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Colorful Wall

MEET THE ARTIST

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Don Dillard 

Don is a highly exhibited watercolor artist specializing in historic architectural structures and places throughout New Mexico, Texas, and the Southwest. He has pursued parallel careers in urban development and fine art over the last 35 years.

His early interest in art and drafting led him to Texas A&M where he earned degrees in architecture and civil engineering. Legendary Texas artist Buck Schiwetz, an art professor at A&M, became a mentor. Don's art smacks of Buck's loose impressionist style.

Don's urban development career has included architecture and over 27 years of real estate experience with the Hunt/Hill family of Dallas, culminating with the Galatyn Park development in Richardson. He also served as Chairman of the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) where he played a leadership role in the development of the President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT). He is a past Chairman of the Board, of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce. He has received the Legends Award from Collin College Foundation, Citizen of the Year Award from Collin College Foundation, Citizen of the Year Award from Richardson Chamber of Commerce and serves on several public service boards in the Metroplex

Don, a resident artist of Temple, Texas. He and his wife Camille, a graduate of UMHB, live in Dallas.

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CW Dykes

A message from the artist-

I was raised in the country on various farms and ranches around Texas. As a child, I sketched the things I saw around me when I had time and read what I could find about Charlie Russell and Frederick Remington. I knew that someday I would find time to pursue an art career, but in the meantime I had lots of chores, cowboying, and eventually rodeoing to do. I often sketched the humorous situations, the characters, and the wrecks that abound around ranch work, rodeo, and particularly when gathering wild cattle.

Later on, I started taking art classes at night. As my painting began to progress, I was privileged to work with several fine artists, Howard Terpning, Harvey Johnson, Melvin Warren, Bob Wygant, and Ray Froman, to name a few.

I collected some awards along the way, Silver and Gold Awards for acrylics and Best of Show at the Texas Ranger Show in Waco, Juror's Award, and James Boren Award at BCFFA in Clifton and was a finalist in the Texas State Artist Competition. Also, I was the winner of the Peoples Choice

award at the Southwest Classic Fine Art Invitational in Kerrville and many other awards at various shows. One of my paintings was shipped to the white house for Don Evans during his tenure as Secretary of Commerce.

My paintings have been collected throughout the U.S. and internationally including England, Canada, Japan, and Poland.

I was inducted into The Bell County Cowboys and Cowgirls Ring of Honor in 2007.

My studio is in Temple, Texas from which I travel and paint subject matter in Texas and the western states.

In response to requests, I have judged some art shows and conducted a few art classes as time permits.

My aim is to combine honest representations of my subjects [mostly cowboys and ranch life] into interesting and aesthetically stimulating works of art.

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Sharon Saunders

Loveta has lived almost her entire life in the Central Texas region and has long been regarded as one of the area's premiere landscape artists. Her mother painted in her later years, and other family members were also artistically inclined, but Loveta's fascination with art did not truly begin until about forty-five years ago when her youngest child began taking art lessons. He convinced her it made more sense for her to stay and take the class with him rather than having to return to pick him up later.

She proved to be a receptive student, and her love for the medium blossomed into a very successful career, not only as a highly-regarded fine artist in her own right but also as a diligent teacher of others. She has traveled extensively, both to teach and to gain inspiration for her work from many scenic landscapes and gardens. Although she has decided not to teach anymore. It is a very rare day when she does not paint, and she has continued to expand her horizons with new styles and techniques.

"I have been self-motivated from the beginning. No one had to push me to work hard."

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Loveta Strickland

Loveta has lived almost her entire life in the Central Texas region and has long been regarded as one of the area's premiere landscape artists. Her mother painted in her later years, and other family members were also artistically inclined, but Loveta's fascination with art did not truly begin until about forty-five years ago when her youngest child began taking art lessons. He convinced her it made more sense for her to stay and take the class with him rather than having to return to pick him up later.

She proved to be a receptive student, and her love for the medium blossomed into a very successful career, not only as a highly-regarded fine artist in her own right but also as a diligent teacher of others. She has traveled extensively, both to teach and to gain inspiration for her work from many scenic landscapes and gardens. Although she has decided not to teach anymore. It is a very rare day when she does not paint, and she has continued to expand her horizons with new styles and techniques.

"I have been self-motivated from the beginning. No one had to push me to work hard."

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Susan Sterle

From her studio in a one-hundred-year-old house, she restored in the historic district of Downtown Temple, Texas. Susan is creating images of the things she loves using oil and canvas.

A graduate of the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in fine art and graphic design she has been painting and drawing from a very early age. Plein air, studio work, and commission work are a part of her art journey, and she especially enjoys painting animals. Retired from a 30-year graphic design career she teaches art and workshops and works as a freelance graphic designer and photographer. She can also be found hosting guests at the Airbnb located upstairs above her studio that she owns and operates.

Whenever she has a chance, you will find her enjoying nature, painting outdoors, biking, fishing, kayaking, or simply enjoying playtime with her miniature dachshund, Sophie, all the time scouting for the perfect location for her next Plein Air Creation.

Artist Statement:

Art is a visual love language that helps me communicate the importance of the people, animals, places, landscapes, and experiences in my life. As I paint and draw, it teaches me about the gift of life and what God is presenting to me. It is my way to share what I see and experience. 

Lee James

Lee James

McGregor / Waco, Texas-based artist Lee James began his journey in fine art without really knowing it when he was about 9 years old. Growing up in Raleigh, NC, Lee always drew a lot.......cars, homes, house plans, architecture, etc. more as "technical drawings." His work career in the corporate world in engineering, management, marketing, design, inventing, and corporate training prevailed for many years. Fine art would not come into play for Lee until later in life, when the time was right, and the influences were there to nudge him into this! The initial influence was his then 6 year old son, who while “bored” (again) one evening, asked him to draw a “super hero.” When he replied “I can’t do that”, his son immediately challenged him by saying "Dad, YOU always told ME not to say I can't!!" So naturally he had to! His son’s challenge, soon to be followed by his wife’s challenge to try oils, kicked off his journey in the fine art world, while continuing in the corporate world. He never forgot being challenged by his own words being thrown back at him and still challenges himself with that in whatever he does.

 

He went on to have many interesting and challenging positions, including being selected to attend IBM’s prestigious Systems Research Institute in NYC. Along the way, he also began taking art courses and attending art workshops. In that time frame, his work was very realistic. It sold well, won awards, and was included in corporate, private, and state collections. An oil painting of Morro Bay won Honorable Mention at the N.C State Fair. His watercolor "Swansboro" was chosen for the 1995 North Carolina Wildlife Calendar and another watercolor "The Landing" hangs in a N.C Welcome Center. He was represented and showing at galleries in Raleigh N.C. and all along the N.C. coast, where his “Coastal Series” was very popular. But, he sensed even then, he was not where he wanted to be with art.

 

It’s all about art now…..finally. He immensely enjoys his new direction in his art and is thrilled to embark on each new painting.  His ultimate reward is your enjoyment of the “worlds” he creates in his paintings. Lee has a lifelong interest in architecture, having owned two National Historic Register Plantations and even designed homes. Structures of some type will almost always be found in his work. A love of coastal, boats, cars and trucks, and animals have also had a profound influence in his work as well as a strong interest in nocturnal scenes. Early morning, later in the afternoon, and evening….”these are the times when colors are more intense, subjects are more interesting” and will always be part of his works. With an intense love of color, Lee rarely mixes color on the palette, choosing instead to pickup multiple colors and “let it happen” as the paint goes on the canvas. “The result is far more exciting!”

Lee is a member of Texas Fine Artists, shows continuously in multiple venues, and is also represented by My Giving Tree Gallery and Gifts in Belton, TX.

Member, National Oil and Acrylic Painter's Society (NOAPS)

Member and Ambassador, McGregor Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture

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Joe Friddle

An outdoorsman, a lover of nature, and a believer in the things that created our past.... this is Joe Friddle. A transplanted Texan for over 40 years, Joe was raised on the top of the last mountain in the Smoky Mountain Range in Birmingham, Alabama. He received his formal education from Auburn University and earned a B.S. in Art Education. Throughout his life, Joe has sought ways to share his love for wildlife, the great outdoors, and the importance of a strong grassroots character.

Joe began his career in art with stylized pencil drawings and portraits. He now explores the freedom that watercolor adds to his portraiture and nature-themed art. He employs his mastery of those mediums to combine the beauty of the outdoors with the nostalgic impression of times gone by. Whether he is creating portraits of old homesteads, historic buildings, still life, or other specific portrait requests, Joe always finds a story to tell.

Joe served in public education as a teacher for most of four decades, and his artistic pursuits are a continuation of his desire to teach and record the natural beauty of Texas through his art. As a student of many interests, he continues to experiment and expand ways to share the character of his subject matter. A member of the Texas Wild Buch, Texas's oldest organization of traditional-style professional artists, Joe continues to discover outlets to share his painted subjects and evoke warm memories from those who see his work. His paintings can be found in private collections in many states as well as several countries around the world. Locally his works can be found at several galleries throughout Texas

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