Posts Tagged ‘Winfield Missouri’

Read, Write or Paint?

November 24, 2019

Winfield angle

Winfield, Missouri, signed & numbered limited edition 13h x 11w” $60

The minute I began to write I felt a tension between reading and writing that, instead of abating, has grown more intense with the shortening of my life’s horizon. I’m now in my sixties, which means that I’m looking at a maximum of about thirty more years of life. Which should I do? Read, or write?

Larry McMurtry, Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen: Reflections at Sixty and Beyond

As an avid reader, I plough through stacks of books every year, and some of them deserve re-visiting. This volume by Larry McMurtry I read quickly a couple of months back, and have packed it on my trips ever since. I just keep going back to his words. And the ones posted above definitely resonate with me, because my life at sixty-five is always torn between reading, writing, thinking, journaling, drawing, watercoloring. When I’m doing one of those activities, my mind continually drifts to the others. My artist friends tell me I have Attention Deficit Disorder and they are probably right. But I found great relief when reading Water Isaacson’s recent biography on Leonardo da Vinci, because that wonderful Renaissance spirit was also distracted throughout his life. I find him good company.

The painting above I have attempted on four different occasions. Two of the paintings have been made into signed & numbered editions. I took pictures of this abandoned store in Winfield, Missouri, a small Mississippi River town north of St. Louis on Highway 79. It was summer 2009. The sun had just risen, and I pulled my Jeep over and took a number of photos from different angles. This proved to be one of the best unscheduled stops in my artist life.

A few years ago, a woman called me on the phone who had seen my work on the Internet. She told me fascinating stories of this place which had been formerly owned and managed by her grandmother. Adjacent to the store was an old service station whose owner kept a German Shepherd in his business. Patrons would put a 50-cent piece in the dog’s mouth, and he would trot to the store next door, rise on his hind legs and drop the coin on the counter. The grandmother would turn around, take down a can of dog food from the shelf and place it in the dog’s mouth. The happy Shepherd would then carry his booty back to the service station where the owner would open it and dump it in the dog’s bowl.

The Larry McMurtry book quoted above laments that story telling has largely disappeared from our culture today. I sadly agree, and will always be grateful to the lady caller who passed this delightful story on to me, putting genuine emotion into my painting.

Thanks for reading.

Shultz reduced

 

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

 

The Winfield Antique Store along Highway 79

May 8, 2011

Winfield , Missouri along Highway 79

I sincerely hope that this painting will be finished the next time I post it.  It’s had so many postings of its in-progress state that I fear I’m beginning to chase blog readers away.  Nothing new to say that I haven’t said before.  This is north of St. Louis on Highway 79 along the Mississippi River.  Winfield is a very small town, and unfortunately this classic antique store is closed.  I found it early on a summer morning, when the sun had just topped the ridge, lighting the facade with a magical rose glow.  I’ve tried to capture it three different times.  This is my first large painting of this subject (about 22 x 28″).

Thanks for reading.  Again, I hope to post it only once more, when signed and completed!

A Summer Morning in Sleepy Winfield, Missouri

April 27, 2011

Winfield, Missouri Store

I have put in two consecutive late nights in the garage studio, painting till past midnight.  It makes it a little rough, going to school the next morning, but there it is.  This is another full-size sheet of watercolor paper (22 x 28″).  I have painted this abandoned store twice before.  I discovered it in the summer of 2009 while driving highway 79 north of St. Louis along the Mississippi River.  The small town of Winfield is where this store rests, just along the west side of highway 79.  The light was so bright that August morning, the sun had just risen.

I’m having some struggles with this painting (I hate it when a watercolor starts out badly!).  I poured quite a few layers of pigment on the tree/foliage area at the top, wanting to get the woods very dark and deep.  I’ve decided to just let the foliage be for the time being, and go ahead and work on the store facade.  Tonight involved plenty of close, tedious drawing and drafting, but I’m still convinced that a strong and accurate drawing will yield a good watercolor (hope I’m right this time!).  I’m not sure that the pencil work can be seen in this photograph, I always have trouble getting a good digital image under light bulbs late at night.  Most of my blog shots are taken out in the driveway in the middle of the day.  I guess I’m admitting that as a photographer, I fly by the seat of my pants.

At any rate, I am finally settling into, and enjoying this watercolor composition.  And with the kind of school schedule I have this week, I reckon that I’ll be having to put in late hours in the garage studio (my least favorite time to paint).  I’ll take what’s offered.

Thanks for reading.

Summer Morning Odyssey along Missouri Highway 79

March 7, 2011

Sun Rising on Winfield, Missouri

I have completely re-written my opening blog page “Hello and thanks for entering my blog.”  That was long overdue.

I posted yesterday that it seemed unlikely that I would get into the studio today.  I have high school all day, and Open House tonight.  However, I got an early start on this day, and it now seems possible that I could get in some studio work this afternoon during the interim.  If I do, I’ll certainly post my progress.

Meanwhile here is a piece I have at the Weiler House Gallery (http://www.weilerhousefineart.com/#home).  I came across this location during a 2009 summer odyssey I took from my home town of St. Louis, north up Highway 79 en route to my college alma mater.  The location is Winfield, Missouri–a sleepy little Mississippi River town.  The sun was just rising over the Mississippi when I came across this abandoned store front–to me the most perfect setting for a watercolor study.  I photographed it at least twenty times from every conceivable angle, totally delighted at the warm early light of the sun and the cool shadows dancing everywhere.  The bright reds made me think of Edward Hopper’s Early Sunday Morning. I have painted this store a second time–the other from a frontal perspective like Hopper’s painting just mentioned.  Very soon, I hope to return to this and capture it from yet another angle.  I wish there were more structures like this in our small towns.  It seems they have all been cleared away and replaced with Seven-Eleven or comparable stores.

Thanks for reading.

Back in the Watercolor Studio, January 16, 2010

January 16, 2010

Watercolor nearing finish in studio

(Painting now finished, on sale at the Weiler House Fine Arts Gallery–$400)

www.recollections54.com

It’s terrific, having this Saturday free to return to watercolor, I’ve missed it so.  This work in progress was posted a few weeks ago.  Though it might not be readily apparent, much detail has been added throughout this day.  I know, the Devil is in the details, but I just love it so, whittling away at small areas that few viewers are going to see–blistered paint on wood, decaying wood grains, lichen on the concrete, subtle changes in the shadow colors.  I just get lost in all of that.

This abandoned store is in the town of Winfield, Missouri, a Mississippi riverfront town on Highway 79 northwest of St. Louis.  I was following this winding road back to my old college stomping grounds, in Kirksville, Missouri.  It had been decades since I last traveled this route.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Ghosts of memories past drifted across my conscious, Proust-like, as the day unrolled.  I photographed this store just an hour or so after the sun rose, and really wished to stop on the spot to do some watercolor sketches, but I decided instead to trust my digital camera, and my own interest to return to the subject later.  After all, Kirksville was still over 200 miles away via meandering state highways through farm country.  I knew I would be driving most of the day, because of the constant stoppages for photographing potential watercolor sites–and I did get out of the Jeep twice to do sketchbook work rapidly in pencil.  All the while, my tension between lingering and moving on echoed the words of Robert Frost–“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.  But I have promises to keep.  And miles to go before I sleep.”

I really hope I can get this painting finished by tonight.  I have several others waiting, and I’m interested in all of them at the same time–so scatter-brained this day!