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.