Well, it wasn’t exactly dark — just amazingly, wondrously, hideously, wildly stormy. I’d add more adjectives, but Jer won’t let me. It was also teeth chattering cold, but I couldn’t resist having the big barn doors open to watch the sky and desert as the storms came and went.
I was at the Barn at the usual time today. There were tourists everywhere, including a couple of trailer-campers on the other side of the road. I guess these were holiday-seekers who didn’t want to pay to park their rigs. People kept dropping in to see the art — Riley McCoy, the museum volunteer, was sending them along. He stopped by while a couple from the LA area were being chatted up by David Lancaster and I was chatting up the other David (Berg), a board member who was helping David L. work on the cistern. Riley handed me a bagful of fresh strawberries and the wind and rain started.
So when people weren’t pulling up out front, I played my new flute (more on that another time) and thought about painting. I didn’t actually think much; I mostly thought about thinking. And I played my flute. And someone else would pull up to get in out of the rain, which wasn’t actually hitting the ground, only the roof. Between the talk, the flute and the jingling of the tin roof, it was fairly exciting.
About 2 PM things settled down, so I decided to work on some easy stuff — the plein air panels I did a few days ago.
Here’s the back of the McCoy’s house, which was the Episcopalian Church. It’s the back of the house because I was painting in the afternoon and the house faces east. All glare and deep shadow on that side. Besides, looming over the back of the house is a honking big sign for Motel 6, next to the Casino up the road aways, and that tickled my sense of wacky hamlet-scapes. So this is today’s version, a second draft:
The McCoy’s House, Beatty Nevada, 16 x 12″, Oil on masonite 2009
I also updated the Beatty Library a bit:
It’s absolutely typical of my wacky hamlet-scapes, perhaps because I’ve been painting landscapes too long. They get wackier as I get further out of practice.
That didn’t take long, so I decided to take on another painting I did outside in the warmth (now dissipated entirely, it seems) of last week.
This one needs the mountain to glow more; it was painted about 4 PM and the motel was in shadow while the mountain was playing on my eyeballs. But it’s coming along.
I couldn’t bring myself to upgrade the Chamber of Commerce Building (another view of the Beatty Mountain included); the wheeled vehicle seemed too hard. So I started in on a semi-abstract (think Maynard Dixon with no horses or humans) that I had been working on last week. I’m liking the change of pace –less detail:
I had just begun on the far mountains when Jer appeared, so this too will get a bit more attention.
I couldn’t face the big canvases today, but tomorrow I will be brave and valiant and true-hearted and strong. Besides they must be painted so they can dry before they get carried home. And Charles fixed the spot lights so I can see to paint more better as well as to photograph better (probably more, too). With any luck (send good vibes this way) I’ll have them done within a day or two.
On the way home, I made Jer stop so I could take this photo of the continuing storm.
Reporting from Goldwell House, which is much warmer and cozier than the Red Barn, even if the scenery is less spectacular.