Art Davis is a watercolor artist, composer, and writer living in the Texas Hill Country just outside of Austin.
Art has made a living as a pipe organ builder’s apprentice, technical theatre director, theatre producer, computer system’s integrator, and IT Architecture Manager. Art retired in April of 2020 just in time for the world-wide challenges of Covid-19.
In 2022 Art stopped playing and recording music due to arthritis in his hands. He continues to compose on occasion. He has shifted his focus to interpreting landscapes in watercolor and writing poetry and short fiction. His approach to painting outdoors is more the process of gathering information about a subject rather than creating finished works. He enjoys creating pencil and watercolor sketches, taking photographs, and writing to document information and his reaction to the subject. All of this is used as reference material for creating a painting in his studio. He was introduced to painting by his grandmother. She informally taught him the basics of painting in oil while they spent time in the summer painting together. He ended up being totally engrossed in music and theatre and it wasn’t until decades later that he picked up the brush in earnest and began to study the craft.
His music reflects a wide range of musical experiences, from solo piano/guitar to folk to orchestral minimalism to ambient electronica to jazz – an open invitation to daydream. Early in his career Art was involved in theater. Acting, writing, composing, directing, and producing plays became his creative focus. He worked primarily with The Hip Pocket Theatre in Fort Worth, Texas and with the Tongue and Groove Theatre in Austin, Texas. He founded the Token Mime Theatre in Denton, Texas producing pantomime plays and offering classes in the art of pantomime.
Art has written many plays, short stories, lyrics, librettos, and poems. He is currently working on Tiny Bells, a collection of poems.
Art comes from a long lineage of musicians and composers. His grandfather was a conductor and composer of concert band and orchestral music. Art began playing trumpet professionally at the age of 16 in his father’s Jazz Big Band, The Art Davis Orchestra. Boyhood memories of seeing his father at his small desk with drying parts scattered on the floor, pen in hand fueled his interest in music and composition.
Art holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition from North Texas State University focusing on Analog Electronic Music and Intermedia studying with Larry Austin. He continued his studies in the graduate program as a teaching assistant to Phil Winsor and taught the Graduate Seminar in Computer Music.