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An Artful Mother's Day

Dylan Fulford   "A is for Art"
I can't think of anything better to post on Mother's Day than mothers' children's creative work. In my last post, I included an image of Cheyann Hayes' painting. A mixture of figurative and abstract themes, it really set my imagination going.  But her painting was not alone at the high school art exhibit in Graham, Texas. I have been privileged to visit many a museum in more than one country, and I can honestly tell you that I spent as much time at this exhibit at the Old Post Office Museum and Art Center in Graham as I did at any expo at a museum. More than 140 students had work in this show.

The Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte said that the most important element of art is "the presence of the spirit" within the work itself.  That spirit was truly present in these young people's work. Kudos to their teacher, Kathy Lambden, at Graham High School.

It gave me great joy to see this art--it is resounding proof that we have not all turned into texting and emailing robots, that our youth have much creativity and talent to take into the future, and reaffirms that the eternal connections between hand, eye, mind, and heart are still quite alive.  Now, I share some of these wonderful works with this blog's visitors, with deep appreciation for these students, their parents, and their teacher. And if the students will indulge me, I couldn't help but give some titles to some of their pictures .... Enjoy!

Amy Jiménez

This is a classic site in early spring in Texas, as birds fly through  to other
destinations and take a respite in our yet bare trees. The shades of gold and yellow really make this painting "pop."
Daniel Galicia   "Portrait of Serenity"

This was the first picture that really drew me in to the exhibit. I spent a lot of time looking at it. Daniel's limited color palette takes advantage of blue's "vocabulary," contributing to the peaceful feeling of the work, while the diagonals of the composition give the work a kind of dynamic energy--a balance, a kind of poise.
Leia Renicks  "Eiffel Tower"
Speaking of dynamic, this drawing of la Tour Eiffel in Paris made me feel that I was right there, looking up into the structure. I have always admired anyone who can handle three-dimensional perspective this skilfully. 

Jennifer Moore
I think of this painting as "The Happiest Tree"
This painting can really set an art historian's mind going. It brings to mind Jugendstil, when Art Nouveau was wielding its influence in Vienna, as well as the work of Gustav Klimt and another well-known and more contemporary Austrian artist, Hundertwasser. Great graphic quality and wonderful progression of color.

Addie York
"Fashionable Cow"
Who can look at this delightful cow and now smile?  Her bright yellow tag is like a uni-earring. And if you have been close to a cow, you do know that they have the world's best eyelashes. The Fauves would be proud of this one!

Blaine Calame
Also at home on the ranch, of course, are our dogs.  Aside from being a good portrait, Blaine's use of black and white here simply couldn't be stronger.  I especially like what I call the grace-note eyebrow on the right-hand side of the drawing. 

Mallie Springer
Staying in the black-and-white range for a moment, here is Rosie's Diner. As the drawing above makes a great statement in black and white, this drawing does so in many shades of grey. It has a mood, an ambiance--both melancholy and inviting.  And a touch of mystery. 

Marley Pearce
"Window, Window on the Wall"
Here's another space we can't quite see into, but can look upon. One of the most technically accomplished paintings on canvas at the exhibit--a photo does not quite do it justice.  

Allie Davis
"7:30 and Heading Left"
Also demonstrating really good technique, I like the fact that the painting leaves me wondering:  Is the tower truly leaning or is this the artist's choice to paint it this way?  Love the clock.

Colton Edwards
"The Tree Beyond"
Keaton Skidmore
"Texas Twlight"

Cheyann Hayes
"A Portrait of Pines"

These three pictures of trees speak to the great variety of media and concepts at the high school art exhibit. Colton Edwards's work is graphic design at its best, and yet more proof just how powerful a good black and white composition can be.  Keaton Skidmore's tree in a Texas sunset stirs so many memories for me of travels down country Texas roads at twilight. This style veers in a folk-art direction, with beautiful (and accurate) use of color, with the fresh honesty that good folk art usually has.  And Cheyann Hayes's portrait of pines  gets my admiration, because trees are much harder to draw than you think! These pines look so real--they have personalities.

Speaking of personality!  This painting by Sheridan Ryan (sorry, my caption feature just went haywire!) makes me think of my favorite actress, Audrey Hepburn, of course. The way Sheridan breaks the smooth graphic quality with the sparkling earrings and hair ornament strikes just the right balance. And don't you want to know what is just beyond the 
edge of the picture?

The inscrutable wisdom of the snow leopard bids us to fasten our gaze--not only on his eyes--but on all things worthy to gaze upon.  This is a large art work by Krisha Hamm. This striking work ends this sampling of art for this entry.

Thank you, students, for making the world a more beautiful and interesting place. Thank you, Kathy Lambden, for your leadership and dedication in teaching. Thank you, Old Post Office Museum in Graham, for sharing space with your young native sons and daughters. And thank you to Marlene Edwards, executive director of the museum, who gave me some hometown insight into the museum and the art exhibit.

 P.S.: Not all the photos turned out well enough to do justice to the art. I also was impressed by the work of these students, as well:  Krystal Robinson, Kamryn Riddle, Blake Loker, Allie Hawkins, Paige Gates, Briana Simantal, and Daisy Morales.

And, Mamas--don't let your children grow up without art!


Ysabel, this is thrilling! I actually had goosebumps. Makes me so happy to see such talent and it renews my faith (and hope) that there are still those exceptional few who will lay down the tech toys for a drawing pencil or paintbrush.
Back from vacation. I'm getting ready to follow you on Twitter!

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