New Series of Paintings Will Benefit Texas Towns

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Popular greeting card artist, Mike Scovel, introduces 'Remember When," a new series of paintings of historic downtown areas of Texas. The original paintings will be donated to local charities or non profit groups to be used for fund raisers. Scovel is best known for his popular line of greeting cards and other products published by Leanin' Tree Greetings since 1979.

Popular greeting card artist, Mike Scovel, is on a mission to capture the early hustle and bustle of Texas' historic downtown areas on canvas so the memory of their glory days can be better preserved. "There are old photographs but all too often, they're faded or blurry and hard to see," Scovel says. "My aim is to gather information about the different communities and create a painting that shows the downtown area and commerce at its very best." In an effort to give back to the community, Scovel plans to donate the original painting to a local charity or non-profit to be used for fund raising. The series will be called "Remember When."

Last November, Scovel completed the first in the series with a painting of downtown Bastrop titled "Christmas on Main." The original oil and a very limited number of prints were donated to the Family Crisis Center for their annual Festival of Trees fund raiser. The painting raised $1700 at auction and the signed and numbered prints raised an additional $800.

Scovel is best known for his popular greeting card line with Leanin' Tree publishing. 2009 will mark Scovel's 30th year with the Boulder based publisher who has sold over $100 Million Scovel products since the first image was introduced in 1979. Scovel is also a sculptor and has created several public monuments including the Pool of Tears, an all veterans memorial in downtown Temple, Texas and "Duty, Honor and Country," a memorial to Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Msg. Roy P. Benavidez in Cuero.

Scovel went on to complete two additional smaller paintings of historic downtown Bastrop, from different angles and featuring different buildings; one of those two, "A Texas Skiff" will be published as a 2008 Christmas card by Leanin' Tree. Those paintings and posters are being offered on the artist's website at

Bastrop wasn't the first historic area to capture the artist's attention. In 1990, his painting, "From Count to Cattle Baron" captured a pivotal moment in the history of downtown Meeteetse, Wyoming, and became the community's official Centennial print. In more recent years, he has also recreated historic depots, homesteads and ranches for private collectors.

Scovel has been smitten by the colorful history and unique character and architecture of small Texas towns. "Anyone who has driven the back roads of Texas knows there are jewels out there; I had seen them before but never in this light," Scovel says. "I love reading the stories about these communities and how they came to be. Many were bustling little towns before the major highways routed traffic around them or they became classic "railroad towns" when that commerce changed directions. Some have rallied and are restoring their main streets and thankfully, preserving many of the great old buildings. And then there are some with rows of abandoned buildings because their local merchants got squeezed out by the bigger stores or they moved closer to the major highways. Either way, it's fascinating to study these streetscapes and imagine what life must have been like way back then. When I research the history, study the old photos, compare the buildings then and now, talk to the locals and listen to the stories, a picture starts to form in my mind. Slowly, the composition for the painting comes together. It's pure nostalgia but it's good nostalgia."

For more information about the "Remember When" series, including a list of towns being considered for the project or to learn more about Mike Scovel, visit or call the artist's studio at 512-764-2651.


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