Howard Rains is an artist and musician originally from Texas and now living in Kansas. Rains performs, records and collaborates with his wife, fellow artist and musician Tricia Spencer. For many decades, Rains has played old time fiddle tunes and sang songs, mostly from early Texas sources, and painted the portraits of his fellow musicians. His works have been collected by the Library of Congress, can be found in galleries in the U.S. and Europe, and are in private collections across the globe. Rains has also been involved in Texas Folklife’s Apprenticeships in the Folk and Traditional Arts Program as a Master Fiddler and has performed at the Festival of Texas Fiddling.
About the Exhibit
The portraits seen here are all from 2019 and 2020 and represent both where he has been with his work and where he is going. The abandonment of touring and the quiet hours in the studio during the pandemic have begun to shift Rains’ portraits into the realm of the surreal as can be seen in some of the work. Rains continues to create with Tricia and their children, playing music every evening and making art every day.
Austin graffiti artist Federico Archuleta says of Rains work:
“Here is an artist that combines his musical and artistic talents to the point that you can’t have one without the other. His watercolor portraits capture the essence of the musicians portrayed…. you can still feel the music rising from the watercolors.”