Artist returns to depict life in South Texas
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Acrylics, watercolor and bronze, along with western-style theme paintings, are the preferred choices for artist Harold Nichols.
Nichols came back to his old stomping grounds Saturday afternoon to share his thoughts about some of his paintings in the "A Texas State of Mind" exhibit at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts.
Some of his designs included paintings of life on a ranch.
"You look for subject matters," said the West Texas native, who started painting in 1960. "Inspiration comes from life. That's what inspires me to paint."
It's not the first time Nichols has been in Victoria. He spent the better part of his life here, even constructing his property into an art center, which is now home to the Victoria Art League Community Art Center. A former teacher at Victoria College, Nichols left that field to pursue a career in art.
"He is near and dear to many people of Victoria," said Sue Prudhomme, director of cultural affairs at Victoria College. "We wanted to honor and celebrate his work."
Avril Sassman was one of the onlookers admiring Nichols' work. What draws him to Nichols' paintings, Sassman said, is the reminders of life in South Texas.
"He does a real good job of painting animals that are natural," he said.
Mary Sue Koontz Nelson admired one particular painting called the "Cutting Out the Bull" so much that she decided to purchase it.
Dressed in a light blue shirt with beige pants and brown and black cowboy boots, Nichols attempted to pick out some of his favorite works but couldn't.
"Artists always see things about paintings they wish they could have done," he said.
Instead, Nichols spoke about others trying to understand not only his art, but the artist, as well.
"When you really surrender yourself to the art, it opens vistas," he said. "You walk away and wonder why he made it."