Robert L Terrell Art Gallery

Here’s a favorite corner of my art gallery. It used to be my living room. But I’ve always been an artist, and why do I need a living room? I really answered this question for my own overly busy brain some art eons ago.

Per living arrangements, I need a certain level of of comfort and convenience. It’s a soft-target level low-ending at pup tent in the backyard (after my art has completely filled every home nook and all house crannies). The upper end of the target, scale (what have you) is, of course) would be to evict Generalissimo D from Mar-a-Lago.

But no eviction will be necessary … He’ll soon enough be on the big Vulcan Arc to Mars, with all the Red Staters! Y’all didn’t think I posted that photo of the biggie Haboob just for fun-sies did ya? I’m just getting people used to what their life will be like on MARS-a lago.

Ya see… I don’t want politics to interfere with my truly true love of making my art and website fun postings. And I think the big political tensions in the USA now seem to be possibly escalating into oppositional war. More and more, some folks seem to be turningΒ  their politics into complete views of reality, philosophy, religion, etc.

I think the best solution to these building political and philosophical tensions may be to begin now to divide up by planetary political color!! The blue voters get Earth – the blue planet and the red voters get Mars – the red planet. I’m not sure who the independents and non-voters will get. They may finally HAVE to make a choice. It’s sort of a Sophie’s choice for some of them. But if I can make a suggestion, I believe that going with the blue voters and continuing to live on Earth (which has an atmosphere & water & food) might be something for the independents to consider πŸ™‚Β 

Hey, I’m an artist, right? I think in color a lot, and it really only seems fair. If we separate the two opposing viewpoints by millions of miles, it’s sure to bring an era of Blue and Red Edens once again. Or, once…

What could be more fair than that??

And for now, please keep coming back to my blog! This is definitely not a political blog. I might go off on a political tear once in a blue moon is all. And by the way, the blue moons stay with the blue planet. Again, it’s my color thing. Don’t blame me for that! Yeah, also, we get Elvis’s version of Blue Moon of Kentucky (all versions of it by everybody). Singing Blue Moon of Kentucky will be absolutely FORBIDDEN on the Red Planet!!

But I didn’t answer the question really, did I? I mean about my soft-target art studio / living arrangement. That’s quite easy since I’ve been dreaming about it a day longer than forev-er πŸ™‚

My Santa Fe Dream Studio & Artist’s Life

A wood floored studio in Santa Fe, with skylights, and all the classic architecture. About 30′ x 30′ should take care of my needs. Plus a woodshop out back. With heating in winter! Important – I want heating for Santa Fe winters. And an adjacent studio apartment. Of course I must have a gallery connection in Santa Fe, too. That’s an essential part of the Santa Fe package deal!

Mondo Abstracto

wall sculpture – synthetic polymer paint on wood
6.5″x12″.5″(deep) 1985

I’ve always loved this diminutive wall sculpture πŸ™‚ which is NOT diminutive in my artist eyes & mind!! It never did sell down in Houston. The little creature traveled with me a couple of times to different states, and finally I sold it to a friend of mine – doctor’s wife, for her husband’s birthday. That sort of sale is always a scary thing for me.

A lot of times I’ve experienced an enthusiastic spouse but the other spouse wasn’t enthusiastic at all. And if the enthusiastic spouse be female, “occasionally” it has appeared (like a big truck) that hubbo was a bit more than unenthusiastic, if you be getting my drift.

Well I don’t want to drift along like an iceberg – ready to ram the Titanic of marriage voyages . . . yikes. Still, being an artist trying to sell his or her art follows a simple formula that was succinctly explained to me by my most excellent artist friend (both artist & friend) Ron K Smith many long years ago down in Houston, TX.

Believe them (public art buyers) when the check is in your hand!

This simple statement runs counter to many folks romantic idea of what it’s like to be an artist. I’ve heard both ends of the spectrum actually. There isn’t a lot of middle ground and Ron’s handy art measuring guide is very useful, as it does lie firmly in the middle ground of artist reality (a place that seems to be getting harder ‘n harder to locate for everybody).

But before I break out into song (which sometimes happens when I begin to ‘n so watch out people!! You saw that ‘n in the previous paragraph. I did, too, and went all mental uh oh. Song-bloggin’ is a scary place to be with me…. I’ll move on with my bloggy bloviatin’ blather. See, the ‘ns are multiplyin’ haha My wordy word words are the lesser of two or three e-evils when you’re surfin’ the interwebs πŸ™‚

SO, the glamour of being an artist is (partial fun list): full of a lot of alone time – painting, sculpting, printing, priming, sanding, crating, uncrating, etc. Also, calling dis-interested gallery owners & entering shows (well I’ve been sho nuff lazy ’bout that – got me a good violin soundtrack goin’ now!! Yes, there’s plenty o’ rejection from galleries for most of us (but as Dean Andrew Martin says, “It’s a numbers game – Just keep entering.” That doesn’t seem to bother some artists. They just move on down the gallery row list. But some of us are sensitive artists like yours, too-ly! haha I don’t like no rejectins. Still, do it enought and it gets easier. Not sure it gets quite as glamorous as a job at the art supply store, though πŸ™‚ Meet lots of artists there, male & female. Move to the big city, like Houston – Texas Art Supply has tons of folks buying their art supplies there. I worked there for 4 years. I met lots of art people. Not glamorous but could be fun for an isolato artist like me. Still . . .

For me, the most glamorous parts are those times (and not every day, when the pieces of the art jig-saw puzzle fall into place and I see something new & amazing on my easel or wall! WOW! Often this is 3AM, 4AM, or 5AM. Almost always it’s when I’m totally alone! Just me, my brushes, and my cats!! That’s when I’ll often have my music turned way up and my ancient dancin’ feet going a mile a minute… Or, I’ll be sitting in my special art chair just gazing at what I just finished painting – wondering how that got painted exactly… and… wondering if I will be able to make such magic happen again. Because often I’m not too sure how it did happen anyway. But the wondering doesn’t drown out the feelings of awe at these times!

Yes, art IS GLAMOROUS!! But the general public misses most of it 😦 

Glow (of recognition)

Glow (of recognition)
abstract painting – synthetic polymer paint on canvas – 1976 – 86″x60″

 

This wee painting πŸ™‚ (all of 8 feet long and five feet tall) was my second large-ish painting to produce, in art school, way back when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Or if not dinosaurs, then flying-saucer men or something. It’s getting fuzzy in those parts of the old head-kicker.

I painted this huge a monster with a different palette first, mostly an arrangement of blues. That didn’t suit me, as so often happens, so I fixed it. I remember very late nights alone, just me and my brushes, in the big painting lab working away. This is the result and it was rather popular with some of the students as I recall.

We hung it in the big stairwell by the main art office (where large paintings were hung all the time). The stairwell was enclosed in an interior space about 30 feet high with skylights at the top and the one big wall just ideal for large paintings!! πŸ™‚

This painting (which is now suffering from my art school lack of photographic technical abilities) was a natural for that space. My apologies for the lack of a good slide of the painting and no slide of the stairwell. Oh well. But I was able to save my one photos quite a bit Β with my digital painting program abilities. How some things have changed in all these years since 70s art school especially the digital revolution.

So, I remember one small event after we got it hung. I was looking up from the stairs below, and a classmate and I were shooting the breeze about how it looked and art in general.

About that time, a faculty member came down the hallway. I didn’t really know this teacher but my classmate, John, did, and he went over to visit with this faculty. John came back in a couple of minutes, clearly in a bad mood. He told me that the Fack had a criticism (well it is their job, I guess). Apparently he didn’t like how I’d dealt with the “corners” of my painting.

Being way way too sensitive to criticism, I let this get under my skin so deeply that I became hyper-duper aware of corners in my artwork for the next… FOREVER YEARS!!!

WT HECK?? And you know, another student in the class, my very good friend, Donita Myatt loved this painting, and bought it from me. True, she only paid me $50. That just covered the cost of materials. But my wife Cindy & I went over to her house to see it installed.

Donita and her husband had a very nice home, with one of those “sunken pit” living room spaces. My painting was the showcase of that room!! She had big Philodendron plants on either side of it and her cathedral ceiling Β had skylights and track style lighting shining on it, too. WOW! I could hardly be upset about the home my “corner-challenged” painting had – it was living much larger than Cindy & I were! ha!

Finally, just earlier this year, I seem to have overcome my “painting corner” PTSD. . . I’ve been working on a lot of new abstract paintings on canvas and with a little effort on my part it seems to have faded into the background din. Oh yay!

Rectangular art is once again safe for me to tread…

Subatomic Bone-eaters

abstract painting – synthetic polymer paint on baltic birch plywood
20″x60″ – 2993

The bone-eaters evolve to a subatomic shell level (stealth visual, non-verbal). Slowly they circle their molecular wagons about the greatest artist of the premillenial 20th century century aka Pablo Picasso.

Their intel captured from the collected works of thousands of mind-numbing lectures at colleges, they make their move. But alas, the great master has made his move to the great beyond πŸ™‚

Busy now, capturing the hearts and minds of astral angels and cherubs alike, he works feverishly at his crafts using brushes of pure light & delight. Still, the bone eaters will not give up.

Why oh why did not the historians and keepers of the art flame inform the bone eaters that the immense Pable P has no bones to pick in the hearafter??

This is truly intel of the first order. And order he shall !!!
boneeaters
Bone Eaters arrive at their (galactic) destination

Β 

I love them!

This little wall sculpture was the first of a series of quite a few small wall sculptures I made in the early to middle 1980s. I had a wall full of these and they looked good! Good enough that Kauffman Gallery decided to accept me into their “stable” as some galleries call their artists. I’ve never been too fond of that term, but I do love horses πŸ™‚

Be that as it may, It was late 1984 and I had quite a few of the little wall sculptures finished. I thought they looked strong – a solid direction to present to a gallery. And life was pressing in on us. Things back home were not good. My parents were going through it and every time ET phoned home the news seemed worse. Bad for them, but sort of a sword dangling over my head to work my tail off to present to art galleries. Why my parent’s plight affected me directly like it did I’m not entirely sure. My existential artist plight was drenched in family drama at that time.

So, I got up my nerve and called a gallery (big deal for me). She seemed to like my work but informed me the next day that my work was not a fit. I was disappointed but it was only the first gallery I’d called, so… I recovered quickly and in a day or two called the director of Kauffman gallery – which I felt drawn to already. I’d attended shows there and (years before) hoped someday I would show my work in their attractive gallery space.

The Kauffman director, Leigh Smitherman, caught me off guard. I asked if I could show her my work and heard, “Sure, do you want to come in today?” This was such a surprise to me I fumbled around and said, No, I can’t today, but tomorrow is good (what a big artist dummy I was…).

The next day, I arrived at the gallery with my little sculptures in a cardboard box. haha What a presentation. I was a few minutes early, so I pretended to look at the art on the walls, but, yes, that’s what I was doing. A few minutes passed and she came in – but I didn’t know it was Leigh.

She saw my box of art first and said, “Oh these must be Robert Terrell’s pieces! I LOVE THEM!” That was one of the best reviews I EVER HAD. I think I said, I’m really glad you like them, and then told her I was the man! haha We looked at the ones I brought – I think about 8 of them. I told her how I made them and what they meant to me.

She told me the gallery voted on new artists that coming Friday, so I had to wait a couple of days to find out if they were interested. From her opening comments and our conversation I was hopeful but still I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high. You never know. She was not the gallery owner. But, like I said, I’d wanted to be in their gallery for a long time πŸ™‚

Friday came and I called (I think I did the calling). Leigh told me I’d gotten a thumbs up from the gallery committee, and that such great news – it was the beginning of my new life at age 31!! They started hanging my art, including some larger pieces (I will post photos of a couple of them).

The first month with the gallery I sold two pieces for about $750 and $500 so I did the only rational thing – I quit my pretty good job at Texas Art Supply. And, No… that wasn’t the best idea I ever had.

My wife and I began eating more potatoes than usual.

My joining the gallery was still such a good experience for me… I finally felt like I’d achieved a real artist goal. Now other artists had a reason not to like me (they thought) – and some of them did seem to have some issues. They had more Houston connections, they had more art schooling…. oh well.

Even after all these years, I still look back to that afternoon. “Are these Robert Terrell’s pieces, I love them!”

You can see several of the little wall sculptures here on my art website: Little Wall Sculptures by Robert L Terrell