Posts Tagged ‘Taste of St. Louis’

A Retreat into The Factory

September 23, 2012

The Recollections 54 Factory

Today has demanded a different kind of “energy” from me.  Whereas I have spent several days in retreat in my studio, finishing some original watercolors, today I have worked in a different room on a different task–framing, printing, matting, sleeving, signing and packing inventory for my upcoming festival in St. Louis (Taste of St. Louis).

The tasks haven’t kept me from planning my next series of paintings (“My Town 63050”) or reading Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, or even Steven Watson’s Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties.  I have enjoyed some quiet reading, writing, planning and reflection.  But today was spent, for the most part, bent over tables and workbenches doing the busy tasks demanded from mass production.  Even though Andy Warhol is usually my muse during such endeavors where I often listen to DVD documentaries covering his “Factory” production lifestyle, today I have enjoyed art films such as the motion picture Pollock, along with DVD documentaries featuring Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell.  Though alone, I have felt the companionship of great solitary artists from the past, creative heroes who still inspire me to push on and find new paths.

Pictured here is a stack of prints ready for packing, along with a few originals.  The festival is only a few days away, and over 600 miles.  I’m starting to feel the excitement of this new adventure.

Thanks for reading.

Finished the St. Louis Painting

September 22, 2012

My Town Finished (Switzer’s Licorice, St. Louis)

I finally finished this small 8 x 10″ watercolor sketch and am ready to put it in a matte and plastic sleeve.  I’ll bring it out at the Taste of St. Louis art festival next weekend.  Now it is time to get in the Andy Warhol “Factory” mode, as I have plenty of greeting cards and prints to process, gear to pack and a Jeep to load for next week’s sojourn.

Thanks for reading.

Working Toward the St. Louis Art Festival

September 21, 2012

My Town 63050

Friday night has finally arrived.  I’ve been able to give plenty of attention to the watercolor I began last evening.  I hope to finish this tomorrow.  This is an 8 x 10″ watercolor sketch of the Switzer Licorice building that stood in downtown St. Louis during my youth.  Unfortunately it was demolished a number of years ago.  It has been my attention for several years to do a few studies of the building and see if I can execute a full-scale watercolor of it on a large sheet of paper.

Thanks for reading.

Preparing for Taste of St. Louis Art Festival

September 20, 2012

Turvey’s Corner

I am having to find another gear as I resume my daily school responsibilities, unpack my gear from Grapefest and replenish my inventory for next week’s Taste of St. Louis.  I am posting a watercolor I created in 1999, because I am printing the next series of limited edition giclee prints from it, just in time for the St. Louis show.

This marks a turning point in my watercolor odyssey.  It is my first successful composite landscape, with the distant building bearing the Switzer’s Licorice ghost sign coming from the St. Louis waterfront (now sadly demolished), the traction train car from a magazine photo, the right building with ghost signage bearing Busch Bavarian and Budweiser logos came from a small town in Illinois (I believe Prairie du Rocher). The buildings on the left (I think) came from New Bern, North Carolina.  All of the images came from 35mm slides I took years ago while traveling about the country.  I titled this watercolor Turvey’s Corner, because one of my favorite night spots in St. Louis was Turvey’s on the Green on 255 Union Blvd. (now sadly closed) that featured seafood, steak, cigars and St. Louis Blues post-game broadcasts.  I would love to go there and hang out and see Blues hockey players relaxing after a game.

This painting was to be the first of a series that I would call “My Town 63050”.  It was my dream then to create a fictitious town, Anwywhere USA, in the midwest, in the same way that Garrison Keillor created his Lake Wobegon, Sherwood Anderson his Winesburg, Ohio and Thornton Wilder his Grover’s Corners.  I did complete four or five paintings of specific buildings and streets, and had planned to design a town map illustrating where these structures were placed, complete with street addresses.  At some point, I abandoned the project, and only one of the paintings remains in my possession, all the rest of them sold and none of them were editioned.   The zip code is fictitious–I grew up in High Ridge, 63049, and attended high school in the neighboring town House Springs, 63051.

I still think of this abandoned project now and then, wondering if I might take it up again.  I did enjoy the creative juices and imagination I experienced as I worked out the various compositions.

Thanks for reading.