Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Commission, Paint the Town, Special Artists

Golf Tournaments are big here in the Texas Hill Country. So are hummingbirds. A local golf course is having a tournament soon, and wanted something special as an award in addition to regular golf awards. Since their course is known for its abundance of hummingbirds, they ordered a hummingbird painting. I did the above on 8x10 gallery wrap (image surround) in acrylics using interference color for the hummer's feathers which gives it and incredibly realistic look, although it doesn't show that well in this photo.
They were well pleased.
I had never been in a plein air event until this one last weekend. It rained. Not a wash-out...but an on and off thing...enough to generate the need to hurl a few obscenities. Over 50 juried, talented artists competed...and I did, too. Assorted easels with paintbrush wielders littered the Marble Falls landscape, evoking odd looks from passerbys who were, no doubt, wondering who these fools were, standing around painting in the rain. We were challenged to do up to three to submit for judging and silent auction. I did two, pictured below.

I did this one the first day (7 x 9) acrylic on canvasboard. It got a lot of comments and sold in the silent auction for a nice amount. It depicts the storefront of The Wisteria Store on Main Street, Marble Falls.

I rushed this one the second day, in between 3 minute "windows" of non-rain. Spent more time talking to folks about Costa Rica than I did painting. Acrylic on 7 x 9 canvasboard, it is supposed to depict the wondrous grandeur of the 200+ year old oak at Old Oak Square. However, it wound up looking like the tree that ate Charlie Brown's kite. Out of 130 entries, this placed 131st.

Shannon Heep was the promoter and co-ordinator for this event. She is director of the Uptown Marble and Historic Main Street Organization. Originally from New York, after seven years in Texas, she can talk with a drawl, chunk down three-alarm chili, and toss cow patties with the best of em. For more info on Marble Falls and Historic Main Street Click HERE.

Janey Rives is the mastermind and organizer of the's fifth year. Janey was the owner of JSpace art gallery in Marble Falls and an exceptionally talented artist in her own right. She is pictured here with her painting "Spanish Madonna and Child". She is also a delightful personality with more energy than you can imagine.

A Few of the Artists
I know this is turning into a super-long blog (what's new)...but I met so many wonderful and talented people, I just have to introduce a couple of them....

Richard Bahn (and his Mom). Richard showed up early about the same time as I did Friday Morning. We visited and spent the first day in front of JSpace, painting the local storefronts. Richard is from VietNam and works in Austin as a computer draftsman. He just recently turned to art, working in pastels. He has a natural talent, and I have shown his second day's effort, Backbone Creek, above. In my opinion, it should have been in the top three. It didn't place, but it sold well in the silent auction.

Rita Kirkman I did a spot on Rita in the last blog...a realistic pastelist from New Braunfels wo has been touted in many art journals and exhibitions. She won first place in this event last year. This year she came in fourth. What I thought was her best out of the three she submitted, didn't win a cup of week old coffee. Go figure. Anyway, I snapped a photo of her, shown on the left, with her in the spotlight...where she belongs. Click HERE to go to Rita's Place.

Lisa Prosser Lisa is a hill county artist that excels in landscapes, floral and abstract works. She has quite a talent, a delightful
personality and submitted some outstanding pieces for this event. More about Lisa can be found by clicking HERE.

Valerie Walden
Valerie was next in line when we were signing in Fri
day, and her knock-out smile, well, knocked me out. Being the bozo that I am, I asked her how her pond was. Considering her vacant expression, my obscure reference to Thoreau was probably lost in the translation Valerie is from Austin, founder and member of the Austin ArtSpace Gallery. She creates some of the most delightful works and her talent is only exceeded by her winning personality. In short, she's a big sweetie. You can see more of Valerie's enchanting art and her story by clicking HERE.

And for more info on the intriguing Austin Artspace, click HERE

Debra Latham
Now Debra is a woman after my own heart...a kindred spirit, of sorts. She lives in Kingswood, over by Houston, but spends time here in the hillcountry at the family place. Her artwork is quite varied, but it is excellent in all respects. Aside from being drop-dead gorgeous, she has a winning personality, a divine talent, and she's got a neat sense of humor. If I was thirty years younger, thirty pounds lighter, thirty thousand richer, thirty degrees better looking and she wasn't already married, I'd ask her out to a picthur show. Then, if I knew the right six numbers, I could win tonight's lottery. Oh, Well. Click HERE for a closer look at Debra and her artwork, much of it done in the Old Masters' style.

Thanks for putting up with another long blog...I'll leave ya with a couple of shots of Pokey and TacoBelle in the bluebonnets and some cat and dog pictures. Cya down the road....James


  1. Hey Mr. James!! Love the paintings and the pics. Sounds like your event was a lot of fun even with the!

  2. What a great comm piece.

  3. James, I am always disappointed to come to the end of your blogs. I so enjoy each and every one! Your hummingbird painting is just simply phenomenal and I can well bet they were pleased indeed. I have to go look up that type of paint you mentioned for the hummingbird's feathers. It sounds like you had a most fabulous time just being James and enjoying your cohorts! Rain schmain...didn't hold you down, my friend! And I promise that one of these danged old days, I AM going to beging participating in the WtoW challenge...I like the references you give and just need to finish a few projects already ongoing; otherwise I just begin to feel overwhelmed, something I'm dealing with right now.

  4. A great post, James! Ya did great for your first plein air event....a big congrats on the sell! Looks like a lot of fun.

  5. Love the paintings, James! Sounds like it was a great time. Congratulations!

  6. James, great hummingbird painting, plein air work and blog entry. You've been busy, and sounds like ya'll had a great bit fun. Would love to have been there.

  7. Dear James, I don't know why I missed this last post of yours, but better late than never! I too, have an original James Parker Hummingbird! So I know how beautiful this painting is! And your painting that sold is really great, but I love the Charlie Brown tree! Giving it that description made it come alive for me.

  8. I think the hummingbird is one of your best - feathers look iridiscent. I WANT ONE!!!!!

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