While traveling around the country, I was always on the lookout for places and things of nostalgia. One Sunday afternoon, while driving down a 2 lane road in east-central Georgia, we passed through a community which may have been too small to call a town, but they had a building, with a row of stores on the north side of the road. One was an antique shop, so we stopped, camera in hand. It was obvious they were closed, because there were no cars in sight and no people. As I peered in the windows, I saw several old things that would interest me. One was an old carousel horse and another, an upright old piano covered with dust.
I took pictures of both items, but since they were closed, I shot them through the window, hence the painting is called “Piano through a Window”.
While looking for some antique items for subject material for paintings, we stopped at a broken down old farm house along the road, we called the junk shop, because there was not much in the way of valuable antiques there.. The sign painted on old old piece of wood said, “Antiques”. The shop was located along a 2-lane road on central Georgia near the town of Pine Mountain.
There was nobody around as we walked around the outside of the building. As we were behind the home, a car drove up, and it was the owner of the property. As usual, the southern folks were as friendly and hospitable. I told him what our intentions were, that we weren’t going to buy anything, just shoot pictures of a few of the items he had laying around. He proceeded to give us a tour of the inside, showing us things that he thought we would be interested in.
After shooting the photos, we said our goodbye’s and we were on our way to the next art show. I painted several paintings from that junk shop. I call my set “Items”, which includes, the “Milk Can”, “The Lantern”, “Wickers End” (which is a broken down cane chair on the back porch) and of course this painting called the “Corner Shelf”. Sometimes I add another painting called “”The Broken Swing”.
Many times I will add something extra in my paintings. “Corner Shelf” is no exception. I put a couple of my artists brushes in the jar near the back of the painting.
The year was 2003 and the Number One Art Festival in the Country was the Coconut Grove Arts Festival in Miami, Florida. I had exhibited there once before. When I was accepted for this show, I was asked if I wanted to demonstrate my work at one of the schools in the Miami area.
I thought that would be fun, so I accepted, but was given a time frame to complete a full painting in the classroom. I chose a middle school in southwest Miami and had several phone discussions with the art teacher at the school.
Since I had a number of paintings with a diner theme, I decided to paint a related subject, that took less time to demonstrate. The Mustard and Ketchup painting was the first in a series of diner table-settings paintings. I was impressed by the students interest and the questions they asked during the class.
This was an experience that I will cherish as part of my artistic career.
Islamorada – “a village of the Islands” is located on the islands of Tea Table Key, which is located in the Florida Keys. While exhibiting in an Arts & Crafts Festival there, I was looking up at the coconuts hanging at the top of the tree. While laying on my back I took my camera and shot up at the tree. The following year I returned with the painting and prints of the painting, to display and sell at the festival. Returning to the Florida Keys for”Acworth House several years, I exhibited at different locations.