June 22, 2017

Monthly Archives: December 2014

A few thoughts about Lisa Benitez

Mark Moss, Troy Broussard, Lisa Benitez, Amy Evans, & Stacey Abbott, summer 2014, Koelsch Gallery, Houston, by Smilebooth.com

On Wednesday, December 31st, we will say goodbye to our dear friend Lisa Benitez, a day that should have been reserved to celebrate her birthday.  Some would say that a funeral should be a day to celebrate her life, but how can one celebrate when a life is cut so short? I’ve known Lisa for 20 years, give or take a few–I met her through a mutual friend Johnny Hooks.  And it seems to me that everyone in Houston knew her also as she trancended every group and socio-economic class in the city.  She was able to touch lives professionally as well as philathropically.  But most of all she touched lives as a …continue reading

She WAS John Singer Sargent’s Madame X

Madame X

There are few portraits by American painters as famous and recognizable as Madame X—perhaps American Gothic or Whistler’s Mother, or even Gilbert Stuart’s George Washington. But to most art aficionados, Madame X is considered one of the best portraits ever painted; and John Singer Sargent is considered by many connesseurs as one of the world’s greatest portrait painters. I just finished a novel about Virginie Gautreau—she WAS John Singer Sargent’s Madame X. Sargent pursued the wealthy and beautiful Creole socialite as a sitter for the portrait as a way to display his talents to Parisian society, hoping to build a …continue reading

Photo Friday: Christian Heeb

Oak Alley by Christian Heeb

How about this holiday pic of Oak Alley Plantation?  It’s one of the most beautiful I’ve seen.  Today’s Photo Friday feature is courtesy of Christian Heeb. Christian, with his wife Regula, owns and operates the Cascade Center of Photography in Bend, Oregon.  The Cascade Center is a photo studio, workshop, and gallery.  They facilitate workshops and photo tours in the USA and around the world.  Check out his website  and a site to purchase pics and prints below! Oak Alley by Christian Heeb Heeb Photo

Bah Humbug to Christmas Commercialism

Bah Humbug

Is it just me or did Christmas seem to begin earlier than ever this year? Sure, stores started putting decorations out the week before Halloween which I find disturbing, but not unusual. Perhaps the number of retailers opening on Thanksgiving for Black Friday acted to set the Christmas clock forward. I guess this is my own bah humbug to Christmas commercialism… I found a Forbes Magazine study from 2011 that over $450 billion is spent in the USA in the month of December, much of that spurred by “holiday” shopping. And Wikipedia states, “The exchanging of gifts is one of …continue reading

Dog on Monday: Lucy Dora

A Jack Russell Terrier named Lucy Dora

This week’s TroysArt Dog on Monday is little Lucy Dora, a wriggly young Jack Russell Terrier.  Lucy lives in Lake Charles.  Her person is Terry Donovan. Lucy enjoys playing in her big back yard–especially when Delta Dawn stops in for a visit!  Delta Dawn is Lucy’s best friend… look out this Christmas holiday, the two will meet again soon. Thanks, Terry, for the cute photo!

Tallahassee house museums: Knott House & Goodwood

The Knott House, Tallahasse, photo courtesy of Museum of Florida History

Tallahassee, the heart of Leon County, is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve seen. With rolling hills, moss-draped oaks, and columns on every building, the city seems more like an extension of Georgia than Florida—absent are the beaches, ocean breezes, palm trees, nightclubs, and shell shops which are commonly associated with the Sunshine State. Tallahassee is a big small town that seems to find itself in national spotlight often, certainly every presidential election at least. I have visited Tallahassee numerous times. Sisterwoman’s family had a three-acre estate in the ritzy Rose Hill subdivision. From Houston’s Bush International to Tallahassee …continue reading

Dog on Monday: Chanel & Lucy

Chanel (Papillion) & Lucy (Yorkie) peaking from the Haute Pets van.

Don’t they look expensive!  This week’s Dog on Monday is a duo, cute little Chanel & Lucy! Chanel is a Papillion and Lucy is a Yorkshire Terrier. These pampered poochies are the pride and joy of Wendy Phillips. And pampered they are indeed… Wendy is the owner of Haute Pets, Houston’s premier hoytie toytie mobile grooming company. Have you noticed any of the pink grooming vans buzzing around the city?  Haute Pets arrives to the client’s home or business to provide professional grooming services in a clean, stress-free environment. The vans are fully equipped to pamper dogs (or cats) with organic shampoo, hydrotherapy …continue reading

Photo Friday: John Sherman

Tolerance by John Sherman, Houston

A big appreciative shout out to photographer John Sherman who submitted several wonderful pictures which has been a great resource for Photo Friday! Photo Friday was conceived as a recurring vehicle to spotlight photographers as well as to simplify my own life…  whether a professional or just occasional shutterbug, if you would like to be featured by TroysArt use the contact tab to submit your information!

A painting party with John Palmer at Vallone’s

"Ode to Escapism", the result of my evening with John Palmer at Vallone's

Some events sound just too good to pass up. I recently received an invitation that interested me greatly—a painting party hosted by artist John Palmer at Vallone’s restaurant. Buddy Kirk Longmire agreed to join me for the event (I had to find a participant not only willing but also able to pony up the $135 fee). Famed restaurateur Tony Vallone has made a reputation for Houston’s finest and most exclusive establishments.   And having never been to the new restaurant in Memorial, Kirk and I drove out early last week to enjoy Happy Hour and for a tour before the paints came out! …continue reading