Monday, June 26, 2017

Much was lost... but David Woods has insured "old times there- are not forgotten"

 The New Cotton Scale: Friend or Foe?
This blog is a prayer. And it is an art exhibit. It is also a valuable historical document. Here unfolds the distant yet rich memories of a man with one foot in the modern world, and the other on the throttle of a time machine.

These are the works of David Woods, a man who attended public schools and worked in the cotton fields of Montgomery and Grimes County, Texas as a boy before striking out to see the Country in the early 1970's. He gladly left behind the Southern paradigm, a world that would never be seen again. While out on the West Coast, David learned a lot about the world, and what was really important to him.

He wasn't gone long. After his return he approached my mother, a popular local artist, with his works; ingenious pasteboard cars made from cereal boxes, and delightful little miniatures in oils on canvas paper. My mother had suggested that he come by and meet me some time, as I was his age and also an artist. I was immediately intrigued by this meek, unassuming fellow who was seething with talent. The fact that he was African American was very exciting, because no African American artist to my knowledge had ever emerged from the local population, to tell their story. We bonded immediately.

This casual meeting began a lifelong friendship, and later we teamed up and ran around the region, taking photographs and painting what we saw. David occupied an easel in my art studio in Navasota for around a year or so. I tried to help him learn the basics of his craft- without helping him too much. David's love of subtlety and depth matured, as he launched his career in painting subjects which elevated integrity, ethics, and human relationships; things he learned in the cotton patch. (To the upper right is a list of groupings of his current works by theme.) 

 David Woods... "back in the day"

Soon he was doing commissions for many of the prominent people in town, and he had some one-man shows... and then he spread his wings... David and his art were featured by Ray Miller on his famous travel show called “The Eyes of Texas.” David was approached to illustrate books, and hired by local arts & crafts retailers to paint his designs on pottery and furniture. Eventually, inevitably, he became the mascot of the Navasota BluesFest.

David exhibiting his work at the annual Navasota BluesFest.

We never lost track of each other, but we did lose track of time. To fast-forward to the present, David had a bad stroke a few months ago and almost died. He had ignored the symptoms of diabetes in his own body that he had seen for years in his siblings. His family had depended on him a great deal, and there never seemed to be the time or money available to take care of himself. His wife Nikki contacted me a few days after he had been admitted to the hospital. He was gasping for breath, coughing violently, sometimes comatose... but she said was able to speak a little... and he had called out my name more than once. I came as soon as I could, and we formed a plan, and this blog is one part of that plan.

David made tremendous progress after that first terrible week. Prayers from my facebook friends were answered and his life and lucidity were spared. He was able to walk with help, but it would be a long road back to partial recovery, and doing what David loves and does best, painting.

That brings us to YOU. Hopefully this site will inspire you to pray for David... and if you would like to own some of his art, that can be arranged too. Please enjoy and consider his (very affordable!) paintings, all of these works are for sale as of the day of this entry. Prices will be provided upon request. AND, hopefully you will be able to attend the benefit concert and art auction we will hold on August 12th to help David pay his medical and rehab bills.

David needs money now, so we will put a dozen paintings up for sale now, and save the rest for the day of the auction. They range in size from 14” x 18” to 18” x 24”. And in price from around $450.00 to around $1000.00, depending on several factors, but mostly size.

"A Measure of Her Worth" 
16 x 20

Your interest, your grapevine, and your financial support will be a great blessing to a man who has been a popular icon for decades, and who has produced many artistic blessings for many people over the years...

Thank you

Russell Cushman
(936) 825-8923

1 comment:

  1. I remember David and his wonderful paintings we had on display at Texas Basket Co. in Navasota. My dad, J.C. Swanson, thought David had such incredible talent. I still have one of his paintings, and one of yours! Prayers go out to him and thank you, Russell, for the update. Grace Swanson Traylor.