We’ll Paint the Town and the Front Porch
This weekend workshop at the New Braunfels Art League could not have been better! To quote a Texan, it was fine as cream gravy, and then some.
What a wonderful group we had! Some return students (Karen has taken my class four times, and Sandy three) some long time followers of Paper Paintings (thank you Barbara, Elsa, and Lillian, to name just a few..) and some new friends (including Ruthie, who professed “I’ve been described as a lot of things Elizabeth, but shy hasn’t ever been one of them.”).
Even though it was hot as a billy goat in a pepper patch in Texas this weekend, this small town was worth venturing out in the heat. I visited the farmers market, explored some shops, and even ate dinner outside by the river in neighboring town of Gruene. John Travolta spent two weeks filming the dance scenes for the 1996 movie Michael in the Gruene Dance Hall. I must admit, the open air Dance Hall is a pretty cool (albeit hot) place.
Watch the 1996 Travolta Gruene Dance Hall scene here
Wilcomen to Gruene
Arriving in Texas in the mid 1840s, German farmers became the first settlers of what is now known as Gruene, Texas. Ernst Gruene, a German immigrant, and his bride Antoinette, had reached the newly established city of New Braunfels in 1845, but acreage was scarce. Thus, Ernst and his two sons purchased land just down river and planted the surrounding land with cotton. Having become the number one cash crop, the cotton business soon brought 20 to 30 families to Gruene. — courtesy Gruene Texas website
Wilcomen to New Braunfels
New Braunfels was founded in 1845 by Prince Carl of the Solms-Braunfels region of Germany along with a group of German farmers and craftsmen. German names can be seen on billboards, storefronts, and street names throughout the city.
The Art League and Gallery is located in a spectacular two story building right downtown, amidst shops, restaurants, an old hardware store, a barber shop, the local saloon, and the Brauntex Theatre. There are sidewalks on both sides of the street and a town square with a gazebo, featuring a plaque that dedicates the town as the German Heritage Center of Texas.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this site was home to two drugstores and a bakery. In 1990, the New Braunfels Art League, a non-profit organization, purchased the Plumeyer Bakery Building. With the help of many, it has been renovated as a cultural arts center. The Texas Historical Commission Official Historical Medallion was placed on the Art League’s historic building at a dedication ceremony held April 13, 2006.
–-courtesy New Braunfels Art League website
A Couple Sandwiches Shy of a Picnic
We had a CRAZY group upstairs at the Art League, ripping and gluing, laughing and joking, slinging paint and having a grand old time. Anyone who walked in could sense the crazy good time we were having living in the moment and enjoying the art journey.
I am always impressed by those who want to step outside their traditional media to try mixed media. Cheryl is an oil painter who came to the class and struggled with how fast the acrylics dried, but she did a beautiful job. Lillian is a nurse who wanted to try something new and different, making a piece of artwork paying homage of her Uncle who passed away this year.
Big As a Brahma Bull
The Art League and Gallery has an amazing BIG classroom space. Each student had their very own six foot table (this is a luxury) despite the fact that we had 17 in the class! There’s amazing natural light flooding in the multiple BIG windows, in addition to the daylight bulbs overhead.
Next year I will be pairing my teaching down to once a month or less. This means less workshop locations to choose from. I am doing this to carve out more studio time for painting, ripping, gluing… and maybe even some sleeping.
If you have to make a choice, New Braunfels, Texas should be toward the top of your list.
The Prince Solms
I was lucky enough to stay right down the road from the Art League at the Prince Solms Bed and Breakfast. That meant I got to walk to and from work each day, exploring side streets and checking out small coffee and sandwich shoppes along the way.
Prince Solms Inn Bed & Breakfast has become one of Texas’ most famous landmarks. No wonder – it has been in continuous operation since being built by German craftsmen in 1898! Originally named the Comal Hotel by the Eggeling family who built and operated it for more than 50 years, Prince Solms Inn is the oldest operational hotel in New Braunfels.
Emilie Eggeling, an early settler of New Braunfels, built the inn. She had great faith in the City’s future; confident it would prosper and grow. Emilie was right on target. Although New Braunfels had only 2,000 inhabitants in 1898, she knew that its location, beauty, and its two rivers, the Comal and the Guadalupe, assured it an important place in the future. Christian Henry, a builder who came to New Braunfels from his native Germany, did the inn construction.
— courtesy Prince Solms Bed and Breakfast website
Hotter Than a Pot of Neck Bones
I’ll be back, despite the heat! The Art League has booked me for 2017. If you are interested in the class, give Sandy Oberg a call and get your name on the mailing list 210-861-0751 or email Sandy Oberg here.
Paper Paintings Three Day Workshop
New Braunfels Art League and Gallery
May 5-7, 2017
Act fast, because this class is a HOT commodity (ok I just had to say that).
On my way out of town, we had to stop by the New Braunfels Cemetery. We didn’t see any deer, but I got a glimpse of an interesting epitaph. She made the best meatloaf.
The Texas Apple, my demo piece from class. 10×10 on flat birch panel. $395 with FREE USPS S&H .
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