There is probably no subject more riddled with cliches and less revered by artists than the bluebonnet field. From good, classic landscapes, like those of Julian Onderdonk to really bad Sunday painter versions (not that there's anything wrong with being a Sunday painter; anything that brings someone pleasure and satisfaction is fine with me) the really beautiful Texas State Flower has been placed in an unfair and undeserved position. I think it's still possible to create a representational image of bluebonnets that, even if not designed to overturn the Social Order, can still be enjoyed by people who think they hate bluebonnet paintings. Whether this one qualifies I don't know and I'm not the Decider anyway.
My late San Antonio dealer Monte Wade, who left us last year, told me I should make a bluebonnet painting, as there were always people coming through the gallery looking for them. I actually had my version of a bluebonnet landscape already hanging there for several months with no response (it has subsequently sold, I'm happy to report), but when I pointed this out to Monte he said, "Yeah, but it needs something else, like a big ol' Longhorn or something. People like to have something they can lock onto".
Like a focal point?
So I delivered this piece to the gallery last week. It's dedicated to Monte in thanks for his long support of my work.
I titled it "Icons", since it has not only bluebonnets, but prickly pear cactus and that focally pointed Longhorn, as well.
As always, it's acrylic on canvas and it's 18 by 24 inches.