Gretchen Bender Sparks

Five words: Travel, Experience, Physical, Interpretation, Spiritual

I am incorporating the techniques I developed doing field Geology into my art. My art comes from the direct result of my physical involvement with the landscape (field work) interpreted in the studio (lab work).  I strive to move past what is observed in the landscape – to lose the feeling of place – and to use my art to translate the landscape into a narrative or anecdote for others. The landscape, correctly interpreted will make the soul flow. My goal is to bring the artist into the landscape without abandoning the perception of the scientist.

This painting was inspired by the Alabama Hills, which are in the Owens Valley, California! Very close to my thesis area in the Inyo Mountains.

Gretchen Bender Sparks

CV Resume –

2018 – Certificate of Achievement in Painting; Glassell School of Art, Houston, Texas
2018 – 2020 Block Program; Glassell School of Art, Houston, Texas

2014 – present – Studio Practice; Silver Street Studios, Houston, Texas

  • 2021 – Block XX show in Orton Gallery at the Glassell School of Art, Houston, Texas
  • 2021 – Block XX virtual show: link
  • 2020 – “Antarctica Is Melting” juried show (Shana Nys Dambrot, CA); VAA Houston, Texas
  • 2019-present – Silver Street Studio; Exhibitions Committee member
  • 2019 – “Llano River Rocks”; juried show (Christine Jelson West, TX); VAA Houston, Texas
  • 2019 – “Dimetrodons are NOT Dinosaurs!” – (ceramics display); BLOCK XIX show; Glassell School of Art, Houston, Texas
  • 2019 – “Sixth Night on the River”; Kinder-Morgan juried show; Houston, Texas
  • 2018 – “Tumpisa” and “Storm over Ansfelden”; Certificate of Achievement show; Glassell School of Art, Houston
  • 2016 – “Cliffs of Carlsbad”; juried show; Blue Orange Gallery, Houston, Tx
  • 2016 – “Van Horn, Texas”; juried show (Clint Willor, Texas); Selected Works from the Artists of Sawyer Yards, Houston
  • 2015 – “Geology and Art” Presentation to the Houston Gem and Mineral Society
  • 2015 – “Llano Downpour”; juried show; The Art of Resiliency, Canal Street Gallery, Houston, Texas
  • 1975 – Bachelor’s degree in Geology, University of California, Riverside
  • 1979 – Masters degree in Geology, San Diego State University, California

  • 2003 – present – Master Docent, Houston Museum of Natural Science; lead docent for the Paleontology Prep Lab at HMNS Sugar Land
Shot from the terrace at the Indian Lodge, Fort Davis State Park, looking east toward Fort Davis!