If I had a dime for every time my father drug me cross country down some remote road, or highway in the middle of nowhere, I’d be a rich man, I’d say to myself. There never seemed to be anything to look at worth looking at. We always traveled in some broken down clunker, or beater, that he had purchased just for the trip. He didn’t want to drive the good car with air conditioning. And of course it would be in the middle of summer. It would be so hot I would hallucinate, and my imagination would paint the roadside with with interesting places to stop, as I embellished the country side with trees, scrubs and sights I would prefer to see. He taught me how to drive as soon as my feet could reach the foot pedals. I was about 12. He was hoping that would keep me occupied, and busy enough, so he could sleep, but also likely to keep me from strangling him. He knew I hated these trips and that I saw them as torture, they were.
Yet, one of the things I do recall however, was the occasional age old motor lodge with individual little houses, the very first motels, and road side mom and pop eateries, that either still stood, was still in business, or abandon and in ruin. It was like a drive through time. These same kinds of places also existed in the big cities, and back at home if one bothered to look carefully. Sometimes it took some concentrated looking. This taught me something of the art of observation, And as you might imagine, they eventually found their way into my paintings in later years. Likely because I viewed them as a kind of road side art, that captured the feel of yesterday, and a time gone by. Such as the Last Chance Gas n Dine. Located along the scenic route, cruising back through the portal of time. Because painting is often an expression, not a documentary.