Saturday, December 31, 2011

Gadabout Artist Days 12-13: A Stroll Through a Ghost Town

We spent the better part of day 12 driving, finally settling in at a truck stop near Barstow. It was an uneventful trip, but we stopped early enough for me to paint.
This little 5"x7" canvas started out with a coat of turquoise paint. When that was dry, I added the layers of paper, some scrapbook papers and a page from one of Shakespeare's plays. I am careful to smooth these down using my rubber brayer. After these are fully dry, I put a bit of rose color fluid acrylic paint on a paper plate, and roll through it with that same brayer. When you use this method to apply paint to your canvas, it gives a great grunge/random effect. Now when That layer is dry, I add the stamped images, usually using a permanent ink, in this case Timber Brown Stazon. Again I wait for it to dry, which, by the way, is why I work on more than one canvas at a time. I have added some vintage images from a Ladies Home Journal dated 1949, (this was an ad for a home permanent product), and copyright free butterfly image from my Dover Digital art collection.This piece is not quite done, it needs words and  shadowing, which I add using Intense Pencils, this will give it more depth.

  I also worked on eight backgrounds for ATC's, just adding the background papers, and the rolled on paint.

The next morning, day 13, after a pretty lousy experience having breakfast at Denny's, we headed to a local attraction called the Calico Ghost Town.
 Nice place, very inexpensive to go through, but a bit run down and undermanned. We enjoyed our walk through a real mine shaft, even the cheesy taped tour guide, and got a real kick out of the Mystery Shack, where "water runs uphill!" :) We stayed the better part of the morning there, and spent more on postcards than we did on tours...I was particularly drawn to the artistry of this bottle house, built by the Knott's Berry Farm workers that renovated the place back in the 60's...

Back on the road, there isn't a whole lot to see heading east on I-40, with the exception of a short stretch of the famous Route 66, that loops south, and through the "town" of Amboy, CA. Very tiny place, but well known for it's iconic Roy's Motel Cafe, which actually has no kitchen, and does not even sell ice cream...
Of course we had to have a bottle of Route 66 Orange pop, and sat a bit in the shade of a conveniently placed tree...
 Then we were off again, through more desert with occasional glimpses of the Mother Road's glorious past...

We crossed the border into Nevada, and stopped for the night after turning slightly north, on Lake Mojave, at a campgrounds called Katherine Landing. Beautiful sunset, and hundreds of boats out in the marina. We are undecided about where to go next, or if it is time to stop for a couple of days. It is a lovely spot, but there are no hookups.
 Not far from here is another, more restored section of Route 66, from Kingman, AZ to Seligman, AZ and we are pretty sure we want to head that way...Until then Happy New Year and enjoy...


  1. Sounds like you are hanging in there pretty well, Sally! I still can't believe I missed you by one stupid day!

  2. Sally, soooo funny, cuz I bought a Route 66 Road Sign when I was in Sante Fe (did part of rt 66 there, got the cookbook too!) Sounds like a really cool road trip! My daughter lives in NV and I was already reading about Lake Mojave! Have a ball, and I will try to follow your travels and maybe trail behind you soon! Fun stories!

  3. Meant to say, the Rt 66 sign is posted prominently in my studio....along with my Beware of Attack Iguana sign....Happy Trails!