Larry and Sharon Bridges used to spend nine months of the year on the road.
They would pack up and drive to an event — the Texas State Fair, the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, maybe the Rockport Fine Craft Show — set up a tent or booth, sell art all weekend, return home to ship orders and then do it all over again the following week.
But now the Bridgeses have entered a new phase of life, a sort of “semi-retirement,” and they’re ready to show Brown County what they’ve been up to all these years.
The Bridgeses specialize in nostalgic, detailed pen and ink watercolor drawings of specific themes or locations like cities, universities and courthouses. Larry starts with a pencil sketch, then goes back over his lines in pen. Watercolors bring the sketches to vibrant life, and then Larry takes a photo of his creation and hands off to Sharon. She handles all the technology — Larry said he never uses computers — and prints copies of Larry’s original with a specialized printer on-site.
The couple’s workspace sits in a trailer-sized structure on their Brownwood property. Larry’s desk is just inside the entrance, with Sharon’s computer nearby. They use a long central workspace to mat and frame prints, and a line of shelves against the wall holds thousands of additional prints.
The Bridgeses have pieces for every Texan’s taste. A Brownwood-specific print, for instance, depicts modern and historic city landmarks like Gordon Wood Stadium, the courthouse, the Brownwood Hotel and the Coliseum. Enthusiastic alumni can purchase prints for Texas, A&M, Tech, State, Baylor, Howard Payne and Tarleton; city-dwellers can buy the landmarks of Dallas, San Antonio and Houston; and public servants will enjoy Bridges’ depictions of police cars and fire trucks.
He’s even sketched Western scenes for rodeo sales and a collage of John Deere tractors for proud farmers. The couple keeps a thick binder full of examples of Larry’s eclectic work.
Sometimes the couple accepts commissions for specific schools, locations or themes. And Larry’s originals tend to go quickly — Brownwood’s TexasBank and Citizen’s National Bank have Bridges originals on display, they said.
Larry Bridges said he has been making art his entire life. A Texas Tech graduate, Bridges said he and Sharon have been married now for almost 30 years and working together that whole time.
The couple moved to Brownwood from Brady about nine years ago. This year the Bridgeses will be missing the Texas State Fair for the first time in years, but they said it’s time to start winding down the hectic lifestyle they’ve led as full-time artists.
The Bridgeses have prints for a wide variety of interests and budgets. They can be reached for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.