Posts Tagged ‘art’
Dennis Farris spends his days photographing, painting, and discovering Mother Nature while making more than a pretty penny. The 51-year-old Kansas City native and his wife ViVi share a two-acre lot in East Fort Worth that includes a large house, a swimming pool, and a small house that Farris doubles as his art studio.
He said he paints about one piece per week. Sometimes aFarris’ paintings sell fast.
His bestsellers are of mountains, rivers, and Texas nature, such as longhorns and fields of flowers.
Farris’ paintings sell from around $3,000 to $100,000.
“Art sales are unpredictable at best,” he said. “You might sell 10 pieces one month and then go two or three months without selling anything.”
Farris began drawing as far back as he can remember.
“My sister and I would draw together, and at school we would compete with other students to see who could draw the best,” Farris recalled. “All through elementary and into high school, I took art, and all the kids I used to compete with were all still there, so I figured that art is something that people are genetically inclined to do.” 
After earning his BFA from Central Missouri State University in 1987, Farris moved to Fort Worth in 1989 to work as a freelance commercial artist. He worked with Phillips Agency, Mrs. Baird’s Bread, Miller Brewery, Shakespeare in the Park, and many others, until 2000, when he married. His wife had a good job with Lhoist, a global mineral and lime producer, so Farris jumped from the commercial art industry into the fine arts. 
“It’s a little riskier to paint what you like,” he said. “In commercial art, they pay you more, but they tell you what to paint. In the fine art world, you can paint an image that means something to you. I have found more joy in the fine arts.”
Although Farris paints mostly from the comfort of home, he also has been a National Parks and Wildlife Service artist in residence. At Zion National Park in 2010 and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in 2012, Farris lived for free for a month at a time to paint the landscape and perform outreach. The images that he doesn’t have time to paint en plein air, he captures with his camera. When he returns home, he sorts through the photos and paints from them. Painters may get only one hour to paint a nature scene before the light changes, he said. 
While at Zion, he stayed in a refurbished 1928 stone cabin located in the middle of the park. 
“I got snowed in a couple of times, and I was by myself,” he said. “It was so quiet and beautiful and awesome that I will never forget how peaceful it felt.” 
Along with painting longhorns, rivers, and natural scenery, Farris has been volunteering at Hangman’s House of Horrors for the past 27 years.
D’Ann Dagen, Hangman’s founder and former producer, knows him well.
“Almost three decades ago, I met a young Dennis Farris who volunteered to help birth our charity haunted house,” Dagen said. “He not only drew and painted the iconic Hangman character, he composed the storyline of how the Hangman became legend. Additionally, [Farris] designed the posters and t-shirts promoting the event.
“Over the years,” she continued, “I’ve witnessed [Farris] exhibit tremendous growth, both emotionally and spiritually, as an artist and as a man. He personifies talent, intellect, and integrity. If you want to start a Dennis Farris Fan Club, please allow me to serve as president.”
Farris’ paintings are currently on exhibit in galleries in Santa Fe and at Artspace 111. And online at farrisart.com.
“The art gallery world is in flux right now,” Farris said. “With so much art selling online, brick-and-mortar studios are having trouble staying open.”
Farris does not sell his paintings online, but he’s active on Facebook, using the social media platform “to get visibility,” he said.
Farris explained that the key to selling is to get the art in front of people. The more people see it, the more chance that one will feel emotionally attached to it and pull out his or her wallet. Art is personal. People have to identify with it somehow. 
“Buying art is a total frill,” Farris said. “It’s not like buying toilet paper or toothpaste that you have to have. It is something that you buy with total disposable income. It is not something they need but something they want.” 
Farris will continue his journey as an artist in residence this summer in East Texas at Guadalupe National Park. Photo by Ryan Grounds.

Adventurer Painter

This Fort Worth artist gets paid to travel National Parks and paint nature.
Ryan Grounds
Dennis Farris spends his days photographing, painting, and discovering Mother Nature while making more than a pretty penny. The 51-year-old Kansas City native and his wife ViVi share a two-acre lot in East Fort Worth that inclu...

One Child by Bernardo Vallarino

Untitled: The Fort Worth Weekly’s Art Blog

Christopher Blay
“Un-Human” I recently had a great conversation with sculptor Bernardo Vallarino over beers at Lola’s Saloon about artist Doris Salcedo. We were two of about 400 people, mostly artists and other art professionals, ...



Fort Worth Weekly
A full slate of art shows opens this weekend at FWCAC. Among those, you can see the cloudy acrylic paintings of Ariel Davis, the installation of Bernardo Vallarino, or the show called Not Quite There, with works by four TCU und...

Courtesy of Museo del Prado, Madrid

Something Borrowed

Titian’s "Entombment of Christ" spends the spring at the Kimbell.
Kristian Lin
When the Kimbell Art Museum announces it has taken a Titian painting on loan, you take notice. However, when it’s one of the 16th-century Venetian master’s greatest works on loan from the breathtaking Museo del Prado in Mad...

Julia Rhodes looks for love again in Stolen Shakespeare Guild’s Persuasion.

Night & Day

Kristian Lin
Wed 6 - Composers like Bach and Mozart have associated the key of E-flat major with the Holy Trinity because the scale contains three flat notes. Both of the works that the UNT Symphony Orchestra is playing tonight are in that ...



Fort Worth Weekly
Fort Worth Art Dealers Association and Gallery 414 have different titles listed for Kelly Ingleright-Telgenhoff’s current show. Regardless, you can see the UNT graduate student’s MFA exhibit at 414. Showcasing her realistic...

Though nearly 50 years old, the choreography in Stevenson’s Cinderella still holds up. Photo by Ellen Appel.

Texas Ballet Theater’s Sweet Feet

Impressive dancing brought Texas Ballet Theater’s Cinderella to life again.
Leonard Eureka
Of all fairy tales, Cinderella is probably the most familiar. It has been recounted in books, plays, movies, TV shows, operas, and ballets. Each generation seems to embrace the story: A gentle young woman goes to live with a se...

(From left to right) Lauren Childs, J.W. Wilson, and Leigh Ann Williams are set to put Fort Worth artists to work. Photo by Edward Brown.

The Art Corridor

There’s a new contemporary art gallery in town.
Edward Brown
Along with every other gallery in Fort Worth (and some in Alrington and even Euless), Fort Works Art celebrated Spring Gallery Night last Saturday. But unlike every other gallery in town, Fort Works Art was also celebrating its...

Candace Hicks’ “Read Me”


Fort Worth Weekly
Do you like puzzles? The new art show at TCC’s Southeast Campus is a puzzle the size of a room. Candace Hicks’ installation acts as a giant puzzle book, with clues in the form of optical illusions and text leading to the un...

Rachael Banks Taylor’s “Taylor”


Fort Worth Weekly
We mentioned Art Room on our Night & Day page as one of the venues taking its first bow on Gallery Night. Its debut show is fitting entitled One, and it features local and national artists doing unorthodox takes on traditio...