Art is not for sissies

Do you enjoy western art? Do you wish you had a corner in your home where you could retreat into the 1700’s surrounded by forests, hunters, trappers, Indians?

Is Southwest Missouri on the itinerary of your next trip? If any of this appeals to you, here is place you would enjoy.

Drive your car, truck or cycle to Doug Hall’s Log Cabin Gallery, 19314 Highway 59, about five miles south of Neosho, Mo., in Newton County. People gather there about 3 in the afternoon. Others wander in and out until 6 or 7 p.m. 

In summer the log cabin is air-conditioned and in winter there is a fire in the pot-belly stove. The welcome sign will be on and a rocking chair awaits your visit. If you are a storyteller, you are especially welcome. If you like art, you will be pleased and happy.

This log cabin is the fourth one Doug Hall has built. He hastens to add that he had lots of help from family and friends with this one. It is on land his family has owned for generations.

His first cabin on this site was blown away in the Easter tornado of 2001. It had been a store and gallery, but it blew eastward across the highway into a pond by the airport. The store carried items that cannot be found easily: sinew, black powder, lead balls, flint, etc.

Since 1984 there has been every Sunday at 3 p.m. a black powder shoot and all the shooters have a flintlock rifle. Anyone is welcome, and always has been.

After the tornado destruction, Doug Hall, who has painted oil on canvas all of his life, was driven to paint daily. Now his daily routine is up at daybreak, tea or coffee on the porch, feed and care for the horses, paint from 10 to 3, clean the brushes and drive to the log cabin gallery.

He does not paint at night and he never paints on Sunday. He does take the “mandatory union coffee breaks” during the day while he sits and studies his work on the easel.

He lives in his third log cabin on 50 acres in McDonald County. There, he shoes his horses, mows the acreage and all that that entails. He does not plant anything, but he paints.

His oil paintings are sought after by galleries and museums. Their auctions and shows have deadlines. Descriptions of the work and about the artists are needed for catalogs.

There just seems to always be a deadline looming somewhere, and an artist who cannot meet a deadline is not going to do well.
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