This last week I drove to Dallas with my wife Penny to visit my son. Ed works for the Cowboys football team and lives with his girlfriend Erica Montgomery in Irving just north of the city. It’s about a 800 mile drive thru the southeast along highway 20. I’ve never been to Mississippi and Louisiana so it was an interesting but long drive. Thank goodness for the navigation on my wife’s new car—I can’t see how to live without it anymore.
Visually I was interested in the change from eastern pine forests to the central Texas locust and live oak dominated growth. The farther west you go the less trees and as we approached Dallas the growth fell off dramatically. The result was a rather flat landscape with short, sparse trees and a wider view. The town is dominated by highways and it looks as if they are converting most of them to raised roads—the reason appears to be that the roads tend to buckle from the extreme heat. None-the-less an interesting landscape. On Sunday I had a few hours to paint and although I can’t say the work was reflective of these observations I had limited time. Across the street from the hotel we stayed in in Irving was a park with a canal and entire section of Spanish colonial style buildings—actually reproductions. I was in hurry so I set up and did one of these buildings with wonderful ironwork and balconies. This was on linen with just lindseed oil as a medium. The second painting was done on a canvas board with my regular medium and is of the canal that wonders thru this park. I was worried that they would not dry fast enough to pack up so they were stacked them on top of everything and left them in the back of the station wagon. After 13 hours in the car on the way home both were dry.
While in Dallas I spent one afternoon at the Dallas Museum of Art—or DMA. They have a very good collection of Hudson River painters, a few wonderful Coles and a splendid Inness in contrast to these idealized views. I also found a wonderful Willard Metcalf on the first floor tucked away under staircase. Quite an impressive New England landscape about 60″ x 80″—worth the trip alone.