Henry James wrote in 1869 that the sign of great art is “to directly impress the soul, the heart, the affections, to stir up by some ineffable magic the sense of all one’s human relations and of the warm surrounding frames of human life.” It would be presumptuous beyond embarrassment to assume that our creations meet this criterion but for me it encapsulates what I want to do as an artist. I would like my paintings to be an emphatic yes to the truth of beauty, of fellowship, of love, of history and human solidarity. Art helps us give up all preconceived ideas thereby freeing our imaginative, unlived lives, to expand into vital, fearless, limitless actual lives.
A painting is not just a decoration for the sofa; it is a living presence that expects, demands, reciprocity from its admirer. That painting offers us reprieve from our relentless clinging to so-called reality which is more often a corruption of reality that disallows the wonder and mystery and paradox and ineffability of life to enliven and delight us. The painting’s gift is to make life clearer, more visible, more astounding. It arrests us in our fast and furious pursuits with its articulate arrangement of colors and forms that punctuate the air with a breathtaking Aha! We encounter a moment of repose, reprieve, contemplation, a letting go that allows the wildly extravagant variables of opposites and paradoxes of life to suddenly exist simultaneously and enlarge with grace and possibilities our “tenderness towards existence.”
Very few collectors own just one of Bonnie’s paintings. There is a tendency to addiction when one experiences the fanciful and imaginative transition of reality wrought by the bold, pure colors of her work. Dividing her time between Texas and Europe, she juxtaposes the calico farms of her home with the streets of Paris, the gardens of England, and the markets of Germany to present a magic, merry world of naïve but serious hope and enchantment. United by brilliant and even sometimes shocking combinations of colors, these images seek to preserve the sensations of joy too soon forgotten and retain their richness as a permanent part of daily life. She has refused to allow reproductions of her work, for she believes that the charm of an original is maintained by its uniqueness. Her studio, home, garden, and family in a small Wet Texas town all provide outlets for the basic thrust of her life….. to create a small world after a pattern in her own mind and all variations of color, line, form, and style are allowable to make beauty tangible and intelligible. After studying art at the University of Texas and with private instructors in Texas and Mexico, Bonnie has displayed paintings in Germany and the United States and is currently exhibiting in several Texas galleries as well as traveling to major exhibitions with her work. Inspired by the Fauves and Impressionists, the work of Bonnard, Vuillard, Prendergast and Matisse, Bonnie has developed her own style of impressionism based on many years of study, hours spent absorbing the splendid paintings of these great innovators, and the happy accidents that are the results of the disciplined pursuit of the art of painting. She knows that the chances she takes with colors are justified by the shear love of the life that she leads.