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JANUARY IS THE MONTH of reflection, deciding what habits to ditch, what goals to go after. While reassessing, how about adding “Support the arts” to your list? The state is recognized nationally as a bona fide hotbed, so it’s a good time to buy your own homegrown masterpiece. Besides, investing in art is way more fun than losing fifteen pounds, especially when the pieces are as witty—and accessible in style and price point—as Pat Campbell’s. The longtime Houston-area resident spent most of her career as a manager and buyer for the retail book industry (meandering mainly in the fine-art aisles, she confesses) before taking up the brush professionally in 1996. At the urging of friends, Campbell presented her paintings—mostly portraits and architectural scenes with folk influences and a Renaissance vibe—at New York gallery Get Real Art, and the momentum of that show propelled her to seek out a venue closer to home. Now she drives in from her country-house-cum-studio in Willis to the Homestretch in Houston Heights, delivering punchy, Risko-meets-Grandma-Moses renderings of such cultural celebrities as Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Shakespeare and Dante, Warhol and Einstein, and a few sixteenth-century characters, all with strong lines and a sense of humor. “If I can sum up Pat’s gift in any way, I would say that her paintings make you smile,” describes gallery owner Maura Cannon. “And what better reason to have a painting in your home?” #1 King, $400; Queen of Diamonds, $575; Deloverly (Cole Porter), $295.
Paintings available at the Homestretch, 617 1/2 W. Nineteenth, Houston, 713-868-6902, and at the seasonal Urban Market Houston art and antiques bazaar, 120 Yale, Houston. (The next Urban Market Houston is set for February 25.) For more information, visit Pat Campbell’s virtual booth at theurbanmarkethouston.com.