Posts Tagged ‘antique’

Last-Minute Holiday Painting

November 26, 2016


After letting this small watercolor sit idle for a couple of weeks, I decided this afternoon to haul it back out and see if I could beef it up by texturing the knob and locking plate.  So far, the details I am adding with India ink, prismacolor pencils, graphite and X-acto knife. The texturing process has been fun and I’m happy with the way the painting is progressing.

The window is rapidly closing on this wonderful Thanksgiving vacation.  I’ve been grateful in spending quality time with family and friends, traveling quite extensively, reading quality literature and experimenting with drawing and watercoloring.

Thanks for reading.


The Silence of the Night

November 10, 2014
A Quiet Night in the Garage Studio

A Quiet Night in the Garage Studio

We must reserve a little back-shop, all our own, entirely free wherein to establish our true liberty and principle retreat and solitude.


How wonderful to have my six-weeks report card grades finalized and posted by 7:05 pm on a Monday night!  I had already finished my school preparations for the following day, so like an elementary student released for playground recess, I dashed into the garage where I had already stretched four new 9 x 12″ watercolor papers onto canvas stretchers this afternoon.  Finding them dry, I tossed one on to the drafting table and began sketching the stove-top percolator in the heart of my new still life arrangement, and laid down several washes as quickly as I could.  I found myself impatient, waiting for the paint to dry, so I began fiddling with drybrush textures on the surface of the coffee pot, and before I knew it, I was lost in this new subject.

As I worked, I played a DVD of “Andrew Wyeth: Self-Portrait–Snow Hill” purchased a few winters ago when the three generations of Wyeth painters were on display at the Tyler Museum of Art in east Texas.  I have had Andrew Wyeth on my mind all day, perhaps because of the close studies I did last evening on the Maxwell House tin, and the nature of still life rendering in general.  I took my painting of yesterday to school with me today, and stole many glances of it across the room as my classes ran their course.  I just cannot seem to get enough of this painter and his ideas.  I’m always inspired by Andrew’s life of disciplined drawing and rendering of objects that were personal to him.  In many ways, the objects with which I surround myself in my own garage studio during these winter months exude stories and memories of my past.  I got lost tonight, staring at the surface textures of this coffee percolator–the abrasions, the stains, the light playing off the facets of the glass knob on the lid.  I could close my eyes and remember the gurgling sounds of the coffee percolating on my parents’ stove top during those dark and cold winter mornings.  The kitchen was flooded with the aroma of coffee as it steamed out of the spout.  The longer I gazed at this object, the more I wondered at the stories it could tell of its own farm kitchen, factory kitchen, or neighborhood kitchen.  Where had this coffee pot been?  Whose mornings did it begin?  What conversations did it overhear?

I love the feel of tonight.  My neighborhood is quiet.  The city around me has darkened.  And in this halo of garage light, I hear the words of N. C. Wyeth as his last letter to his son Andrew is read:

Great painting is like Bach’s music, in texture closely woven, subdued like early tapestries, no emphasis, no climaxes, no beginnings or endings, merely resumptions and transitions, a design so sustained that there is no effort in starting and every casual statement is equally great.

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.

The Daily Endeavor

June 24, 2013
Second Day on the Vintage Coca-Cola Sign

Second Day on the Vintage Coca-Cola Sign

Have no mean hours, but be grateful for every hour, and accept what it brings.  The reality will make any sincere record respectable.  No day will have been wholly misspent, if one sincere, thoughtful page has been written.

Henry David Thoreau, Journal, July 6, 1840

I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry.  You have always written before and you will write now.  All you have to do is write one true sentence.  Write the truest sentence that you know.”

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

I keep returning to these words from Thoreau and Hemingway, wanting to sustain the energy for daily thought and visual art as they did for thought and the written word.  They believed in their ideas, their abilities, their daily craft.  And they pursued these with unflagging purpose.

I painted yesterday, though tired.  I painted again this evening, though tired.  I’m still recovering from the extensive travel and workshop activity, and jumping into the daily summer school fire (English IV) as I write this.  But weary as I feel tonight, I am delighted that I said Yes to painting these last two times.  And I’m very pleased with how this small 10 x 8″ watercolor sketch is progressing of my vintage Coca-Cola sign.  I’m chipping away at this sign, remembering those countless times as  a child that I saw signs such as this mounted on fence posts, general stores and billboards in southeast Missouri.  This sign is as genuine a relic of Americana as anything I have witnessed in these past decades.  I’m proud to own it, and so pleased to have this opportunity to sketch it, paint it, plot out future compositions with it.

I’ve added quite a bit since yesterday, mostly the distressed marks, rust and buckshot damage on the background of the sign, as well as the shadows running around the curved side.  I also extended the background on the left side, darkening some of the evergreen.  I have some masqued highlights in the evergreen that I’m anxious to remove, but I have soaked the composition, and it’s going to take awhile for it to dry sufficiently for me to remove the masquing.  I believe I’ll finish this one tomorrow after school, and put if up for sale, 10 x 8″ with a 14″ x 11″ white mat and plastic sleeve.  Asking price: $100.

Thanks for reading.  Talk to you tomorrow!

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Still Working on the Historic Cotter Cabin

July 3, 2011

Historic Cabin in Cotter, Arkansas

I’ve lost a few days of quality painting.  Sometimes life takes a lousy turn, and mine is no exception.  I’m glad I’m out of school for the summer, but hate to waste opportunities because I cannot seem to get myself back to work emotionally.

Having said that, I did return to this one this afternoon, and have stayed rather steadily with it throughout the evening.  I hope to finish it tomorrow, and truly celebrate Independence Day.  I have a second watercolor of this same subject also in progress.  I started it because this one was getting rather tight, and I was fumbling with my next move.  Then other personal things clouded my painting activities and both paintings got abandoned.  At any rate, I’m resolved to work through the emotional baggage and get something creative accomplished.  Perhaps I can finish this one tomorrow, and the other on the following day.  I’ll try.  I have other projects waiting in the wings and would like to move ahead with them.

I’m happy with how the chair emerged in this work, and am getting more satisfied with the table.  I found the stone steps an absolute delight to work with, thanks largely to the practice I got in a few weeks ago when I painted that limestone bluff in Eureka Springs.  I had no idea that that activity would prove so helpful with this current painting.  Now that the masking has been removed, the flowers are showing beneath the cabin, and out front as well.  I’m seeing a few elements emerge that are beginning to please me with this painting.

Thanks for reading.

Smaller Framed Watercolor of Antique Store for One-Man Show

May 15, 2011

Smaller Antique Store from Winfield, Missouri

This is my fifth and final post today of the five framed watercolors I picked up from the Weiler House Gallery (   Bill Ryan, the proprietor of the gallery, does a spectacular job framing, and is helping me get the paintings presentable for my first One-Man Show this September.  Those of you following my blog may recall this painting from January of 2010.  Recently I completed the same composition on a full-size sheet of watercolor paper.  That large painting has also been framed and posted on today’s blog.

Thank you for reading.

Smaller Watercolor Version of the Winfield Antique Store, now Framed

May 15, 2011

Small Watercolor of Abandoned Winfield, Missouri Antique Store

This is one of five framed watercolors I picked up today from the Weiler House gallery (  We are preparing for a One-Man Show this fall.  I have now painted the facade of this abandoned antique store along Highway 79 in Winfield, Missouri, north of St. Louis.  Andrew Wyeth continually returned to his favorite subjects for painting, especially in watercolor, and so do I.  The morning I drove past this establishment, my heart nearly stopped.  The sun had just topped the Mississippi River, washing the front of this store in delicious yellow light.  I pulled my Jeep over and too dozens of photos from all angles, wishing I could go inside and peruse the interior.  Alas, it was out of business, and in fact had it been viable, I would have had to hang around four more hours, waiting for it to open.   Nevertheless, I got the same feeling that I do when I view Edward Hopper’s Early Sunday Morning, and I’ve always wanted to do a painting of that kind of genre.

Thank you for reading.

Winfield Antiqure Store Finished and Delivered to the Gallery

May 8, 2011

Winfield Antique Store, Highway 79, Missouri

This painting has just been delivered to the Weiler House Fine Arts Gallery for framing (

It got hot, painting in the garage this afternoon, but I’m glad this job is finished.  The painting has been posted so many times on this blog that I think it best not to repeat myself.  If you would like to know the story behind this setting, please check the other Winfield blogs over the past few weeks.  Thanks to all of you who checked in on this painting daily to help “see it through”!

Thanks for reading.

The Winfield Antique Store along Highway 79

May 8, 2011

Winfield , Missouri along Highway 79

I sincerely hope that this painting will be finished the next time I post it.  It’s had so many postings of its in-progress state that I fear I’m beginning to chase blog readers away.  Nothing new to say that I haven’t said before.  This is north of St. Louis on Highway 79 along the Mississippi River.  Winfield is a very small town, and unfortunately this classic antique store is closed.  I found it early on a summer morning, when the sun had just topped the ridge, lighting the facade with a magical rose glow.  I’ve tried to capture it three different times.  This is my first large painting of this subject (about 22 x 28″).

Thanks for reading.  Again, I hope to post it only once more, when signed and completed!

Still Trying to Finish the Winfield, Missouri Store

May 4, 2011

Winfield, Missouri store along Highway 79

Mercy, mercy me!  I cannot shake loose to find quality time to paint!  Just finished my last college lectures and am preparing to give finals, and high school has a way of accelerating in the final weeks.  I worked on this painting a little last night, this morning, and again this afternoon.  I am covered up with high school preparations for tomorrow’s classes, have fallen behind on grading, yet this painting is no longer whispering from the corner of the studio, but shouting, indeed shrieking for my attention.  And it’s all I want to look at now.  I suppose the only positive thing that I can say is–it appears Icould be finished with this by the weekend.  I would truly like to have it signed and delivered by then.  That is my goal.

The painting is large by my usual standards (about 22 x 28″), and I seem to get lost every time I get involved in rendering the shadows under the awning, or the depths of the interior seen through the windows, or even the wood grains on the carpentry that graces the front of this dying structure.  This morning, I began laying in the lines for brickwork along the left side of the composition, and believe me, I will get lost once I begin the brick rendering.  I love this part of a painting–when I know I am more than half-way to the finish.  That is when the quality of my breathing changes, my pulse slows, and I feel that I have entered another world.

O.K., back to the school work.  Maybe I’ll be privileged enough to return to this tonight.

Thank you for reading.

Stopping at the Desolate Winfield, Missouri Antique Store on a Summer Morning

April 30, 2011

Winfield, Missouri Antique Store in Progress

I am starting to repair some of the bad beginnings to this painting.  It started out as a poured watercolor, and much of the pouring of the foliage in the background got away from me.  Thanks to the brush, and some patience, the foliage is starting to look a little better.  I had also exerted considerable clumsiness in rendering this store facade in pencil.  Today, thanks to the eraser and a good triangle, I “re-plumbed” the structure and now it actually appears to be standing upright as it should.  Some of the faulty perspective lines of the siding have also been repaired.  The building looks more “correct” now.

I had the rare privilege of spending the good part of today in my studio.  The past week of school was vomitous, with state-mandated tests taking up all the mornings, and then entire “regular” day scheduled classes crushed into the afternoon hours–felt like 15-hour workdays and I came home every evening exhausted and disgusted.  Glad that is behind me now.  Today was a much better day.

Winfield, Missouri is a sleepy Mississippi River town on Highway 79 northwest of St. Louis.  I traveled this road frequently during my university years as the highway connected my home with my campus five hours away.  Two summers ago, while on vacation, I decided to follow this old river highway once more to see if there were any sites worth capturing in watercolor.  I passed this establishment just as the sun was coming up.  I have already painted it twice (smaller compositions that you can see on my website but now have decided to go for some size and detail.

Thanks for reading.