I ’m finally getting around to hanging up artwork after my move this past summer. I know. It takes me a while to decide where they should go. As we’ve unpackedº most everything else and added or decide to donate or throw away, these paintings and photographs are the last to find a home on our walls.
While unpacking them, I’ve noticed how many local artists are among these treasured pieces of art.
Some are photos but most are original paintings. The photos include a large print from a talented friend David Rose he took on a trip to Europe. Two photos – one of a young boy with Hook ‘em Horns hand signal – from David Wickersham are hung in my “longhorn room” from his trip to Africa. Though not from here, I also have several photos from another talented photographer colleague turned friend Russel Viers of his travels in Europe.
About half of the paintings I inherited from my parents. Among them is a beautiful one from Walter Jahn. Mrs. Jahn was a gifted artist who was known for her South Texas scenes. Her Indian paintbrush painting, complete with a stately live oak tree and cedar and barbed wire fence was a gift to my mom from my dad on their 25th wedding anniversary. I remember when dad gave it to her. They were getting ready to go out to eat at Old San Francisco Steakhouse and dad had replaced a print that hung in our den for my whole life with the new painting. Mom was putting on her jewelry and was a bit distracted when dad asked her if she noticed anything different in the room. She looked around and saw it.
She was stunned. I recollect her saying that she got chill bumps.
There is another painting they bought many years ago at the San Antonio Riverwalk Starving Artists Show. Many of the artwork sold was priced around $15. I don’t know the artist, Fayeanne Roberts, but she captured our beautiful live oak trees perfectly. This was one of my dad’s favorites.
I’m lucky to have two Lee Ricks Jr. watercolors. A fall scene that I bought shortly after a trip to the East Coast. The trees in their autumn splendor is gorgeous and reminded me of said trip. I also have his sunflower painting that belonged to my mom. I bought two Becky Carr pieces that are among my favorites. A very cool floral and a longhorn with tooled leather markings now grace our den. The Dowdy family gifted me with a lovely painting from LaMerle Koehl. Thelma Cardwell once asked me if there was anything special that she could paint for me. I had just found a white vase that my mom used for flowers. It would be filled with purchased ones or ones that we would pick from our dirt lane. I filled it with my favorite flowers – including gerbera daisies – and took a photo. Thelma painted it beautifully and with love. I also have a small water color by Karen McCauley, a boat scene by Mona Parker, one of a copper pot filled with tomatoes by Janie Tagert, two by our dear family friend Alene Haverlah Degenhardt Maywald, a cactus by Mildred Mireles, another oil painting of sunflowers by Nell Holder, a gorgeous watercolor by PHS art teacher Sharon Kotzur and another watercolor by my junior high art teacher Maureen Stinson. My kids now have originals by Mary Lou Smith and Lois Hoover. I regret not having any from Lee Bruns (Burgwin) or Helen Hunter.
Pleasanton has many more talented artists and many more being cultivated at Pleasanton High School. There are some truly gifted students that display their creations at Artrageous each year. I spoke to the owner and artist Darla Royal and she confirmed that this year’s show will be held the first weekend in May. Don’t miss out on enjoying local art.
The way I see it, collecting art – original or not – feeds your soul. These pieces speak to me, bring back wonderful memories and make me happy. “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” – Edward Degas
SUE BROWN is a columnist of the Pleasanton Express. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.