Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thunder over the Salt Flats

Evening light just before the storms rolled through the Wendover, Utah area. There was quite a lightening show.  You can see "Wendover Will" a sign welcoming visitors to the city on the lower right. He is lit with neon and is about 30 feet tall. Wendover is filled with casinos and lots of neon. He is the best of all.
The rain came down in buckets. Now I understand all the gullies we see in the area. There isn't much vegetation to hold the soil so these rain storms just make them deeper and wider.

This photo shows the small lake that developed after the storm.

Dan and I spent a week on the Great Salt Lake Salt Flats in Utah. We were there for speed week and to watch our friends break records for speed on the flats. Usually the salt flats are dry dry dry but this year we had a few thunder storms that flooded the entrance to the race course. You can see the small lake that accumulated just where the asphalt road ends and the salt flats begin. It is hard to see here but the water was up to the axels on trucks and low cars had water almost to their floor pans. We didn't want to drive through the salt water with our roadster so we sat back and watched and soon hooked a ride with a German tourist who was driving a rented SUV. He was glad to take us out and we were glad to have the ride.

Because of the rain the track and the roads were quite rutted and full of pot holes. I had thought that I would do some paintings out there. Easy to do--white blue and purple ;-)-- but because of the ruts etc. I decided that my gear in the back of the roadster would get a through shaking up on the way out to the track. It is a mile from the end of the road to the staging area and two more miles to the pits. A long rough ride with salt being thrown up on us all the way. I did manage to make a sketch of the mountains to the west of the race track. As soon as Dan brings back my chip from my camera, I will post a photo of the sketch and the mountains them selves. I will just have to do a painting from a photo this time. Maybe next year I will have time to paint.

Instead of painting I took quite a few photos that I will use for inspiration for paintings for my show next fall. I have been thinking on what my theme should be for the show. It is hard to narrow a theme down when there are so many ideas swirling around in my head. I think that I will start a small note book to keep ideas in so that hopefully things will come into focus.

I took a couple of paintings out to our friend who had asked me to make a painting of his favorite old time hard ware store. He bought both of them. I did one water color and one oil painting. We framed them and packed them up really well and hoped that he would like at least one of them. First sales of the year. I don't rely on sales to support my habits but it is a nice verification of my work.

Booker Hardware Store, Mississippi

This is the water color and is a half sheet. I chose to emphasize the windows of the old store and the flags that fly out front.

This is the oil painting of the whole front of the building. I was not sure which view George would want.  At first, I was not really pleased with the water color and decided to do the full front of the store in oil. What a challenge to get all the windows and lines of the building right. As always these look much better in person. 

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