Well, no new posts so far this week. I seem to have shot my bolt for the next few days. I decided I needed to take on a large and complex city scene to use as a marketing piece for my illustrations and boy oh boy did I. I should have it done next week and will find a place to scan a large fella and get it posted. Chicago is the only hint.
Friday evening Noelle and I took all three dogs for a walk downtown just as the sun was going down. Opelika is very much your small southern town. We ran into 3 groups of friends all out walking various beasts or heading for a well deserved cocktail. I slipped off and took a few photos. Noelle, poor gal, was left holding the dogs. They, at my best calculation, are 172 pounds of seething, sniffing, multi-directionally intent hounds. The nicest group of pups one could ask for but the gang outweighs her by a goodish 75 and when they all decide to investigate different things she looks a bit like she's being stretched on the rack. I went past the coaling tower, which was the subject of my last painting, and looked at where the two lines came together. The old line must have run underneath the coaling tower, but has since been diverted back to the original. Still, an orange southern evening, and the rail lines really stand out. Maybe this little odyssey should be me just walking further and further down the tracks to see what I find. Here's the latest.
As I said a fine one today. Yesterday not as great. Another drop out in what seems an endless string of illustrations that lose funding. Projects start, stop, start again, go on hold, wait a week, we'll let you know when we're going to crank back up, we'll get past this little bump don't worry. Well, I'm not. Started a new Opelika scene today. It's a bit of a departure for me. You'll see.
Here's a new approach. Instead of looking to Scotland or even typically picturesque US locations for my inspiration I'm going to explore much closer to home, well, just down the street really. I'm typically hard pressed to come up with reasons for what I do. I'm not on a search for meaning or beauty, to me, this is not about explaining my emotions or making sense of the world around me. Quite simply, I enjoy how a subject is transformed when I paint it. Back to the point. I live in Opelika, Alabama. It's a small railroad town and the sister city to Auburn of Bo Jackson and football fame. It was once quite the little manufacturing city even gaining national recognition in the film Norma Rae and is one of the places Johnny Cash has been when he says "I've been everywhere man." Listen to the song it's in there. I believe I can find inspiration for an entire series of paintings within 5 miles of the city limits. My friend Tom words it quite well- "to find so much beauty, depth, and energy in the "ordinary" - those simple things we see around us every day." Thanks Tom. This is not a bet or a Julie and Julia moment, but more of a question that I'd like to answer for myself.
Here's the first one. It's the old coaling tower just off of South Railroad Ave in downtown Opelika. We'll see where this leads.
So this is the first post. I've actually posted a few times as you can see, but this is the first one where I've tried writing something about what I'm doing. I've been told I need to have a "blog" site for my artwork and thus here we are. Or, just me for the moment. I quite enjoy writing to myself so I have no problem with no readers. Please excuse my lack of knowledge in blog jargon and, as at the moment I am writing to myself, I most certainly do. For now this remains my secret spot on the web. It may evolve to involve more people. We'll just have to see. Until then, Iain, enjoy your work and I'm sure I'll read your next post.
Ms. Voncille finds her way home. I got an email this morning from a woman in Texas who informed me the boat was named after her mother, Voncille. Here's an excerpt.
"The Miss Voncille is from a small fishing village off the Texas Gulf Coast called Port Isabel. So sweet to see her sitting there in Bayou la Batre."
Voncille is a watercolorist as well. http://www.thebluegatestudio.com
So, last August, I'm in Bayou la Batre looking for boats as subjects for my work and the 2nd one I actually do a painting of is named after another watercolor painter and her daughter finds this painting on my artbreak page.