Sunday, April 27, 2014

Two Plein Air Events In One Day

Tandy Hills Morning 2014
8 x 10
oil on canvas
    Saturday was one of the most exhausting and rewarding days that I have had in a while. The days events started for me at 7:00 when I left my house to drive east to Tandy Hills Park. When I got there my friend Carol Ivey was just setting up to paint. Today was Prairie Fest and a group of us were painting there for part of the event.
    The weather was great. We were joined by several other artists including Claudia Davis, Janice Weaver, Olivette Hubler, Jeff Ott, Dan Spangler,  and others . We turned in our paintings to be auctioned off. (Mine sold.) Then four of us had to head on to the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge for a second event, Fort Worth Wild a VIP celebration of the 50th anniversary of the nature center.

Fort Worth Bison Herd
8 x 10
oil on canvas
    The great weather continued at the nature center. The four of us were joined by the rest of our group including T. K. Riddle, Mary Rabine, Sheri Jones, Tina Bohlman, and Steve Miller. We had painted out there a few weeks earlier so we already each had one painting for the show and were there to paint a second one before the auction that evening. I chose to paint the bison but in a much looser style.

Me working on my painting along the trail to the tents.
    This event was held for the 50th anniversary of the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge as a fund raiser to restore the parks CCC structures. Everyone painted wherever they wanted. Then before the start of the event they set up their easels along the path to the tents where the event was going to be held, and finished their paintings there as the guests walked past.

Me painting along the path, Tina Bohlman is painting across from me.
    It was a little windy but not too bad. There was a huge turnout, over 300 people who each paid $275 to attend. So from the point of view of the artists, exactly the sort of people you want at an art show.
The tents were set up on the site of the CCC structures, on a large hill with great views of the park and lake. There were several tents set up with tables in them where we were going to be eating as well as a tent where the paintings and other auction items were displayed and an area where the caterers were set up. Bonnels of Fort Worth catered the event. The food was delicious. Besides the artists painting along the path my friend Vince Villafranca  did a live sculpture casting in front of the tents.

One of the tents before the event.

    The location was just perfect for this sort of event.  I saw so many people I knew. It was sort of a whos who of Fort Worth. There was a table set aside for the artists but I was invited to join several groups of friends at their tables. Everyone I talked to said they thought this was a first class event.

Marty Leonard and Mayor Betsy Price
    The mayor was one of the first speakers. Other guests included local and state politicians and the head of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (who was a very funny guy.)  All of the speakers did a great job .The nature center is such an amazing place, over 3600 acres, and they all were effective in expressing what a treasure the nature center is.
    As the night went on the tents were lit with colored lights. And the views of the sunset out of the ends and sides of the tents continued to just get nicer and nicer. Hal Jay from WBAP  was the master of ceremonies and he was so funny as well as incredible in getting the guests to bid more and more on some live auction items including the right to name the new bison bull which went for $10,000.

Spring Bison
8 x 10
oil on canvas
    Almost every piece of art we created was sold. I sold both of my paintings. The event lasted until after 9:00 . I didn't get home until after 10:00 and I was pretty tired. It had been a great but long day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bluebonnet Time

Spring in North Texas
oil on canvas
8 x 10
 As a painter this is one of my favorite times of the year. Many of our wildflowers, including the bluebonnets are at their peak. Plus, the temperature is very nice to be out painting and the mosquitos and chiggers don't seem to be out yet. Like all great times in life, you are aware that it won't last, so the only thing to do is appreciate it while we can. So today after work my friend Sheri Jones and I met to paint near Benbrook. ( Sheri is a real trooper, she is up painting an hour before most people are awake in the morning and today after working all day she was out painting in clothes that looked like she was headed for church; and not a speck of paint on her.) Besides bluebonnets there are so many other wildflowers in bloom. There are also prickly pear, yucca, and mesquite and oak trees with fresh foliage. There is so much to appreciate and enjoy. Hopefully we will have more great days like this before the heat sets in,
Wildflowers and Cacti

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Texas Blues
8 x 10
oil on canvas
     Today was Easter and a very beautiful day. I woke up early and went out to Dutch Branch Park to paint the bluebonnets. I didn't see any turkeys this morning but I did see lots of deer, ducks, buzzards, and song birds. The bluebonnets are Getting prettier every day and the other flowers are coming along too. I finished this painting and worked on two others. I didn't paint long but I enjoyed it.

Bluebonnets (and light bluebonnets)

      I worked in my yard and then went over to my sister's for Easter lunch with our family. We had a very good dinner, played some games and watched some sports. Then I came back home and did a bit more in my garden before the rains started.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Caught up as of today!

Mustang Spirit
bronze on granite
    March 7th was the Texas Masters Show at the Insight Gallery in Fredericksburg. As always it is a tremendous honor to be part of the show. This show features some of the very finest representational artists working in Texas. This year my newest sculpture in the show is a running mustang called Mustang Pride.
     One of the most enjoyable things about this time of the year has been the Sorolla exhibit at the Meadows museum in Dallas. This has to be my favorite show of any artist''s work I have seen. It really gives a complete view of the artist, his process, and his work. By the time the show ended this weekend I had seen it six times. Each time I went it was with  different groups of friends and each time I saw different things and in different ways. Some of the pieces were from private collections and so there was a certain feeling of sadness in thinking that I would never see some of them again.

Bison in Spring
8 x 10
oil on canvas
    I had two big events on March 29th. The first was a paintout with ten of my friends at the Fort Worth Nature Center .I painted one of the bison. These paintings will be auctioned off at a dinner and fundraiser on April 26th at the Nature Center. The show may be viewed online on their website.

Spring in Texas
8 x 10
oil on canvas
      The second event of the day was the Fort Worth Art Dealers Association's Spring Gallery Night.I had paintings and sculptures at a place called Portfolio on Camp Bowie. My friend Margaret did a sculpture demo and I did a painting Demo. I did a painting of bluebonnets and cattle. This one was started from photos and finished in plein air.

Dutch Branch Park
       The last two weeks I have discovered a new place to paint, Dutch Branch Park at Benbrook Lake only a couple of minutes from my house .It is a beautiful place with wildlife, hiking trails, horse trails, and nice views. ( I used to take my Labradors here to practice their retrieving in the lake.) Last Saturday a group of seven of us went out around sunrise and painted there. I started two paintings there and also worked on my painting from Gallery Night. I had to leave early to take some sculptures to David Dike Fine Art to replace several that had recently  sold there. Then I went back to the Meadows Museum to see Sorolla for one last time with some more friends. I ran into several other fellow artists there. I think almost every artist I know who saw it went more than once.
      Today I met my friend Linnea back at Dutch Branch Park to paint again. It was a beautiful day, not nearly as windy as last Saturday. We saw a flock of six wild turkeys and several deer. I worked on my two paintings from last Saturday, started a new one, and finished the one from Gallery Night. I would have liked to have painted longer but my nephews had baseball games today. In the evening I worked on several sculptures and watched a movie on Theo and Vincent Van Gogh.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Getting caught up

Frog Princess
     One of my new sculptures from this winter is a horned toad with a tiara that I call Frog Princess. My horned toads continue to be some of my most popular sculptures as well as among my best selling pieces.

The Shed on the Hill
8 x 10
oil on canvas
    This winter was a mixed time of very cold days with snow and ice as well as some weekends of very nice painting weather. We continued to paint in the Five Points  area near Waxahachie as well as other areas close to there. I revisited some of the same locations and painted them again as well as venturing Into some newer areas like Maypearl.

Memories of Fort Worth
acrylic on guitar
   Some of my friends and I, who helped out the North Texas Alzheimer's Association last year by painting stars for them to auction off last year helped out this year by painting guitars. I was not horribly enthused about painting on a guitar and I struggled with what to paint. In the end I decided to paint a sort of collage of scenes and symbols of Fort Worth. Once I started however I really enjoyed this project. I hope it will raise a lot of money for a very worthy cause.

     Another event that I was involved in was called All Out Trinity. I was on a committee that helped to organize a days worth of outdoor activities along the Trinity River in Dallas. My part was to bring some local artists out to paint in plein air near the new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

Poster for All Out Trinity
     This was  not so easy to do as several other events were going on at the same time and the weather started out very unpromising. In fact, most of the time that I was there it was  so foggy that I could hardly see the bridge let alone the Dallas skyline, but I actually wound up enjoying the effect of the fog and the way it softened everything.

Foggy Morning in Dallas
8 x 10
oil on canvas

Monday, April 14, 2014

A lot of catching up to do.

Draft Horse #1
oil on canvas
8 x 10
    I have been away from my blog for several months, but not away from my art and art related activities. So what that means is that I have a lot to get caught up on. Going back several months ago some of us went to the Fort Worth Stock Show Parade. We went to the area where the parade assembles and took lots of photographs there as well as along the parade route.

Draft Horse #2
oil on canvas
8 x 10
   I placed my horses in fields rather than in the parking lots but I really enjoyed painting them. The first two paintings were draft horses who pulled the carriages and wagons in our all horse drawn vehicle parade. The third painting below, was of one of the riders from the Mexican clubs and groups that come up for the rodeo and parade. These are some of my favorite groups with their traditional clothing and style of riding, (the ladies all ride side saddle.) This particular lady was an Indian from Zacatecas, I think.

Senora in Red
oil on canvas
8 x 10
     The parade was really good this year and after that a group of us went to the Kimbell Art Museum to see the exhibit called The Age of Picasso and Matisse: Modern Masters from the Chicago Art Institute. My friend Beatriz Welch gave us a great tour of the exhibit. This takes me through the end of January. In my next blogs I will try to get through February and March. I have many new paintings and sculptures to post.