Sunday, September 21, 2014

Come As You Are or No Trespass in Progress

Come As You Are or No Trespass in progress. I have been working on a big 36 x 120 inches canvas for my upcoming exhibit at Modified Arts with the opening on October 17th. The show will be a mixture of drawings and paintings like last year. There will be a mixture of cityscapes and boonscapes (haven't figured out a good short and sweet term for my paintings of abandoned buildings in the middle of no where.

The bigger the canvas the happier these desert gas stations are. I think that the large canvases help convey the "vastness" of the West. With this one I'm working really hard to to capture the desert sky. There is the washed out blue, but in the morning and evening the sun highlights the dust in the air leaving a dirty yellow/gold at the horizon that fades into the washed out blue. It's the sky I grew up to and distinctive of the desert southwest.

A big part of what this series of works are about is the lose of these places. They represent the character of the west for me. In the west there is a constant wrecking ball and rebuild mentality. Old structures have character - granted when they were built they were as disposable as the buildings that are replacing them within the western landscape, but now they represent our cultural past.

Finally starting to get the studio in good working order. I'm amazed at what a difference putting drywall in has made. I put in some new IKEA shelves that have cubbies that I can put supplies in to declutter myself a bit and also serve as a shelf to place paintings in progress for the show on. It allows the paintings to feed off each other. It's been really humid the last few weeks, so the swamp cooler hasn't done me much good. I've just been working through it. I'm looking forward to the fall and winter months..

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

All the Dreams We Waste

Finished All the Dreams We Waste last night. Part of the abandoned desert series. There are several more awaiting their turn in the studio. I also have a bridge painting or two planned.

This cafe and the motel behind it was along a frontage road off of I-40 outside of Kingman. I'm not sure, but the frontage road may be part of the old route 66. The modern ruins in the area seem to date from that time period. Just down the road was what was left of a old Standard station. Now the signs just stand like grave markers over cracked concrete foundations.

I guess that brings me to the title of this piece. I'm sure I have probably said this before, but to me I look at these places as someone's dream that they had to abandon. Businesses for one reason or another that didn't survive when the world left these places behind, but someone put their life's blood into running these places. They waited the tables of this cafe cooked food for it's patrons with a smile and started every morning by sweeping up the store front a little after dawn.

Now a guy like me photographs them with the wind howling through the empty shell of the building with the old wiring scraping across fallen ceiling panels. The paint bleached by the sun and cracking off the brick walls.