Posts Tagged ‘bar’

A Shout Out to the little town of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois!

March 10, 2011

Turvey's Corner

I am posting a watercolor that I completed in 1999, the first completed watercolor from my intensified quest to become a “professional” watercolorist, rather than a novice or Sunday Painter type.  The actual setting is a composite of three places I had visited throughout my life.  The Switzer building I always knew from downtown St. Louis, near where I grew up (sadly that building/landmark  has since been torn down).  The buildings on the left margin came from New Bern, North Carolina, a town I visited only one time in the mid-1990’s, and actually used the interior of a coffee shop there (the Trent River Coffee Company) to compose a mural at Arlington Martin High School (that mural can be viewed under the “Murals” tab of my website http://www.recollections54.com).

The building on the right, with the Budweiser and Busch ghost signs, I only knew as coming from a town in Illinois.  I scoured a number of those towns very early in the 1990’s with my father, but did not take good notes in my journal.  Since 1999, I have been unable to tell people specifically where I found that striking building to anchor the right side of this composition.

All of that changed at Open House last Monday night.  Parents of one of my A. P. Art History students were visiting with me, and as we shared our backgrounds, it was established that the father had grown up in Prairie du Rocher, Illinois, near  Fort de Chartes.  I recognized those names immediately as two of the places I had scouted with my father during that summer excursion in the early ’90s.  I told this gentleman about my painting titled “Turvey’s Corner,”  explaining that one of the buildings came from a small Illinois town in his general area.  Today I received the surprise email from him, informing me that he had looked up my painting on the website and immediately recognized this “phantom” building as Lisa’s Market Street Grille in downtown Prairie du Rocher!

How thrilling to meet someone who connected with one of these small towns far, far away that connected with me in my travels!  Having an identity now for that building means everything to me, as I now can tell people more about the painting and what generated the idea for it.  I am adding the Facebook link to Lisa’s Market Street Grille, encouraging any of you interested to check out this business.  I was a patron there when I took my photographs of the establishment with my 35mm camera long ago, and still have fond memories of the place.  How happy I am to re-discover the business, and I cannot wait to return some day.   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisas-Market-Street-Grille/274360247861

Thank you, Mike and Karen, for providing this information for me.

And thanks to all of you for reading.

 

A Route 66 Christmas Odyssey Requires a 1940’s Diner

March 5, 2011

Spencer’s Grill, Kirkwood Missouri, est. 1947

The good news today was that the aunts are going to be just fine.  After only 4 1/2 hours sleep last night, I decided I needed to nap this afternoon if I had any hopes of finishing this painting today.  I’m glad I did.  Sleeping from 2:00 until 4:00, I rose and resumed work on this in the garage (my Man-Cave!) with a beautiful afternoon Texas sun shining in the open door.  The light was exquisite for working on this painting.  Once it got dark, the winter temperatures plummeted, and I was forced to lower the door and continue work under house lights (I hate that!).   But . . . I did not want to tinker with this another day.  So . . . here it is . . . signed and out of my hands!

Tomorrow I plan to take it to the Weiler House Fine Arts Gallery (http://www.weilerhousefineart.com/#home).  I already have my next watercolor composition lined up, and I just may get after it tonight–I’m in the mood.

I’m grateful for the companionship I felt from the Voices and Visions video documentaries of Walt Whitman and William Carlos Williams.  What fabulous poets!  What vision!  I felt a particular connection to them as they painted the American scene in penetrating words, as I hope to do some day with watercolor.  Both men were driven by wanderlust as they traversed the American landscape, both urban and rural.  And though I don’t look at the TV while painting, I could certainly see these poets’ images in my mind’s eye as I continually sought to refine my own.  I still hear Williams’ voice in my conscience: “No ideas but in things!”

Thanks for reading.  Hope you enjoy this one.

Back to the Road House, July 9, 2010

July 9, 2010

Road HouseI’ve laid aside the fly fishing poured watercolor and returned to the road house scene on Route 61 in Southeast Missouri.  I needed time to compost the fly fishing composition–I’m not sure just what to do next on the exposed masked areas.

The pressed tile siding on this building is pitching me fits.  I plan to finish the center of the building with all those “dents” in the tiled surfaces.  Then I need to put boots on the guitar player and drybrush the ground cover around him.  The GMC pickup still needs modeling, and there is plenty of detail work to do on this remarkable building.  Looks like I’ll focus on this one today and hopefully post some progress by nightfall.

Thanks always for reading.

Last Night’s Dance, January 28, 2010

January 28, 2010

The Silver Dollar Tavern, Old Appleton, Missouri

Still working on the “Hunt” scene, for anyone still curious.  Trying to make the hounds look right.  Will probably work on that watercolor well into tonight.

Here is an old one from the files.  This tavern was still standing ten years ago when I last saw it.  It was situated on Old Highway 61 near Old Appleton in southeast Missouri.  My father took me to this site about twenty years ago when I was out with a 35mm camera looking for nostalgic sites to paint in watercolor.  I could see by Dad’s demeanor that this place held many memories for him, as he continually walked about the property and peeked in windows.  He said he visited the establishment regularly during his youthful days, before shipping out to Korea,  and that there was a dance hall on the second floor.

I find it significant that it is located on the Blues Route, north of the Mississippi Delta.  I still hope that one day, I will return to this site, and then continue southward on 61 into rural Mississippi, and see if I can continue to spot road houses, juke joints and the like.

Thanks Dad, for bringing me here.