As Big Creek meanders through Roswell GA in loops back on itself to form an oxbo. Oxbo Rd. intersects Atlanta Street and runs east along the creek for several miles. This is one of the older sections of town and has escaped the development that has affected most of Roswell—for now at least. I was drawn to the simple forms of old homes here, mostly two-bedroom small bungalows looking like they were built in the 30s of 40s. There are a few parks in the area too and a month or so back I did a painting of this snag along a rain-swollen area of the creek that almost resembles a canal. I started paintings of the houses in an area that is now being redeveloped right on Oxbo about 500 feet from the corner with Atlanta St. There is a small driveway on the right that you can pull over on and park. I took advantage of this to do two paintings of these rather small but interesting houses. They have their own charm and both feature some color that makes them stand out.
This first house sits on Pleasant Hill Rd. and is painted a bright red. It has a huge oak tree beside it and the painting is about the tree as much as the house. I started this 12 x12” and put in several hours then returned and put in another few hours just finishing up last weekend. It’s bathed in sunset light and has a lot of shadows. The very blue winter sky as a backdrop was hard to control but instead of playing it down I played it up and it makes for quite a shocking red/blue color combination.
This other view across to Maple St. features two houses on 8 x 16 board. I spent a few hours on this early one Saturday morning on one of the coldest days of the year. I used the Zorn palette —black, white, yellow ocher, and cad. red for this. It was a good idea at the time and only spent a few hours on it using the rest of the day on another project. When the painting dried it had very little life to it, so last weekend I decided to give it a few more hours. This time I use my full palette and worked on in the late afternoon. It’s almost directly opposite the red house so it was backlit with the sun picking up on the side of the houses, picket fence, and some of the bare trees. One house is a pale yellow and the other very dark so this gives it a nice contrast. While working I had a visitor —Mark Reed. Mark explained to me that he actually owned both of the houses in the painting—what’s the chance of that? We talked for a bit about the area and he then left as I finished up. Later that day he texted me and said he wanted to buy the painting for his wife for Valentine’s Day.
Although not in the Oxbo neighborhood I worked on few other paintings the last few weekends including another 8 x 16″ that features a very cool art deco gas station—Roswell Auto Tech on Atlanta Street about a block north. The owner is always parking vintage cars out front and a few weeks back I did a small 9 x 10 of a vintage red Mercury Marauder behind his shop. This last weekend I was attracted to a bright yellow old Ford F-100 parked on the Northside. A few sessions and some careful work made for a few colorful paintings. The one with the truck with the center of interest to the far-right—unusual.
I spend a lot of time in Roswell, perhaps one day I’ll find a gallery that will display my work. I’ve been to three so far with little interest but I’m going to keep at it. All I can say is that the local people are starting to take some notice.