“Whatever happened to you talking Blu?” you all ask…..

Recently I had the opportunity to grab some time of one of our seniors whom had an exhibition locally. Blu has dawned the halls and walls of Tarleton in recent years and this hasn’t been his first school. He started college right out of high school in 1993. After attending other schools and being active on the rodeo scene he quit a semester shy of graduating. He decided that he wanted to rodeo that he wanted to “have fun”, he wanted to “live.” However, it seems that art has been a big part of his life in that he majored in art previously and is going to be graduating with his degree this December. Check out our conversation

Who is Blu and what does he do?

“That’s a good question. Depends on who is around me”…(laughing)

You show yourself throughout your art, with Texas scenes and animals.

“I’m more familiar with animals than people. Subject matter is similar but media changes, if I get bored of painting in oil or get frustrated I throw it to the side and do pen and ink or take pictures.”

You have a blank page in front of you, how do you know what you are going to do?

“I usually have ideas I want to do, it’s a matter of getting to them. I have stuff in my mind 6-8 months to a year and have not been able to start on them yet, yeah there is a backlog up here”…. (laughing).

Is that with photography? Or do you have the medium picked out?

“Photography is more instant, I love it because it’s an instant piece of artwork and sometimes what you are wanting to convey is easier with a photograph…some of the media tells the story a little better than the others…the jackrabbit for instance didn’t really make since for me to do it any other way ,it’s just, it is what it is….”

You’re catching him in that moment and there isn’t any other way to do that.

“Yes, usually something more fleeting I’ll catch it in a photograph.”








That’s an interesting perspective, because some people do not consider photography as an art form.

“Usually people that say that don’t really try to do it.  Photography is challenging because if you don’t have everything in that moment (it’s gone) you will miss it, so you have to be very prepared… you know painting or drawing if you want to change something you can…”

“Like this one I took. We have jackrabbits in our pasture and they are playing only right there on our property, it’s weird how they just hang out there. So I went out one afternoon to see how close I could get to them and watch them, their patterns and stuff because usually a photograph of a jackrabbit is of them alert and I worked with this one kind of watching him go back and forth and I kind of laid down and for twenty or thirty minutes he slowly hopped by and he was about 10 feet away from me he kind of looked at me and that’s when I got that picture and then he just hopped off. That’s like a really relaxed version of a jackrabbit.”

It is and I wouldn’t have really thought of that if you hadn’t said anything.

“He kind of almost stopped and just posed for me, it almost looks like a portrait. Even though, yeah it’s just a jackrabbit but I was really happy with that, plus I love my jackrabbits.”

I understand, we have deer, which I wasn’t a big fan of for a bit because they ate everything I grew (in my garden) other than onions, but we get attached to these things that you see every day.

“Yeah they are almost like a pet that visits you.”


As of today what is your favorite medium?

“You know right now I have been doing more photography than anything, so much so I’m using it in my senior show and I never would have guessed I would do that. Because I have always been hardcore pencil painting and stuff like that. I don’t know, it just fits my program because I usually don’t have a lot of time to work on my stuff so that instant moment I can capture really helps”.

I agree, I love photography. I like the challenge, you can really find ways to challenge yourself with it.

“It gets addicting”

Yeah, you want to challenge yourself constantly.

I feel like I might know the answer to this but what is your main inspiration? Or does it vary from each item?

“Yeah it depends. There are some things I am really motivated to do, I capture it or show it to the world…. And then others I just kind of like don’t really expect it you will just see something and it will trigger an inspiration in your mind, you will be like that would be pretty cool. So I do a quick sketch or write it down so I don’t forget it and then work on it later.”

Blu Dornan Art

I like the self-portrait, tell me about that.

“It’s graphite, it kind of ties in both worlds as an artist and being involved in the rodeo and western stuff so I tried to mesh that together. It was kind of an idea I thought up and thought it would be pretty cool so that’s what I did.”

 I think it says a lot more than that, because it is you and you are creating yourself.

“Yeah, well, that or the whole thing of inspiration are you controlling the picture or does the picture or idea control you. So, it kind of has that going on too.”

Yeah, I like that.

So for the senior show you are going to go the photography route?

“I’m going to do like three subcategories, if I can get away with it. I’m gonna do a series of portraits, like three or four. “

Are you going to be painting them?

“I am going do oil painting and two that will be black and white one will be graphite and the other will be a silver point. So there is going to have the conflict between black and white and then color. I’ll be able to tie everything together. And then my other deal will be a couple of photography projects.”


 So, last question. What advice do you have for our fellow students?

“This is good, because this is my forth college, I think. I started right out of high school in 1993 and I majored in art and then I went to Southern Arkansas and was on the rodeo team and did graphic design down there and was like a semester shy of graduating and I was like ‘screw it’, I want to have fun I want to live, just wanted to rodeo and have fun and I wasn’t interested in school at all. So I quit and then when I moved down here years later, the school was right there, I’m gonna go ahead and get my degree so that brings us up to your question…It’s so funny because I have such a different perspective now than I did then. I see a lot of people with the same mentality or attitude towards school that I did and you just want to guide them but when you are young you have to learn for yourself. The main thing I see is that some kids put their instructors or their school work as their enemy, there seems to be a conflict there instead of going in there and try to learn or develop I see people making excuses and I did the same thing when I was younger and now that I come back and I wish I can tell them to just do it for yourself.”

“Have a better attitude towards things and I’m not saying a lot of them do but a lot of them (students) would be a lot more successful if they attempted to develop themselves rather than making excuses for themselves. I was the worst one, it was always everyone else’s fault I never had money, I never had the materials or I didn’t have time. Well that doesn’t get artwork done and the goal is to get it done and get it hanging for people. When you realize you are in control of that, not everyone else, that is when you start succeeding.”

I think that is solid advice, do you think that comes with age too?

“Yeah, oh yeah, I would have done the same thing I did the first time around.”

Yeah and if someone that is older than you would have told you to get your stuff together then?

“You know it’s funny because when I was in Arkansas there was this old dude, probably in his forties. Now that I realize that he was the future me, he did this awesome work he came to class on time. I never came to class I just tried to get the assignments done and I thought that ‘man he makes us look so bad,’ and then now that I do this and I am the older one I feel like I am that old dude now.”


*Thank you Blu for taking the time for a quick chat!


Comment are closed.