I am having to find another gear as I resume my daily school responsibilities, unpack my gear from Grapefest and replenish my inventory for next week’s Taste of St. Louis. I am posting a watercolor I created in 1999, because I am printing the next series of limited edition giclee prints from it, just in time for the St. Louis show.
This marks a turning point in my watercolor odyssey. It is my first successful composite landscape, with the distant building bearing the Switzer’s Licorice ghost sign coming from the St. Louis waterfront (now sadly demolished), the traction train car from a magazine photo, the right building with ghost signage bearing Busch Bavarian and Budweiser logos came from a small town in Illinois (I believe Prairie du Rocher). The buildings on the left (I think) came from New Bern, North Carolina. All of the images came from 35mm slides I took years ago while traveling about the country. I titled this watercolor Turvey’s Corner, because one of my favorite night spots in St. Louis was Turvey’s on the Green on 255 Union Blvd. (now sadly closed) that featured seafood, steak, cigars and St. Louis Blues post-game broadcasts. I would love to go there and hang out and see Blues hockey players relaxing after a game.
This painting was to be the first of a series that I would call “My Town 63050″. It was my dream then to create a fictitious town, Anwywhere USA, in the midwest, in the same way that Garrison Keillor created his Lake Wobegon, Sherwood Anderson his Winesburg, Ohio and Thornton Wilder his Grover’s Corners. I did complete four or five paintings of specific buildings and streets, and had planned to design a town map illustrating where these structures were placed, complete with street addresses. At some point, I abandoned the project, and only one of the paintings remains in my possession, all the rest of them sold and none of them were editioned. The zip code is fictitious–I grew up in High Ridge, 63049, and attended high school in the neighboring town House Springs, 63051.
I still think of this abandoned project now and then, wondering if I might take it up again. I did enjoy the creative juices and imagination I experienced as I worked out the various compositions.
Thanks for reading.