I find inspiration and peace of mind in a small town in Texas. You can drive around at a snail's pace, investigating all the daily alterations: a tree is being cut down, larkspur are blooming, another resident paints their house bright pink. These little alterations to my mindscape provide valuable gossip and painting subject matter.
Alley With Greenhouse, 30" x 40"
Old Blush On A Picket Fence, 15.5" x 19.5"
Sycamore On Hudgins, 30" x 40"
Sally Holmes Rose, 15.5" x 19.5"
The Boot Maker Charlie Dunn's House, 8" x 11'
House With Many Flowers, 11.5" x 16.5"
The Railroad Widow's House, 8" x 11"
Clint's Liquor Store, 7" x 9.5"
Bastrop Riverwalk At Night, 29" x 21.75"
I know this isn't Smithville but when I painted this I did live in Bastrop our county seat.
Surrounding my little village are fields, farms, ranches and woods. It is a bucolic spot. Close-by is a remnant of pine forest. Folks call it the Lost Pines but the pines aren't really lost, just separated by 100 miles from the wide swath of pines through Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. We have two state parks nearby: Buescher and Bastrop. Here you can walk in the pristine woods. In The Pines, In The Pines, Where The Sun Never Shines, And You Shiver When The Cold Wind Blows... As the old songs says, it is rare for the sunlight to break through the pine forest. But when it does, it bounces around and highlights at random. I try to capture this magic as well as the less contrasty more somber images as the song states.
In The Pines, Where The Sun Never Shines; 30" x 40"
In The Pines, 32" x 20"
Park Road, 10" x 15"
A Path In The Woods, Spring; 28" x 36"
Sunlight In The Piney Woods, 30" x 40"
Fields and Farms
I travel the winding farm roads rather than the highways. I see caracara, hawks, buzzards, ferrel hogs, cottontails, deer and all the domesticated animals. Last spring when it rained and rained, we felt we were living in Ireland, so green were the misty rolling hills. Leopard frogs jump across the road at night. One night a barred owl flew in front of the car trying to catch a frog in my headlights. I missed him that night but the next week I saw a dead owl on the road in the same area. I guess he took one too many chances with cars.
I love to walk on my friend's ranches. The clean air, bright sky, and gentle breezes remind me of my grandparent's farm in Western Kansas.
Trigg Barn, Late Afternoon, 17" x 27"
Farm Road, 10" x 15"
Dried Corn Field, 18.5" x 26"
Red Cows At Dusk, 17" x 31"
Austin and The Hill Country
Everyone loves the Texas Hill Country with it's rolling juniper hills and clear limestone creek beds. The Balcones Escarpment has seen remarkable growth with water is in short supply, perhaps the area is being loved to death. Unless I know property owners I am left to the heavily visited natural areas. I try to glean visual information and not dwell on the changes.
Cliff, Barton Creek Greenbelt; 30.5" x 44"
Big Creek, Fall; 24" x 30"
Bull Creek, Spring; 30" x 40"
Blanco County Creek, Dusk; 24" x 40"
San Antonio is our most European looking city. Downtown has many prized buildings of historical and architectural importance. I love to walk the riverwalk during the Christmas Holidays when luminaries line the banks of the San Antonio River. The landscape is obliterated by millions magical tinkling lights.