Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Worn Out Life in Progress

About midway through the first gas station painting A Worn Out Life, from my Benson to Lordsburg I-10 trip. This piece is 36x72 inches, so it's taking just a little while. This station was in Bowie, Arizona. I almost had the feeling that the rest of the town wasn't far behind this station. I have a feeling that most the population depends on the little bit of agriculture in the area. There were groves of pecan trees from the look of it.

I've been listening to Dakota Suite & Emanuele Errante a lot while painting this one, so I named the piece after one of their tracks. Well, the track that I've listened to repeatedly while working on the painting. It's fitting really when I look at this station. There were a few incarnations evident.  I could see several layers of Texaco graphics, followed with a layer or two of when the station became independent.  I could also tell that the pumps were replaced at some point, because they don't match the architecture of the building.  I omitted the background buildings, but it looked like the owner and station mechanics lived on site, so it's very likely this station was open 24hrs or at least had later hours than most. It's  amazing how much you can deduct from simply taking some time to look around at the little details.

I also had a sense that the station and surrounding buildings have been used by transients. At one point I climbed down into a wash beside the station to capture both the Texaco sign and the station in the same shot. I discovered hundreds of foot prints in the wash with discarded clothes and water bottles. Just beyond where I was standing was a tunnel that led underneath the freeway, so my thought is this is likely part of a route into the country from Mexico. That of course explained why the building's lights were still on.