On the Easel

Goldfield TruckThere is nothing more intimidating than a blank canvas, and we won’t even get into the fact that it was a large, blank canvas.

I lacked any material in my archives to paint a large-scale bar painting. Yet, still, the canvas sat in the corner of the studio, mocking me.

I played around with a large-scale landscape. I have fun doing the smaller landscapes – but I am not a landscape painter. There are many artists that would do the subject more justice than I can. However, if the work is to be salable, it has to have a southwest theme; after all, I am not a pure abstractionist.

I sorted through the thousands of digital images on my hard-drive, and finally settled on this not-quite-restored International pickup truck on the grounds of the old Goldfield Ghost Town.  Yeah, everybody else was busy taking pictures of the mountains, and I was busy photographing old, rusty industrial equipment and abandoned trucks…

Goldfield is an authentic ghost town – founded in 1893 when gold was found in those, thar hills. Actually, the funny part is, it wasn’t found in the hills. Prospectors were in search of that mythical vein of gold that would lead them to the Lost Dutchman Mine. It was quite by accident, or so the story goes, that gold was found under their feet.

A mine was dug and the town sprung up overnight. In five years, the vein was tapped out, and so was the town. The residents moved on to greener, or should I say golder, pastures. The town saw a rebirth in the 1920’s when new methods of extraction were discovered. In another five years, what little was left had been scraped clean, and the town decayed and rotted into nothing until the 1970’s when “Bob” Schoose bought the land where once a town stood, and built the town from the ground up. Today, a tourist attraction, the town stands as it once stood, with authentic period style buildings. And behind the buildings are old industrial equipment, and old trucks…

I have an affinity for old trucks, and did two paintings of “Bob’s Truck” in Greenwich, NJ. Both of those paintings sold, so I have to assume that I am not the only person enamored by old vehicles.  I printed out a copy of the image, and laid down a solid underpainting this afternoon. The canvas is 36″x36″. The frame for this beast is going to take me broke. However, I could bear to leave the canvas leaning in the corner of my studio, naked, shameful…

The painting has a long way to go. Luckily I have $35 in gift certificates for Amazon.com, so I can replenish paint that I am going through quickly on this project.

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