Thursday, July 19, 2012

Get your Kicks

Get Your Kicks on Route 66 by J. Binford-Bell

So there I was in the midst of some of the most beautiful country in the United States - poise between the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest and I am taking lots of pictures of an old rusty car erected as a monument for the bygone era of Route 66.

Route 66 Monument in Arizona

Nobody can really predict what it is that turns an artist on that is for sure. But by the time I took a picture of this dated and much stripped automobile I had already demonstrated a love for photography old cars. And the first thing I did with these images was to win a 1st place in the 2012 Ralph Solano exhibit at Old Pass Gallery.

Route 66

The woman that bought this photograph asked if I ever considered painting old cars instead of just photographing them. And the answer was actually no. But boy did I enjoy playing with post processing of photos of old cars.

The Wreck

It was the above photograph that actually made me reconsider the painting possibilities. I hated the grass, disliked the concrete block, missed the wheels so much I never printed it up. The winning photograph had been at an angle these aspects were not so glaring. And the auto had no context outside of title. Yes, I probably could have photoshopped to my heart's content and deleted and added but I am more a painter I think.

Get Your Kicks on Route 66 may not be a faithful rendering of the automobile even if I added back wheels and side panels but it has context. It sits in the painted desert (also not a faithful depiction) beside a mirage road and a 66 sign. The Raven atop the sign was a late addition. The painting has been in the works for some time. It is because of the enameled look of the last photograph that to complete the painting I just had to try oil sticks. And in this process I found myself tending toward an impressionist view. As if road and landscape and car are melting in the desert sun.

Going west was not easy then. Maybe only the Raven wins.

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