Monday, January 28, 2008

Okay, so he veered off the path a little. . .

There's a wonderful old church building in downtown Bastrop that lends a nostalgic bend to the view from across the Colorado. There really was an old iron bridge but it never was a covered affair.

When Mike studied old photos of the old bridge and saw how New Englandy the church looked, he must have decided to take some artistic license and create the cozy village he saw in his head.

It must be nice to take oneself to any place one chooses . . . with a few paints and a little canvas.
So no, this isn't honestly one of the downtown historical series of paintings but it does look quite lovely and I sure wouldn't mind visiting there.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mike's new Historic Downtown Series

Mike has always enjoyed doing historic paintings of buildings, downtown areas, ranches - even people. In 1990, he did a really neat painting of downtown Meeteetse, Wyoming. We lived there at the time and to be honest, a part of us still lives there.

Last November, Mike did a series of paintings of historical downtown Bastrop and donated one of them to a charity auction for the Women's Shelter in this area. He was really entranced with Bastrop's downtown so he ended up doing two more paintings from different angles. This is one of them. One of the buildings in this painting is now Baxters - one of the finest dining experiences in East Texas!

He enjoyed it so much, we decided to initiate a special series of paintings depicting historical downtown scenes, starting with some of the more notable Texas squares. If you've ever driven the rural routes of Texas, you know what we're talking about. Some of the courthouse squares in the small towns of Texas are amazing. LaGrange - Nacadoches - Waxahachie - just to name a few. Should be a fun project!

This painting is called "A Texas Skiff." A modified version of this painting will be published as a greeting card by Leanin' Tree this year. It's one of Mike's favorite pieces.

Friday, January 25, 2008


After years of talking about it, today we finally laid out most of the material for our first book. Every year since, oh, I don't know - 1995 or so, we start the year out with "let's work on the book for real this year!" only to have other more pressing issues squelch our efforts.

This year, however, we've actually done the research and decided on a publisher to pitch it to, though we're fully prepared to shop it around if they're not interested. Mike even came up with a working title (I'll share that when we're more confident about it being the right one). Now the next step is to get the query letter hammered out and in the mail by Monday. That's the goal.

It's been a productive week for both of us. This time of year usually is since it's cold and rainy outside so we stay hunkered down in our studios. Mike finished three small paintings, has two more in progress; I met my deadline for the next article in Living Cowboy Ethics magazine - yeah! - and finished all but one small project for my Phoenix client. So, we're off to a running start for the New Year at the Y-ME.