Artistic Vision

With the natural beauty of rural Texas on display in the eyes of the beholders, Bosque Museum opens Sights and Sites Art Show and Sale, announces annual winners

CLIFTON – When people pioneered their way to the West, some settlers chose to live in Bosque County because of the landscape of rolling hills, abundant trees and beautiful landscape. Nothing rivals the burst of wildflower colors in the spring, the waving corn in the summer and the shades of auburn and orange in the autumn, all against the backdrop of a rural and very western-oriented lifestyle. The natural beauty of the Heart of Texas county also has drawn painters and sculptures over the years to settle here.

Since 2011, the Bosque Museum annually organizes a juried art show and sale to celebrate this natural beauty and its artists. In keeping with the museum's mission to preserve and protect the history of the County, they expanded the theme of the Art Show to include both native wildflowers and historic structures around Bosque County and named it Sites & Sights. The subject matter of the artwork must contain either Texas wildflowers or a historic site or structure in Bosque County.

Judge Kathy Tate enjoyed the diversity of this year’s show and found that it was a great opportunity for beginning, intermediate and established artists to have their work shown to the public, with a chance for a sale.

While picking the top three pieces in such a diverse show is a challenge, Tate looked at composition, use of color, painting techniques and the framing to make her final choice out of the 33 paintings. But most of all, she relied on how a painting made her feel, the emotion it evoked, whether it drew her in, and whether she would want to see it every day on a wall in her home.

Her Best in Show went to Tom Paulson’s “A Little Bit of Texas,” in the delicate palette of early Central Texas spring. According to Tate, it showed great workmanship, had beautiful frame; and she felt it looked a lot like Bosque County. She also appreciated the way the bluebonnets “eased into the landscape.”

Born in Fort Worth, Paulson's interest in western art started at an early age. Spending summers and holidays working on the family ranch, he developed a love for horses, cattle and the western culture. After many years as an art director, he has moved back to the place where he gets most of his inspiration: the Bosque County hill country near Clifton. This is reflected in his paintings and sculptures. A member of the Western Artists of America, with oils as the primary medium, Paulson enjoys painting from a perspective that embraces the western way of life.

Tate awarded “Rose in the bluebonnets” by Rachel Scarbrough second place “just because I liked it.” According to her it was very well done painting and she appreciated the soft, delicate feel depicting a sweet subject; and Tate enjoys representational work.

Melanie Stoke’s “Sunflowers and Hay Bales” received third place. Tate thought the use of colors was really nice, making the flowers really pop off the background.

“Flaunting Her Colors,” by Lynn Dahl caught Tate’s eye earning an Honorable Mention, for the different alcohol ink medium, the striking colors and how light and delicate the work was. Lynda Claire Herzog also received an Honorable Mention for her excellently executed pair of jackrabbits in a meticulously painted bluebonnet field.

A sixth-generation Texan, and Tate started pursuing her artwork at night, while raising three sons and helping out on the family dairy farm. Many of the still-life objects in her collection are items from old home sites or family heirlooms brought to Texas in the 1800s. Even though she excels in still-life, life in Texas is often subject for her work. And she has a love of architecture – she took a drafting class in college and helps out her husband Johnnie with real estate appraisals by making floorplans for him.

Her 1800s style still-life paintings with lots of contrast in light and shadow, shiny and mat, but with a looser, impressionist brush stroke garnered Tate numerous awards, including the prestigious Bosque Arts Center John Steven Jones Award. She has exhibited at the National Cowboy Museum, and the Briscoe Museum. She is a member of many professional societies including the Oil Painters of America, and the American Women Artists. Tate is on the roster of Artists in Residence with the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Her painting “Top of the Hill Country” featuring the scenery of Bosque County looking north from Texas Safari Ranch was this year’s painting for the Bosque Museum’s 2023 Art Auction fundraiser.

Guests to the 2023 Sights & Sites Art Show and Sale chose Ann Patton’s “Pink Primroses” water color piece for their Popular Choice. The Bosque Museum staff chose Ethan Roper’s “First Flowers on the Bosque” for their “Best Depiction of Bosque County.”

Thanks to generous sponsors, the winning art came with some substantial cash prizes. First place received $600, second place $400 and third Place $300. The Popular Choice and Best Depiction of Bosque County each received $300.

The public can view the Sights and Sites Art until June 25. The Bosque Museum has been preserving the history of Bosque County for over 50 years, and is currently open to the public Thursday - Saturday; 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sundays 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.


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