Posts Tagged ‘antiques’

Sketching Archer City

February 6, 2016

cobwebs

Watching the sunset glow over Archer City fills me with a serene sense of eudaimonia. Since I left the swirling metroplex behind yesterday, I have been unconscious of time, and am surprised that this afternoon has already evaporated. I spent it in the hotel lobby, sketching the facade of one of my favorite antique establishments, and visiting with Sarah, who organizes art activities for this city and surrounding area, works as a journalist for the local newspaper, manages this hotel, and seems to have interests in many other areas as well. I thought I was busy–I wonder how she manages to wear so many hats!

Laying out the composition for this antique store was difficult for me, and I’m going to have to take it back to my studio for some further adjustments. I think it has real potential, and if this piece doesn’t work out, I’ve taken good reference photos and would love to give it another shot, perhaps larger than this 8 x 10″ attempt.

It is serendipitous that I began reading Kerouac’s Visions of Cody right before I journeyed to Archer City. The author’s graphic descriptions of New York City in his day match up perfectly with what I see around the remains of this town. I have always been intrigued with decaying buildings, debris-strewn streets and the wide-open spaces surrounding small Texas towns. Every time I cross any of the streets downtown (which are actually highways 25 and 79) I see The Last Picture Show being replayed, but now I am in the movie. it is enchanting, to say the very least. Right now, as I type this, I hear the occasional pickup truck passing below, and looking out the windows of this corner room  on the third story, I swoon at the deep orange glow that has rested on the horizon for more than thirty minutes now, past the sun’s disappearance. The flashing red lights of the intersection are more intense now, and flooding my room with light, as I have yet to turn on any lights inside. I hurt for anyone who feels loneliness when put in this kind of atmosphere–to me this is sublime solitude, a soothing balm.

Thanks for reading.

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Painting Past Bedtime Again

January 15, 2013
Painting a Still Life Late on a School Night

Painting a Still Life Late on a School Night

Good evening, once more.  I don’t have anything of substance to write at this time tonight.  I’m laying down the brush and taking some books to bed to give reading a chance.  But I am happy with how this still life is shaping up, and wanted to share it with anyone who has time to take a look.

Thanks for looking.

We Have Everything You Need at the General Store

October 24, 2011

Crockett General Store

Henry David Thoreau withdrew to Walden Pond.  David Hume convalesced at a cottage near La Fleche College.  This past weekend, I had the exquisite privilege of retreating to rural Crockett, Texas.  Two lovely new friends granted me access to this remote, remade “country store.”  The signs are real–no replicas will be found inside or outside this rustic structure.  Stepping inside will take you back to the 1950’s rural general store.  Even the front screen door slaps shut with a sharp sound if you release it.  Inside I gazed forever at all the products lining the shelves that I recalled from childhood.  The only element missing was a cluster of farmers sitting on rockers, whittling long sticks with their pocket knives and swapping stories and local news items.

I set up an easel outside on my second day in the country, right after a sweet, cleansing rain.  I enjoyed the cool moist winds and the smells of the neighboring pastureland, and listened to conversations emanating from within the store while I worked at this plein air watercolor.

Today I’m back at school.  Progress grades are due online by midnight tonight.  The class schedule was that dreaded four-class day in four different classrooms on two floors.  Already I’m tired, despite a restful weekend.  But the day’s drudgery has not been able to push out of my memory the sound of that screen door slapping shut on the front of this rustic store.  Memories like this past weekend help me cope with the kind of days faced this year with this dreadful school schedule.  It is most enriching to pause, close one’s eyes, and remember warm scenes from the past that are worth “calling up.”  William Wordsworth has enriched us with his “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey.”  I often wish (hope) I could do the same visually for anyone who wishes to remember the “country store” from yesterday.

Thanks 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 (http://www.weilerhousefineart.com/#home).

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.

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.

A Summer Morning in Sleepy Winfield, Missouri

April 27, 2011

Winfield, Missouri Store

I have put in two consecutive late nights in the garage studio, painting till past midnight.  It makes it a little rough, going to school the next morning, but there it is.  This is another full-size sheet of watercolor paper (22 x 28″).  I have painted this abandoned store twice before.  I discovered it in the summer of 2009 while driving highway 79 north of St. Louis along the Mississippi River.  The small town of Winfield is where this store rests, just along the west side of highway 79.  The light was so bright that August morning, the sun had just risen.

I’m having some struggles with this painting (I hate it when a watercolor starts out badly!).  I poured quite a few layers of pigment on the tree/foliage area at the top, wanting to get the woods very dark and deep.  I’ve decided to just let the foliage be for the time being, and go ahead and work on the store facade.  Tonight involved plenty of close, tedious drawing and drafting, but I’m still convinced that a strong and accurate drawing will yield a good watercolor (hope I’m right this time!).  I’m not sure that the pencil work can be seen in this photograph, I always have trouble getting a good digital image under light bulbs late at night.  Most of my blog shots are taken out in the driveway in the middle of the day.  I guess I’m admitting that as a photographer, I fly by the seat of my pants.

At any rate, I am finally settling into, and enjoying this watercolor composition.  And with the kind of school schedule I have this week, I reckon that I’ll be having to put in late hours in the garage studio (my least favorite time to paint).  I’ll take what’s offered.

Thanks for reading.