Posts Tagged ‘signage’

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 http://www.recollections54.com) but now have decided to go for some size and detail.

Thanks for reading.

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Eureka Springs Sidewalk Cafe Finished!

February 27, 2011

Downtown Eureka Springs

What a thrill finally to finish this big one!  Just before the thunderstorms arrived, I laid in the final washes on the sidewalks and streets and declared it finished.  It’s been quite a weekend.  A long fly fishing excursion, a painting on location, time well-spent in conversation with a friend (and watching him attack and successfully complete his first watercolor) and finally, finishing this composition.

The Crescent Hotel is featured on the ghost sign high above the gathered lunch crowd.  “Ghost sign” is appropriate, as the Crescent Hotel is famous for its resident ghosts.  I did not know until my second night there last summer that I was staying in a haunted room.  That provided plenty of imagination at night when the lights were out and I heard creaking noises in the corridor just outside my door!  At any rate, I survived, and would love to stay there again.  I’ve been invited to participate in a faculty show at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts, and feel strongly that I should enter this piece, once I get it framed properly.  I can’t wait to show it to my gallery director.  I think this could be a good piece for my One Man Show this coming fall.

Thanks for reading, and for following the progress on this one.  Glad it’s done.  Time to move on to the next!

A Proust Moment, January 20, 2010

January 20, 2010

Abandoned gas station near Callisburg, Texas

I believe this watercolor was my first (of many, many attempts) time to combine several different photo images into one composition.  The building is outside of Callisburg, Texas, and I drove past it numerous times in the mid-1980’s when I was pastoring a country church in that vicinity.  The building was completely stripped of signage, so I added various signs of Mobilgas, cafe, and motor oil and feed store logos.  The truck I took from a photo that an art student gave me years earlier.  I tried to dock the truck under the awning like it belonged there.  It was interesting trying to put a truck in a location such as this and make it look right.  The drybrush technique of course was my attempt to try the Andrew Wyeth “look.”

I’m fascinated with Marcel Proust’s work and how he writes of those primal memories that are stirred within us by a certain touch, smell, taste, or visual stimulus.  When I see abandoned filling stations such as this, I still hear the cables ringing when the wheels of vehicles pass over them.  I hear the gas pumps ringing as the numbers spin, telling the dollars owed and gallons dispensed.  I smell the oil and grease, the tires, the grime–all of it.  And I can’t drive past a vintage gas station without looking long and hard, and more often than not–pulling over to take a picture or grab a quick sketch.