After the Fireworks

Door Sign Residue from Archer City Gas Station

Door Sign Residue from Archer City Gas Station

Arlington, Texas looked pretty good in my rearview mirror July 3 as I traveled to Athens, Texas to spend a couple of delicious days with dear friends.  Now that I’m back, I thought I would go ahead and put my latest watercolor sketch on the blog.  This was in its finishing-up stages when I left town, but I took it along, worked on it a little outside a local Starbuck’s, then got it out again late yesterday afternoon at my friends’ house and nearly finished it before the fireworks broke out last night.  Once I got it home this morning, and took a look at it, I realized I only had about two minutes’ worth of detailing left to do.  Now it has everything except my signature.

I was amazed to find this door intact in Archer City last weekend.  It is part of an abandoned filling station just off the town square, near the Spur Hotel.  I had completely forgotten about Viceroy cigarettes–advertisements that were ubiquitous in the days of my childhood.  Just seeing the ad on the door filled me with Proustian sentiments.  I found it challenging, reprducing the colors of the dirty, reflective glass where the sign had been torn away.  The longer I peered at it, the more I noticed–store hours posted, open and closed notices, details on the cigarette package–and the longer I looked at it, the more I liked what I saw.  Of course, I still get excited at wood grains and distress marks all over the door jamb.  I still want to improve with my drawing skills, so I spent plenty of time lookimng at the textures and trying to reproduce them in graphite as well as watercolor.  The X-acto knife came in handy quite a few times as well.  I’m getting more and more comfortable with my tool box of watercolor and drawing supplies.  Robert Henri has probably gone further than any other teacher I’ve known, in convincing me to let technique support my objective rather than going stir-crazy with watercolor “tricks.”  I still have so much to learn.  But I feel that I have learned plenty from this piece.  And now it is time to look for something else.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I feel that I am alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

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2 Responses to “After the Fireworks”

  1. coreyaber Says:

    This door is a great find! I love the work you did with it. The textures, the layers of time and material. There’s a lot to study here. Well done.


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