Thursday, September 29, 2011

More Giants of Texas, the Sam Houston sculpture in Hunstville, TX

"Sam Houston"
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Canvas
10" x 8"
Click here to buy this painting.
I guess I must have big Texans on my mind.  After finishing the painting of Big Tex from the State Fair of Texas I started a small canvas of the giant statue of Sam Houston in Huntsville.  Anyone who’s travelled I-45 S to Houston is familiar with the towering concrete sculpture named “A Tribute to Courage.”  The statue stands 67-ft tall and sits on a 10-ft tall base.  It’s billed as the world’s tallest statue of an American hero. 
Huntsville’s own David Adickes created the sculpture from concrete with steel reinforcing. Adickes later spent several years creating the giant US President heads at Presidents Park in South Dakota and Virginia.  The statue is assembled from ten different sections and weighs 25-tons.  Sam Houston is pretty much a household name to most Texans.  He led the Texas army to victory against Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto after the tragic defeat at the Alamo.  He served as President of the Republic of Texas and later became the Governor of the State of Texas and a US Senator.
If you take exit 109 off of I-45 and follow the signs there’s a visitor’s center/gift shop that has replica’s of the statue and other Sam Houston memorabilia for sale.  Behind the shop there’s a wooded trail that leads to the statue.  Along the way by a small ampitheater there’s a large version of the face from the statue to pose with for pictures.  My kids and I love to stop here on our trips down to Houston and Beaumont.  It’s a fun place to get out of the car and stretch your legs, and they enjoy posing with the face of Sam Houston on the trail and acting like they’re picking his nose.  One time my band mates and I stopped at the statue on our way to a gig in Houston.  We hoisted my good friend and former bass player onto the base of the sculpture and took pictures of him with Sam’s huge foot.  It’s amazing how hard it is to get a grown man on top of a 10-ft tall base without a ladder!
The painting measure 10” x 8” and is oil paint on stretched canvas and was painted wet-on-wet, or alla prima.  It was a challenge making such a small painting of such a huge monument to a Texas legend, but alot of fun! 

1 comment:

  1. Great job! The one you painted of me hangs in our living room, and our 3 year old has always known that is "Mama"!