Small Town Artist Selected by Texas Highways Magazine to Promote the "Texas Mystique" with His Imaginative and Whimsical Imagery

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Texas Highways Magazine has licensed the use of emerging artist, Larry G. Lemons' whimsical painting entitled "The Stars at Night..." a take off on Van Gogh's "The Starry Night" for full color reproduction on T shirts to be offered in their Spring line of gift products. This is a first for Texas Highways Magazine and an opportunity for a quantum leap in exposure for Lemons' colorful Texas artworks.

What is it about Texas that makes it so special to not only its residents, but to folks all over the world? Some say it’s the independent spirit portrayed by the early day cowboys. Others say it’s the heroes of the past like Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Barrett Travis, and Sam Houston that remind Texans how their struggles and battles gave birth to a nation. Still others say it’s the shear size of the place, second only to Alaska in area. Or is it the beer and barbeque, or six-wheeled pick up trucks? Or is it famous rebel musicians like Willie Nelson and politicians like LBJ and the Bush family, or over the top gubernatorial hopeful characters like Kinky Friedman. John Steinbeck said "Texas is a state of mind." Truth is it’s probably all of the above and a whole lot more.

Texas artist, Larry G. Lemons, from the tiny historic town of Nocona (where the world famous Nocona Boots were made for 75 years) set about the challenging and enjoyable task of capturing through his art this bigger than life, elusive spirit of a state that at one time was an independent nation. With an endless array of subject matter to call on for inspiration, his efforts came to the attention of the prestigious Texas Highways Magazine, a publication whose goals of telling the story of Texas seemed to coincide with that of the artist.

Julie Jacob, Ancillary Products Manager for the publication contacted Lemons back in August to see if there would be an interest in reproducing one or more of his Texas inspired artworks on their first ever full color photo T shirts to be offered in their Spring line of gift products. In addition, the magazine had an interest in retailing a line of gift boxed note cards from a series of Lemons’ paintings affectionately called “Texas Wild Thangs.” Initially, the artist had some reservations about his work being portrayed on T shirts, but the idea began to grow on him as he saw the potential for greater exposure for his art through such a highly regarded publication. It was agreed that Lemons would license the use of an image entitled “The Stars at Night...” for photo T shirt reproduction. This colorful image of a nocturnal armadillo emblazoned with a Texas flag on its shell was inspired by the famous and eccentric artist Vincent Van Gogh’s painting “The Starry Night” and the wide open west Texas skies.

On a humorous note, Lemons stated that in a routine phone conversation concerning the licensing agreement, Mr. Al Fairchild, of the Texas Department of Transportation, had to ask him what “The Stars at Night...” meant. After a moment of hesitation, Lemons began to sing, “The stars at night... are big and bright... wherein Mr. Fairchild chimed in, “deep in the heart of Texas! I get it!”

Asked to describe his work Larry, who signs his work L G Lemons, says “it is bold, colorful, and unapologetically Texas. But not only that, it is a metaphor for those traits that we as Americans and Texans hold dear such as freedom, loyalty, faith, heritage, courage, bravery, humor, and the “true grit” that has enabled us to persevere in spite of all odds.”

As a show of support, Lemons and his family recently donated a signed and numbered limited edition of a painting entitled “Loyalty” to President George W. Bush at the White House. This was made possible by U. S. Representative Mac Thornberry of Clarendon, Texas.

“The Stars at Night...” photo T shirt and the “Texas Wild Thangs” note cards are now available through Texas Highways Magazine on line gift shop and the rest of the world is now only a mouse click or two away from being introduced to the Texas inspired artwork of L G Lemons.

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