Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Boerne Business Monthly and Arthur McCall

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“Emotional Connection Can Inspire a Fine Art Acquisition”   

What is the main motivation to purchase a work of art?  Is it an instantaneous connection that the viewer experiences when their eyes meet the canvas, or its investment potential?   According to Artsy writer Alexander Forbes, “the vast majority of collectors (72%) say their purchases are passion-led and investment-informed, while only 6% said they’re buying art purely as an investment.”  Apparently, the emotional factor of connection is still a paramount element that inspires even the most discriminating art collector to purchase.  One of the strongest yearnings one can have is for reconnecting with feelings that remembering the past can give us.  Paintings can remind us of gentler times by encapsulating a moment and allowing one to relive a cherished scene from days gone by.

 One of J.R. Mooney Galleries’ newest selections, “If Rust Could Talk,” is an oil painting on canvas by artist Arthur McCall, known for his Hill Country and mission scenes.  McCall is an Atascosa County resident and a retired game warden; a position he served for forty-three years before retiring to work at his paintings fulltime.  He has pursued his art since childhood, yet was only a passionate hobbyist throughout his career as a game warden.  Painting was a pastime that he could use to relax from the strains and pressures of his duties, and it eventually blossomed into a successful livelihood and partnership with J.R. Mooney Galleries.  “If Rust Could Talk” is a landscape of nostalgic intent, a familiar place that everyone has some recollection of visiting with anticipation on special occasions; a beloved terrain that is dotted with scrubby Texas Hill Country vegetation and patches of prickly pears.    

McCall’s familiar attention to detail is persistent throughout the piece.  The color palette is limited, and in its own dreamlike way, has more light infused, gently washing over the colors, giving it a more nostalgic quality.  The narrative of the placement of the rusting automobile and structures in the yard has a special touch. “One of the great things about my paintings,” McCall says, “Is that I can take people back to a memory, to a place, to a nostalgic moment in their life.  I often hear, ‘Oh, that looks like Grandpa’s place,’ or ‘That looks like where I went hunting with my buddies.’”  By capturing these feelings in his paintings, McCall is able to channel one of the main impetuses that motivate people to purchase art: a sentimental bond.

 There is a unifying presence of rust on the steel shingles of the shed, the blades of the windmill and the water tower, all structures independent and with their own purpose and use.  The rust acts a visual reminder of what the elements’ toll is upon metal throughout the seasons.  Each structure has witnessed the passing generations that have built and utilized them.  Covering the well-worn structures in a patina, the rust suggests the sepia tone that time infuses into vintage photographs.  There is certain stillness, a frozen moment in time, that creates a lens into the past that is central to the mood and theme, emphasized by the stoical position and stance of these weary structures, stubborn in their tenacity in this sun-drenched environment.             

Robert Patrick, an experienced gallery director of twelve years, summarizes most succinctly the universal factor that can capture a viewer’s commitment, “It does not matter what genre, what medium, what level of taste.  All that matters is that they have formed a connection with the work of art because the artist was able to successfully share an emotion or idea, and that is important to the viewer right now.”  McCall, with his proven track record of a consistent body of work, is able to do just that - in a direct and laid-back fashion, through the skillful handling of his self-taught artistry.

©Katherine Shevchenko, Art Consultant, J.R. Mooney Galleries, Boerne.

For more information about the art of Arthur McCall, please contact J.R. Mooney Galleries at (210) 828-8214 in San Antonio or (830) 816-5106 in Boerne or visit

Delgado, Gabriel D. "J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art: Arthur McCall." J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art: Arthur McCall. N.p., 22 May 2012. Web. 08 June 2016.

Edlund, Carolyn. "A Gallery Director Speaks: The Psychology of Selling Art." Artsy Shark. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 June 2016.
Forbes, Alexander. "5 Things to Know About Investing in Art Right Now." Artsy. N.p., 31 May 2016. Web. 9 June 2016

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