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.
What is the first thing you notice when you look at this painting?
When I first saw this back alley site I noticed the stair step formation of the rooftops…it reminded me of building blocks, as in the wooden blocks you play with as a child… That is actually what inspired me to attempt this piece, plus the beautiful arches.
The front of this building isn’t nearly as exciting as the back. Here is a photo of the front…
As you can see, it is the new home of Byron Berline’s Fiddle Shop, the old one up the street on the next block burned down a few years ago. An article with very interesting photos and a video about the fire and the history of the original building can be found here. Sadly, Guthrie also lost it’s most famous world-renowned fiddle player this last year in 2021. I’m including a link to an article about Byron Berline here.
This building was built in 1907. The stone on the top says “19.W.H.Coyle.07”. W. H. Coyle is an interesting character from what I was able to find out about him. He came to Oklahoma during the land run in 1889 and invested in quite a lot of property in and around Guthrie thinking that this would be the state capitol. There is an excellent 5 part article called The Capitol War about what really happened when “they” stole the state seal from Guthrie and made Oklahoma City the capitol. It mentions W.H. Coyle and his stand against the governor and secretary of state.
“In Guthrie, the residents weren’t taking any chances. At the same time they sought help from state courts, they also turned to the Federal Court for help. On June 13, the Associated Press reported that a Guthrie property owner, W.H. Coyle, filed an application for a temporary injunction in federal court “restraining the state officers from moving state records to Oklahoma City or transacting official business at Oklahoma City.” Those complaints, documents show, rested on the argument that the election, itself, was illegally called and that Haskell’s action had no foundation or authorization in state law. “The action of the governor and secretary of state were revolutionary,” Coyle’s petition said.”
Charles Haskell was the governor at the time. One Guthrie newspaper had this headline about him, “Czar Charles Issues His Imperial Ukase At New State Capital.” Honestly, that is how it seems like this governor was acting, not as an elected official serving the people, but a dictator. I don’t know how people get away with things like this. Sounds like it was as bad back then as it is now.
Here is a depiction of Guthrie from 1889, only 9 months after the land run. Notice the block layout of the town… Again, we have Building Blocks. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed this little tidbit of history from Oklahoma. Any of you that are history buffs will really enjoy reading the 5 part article I mentioned above. The quotes are from there.
Not sure where I’m going from here, but I need to do one more painting for the series… That way I’ll have twelve and perhaps a calendar for 2023?
For those who are interested… a peek into my painting process. 🙂
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.
As you know if you have been following me here, I have been working on a series of paintings of the back alley buildings and whatever else I find in the historic town of Guthrie, Oklahoma. When I saw this bike leaning against a railing it sure caught my attention.
Here’s my sketch…
Here’s the painting…
The geometrics is what really inspired me, plus the black railing against the Terracotta color of the wall. Terracotta means “baked earth” and this color is rich in Guthrie in all the bricks used on the historic buildings. You can even see it on one of the old buildings as you peek around the corner on the right side of this wall.
What really intrigued me too was that this bicycle looked as if it was used every day, but the plant growing out of the crack in the pavement actually had wound itself in the spokes of the wheel.
I hope you enjoy inspecting the elements of this painting.
I have been sick for quite a while with this long drawn out virus. My motivation has been extremely impeded, but I hope to be getting better and getting some more work done on this series.
I’m excited about the Trucker’s Freedom Convoy and I hope it will spark a fire that will bring an end to unjust tyranny around the world! Wouldn’t that be incredible!
Praying that God will be with them all… and you all…
My second inspiration on Back Alley Guthrie is not really a back alley, but when we walked past this building being painted I totally fell in love with the look of it all, and there is a little hint of a back alley on the left side. 🙂
Those windows on the left side of the second story… I would love to stand up there and see what that looks like from inside. What do they have a view of from up there? The birds on the roof… The vines growing out over the awnings… leaves turning shades of brown and red, which brings me to the potted autumn decor on the far right under the mailbox of the building next door. So many fun little details.
In my opinion Hoboken Coffee Roasters is the best thing that ever happened to our little town of Guthrie, Oklahoma. You can read all about the beginnings of this unique coffee shop on their website… Hoboken Coffee Roasters.
Here is my rendition…
16″ x 20″ oil on canvas
I took some artistic license here, moving some of the shelving on the left side over, as I wanted to include the flower arrangement in the painting. This painting is the second in my restaurant series, the first being Kitchen No. 324. In each painting I am wanting to include certain elements… a flower arrangement, something under a table and a reflection. This painting has reflections in the beautiful Diedrich coffee roasting machine, which by the way I got totally carried away painting the details… so fun!!! 🙂
Aunt Gertrude’s House is a gallery and shop combined. She carries all kinds of fine art and crafts and she herself repairs dolls, so there is a large doll house in the front window. There are many fine artists represented in her shop, and I was so totally honored to have some of my paintings accepted here. I told Pam I would take some pictures, so the other day I took my little mini winter scenes into the shop, and here are some shots that my son took with his phone…
She set up the minis next to the poinsettia, you can see the little girls sledding there. The Exclamation point is my abstract painting of a sculpture that is in Oklahoma City. I love the art tiles that she sells in the background…and yes, that’s me standing there behind the poinsettia. 🙂
Here are the other two mini winter scenes from the opposite side of the center table.
As you walk in the door to the left is my painting of the cantaloupe. This was one that I did for an art challenge on line. Don’t you love the huge paintings of the fish by Ty A Kelly .
In the front window as you walk in the door are two of my minis… the pumpkin and the bicycle.
And my peony painting is sitting on the table to the right, next to Matt Atkinson‘s incredible painting of the wolf.
So you can see how honored I am to have some of my paintings displayed here. The Summer Season Bouquet is also at the gallery, but I don’t have a photo of it. Maybe next time. 🙂