Carving by Artist John Michael Barone
Carving by Artist John Michael Barone
Thanks to Janine “Beanie” Holter, of Minneapolis, for sharing a photo of the painting she made of Willie Nelson spending time with his fans after a Willie Nelson & Family show.
Deb Turner, in her work as an artist, is adding a little North Augusta color to Music City, U.S.A., for Nashville’s visitors to enjoy.
So far, the Edgefield County resident has created three paintings for Aerial BNB, a vacation-rental management company in Tennessee, and each has a legendary country singer as its subject: Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff and Willie Nelson. A fourth, featuring Hank Williams, is still taking form, and each is to be used to help establish a theme for the Nashville rental home it occupies.
“It’s the beginning of more paintings to come,” Turner said, noting that she did the Nelson painting first.
The result? “Everybody loved it,” and that led to requests for more.
A press release from the sponsoring company, Aerial Development Group, noted that Turner is “the only artisan Aerial will use for their main art throughout their homes. She produces paintings for each of the homes that have now been entirely branded around her art selections to provide something uniquely ‘Nashville.’”
“I’ve been painting for, like, two or three years,” Turner said, noting that she knew she had talent but didn’t have much time to use it until the last of her six children graduated from high school. “I don’t have training in painting, but it’s kind of natural.”
Some of the income from Turner’s work will find its way into the community at large, as she is donating a portion of the proceeds to a local charity that offers help to abused children.
Aerial’s announcement added, “With Aerial’s passion rooted in purpose and mission to giving back, Deb Turner has been a premier partner with not only her masterpiece artwork but also her mission to end child abuse. This alignment of mission is the uniqueness that Aerial strives to provide guests with, opening them up to experience not only incredible art, but a purpose that they help to support by staying in our homes,” it read
Paula Nelson shared a picture of this artwork, by Josy, on her FaceBook page.
photo: Steve Hopson
He is Rosie Troutman’s grandson.
An artist making big headlines in Austin, Texas, has some strong family ties to Buffalo. Wiley Ross, who recently finished a 60-foot-by-20-foot mural of singer Willie Nelson on the side of a building in downtown Austin, is the son of Jody (Troutman) Noennig and the grandson of Rosie and the late Herb Troutman.
Ross painted the giant mural of the beloved country and western, rock crossover icon after being approached by Adam Brewer, founder of the Heart of Texas Rockfest.
“He came to me and he’s like, ‘Dude, I’ve got this huge wall available. Let’s paint it. Let’s make it happen. Let’s do it,’” Ross said.
The building that displays Ross’ masterpiece faces the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless at the corner of 7th and Neches streets. On March 15-18, the mural was the new backdrop for the 17th annual Heart of Texas Rockfest outdoor theater.
“All the homeless cats down here really dig it. Haven’t had any problems with them at all. They’ve been real cool,” Ross said. “Then there are the people driving by and taking pictures. It’s been an overwhelmingly positive response.”
Ross said this was definitely the biggest project he’s taken on in the shortest amount of time. He spent six 13-hour days in the hot sun to complete the mural by hand.
Murals aren’t the only aspect of Ross’ artistic talents. He also paints famous faces on a smaller scale using canvas or T-shirts. What’s unusual about his T-shirt art is that he uses different dilutions of bleach to determine the shades and tones of the realistic hand-painted portraits on a black shirt.
Although Ross always has created works in the visual arts, his other talent was what originally made him decide to move to Austin.
Joseph Wiley Ross was born and raised in Springfield. He graduated from Kickapoo High School in 2001. Throughout most of his life, his focus was art. He entered college on an art scholarship but soon found another new love — music. He felt a strong pull to this new expression of his artistic talents in the form of performance art. Believing it to be his destiny, he picked up a guitar, loaded up his Scooby Doo van and moved to Austin in 2004.
The self-taught guitarist and pianist formed the hard hitting rock trio Street Light Suzie in 2008 with bassist Joe “Oso” Morales and drummer Rob Williamson. The group has recorded two CDs, “Red River Revival” and “Red Album,” and is now a foursome with the addition of guitarist and backup vocalist Nikkoli Kade Kubena. Ross fronts as lead singer and has written several songs. The group has been successful at placing their songs in such television shows as “CSI,” “Nikita” and “Ringer,” and on E! and VH1.
Creating music and art are two of Ross’ great passions, but his 4-year-old daughter, Veda Moon, is the love of his life. They spend a lot of time together, each creating their own artworks. Ross incorporated Veda’s image in one of his popular Austin murals.
With so much art and music still lurking inside of him, Ross plans to share his talent with the world for a long time to come. Check out his art at wileyross.com orfacebook.com/wiley.ross, and his music atstreelightsuzie.com.
by: Kartik Sridhar
Between the iconic “Hi, How Are You?” and displays of Texas pride, Austin’s prominent murals are as ingrained in the city’s culture as breakfast tacos and live music.
So when local muralist Wiley Ross and UT alumnus Adam Brewer found themselves with a blank, gray wall, they knew just what to fill it with — a 60-by-20-foot likeness of beloved musician
The inspiration behind the mural, which is located on the corner of Seventh and Neches Streets, had been around for a while, artist Wiley Ross said.
“Adam Brewer and I had been wanting to paint that big wall for four years,” Ross said. “When we finally got the go-ahead from the landlord, we chose Willie Nelson — he’s just one of those people that everybody loves.”
That sentiment particularly resonates in his home state Texas, where his fandom transcends music and propels him into multi-faceted stardom. So much so that, according to Texas Tribune, Nelson received 22 write-in votes in Travis and Tarrant counties during the 2012 presidential election.
Getting approval for the mural was a difficult and time-consuming process. Brewer, the commissioner of the mural, said funding was originally hard to come by, because they needed permission from both the building owner and Nelson himself. Brewer said he capitalized on the release of Nelson’s new album, Summertime, to get authorization from Nelson’s manager Mark Rothbaum.
Nelson shared an article about the mural on his Facebook page, which received over 7,000 likes, helping with the publicity of Heart of Texas Rockfest. Started by Brewer in 1999 while he was a film student at UT, the Rockfest music festival was originally created to showcase overlooked local talent.
“I felt like a bunch of my friends – musicians and filmmakers alike – weren’t being represented at SXSW,” Brewer said. “Though [Rockfest] started small, we expanded to nightclubs around the city before finding our permanent location in 2007. This year’s four-day, four-night festival is the biggest production we’ve ever had.”
Now in its 17th year, Brewer said Rockfest will likely get an influx of concert-goers from the popularity of the mural. Ross said the process was both unusual and grueling, as he was working up to 13-hour days in the sun to complete the painting in six days.
“In order to make the likeness as accurate as possible, I would generally use a projector, but the lighting wouldn’t allow me to,” Ross said. “Instead I had to go old-school and graph it out. Behind the paint in that mural is a scaled up grid of Willie’s face.”
Building on the momentum that the mural generated, Brewer said Austin may soon see more artwork that celebrates the rich musical history of Texas. Though Brewer and Ross have not yet decided on whom to add, they have some preliminary ideas that would keep Nelson in good company.
“The mural is not necessarily done,” Brewer said. “[Ross] is going to see if he can do some more work to it. Maybe we’ll add some other Texas legends like Stevie Ray Vaughn or Janice Joplin, we haven’t decided yet.”