Thursday, October 26, 2006


A very talented friend wrote this press release:

Local artist Sarah Hazel brings newfound vision and talent to local gallery

October 24, 2006 - Morningside Place - A couple of years ago, if one wanted to view Sarah Hazel’s painting prowess, their only option was standing in the backyard of her Morningside Place home. On November 9, from 6-9 p.m., however, the Baquero Gallery in Rice Village provides a more fitting venue to showcase her depiction of “beauty in ordinary moments” at the opening reception of her solo exhibit.

During Spring Break in 2004, Sarah and her four daughters scaled a portion of their roof to recreate masterpieces on the back of their house: van Gogh’s Starry Night, Paul Cezanne’s Big Trees, and Claude Monet’s Sailboats at Sea, Pourville, and water-lily series. (A house-painting budget dried up after contracting for the front of the house, leaving the back of the house bare). Sarah attributes this mammoth, hurricane-proof mural as an artistic awakening of sorts.

Two years later, with no formal training and only a portrait painting book purchased at nearby Half-Priced Books as a guide, the 42-year-old homemaker turned artist has produced over 85 oil paintings of which 45 will be on display in her show “Finding My Glasses.”

“My daughter, Anna, helped come up with the name (for the show). The title signifies this new vision I'm discovering through painting, this new way of looking at life,” explains Sarah. “I'm transforming from one phase of my life to a new phase of being a professional artist. I'm truly ‘finding my glasses.’”

“I’ve stumbled through life,” muses Sarah. “I’ve never had an interest in painting. Never had the desire at all. I took one class, brought home a sunflower still life, and my husband was so enthusiastic that he went out that weekend and bought me all the supplies I’d need.” Now when she paints, she “feels God’s pleasure” (can’t you hear the Chariots of Fire theme?)

Sarah describes her work as a fusion of post-impression and post-modern art. Her strokes are bold, the colors bright, while the paintings summon a “peaceful response.” Sarah’s collection of paintings varies from still lifes to portraits to landscapes, with no particular genre capturing a leading role. The common thread are the moments captured in each piece – ordinary life.

“There are years of ordinary events, especially for a wife, homemaker, and mother of four daughters,” explains Sarah. “My life was confined to ordinary moments, as most of our lives are: yet, in the midst of those, you can find beauty and be content with what God has given you.”

What Providence has now provided is a deep desire to create and a newfound talent to do so. If you miss her at Baquero, Sarah still might let you walk through her backyard gate and get a glimpse of where it all began.

A portion of Sarah's proceeds from the opening reception benefit Center for Student Missions ( a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the men, women, and children who reside in Houston’s urban centers.

Solo exhibit:
Finding My Glasses
Opening reception – Thursday, November 9, 6-9 p.m.
Baquero Gallery
5502 Chaucer
Houston, TX 77005

For more information:

Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Second Time

This morning was the second workshop for Via Colori, an upcoming street painting festival to benefit The Center for Hearing and Speech. Like before, we were given brief instruction, then went outside to a chalked off square to practice "painting." Between the last workshop and this, I have at least learned how to dress for the event....stretch jeans (to accommodate all the bending), a long undershirt (to cover the distance between the jeans and t-shirt as I bend over---think plumber), and a baseball hat to keep the sun and hair off my face.

Like before, the professional artist demonstration was overwhelming. The artists who fly around the country giving demonstrations usually paint in the tradition of Italian street painters, which would be very similar to Italian Renaissance paintings, such as a Michelangelo copy of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. I'm not kidding; one of the slide examples of a street painting that the workshop artist worked on recently was a copy of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Another intimidating factor in both workshops was the artists talking about how long it takes them to complete a street painting, which is here today, gone tomorrow. "Days, weeks, months, who knows?"* Will it really take that long?

The practice square for both events was two feet by two feet. The actual square size that I will paint in the event will be ten feet by ten feet. Gulp. That's a lot of ground to cover, literally.

One more thing to note as I look at the photo of today's art, it's likely to be difficult to get proper balance, colors, lights and darks when the size of the canvas (street) is so large, and I'm right on top of it. When I paint on actual canvas, I constantly walk back and forth to see how the painting is developing. With these street painting parameters, and the larger scale, and not being able to see it properly, well, it's just a different dynamic. Should be fun.

* Quote attributed to Eeyore

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


What I should be doing right now is writing the description cards for each painting in the exhibit. Since they all developed through the use of my mind and hands, it stands to reason that I should have something eloquent to say about each of them. However, I sit here twiddling my opposable thumbs and can't think of a thing to write.

Monday, October 16, 2006


On the same night as the gallery opening reception, one of our favorite Houston organizations is having their annual fundraiser. Because we can't be there that evening, I've decided that ten percent of my proceeds from the opening reception will go to CSM Houston. "Center for Student Missions partners with existing local ministries to live out Jesus' call to feed the hungry, clothe the stranger, visit the sick, and reach out to the prisoner. CSM Houston focuses on serving the men, women, and children who reside in Houston’s urban center."

My four daughters have all participated in this program. They can now put names with the homeless faces we see in the streets everyday. They have served meals in soup kitchens, played games with children at community centers, and gotten dirty weeding a community garden.

The opportunities for influence continued long after the week of CSM was over. They have continued their service by tutoring Star of Hope children, organizing medical supplies, and have made lasting friendships. One young lady has come over several times for family meals, and to braid my daughter's hair. Another huge benefit from our daughters involvement is that we now know where all the good ethnic restaurants are. Jerk chicken and ginger beer.....yum!

In effect, CSM serves the city of Houston by helping a little bit with the many organizations designed to minister to the marginalized. Houston really is full of heart.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Icing on the Cake

It has been a great self-imposed trial to complete the paintings for the exhibit that is now less than a month away. Today I determined that I have enough finished works, and anything I get done from this point forward is icing on the cake. This is a HUGE relief.

The process required to get to this point has been rigorous, but delightful. Good thing I enjoy painting so much.

The invitations are in the mail. Not everyone who reads this will get a mailed invitation, but please know that I am extending my personal invitation. I would be pleased for you and your friends to attend.

Details on my website: Sarah Hazel

Monday, October 02, 2006

It Twirls

Part of our homework in preparation for the exhibit has been to visit other galleries. While we were there enjoying other Houston artists' works, we also studied these galleries and exhibits on a technical level. We looked at how pieces were curated, framed, promoted, priced, etc. Most galleries followed similar patterns, but all galleries have a unique personality.

G Gallery is stamped with the personality of Wayne Gilbert. Wayne is considered/called the "Godfather of Art" here in Houston. He knows everyone and even promotes other galleries/artists exhibits, not just his own. It was in this gallery where the newest addition to our personal art collection was found.

Called Leaf Mechanism 1, it's a bronze sculpture of two leaves "sewn" together and spinning on a turntable, as if blowing in the wind. The artist, Ketria Bastian Scott, took an old Victrola motor and built the sculpture on top of it on top of a wooden pedastal. The turnkey to work the mechanism is attached to the wooden pedastal. In the artist's words, "the look is soft and fragile, yet when bronzed, it changes to a symbol of endurance."