Here is the latest addition to my Back Alley Guthrie Series…
Down by the Depot
8″ x 10″ oil on panel
This painting was started en plein air and finished in the studio. We set up our easels down on the other side of the railroad tracks so that we could capture the roof of the Santa Fe Depot.
The second time we set up out here a very long train stopped right between us and our view. When it finally moved on, it started raining, just little drops, but being that we had been having such a drought we were thankful for any rain we could get. My daughter Tera was with me and used the raindrops in her watercolor painting of clouds.
When we were getting up to pack up our easels we began to smell skunk. Looking up in the sky we saw quite a few vultures flying around and darting down to the tracks beyond. After loading up we drove over to where the vultures were congregating and sure enough the train had run over a skunk. We left just in time… smiling and thankful for our little adventure.
Can’t leave here without a little bit of the history of these buildings. The Stephen C. Starr Building, located at 328 W. Oklahoma Avenue in downtown Guthrie, was built in 1894. Notice the two inlaid stone stars, and the Ames building which was built in 1902.
Two more minis headed to the gallery…so now there are four, two from my last post, in case you missed it. On the left is of my beloved Olive Tree in it’s terracotta pot and the other on the right, Copper Glass with Fall Foliage. Taking these to the gallery along with my Back Alley paintings, hopefully before the week is over. 🙂
I noticed in the photo of the gallery that I posted last time that I only had one little mini painting left, so I felt I needed to get busy and paint some more…
The second one I finished today was of eucalyptus in a turquoise pottery vase that I inherited from my mother-in-law. She was an artist too, and did a painting of this vase that I have loved for many years. The eucalyptus is from Trader Joe’s. I just love all the flowers in their store, right at the entrance when you walk in… heavenly…
I’m beginning to varnish all my back alley paintings and then framing them and hoping to get them in the gallery in a week or two.
A couple of days ago I had a inquiry for one of my sunflower paintings.
This collector lives far away from here, and couldn’t remember exactly the painting she was interested in purchasing. My daughter just happened to be working at the gallery that day and sent me this picture to refresh her memory. Thought I would share it here and give you a peek into the gallery. 🙂
This small one story building is nestled between two larger ones, hence the title… 🙂
This structure is to the left of my previous painting, and as I mentioned before there is a better view of the Guthrie Post office in the background. The front of this building has a large sign saying Hurley Plumbing. According to waymarking.com , it was built in 1928. I’m going to borrow a photo from them to show the front…
I’m guessing they remodeled the front probably in the 60’s to modernize. The old buildings are so gorgeous I don’t know why they did this, but at least the back alleys still show some of the antiquity.
Here’s a photo of the back that I used when painting in the studio…
Yesterday, I revisited the site to see how the sun might be shining out here in the morning hours. For the first time ever the corrugated metal gate was closed. And according to the signs they definitely don’t want anyone getting too close.
I have one more back alley building to work on and a smaller project of an old handle that I will be sharing soon.
I tried fixing the color problem by changing the saturation. This is a better picture of my last post, not perfect, but a lot better…
A little reminder to myself on why I’m doing these back alley paintings from my first back alley post…
“A little honesty here… I have been so uninspired by the Oklahoma landscape. My dream always has been to paint oceans and mountains, places I remember that I loved when I was growing up. But just maybe I have been looking in the wrong places. Maybe I need to find the forlorn, the lonely, the cast off and begin to make beauty from ashes. This may be a new beginning for me…just maybe…”
I probably spent 2 hours trying to get an accurate photo of this painting. Even with some editing I could not get the colors right. The sky is much lighter than this, and the stone and brick darker, but I think you can get the idea. The spiral staircase is fascinating. Many of the back alley buildings have wrought iron staircases. It still amazes me what detail and care the builders put in the backs of these old buildings.
The building that you see peeking out from behind is the Guthrie Post Office. The next painting I’m working on will show more of the post office in the background. It will be the small building next door to the left.
One thing I have discovered in observing the back alleys of Guthrie is that this town is full of arches. Not only on the fronts of the buildings, but in the back, as well. And most of them have a double layer of bricks on top emphasizing the beautiful arched doors and windows.
I named this next painting “Back Alley Arches”, because that is what first attracted me to this back alley location.
For those who appreciate a little background, my daughter Sage and I went on a back alley discovery adventure last fall. I took photos of sites that intrigued me.
A couple of months ago, I went back to take a look and there was a woman outside working on her potted plants. The place looked adorable…
Massive vines cover a lot of the back alley buildings in the summer, in the winter all the leaves are gone and it looks pretty bare and scrubby.
And here is my preliminary sketch…
Now the painting has to dry for some months and then the linen will be glued to a masonite board and have a coat or two of varnish, before it is framed.
Hope you enjoyed seeing a little view of the progression of this oil painting.