The Big Bend Country - A Journey to the Edge
What is the Big Bend Country? Physically, the Big Bend area is generally defined by that river that runs a long loop around it, the Rio Grande. It encompasses not only Big Bend National Park, but the general totality of Presidio and Brewster Counties in far southwest Texas, including Big Bend Ranch State Park, the villages of Study Butte, Trilingual and Fajitas, the towns of Presidio, Marfa, Alpine and Marathon and all of the surrounding deserts, mountains and ranchlands. More importantly, the Big Bend Country is a way of thinking and a way of living. It is pure Texan.
The Big Bend supports an immense diversity of scenic geological strata, terrain, climate and life. Elevations rise about a mile from the river and deserts to the plush mountain tops and temperatures can vary by thirty degrees. Among the hundreds of species of flora and fauna are some of the world’s most unusual… some beautiful… some ugly… some thorny… some friendly… and some deadly.
The human history of the Big Bend is also diverse. It once served as a prehistoric home to aboriginal peoples. In historic times, the Spanish, Mexicans, Apaches, Comanche raiders, and the miners and mountain men of yesteryear have all left their marks in the Big Bend region. Today, it is home to modern-day ranchers, merchants, leftover hippies, bikers, and other assorted adventurers, artisans and overstayed tourists. They are all seeking the rustic freedom and the solace of an isolated unencumbered land. A piece of the peace. The friendly down-home folks of the Big Bend are not 100 percent in touch with the rest of the world and that is the way they like it. It’s a religion.
This series of paintings from the Big Bend Country is part of an ongoing body of work that is the culmination of six “hiking and sketching” trips that this artist has taken to that area since 2002. It is the artist’s intent to preserve and present a small fraction of solitude, beauty and soul of one of the few remaining wildernesses and primitive land in America for all to enjoy and ponder. -- Jack Eidson, Jr.
Jack Eidson, Jr. was born in 1945 in Houston, Texas and moved with his parents to Weatherford, Texas at the age of four, where he was raised through high school. He attended the University of the South in Sewanee, TN; Weatherford College; Austin College in Sherman, TX for two years; and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Accounting and Finance. He earned his Certified Public Accountant credential in 1973. His career in banking, public accounting and mortgage investments spanned from 1968 through 2005, primarily in San Antonio, Texas.
Eidson is largely a self-taught painter, however his interest in art started at an early age when he first studied at the Brown School of Art in Weatherford at the age of 10. He then studied basic drawing at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN in the summer of 1962. From that time until about 1989, Eidson’s art production was sporadically intertwined with his education, professional career and family obligations. In 1989, the painting bug bit again and he started painting in earnest. He then studied drawing, figurative drawing, composition and multi-media art at the Southwest School of Arts and Crafts in San Antonio in 2003 and 2004 and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in 2007.
Eidson works primarily in oil and currently paints landscaped, figures and still lifes with a Texas or local flavor. He often refers to his work as “Texas Impressionism.” However, he occasionally strays into the world of the abstract. Representations of his work may be found in several private collections and at the Doss Heritage and Cultural Center in Weatherford, Texas and have been exhibited in several art shows. He was featured in an article in the September 2007 issue of Parker County Today magazine.
After raising a daughter and a son, Eidson and his wife, Judy, left San Antonio and moved back “home” in 2005, to their ranch near Whitt, Texas in far northwest Parker County. Here, he set up his studio and has retired from his first life with the left-side of his brain so as to concentrate on his second life with the right-side of his brain… his passion for painting.