Friday, December 30, 2011

Starting two new sculptures.

American Black Bear in Clay
  I'm loving my Christmas Vacation. Wednesday I met my friend Dan Spangler at the Fort Worth Zoo. He sketched  and I began a small sculpture of a mountain lion. It is not finished but I felt like I got a good start on it. Our weather has been great so the zoo was packed but the crowds were not a problem.  On Thursday I went to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens and started a small  8 x 10 painting. Anne from the David Dike Gallery in Dallas met me there while I was working on it to pick up five of my sculptures for the gallery. They have done very well selling my bronzes. In fact David is placing an add in the 360 West magazine with one of my longhorn bronzes in it. After I was done painting I went to the Kimble Museum to see the Caravaggio exhibit one last time. The museum was packed too but unlike the zoo it was hard to enjoy because of the crowds.
Today was another beautiful day. I went back to the zoo and began a small sculpture of an American black bear. When I got there the bears were pacing the enclosure but naturally once I started working on it the bears lay down and went to sleep. Neither of these two sculptures is finished, they are sort of like sketches in clay, but I think I have two pieces that I can develop later into finished sculptures. I'll go back again this weekend and either work some more on these or start something new.
I wish all my friends a very Happy New Year full of lots of wonderful art experiences and opportunities.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Wonderful Holiday

Me on Christmas Eve wearing the paper crown from my Christmas cracker.
 Christmas has come and it has been great.  We had Christmas Eve dinner and I spent the night at my sister and brother inlaw's home. Dinner was delicious. We had many wonderful things to choose from. After dinner I went to evening mass at All Saints Episcopal. The service was beautiful. My favorite part is at  the end when the lights are dimmed, except for the candles, and everyone sings Silent Night.
 The entrance to my sister's home.
 After church I came back to my sister's home and I played video games with my nephews. The youngest two put food out for the reindeer on the porch and then we gathered in the den where they took turns reading The Night Before Christmas, another family tradition.
The dining room before dinner.
 We played more video games, and finally before going to bed they put milk and cookies out for Santa.
 In the morning. when we went downstairs Santa had been there. There were presents for everyone even the dogs. Everyone was very pleased with their presents including the dogs.
Bandit in the den by the tree.
 After opening presents and having breakfast I went home to my house for a bit and then went to my parents home in the country where my family gathered for an early Christmas dinner. We played games and had lots of wonderful things to eat. It was a very pleasant evening.
My Dad and Mom with two of the dogs.
 Eventually my sister's family left and then I left to go home. But, when I got home the evening was still not too late so I decided to drive around and see the Christmas lights before ending my day.

Luther Lake
 One of my favorite places to see the lights is on the small neighborhood lake, Luther Lake, where we have gone to look at lights since I was a child. The reflections always look so pretty on the lake.
TCU Christmas lights.
 This year in addition to the snowmen, Santas and reindeerquite a few houses had purple horned frogs.
This house always has the nicest lights.
 The lights were very nice this year. It was a relaxing way to end the day, driving around looking at the lights  and listening to Christmas music.
A photo of a lion I took at the zoo.
 One of my greatest presents I received this year was one I bought for myself, a membership to our zoo. I will use it to go out and sketch, sculpt and paint. The weather today was cool and damp but I decided to go to the zoo anyway and sketch. The animals were fairly active and I got some great photos as well as some very rapid animal drawings. That is not much in the way of art but it is all I have been able to do in the last few days.
Some sketches I did at the zoo today.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Blessings

Texas Spring
9 x 12
oil on panel
   At this time of year I like to think of all my blessings, and they are so numerous. Of course here I write about art, and even my art blessings are greater than I can count,.but I am going to write about a few.
   Today I went on a tour with ten of my painting friends of the Caravaggio exhibit at the Kimble Art Museum. This was my second tour of this exhibit given by my friend Beatriz Welch. She truly is a gifted teacher in the way she shares her knowledge. It was a wonderful and inspiring tour. Afterwards we had lunch at the restaurant there, which is always a great treat.
   Something else that I need to write about are the Christmas cards I have received. Many of my painter friends have their paintings made into cards. Receiving these cards is  one of the things that I truly look forward to each year. This year I got an amazing card. My friend Sheri Jones actually sent out original acrylic paintings on paper. I appreciate Sheri's art and am so honored to have received her card which is in itself such a wonderful gift.
   Another blessing I had began a few months back. I was contacted by the editor of a local very upscale magazine called Indulge. She wanted images of my sculptures for their holiday gift guide. She included my large longhorn bronze sculpture, Native Texan, and the small horned toad bronze sculpture, Horned Pride (miniature). The magazine came out a two weeks ago, and almost immediately the sales started coming in.
   Finally my greatest blessings are having time to paint and sculpt and most importantly all the great friends I have met through art.
   The painting  I posted today is one that I began as a plein air painting in the spring of 2009 and just completed this week. It had yellow and red wildflowers in it but I got out my reference photos and covered them with bluebonnets. I really like the new painting much better.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Merry Christmas

Me and Scout (my chocolate lab) on my front porch
 I want to wish all of my art blog friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. As this year comes to a close I can not help but think how blessed I am and wish that all my friends can feel as blessed. We are having some cool weather and I really appreciate it this time of year, of course after December 26th I am ready for spring weather again, and of course a lot of the time we get it here in Fort Worth,
My house lit up for the Holidays
 But despite the cool weather we have been having I have managed to go out and paint a bit and although it is getting quite late in the season there is still a lot of fall color out there waiting to be painted. The painting below is actually one I began around Thanksgiving as I was getting over Pneumonia. I'd seen this tree in the botanical gardens and it was so beautiful. I knew it wouldn't wait for me. So the first time I felt at all up to it I headed out and got an hour's painting in and a photo  so I could finish it later, which I did  last week.

Autumn Gold
8 x 10
oil on canvas

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A full weekend

My new sculpture
13 x  8 x 7
 I finally am back to creating art, working on both sculptures and paintings. One of the sculptures is the longhorn shown above. It is a much larger version of a small longhorn sculpture I did a few years ago. I'm also working on a small horned frog sculpture and a few landscape paintings.
I  went to the radiologist on Friday and got an all clear on my pneumonia and then left to go down to Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country.
A group of blackbuck antelopes.
 As I have said before I love the Texas Hill Country and go every chance I get. This time it was for the opening of the small works show at The Insight Gallery. I have three or four pieces in this show. I was kind of torn because I also had an opening right here in Fort Worth at a brand new gallery, The Gallery in the Alley with my friend Georgia Clarke. This is a two man show and I have a lot of art in it and so would have loved to have been there for it, but I'd already set my mind and heart on Fredericksburg.
The old German cemetery 
 I love the German influence of the region. The language and accent is heard across the town. This weekend there was a Christmas parade and the annual German Christmas Market with ice skating, German foods and gifts.
Deer on a ranch
 The other thing I like about this part of the state is the wildlife. In addition to our native animals like deer and coyotes, there are animals from around the world living here. The most common are deer and antelope from Europe, Africa and Asia. They were originally imported to the large ranches of the region but over time many escaped and have managed to thrive in this area.
Part of the Insight Gallery
 The town was packed as were the galleries, due to all the weekend activities. The Insight was looking great and had large steady crowds all night. They  served egg nog and all sorts of Christmas treats. As always everything was perfect!
Art in the Insight, the smaller bronze sculpture is mine.
 The Insight is in one of the restored stone buildings on Main Street. The building is amazing and really showcases the art well.

One of the floats
 The parade began after 6:00 and consisted of lots of vehicles and floats decorated with Christmas lights, marching bands, representatives of the military, horses, llamas with Christmas lights, and of course Santa Clause. The weather was dreary with light rain but it didn't dampen the spirits of the crowd.
Part of the parade
 The rain lasted through the night and all the next day as I drove back to Fort Worth on Saturday. I did a bit more sculpture on Sunday and it is still raining but after our drought we really need all the rain we can get.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Five for the Small Works Show at the FWCAC

Garden House
8 x 10
oil on panel
Last Tuesday I wasn't feeling very well. I found out I have walking pneumonia. I'm slowly (very slowly)  starting to feel better. One of the worse things though is that I haven't felt like creating any art at all. I don't have a lot of good things to say about daytime television either!
Camping at Lake Granbury
8 x 10
oil on panel
 However, even though I have been missing out on this great fall weather and color, I haven't been totally idle. I did get these five 8 x 10s in the Small Works Show at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center. This is a fun show featuring all kinds of art, 9 x 12 or smaller and unframed. It is a great place to add to your art collection or buy Christmas presents.
Bad Hair Day
8 x 10
oil on panel
The stipulation of this show is that the work not be framed and must fit in a 9 x 12 mailing envelope.So the paintings I selected had to be on flat panels. Many of my friends put paintings in this show as well. Over the years I've purchased several paintings there myself. I'm looking forward to seeing the show once it is hung and maybe adding to my art collection.
The Road Home
8 x 10
oil on panel

Two For My Tea
8 x 10
oil on panel

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Two weekends of art.

Fall Roses
8 x 10
oil on canvas
     I have to go back to last weekend to get caught up on my painting adventures. Last Saturday I painted in the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens with a large group of my friends including Hai Chi Lee, Dan Spangler, Beatriz Welch, Cecilia Robertson, Blair Currin, George De Chiaro, Tom Kellie, and Leslie Talty.
The roses I painted.
     The garden is looking very nice after the  long dry summer we had. All of the blooming roses and other flowers make it look more like spring than fall.
Beatriz working on her second painting of the morning.
      My friend Beatriz has a wonderful painterly style and helped me work on loosening up when I painted my roses. She did two very nice rose paintings.
A hawk on a bat house in the gardens.
Cecilia in the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens.
       We finished painting around one and then Beatriz, Tom, Cecilia, and I went to lunch at the Swiss Pastry Shop. Sunday I worked on sculpture.

       Friday night Beatriz ,who is a docent at the Kimble Art Museum, gave a group of us a tour of the Caravagio exhibit. Her tours are always incredible. As an artist herself she really is able to give talks that are especially interesting to artists. Caravagio's paintings are amazing. I especially liked his religious paintings of John the Baptist and Mary Magdaline and Martha.
Me with my paintings at Dutch Art.
     Then Saturday morning I went to an estate sale at the home/studio of the Gentling brothers. They were twin brothers and incredible artists. It was very intersting seeing their home and art collection. I bought five books from their huge library of art books and picture framing hardware. Then I drove to Dallas for an art show at the Dutch Art Gallery. This show featured works by The Artists of Texas Group. I have four paintings in the show. Several of my friends also have paintings in this show including Sheri Jones, Joyce Thomas, George De Chiaro  Linda Popple, Cece Turner, and Tina Bohlman. The show looked great and will hang through January.
Joyce Thomas and her paintings at Dutch Art.

Sheri Jones with some of her paintings.

The painting I started in Tandy Hills.
9 x 12
oil on panel
 Then on Sunday morning I went back to paint in the gardens. This morning Hai Chi, Cecilia, George and Dan joined me as well as Chris Toplyn, Claudia Davis, and Janice Weaver. It was a very overcast day. Claudia, Janice, Cecelia, Dan and I went to McKinley's for lunch. Then Cecelia and I went to Tandy Hills Park to paint some more. We stayed until almost sunset.  I didn't finish the one from the Botanical Gardens or the one from Tandy Hills but I'm posting the Tandy Hills painting anyway.
Fall foliage in Tandy Hills.

Cecilia heading to her car after a full day of painting.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Two Shows in the Near Future

 I have two shows coming up. The first begins this Saturday Nov.5th from 11:00 til 4:00 at the Dutch Art Gallery, in Dallas. I have four paintings in this show of work by artists in the Artists of Texas group. I haven't seen the show hung yet but I saw a lot of very nice art when I dropped off my four paintings, pictured below.

 My second show is the Small Works Show at the Insight Gallery in Fredericksburg. The opening is on Dec. 2nd from 6:00 til 8:00 P.M.  I have three bronzes in this show. The catalog for the show may be seen on the Insight Gallery's websight. The three sculptures below are in that show.,

Saturday, October 22, 2011

New longhorn sculpture

Mother and Child
12 x 9.5 x 8
bronze on granite
This is my newest sculpture, a longhorn cow with a calf. I haven't settled on my title yet.  I just got it back from the foundry this week. This is my first sculpture with multiple figures on one  base.  I  worked on it from life at the Fort Worth Stockyards and from photos I took of the longhorns at the Fort Worth Stock Show. I spent over two years working on it before deciding that I was pleased  with it and ready to cast. I work on a piece, set it aside, and then come back to it over and over to try and keep looking at it with fresh eyes. I make lots of changes as I work. One of the things I've found is that once I change one thing I wind up having to change many other things so that the sculpture continues to work as an entire piece. I'm always so excited to see each piece as it is completed and equally eager to show them to family and friends to get their opinions.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pumpkin, Pear, and Apples

Autumn Harvest
8 x 10
oil on canvas
    I love the fall. To me there is something so special about the change of the seasons. Our mornings are cooler, in the 50s, although the days still warm up to the 80s and 90s. The leaves are just starting to change color and I've heard the geese flying south a few times already. Fall is also the end of baseball season and we are very hopeful that our Texas Rangers will play in the World Series this year. It's also the start of football season for TCU and of course the Dallas Cowboys as well as my nephews games. Fall is the begining of hunting season. I didn't go out this year but I enjoy working with my  dog and hearing about my friends trips out.
pumpkins on my porch
 Fall is also when the weather becomes more bearable for painting out. I love to paint the colors of fall, the foliage  and of course the pumpkins. I 've bought several for my porch in different shapes and colors. So if I have the time I'll have to paint some of them. Of course with work, sculpture, and everything else time is something I don't have a lot of.
my front porch
Another thing I like about fall is Halloween. A number of the houses on my street put up orange lights and have pumpkins or other decorations on their lawns or porches. I enjoy the lights as our days grow shorter and shorter.