Monday, 31 July 2017

Middle of a memory....a Route 66 painting

Blue Swallow Motel, Tucumcari, New Mexico+Miniature art+Route 66+Nicola McLean
'Middle of a memory' - acrylic on canvas 2.4 x 3 inches (6 x 8cm)

So back at the end of June I was planning to paint the Blue Swallow Motel on a pretty large canvas which I'd primed with acrylic spray paint to get the background ready.

Then I went off to Ireland for a week and did some other stuff which you can read about in my last post (none for ages then two in one week!)

Anyway, when I got back from Ireland after creating a couple more animal-related things, I got the urge to write rather than paint which I've also explained in my last post so that's what I've been doing. 

Blue Swallow Motel, Tucumcari, New Mexico+Miniature art+Route 66+Nicola McLean

It's funny, isn't it, we all go through those periods of our mojo being missing in action for whatever reason and just finding excuse after excuse (whether real or invented) not to put brush to canvas. I guess it's the normal cycle of things but this time I did wonder if I would just stop bothering altogether and, if so, what would I use my art shed for if not to paint. Anyway, it seems that my inner artist had different ideas and after giving me a hall pass for a couple of weeks to write some more of my never ending novel, I got such an overwhelming urge to paint last weekend that I had to go and do just that. 

I still wanted to paint the Blue Swallow Motel but I found a photo from a slightly different angle and decided to have a go at painting it in miniature before going big.

Anyway, when I got back I got the urge to write which I've also explained in my last post so that's what I've been doing.  It's funny, isn't it, we all go through those periods of missing our mojo and just, for whatever reason, not being bothered to paint and this time I did wonder if I would just stop bothering altogether. But, my inner artist had different ideas and last Saturday I got such an overwhelming urge to paint that I had to go and do just that.
Reference photo taken by S

As you can see from the reference photo, I used grid lines for this painting, which I don't normally do but then I don't normally paint architecture and cars and the grid lines help get the perspective and proportions right (at least in theory!)

Anyway, when I got back I got the urge to write which I've also explained in my last post so that's what I've been doing.  It's funny, isn't it, we all go through those periods of missing our mojo and just, for whatever reason, not being bothered to paint and this time I did wonder if I would just stop bothering altogether. But, my inner artist had different ideas and last Saturday I got such an overwhelming urge to paint that I had to go and do just that.

Sign writing is something I don't have a lot of practice in either but I'm guessing if I want to keep on painting this series of Route 66 paintings then it's something I'll be getting a lot more practice in as it's the signs and road markings that make the journey so iconic and such a wonderful step back into the history of America during the era when all the towns along the highway were thriving. 

As all these paintings are titled after songs from our Road Trip playlist, I decided that 'Middle of a memory' would be appropriate for this one as we arrived in Tucumcari for the night after passing the mid-point of Route 66 in Adrian, Texas earlier that day. 

Route 66+Blue Swallow Motel+Tucumcari+New Mexico+American Road Trip+Art+Nicola McLean

You know how I like my size context photos so here's one to show you just how tiny this painting actually is. Painting those signs really was fiddly and reminded me again just how bad my eyesight is getting - I think I need stronger reading glasses after painting this!

Route 66+Blue Swallow Motel+Tucumcari+New Mexico+American Road Trip+Art+Nicola McLean
In case you were wondering exactly what size this is!

In other news, the annual Society of Caithness Artists exhibition starts tonight for a fortnight. I've submitted art for the last three years to this annual event and only ever sold one small piece so, honestly, this year I wasn't going to bother not least because I didn't have any paintings of local landscapes which always seem to be the most popular in previous years (other people's that is!) but then I thought about how I had the other Route 66 paintings just hanging on my walls anyway and figured other than the hanging fee I didn't really have anything to lose by putting them into the exhibition. You never know, maybe someone wants to hang something other than a local scene on their walls. Anyway, nothing ventured and all that. 

Route 66+Blue Swallow Motel+Tucumcari+New Mexico+American Road Trip+Art+Nicola McLean


When I was taking photos of the painting I set it up on the sideboard and it looked quite appropriate beside this wee Route 66 spice cupboard (at least that's what I use it for!) that I bought in T K Maxx years ago thinking it was the closest I'd ever get to the real thing!

Well, that's me up to date with my blog and what I've been up to artistically. I fully intend to be a better blogger from now on (of course the road to hell is said to be paved with good intentions but still, I'll try my best). I'm still working at the animal shelter and have a lot of overtime coming up in the next wee while to cover holidays and whatnot so we'll see how I get on with free painting time.

I may not get a chance to catch up on blog visits this weekend because I'm heading to London on Saturday for a few days to visit my sister (and Skye the springer spaniel!!) and this time it'll be even better because S is coming too.  

If there is anyone left who still visits me here then thank you so much for taking the time and I will endeavor to be a more frequent visitor to both my own blog and everyone else's!

14 comments:

  1. Yep, still here! I love your painting and the way you've captured the glow of the neon signs is amazing! Like you, I'm behind on other peoples blogs so I'm trying to catch up now! Good luck with the exhibition!!

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  2. Yep, me too!! Hehe, you thought you could hide out and get away from us? You're kidding yourself. I'm too patient for that. ;o) That piece is amazing in it's detail and small stature. Now, it's impact however lights up the screen. Incredibly Nic and let's hear it for artists putting their stuff up in an exhibition. YAY! Crossing my fingers that people there SEE the beauty of your work but then theres no accounting for bad taste, some people just don't get it. Those people would have to be blind and dumb not to love your work.

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  3. o.0 that painting is so tiny!! didnt realize it was so small, makes all the detail more impressive. love the colours :D

    good luck with the exhibition and have a fun time in London

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  4. Wowowowowow!!!! This is just amazing. I have been working on my Beadwright.com and it has take all my time. I have not created much, not in the way I want but I think today is the day. Thank you.

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  5. What an excellent little piece of art .. beautifully the strong colors!!!!
    Happy Day
    Elke

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  6. Wow...great little piece...love the prop too...goes well together...happy ppf...xx

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  7. Love the little painting and the details. :) Good luck with all your endeavors. Have fun in London!

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  8. How super cute! LOVE the colours and all of the details you managed to fit on the mini canvas. I make and trade tons of ATCs, so I know how hard it can be to work so small. Yours looks fabulous!

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  9. I'm here too. Love the Rte 66 art so much. Hope you can sell some of it at the Caithness Artists exhibition. At least you will give other people a chance to enjoy your work, even if they don't buy it now.

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  10. It is lovely to be back visiting... and I totally understand the mojo thing. I was so caught up in creating that I lost my blogging mojo but in an effort to slow thing down I am back and loving popping in and visiting.
    Your work being so detailed while so small really does my head in... I would need new glasses, a magnifying glass and the worlds strongest light to work that small lol




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  11. Your little canvas is so lovely! A creative piece.

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  12. This is a beautiful little painting! I'm glad you found your mojo again! I often have the same problem, for me it's the fear of starting something!

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  13. Oh that mojo thing can be so illusive at times!! But when the great urge returns it's pure gold, at least in your case it is!! That is the most amazing mini painting I've seen... I love it beside your gas pump too!! Glad your back at it!!

    Hugs Giggles

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Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.

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