Posts Tagged ‘Viceroy cigarettes’

After the Fireworks

July 5, 2013
Door Sign Residue from Archer City Gas Station

Door Sign Residue from Archer City Gas Station

Arlington, Texas looked pretty good in my rearview mirror July 3 as I traveled to Athens, Texas to spend a couple of delicious days with dear friends.  Now that I’m back, I thought I would go ahead and put my latest watercolor sketch on the blog.  This was in its finishing-up stages when I left town, but I took it along, worked on it a little outside a local Starbuck’s, then got it out again late yesterday afternoon at my friends’ house and nearly finished it before the fireworks broke out last night.  Once I got it home this morning, and took a look at it, I realized I only had about two minutes’ worth of detailing left to do.  Now it has everything except my signature.

I was amazed to find this door intact in Archer City last weekend.  It is part of an abandoned filling station just off the town square, near the Spur Hotel.  I had completely forgotten about Viceroy cigarettes–advertisements that were ubiquitous in the days of my childhood.  Just seeing the ad on the door filled me with Proustian sentiments.  I found it challenging, reprducing the colors of the dirty, reflective glass where the sign had been torn away.  The longer I peered at it, the more I noticed–store hours posted, open and closed notices, details on the cigarette package–and the longer I looked at it, the more I liked what I saw.  Of course, I still get excited at wood grains and distress marks all over the door jamb.  I still want to improve with my drawing skills, so I spent plenty of time lookimng at the textures and trying to reproduce them in graphite as well as watercolor.  The X-acto knife came in handy quite a few times as well.  I’m getting more and more comfortable with my tool box of watercolor and drawing supplies.  Robert Henri has probably gone further than any other teacher I’ve known, in convincing me to let technique support my objective rather than going stir-crazy with watercolor “tricks.”  I still have so much to learn.  But I feel that I have learned plenty from this piece.  And now it is time to look for something else.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I feel that I am alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Donny Still Searching for his Frame of Reference

July 3, 2013
Continued Work on the Archer City Filling Station Door

Continued Work on the Archer City Filling Station Door

Summer School is in its final minutes.  I’ve taken out this watercolor sketch begun last evening, and am surveying what I did to it during intermittent breaks in this morning’s schedule.  I’m enjoying it more, and feel that some of it is starting to take shape.  I still have some complicated compositional matters to resolve, and still am “out of my element,” unsure that I’ll be able to pull that off.  Nevertheless, I’ve learned a great deal about texturing, thanks to the door jambs.  I’ve also been mesmerized by the gradations of color across the window of this door, and the fragmented cigarette poster afixed to it.  That is where I’m finding the devil and his details, and I must say I’m having a good time of it.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I feel that I am alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Donny, You’re Out of Your Element!

July 2, 2013
Abandoned Gas Station, Archer City

Abandoned Gas Station, Archer City

“Donny, you have no frame of reference!”

Walter, on The Big Lebowski

From the moment I laid eyes on this door of an abandoned service station in Archer City, Texas, I knew I was going to give it a try as a watercolor sketch.  I fell in love with the remains of the Viceroy cigarette poster and schedule of hours still clinging to the filthy window.  I’m amazed that the door still has its knob, lock, and even hook latch still intact. It was over 100 degrees when I took a series of photographs of it last weekend, but I have looked at these photos every day since then, and this evening decided to give it a try.  This is one of my rare occasions where, from the start, I really have no clue as to what I am doing.  I am indeed lost and giddy, staring at the residue of the cigarette poster, and have spent most of this evening trying to capture it on paper.  The abused wood of the door I’m not as afraid of, and will start to refine later.  But for now, I’m going to see if I can nail this sign and all the smoggy reflections and dust on the grimy window.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I feel that I am alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am  not alone.