Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Roadside Americana #2- Fresno Motel

Fresno Motel
Oil on Masonite 8X10

This is the second painting in my Roadside Americana- Vintage Neon series.  I am doing some in watercolor and some in oil.  Hopefully, I will be able to decide which media I like best for this particular set.  Maybe both, depending on the sign.  I am doing this same sign in watercolor now, so I will be able to compare.  
This particular motel sign is still visible from the freeway in Fresno.  I see it often when I am driving into town.  The funny thing is, I used to just ignore these awesome signs.  I guess I just didn't think they were going to start disappearing.  There is an awesome old neon sign that I drive by several times a week here in Ventura.  The Wagon Wheel Motel (actually in Oxnard).  The sign remains and I have taken photos, but the motel was long gone before I moved here.  It will definitely be on my short list of signs to paint and I hope to get to it soon!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Painting Roadside Americana- Vintage Neon

Shell Beach Inn   8X10 Oil on Masonite

I haven't been getting a lot of painting time in lately, and have been painting in spurts instead.  I am trying to alternate between oils and watercolors when I do have time.  This week is an oil painting week.  I just got a great package of  art supplies in the mail- including a stack of masonite panels.  I love to paint on masonite since the paint just glides over the surface and it makes it easier to get those fine details.  Canvas is great, but the texture can make it tough to paint the smaller details.

I am not sure when it happened, but most of the great neon signs that we used to see along the roadside are just gone.  I have become a bit obsessed with these retro neon signs and take photos of them whenever I do see them.  They are my kind of painting subject- full of great detail and history.  Sometimes, the more beat up they look, the better.  This one is great looking, and far from worn out- maybe it isn't even that old.  Don't care- love the look.  

The Shell Beach Inn is in beautiful Pismo Beach, California.  I have not stayed there, but love the sign. We spent Fourth of July in Pismo and had a great time so this seemed like a good place to start painting my set of neon signs!  I apologize for the image quality here, the painting is too wet to scan yet, and this is just a photo.  Will post the scan soon!