Posts Tagged ‘The Shed Cafe’

My Favorite Memory from the Art Festival Circuit

March 24, 2014
The Shed cafe, Edom, Texas

The Shed Cafe, Edom, Texas

. . . your desire to make art–beautiful or meaningful or emotive art–is integral to your sense of who you are.  Life and Art, once entwined, can quickly become inseparable; at age ninety Frank Lloyd Wright was still designing, Imogen Cunningham still photographing, Sravinsky still composing, Picasso still painting.

David Bayles & Ted Orland, Art & Fear

I love that point raised by Bayles and Orland.  If I could be fortunate enough to live to see ninety, I would hope that I still have the eye and the steady hand to continue making art.  I still feel like a student, am still filled with surprises at every turn, and love the discovery of new ideas and techniques.  I make art because it is in me; I am not complete when I’m not making something new.  This morning, I am exhausted from finishing a three-day art festival that featured frigid temperatures and high winds.  Nevertheless, sales were O.K., and the conversations with patrons were very warming to my soul.  I am grateful for all the positives that came out of this one.  I have two weeks before the next festival, and plenty of time to rest up and recuperate.  All things considered, the festival was a good experience, but it meant three days without making art, so I am itching to get back into the studio.

I promised in an earlier post to share my favorite memory from the art festival circuit.  Every October, I participate in the Edom Festival of the Arts in remote east Texas.  The setting is rolling pastureland with several barns and sheds scattered around the property and enormous shade trees.  The booths are not lined up in a grid, but arranged organically around the property, inserted between trees, outbuildings, etc.  A tall privacy fence hides the festival grounds from the highway nearby.  There is no electricity on the grounds, so we don’t have to fuss with track lighting, laptops or credit card terminals.  Patrons know that the event is a cash-and-carry affair, with an ATM in the town, and the two-day festival is filled with art shoppers.  Sales and conversations at the Edom Festival of the Arts are first rate, and I can’t wait to go every fall when the weather begins to cool.

Two years back, to save money and time, I decided not to book a hotel (about a thirty-minute drive to the nearest city).  I had this romantic and ludicrous notion that I would sleep in the back of my Jeep Grand Cherokee, disregarding my age and lack of general fitness (also disregarding the soreness and achiness that always comes from loading the Jeep, driving two hours, setting up the tent, furniture, and hanging all the art).  When darkness descended, I crawled into the back of my Jeep that was parked near the forest with all the other artists’ vehicles and trailers (a number of them have camping trailers for accommodations).  The night grew chilly, and I never got comfortable in the back of my vehicle.  I chafed at my lack of judgment and slept very little as the night wore on.

Finally, just before dawn, I decided I had to get back on my feet.  I had slept in my clothes, so I did not have to undergo acrobatic contortions, dressing in the back of the vehicle.  Emerging from the Jeep, I trudged with heavy feet up the hill and through the festival grounds.  The grass was wet with dew, temperatures were in the upper forties (the sweatshirt and jacket were doing their job just fine), and as I walked among the gleaming white tents in silence, I felt an exhilaration I cannot explain.  The morning was crisp, cold and delicious.  I loved the scent of the October pasture.  The artist “village” was so attractive to me, though all the tents were shuttered and no art work was visible at this hour.  But I loved the morning walk through the darkness, and as I wended my way toward The Shed Cafe (not visible because of the privacy fence), I could only hope that it opened according to “traditional country cafe hours”.  It was 6:05 and still dark.  Rounding the corner of the privacy fence, I saw what is posted at the top of this blog (this photo was taken later, nearer Christmas time, hence the holiday lights).  Warm light poured out of every window, smoke was billowing out of the chimney, and I instantly smelled eggs frying, bacon, ham, biscuits, gravy, coffee–the works!  I cannot describe the rush of good will that filled me at that moment.  All the achiness and sleepiness from the goofy night sleeping in the Jeep disappeared, and all that mattered was the warm, affirming feeling of a hot country breakfast.  The food at The Shed is among the finest I’ve ever had, and regardless of the success in sales at the Edom Festival, breakfast at The Shed is the highlight of the weekend.

The Shed Cafe Edom, Texas

The Shed Cafe
Edom, Texas

Last winter, I painted this 8 x 10″ watercolor of my favorite east Texas eatery.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

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Preparing for an All-Day Show in Edom, Texas

November 23, 2013
Edom Festival of the Arts

Edom Festival of the Arts

Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world.  No amount of skillful inention can replace the essential element of imagination.

Edward Hopper

We hear so often that the artist’s temperament is restless, irritable, and discontented.  All of that is very true–when we are not working.  Let us get in a good day at the page or the easel and we are suddenly sunny and user-friendly.  It is the blocked artist who is such a study in malcontent.  Artists have an itch that nothing can scratch except work.

Julia Cameron, Finding Water: The Art of Perseverence

I’ve had a delicious evening, picking up the brush and giving watercolor yet another nudge.  This is an 8 x 10″ sketch I started quite awhile back, and then got “blocked” by job-related deadlines.  The subject is the entrance to the annual Edom Festival of the Arts, a festival I have been privileged to join for four years now.  This year, following the festival, I was invited to be the feature artist at Edom’s Shed Cafe on Saturday, November 30 (right after Thanksgiving).  The town will be sponsoring Art Jam, and artists will be featured in the local businesses.  The Shed serves about 1500 patrons on any given Saturday, so I am excited for the opportunity to get my work out in the public on that day.

I gave the bulk of this Saturday to a day trip to Tyler, Texas, a two-hour drive one way, to see Christmas in the Village at the Breckenridge Village of Tyler.  I took a number of photos, but have misplaced the cable that connects my camera to the laptop.  Hopefully I’ll get the photos posted tomorrow.  There was a live nativity scene, and I did have the fun of having my picture taken with a live camel.  I told him my name wasn’t Mike-Mike-Mike-Mike-Mike.  He was adorable–as I scratched his neck, he buried his head into my chest and made contented sounds.  I wanted to bring him home with me.

Texas weather threatens to close schools Monday.  There is a forecast calling for freezing rain and ice accumlation starting Sunday.  All I can think of is the potential for unrestricted studio activity.  It’s been so long since I’ve known that reality.  What timing if we get an extra day off during next week’s holiday week.  We’re only scheduled for Monday-Tuesday in the public school and college.  I’m ready for the break so I can get back to what I love.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

 

 

A Late Night in the Studio

November 12, 2013
Tire Shop in Edom, Texas

Tire Shop in Edom, Texas

There are times when thought elbows her way through the underwood of words to the clear blue beyond.

Henry David Thoreau, Journal, December 12, 1837

Today was Henry David Thoreau day in my high school Philosophy class.  Years ago, I feigned myself a decent lecturer–in these later years I’m not so sure.  But one thing I do know–it’s hard to muck up a Thoreau lecture, although I seemed to try that several times this morning.  I’m not sure why I was “off”, but I certainly saw determination, eagerness and enthusiasm in my students to get us through the ninety-minute segment.  The result was one of the best classes I have ever experienced in my high school career.  When students are “on”, it’s difficult for a teacher to fail.

Among the many facets of discussion this morning, there was a particularly good moment when we examined the idea of a Word emerging, like an Oracle, from the morass of words that daily engulfs us.  In public education, hoards of figures, statistics, spread sheets, surveys, audits, and every possible collection of numbers imaginable are hurled at me.  I often feel that I need a raincoat to protect me from the stains of such garbage.  In addition to the numbers are pages and pages of goals, objectives, directives, assessments–on and on and on.  Reading the plea from Walden to “Simplify, simplify,” I thank the sublime that a mind such as Thoreau is still capable of reaching through the tempest and uttering the Word with power sufficient to improve our lives.  Thanks to Thoreau, and thanks to my Philosophy students, I captured a warm sentiment early this morning that managed to accompany me throughout the day, even through my 7:00 p.m. Logic class at the university.

The hour is drawing late, Texas temperatures are expected to reach down into the twenties tonight, I’ve managed to cover my outdoor faucets, finish my A. P. and regular Art History preparations for the morrow, and even find time to pick up the brush and push this 8 x 10″ watercolor of the tire shop in Edom, Texas toward its conclusion.  On November 30, I will spend the day in Edom for their Art Jam, setting up inside The Shed Cafe, and attempt to sell some paintings, greeting cards and prints of my small-town subjects.  This is my first Edom composition.  I plan to move on to a painting of The Shed next.

This has been a most affirming day, and I’m proud that I had the space to share it with you, thanks for reading me tonight.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Picking Up the Brush Again

November 10, 2013
Tire Shop in Edom, Texas

Tire Shop in Edom, Texas

You are anxious and troubled about many things; few things are needful, or only one.

Luke 10:41-42

As the weekend draws to a close, I reflect with gratitude on the Jenny Wood Art Festival that just concluded in Bullard, Texas.  The festival organizers facilitated a fine show, the art work I saw across the gymnasium was first-rate, and the camaraderie amongst the artists left me with nothing but warm feelings.  I’m also warmed by great conversations I enjoyed with long-time friends from Athens, Texas who were gracious enough to provide me with a place to stay while I was two hours away from my own home.

In three weeks, I will be the featured artist for The Shed Cafe in Edom, Texas, as the businesses in the community hold their Art Jam.  I have been invited to display and sell my work out of their boutique during cafe hours on that Saturday, November 30.  Between now and then, I hope to create a few local watercolors of the establishments in Edom.  Above is the tire shop that is across the intersection from The Shed.  I was able to begin work on this during the festival on Saturday.  My booth provided me with enough space to work as well as sell my art.  I photographed this tire shop while I was participating in the Edom Festival of the Arts about three weeks ago.  The sun was bright on that day, and I managed to find a good contrast of light and shadow amidst this strucxture.

Between now and November 30, I will have some free weekends and hopefully enough time to work in my studio.  I have missed it so.  The school load over the next two weeks still promises to be more-than-pleasant, but I at least will not have to fight my way through weekend festivals during this interim.  And perhaps I will find some evening hours to resume my art passion.

The words of Jesus posted above have haunted me over this past week.  I have tried to find a way to focus on a single goal.  I do not like a life of clutter, a calendar loaded to the margins, or a parade of deadlines.  My profession currently has me jammed far beyond what I like or enjoy.  And my weekly/weekend schedule too often has squeezed off the channels of creative energy, replacing them with dank cisterns filled with insipid tasks.  I’m trying once again to find my way back to the creative flow, the current of energy and creativity.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.