“I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study, and the passionate possession of all Texans.” - John Steinbeck
I grew up in Louisiana but moved to Texas 10 years ago. When I first moved to San Antonio, I was a little underwhelmed with the landscape. I was used to green lawns, lush foliage, and giant oak trees dripping with moss. You don't need a green thumb to get things to grow there, and digging a hole in the ground is easy-peasy. Our first house in San Antonio had no grass when we bought it because there was no sprinkler system. Instead, there were giant cracks in the dirt and a view of scrubby mesquite trees in the park across the street.
Over time, I came to appreciate the landscape here in South Central Texas, the Texas Hill Country, and West Texas. I love the topography of limestone and granite, wildflowers, cacti, and rivers you can see your feet in.
We have fun exploring the small towns of the hill country, visiting state parks, and Big Bend National Park. I'm a city girl through and through, but I was raised in the country, so it's always nice to get back to nature and taking it slow every once in a while.
This discovered love of the Texas landscape has inspired my work in the past 2 years, both in my mixed media landscape collages and my work with oil and cold wax. I've been playing around with oil and cold wax medium off and on for a few years now but really started to focus on it last summer. I started painting landscapes on vintage book covers because I have too many of them laying around and didn't want to buy panels. I love the way the way the book linen is visible around the edges and it's a really fun substrate to work on. I started painting them on panels after I attended a workshop with Lisa Pressman in the fall and came home inspired to work. Some of these pieces are currently hanging at the San Antonio Art League and Museum in the member's gallery until April 25th. It's always fun for me to see a cohesive collection hanging together in a lit space.