I'm nostalgic. Flat-out nostalgic. I enjoy steam engine locomotives, old classic cars, and chicken dinner at Ma Grimm's house on Sundays. I really miss those Sundays. That translates to my paintings. My wife recently told me I had a reoccurring theme in my paintings of an animal looking back. I never looked at it that way, but I guess it could be true.
When I'm designing a painting, I think as if I'm one of the subjects. Animals interact in all different and sometimes hilarious manners. They are curious. After a long dry spell, our whitetail will frolic in a puddle just to splash or chase each other as if they were playing tag. They often look back. Some look for familiar changes due to poor eyesight, among other reasons. As I'm at the drawing board, I question what the animal I'm about to paint hears, thinks, and feels. At times on the prowl, or overtaken by hormones and age-old impulses, or sometimes simply grazing.
This brings me back to, well, looking forward. I have opportunities to revisit wildlife that I've not painted recently and explore new ones. As nostalgic as I may be, I am thoroughly fired up about what's ahead. It is now. Like classic cars, traditional, wildlife art is timeless. Not much time to look back these days. Let's look forward!
"Heads Up" could well be the theme for 2020. Much maligned, the year will go down in the history books as a heck of a tough year to get through. However, when things go awry, opportunities are born! I won't sit and cry in my oatmeal, it's time for work and as my wife says, "At least we don't have a skunk in the attic". Well said.
These thoughts stem from a commission destroyed in freight shipping. Other artists told me it would happen eventually. Yep, Murphy's law caught up to me. I had to adjust plans, create a painting to surpass the original, order a new frame, and negotiate reimbursement for the original with the shipper. I'm one to believe that no experience is without a reason and I'm stubborn enough to not allow this experience to eat at me.
Let's keep our heads up, get out there and get after it! In response to the change of schedule I painted "Heads Up" for The Museum of Western Art, Round Up Show and Sale. Always wary this buck has raised his head from a quick graze. I hope it is a scene many can relate to!
The 37th Annual Roundup at The Museum of Western Art in Kerrville, TX will be held Sept 26 -Oct 31.
I received the nicest of emails from Southwest Gallery concerning a recently completed commission for one of their clients. It was of typical size, format, etc, but it was of the collector's prized alpacas. I had never painted alpacas and jumped at the opportunity to spend time learning about what sets one apart from the next.
It was a blustery cold day when we traveled to the ranch. The collectors already owned a large painting of mine and after viewing it hung over the fireplace of their main home, we set out to view the alpacas. I found them living up to their star status. These are prized show animals, traveling about in comfort matching Kentucky thoroughbreds.
I gathered reference of the animals and the desired view of the ranch and set to work. I admit, it was something I never expected to paint.
I always wanted to paint but growing up on a farm in Central Texas, I thought my subjects would be cowboys. I started painting in watercolor because it was gifted to my class by my high school art teacher, Dr. John C. Oliver. The art department at Elgin High School had few resources in 1987 except for one valuable asset, Dr. Oliver. He traveled from Austin each day to gift us with a better understanding of life and art.
Dr. Oliver made a difference! Our 1987 senior project was something along the theme of "Race of Life". While we worked on the project, Dr. Oliver brought in watercolors and I'll never forget, Arches Watercolor Paper. Nice stuff! We knew it was expensive and seemed like a luxury beyond reach for us. He had purchased this for the class from his own modest salary. He stressed that it was expensive and to MAKE IT COUNT!
My project was something of a skeleton falling down and a body going through a ribbon at a finish line. It probably can be viewed as very 1980's today, but I don't know for sure as Dr. Oliver bought it from me. I can't remember what he paid, maybe $15, maybe as much as $40, but it was my first fine art sale and a catalyst in my life.
Painter of western wildlife and landscapes, constantly seeking to balance impressionism and realism sans trickery. Brian works as a full time artist in Central Texas. Exhibited at Rockwell Museum, Briscoe Museum, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, and National Museum of Wildlife Art.