Beautiful Summer Sunlight in the Dead of Winter’s Gloom
By Tammy Thomas-Cook
Nestled a few blocks away from the bustle of Broadway and an equal distance from the gulf, my wondering gaze fell on the doorsteps of Water’s Edge Studio and Gallery.
I slipped in quietly and found myself immersed in all that is Galveston. Despite the grey damp gloom of winter, owners Gayle and Rex Reynolds have created a spot of summer sunlight with their sparkling gallery filled with impressions of our beloved beach and highlighting the historic houses along Silk Stocking Row.
Gayle’s watercolors evoke images of serenity and celebrate the natural beauty of the wildlife that inhabit the salt water and air.
Pelicans floating, with their reflections mirrored in the water beneath, are utterly enchanting. The pastel tints of flower-laden gardens standing as guardians before the graceful old houses are infused with judicial use of light and multihued shadows.
One can almost smell the fragrance that wafts on the southern breezes.
Through Gayle’s skilled brush, incongruous subjects take on new life, in the piece “Waiting for Monday Morning” an enormous excavator sits like a child’s toy left out in the yard. Our ubiquitous palm trees are painted from a vantage point from which we are all familiar, gazing heavenward toward the cornflower blue Texas sky.
Her palette mimicking the colors of the vitality of all things living and growing freely on the island.
Gayle is equally adept in her use of oils, “Swinging” features the whirling delights of the swings at the Pleasure Pier, the motion of a moment captured in bright primary colors. “Evening Lights” show off the Historic Strand district at its finest, sparkling light wrapped trees shining in the fading light give off a glow of celebration.
She pays homage to the conduit of our booming economy in her “Commerce and Shipping” piece. Impossibly huge tankers glide past each other in our harbor, the primary colors in the peace speaks to the life’s blood of a port city. Love of all things maritime is not limited to Gayle’s artwork.
Her husband, Rex Reynolds, builds wooden dories – those shallow draft rowboats needed for the bayous and inlets. These are wooden water craft that can be fitted with small outboard motors for those of us who are great “rower out-ers” but terrible “rower in-ers.”
The gallery also plays host to visiting artists, visually stunning pottery by Madeline Baker, whose bright use of texture and pattern stops a person in their tracks by their intimacy.
Sculptures by Pat Moberly Moore take ones breath away, in particular, “Windsong,” a hauntingly beautiful figure of a lone woman staring off into the vast expanse of the sea, causing one to pause and wonder why she looks “windswept lonesome.”
Several other pieces are on display, each baring a touch of whimsy and longing. The organic shape of John Whitman’s pottery speaks of simplicity mixed with structure, particularly his double vessels with lids.
Water’s Edge Gallery is a hidden treasure and definitely a worthy place to travel off the beaten path.
Water’s Edge Studio & Gallery
1302 21st St., Galveston, (409)762-1925
Open Monday – Saturday from 12 noon to 5pm