By CHRIS AGEE
Though he spent just a portion of his 79 years in North Texas, artist Dick Maw made a lasting impression on the Mineral Wells area.
Known for his uniquely detailed and playful painting style, Maw's extensive body of work includes a great number of very recognizable Palo Pinto County landmarks.
Todd Hamilton, owner of Double H Tire, said he and Maw became friends during the artist's time in Mineral Wells.
"He was a great guy," Hamilton recalled, "a typical artist."
Between artwork hanging on the walls of his business and displayed at his home, he said he owns about a dozen original pieces.
Hamilton added he once commissioned Maw to paint a rendering of Double H Tire, which still hangs in a front office.
Maw died last December, according to his daughter, Marilyn Post. She said he left behind about 1,000 original works – many from Palo Pinto and Parker counties.
The native Minnesotan moved back north about four years ago, Post said, though he spent decades in Texas and lived locally for more than 10 years.
"He followed me down there," she said, explaining what attracted her father to the Lone Star State. "I went with a boyfriend ... and got married down there. I said, 'Dad, I need you to come down here and give me away.'"
He originally settled in Longview, Post explained, but also spent significant time at Padre Island and eventually found his way to Mineral Wells.
She said he was passionate about his art and, though he often had little money, he would give away prints to anyone with whom he made contact.
Even when he had a very limited budget, she said her father would still pay to make copies of his artwork.
Post shared the story of closing out Maw's bank account shortly after his death, explaining a staff member "opened the back door and said, 'Come in here.' The whole back room was covered in his prints."
Fittingly, she said she laid out numerous prints at his memorial service and those in attendance left with a tangible memory of her father.
Though he returned to Minnesota to be near his family, Post said his experiences in Texas live on through his work.
I have all these wonderful paintings of Weatherford [and] the Baker Hotel," she said, explaining she wants to find a way to deliver some of the original artwork to fans of his work. Anyone interested in learning more about the artwork she has in her collection can contact Post at (612) 817-6651.
Local resident Anita Powell described Maw as "an interesting man," though she said she never had the opportunity to really get to know him. She said she saw him at several locations around town, painting the Baker Hotel or any other subject that caught his eye.
"Dick Maw did sit out there [in front of Double H Tire] and paint pictures," she recalled.
Powell, who owned Anita's Antiques and Collectibles in downtown Mineral Wells, said Maw was a common presence in the area, though he was often moving from place-to-place.
"He'd come in [my store] but he'd leave just real quick," she recalled, adding she hoped to stop and talk to him after noticing him outside of the Crazy Water Hotel; but in following days she did not see him in the location.
Hamilton marveled at the level of detail present in Maw's artwork, noting he also tackled living subjects, including a number of portraits of Jesus Christ.
Word-of-mouth was responsible for much of Maw's local legacy, Hamilton added, explaining he never knew of a permanent studio in which the artist worked.
"He was just a good guy," Hamilton concluded, and, like many artists, "a little misunderstood."