A Cool, Overcast Morning for Small Town Musings

Second Attempt at Plein Air Painting the Abandoned Gas Station

Second Attempt at Plein Air Painting the Abandoned Gas Station

I think an artist should be a sounding board for all these nervous vibrations, and should not just carry a set of rules and tricks around with him, and use them on different objects.

Andrew Wyeth

The madness continues.  Yesterday, having slept too little, I arose around 7:00 and dashed south to Maypearl to paint en plein air, then returned to open the second day of a festival at 4:00 p.m.  Getting home after 10:00 last night, sleep managed to elude me until nearly 4:00 a.m.  Nevertheless I rose at 7:00 and returned to Ovilla (where I painted last weekend) and made my second attempt at capturing the essence of this abandoned gas station on the main drag of old downtown.  The weather remained overcast so I had to invent shadows, but I still liked the cool breezes in the air following last night’s welcome rain.  I worked on this piece for two hours and decided to call it quits, return home and prepare to close out the festival tonight.  I’m feeling the effects of sleep deprivation, and may have to sleep in tomorrow before going to Ferris, Texas for a second round of plein air activity.  The madness of which I speak concerns the simulaneous events of the Downtown Arlington Levitt Pavilion Music Festival (at night) and the Paint Historic Waxahachie plein air event (during the day).  Friends call this burning the candle at both ends; I call it too much of a good thing.  Right now I’m a painter by day and a festival participant by night, and I hope I’m not coming across as “whiney”.  I made this choice.

I spent a great deal of time in my art booth last night reading the interview of Andrew Wyeth recorded in the book The Two Worlds of Andrew Wyeth.  I had his work heavy on my mind when I came across this filling station this morning and regarded its remnants, thinking of how it had served out its usefulness before the owners moved on to other things.  How many of us in life feel that sentiment of being used and discarded?  I cannot explain the aesthetic sense of “beauty” I feel when gazing on remnants of abandoned businesses such as this.  But the longer I look at them and attempt to paint them, I can only think of what it must have been like to enter this establishment when it was viable, when the proprietors knew their customers in the small town of Ovilla on a first-name basis.  When I painted this subject last week, I enjoyed overhearing the conversations of the men who sat out in front of the open garage bay in their lawn chairs, soaking up the afternoon.  Today (Sunday) there was not a soul to be seen or a voice to be heard.  But I enjoyed the silence and the musings as I worked over this piece.

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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