Woods Paints Black History

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In many of the paintings of a local artist you can see the life that so many African-Americans here in the Brazos Valley and all across the country lived. And one of those is David Woods.

Woods is an artist from Navasota who said he came in on the latter parts of the tireless days in the cotton fields but said he knows enough to paint about it.

Ever since he was a child he knew that he had artistic potential. Perhaps, Woods really could not help it, considering his mother had the ability to draw and her talent peeked his interest as a small child.

"I used to kind of crawl up on her knee (and be) like, draw this for me Momma, you know, and she would do it for me."

And as he grew up and went to school others quickly learned that he had a gift.

"One day I sat there and drew the teacher you know and I was, I do not know about twelve years old or something like that and everybody started coming up to me," Woods said.

But the times dictated that Woods' innate ability would have to wait before it could be cultivated. Just like many others, Woods did not have time to focus on his art or school.

"I could not go like I want(ed) to, you know, we had to eat you know what I'm saying," Woods said. "That is how I ended up in the field a lot."

Despite his circumstances, Woods never abandoned his desire to enhance his ability.

"I always wanted to paint you know but I had to work you know, I had to survive, Woods said, so I just kind of did a little bit here and there and here and there and stayed with it you know. I wouldn't let go."

Then Woods had an opportunity to met Russell Cushman who would change his life.

"I showed him some of my stuff I was doing one day. And he told me he wanted to see more of it, so I brought more of it," Woods said. And he started giving me some pointers and stuff, on what to do and a lot of things I did not know."

Now Woods is able to use his artistic talents to capture the history and emotions of a time not long ago.

"I feel some of what that pressure, that streamy field out there and I feel it when I paint it you know," Woods said.

Most of Woods paintings depict images of African-American themes. He said that is because he wants to paint what he knows and has experienced.

By doing so, he hopes to show the next generation how to see beyond their circumstances.

"I hope to impress a lot of youngsters, make them you know realize that there's a hill and on top of that hill you can see," Woods said.

David Woods' work can now be seen in an exhibit that recently opened to the public at the Brazos Valley African-American Museum.