Saturday, August 22, 2015

"Mudbugs" oil painting and the joys of a Southeast Texas crawfish boil

Mark Nesmith
Oil on canvas
24" x 30"

Click here to buy this painting.

I grew up in Beaumont, TX, but after graduating from Lamar University with my BFA in 1998 I moved to Dallas. Over the years trips back home to SE Texas became less frequent as I wound up working more and more to support my growing family, but the people, places, and culture of SE Texas and the Gulf Coast was always in my heart and my mind.
When my marriage was coming to an end in 2011-12 I moved back to my hometown where most of my family still lives as a much needed reboot for myself. Beaumont had changed a lot in the years I'd been gone. There were still lots of familiar places, but most of the friends I'd had growing up had moved away. I reconnected with a few people from my past, fell in love with my beautiful muse Elizabeth, and have been working on my happily ever after ever since.
One of the things I did after moving back was to start painting and drawing my new (old?) surroundings, and one of the ways I started meeting new people and making new friends was at the crawfish boils at The Pacesetter Lounge which my girlfriend was managing at the time. I like crawfish ok (never liked all the work it takes to peel them though,) but what really makes a crawfish boil special is sitting around with everyone sharing stories and laughs over a cold beer and some spicy crawfish. This painting is kind of a still life, but for me it's a reminder of all those evenings spent with good friends making new memories for a new life. This painting was originally exhibited as part of my one man show at The Art Studio, Inc. entitled "The Way Back Home" and recently was on display at Third Coast Gallery in Galveston. I think it's time to find these mudbugs a good home.

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