Posts Tagged ‘The Gallery at Redlands’

Plenitude

November 13, 2021

Saturday Morning in The Gallery at Redlands

When the vessel is full and fixed, uniform throughout, there is neither vessel nor contents: nothing to pour in, nothing can pour out. With this degree of fusion, the vessel can no longer serve its function of temporary container, and the contents become unacceptable because of the growing staleness of their permanence.

Peter London, Drawing Closer to Nature

Good morning from Palestine’s Gallery at Redlands. This morning’s reading from Peter London is timely for me. Yesterday I complained about being sandbagged by tasks and appointments. I think a better word is plenitude. Peter London said it better: sometimes we who try to create find ourselves too full to channel fresh energies of inspiration. That is where I have been for awhile now. Life has been good to me, very, very good. The events that have packed my daily calendar are worthy and affirming. However, more is required from me in the days and weeks ahead and I just don’t seem to have it. Yet. But I am determined to find a way. I have one major deadline to meet today (that I thought would be accomplished yesterday, in the gallery. But alas, people came in all day and all evening, really). The task still has to be completed, and I am determined to complete it today.

And then . . . I’m ready to start the next painting. In yesterday’s blog I posted three snowy evergreens that I had completed in the past. I have four more surfaces prepared for new work laid out on the gallery drafting table. One of them has already been spattered with masquing fluid (blowing snow) that has dried and is ready for spritzes of water and dashes of pigment for the flowing, ghostly background silhouettes of evergreens on a mountain slope. I already see it in my mind’s eye. The white rectangles of paper are lying ready and waiting.

Our Oak Street Gallery Window in the bright sunlight of a 45-degree morning.
I am dying to paint this empty school building in Palestine
Four of my five framed 8 x 10″ watercolor prints, $45 each from now till Christmas
The start of our Christmas trimmings

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.

Decompression after the Art Walk

November 6, 2021

Saturday Evening in The Gallery at Redlands

I hover, like a kind of hybrid, between concept and contemplation, between law and feeling, between a technical mind and genius. . . . for the poetic mind generally got the better of me when I ought to have philosophized, and my philosophical spirit when I wanted to be a poet. Even now it happens frequently enough that imagination interferes with my abstractions, and cold intellect with my poetry.

Friedrich Schiller, Letter to Goethe, August 31, 1794.

I’m tired tonight as I sit in The Gallery at Redlands. The Art Walk today drained me of my energy, but at least I got to experiment in watercolor while I stood at my easel at Wells Creek Crossing today.

8 x 10″ “Snowy Evergreens” $80
12 x 16″ watercolor. Sold.

I re-opened Schiller this evening because I recall his confessed vacillation between two disparate disciplines while he worked. I have always liked this about watercoloring because I have always struggled to find some kind of balance between spontaneity and control, between art and science, between experimentation and rigorous application of known techniques. I knew when I entered the store this morning at 10:00 that I wanted to attempt a pair of snowscapes of evergreens on a slope. I just wasn’t sure how I was going to accomplish this.

It has been along time since I’ve had enough free time to paint, and I’m grateful that I was given that time today. A part of me still wants to paint tonight, but the house lights are never as satisfying to me as natural daylight, and I do have a stack of books at my elbow that seem to have been whispering at me for several days now. So, while the Gallery is quiet, I believe I’ll give Schiller an audience once again. I need to hear from a gifted aesthetician what this art business is all about . . .

Thanks for reading.

Gearing up for this Weekend’s Art Walk and Art Talk

November 5, 2021

Five new Framed Prints of the Palestine Christmas Trains. $50 each (framed measure 8 x 10″)

Toward the psychology of the artist. — If there is to be art, if there is to be any aesthetic doing and observing, one physiological precondition is indispensable: rapture.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

Good morning from Palestine’s Gallery at Redlands. It’s been two weeks since my last blog–that’s how busy college life has been, and I’m still behind. 😦

Working on New Ideas in the Gallery

For the past couple of weeks, I have been neck deep in research and lecture preparations as our Ethics classes have explored Nietzsche, Heidegger, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. Though I complain incessantly over the grading load that wears me down, I am truly exhilarated at what I am privileged to study and share this semester. The power of ideas from the four thinkers mentioned above have actually seized the imaginations of some of my students, and I’m touched at what I read from their hands when grading essays, and words I hear as they talk with me before and after classes. Teaching has always given back to me more than I’ve given out, I feel.

Redlands Hotel Lobby
Gallery at Redlands Tricked out in Christmas Attire

Walking into the Redlands Hotel yesterday afternoon, we were bowled over at the brilliance of the Christmas decorations that now line the halls and grace every suite upstairs, The Christmas spirit is already spreading, and we are packaging train watercolors, prints and cards in anticipation of another exciting Polar Express season beginning November 19. Already, the 8 x 10″ framed prints are beginning to sell out of the Gallery.

Paula Cadle anchors tonight’s Art Talk and tomorrow’s Art Walk

As I write this, gallery artist Paula Cadle is en route from Arlington to join us for the weekend, and Sandi and I are elated. Our profound thanks goes out to the Palestine Herald for their front-page coverage of Art Walk and Paula Cadle’s work. Paula’s exuberance about art and life is contagious, and anyone attending tonight’s art talk at 7:00 in the gallery is liable to catch the fever. Tonight’s talk will be open to the public as we discuss the creative dynamic that drives artists, writers, musicans–anyone with a desire to express those inner feelings. Tomorrow, during the Dogwood Council sponsored Art Walk, Paula will be in The Gallery at Redlands, working at the drafting table on her drawings and greeting patrons as they arrive to shop and pick up maps to the other sixteen locations where artists will be displaying throughout the day downtown.

“Chicken Cookie Jar”. 13″ high. $175
“Squaw with a Shawl”, Lithophotograph Print by Paula Cadle, 18″h x 25″w. $75
Wells Creek Crossing, Old Town Palestine

I regret that I will miss Paula’s Art Walk presence throughout Saturday as I will be stationed at Wells Creek Crossing in Old Town Palestine. Inside the antique store, I will be watercoloring at my easel next to my own display of work and look forward to greeting patrons throughout the day.

Carnegie Library, next door to The Redlands Hotel
New Palestine Mural designed by gallery artist Deanna Pickett Frye

We awoke this morning to a brilliant sun-spashed Palestine and crisp 36-degree temperatures. Walking about town was exhilarating and I decided to post a couple of photos of what I saw. The Carnegie Library has been empty for a long time but will once again become a public library. I have always loved the building and can look down on it from the suite we inhabit while statying in The Redlands Hotel.

Artist Deanna Pickett Frye won the commission to design Palestine’s newest mural, and the work was executed during last month’s Art Walk. I don’t know how on earth Deanna managed to design and complete such a masterwork. I find myself complaining over the workloud of grading for 105 students. Deanna has over 250 students on two different campuses, and somehow creates these huge pieces at the same time. Deanna, you have made the city proud!

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.

Friday Morning in the Gallery

October 15, 2021

Quiet Friday Morning in The Gallery at Redlands

Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Circles”

Good Day, from Palestine’s Gallery at the Redlands. I was fortunate to arrive early yesterday morning and the Friday is quiet enough (so far) for me to finish my university responsibilities with little interruption.

Tomorrow we will enjoy our monthly Art Walk in Palestine, with over twenty businesses downtown displaying the works of local artists, many of the artists themselves present to greet patrons. I will spend the day painting inside Wells Creek Crossing in Old Town Palestine, and Carol Moore will run our gallery during business hours. Come out and see us and enjoy the arts from 10-3:00.

Some of the quality of today involves researching and writing the lectures for Monday’s Ethics classes at Texas Wesleyan University. Approaching mid-term, I’m deeply gratified to see a host of students “waking up” to fresh ideas and new vistas. One of them told me Wednesday that, as a business major and required to take Ethics, he was not enthusiastic, thinking he would be schooled in business law, tax codes, and a host of “ethics-related” business matters he had no interest in pursuing. He has become excited, reading the works of thinkers like Aristotle, Kant, Bentham and Nietzsche, and thanked me for opening the doors to these refreshing minds. That conversation alone made the entire semester worthwhile, and it makes it much easier to sweat my way through continual lecture preparation.

It’s time to get back to work in the Gallery. Thanks for reading.

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.

Friday Morning Greeting from The Gallery at Redlands

September 17, 2021

Early Friday Morning Opening in The Gallery at Redlands

Albrecht Dürer, did after all make the well-known remark: “For in truth, art lies hidden within nature; he who can wrest it from her has it.” “Wrest” here means to draw out the rift and to draw the design with the drawing-pen on the drawing-board. But we at once raise the counterquestion: how can the rift-design be drawn out if it is not brought into the Open by the creative sketch as a rift, which is to say, brought out beforehand as a conflict of measure and unmeasure? True, there lies hidden in nature a rift-design, a measure and a boundary and, tied to it, a capacity for bringing forth–that is, art. But it is equally certain that this art hidden in nature becomes manifest only through the work, because it lies originally in the work.

Martin Heidegger, “The Origin of the Work of Art”

Thursday morning was splendid because I knew there was nothing on the calendar until evening when I would be doing a watercolor talk and demo before the Tyler Palette of Roses art association. I decided to spend some quality quiet time propped in bed with coffee, some Heidegger reading, and plenty of journal scribbling. When I came across the text above, I was immediately arrested. I paused and stared straight ahead for awhile, then read the passage over several more times, then began scribbling my journal response.

“Phantoms” 16 x 20″ framed watercolor. $400

I suddenly sprang out of bed, dashed up the hall to Studio Eidolons to retrieve the watercolor I had started recently, put it on the table at the foot of the bed, then climbed back into bed to gaze at it from across the room. I had stopped working on the painting when I resumed classes last Monday and Wednesday (much time was required to prepare and write the lectures for presentation). I thought I was only about 60% finished with the watercolor, with plans to complete the reflections of the mule on the right, then look for ways to make the two riders “pop” more from their background, deepen the colors in the woods above and the waters below, complete the sandbar on the right as well as the tangle of roots to the right, etc. Details, details, details . . .

But as I continued to look at the painting and re-read Heidegger’s take on wresting art from nature, I felt a growing conviction that the painting was finished and ready to frame. I am convinced that any further work on the piece would only diminish the painting’s overall “look.” I signed my name later that day and framed it. Now it is in the gallery window. I like the painting’s freshness, its overall airiness. As for the reflections from the mule on the right, they are sort of there already, if you look (hence the title “Phantoms”). Perhaps a disturbance in the water, or reflected light off the water prevented the reflection from coming into view. And as for all the unfinished details, I believe the observer’s eye and imagination will supply those. My painting life is filled with sad chapters of overworking and losing a watercolor that showed so much promise in its foundational stages. Not this one. The most difficult part of making art for me is stopping before I have pushed the painting too far.

In the motion picture “Six Degrees of Separation”, Donald Sutherland (an art dealer) recounts a dream:

This is what I dreamt. I didn’t dream so much as realize this. I felt so close to the paintings. I wasn’t just selling them like pieces of meat. I remembered why I loved paintings in the first place– what had got me into this– and I thought– dreamed– remembered– how easy it is for a painter to lose a painting. He can paint and paint– work on a canvas for months and one day he loses it– just loses the structure–loses the sense of it– you lose the painting.

When the kids were little, we went to a parents’ meeting at their school and I asked the teacher why all her students were geniuses in the second grade? Look at the first grade. Blotches of green and black. Look at the third grade. Camouflage. But the second grade– your grade. Matisses everywhere. You’ve made my child a Matisse. Let me study with you. Let me into second grade! What is your secret? And this is what she said: “Secret? I don’t have any secret. I just know when to take their drawings away from them.”

Queen Street Entrance to The Redlands Hotel

I started this blog at 8:30 and here it is 1:25. The gallery has been busy all morning and early afternoon, which is good. I’m going to close before someone else comes in . . .

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 Greeting Cards made from Recent Watercolors

August 30, 2021

Monday has been dedicated to my Ethics lecture class and Humanities online class, so it doesn’t appear that I’ll get around to art work till tomorrow. However, early this morning I did create two new 5 x 7″ greeting cards from some of my recent paintings, and these I’ll install in The Gallery at Redlands later this week. I sell the cards at $5 each or 5 for $20.

Hat Creek Revisited (we still don’t rent pigs)

Captains Woodrow Call and  Augustus McRae, finally retired from the Texas Rangers, ride out daily to work their Hat Creek Cattle Company. “All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream.” (T. K. Whipple, Study Out the Land). Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove continues to enrich our lives and feed our imaginative visitations.

Night Vaquero

Black care sits behind the horseman

Horace, Ode, iii.1.4o

Peering out from beneath the shadow of his brim, the vaquero turned his head and listened. He had just heard something in the stillness of the Arizona night. Twenty miles of riding had sent him into a dozing mode, but now he was alert and stiffened to listen further.

The horse seemed unbothered and continued to plod slowly along. The rider decided that they had pushed far enough along on the day’s ride, and a week of riding still stretched out before them. Searching the horizon line of silhouetted buttes, his eye enjoyed the cool ranges of violets and indigos. Somewhere along the strand, he and the horse would find a place to nest for the night.

I am truly enjoying the lifestyle change with the university coming back into my life. The Ethics lecture class I am grateful to lead, and the student responses, both written and oral, have been most engaging. Hopefully I can find a way to navigate the scholarship and the art as I’ve been called on to do before.

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.

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 . . .

Typical Multiple-Stimulus Day . . .

August 9, 2021
5 x 7″ watercolor in 8 x 10″ frame. $150

. . . it all began October 25 which was also the great moment of discovering my soul, yet reconciled to downstairs as a cute cozy place only now to find myself hounded to the end and have to pack and leave and head for the hell and gone even from the desk I only finished repairing three days ago and which was going to be the scene of studies and the whole vast ordered universe of my life which I loved, I have to, go, like a fugitive, staggering again in the dark . . . I’m in love with my life and I’m sticking to it–I mean the belief in it. I may be a distracted wretch but I am still a man and I know how to fight and survive, I have before.

Jack Kerouac, Visions of Cody

I feel that Kerouac’s Visions of Cody is On the Road on steroids, or more accurately, benzedrine. When I read it this morning, I thought “Whoa! I need to wake up a little more to digest this!” I suppose it was a good stimulus; the day has been filled with preparations for my online Humanities course this fall as well as phone calls and visits to area Palestine businesses to solidify final details for our monthly Art Walk taking place Saturday August 21. If COVID doesn’t interfere, we plan to resume our Gallery at Redlands Art Talks with a special edition of Wayne White and Stacy Campbell on Friday night August 20.

Breakfast with Stacy and Wayne during the weekend of our gallery’s opening

I really hope we can pull this event off; it’s one none of us would want to miss! Wayne will be coming all the way from the St. Louis vicinity to join us for the weekend festivities. When he and Stacy get together to discuss their art, they cannot seem to leave out the comedic routine! I’ve missed the two of them, especially the laughs.

5 x 7″ watercolor of horse in 8 x 10″ frame $100

8 x 10″ watercolor of The Pedernal of Georgia O’Keeffe fame in 11 x 14″ frame $150

Walt Longmire carrying Winchester & Stanley. 5 x 7″ watercolor in 8 x 10″ frame $100

In the midst of the college preparations and the Art Walk business, I managed to find quality time to continue work in the watercolors. I’m now fitting them into frames for gallery presentation. The day has brought plenty of satisfaction. I’m glad to be lingering in Palestine. It’s likely I’ll stay here till Wednesday.

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.

Morning Thoughts From The Gallery at Redlands

August 8, 2021

as my eyes

search

the prairie

I feel the summer

in the spring

Chippewa song

Setting the alarm for 6 a.m., I hoped to step out onto the streets of downtown Palestine and feel a hint of cool in the air. I did. 75 degrees and breezy. I could tell the sun was coming up but the overcast skies signalled the possibility of rain and held the temperatures steady as I devoted the next 50 minutes to walking. I thought of the Chippewa song as I strolled, wondering how to fashion a quality poem about sensing the fall in the summer. I’ll work on that.

I’m glad to be in The Gallery at Redlands before 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning. I anticipate nothing happening on Sunday in downtown Palestine and have my sights set on a quality day of working on art projects along with the online Humanities course I’ll teach at the university beginning in a few weeks. [correction: a wonderful couple from San Antonio just checked out of the hotel, wandered into the gallery and purchased some art, their only Palestine souvenirs, though they rode the train. Lovely visit!]

Another reason for my gladness of setting up in the gallery this early is due to the wasted effort of reading anything of quality over breakfast upstairs. Because of my habit of eating too rapidly, I have discovered that if I read over a meal, I slow down considerably. However, this morning I chose to stare into my laptop instead of a real book, thinking I would find something worth digesting from the morning headlines. Big mistake. The negative headlines and commentary pouring off the screen proved as inspiring as watching the roiling waters of an open sewer flowing past me. Thousands of wasted words pouring out. I know we can be better than that.

______________________________________________________________________________

It has been a long time since I’ve spent a Sunday in Palestine. It’s likely that I’ll remain here till Wednesday at least. What I have found of value is the quiet and the space around me to create with very little distraction. Over the past two days I have worked on a variety of small art pieces in the midst of the periodic interruptions that come with working in a public space, all the while knowing I was building up to today’s Quiet. As I’ve worked, I’ve felt a warm connection with all my human ancestors who sought ways to carve out the images and ideas that shaped their lives. The older I get, the more I think about those who have done before what I’ve been trying to do throughout my life. I love the following meditation from our celebrated Kiowa author N. Scott Momaday:

Imagine: somewhere in the prehistoric distance a man holds up in his hand a crude instrument–a brand, perhaps, or something like a daub or a broom bearing pigment–and fixes the wonderful image in his mind’s eye to a wall or rock. In that instant is accomplished really and symbolically the advent of art. That man, apart from his remarkable creation, is all but impossible to recall, and yet he is there in our human parentage, deep in our racial memory. In our modern, sophisticated terms, he is primitive and preliterate, and in the long reach of time he is utterly without distinction, except: he draws.

Momaday, The Man Made of Words

Nearly completed 8 x 10″ watercolor. Once framed will offer it for $150

The connection I feel with artists who have passed before is quite strong this Sunday morning. I sense their affirmations as I pursue these tasks. Also, while working on my art, I am aware of what Stacy Campbell, also an artist in this gallery, is doing in her Bedford studio today. She has been awarded a plethora of commissions recently and is trying to fill all those orders before she begins teaching school in another week. So, Stacy, if you’re reading this, I send a shout out to you as well!

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.