Texaco Gas Pumps in Lexington, Texas

Gas Pumps in Lexington, Texas

Gas Pumps in Lexington, Texas

A car whipped past, the driver eating and a passenger clicking a camera.  Moving without going anywhere, taking a trip instead of making one.  I laughed at the absurdity of the photographs and then realized I, too, was rolling effortlessly along, turning the windshield into a movie screen in which I, the viewer, did the moving while the subject held still.  That was the temptation of the American highway, of the American vacation (from the Latin vacare, “to be empty”).  

[A woman in Texas] longed for the true journey of an Odysseus or Ishmael or Gulliver or even a Dorothy of Kansas, wherein passage through space and time becomes only a metaphor of a movement through the interior of being.  A true journey, no matter how long the travel takes, has no end.

William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways

On November 3, while returning from Bowman Gallery in Portland, Texas, I chose to take the long road home, avoiding Austin and San Antonio (it was Sunday and I did not want to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic).  The trip lasted the entire day, as I could not help stopping in virtually every small town along the way to take photographs and record information for potential sketches and watercolors.  This abandoned Texaco station I found on Highway 77 in Lexington, Texas, next door to the Texas 77 Diner at North Street.  So far, I have been unsuccessful in finding information on the station’s history, ownership, closure, etc.  Below is the thumbnail tonal sketch I attempted before beginning the watercolor while at my parent’s house near St. Louis this past week.  I spent about a day on the painting.  It measures 8 x 10″ and I am listing it for $150.  I will probably attempt additional compositions, as I took over twenty photos of the structure from various angles.

Thumbnail Sketch

Thumbnail Sketch

Texaco Pumps in Lexington, Texas

Texaco Pumps in Lexington, Texas

In my quiet moments, I have been re-reading portions of William Least Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways, along with other works he’s produced.  At midnight last night, I completed a fifteen-hour road trip with my son, returning from our Christmas vacation with my parents and siblings.  Our conversations along the open road, in both directions, I found very fulfilling, as he’s always been a fabulous conversationalist.  And during the quiet moments, I was grateful for the vistas that filled my imagination, priming my aesthetic pump to get new work started for the coming season.  The American road trip has been my passion since the 1980’s, and I hope that good health will allow me to pursue this for several more years to come.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.


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7 Responses to “Texaco Gas Pumps in Lexington, Texas”

  1. gpcox Says:

    Great – as always. Happy New Year!!


  2. J Haeske Says:

    I like this a lot – have to read Blue Highways again myself – so inspiring isn’t it.


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