Having a strong desire to make a painting, or several, of a building I saw on a shell collecting trip to Exuma in the Bahamas stayed with me for several years, as I related last week.
The first thing that caught my attention with this building was the color. It had a turquoise color door with a green door frame. The paint was peeling. The hinges were rusted. Part of the roof had been torn off by storms, and sunlight was streaming into the interior.
When I went back to take photos two days later, I was surprised to see a young man sitting in one of the windows. They were actually openings in the walls; the glass, if there had been any, was long gone. He had a soda and was smoking. I started taking pictures of the outside from different angles. I thought he might leave, but he didn’t. I didn’t have a lot of time to do this, so I ignored him.
This was probably a hangout for the teens on the island. There appeared to be some trash in a corner. The inner walls were stained with what looked like mold. Because the sun was streaming through the broken roof, I could get some shots with parts of the illuminated interior, framed by the door.
When I began to paint while looking at my photos, I was trying to reproduce the peeling paint, showing the different under-layers. After a few paintings of peeling paint, I became interested in the light coming through the broken roof. Getting the light right was the easy part. Painting the wall with the mold was much more challenging.
While I was in the painting class I drove around some of the older parts of Stockton. I love the architecture in this city. There are areas that have beautiful older homes. I was going to take some photos for references to paint. But the details, the landscaping, the neighboring homes felt overwhelming.
As I’m writing this, I just had an idea of where to find more subjects for future paintings that I will want to make. I’ve been to downtown Stockton twice last month.
What we have is some very nice looking contemporary buildings scattered among stately old ones that are being repurposed for new uses. And then there are the old, worn down ones with the peeling paint and tattered awnings across the street or around the corner.
When we get some good weather, perhaps I’ll take my camera and see what I can find that will be a challenge for me to paint.