Robert Ira Travis

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With sadness, the family of Robert Ira Travis announces his passing on March 24, 2018, at the age of 90.

 Bob Travis jr., Janet Travis Fortune, Dean Travis and his dog Johnny, and Cindee Travis Klement. Bobby’s kids after setting up for his wake in the pets barn warehouse. as he requested

Bob Travis jr., Janet Travis Fortune, Dean Travis and his dog Johnny, and Cindee Travis Klement. Bobby’s kids after setting up for his wake in the pets barn warehouse. as he requested

 

He was born to the late Gene Louise Young and Robert Fleming Travis on December 10, 1927.

 

 photos from my grand parent’s high school, senior year, yearbook pages. They were married in high school and my father’s baby picture is also in the book. I wish I had that picture. 

photos from my grand parent’s high school, senior year, yearbook pages. They were married in high school and my father’s baby picture is also in the book. I wish I had that picture. 

 My Dad’s parents Granny Gene and Bob -pa as I remember them. 

My Dad’s parents Granny Gene and Bob -pa as I remember them. 

Bobby attended Austin high school,graduating in the class of 1946, where he excelled in football, basketball, and track.

 a page from the Austin high school yearbook 

a page from the Austin high school yearbook 

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 On my Dad’s birthday- my dad with a drawing I made of him from an old newspaper clipping of him running track.  

On my Dad’s birthday- my dad with a drawing I made of him from an old newspaper clipping of him running track.  

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the Austin high school football team

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After high school, he enlisted in the Army and was stationed in the 11th Weather Squadron in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.

 

 

He then attended Texas Western, now known as UTEP, where he was a brother in the Phi Tau fraternity.

 from left- Robert Fleming Travis Jr., Robert Ira Travis Sr., Robert Ira Travis Jr., Robert Fleming Travis Sr. 

from left- Robert Fleming Travis Jr., Robert Ira Travis Sr., Robert Ira Travis Jr., Robert Fleming Travis Sr. 


Starting his family, he managed one of the farms in the lower valley of El Paso owned by his grandfather, Robert Fleming Travis Senior.

 

 

 

 

 

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From 1951 through 1964 he was one of the pioneering farmers who helped utilize water pumps to establish the large acreage of Dell City for cotton farming, a foundational industry for the small town that continues to this day. He was also a rider on the Dell City Cowboy Polo team, which brought home a world title in the early 1960s. He additionally farmed in Laredo, Texas from 1964 to 1966.

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In his early forties, he took over the Valley Feed store on North Loop Drive in El Paso, Texas, which grew during his life time from a small store front and warehouse in an inauspicious strip mall to become the Pet’s Barn chain of pet food and supply stores with 24 locations in El Paso, San Antonio, and Las Cruces.

 

 After family and business his passion was football. When I left El Paso in order to stay close to my Dad I started watching college and professional football. He was a cowboys fan but for me he wore a Texans hat. 

After family and business his passion was football. When I left El Paso in order to stay close to my Dad I started watching college and professional football. He was a cowboys fan but for me he wore a Texans hat. 

 Many times after he had checked on the west side stores he would stop by my house with a sucker for my kids. I drew the piece above from a photo taken on one such day. I was already to take my kids picture in their Easter clothes.     COMB HERE I   30" X 22" charcoal, ink and pastel 2015  Comb Here This piece is inspired by an out of focus photo I took in 1993.  My father stopped by my home as I was taking my son’s Easter photo. To make sure every hair was in place my father of little hair whipped out the comb he always carried in his shirt pocket. The quality of the photo was poor but the moment was priceless.

Many times after he had checked on the west side stores he would stop by my house with a sucker for my kids. I drew the piece above from a photo taken on one such day. I was already to take my kids picture in their Easter clothes. 

 COMB HERE I

30" X 22" charcoal, ink and pastel 2015

Comb Here
This piece is inspired by an out of focus photo I took in 1993.  My father stopped by my home as I was taking my son’s Easter photo. To make sure every hair was in place my father of little hair whipped out the comb he always carried in his shirt pocket. The quality of the photo was poor but the moment was priceless.

While he was a great sports fan, especially fond of the patient, strategic pace of a Diablos baseball game (and attending cold beer, Diablo dog, and peanuts), he was a greater fan of people. He liked to drive his pick-up truck from store to store in El Paso, ostensibly to make deliveries, but it was pretty clear his aim was to connect with employees and remind them all to always keep a comb and pocket knife handy. It is quite possible that there is not a road in El Paso he has not driven in search of a good meal and good conversation.

It was his way to connect with others over food, and he was a connoisseur of El Paso cuisine. On his rounds, he scouted the city for locally owned gems to share with those he loved. He was a fine cook as well, especially known for his smoked meats, and knew that care and attention to detail could make any meal, from a 20 hour brisket to a simple bowl of corn flakes, memorable.

Bobby was a self-starter with an independent streak, and while fortune did not always shine on his ambitions, he possessed the resilience and (he’d insist) plain dumb luck to build a lasting legacy. Not just in the business he helped start, but in the wit, wisdom, and love he shared with friends and family.

He is survived by sons Bob Travis (partner Terri Sanderson) and Dean Travis (partner Linda Razloznik)  (El Paso);  daughters Cindee Klement (husband Curtis) (Houston) and Janet Fortune; and his son-in-law Craig Fortune (El Paso); grandchildren Barrett Travis (partner Amber Giese) (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), Eric Travis (wife Josette) (ElPaso), Aaron Travis (San Antonio), Nicole Ramirez (husband Renee)  (Columbus, Ohio), Kyle Razloznik, Ryan Razloznik (wife Shellie) (San Antonio), Griffin Klement (wife Alex Groome) (College Station), Sage Klement (Houston), Travis Fortune (El Paso), and Reese Fortune (El Paso); sister Genie Lou Irvin (husband Widgie) (Columbia, Missouri); brother Warren Travis (San Francisco, California); great-grandchildren Abby, Emma and Danica Travis, Adam Hernandez and Julian Perez (El Paso), Collin Travis (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), Aiden and Harper Razloznik(San Antonio), and Evan Ramirez (Columbus, Ohio); and brother- and sister-in-lawsRobert and Mary Earp (El Paso).

A wake will be held in the warehouse of Pet’s Barn at 368 Yarbrough, El Paso, on

Sunday May 6th, 2018 at 2:00pm, where his family and friends are invited to celebrate his life.

Memorial funds may be donated to theAnimal Rescue League of El Paso, 7256 La Junta Dr., Canutillo, Texas79835, www.arlep.org/. 915-877-3785, 

 Eileen and me at the wake. Neither one of us could talk we were so teary. Thank you Eileen for everything.  

Eileen and me at the wake. Neither one of us could talk we were so teary. Thank you Eileen for everything.  

His family extends a special heartfelt thanks to Christina Rodriguez, whose care throughout the years made it possible for him to live at home, and to Eileen Carbajal, whose endless personal assistance and friendship throughout the years relieved him of daily worries and helped to maintain the independence he valued so greatly.

 At his 90th birthday party

At his 90th birthday party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is a song my sister Janet Fortune and I wrote for his birthday. We all sang every year for his birthday. 🎄😀

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“You’ll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley. You can tell the sun in his jealous sky when we walked in fields of gold.”

🌾


Thanks to my nephew Barrett Travis for writing such a beautiful obituary and adding the younger generations perspective. 

Faux bois Wedding gift ❤️❤️ #12 the 1st layer on the branches.

You can see the rough coat on the underside of the bench.  I am ready for the second application of concrete.

I have flipped the bench over and will work from the top to the bottom. You have to work from the top to the bottom because the process is very messy. 

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Step 1. Protect the bronze birds by covering them with plastic wrap.  

Step 2.  Paint the lath with a concrete bonding adhesive. 

Step. 3 Make a slip from the concrete and the bonding adhesive. Paint the slip onto the piece. 

Step.4 Apply concrete by hand.  

Mateo. 5 Remain calm, enjoy the process.  

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It turns out my bonding adhesive is old, as a result my concrete does not want to stick together. I am grateful I am only working on the scratch coat. I can fix anything that falls off when I apply the final coat. 

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I like this branch growing around the other

 

Things did not go as planned as I worked on the bench. My bonding adhesive was old and the cement just was not sticking. And marriages do not go as planned. The lesson here is just roll with it. I will get new bonding adhesive next week and the next application will go smoothly. It is not worth getting upset over. The fun part of marriage is having someone go through the rough spots with you, someone who makes the rough spots not so rough, maybe even fun. Look for the good in every situation, it is there. Make your problems work for you. 

Harvey Heroes- Houston Responds

Back in October I received a phone call from  Jeff Schultz of Houston Responds. Jeff was holding a conference the following  week for local churches.  He was trying to recruit volunteers to help those who still need help getting their lives back after Hurricane Harvey. He needed images for his Bible study booklet. I was thrilled to help out. I never received a copy of the booklet, but here are a few screen shot from the email he sent me. 

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Hurricane Harvey - sculpture #1

My first thought was to make a sculpture to be exhibited with the drawings of a man rescuing a woman and a baby. I loved how obvious it is in this drawing that they are strangers. He is carrying her but with his body language he could be carrying a sack of potatoes. His energy is focused inward, perhaps he is worried about his own family. She is the same, she is affectionate with the baby but she is not snuggling into her rescuer. There is not a  history  between the rescuer and the girl. 

 “The guy in the Astros cap”  

“The guy in the Astros cap”  

After some consideration, I have decided to make the sculpture a livestock piece. I changed my mind because I feel the livestock pieces need to be very large to properly convey the extraordinary feats some people went to in order to save their livestock. I also like the fact that it is unexpected to make the sculpture of a pig rescue. I can always make a sculpture from the other drawing later.

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 “Bringing home the bacon”

Regenerative agriculture - roots are tools

Our Myer lemon tree has been struggling all fall, as a result I now have a new root. 

 What is left of my diseased tree. 

What is left of my diseased tree. 

 From the root

From the root

I will cast it in bronze and turn it into a second tool for my regenerative agriculture project “roots are tools.” First, I need to make sure that my first piece works out like I have imagined it. Unfortunately, I have been unable to pour the bronze for the piece.


It is taking awhile to get all of the kinks worked out of the MFAH Glassell Studio School Foundry. As a result, I have not poured any pieces this fall. I am anxious to pour my root. I would like to know if my creative sprueing system works. If it works, this Myer lemon root will make a great tool.

Faux bois Wedding gift ❤️❤️ #10 building the humidifier

Concrete has to stay wet for five days. If it doesn’t, it cracks. In order to keep my piece wet, I created a temporary humidifier room. The frame is PVC and actually Curtis bought and built the pvc frame for me. It was a honey do project for him. And I am very grateful for all his help. Several years ago, Christine Medina created a plastic tarp to fit my frame. She creatively held it together with stickers from an exhibit in the old Rice Gallery. The last time I used it, the stickers fell off. As a result I have made a new plastic cover.

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My new cover has red construction zippers that will allow me to peak in and make sure the piece is staying moist.

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My humidifier with a dolly sitting inside.  

The next step is to get a strong board 24” X 48”  

to set in the the dolly and then set the bench on. - another honey do. The bench is from us both so I don’t feel guilty asking curtis to help out.  

“Glyphosate” Airing the devestating impact that pesticides have on pollinators

I am expanding my regenerative agriculture/sustainable living work.  This additional work will air the devastating impact that pesticides have on pollinators. I have decided that, to portray the reported impact of pesticides on this basic ingredient for life, the artistic language for communicating this message will be scale, placement, technique, and media. 

Scale- My paper is 44” T X 30” W. The pollinators size will be magnified approximately twenty times.    

(Should I go bigger?) 

Placement- The bee will be on its back, and dead at the bottom of the page.

Media- I will use watercolor as it immolates the water properties of pesticides.

Technique-I will attempt to apply the media so that It speaks of the pesticide spray, pollen dust and disintegration. Getting the perfect technique down is one of trial and error. Below are trials I-VI. 

 Attempt #1

Attempt #1

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#2 getting better.  

 #3 is the ghost of #2 

#3 is the ghost of #2 

On day two I have decided to try adding more colors in the black and maybe blast it with a spray bottle of water and then print it.  

11/20/2018

Day 2  

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Glysophate #4

 

I added color more color but it is not showing up as I would like. The wings are much better. 

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glysophate #5

I added more color and.......in this photo you can’t see it. In person it is Subtle. I kind of like it. 

 

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I sprayed my plate with water after the last print and now I wait for it to dry. It is in puddles, it may never dry.  

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Glysophate  #6

It has occurred to me that, working with individual bees, I am not addressing the colony collapse and disorder that will result. Should I? Do I need to?

Any thoughts to share? 

Peace pigeon project #17 - Pareidolia

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In the fall of 2016 I decided to experiment with sculpture materials. I challenged myself to sculpt a new sculpture a week, each week in a different material. As my subject, I chose the German beak crested trumpeter with leg muffs pigeon because he allows me to express a lot of movement and energy. I have many drawings and a bronze sculpture of the German beak trumpeter. From a sculpturing point of view, his feathery feet keep him balanced without a pedestal allowing for lots of the expression of energy and emotion.

It turns out that the bird known in the US as a German beak trumpeter pigeon is the same bird that Picasso drew as the peace dove. Everyone knows His famous "peace doves". This particular pigeon was given to him by Henri Matisse. It is described as a Milanese pigeon. Possibly it was from Milan, but you can tell by the fancy feathers on his feet that it is a German beak-crested trumpeter with leg muffs. In German and French, the term pigeon and dove are interchangeable.

I am no longer committed to sculpt a peace pigeon a week but I don’t hesitate if a material or found object jumps out at me to turn it into a sculpture.

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The very last beak break.  

An opportunity to help

I was so happy when I was contacted by Jeff Schultz of Houston Responds. He needed images to illustrate his booklet for recruiting people to help the people in Houston who are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.  

Unfortunately I was not able to include the Bible study booklet. Below are a few of our emails.  Helping others is the best - 

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Harvey Heroes- LIVEstock - “bringing home the bacon”

I stared a new section in my Hurricane Harvey series of Harvey Heroes. These will all be LIVEstock rescues.

I made the first one today,

  “Bring home the bacon.”  44” X 30” watercolor monotype  

 “Bring home the bacon.”

44” X 30” watercolor monotype  


This is my first large monotype.
I have always wanted to go larger, but the temporary location of the Glassell School of Art did not have a big press. The pieces in this part of the series will all be 44” X 30” The Glassell printmaking studio has fabulous light, is super clean, and I love working in it. Alexander Squier, the head of the department and instructor makes sure everyone keeps it spick and span. This is the fourth time I have taken the class, print making is addicting and you need a press to feed your addiction. Plus Alexander is great.

Here is the ghost print. Something happened to the ghost. I am not sure what caused the mark that runs through the middle. When it dries I will try to fix it.  

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Before fixing-

The ghost - “bringing home the bacon”  

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Fixed  

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My work space in the Glassell printmaking studio  

 

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Me fake working for a photo op.  

Faux bois Wedding gift ❤️❤️ #8

Today I put the first coat of concrete on the feet. I use rockite a concrete mixture used for making repairs in concrete. 

 

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Work space  

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Right front and back pre rockite 

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Right front and back feet with rockite. 

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1 lb. rockite 3 oz. of water.  

When I work on Griffin and Alex’s wedding gift I always find myself thinking about their future. Today I found myself thinking about their (Griffin and Alex’s) future children and how similar yet how different children can be and how perfect they each are. Just like the feet of a bench.