspiration for me, and as soon as the lesson was accomplished, I was ready to return to painting after a short hiatus. The painting above of one of the Texas State Railroad locomotives I resumed after laying it aside for a few weeks. I worked on it till late Saturday night, while the Gallery was quiet.

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Rising shortly after 5 this morning, I was ready to resume work on the Chamber of Commerce building as seen outside the Gallery window. I began work on it Saturday morning before the Gallery traffic began picking up. Today the morning sun was bright on the side of the building and I managed to get quite a bit accomplished.

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Saturday morning, early, I got a good look at Shelton Hall in Old Town Palestine while enjoying my morning coffee at the newly-opened Cream & Coffee establishment. While sitting outside, I sketched the roof of the old building in my journal with a ballpoint pen and decided once I returned to the gallery to get a start on this one as well.

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It is now Sunday evening and nearly time to close the Gallery and head back to Arlington (a two-hour drive). The painting time has been luxurious, and my reading of Isaacson’s new biography on Leonardo da Vinci over the weekend has also been a delicious change of pace from what I’ve had to do the past few weeks getting ready for this train show.

My Gallery show will continue to run until December 16, and I’m grateful already for the patrons who have drifted in to peruse my work and make purchases.

And thanks to all of 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.

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Finally Ready for Show Time

November 11, 2017

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Around Midnight, ready for the Opening

Finally, the last piece is in place and I should be able to sleep tonight. I will be able to open the gallery at ten in the morning, ready to welcome anyone who crosses the threshold. We are in Room 109 of The Redlands Hotel, 400 N. Queen St., Palestine, Texas. Our Gallery at Redlands has been in business since March and we’re all proud to be in this historic space.

The show is titled “The American Railroad Odyssey.” I have new watercolors of historic trains, mostly the ones located in Palestine’s history. For the show I have also brought out ninety signed & numbered prints, as well as open prints in 8 x 10 and 5 x 7″ sizes. I have greeting cards with my railroad watercolor images on the front and a text on the back (blank inside). I sell these at $5 each or $25 for six in a boxed set. Coffee mugs have also been created that sell for $15. This will be the first Christmas season that I have such a full inventory. Hopefully, I can offer something for everyone.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy your weekend.

Somewhere Beneath this Pile Exists an Art Gallery

November 10, 2017

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Working Overtime Tonight in The Gallery at Redlands

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Four hours’ worth of sleep won’t generally work for me. Last night I stayed up late due to some issues with my printer and the labels for ninety new limited edition prints as well as the framed paintings recently hung in our gallery. Around midnight, the printer stopped working and I threw in the towel and went to bed. I was awakened at 1 o’clock by the printer suddenly “waking up” and printing again. At 5, a decided to rise and finish the job before going to my 9 and 10 o’clock classes. Following classes, I drove the two hours to The Gallery at Redlands, and with abundant help from Mike, moved a large quantity of framed paintings out of the gallery and into storage several floors upstairs. By then, I was too dumb with sleep deprivation to spell my own name,  so I went to my hotel room upstairs (The Historic Inn at Redlands is indeed the greatest place I’ve ever experienced for overnight stays and even general living!) and crashed into a nap. Now, after 7 o’clock, it’s gotten dark outside, and the gallery still looks as it did when I hauled all the freight in yesterday and today. My “American Railroad Odyssey” show opens in the morning, and I know we will be ready.

I am indeed looking forward to this quiet evening working in The Gallery at Redlands, after I dash out for a quick supper. I have no other commitments, its Friday night, and the only thing I need to do now is affix labels to about one hundred fifty limited edition prints, arrange them in the bin, and then put the labels and placards up with all the new paintings that were hung yesterday. Then I need to carry out boxes and boxes and boxes to my Jeep. I know that from underneath all this debris a gallery will emerge once again and I’ll be sitting in the midst of it, living the dream.

I could never sufficiently thank Wade, Gail, Jean and Mike for all they’ve done to make this gallery a reality. I can’t recall a time in my life when I have felt more fulfilled. This is a beautiful space.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Newest Greeting Card

October 29, 2017

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Another great shout-out to photographer Dave Shultz for formatting my newest train greeting card. Next weekend, November 4, I’ll be at the Genny Wood Art Show in Bullard, Texas. The following week, November 11, my “American Railroad Odyssey” show opens at The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine, Texas.  I will be bringing out twenty framed watercolor originals of historic railroad scenes, mostly of the Palestine history. In addition to the originals, we will have signed and numbered limited edition prints, along with smaller prints of 8 x 10 and 5 x7″ available. The new greeting cards will also be in place, along with coffee mugs featuring my “Velvet Night” painting. I also have a pair of postcard designs I’ll be offering that night.

I hope you have space on your calendar to come out to the shows. Thanks always for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Laying the Groundwork for the Next Show

October 22, 2017

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“The American Railroad Odyssey” is the title of my next show at The Gallery at Redlands, opening November 11 and extending till December 16. I was delighted when I visited Palestine this past weekend to discover that their local frame shop had completed work on eleven of my twelve watercolors to hang in the show.  I believe I will have at least twenty framed originals to hang when the show opens, accompanied by signed and numbered limited edition prints and greeting cards.

I finally reached home tonight after a grinding weekend at the Hot Pepper Festival, but wanted to toss out this blog before saying Good Night to all of you.

Thanks for reading.

Seeking a Balance

September 30, 2017

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How to resist the tendency for comfort when you have endured such discomforts opening the door of becoming? This indeed is the phase that separates out the ones who go forward from those who stay close to home.

Peter London, Drawing Closer to Nature

Working in watercolor throughout this day has been pleasurable, as always, though I am not getting what I want out of this particular painting. My preference in watercolor is some kind of balance between the loose spontaneity and the tight precision. Last night I began work on this diesel locomotive, drawing it out carefully in its details, and then working tightly on it until I closed the gallery around 10:30 p.m. Once I returned to it today, I continued the tight, detailed work, and suddenly backing away from it saw a piece that was too uptight and precise. I don’t like that. And now I am afraid to resort to splattering, smudging, dripping and all the reckless things I like to do. So . . . I guess I need to lay it aside until I decide what to do next. I could always start another watercolor or drawing or read a book or take a walk. At any rate, I’m going to stop with this one for a season.

I love the balance that William Wordsworth addressed in 1800 with his Lyrical Ballads:

All good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings . . . 

The imagination must learn to ply her craft by judgment studied.

That’s it. For me, the success of a watercolor is that combination of powerful feelings and disciplined study. I’ll keep seeking that balance.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

An Artful Weekend

September 29, 2017

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Finished the Old #30

The weekend has finally arrived, and I’m delighted to open The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine, Texas Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m., and Sunday till 5:00. I’m enthusiastic about starting a new train painting today, as I managed to complete #30 last evening.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to have more news soon . . .

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Friday Afternoon in The Gallery at Redlands

Rolling out the Train Watercolors

September 27, 2017

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Before retiring to bed, I wanted to post the progress on this historic T&P #610 which is the property of the Texas State Railroad headquartered in Palestine, Texas. They towed this enormous steam locomotive out of its shed last weekend so photographers could photograph it. I began it as a plein air watercolor sketch, but the heat and humidity kept the paper too moist to work in satisfactory fashion, so I brought it inside and continued working from reference photos I took.

Thanks for reading.

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Grinding, but Happy Again

September 26, 2017

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Current Watercolor in Progress

The creative geniuses of art and science work obsessively. They do not lounge under apple trees waiting for fruit to fall or lightning to strike. “When inspiration does not come to me,” Freud once said, “I go halfway to meet it.” Bach wrote a cantata every week, even when he was sick or exhausted. Though most composers would kill to have written even one of his best pieces, some were little more than wallpaper music. Eliot’s numerous drafts of “The Waste Land” constitute what one scholar called “a jumble of good and bad passages [that he turned] into a poem.” In a study of 2,036 scientists throughout history, Simonton found that the most respected produced not only more great works, but also more “bad” ones. They produced. Period.

Sharon Begley, “The Puzzle of Genius,” Newsweek, June 28, 1993

Good morning, blog readers. I regret that I have been away so long, but I just emerged from a punishing two-week schedule of engagements and only this morning woke to a dawn with no appointments till tonight. I’m happy in the studio once again, and decided to take a break to write you . . .

The past several weekends have been spent in The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine, Texas, where I have begun four new watercolors of trains: the Texas State Railroad #30 (above) along with the Durango-Silverton, Cumbres & Toltec, and the historic T & P #610, now housed in Palestine. I have been working since last March on a train show I plan to open in the gallery during this upcoming holiday season. The show will feature a number of framed original watercolors of historic trains, along with limited edition prints, greeting cards and postcards. We’re really hoping to increase the traffic through our new gallery that opened last March.

I posted the quote above from a magazine article I tore out of Newsweek in 1993 and have shared with students every year since that day till I retired. I have to return to it to remind myself that I’ll never produce quality art until I am willing to make a large quantity of work and not fear the “bad” works that emerge. From my current four watercolors in progress, the one above is coming along as I like it. The other four, well, I’m not too pleased with what I see so far, but the one above didn’t start out so great either. I’ll just keep chipping away and grinding at the process. I do indeed love the work, and today has been sublime, and I’m not even close to the noon hour yet.

One week ago, I had the daunting task of demonstrating my watercolor techniques before the Society of Watercolor Artists who meet in Fort Worth, Texas. I was invited nearly a year ago to do this, and had the entire year to worry over the details. As the day drew nearer, I felt sicker. This is an assembly of outstanding watercolorists, and I constantly second-guessed my worthiness to stand before them. Once the night was over, I could breathe again. The members of the Society were generous and affirming beyond description, but I’m just so happy to have that one behind me. I love watching other watercolorists share their craft, but just cringe when it’s my turn to stand and deliver. Thank you, SWA; I am sincerely grateful for your kind words and encouragement that night.

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Thank you, Heidi Russel, for posting this photo on Facebook

I need to get back to work, but thank you for reading. Below, I’m posting some of my recent photos–an instant replay of the life I’m loving when I get to stay and work in Palestine, Texas

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Working inside The Gallery at Redlands

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A collection of new paintings–several of them in progress still

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A spectacularly cool morning on the balcony of The Historic Redlands Inn

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The T&P #610 was towed outdoors last weekend for a photo-op

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I always linger a moment outside the Gallery before leaving to return home–I absolutely love working here, and remain so grateful to all those who made this available to me.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.