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.
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.
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.
“Bringing home the bacon”
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.
#2 getting better.
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.
I added color more color but it is not showing up as I would like. The wings are much better.
I added more color and.......in this photo you can’t see it. In person it is Subtle. I kind of like it.
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.
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?
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,
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.
The ghost - “bringing home the bacon”
My work space in the Glassell printmaking studio
Me fake working for a photo op.
Have I done enough? Which should I edit? Include the cot, don’t include the cot???? How should I compose them as a group?
The Glade Arts Foundation had a Halloween event, for which they booked a local graffiti artist to create a piece during the event. At the last moment, he had a conflict. I was asked if I knew anyone that could fill in, I couldn’t find any takers They needed an artist to create art during the event that would be fitting of Halloween. I am a sucker for anyone in need and offered to come up with something. I wrestled with a few ideas that I thought would be fun to watch - ink bubbles or lemon juice and fire. I went with fire. When my son was 8 years old, we threw him a magician birthday party. I wrote the invitations with invisible ink, (lemon juice) with instructions to apply fire to the invitation to make the words appear like magic. With that experience over twenty years ago in mind, I showed up at the Glade Arts Foundation with my torch, lighter, graphite stick, charcoal, and stick of white pastel and jumped.
Below are the results that landed:
The portrait was the finale and about 48”wide. The others were my experimental play. I always try new materials on images I am familiar with.
These were the prizes for the best costumes. The winners requested that I sign the front.
It was really fun to interact with the guest and to be a link in the human chain of life.
Art based on a natural disaster can weigh on one’s emotions. With that in mind, and the fact that I would like the viewer to have a positive inner feeling after looking at my work, I am playing with adding a shaking dog to the body of work. I want the dog to be generic so that everyone can see their dog in it and I would like the dog’s energy to leave the viewer with a smile.
Below are my first attempts. I hope one works.
A year ago, I made two works on paper; “Cranes Through the Window I and II”. The inspiration came when I stopped at a red light. Peering through the fogged and rain drenched car window, drops trickled down into tiny rivers, carving new landscapes in the glass. Beyond the miniature rivulets, dark and dusky clouds loomed in the shadows while others stood out in rays of hope. Through the puffs of gray, rooftops were stacked, and construction cranes delicately cross stitched in saffron and goldenrod garnished their capstones.
When asked if I had any cranescapes that were not monumental in size, I realized I had not posted these two pieces.
A piece from a large series of work inspired by the everyday heroes of hurricane Harvey.
Who saved whom
A piece from a large series of work inspired by the everyday heroes of hurricane Harvey.
He was wearing overalls
22” X 30”
the ghost print
Three of his and a few of mine.
Dove/pigeon - bronze
Doves/pigeon and a fish
Two of my Herman Beak trumpeter pigeons with leg muffs in charcoal
Two frill back pigeon is one in Talc powder and one in charcoal.
“Feminam” is Latin for feminine. I gave this piece a Latin name because she was purchased by two physicians. Over a year ago I agreed to sell G.G., my female wire cloth sculpture, titled “January 21st, 2017” as she saw it in our 2017 Spring Block Exhibition. I was amazed that G.G. asked me if she could buy the piece because I was already anticipating the problem of where I was going to keep her. G.G. was the first person who came to mind. G.G. loves art, is a very particular collector and any artist would be lucky to have their work in G.G. and Mark’s collection. A year later I was still having studio visits with people that I wanted to see “January 21st, 2017." However, I had said I would sell her so it was time to give her up. I decided to make another one for my studio. I started the second piece and showed her to G.G. and the new piece is really a better fit for G.G’s collection. She has a beautiful run just off center down her middle and she has more whit plaster on the surface. I am really pleased with the new piece. I wanted G.G. to have her pick and it worked out GG. for both of us. When I first met G.G. I automatically liked her, I tried to channel her inner beauty into this new piece, “feminam.”
Diane and Nate of Level Arts were very patient as G.G. and I decided on the perfect height.
They were also extremely patient as we played with the lighting. And I can play with lighting all day, it is so much fun.
Job well done. I could not be more thrilled to work with Nate and Diane of level Arts.
Thinking about my sculpture I googled seeing sound. I found the below link that explains how scientist now have cameras that record what sound looks like.
I also found the below fasinating article regarding the Nuerology of sight, sound.
I love it when scienc and art cross paths.
sketch I did in preparation for the sculpture.
When you witness or experience a horrific event there are images that hold onto you; images that will forever be conjoined to the experience.
Weathering Houston’s hurricane Harvey, I was glued to the TV and Houston’s social media postings. My eyes soaked up videos of contaminated waters creeping in the homes of nearby neighborhoods. I witnessed daring rescues of families as they were evacuated. In amazement, I watched mothers and children pile into garbage trucks, elderly folks in wheel chairs airlifted by helicopters. Through social media calls for help, it became obvious our cities first responders could not get to every home in need. Proudly, I saw brave Texans convert their flat bottom fishing boats, and jacked up pickup trucks into liferafts and search for those who called for help. No Texan would be left behind.
When our street drained, turning off the news and putting my social media in my pocket, I packed up my dry survivor’s guilt and headed down to the George R. Brown convention center to volunteer and treat my pain and my conscience. The Red Cross had turned one-third of the GRB into a families with pets section. Entering the building with dilated pupils I wove my way through the walk ways created by the clusters of cots and kennels occupied by families and their pets. It struck me that even in the midst of a disaster we humans create neighborhoods and small communities, we are pack animals. I headed towards the pop up pet supply store well stocked from donations made by citizens and the volunteer veterinary clinic where I would be helping out. Careful not to disturb the sleeping citizens of the newly formed families with pets city, I was confronted by a single cot. It was freshly dressed in a crisp white sheet accessorized with a fluffy white pillow and tucked in by a cozy, white flannel blanket decorated with tiny Red Cross logos all over. It was isolated from the others waiting for the next victim of Harvey to tuck themselves in and comfort them with safety. With all the rescue images of people trudging through unsanitary water, homes floating in floodwater fresh in my memory bank that cot was shockingly - humanity. Thirty thousand GRB citizens would be relieved to make it their new homestead. It was heart breaking and beautiful all at the same time. I could imagine if I had been rescued that cot would have been a long-awaited relief. I would not have asked the sheet thread count or if the cotton was grown pesticide free. My heart hurt for all those who were grateful to have such a cot. That cot, that crystal clear image of stripped down humanity, is the Harvey image that holds onto me.
Within weeks, I made two watercolor monotype pieces of the cot. One as I saw it and one with a pet waiting for its owner. I was pleased with their crispness and the delicate watery shapes seen when closely inspected. It occurs to me that the cot was so symbolic to me because of the constant looped eyewitness news reporting and abundance of social media posts. I was seeing the same strong images over and over. From my dry den, I too experienced Harvey.
I have taken photos of my television screen and collected screen shots of these images and will use them as inspiration for additional works to go with the cot. It will be interesting to see if it is interesting to anyone but me.
I have no idea whether what I am making is “good art” or “bad art,” but I do know that my brain loves painstakingly placing each and every tiny piece of delicate wire exactly where and how my imagination envisions it, and the sounds that come from the strings of the violin, as the horse hair bow, drawn in a focused and precise manner, moves across them. The energy that this sculpture is depicting is both physical and emotional. The work on this part, for me, is a meditation. I don’t really think about it; I just listen and imagine as I twist and attach the wires.
My father passed away.
Robert Ira Travis - He made 90 plus laps and on March 24, 2018 with dignity and grace he finished his race. He left us with many beautiful memories that we will always cherish and share with all those that loved him.
I drew many drawings of him in recent years. The one above is my favorite. It is how I picture him now in a new youthful, strong body running fast and free of human burdens.
the first three together
The next three I experimented more with the movement.
The obituary was written by myself and my nephew Barrett Travis.
Robert Ira Travis -
With sadness, the family of Robert Ira Travis announceshis passing on March 24, 2018, at the age of 90. He was born to the late Gene Louise Young and Robert Fleming Travis on December 10, 1927.
Bobby attended Austin high school,graduating in the class of 1946, where he excelled in football, basketball, and track.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.
Starting his family, he managed one of the farms in the lower valley owned by his grandfather, Robert Fleming Travis Senior. 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.
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.
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 hourbrisketto 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 helpedstart, 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); daughtersCindee Klement (husband Curtis) (Houston) and Janet Fortune; and his son-in-law Craig Fortune (El Paso); grandchildrenBarrett 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-grandchildrenAbby, 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,
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.
“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.”
Contact: Cindee Travis Klement, 3102 Locke Lane, Houston, Texas, 77019, firstname.lastname@example.org, 832-358-0001
A few months ago I was at a dinner for mother’s of my daughter Sage’s high school graduation class. One of the Mother’s is a lady named Barbara Gibbs she asked me to make a donation to help raise money for the Fondren Library. I don’t really know Barbara but it turns out I knew her husband David Gibbs in the 80’s when I sold commercial real estate in Houston. I had a meeting with David Gibbs that I will always remember. I was in my mid twenty’s and I had just moved to Houston from El Paso Texas. I had basically just fallen off the cantaloupe truck but I was a hard worker and was doing everything to learn the city fast, and I was doing ok considering the price of oil had fallen and most people were were really struggling. I had made one deal with David I think it was a Pea In The Pod store. I was discussing with him a new concept I had discovered in Galveston and I thought it was deserving of a really great location. He told me that after working with me on the first deal that he knew that I knew what I was talking about and that if I thought a concept was good then he trusted me. I was so excited he was a very important developer in the Rice University area and it ment a lot to me to get his vote of confidence. I could not of been more excited. I went back to my office when I received a call from my husband telling me his firm was transferring us to El Paso. I was pretty devestated as I was just getting some respect in the Houston Real estate market.
A few summers back I drew three monumental elephant drawings. Enlight of the recent national news I repost these. We need protect the elephants, we can not risk a mistake, conservation and healthy herds a are a necessary fact to sustain life.
As I work on a piece I start tinkering with what the artist statement should be. Many times both the piece and the artist statement take on unexpected directions and meanings. Below is my latest rendition.
From the beginning of time music has been used as a powerful way to influence human emotion. Modern scientists report that music has the ability to change brainwaves that control our emotional energy. It is presently used not only as an artistic expression, but also in physical and emotional therapy.
“score” was inspired by a slow shutter release photograph of my cousin, Concert Master Andrew Irvin, that captures multiple images as he plays his violin. Applying this concept of multiple images with the raw materials recycled wire, steel, and white concrete “score” embraces both the primal impact, music has on our emotions and the contemporary elements of music. ”score” not only expresses the energy of playing the violin but also the raw energy expressed through music. The application is raw, emotional and visceral