While I use photographs for reference for my bar paintings – it is not feasible in most cases to set up easel and to paint inside the establishment – I have until now held fast to the rule that I must frequent the establishment more than once, preferably much more, before accepting it as a theme for a painting.
However, I have a friend that has a similar proclivity for dive bars. He was in Seattle last year, and did a ten stop “dangerous dive bar tour”, hitting all of the supposed less reputable bars in the downtown Seattle area. Joe’s Bar was one of those stops. After a drunken exchange on Facebook, he emailed me an image surreptitiously taken with his iPhone.
I needed some new material for a bar painting, and being too broke to go our drinking on my own, I lived (and painted) vicariously.