Everyone needs a break to renew, rejuvenate and sometimes recreate ourselves. For most of us, a long weekend or vacation works just fine. Creatives may need even more than a short break.
Plein air artist Arthur Deatly took a bit of a break from attending my markets in 2019 and is returning this Saturday with a new body of work.
Deatly grew up in Houston, and his early exposure to the arts was in public school and a few visits to the Museum of Fine Arts. His mother enrolled him in an after-school art program when he was diagnosed with dyslexia in third grade.
“That meager start began a journey that would set my life’s course,” Deatly said. “I got a scholarship in the ninth grade to the Glassell School of Art.”
Deatly continued winning art awards as a student at Bellaire High School and from the Houston Watercolor Society. He got his bachelor’s of fine arts from Kansas City Art Institute in painting with a focus on painting from direct observation.
“I have had many art-related jobs — scenic artist, muralist, fine art lithographer, art installer. I have never been able to make it solely on my paintings,” Deatly said. “After getting married and having two boys I worked in sales hating every day of it. This was a low point in my art production and my self-esteem, and in 2000 I substituted at the very elementary school I went to, baptism by fire.”
Teaching for the past 18 years, currently in Klein ISD, has allowed Deatly to focus on his art on weekends and summers. He’s built up a steady output of work the past 15 years.
“Finding my direction was not hard,” Deatly said. “The Urban landscape was my area of interest. Getting up the gumption to go out and paint the city … that was a little harder. At first, I would draw the canvas and paint from photos. Then in 2005 after helping to paint my friend and mentor Richard Stout’s house, he suggested we go to James Bute Park, downtown, and paint. Afterward, I realized if I just Plein air painted every weekend eventually I would have enough work to show.
“In 2011, I started showing my paintings at First Saturday Arts Market,” Deatly added. “This catapulted my career providing me an avenue to sell my work and a community of like-minded soulmates to relate to and draw inspiration from.”
I followed Deatly via his social media posts as he took on new subjects to paint, most notably in Galveston. He turned out iconic buildings like Bishop’s Palace and The Hotel Galvez, seemingly weekly. I was thrilled to see the more familiar take shape on his easel as he chronicled his travels.
“I don’t know how this journey will end, but I will have the paintings that show the path I traveled,” Deatly said.
You can follow Deatly on Instagram @deatlyarthur and meet him and see his latest masterpieces at First Saturday Arts Market this Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at 530 W. 19th St. More details are available at 1stSatArtMarket.com.