Hurricane Harvey - sculpture day 19 “bringing home the bacon”

I unclamped the armature from the dolly to load it into my car and........... Houston, we have a problem! The base has warped from the heat of weld on the feet. The base is a basic potato chip. Fixing this is beyond my welding capabilities. This is a job for Blumenthal Sheet Metal. I think if they can weld basically a 2” wide frame around the edge, that would level the edge. It would still bubble in the middle, but that will not matter. I just need an edge that rests on the floor.


I will find out interesting he morning. 🤞 

Houston Flood Museum

A selection of my Hurricane Harvey Heroes monotypes and one of the Humanities pieces are now exhibited in the Houston Flood Museum.


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. 


Hurricane Harvey - sculpture day 1 “bringing home the bacon”

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.


 “Bringing home the bacon”

“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


#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.  


Day 2  


Glysophate #4


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


glysophate #5

I added more color 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.  


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? 

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.  


Before fixing-

The ghost - “bringing home the bacon”  




My work space in the Glassell printmaking studio  



Me fake working for a photo op.  

Hurricane Harvey Project - confronted with humanity #12- adding 1 light element

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 week ago this past Saturday

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 following two drawings I drew in 2015. I drew two because I was not happy with how dark my son’s face ended up in the first drawing. His face was very pale and knowing him it was wrong. That said the first photo is my favorite do showing the energy of the moment.     COMB HERE I   30" X 22" charcoal, ink and pastel 2015  Artist statement -  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.



the following two drawings I drew in 2015. I drew two because I was not happy with how dark my son’s face ended up in the first drawing. His face was very pale and knowing him it was wrong. That said the first photo is my favorite do showing the energy of the moment. 


30" X 22" charcoal, ink and pastel 2015

Artist statement - 
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.



The obituary was written by myself and my nephew Barrett Travis. 

Obituary -

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, 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,, 832-358-0001




Friends of Fondren gala silent auction- donation

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. 


“The road” Houston to Seattle a father and son moment.

The poetry between a father and son - documenting a son’s epic ride, and a father’s support. I was contacted by a fellow St. John’s mother Lourdes Hernandez to donate my artistic skills to decorate a boots for the MD Anderson boot walk fundraiser. When Lourdes dropped by my studio, I gave her my typical studio tour/artist talk. She really connected with two bodies of work; first, my hat series 'gust'. Her grandfather wore the same hat. Holding it, her eyes filled with tears, she said she could smell him. This filled my heart, it is a dream moment for an artist to get that type of a reaction from a sculpture. She also connected with 'The road' series of a cyclist. Her son rode his bicycle from Houston to Seattle. Her husband rode the last two days with him. She wanted her husband to see the work. A few weeks later, Lourdes and her husband Randy stopped by. It was clear to me that the connection  between Randy and their son Ben on their cycling trips were very important to both Lourdes and Randy. I offered to do some more pieces with just two cyclists a father and a son, and asked to look at some of their photos from their trips. All the photos of Randy and Ben were in evergreen environments. Randy and Ben are extremely fit.  I did the the five pieces below incorporating trees in the background, making the cyclist trimmer and making the two cyclist closer together. Lourdes gave Randy 'The road' Randy and Ben V for Christmas. I really enjoyed getting to know Lourdes, hearing about her amazing son’s ride across country. I am honored to be able to create a piece of art for their family that documents their love and admiration for their son.  I hope we can keep in touch. 


“score” #15 artist statement


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. 


artist statement  

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