Posts Tagged ‘The Gallery at Redlands’

Stop the Static

April 9, 2021
Dark, cool morning in Palestine, Texas

“Stop listening to the static. . . . everything in the world is like this transmission making its way across the dark. But everything–death, life, everything–it’s all completely suffused with static. But if you listen to the static too much it f*cks you up.”

As a television viewer, I am far behind the times, often choosing to binge watch a series created years ago. A few days ago, I finished watching “Six Feet Under”, a deeply moving experience for me on many levels. In the final episode, one of the deceased appeared to his sister whose life was in turmoil, and he advised her that she must find a way to “stop the static”; there was far too much anxiety roiling her inner world and she needed to find a way to stop it. She was an artist, and the advice of course was quite sound.

For several days now, that inner voice has resonated with me. Stop the static. We live in an age of anxiety, much of it of our own making. I know a number of individuals in my art circles who cannot seem to find peace in their lives. Of course, the caricature of the temperamental artist continues to play out in our days, along with the depressed artist, the repressed artist, etc. But a number of my artistic friends seem to spend more time spewing negativity on Facebook. I can’t help but wonder what is stirring them up–too much time in front of the daily news cycle? Too much time reading others’ negative comments on social media? What exactly is stirring them up, preventing them from making art?

For me personally, retirement in 2017 slowed my inner world down considerably, and even though daily life details have multiplied in the past couple of months of gallery ownership, I still appreciate a quieter inner world for myself. No doubt much of it is due to a targeted avoidance of the daily news cycle and toxic remarks on social media. Life is too short to swim in the sewers of negativity. And as for the accelerated lifestyle of our current world, I purposely choose to seek out the quiet spots and sweet solitude. My mornings (and most of the day actually) avoid social commentary on Facebook, as well as tuning in to the television to listen to the daily news (mostly negative). I have far too many books with affirming observations and exciting visions for contributing to a better world. I will never get around to reading them all, but my excuses will not include the admission of fiddle-farting on the Internet, stuffing my mind and psyche with someone else’s venom. Stop the static.

Without an alarm, I somehow woke at 4:50 this morning, ideas visiting me in great abundance, but not disturbing ones, not negative thoughts. I chose to get up and scribble in my journal the fresh ideas, grateful for the visitation. By 7:00 I was in the gallery for coffee, reading, and now am ready to go back to the drafting table and visit my watercolor from the night before, viewing it in this lovely morning light, remembering the precious words from Henry Miller:

To get up at the crack of dawn in order to take a peek at the water colors one did the day before, or even a few hours before, is like stealing a look at the beloved while she sleeps. The thrill is even greater if one has first to draw back the curtains. How they glow in the cold light of early dawn!

I sense my watercolor whispering to me from across the gallery. It’s time to step into the fresh light and see if I can create something worthy of these positive sentiments.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I bog to remind myself I am not alone.

Thoughts in the Night While Painting in The Gallery at Redlands

April 8, 2021
After a four-day hiatus, it’s good to be working on this painting again

The celebrated biographies give us the sufferings and hardships of the great. But the sufferings and hardships of the unknown are often more eloquent. The tribulations of fate weave a mantle of unsuspected heroism about these lesser figures. To win through by sheer force of genius is one thing; to survive and continue to create when every last door is slammed in one’s face is another. Nobody acquires genius: it is God-given. But one can acquire patience, fortitude, wisdom, understanding. Perhaps the gretest gift the little men have to offer us is this ability to accept the conditions which life imposes, accept one’s own limitations, in other words. Or, to put it another way–to love what one does whether it causes a stir or not. Of the highest men Vivekananda once said: “They make no stir in the world. They are calm, silent, unknown.”

Henry Miller, To Paint is to Love Again

As the hour approaches 9 p.m., The Gallery at Redlands is quieter. My eyes are tired from working on the watercolor at the drafting table (bless you, Tim and Patty for that wonderful gift!). Sitting now at the desk I’ve taken up my continued reading of this beautiful volume from Henry Miller (bless you, Stacy and Leigh for that gift–I still cry when I think of opening the wrapping paper that night!)

I want to dedicate this blog entry to the Unknown Artist, the One who continues to work faithfully on his/her craft day after day, even when no one seems to notice. I salute the artist who realizes the world doesn’t need his/her creative effort; if the artist quits, the world will continue on its way. I still shudder at the memories, the Angst I knew in the 80’s and 90’s. I still remember those nights of sadness when I couldn’t sleep because I was mired in all that self-doubt that arose because of a general lack of recognition or appreciation for my artistic efforts.

The art world has changed profoundly for me since those days. Not that I consider myself successful or widely-known in the art world. I think what it boils down to is the reality that I worked a job for twenty-eight years, earned a pension and retired. Once my job supported my lifestyle around the turn of the millenium, I suddenly realized that I did not need the income for art sales, and I no longer expected to become famous. That turned out to be liberating. As I recall, somewhere around the year 2000, I found myself happy in the act of creating instead of fretting over marketing details or standards of success.

But our world remains filled with artistic, creative, driven souls who suffer, either because they cannot make a living and/or they create without any measure of success or recognition. I don’t know which is worse. All I know is that when an artist is unhappy, I feel guilty because my life has turned in such a way that I have the ability to make art, and love the work, and don’t have to depend on selling it.

I am still surprised to own a gallery now. It has been over two months since we turned that corner, and it is still quite new and quite surprising for me. As for The Twelve in The Gallery at Redlands, I just want them to be successful, and I want them to be happy in their creative work. I want them to know the bliss and fulfillment of having the strength and wellness to pursue their bliss.

I am turned off by art blogs that tell us how to become millionaires, how to market our work, especially the ones who solicit money from us for their packaged programs that guarantee financial fortune. I despise the unwritten sentiment that if we are not financially successful then we are just mediocre or lazy artists. From my perspective, this gathering of The Twelve in our gallery has shown me more love and compassion than I believe I’ve ever seen in social gatherings from my past. There is a wonderful vibe among this community. Something is in the air. And I truly believe that Palestine and east Texas are on the verge of artistic enrichment. I truly believe that The Twelve are committed to improving our community by celebrating art, by delighting in the act of creation. And I am proud to be numbered among them.

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.

Early Sunday Morning

April 4, 2021
Working slowly on my ghost sign composition from Hot Springs, Arkansas

Usually the artist has two life-long companions, neither of his own choosing. I mean–poverty and loneliness. To have a friend who understands and appreciates your work, one who never lets you down but who becomes more devoted, more reverent, as the years go by, that is a rare experience. It takes only one friend, if he is a man of faith, to work miracles. How distressing it is to hear young painters talking about dealers, shows, newspaper reviews, rich patrons, and so on. All that comes with time–or will never come. But first one must make friends, create them through one’s work. What sustains the artist is the look of love in the eyes of the beholder. Not money, not the right connections, not exhibitions, not flattering reviews.

Henry Miller, To Paint is to Love Again

Saturday was a slow day in the gallery–dark, rainy and overcast outdoors with very few people coming in. The result was an excellent day for painting, reading, scribbling in the journal, and finding my center again. When patrons did come to the gallery, I found myself much more open to visiting and exchanging good words. And then of course, many of my new friends came in and the night glowed with companionship.

The words from Henry Miller rolled across the page at just the right moment this morning as I was reflecting over the watercolor that has kept me company the past couple of days. I am probably going to include the word “palimpsest” in the title of my new work, because of how the layers of billboard on the side of the building correspond to the layers of my personal memories that keep blistering to the surface of my consciousness.

As I read Henry’s words of the struggling artist and look at my painting, the past comes pouring through my soul. The year 1988 was utterly bleak. I now look out the window of our gallery down the street, across a vacant parking lot to the distant railyards. And I recall those Sunday mornings walking along West Berry Street in Fort Worth toward Texas Christian University. I worked as a dispatcher for Campus Police, unsure of what kind of future employment I would land, but committed to a life as an artist. The squalor of Berry Street alongside with the beauty of the morning sun on the old business facades reminded me of Edward Hopper’s honest urban works, and I wondered then if I could ever land in an environment where I could practice my art of rendering such scenes and somehow live comfortably as well.

In those days my friends were very few, and none of them shared my artistic vision or interest. Sandi would not come into my life for another decade, but I held on to the belief that friendship would eventually arrive, and perhaps a stability to life as an artist. Now, more than thirty years later, the artful life has arrived, and my heart swells in gratitude for love, for friendship, and for a caring environment. I knew the life of the struggling artist, and am glad now that the struggle only involves attempts to improve my craft and my business associations. But I am so grateful for a circle of artistic friends. The Twelve have enriched me in ways I could never adequately put into words. And to everyone still struggling to establish his/her artistic lifestyle I just urge you not to give up. Believe. Trust your vision. Never apologize for your authenticity. Keep practicing your art. And never cut yourself off from other visionaries seeking companionship and conversation. Your vision and talents are the genuine life blood that could heal our society. There is not enough beauty in this world. We need your inspiration.

Early Sunday Morning Peek into the Gallery at Redlands from the Lobby of Redlands Hotel
Lovely Work from Deanna Pickett Frye and Elaine Cash Jary in our Front Window
From where I sit . . .

Thanks always for reading.

I make art in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Pre-Dawn Musings from The Gallery at Redlands

April 3, 2021

What this country really needs is a good five-cent cigar.

Thomas Riley Marshall, Vice-President under Woodrow Wilson, presiding over a Senate debate

Waking at 3:15 this Saturday morning was not part of my plan, but here I sit in a darkened kitchen on the second floor of The Redlands Hotel, with an abundance of good feelings over the past couple of days’ events in The Gallery at Redlands. Closing out the final weekend of Palestine’s Dogwood Festival afforded us warm conversations with some of our gallery artists along with members of the Dogwood Arts Council. We also got to visit with dear friends whose workplaces are in this hotel along with a host of visiting patrons. And we have even made some new friends who live above their business just a block away. The vibe of Palestine continues to warm up in many ways similar to what I’ve been reading about the 1950’s surge of art in New York City.

And, speaking of New York City, I can no longer hold back on the thrill that greeted The Twelve as we were launching the opening of this gallery March 20. On that day, while some of us were under the tent for Art Alley (one of the Dogwood Festival’s events), I received a comment on this blog from a sculptor in Manhattan:

Congratulations, in advance, for what looks like a groundbreaking opening! Even here, from Manhattan, I can see art is an important part of this community, and a community that reveres art is a community alive!!! Do well and I look forward to more photos!

As some of our gallery artists and members of the Arts Council gathered round, I read the comment aloud from my smart phone, and they broke out in spontaneous applause! Two days later, when I posted a new blog, updating our art events here in Palestine and the success of our gallery reception honoring The Twelve, another post came up from our Manhattan friend:

Thank you for the moment-by-moment description of your show, the gallery and all the artists who make up your Twelve. It is true, I live in NYC. I have been to a lot of art exhibits, and have a BFA in sculpture, from back when no women were in the Sculpture Department. But I am still more interested in the artists than the hype. You gave me the artists, in such a way that I can imagine myself there. Now that I know the history of the gallery and some of the artists, I can follow along. Thanks again. And, when you are on the river in OK, and if you happen to see an osprey fishing (returning from their migration), that’s probably me, sending you a “hello” message.

Two days later, my artist friend Wayne journeyed with me to Oklahoma to fly-fish the Lower Mountain Fork River. As we fished those gently flowings waters, we watched for the osprey and re-lived the thrill of the Manhattan posts of good will.

The Gallery has been busy the past couple of days, but still I found some stillness and quiet and space to continue work on my latest watercolor (thank you again, Tim and Patty, for giving me the drafting table so I can work on art inside the gallery). Below is the reference photo I’m using for the painting, taken early one morning in Hot Springs, Arkansas when Wayne and I were returning him to his home in Missouri.

O’Bryan Building, erected in 1891. Hot Springs, Arkansas

While working on this watercolor, I’ve been exporing the building’s history online, and intend in future posts, as this watercolor develops, to share what I’ve learned about the layers of advertising making up the “ghost sign.”

The 10-cent Cigar portion brought to memory the famous wit of our Vice-President under Woodrow Wilson. As he presided over the Senate, he was known for his patience. But on one particular day, as Senator after Senator pontificated endlessly about what was needed to heal our nation’s ills, the Vice-President leaned over to the Secretary of the Senate and uttered those immortal words in the hearing of several nearby.

What this country really needs is a good five-cent cigar.

Currently, I see our country as very ill. But I have hope. Members of The Twelve told me repeatedly in the weeks leading up to the March 20 reception at The Gallery of Redlands that they were surprised and warmed by the good will flowing in all directions on social media: members of The Twelve who had not yet met were sending warm, enthusiastic thoughts to one another, admiring one another’s work online and looking forward to the day we would be together. Artists from the metroplex, from Amarillo, from Palestine and from Missouri earnestly looking forward to meeting face-to-face, some of them sharing a four-bedroom suite on the second floor of The Redlands Hotel. For four days, we went to meals together, sat and chatted in the gallery together, congregated in the hotel lobby, set up displays under the tent for Art Alley together, and finally, spent hours together the night of our reception. The temperature continued to rise, and lasting friendships were formed. Wayne and Paula were reluctant to leave and return to Missouri so soon. Metroplex artists reluctantly said Goodbye and returned to their neighborhoods. And Sandi and I could not wait for the next weekend to get back to Palestine and see the local artists again. What we all shared was this: social media, as we had experienced before, had been a venue of poisonous rhetoric, vitriolic attacks on people’s character, and a megaphone for discontent. But what we have experienced for over a month now is a genuine outpouring of goodwill to others not yet seen in person. And now that The Twelve have returned to their homes, the positive messages continue. And we wonder, what is wrong with the mainstream that seeks satisfaction in poisonous rhetoric on social media? Honestly, what is their return on this activity? Satisfaction? Pleasure? Happiness? Why can’t people seek healing for this culture? What is to be gained by all this negativity?

There are a number of things happening in The Gallery at Redlands that fill me with pride in this space. Sandi had the idea of bringing in more comfy chairs and intalling a Keurig coffee maker along with bowls of snacks put out. What we have noticed is more people entering our space and lingering longer, perhaps because they don’t feel assaulted by hungry sales people. They sit. They drink. They snack. And they visit. Recently I have enjoyed the company of an eighth-generation descendant of Cynthia Ann Parker, mother of Quanah Parker. I have also enjoyed an extensive conversation with a retired history teacher from Mississippi, and listened with awe to the experiences of a woman whose aunt managed the Carlin Art Gallery in Fort Worth and represented the works of Peter Hurd and Henriette Wyeth. Visiting with art lovers who look closely at our work and remain for meaningful conversations is just as satisfying as selling art, though we are very happy that sales have been steady since we’ve opened.

What our country needs, is more good will, more positive discourse. And we are warmed to find more of that going on in this community. May it continue. We are expecting that five-cent cigar.

The light is coming up outside, and I have a watercolor downstairs waiting for me. Like Henry Miller, I’m looking forward to taking a peek at it in the morning light that pours in through our gallery windows.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Morning Serenity in Studio Eidolons

March 30, 2021
First Early Morning Peek into Studio Eidolons

Yes, to paint is to love again, live again, see again. To get up at the crack of dawn in order to take a peek at the water colors one did the day before, or even a few hours before, is like stealing a look at the beloved while she sleeps. The thrill is even greater if one has first to draw back the curtains. How they glow in the cold light of early dawn! Another hour or two and they will already have lost some of their gleam and sparkle. Coming on them by surprise this way they give the impression of having slept all night with their eyes open.

Henry Miller, To Paint is to Love Again

Working very slowly and deliberately on my newest composition.

After a full day of rest from my crazy On-the-Road experiences of the past couple of weeks, I finally settled down late last night to my drafting table in my home studio. Before retiring to bed, I read the words posted above from my beloved Henry Miller gift book (love you, Stacy and Leigh!). Waking at dawn, I had to walk into the studio and steal a peek at my work in the morning light. And now, with a shower, fresh clothing and modest breakfast with coffee behind me, I am eating up the precious experience of leaning over my newest piece and painstakingly working with pencil, drafting tools, watercolor pencils and large washes of Winsor & Newton pigments. Slowly the image is taking form, seen perhaps the same way a dark room photographer once saw as s/he leaned over a tray and looked at the film shimmering below the liquid surface.

I won’t be leaving for The Gallery at Redlands till early Thursday morning, so I still have two complete days with very few appointments to get my affairs in order and enjoy this new experience painting in the studio. I fully intend to take this new watercolor with me, although I was unable to work on it at all until late nights in Palestine, the gallery had an abundance of traffic, which we appreciate very much.

16 x 20″ framed special edition giclée print of Burleson, Texas railroad setting. $225

As we approach the third and final weekend of Dogwood Festival, we continue to add new work to The Gallery at Redlands. This morning I framed one of my special edition giclée prints of a Union Pacific diesel rolling through Burleson, Texas. We also welcome new artist Kathy Lamb, who has a pair of framed oils now displayed in the lobby window of our gallery. As soon as I hit town Thursday, I will photograph and post those to the blog.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Ready to Paint Again

March 27, 2021

I remember well the transformation which took place in me when first I began to view the world with the eyes of a painter. The most familiar things, objects which I had gazed at all my life, now became an unending source of wonder, and with the wonder, of course, affection. A tea pot, an old hammer, a chipped cup, whatever came to hand I looked upon as if I had never seen it before. I hadn’t, of course. Do not most of us go through life blind, deaf, insensitive? Now as I studied the object’s physiognomy, its texture, its way of speaking, I entered into its life, its history, its purpose, its association with other objects, all of which only endeared it the more.

Henry Miller, To Paint is to Love Again

Henry Miller has left artists a precious gift with this book. My friends Stacy and Leigh surprised me with it a week ago, and it has traveled with me across Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Texas these past four days. Now I’m relaxing in The Gallery at Redlands with more time to pore over these pages.

The drafting table that Tim and Patty Smith gave me a few years ago has been moved back into the gallery and I am delighted to begin work on the ghost sign advertisements that grabbed my attention in Hot Springs, Arkansas Wednesday morning. Encountering the building and signage was a remarkable accident. I was depending on GPS to find a pancake house, and I failed to make my U-turn when commanded. I drove another block before the next one came up, and as I completed my turn, I saw out of the corner of my eye the ghost signs. I couldn’t stare because I was driving in tight traffic. But throughout breakfast, I could only think of what I had seen out of the corner of my eye. Artist Andrew Wyeth frequently spoke of subjects that became his famous paintings because he glimpsed them out of the corner of his eye and later had to return to look at them because he could not erase the memory of the encounter.

Sure enough, when I walked to the location after breakfast, I was wearing a short-sleeved Tshirt in 40-degree weather and was very uncomfortable. Nevertheless, once I found the building I had to stand there and gaze at it, taking several photographs. Someone once said that beauty was what suspended the desire to be somewhere else; we are held in place and cannot walk away from what we’re viewing. I knew that I had to paint this subject.

I am going to title the painting “Palimpsest” because during my seminary days I was always fascinated with ancient manuscripts which were re-used, a new text written over the old. As centuries wore on, the original text had a way of reemerging and co-mingling with the later text. Gazing at the layers of advertising all over the side of the building, I felt myself drawn into the history of the building, musing about the products advertised, the people walking or driving buy who connected with the message, and the changes that that part of Hot Springs endured over the years. Staring at the signage, I realized that we ourselves have layers of history stacked one on top the other. Our memories may fade somewhat, but still they push their way to the front of our consciousness and once again seize our imagination.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Unwinding after the Show

March 25, 2021

To paint is to love again. It’s only when we look with eyes of love that we see as the painter sees. His is a love, moreover, which is free of possessiveness. What the painter sees he is duty bound to share. Usually he makes us see and feel what ordinarily we ignore or are immune to.

Henry Miller, To Paint is to Love Again

Rolling across Missouri, I will attempt to voice text this blog. I am peering through a windshield at a soggy terrain with intermittent rain. Two days ago, Wayne and I set out for the long journey home, stopping at Beavers Bend State Park to fly-fish, then drove all the way to Hot Springs, Arkansas to stay the night. The following morning, I found the subject for my next watercolor in downtown Hot Springs. The words of Henry Miller came back to, compliments of the lovely gift Stacy and Leigh gave me the night of our gallery opening. When I’m driving across several states, my eyes are constantly soaking up the world beyond the windshield, and I am automatically painting the passing scenery in my mind, puzzling over how to render certain color combinations and figuring out compositional problems. For me, “to paint is to love again”, and what I try to capture on paper I definitely feel “duty bound to share.”

After taking the picture we set out for Wayne’s home in Bonne Terre, Missouri. Before saying goodbye, we decided to fish some more, since we had no luck at Beavers Bend. We managed to land a few small ones, and felt that we had at least accomplished something as anglers!

After spending the night in High Ridge and getting to visit with my parents and siblings, I now begin the long journey home.

___________________________________________________________________

After several days of trekking across Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Texas, I’m thrilled to be back in the Gallery at Redlands for the weekend. New work has been hung to replace what sold last week, and tonight the Redlands Hotel is extremely busy with two tour buses and folks soaking up the second weekend of the Dogwood Festival. Since we’re busy tonight, I’ll postpone beginning my watercolor of the ghost sign-covered building from Hot Springs until the morning. It’s too hard to paint when people keep dropping in, and the last thing we wish to do is appear too busy or preoccupied with other tasks. I have decided to pursue a palimpsest theme once I get started on the Hot Springs building with ghost signs. Already I have scribbled out some broad themes in my journal and have begun another Hank and Randy story to accompany the new painting. Friends have asked me since we took over the gallery if I would stop painting. Absolutely not! Tune in tomorrow . . .

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.

Raising the Tent for Art Alley

March 18, 2021
Workers assembling framework for enormous tent housing tomorrow’s V.I.P. event

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter to the world if you paint or dance or write. The world can probably get by without the product of your efforts. But that is not the point. The point is what the process of following your creative impulses will do for you. It is clearly about process. Love the work, love the process.

Ian Roberts, Creative Authenticity

Stepping outside The Redlands Hotel early this morning, my heart quickened when I rounded the corner and saw the framework for an enormous tent under construction. Friday night 5-9:00 kicks off the V.I.P. event for Art Alley, the fine arts portion of Palestine’s annual Dogwood Festival. V.I.P. tickets sell for $20 per person and attendees will have advance opportunity to purchase the art that will be under the tent when the Festival opens Saturday and runs till 4:00. Four of our Twelve will be under the tent enjoying the crowd along with the live music, heavy hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Our gallery artists under the tent, along with myself, will be Deanna Pickett Frye, Cecilia Bramhall and Stacy Campbell. Stacy is already on her way today, pulling a trailer down the highway, excited for the event. Deanna and Cecilia, local artists, don’t have the long travel, but are ecstatic all the same. And I, well I am in the gallery along with Wayne and Sandi, still stitching up details.

Rising this morning and sitting down to coffee, I looked out my favorite window again, in suite 207 of The Redlands Hotel, through the fire escape and at the stately Carnegie Library across the street, and breathed a prayer of thanks for being included in this endeavor. After years of grinding out work as an artist and coming to terms with the quote above that the world will get along just fine without my contributions, I have always wondered why it is that I was finally recognized and invited to participate in ventures such as this. Palestine is such a nostalgic town with this historic hotel, the Union Pacific yards down the street, a Catholic Church next door that gleams like a pearl in the sun, and people so friendly and unpretentious. I’m grateful to be invited to participate in these community events, and happy that I have a place to display my art, and even happier now to be surrounded by so many creative colleagues. We The Twelve breathlessly await the gathering Saturday night when we open the doors to The Gallery at Redlands and begin the next chapter in our journey.

Sitting next to the window in suite 207 of The Redlands Hotel

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.

Relaxing in The Gallery at Redlands

March 17, 2021
Wayne & Sandi Relaxed in Conversation

An artist learns by repeated trial and error, by an almost moral instinct, to avoid the merely or the confusingly decorative . . . to say what he has to say with the most direct and economical means, to be true to his objects, to his materials, to his technique, and hence, by a correlated miracle, to himself.

Irwin Edman, Arts and the Man

Wednesday night, forty-eight hours before our Art Alley under the tent outside The Redlands Hotel, the three of us have checked into the Redlands, unloaded most of our freight into the gallery, and have decided to relax into the rest of this night and get an early start to work in the morning.

Wayne and I drove all day yesterday from Missouri back to Texas, arriving last night exhausted. Then the three of us pushed ourselves all day today, completing tasks, packing, loading and then making the two-hour journey to Palestine.

As I write this, I am enjoying Wayne and Sandi’s engaged conversation in their shared passion of horses. Both of them ride, and Wayne is a retired farrier. Wayne has brought a relaxed presence into the midst of our recent frenetic schedule. So much still to accomplish. Friday night will be Art Alley. Details are below. We hope you will attend.

We invite you to join us again Saturday night when we hold our Gallery at Redlands reception for The Twelve.

Wayne, Sandi and I were so worn out when we arrived that we almost went upstairs to decompress and not even enter the gallery till the morning. But somehow we decided to come on in, turn on all the lights and sit surrounded by all this new art and just relax awhile and enjoy good conversation. Soon a man entered the gallery and began perusing the exhibit with intense enthusiasm. He visited with me a great deal in front of one of my watercolors of a defunct fireworks stand. As it turns out, his first real business venture involved owning a string of fireworks stands, and now, decades later, he was glad to stand before a painting and remember. I felt a kinship with him immediately as we both discussed how important it was for us to remember our formative past with gratitude and as much detail as possible. It now looks as though I will painting another fireworks stand in my future, and I’m thankful when someone else puts a significant idea in front of me like this. How fortunate that we chose to spend some time in the gallery this evening.

It’s been an exhausting but terrific day. I hope I can keep up the pace and send out daily reports on what we’re doing here in Palestine. Wayne, Sandi and I won’t be departing this place till Sunday. Tomorrow, Stacy Campbell comes down to join us and stay through the weekend. Lorraine McFarland is flying in day-after-tomorrow. The Twelve are beginning to gather and I feel enthusiasm rising. What a lovely world is being woven as we approach this weekend.

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.

Old Fishing Buddies Heading to The Gallery at Redlands

March 15, 2021
Wayne White, photographer and member of The Twelve (disclaimer: this is MY photograph; his are better!

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

This Monday morning makes me wish I could be in several places simultaneously, but in a sense, I guess I am. We do live in an amazing technological age where we can remain connected. Seated at my sister’s dining room table in High Ridge, Missouri I am working on gallery business (we have our opening reception of The Twelve at The Gallery at Redlands Saturday night) 659 miles away. And she is working from her home, connected to her job site at Boeing, 25 miles away.

Yesterday was grueling, driving through a rainstorm from Arlington, Texas to High Ridge, Missouri–there was never a break from the rain. But a wonderful, comfortable night’s sleep has started this morning off well. Later today I’ll travel an hour south to pick up Wayne White (the hero of my “Hank” stories on the blog). He will travel back to Texas with me tomorrow and we’ll put his photographs in the gallery. I’m so proud for him to be among The Twelve.

The Thoreau quote posted above knocked the wind out of me in 1989, and I still cannot read it casually, especially as I grow more conscious of age. Since Wayne and I reconnected on Facebook some years back after being separated since graduation, we have enjoyed annual camping and fishing trips together. After our Saturday night opening, we’ll find a place in Texas or Oklahoma where we can enter the stream and pursue our passion of fly-fishing. When I step into the stream, I will be reminded of Thoreau’s famous dualism–time and eternity. The quick-flowing water will present a challenge, as time and daily activities do, but my feet will be anchored on the eternal foundation. And as I fish, I will think of the myriads of experiences that have swept over, around and through me, but remain thankful for the core that has held me steadfast through it all.

Another immortal quote comes to mind from Norman Maclean:

The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.

Thanks for reading. We have so much to do before we open Saturday night at 7:00. We hope you will come to our event at The Gallery at Redlands.

P. S.–I haven’t done a very good job advertising the Friday night event in which I will also participate along with three other members of The Twelve. The VIP event Friday night from 5-9 will cost $20 for admission, and will feature eight artists under a big tent along with live music, heavy hors-d’oeuvres and beverages. I’m attaching the advertisement below:

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.