Studio Work: The old West Point, TX Drug Store

11x14", acrylics on stretch canvas,
11×14″, acrylics on stretch canvas, Ol’ West Point Drug Store

My uncle and his wife have a house in the small, historical community of West Point, TX along the Colorado River.  On the way there, I always pass an old drug store that is about to topple over. There is something about seeing an old building, leaning over on it’s last legs with all those memories tucked away inside.  In such a short time, America has change dramatically. To look at the fading “DRUGS” sign on top, my first thought is, “Who would ever want ‘drugs’ as a sign!??”. Today “drugs” associated with “overdose, street trash, crime..”, so you’d see “Pharmacy” instead. Clearly, it was a different time. What was it like then? Who was there and what did the town look like back then? Was it like the movies where men wore dress coats and top hats and women wore flamboyant dresses despite the dust and mud? I found a bit of information on the Texas State Historical Association’s website, but no specifics to when it was built, however, it is likely it was built during the early 1900’s and supported the town and two physicians who were there.  All these questions peaked my sense of imagination and inspired me to try and immortalize it’s memory with a painting before it goes. I hope those who see the painting get the same sense of wonder.

Here’s the reference photos I worked from and the workup sketch. The dirt there is tan to red and it gives great, warm reflected light into the shadows of the store front. It’s hard to see in the photo, but when looking at it on location, its plays tricks on the mind presenting the cool light blue paint with a warm tint. Neat to see.

IMG_2246 IMG_2247

Quick sketch to figure out the design and layout.
Quick sketch to figure out the design and layout.

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