Posts Tagged ‘Winfield’

Nostalgic Tugs

February 23, 2016

Our Town

Nice town, y’know what I mean?

Nobody very remarkable ever come out of it, s’far as we know.

Stage Manager speaking of Grover’s Corners in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town

Laying aside the odious task of grading and compiling figures over the past several days, the acts of drawing, watercoloring, reading, thinking, conversing with dear friends and journaling my thoughts have emerged with more sweetness than ever before, it seems.

Back in 2009, I embarked on a long road trip that took me down many memorable paths, one of them being Highway 79 in Missouri. I passed through Winfield just as the sun came up, and paused to photograph this magnificent facade of a building bathed in that warm summer light. Now, in 2016, I am drawn back to this subject, because a former resident has found me online and shared some fascinating stories of its history and her own experiences growing up in it.

I am posting the Thornton Wilder quote, because I feel that that is the common sentiment of people assessing the significance of their own small towns, as well as the sentiment of the outsiders looking in. Personally, I have no interest in fame embracing any Winfield residents; I am just enriched when I hear the stories that are so real and worth recalling. The stories echo the sweetness of what I knew in my own small towns throughout the years of my youth.

As this picture develops, and others of the same subject along with it, I plan to pass on some of the stories handed to me about this quaint Mississippi River town that reminds me so much of the small towns I knew in southeast Missouri when I visited relatives during the years of my growing up.

Thanks for reading.

Further Work on My Town

July 7, 2014
Small Watercolor of Abandoned Store in Winfield, Missouri

Small Watercolor of Abandoned Store in Winfield, Missouri

Very ordinary town, if you ask me.  Little better behaved than most.  Probably a lot duller.

Thornton Wilder, Our Town, Act I.

Grover’s Corners in Our Town came to mind when I saw this abandoned store in Winfield, Missouri about four summers ago.  I was driving north on Highway 79, flanking the Mississippi River, when the sun rose in the east and gently washed the dusty store facades of this sleepy town.  I got out of my Jeep and took over a dozen pictures of the remains of this antique store.  The main street remained quiet the entire time I walked about, and the shadows seemed to hide dozens of secrets.  As I reopen this watercolor series I’m calling “My Town”, I will look for some kind of identity to place on this storefront.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Off to St. Louis

September 25, 2012

Sun Rising on Winfield, Missouri

Dear Friends,

If you don’t hear from me for awhile, it will mean that I am without Internet access.  I leave in the morning for St. Louis to participate in the Taste of St. Louis art festival.  Two weeks ago, at Grapefest, I was unable to get adequate Internet access to blog from my booth (I always like to blog onsite at festivals).  So, if the blog goes silent, please understand that I am unplugged.

I am posting a reproduction of a large watercolor I completed last year, that is now at the Weiler House Fine Art Gallery (www.weilerhousefineart.com).  This print is 8 x 10″ and I have put it in an 11 x 14″ matte with plastic sleeve.  The setting is Winfield, Missouri, a sleepy Mississippi River town sprawled along Highway 79 north of St. Louis.  I captured this image on camera just as the sun was rising, back in the summer of 2009.  I was saddened to see the store out of business, as it featured all the advertising and signage I had loved seeing as a child.

Well, I must get some rest for tomorrow’s road odyssey.  Thanks for reading.

Smaller Framed Watercolor of Antique Store for One-Man Show

May 15, 2011

Smaller Antique Store from Winfield, Missouri

This is my fifth and final post today of the five framed watercolors I picked up from the Weiler House Gallery (http://www.weilerhousefineart.com).   Bill Ryan, the proprietor of the gallery, does a spectacular job framing, and is helping me get the paintings presentable for my first One-Man Show this September.  Those of you following my blog may recall this painting from January of 2010.  Recently I completed the same composition on a full-size sheet of watercolor paper.  That large painting has also been framed and posted on today’s blog.

Thank you for reading.

Smaller Watercolor Version of the Winfield Antique Store, now Framed

May 15, 2011

Small Watercolor of Abandoned Winfield, Missouri Antique Store

This is one of five framed watercolors I picked up today from the Weiler House gallery (http://www.weilerhousefineart.com).  We are preparing for a One-Man Show this fall.  I have now painted the facade of this abandoned antique store along Highway 79 in Winfield, Missouri, north of St. Louis.  Andrew Wyeth continually returned to his favorite subjects for painting, especially in watercolor, and so do I.  The morning I drove past this establishment, my heart nearly stopped.  The sun had just topped the Mississippi River, washing the front of this store in delicious yellow light.  I pulled my Jeep over and too dozens of photos from all angles, wishing I could go inside and peruse the interior.  Alas, it was out of business, and in fact had it been viable, I would have had to hang around four more hours, waiting for it to open.   Nevertheless, I got the same feeling that I do when I view Edward Hopper’s Early Sunday Morning, and I’ve always wanted to do a painting of that kind of genre.

Thank you for reading.

Preparing Large Watercolors for a One-Man Show

May 15, 2011

Framed Winfield, Missouri Antique Store

Today I picked up five framed watercolors from the Weiler House Gallery (http://www.weilerhousefineart.com).  These will eventually hang in my One-Man Show later in September.  This has been painted on a full-size sheet of watercolor paper (22 x 28″), so with the frame, it’s by and large the biggest work of art I have every committed to a frame.

Thanks for reading.

Winfield Antiqure Store Finished and Delivered to the Gallery

May 8, 2011

Winfield Antique Store, Highway 79, Missouri

This painting has just been delivered to the Weiler House Fine Arts Gallery for framing (http://www.weilerhousefineart.com/#home).

It got hot, painting in the garage this afternoon, but I’m glad this job is finished.  The painting has been posted so many times on this blog that I think it best not to repeat myself.  If you would like to know the story behind this setting, please check the other Winfield blogs over the past few weeks.  Thanks to all of you who checked in on this painting daily to help “see it through”!

Thanks for reading.

Still Trying to Finish the Winfield, Missouri Store

May 4, 2011

Winfield, Missouri store along Highway 79

Mercy, mercy me!  I cannot shake loose to find quality time to paint!  Just finished my last college lectures and am preparing to give finals, and high school has a way of accelerating in the final weeks.  I worked on this painting a little last night, this morning, and again this afternoon.  I am covered up with high school preparations for tomorrow’s classes, have fallen behind on grading, yet this painting is no longer whispering from the corner of the studio, but shouting, indeed shrieking for my attention.  And it’s all I want to look at now.  I suppose the only positive thing that I can say is–it appears Icould be finished with this by the weekend.  I would truly like to have it signed and delivered by then.  That is my goal.

The painting is large by my usual standards (about 22 x 28″), and I seem to get lost every time I get involved in rendering the shadows under the awning, or the depths of the interior seen through the windows, or even the wood grains on the carpentry that graces the front of this dying structure.  This morning, I began laying in the lines for brickwork along the left side of the composition, and believe me, I will get lost once I begin the brick rendering.  I love this part of a painting–when I know I am more than half-way to the finish.  That is when the quality of my breathing changes, my pulse slows, and I feel that I have entered another world.

O.K., back to the school work.  Maybe I’ll be privileged enough to return to this tonight.

Thank you for reading.

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.