Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where is "Little Charlie?"

Oh. I've made it to another day in Paradise. It's Wednesday. I'm done for the week. Next week is my last class of Art Appreciation. Then I have to grade exams.
But today is a painting day. Guess who's not going today?
It's cool out and about nine o'clock. It's my turn to drive and buy breakfast. Ham and eggs, crisp hash browns is on the top of the menu board at $3.99. Tim wants to know what's the difference between the ham we got and Canadian bacon. "Well, for one thing my ham slice is twice as thick as yours and I think Canadian bacon is cured differently, drier, saltier."  But this ham was salty. I mean really salty. After my second cup of coffee and the the entire plate of food, I want a "nap."
Tim thinks that's a great idea, too. But we decide we'd better make a painting first. You can see that it is a beautiful day below but it was a hard freeze last night so it's a chilly this morning. Suppose to warm up though.

I'm looking for a little town called Little Charlie near where I live. Why? My middle name is Charlie so I thought this would be a cool painting called "Little Charlie by Little Charlie." Hey, I'm 5'2" and shrinking all the time. We follow the Eel again west towards a place called Hoover. My Iphone GPS map shows Little Charlie near Hoover. As we're driving I'm watching the map. I watch the marker pass right over Little Charlie and there's no Little Charlie. Just farmland and a house. See the house. I know. It's not a town or anything. Tim figures it was a siding during the railroad days when a track ran through the area from the grain storage silos located to the east. We continue driving on for following the Eel back east. The grain silos are a spot I've been toying with in my mind as a possible painitng location. "Let's go to the grainery in Mexico." "Sure", is Tim's reply.

This is an old iron bridge we cross to get back over the Eel. I  think we painted this one before. These iron bridges are nearly indestructable because they are made out of iron and not steel. The iron doesn't rust like steel does. The planks across the bed make a loud clackety noise as we cross. The river view is a good subject as well, maybe later.  It's the grainery today because I'm driving. Tim is fine with that.
I know the guy who runs the facility. Most of the corn here goes over to Ohio for ethanol. You know ethanol. The produxt that is cheaper than gas, keeps the corn prices high and is subsidized by the good ole U.S.of A. Only in America. Craig Ferguson is right. This is the only country where we pay more in taxes so we can pay more to the farmer to pay less for gas. That's traditional capitalism at its best. We finally settle down and start. I'm working in my three colors again and Tim is doing his pastels. But he starts to complain that this is a hard subject. He does that to relax himself so he can do a better job already giving himself a way out if it looks like crap. The sky is a rich clear blue and the silos are grey concrete and metal painted gray. We talk most of the time today about the gorgeous weather and his solar room addition. The solar room is a story by itself . We drove to Michigan in the ealry 80's to get tempered glass panes from Jordan College. The college was a big deal in the days of the oil embargo.They were heavy into "solar." Remember that? Gas was expensive and you had to wait in line to get gas.
Our finished pieces are displayed. Mine is above and Tim's is to the left. I like the way he leans his buildings to allow for parallax. You get parallax from a "normal" camera lens. He sees this with his stereoptic vision. I don't know how he does this. His drawing uses a lot of black pastel but it really works here. It reminds me of a Charles Burchfield drawing. He loves the detail and renders it in a very specific way almost like an architectural rendering. Mine above again favors contrast and simplicity. The whole time I was painitng I was thinking, "think pattern."  Actually, I'm pretty pleased with this one. When I peeled the tape away from the edges the white paper border sets the color ablaze.. All in all, great weather in the mid-60's, good breakfast, a great painting day. With the definite possibilty of a nap at three o'clock is a go.
I think though we may head over to Home Depot to drop his rough drawings off to get an estimate for materials to build his solar room, ...finally.

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