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Local artist to show work at Modesto gallery
Milt Bullard decorated the front hallway of his Turlock home with pen and ink drawings like this one. He will be displaying the works, which he drew himself, at the Mistlin Gallery Sept. 1- 18. - photo by ANDREA GOODWIN / The Journal
Milt Bullard leaned forward out of his relaxed position in a chair in his living room. He sat with his back to a massive ink drawing of a rock face at Yosemite Falls. This drawing, like much of the art in Bullard’s house, will be part of his upcoming show “Creating the Natural World.”
“I always used to ask artists ‘who is your audience?’ That’s how you can tell them apart,” Bullard said as he sat straighter in his chair.
Bullard used to work as a freelance reporter covering art stories for a newspaper. He said his experience with interviewing artists taught him how to distinguish the good from the not-so-good. The main difference between one painter and another is who they are painting for. That is a lesson that Bullard has incorporated into his own watercolors and ink drawings.
“My main audience is myself, and that’s the hardest person to please,” Bullard said.
In all of his experience with creating and teaching art, Bullard has learned that an artist is his own worst and best critic. Bullard said that the only way that one can mature as an artist is to stop creating for other people and to become one’s own audience.
Bullard is retired from his career as a health care facility planner, but he does not spend a lot of his time drawing and painting. He said that he doesn’t consider himself a prolific artist, and he is more selective with his work. He said that just because he can draw something, doesn’t mean he will.
“It’s more of a practical consideration. After you have filled the house, what else are you going to do with it?”
Bullard will be showing the few drawings and paintings he has left in his house at the Mistlin Gallery in September. He said that there used to be a lot more of them, but over time he has lost some, sold some, and given away even more. He submitted his remaining works, including the “Yosemite” drawing from his living room, for a Central California Art Association show in Modesto.
Barbara Salerno, publicity chairperson of the CCAA, said that the theme for the show was set after Bullard was chosen to present his artwork. Bullard’s subjects are landscapes of areas like Yosemite, the American southwest, and Point Lobos.
Bullard’s works will be shown in the front half of the Mistlin Gallery starting Sept. 1. His exhibit will be one half of the “Creating the Natural World” show. At the back of the gallery there will be an exhibit of various artists’ works depicting nature. Salerno said that the member-submitted art will be in many mediums, but they will all follow the theme of the show.
There will be a reception for the artists starting at 5 p.m. on Sept. 17, which coincides with Modesto’s monthly Third Thursday Art Walk. The reception is open to the public, and will be held at the Mistlin Gallery in Modesto.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003