Posts Tagged ‘Van Gogh’

An Artful DayThrough the Eyes of a Child

March 15, 2013

After a week of making art, I was given a luxurious opportunity today to leave the studio and enjoy someone else’s art for a change.  A former student of mine invited me to join her family and view art work from the hand of her first-grade daughter, on display in a public venue.  I have had the privilege over the last couple of years to witness this young girl’s artistic explorations, by way of digital images sent to me.  But today I actually beheld her work in the original, along with a host of elementary school pieces in the display.  The freshness and originality of vision just took my breath away.  I had experienced joy before, seeing photos of her creating art work in her home on Saturday mornings, or during inclement weather.  But I was not prepared for what I saw today, and was touched deeply by the flicker of pride lighting her countenance, as she saw her work displayed prominently.

The entire display was magnificent.  Funding for the visual arts in Texas public schools is very slim, and given grudgingly, unlike funding for sports or performing arts.  But these restricted funds have not been able to amputate the spirit, or truncate the effectiveness of dedicated public school elementary art teachers.  Though often relegated to pushing an art cart up and down the corridors, from classroom to classroom, restricting students to once-a-week art sessions, the history and culture of the visual arts is still poured into these young spirits, and it manifests itself in these public displays.  I am a teacher of art history in a public high school, and I know it was no fluke to witness echoes of Matisse, Van Gogh, Warhol, Monet and Kahlo seething on the surfaces of these drawings, paintings and mixed-media endeavors.  These young spirits have been given the opportunity to know firsthand the  fullness and felicity of a well-rounded life that the visual arts make possible.

When I was a boy, I didn’t quite understand the motto carved over one of the portals of the Saint Louis Art Museum:



Now, in my later years, I feel it more than ever before, and this young artistic spirit today renewed that sentiment.  Hats off to her teacher, the other elementary art teachers and willing students of that school district.  May others capture your vision.

Thank you for reading.

New Paintings installed at Hillsboro’s La Quinta, March 4, 2010

March 4, 2010

Van Gogh style paintings installed at the new La Quinta in Hillsboro, Texas

While watercoloring in Hillsboro this afternoon, I dropped by the new La Quinta convention hotel, and was pleased to see that my new paintings had been installed behind the registration desk in the lobby.

Four Days in the Studio, January 12, 2010

January 12, 2010

Hill County Courthouse, ala Van Gogh

This is a project I started Friday after school, then worked on through the weekend, and finally finished Monday after school.  La Quinta is building a new hotel in Hillsboro, Texas, and has requested that local artists submit paintings of local themes.  I was approached about creating three paintings of the Hill County Courthouse in a style reminiscent of Vincent Van Gogh.  This was my best shot at it.  Watercolor is where I tend to do 95% of my work, but occasionally an acrylic on canvas assignment comes along.  It’s been awhile since I worked on a 22 x 28″ surface.  I enjoyed the freedom of movement, and the dynamics of stretched canvas provided a welcome change from the paper surface where I usually work.  This is my first attempt at something approaching a triptych.  If accepted, these paintings will be hung on a red-orange wall.  At any rate, I’m glad now to be getting back to watercolor.  It’s been nearly a week, and I’ve missed it.