Posts Tagged ‘The Gallery at Redlands’

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.

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.

Pulling Out all the Stops in the Studio

August 4, 2021
Several art projects in progress in Studio Eidolons

A great truth is like a mountain that one walks around, and the changes of its contour as one moves his position only emphasize and revivify its majesty.

N. C. Wyeth, final letter to his son Andrew Wyeth, February 16, 1944

A few years ago, I purchased a volume containing the complete letters of N. C. Wyeth. I have always known that he was a prolific reader and allowed great literature to fuel his artistic imagination. His life as an illustrator has inspired me for years, and frequently in the studio when I find my assignments and commissions stacking up, I return to him for added inspiration and encouragement.

As stated previously, I will return to Texas Wesleyan University this fall as an adjunct instructor to teach an online course in the Humanities. Since learning this, wave upon wave, layer upon layer of rich memories of teaching this discipline has overwhelmed me. Days in the studio are now divided between the academic and creative arts disciplines and so far I am liking that feel, though I am getting tired more easily.

Working on the Humanities course

I will be teaching art, literature, philosophy, religion and music from antiquity to the seventeenth century. I have done this dozens of time throughout my life, but since my last go around in 2019, a number of new realms have opened for me that I would like to pass on to the students. We’ll see if I can get these tucked into my new curriculum.

5 x 7″ image will be priced at $100 once it’s installed in an 8 x 10″ frame

The first of several horses is signed and ready to frame. I’m still puzzling out new ideas for color schemes on the horses’ bodies.

First quick sketch of cowboy

My artist friend and former teacher colleague Stacy Campbell presented me yesterday with a Stanley for storing my daily coffee. In response, I’ve kicked out this quick sketch of Sheriff Walt Longmire from the Netflix series, toting his Stanley and Winchester. My immediate plans call for watercolor sketches of horses, bison, longhorns and cowboys. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes from them.

I am excited that our new website is under construction for The Gallery at Redlands. Dave Shultz has been blazing away at it for several days and it appears to be well over half completed already. As soon as it is ready, we’ll launch it for all of you to see.

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.

Thoughts from Studio Eidolons

August 1, 2021
Home Again Sunday Morning. And it Feels Good

Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it means to live as an artist: in understanding as in creating.

Rainer Rilke, letter dated April 23, 1903

Sunday morning feels serene, being back home again in Studio Eidolons, looking out on the bright morning sun splashing across “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and thinking good thoughts. Most of the weekend in The Gallery at Redlands was filled with meeting and conversing with patrons and squeezing out a bit of time to experiment with watercolor sketches of horses and working up the nerve to use brigher, splashier colors like I was doing earlier with my bison series. I have yet to frame any of the horses because I’m still trying to determine whether or not they are worthy of display in the gallery. I brought them all back home with me. Hopefully I can continue working on them this week.

Experimenting with watercolor sketches of horses
Dave Shultz working on a new website for The Gallery at Redlands

We are thrilled to announce finally that a website for The Gallery at Redlands is under construction. Dave Shultz and I finalized our plans yesterday while he was in the gallery and today he is already working on it. We will gladly keep you updated on this news.

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.

Two New Watercolors for The Gallery

July 24, 2021
Sacred Heart Night, 11 x 14″ framed watercolor. $150
Shelton Hall, 11 x 14 framed watercolor. $425

Our human tendency is to concentrate the world upon a stage. We construct proscenium arches and frames in order to contain the thing that is larger than our comprehension, the plane of boundless possibility, that which reaches almost beyond wonder.

N. Scott Momaday, The Man Made of Words

The weekend in The Gallery at Redlands proved satisfying, again. I’ll be here a couple of more hours tonight before heading back home to Arlington. I managed to complete and frame a pair of watercolors as I stayed here Thursday through Saturday. They are now on display in the gallery, and I’m closing out my stay by reading the wonderful words of Momaday, truly a man made of words. I love his statement above, about how we carve out stages and display niches to present the images that arrest our attention. Palestine is a town filled with “paintable” structures, each containing its own rich history.

Thanks for reading.

Renew Thyself . . .

July 24, 2021
Arriving Before 10 on a Saturday Morning

Renew thyself completely each day, do it again, and again, and forever again.

Confucius, The Great Learning

The morning began dreadfully. Before 7 a.m. I rose from a turbulent sleep, shellacked by a dream. Not a nightmare, but what I call one of those “loser” dreams, where everything goes wrong, and you cannot get out of the quagmire. You awaken, totally exhausted, languished, and feel that you got no sleep at all.

Reading and journaling seem the only ways I can peel away these damned cobwebs that seem to stick all over my body (you know how it is when you walk through one of those). When packing books for my gallery trip the other day, I fortunately picked up David Brooks, The Second Mountain. That man has become a real treasure for me, especially this morning when he successfully pulled me out of that funk.

While reading Brooks, my mind recalled a word from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden when he wrote of the dawn as the awakening hour and of our need to renew ourselves daily. He quoted Confucius (which I posted above). Now in response, I arrive at the gallery prior to my usual 10:00 opening time, and I’m ready to resume some art work. I’m anticipating a better day than I felt a couple of hours ago. Thank you, David Brooks. Life is a gift, and we owe it to ourselves to renew daily.