Allison Gillies paints large, so large that the usual run of canvases don’t provide enough space for her expansive ideas of color, shape and texture. She tried making her own canvases out of fabric from Wal-Mart, but that didn’t work either. An old tarp in her father’s garage reminded her of a sail, and her quest for something big enough to hold her ideas was over.
John Frair knows the role that luck plays in the career of a news photographer. In the summer of 1966, when Charles Whitman started shooting from behind the thick walls atop the Tower on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin, Frair was the only professional photographer on the scene.
People are taking notice of Betty Nash’s art. Her works, done in oil, are graceful, subtle manipulations of light and shadows, of deep colors and reflections. She uses the chiaroscuro style (the play of light and shadow) embraced by masters such as Rembrandt and Raphael.
It may seem like a cultural anomaly, but it is not, not really. Few of the artists whose works reflect the legacy and heritage of the American West were born to the land they portrayed. Frederic Remington was from upstate New York, the son of an emigrant hardware merchant. Charles Schreyvogel was born in New York City and raised in Hoboken, New Jersey, and N.C. Wyeth was a Massachusetts boy.
When Robert Littlefield Schafer started art classes, Babe Ruth was still with the Boston Red Sox. It was 1917, and Schafer was five. “My mother saw my interest and enrolled me in a children’s class at a local college,” the ninety-five-year-old painter recalled. That was the beginning of a lifelong love affair.
For someone who failed fourth grade art because he flunked a sewing project, Michael Winegarden has come a long way. Honors for his accomplishments in art today are numerous. His fourth-grade art teacher might not believe it, but Winegarden now teaches drawing and art appreciation at Grayson County College.
Linda Schaar has called many places home, living here, there, and back again. When she moved to Sherman— for the second time— she discovered an artistic bent that she hadn’t recognized before. She explained why. “Sherman and Denison are full of art, so the opportunity is here. I might not have made the step, had I lived in another area.”
When Vicki La Plant saw a collection of pink and beige pearls, she wanted to know how to make them into a necklace, something beautiful and one of a kind. She sought out Georgeann Hurt, a Chickasaw bead worker, and took four lessons in beading. Then, using the pink and beige cultured pearls, and a freeform freshwater keishi pearl for the center, she created her first piece of jewelry.
The creativity in Janet Karam’s paintings is undeniable. Her contemporary, colorful takes on saxophones, jazz musicians, buildings, blues singers and ballerinas vibrate with life. “I think I had a spark from a young age,” Karam said about her creative streak. “It was lying dormant, but my mother helped light it, and now in my older years she nurtures it.”
If Roger Sanders were an insect, most likely he would be a boll weevil. Now wait a minute. Before the Sherman lawyer’s friends start raising sand, let us consider the attributes of the little black bug.