Artist demonstrations at the 22nd annual Stars of Texas Juried Art Exhibit conclude Friday. Three different demonstrations are scheduled.

The art exhibit itself, presented by the Arts Council of Brownwood at the Depot Civic and Cultural Center, will conclude Saturday afternoon.

Hours for the exhibit are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The show is open to the public at no charge.

Also open at those same hours is the Salon des Refusés at the Art Center, 215 Fisk, featuring works submitted for consideration but not chosen for the Stars of Texas.

All artwork is available for purchase.

Demonstrations by three artists will be ongoing between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Friday.



RJ Barnett

Print Marking

RJ Barnett works mainly in watercolor and linocut prints. He believes art, both creating and consuming, should be readily accessible to all people. He said these two mediums are available and inexpensive means to begin the exploration of art, yet both have immense possibilities to expand one’s own personal style.

“Where linocut prints are rigid, with clear line and structure, watercolor flows and blends and often tries to misbehave. The challenges of using these properties as design and intention are small adventures within each art piece, creating a greater connection between the artist and the artwork,” he added.

He studied art at Howard Payne University, completing his BA in 2009. He learned design and composition in his classes, and in-between kept his hands dirty with anything he could make art with. He began linocut printmaking when he found left over linoleum cleaning out the supply closet as a student worker. Clay, paper pulp, and oil paints were often staining his hands and clothes, but eventually RJ settled on watercolors and relief printing.

He lives in Abilene with his wife, Addie, and their four boys. Every chance for an adventure is taken, whether it is camping in the woods, or playing boardgames and telling stories. He draws inspiration from these adventures from the beauty of nature, her trees, mountains and animals, or from the silly characters in stories and the make-believe of four little boys, and one mostly grown-up.


Sandra McSwain

Portraiture in Acrylics

As a longtime member of the Brownwood Art Association's portrait group, Sandra McSwain has done many portraits primarily using drawing media such as pencil, charcoal and pastels. In an effort to challenge herself and paint more spontaneous, she will create portrait sketchers in both acrylic and oil paint. 

To do this, she will use a limited palette of only four colors; Titanium White, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red Light, and Ivory Black or Blue Black. This palette, named after Swedish painter Anders Zorn, is one of the most popular palettes for painting skin tones in portrait painting today. Using just four tubes of paint, an artist can achieve a wide range of colors and values to fully describe the forms of the face and the figure.

She is primarily a two-dimensional artist who also enjoys throwing pottery on the potter’s wheel. She graduated from Howard Payne University with a mayor in Art Education and is a retired public school educator.


Ginger Test

Watercolor Painting

Ginger Test is a watercolor artist. Although she has done oil, acrylics, and pastels, her real love is the challenge of transparent watercolor. She occasionally does textile painting and watercolor techniques on silk and is an avid photographer with photos of scenes from Hawaii to Washington, D.C., and Maryland to the Gulf Coast. She was chosen as Artist of the Year 2014 by the Creative Art Club of Abilene, Texas, with many more current awards.

Her love of art dates back as far as her memory. Before starting to school, she was filling a 5-cent drawing tablet with her sketches every day. At the age of 6, her great-aunt, who was an artist, encouraged her by giving her a small set of oil paints. Her high school art teacher encouraged her to major in art in college. She was fortunate to have had four years’ instruction from him. He was very strong on drawing and perspective – a great teacher! Other noted artists she studied with are Mike McCullough, Jon Birdsong, J. Robert Miller, Boyd Graham, and Tom Lockhart (Colorado artist).

While a junior in high school, she and a friend, Vickie Thompson (now Clark, who is now a professional artist), painted a mural in the front office in the school. It was a landscape with oak trees, cattle and wildflowers. She painted posters for organizations and churches – the most current are the ones made for the Cantatas at First United Methodist Church, Coleman.

At Hardin-Simmons University, she had a double major in Art and English. However, she didn’t finish her degree because of love. She quit school to marry Terry Test and they have been married 59 years. He is a strong supporter of her work. They lived in Abilene until moving to Novice.

She immerses herself in her love of color and design whether the subject matter is floral, landscapes, animals, churches, or Western art. She is well-known for her paintings of hummingbirds. Once she received a letter addressed to “The Hummingbird Lady, Novice, Texas.”

She has been teaching art to adults and children since 1982. She loves to share her skills with young and old alike. She has taught workshops throughout Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Oklahoma. She now teaches weekly classes in Abilene and Coleman. Twice a year, she teaches a workshop spring and fall in Alpine in the Davis Mountains. Every year a trip is made to South Fork, Colorado, in the fall to teach the “Colorado Gold” week-long workshop at the Cottonwood Cove resort.

She has paintings in homes and businesses throughout the U.S., Europe, and Japan. She has had many solo shows and has won prestigious awards in National Juried Shows. Galleries in New Mexico and Texas have shown her paintings. She currently has paintings at the Raul Ruiz Gallery in San Angelo.

She is a well-known lecturer and demonstrator and does art programs and demos for art clubs and the “Stars of Texas” art association in Brownwood. A few years ago, she painted a desert scene on muslin (11.5 x 22 feet) for the Cattle Baron’s Ball in San Angelo. It was used on the stage behind country/western singer Neal McCoy and his band. The work has also been used in Christmas programs on the River Walk in San Angelo; on stage at the West Texas Rehab dinner in Abilene, and at Eula High School graduation.

Her current activities follow: 2020, WTRC Stribling Art Extravaganza, San Angelo, Artist of the Month, by Abilene Creative Arts Club and the Coleman Fine Arts League; Stars of Texas demonstrator; Alpine workshops; Abilene Creative Arts Show; San Angelo Kendall Art Gallery Show; prize winner, Midwest Artists Guild Miniature Show; Artist Choice and honorable mention, Abilene Art Walk on site demonstrator; June, Artist of the Month with paintings displayed at Bogies in Abilene; with weekly art lessons in Abilene and Coleman. Many workshops and demos are in the planning stage.

She said, “I have been so blessed to be able to do what I love as my ‘job’. Over the years I have made so many good friends through my travels with my art. I am very thankful that God has allowed me to experience this in my life.”