Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween on Commerce Street

On my street we like our natural decorations--very old half-dead trees, vultures, and spiders. Maybe that explains why no trick-or-treaters showed up. Now I have to eat all that candy! 

These photos were taken on or from my front porch.  Happy Halloween.
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chase City VA

Chase City VA >or<
pastel on Wallis paper, 16x12

I finally got off my porch and made it to the next town.  Chase City is about 15 miles away--a ride through the country side; then suddenly there's a view from an overpass that reminds me of Baltimore.  This is it--more or less.  I moved the water tower and omitted a few buildings.  For this view I'd have to look up and down; right and left.  I will add that Chase City has some very beautiful homes, and MacCallum More Museum and Gardens (where I've exhibited my work) is there.  For painting, I chose the grittier side. 

The tall building in the center has lettering on the bricks:
My guess is that the sign painter, after climbing down the 30-foot ladder, said, "I'm not climbing up again to change it to SOUTH SIDE--people will know what it means."  Actually, the sign can't be read from the road (most of these buildings are falling down)--I noticed it when I zoomed in with the camera.  From making posters I know how easy it is to transpose letters.

Update Oct. 31.  I just learned from my friend Everett's comment that this was a ROLLER MILL--not a Rink.  I guess that means a grist mill where flour was made.  I learn something new every day.

This work has been an education in how not to work with pastels.  I began the painting at the Y; then continued at home in the upstairs bedroom.  My nose was completely stopped up from pastels.  I looked at this the following morning and thought, "What crap."  I took it outside, whacked it against the side of the house, then used a house painter's brush to remove all the pastel.

I started again--got about three-quarters through and suddenly decided I should glue the paper to an Ampersand board.  To ventilate the workshop while spraying glue I opened both doors; then had trouble with placement of the paper--15 minutes is a long time to hold one's breath.  I covered the painting with wax paper, rolled it to remove bubbles, and used three of my wallpaper sample books to weight it down.  It worked.

I then put the painting on my "big easel" (for you, Celeste) and applied pastels to the sky and water tower.  The pale blue fell down onto my buildings!  It looked like sheets of rain.  I cleaned it up by blowing the dust and repainting; now I believe it's almost finished.

First I need to figure out how to cut off the top two extra inches of Wallis paper (18x12) without smearing the work; I cropped the photo.  I don't want to think about framing--glass, spacer, frame, fingerprints, etc.  I'll worry about that later; I just ordered a set of watercolors.