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Local Color ~ Valley View, Texas

October 30, 2011

Untitled, 8x10, Gouache

A week or so ago, we made the drive from the north Dallas area up to Wichita, Kansas to visit kids and grandkids.  Where we jumped onto Interstate 35 the little town of Valley View sits right by the highway.  We’ve always just made the right turn onto the feeder road, gotten onto the interstate and hit the gas pedal.  This trip, we had allowed ourselves some extra time, so we sort of pretended we were already in future travel mode.  We crossed under the highway and drove into downtown Valley View.

We didn’t spend a lot of time, just long enough to say we should come back over there some weekend and drive around with the camera.  I did take a few photos, however, and these two little paintings have resulted.  The top one is an old structure that doesn’t give much of a clue as to it’s past or its purpose, but I was intrigued by the windows, the very short door, stucco walls and the rusty roof.  We didn’t really stop.  I sort of took photos on the fly as usual.

Shelter, 8x10, Gouache

As we drove around a block, we passed through a neighborhood, and saw this storm cellar in the side yard of a house.  There are not a lot of basements in this part of the country, but I’ll bet there are a lot more storm cellars out in back yards than most people realize.  You just don’t see many of them.  This one just happened to be right next to the street, a reminder that we are in tornado country.

When we start travelling fulltime, this is the sort of thing I’d like to do.  Take our time, pull off the highway, and record, either with paint, pencil or camera, the places we find.  Not necessarily the tourist attractions, but more of the local color, the simple things that local folks don’t even notice anymore, and that travellers see without giving them much thought.

That’s the plan anyway.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Yorky permalink
    October 30, 2011 11:47 am

    They will be exciting times Ralph.

    • October 30, 2011 12:43 pm

      Hi Yorky, great to hear from you. Yes, we’re really looking forward to it. Thanks.

  2. October 30, 2011 6:50 pm

    A very similar plan to what I hope to do. Although, my preferred locations are the back woods and wild places, rather than little towns. Hope you are very close to making it happen.

    • October 31, 2011 11:26 am

      Looks like there are several of us on the same track, Pleinguy. Rest assured, back country settings are just as much on the itenerary as little towns.


  1. Valley View, Texas « Back Roads & Brushes

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