Texas Art Exploration


All art is a kind of exploring. To discover and reveal is the way every artist sets about his business. ~Robert Flaherty

header_ArtistsGalleryAugust2013Today I continue my interview of artist Sandra Sherrod, an artist who splits her time between Steamboat Springs, Colorado and Houston, Texas.

Sue:  Sandra, what medium of art would you like to try, but haven’t tapped into it?

Sandra: Sculpture. I may try to do that when I am in Houston at a place called Glassell. http://www.mfah.org/visit/glassell-school/.  When I am in Houston I take all kinds of art courses. I am always learning.

In Houston, my art sales are stronger, particularly among women, because my pieces have a feminine side to it. In Steamboat, it seems the more masculine art sells a little better.

Sue: Interesting.  Do you stick with one project and finish it or do you jump from project to project?

Sandra: My rule of thumb is to make 15 – 20 pieces and explore an idea. When I get bored with it, I jump to something else. History has shown that both kinds of artists, those that work in only one medium and multi-dimensional artists can be successful. No matter what, you have to tweak your ideas every so often and not overwork it.

Sue:  What do you like to create the most?

Sandra: Writing is my favorite. As you know writing a book can take years whereas with other forms of art you can complete and get it out quicker to be seen by others. The satisfaction comes more immediately.

Sue:  What are you writing now, anything?

Sandra: I’ve been writing about 1,000 words a day. I just completed a series of eight books in the fantasy genre. They’re intergalactic stories. I am looking for a publisher so I can be involved in other creative projects. The series is geared to age nine to twelve.  I am also writing magical realism – earth stories with magical things happening. These are for young adult to adult.

Sue:  Seems like I’ve heard you read some of them at the Steamboat Writers Group.http://steamboatwriters.com/.

Sandra: Yes, I have read some of them to the group.

Sue: I look forward to seeing them published.

For a long time I’ve wanted to sit down and talk with Sandra about her life as an artist. Since  she was “manning the gallery” the day I visited with her, I had the added bonus of learning more about all the other artists The Artists Gallery of Steamboat represents.

Thank you, Sandra. You’d also make a wonderful art educator because you are so knowledgeable and your heart and soul is really in it!

Sandra’s jewelry was featured at The Artist Gallery in Steamboat throughout August, but it will continue to be displayed – stop in and see it. You can also communicate with her about ordering through her website. www.SandraSherrod.com.

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More than a Picture


To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone. -Reba McEntire

I walked into the Steamboat Art Museum http://www.steamboatartmuseum.com/  during the First Friday Art Walk not knowing what to expect of the Cowgirl Art exhibit, I was about to see. I was immediately drawn into the large scale images of Donna Howell-Sickles. Besides the wonderful use of bold color, the spirit of the images attracted me.

Donna-Howell-SicklesStrong women living larger than life  and a love of all things Western is depicted in each of the artist’s images. The work of this Texas artist from St. Jo, are highly recognizable branded images which she has worked to perfect since she was in college. Her art all came about after seeing a 1930’s vintage postcard that made its mark on her psyche. Her dreams of becoming a notable artist have been fulfilled. Her original paintings are in the NationalCowgirlMuseum and Hall of Fame and in prestigious galleries and major museums. Her art has been featured in Southwest Art Magazine.  http://bit.ly/16i0va6.

Cowgirl Rising bookThe exhibition at the SteamboatArt Museum runs until October 13, 2013. Do stop by to see it, and visit the gallery store, next door. Donna Howell-Sickles’ prints, note cards, an independently published book “Cowgirl Rising,” and a stylish neckerchief with her images are available for purchase. Other gift items, such as jewelry, dishware, teeshirts and purses which incorporate her brand images are available on her website. http://www.donnahowellsickles.com/. Click for info & ordering

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Georgia, On My Mind!

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Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into.”         ~Henry Ward Beecher 

Georgia O’Keeffe, on my mind,  that is! All of my friends and family know by the gardens that surrounded my home in Vermont that flowers are my passion. Working in my gardens fulfilled my soul for many hours every spring, summer and fall. It wasn’t until the last pretty perennial was killed off by frost that I would then spend my idle hours reading about flowers from my library of gardening books. The square footage of our gardens exceeded the size of my home. 

In this dry climate of Steamboat Springs, CO I rarely see homes with flower gardens on the same scale that mine were in Vermont. I miss that! Vermonters sure can and do grow flowers, unlike any I have seen elsewhere. The cool, dewy nights give the perennials just what they need to thrive – a nice drink of water. 

Now residing in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, a new opportunity with regards to flowers has arisen. We are that much closer to an art museum that I look forward to visiting sometime very soon. Our travels to visit our son in New Mexico will bring me close to the area of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. 

I may not be able to pick a posy at the Museum, but, I know my eyes will pop when I set foot inside the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe. Once again I will be surrounded by flowers and my art education will continue too!

P.S. Don’t you just love this O’Keeffee poppy? Thanks to my friend, Vesna from Macedonia, this image hangs on my wall, where I can view it all year long.

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Saved by the Book

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We need to be pro-children and pro-literacy of all kinds.” ~ David Booth

Saved! By former First Lady, Laura Bush! All was not lost when my wishes for a weekend full of literary enjoyment began with a bomb of a book that did nothing to fulfill my expectations. Determined to immerse myself in some good reading, I switched gears and delved into a wonderful  journey that was entitled “Spoken from the Heart.”

From the time Laura Bush was a little girl, literature has been an all encompassing part of her life. As an only child, she found a treasure trove of good times with characters and places to escape to all by herself.  Later on in her life, her positions as a mother, teacher, librarian and First Lady allowed her to share her passion of reading with her twin daughters, students and  others, around the globe. She made stories come alive for children in disadvantaged areas so they could also escape into worlds beyond their own environments,.  She taught students how to make handmade books and  former students became subjects of her own first published book “Read All About It.”

As first lady of the United States, she traveled to many countries, like Zanzabar to spread the good news that private and American funds would place 20,000 books in 16 schools for underserved children.

Laura Bush has always been at the top of my list for favorite First Ladies.  Her book “Spoken from the Heart” gave me even more insight into the wholesome Texas values she was raised with, the fact that she is deeply aware of how blessed we are to have children in our lives and our responsibility to do all that we can to spread the value of literacy around the world.

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State of Sizzle (I Don’t Mean BBQ)

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We must think about things as they are, not as they are said to be” ~ George Bernard Shaw  

Ever since a few weeks ago when author Mitzi Rudderow www.mitzirudderow.com stopped by to check in on Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the weather has been the subject of telephone banter between the two of us. She has become my personal weather broadcaster from Dallas, TX. I have begun receiving regular reports and tallies of how many consecutive days the temps have reached above 100 degrees in Texas this summer. Steamy, sultry and sticky are what the reports have been all about. It sounds like a whole other country, to me, down there!

So, all of y’all down there in Texas, won’t believe it when I tell you that here in Steamboat Springs, CO the mornings are already beginning to be chilly. Some mornings, slightly below 40 degrees and nippy enough for me to don a pair of lightweight gloves, before I head out the door on my early morning walk. 

Writing out-of-doors just is not possible when your hands have frozen stiff like popsicles and you can’t grip the pen. I am going to explore a few new writing spots before fall really begins to set in. A change up in routine is good for stimulating the mind – new sights, sounds, conversations aid in the free flow of energy! My list of new writing vantage points include:  

  • Next to the river on my favorite rock
  • On a bench in the middle of the Botanic Park
  • Straddling a fence, bordering a ranch
  • Up on a rooftop
  • At a table in different café
  • From the stands of a rodeo arena
  • Atop a ski jumping hill 

Any change from a normal State of being can enhance writing creativity! But, I don’t think I’ll mess with y’all, down in Texas!  I’m not coming down there to write! It’s too darn hot! In a few months, the tables will be turned. I’ll be reporting the depth of snow, while my personal weather broadcaster down in Dallas will be boasting about the balmy state of things down there! 

I think “How bad can it get down in Texas anyway? After all, it is The State of the Arts!”


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