Thanks to Amanda Danning and a benefactor, I headed to the Amarillo Art Institute to soak up painting wisdom from Josh Sorenson (Mon-Wed) followed by camping in Palo Duro Canyon (Thurs-Sun). To make it worse, it’s going to have a highs in the 70’s and 80’s. Torture.
Sunday travel: 8 hours travel time from Harker Heights to Amarillo through Ft. Worth. Almost instantly after passing through the sky scrapers and scent of cow manure Ft Worth was gone and so was my cell phone reception. I realized after about 20 checks to see if my FaceBook new reel updated and failed, I might have to face reality: a flat, open non-digital land.
This photo of the “24/7 Yum Machine Store” caught the character of Chillicothe, TX pretty good. As I passed through Quanah, I saw a train car with “Hooker” sign. It was turned into a shack sitting next to the high school football field. Do they still have brothels?? I stopped in the Dairy Queen and the workers were a whole mix of town personality. The teller guy was goth. Black hair, clothes, everthing. His buddy cooking the burgers was still in his camo-gear. I’m guessing he was hunting before work. The lady manager said hi while digging through a box of spare parts to “fix the speaker”. “Is this for real?” I thought. Then the teller said, “Sorry, we only take cash.”. Yep, it’s real.
I arrived at the Ambassador Hotel in Amarillo half shaven, with a shirt I paint in, swim trunks and flip flops expecting it to be an upscale motel. I could kick the cockroaches off the bed and hunker down. Nope. Mercedes, Escalades… it was the Ritz. I entered the hotel and I had to laugh silently in surrender. There was an “art event” around the corner with people dressed up everywhere. I stood out. The man checking in was in slacks, shirt tucked in, and the woman looked like she just spent hours getting her hair to freeze perfectly. The man turned around and was speechless. I actually apologized. Quickly reminding myself nobody knows me here, I went to my room, took a shower and shaved.
Day 1 and 2 : I found my way to the Amarillo Art Institute and “Spunky”, the Art Institute director (very cool lady!) met me. She showed me around, introduced me to some folks and made me feel at home. Josh Sorenson met me and we started talking art right away. He’s right at the point where he’s breaking in to his own style, so he paints every day, passionate about what he does. It turned out I was his only student, but he still did the workshop! Thanks Josh! He did a demo and explained the process he goes through when painting and design element that will help me. I still see triangles in composition now, thanks Josh! I also met Kirk Richards (master portrait painter) and visited his studio. Hopefully we’ll get out to paint at Palo Duro, a favorite spot to paint.
Day2 (Tuesday): I started with my first oil painting from a iPhone pic of “Cody”. Oil is going to take some getting used to, especially when I get to landscapes. I can see definite color intensity though! Nice.