Posts Tagged ‘Old Appleton’

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.

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Silver Dollar Tavern (in progress), 4th of July, 2010

July 4, 2010

Silver Dollar Tavern

I’m excited to re-enter the studio at last.  The long hiatus can be best explained by a conference at Lake Tahoe, California, followed by travel weariness and the need to clean my studio.  Finally I have my energy back and a place to work.

While cleaning the studio, I came across a large watercolor I had begun about 5-7 years ago and abandoned, then forgot about completely.  I almost threw it away, but after looking at it over the past several days, decided that I could rescue what was earlier considered a botched attempt.

Last night I added the guitar player (myself), the GMC pickup (that appears in another watercolor of mine titled “Brian Plays the Blues”), and signage from some abandoned sites in New Mexico I photographed on a road trip three summers ago.  I think these props have greatly improved the overall composition of this piece.

This is much larger than I’ve grown accustomed to creating (about 22 x 14″).  I’m getting lost in the detail, but loving it.

The setting is what’s left of the Silver Dollar Tavern, a road house that my father frequented before he entered the Korean conflict.  It is located along old U. S. Highway 61 (the Blues route, hence the guitar player recently added) in the small town Old Appleton.  The place has great memories for my father–a bar on the ground floor and dance hall on the second.  It has memories for me as well.  Before Interstate 55 was created, we had to travel the winding Route 61 to visit my grandparents in rural Jackson, Missouri.  From St. Louis, the trip was 2 1/2 hours and dreary for me as a child, save for some of these relics that would catch my eye along the roadside.  Once I-55 was in place, an hour was cut off our travel time, so we no longer had to fret about weary two-lane travel.  Many decades later, I returned to old Route 61 and took quite a few photographs.  Finally I am getting around to painting some of these abandoned sites.

Thanks 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.