Art and the Old Truck

Not Art Jones. No, I speak of Art-as-in-Painting (and other human made artifacts and experiences)

I was facetious with Terry when she said that my old red/yellow truck would produce a “labor of love as much as a labor of art.” I actually agree with her, but then I had to think about why. Why do I believe that a painting of a 1982 rusted out Datsun truck sitting in a residential neighborhood in Portland Oregon is less likely to produce art than a painting of another truck, sitting in a junk yard in Basin Montana?

Old Truck, Basin Montana, 16 x 12″, 2009

Or, one in Washington State, across the Columbia Gorge?

Mt Hood (and old truck), 12 x 16″, 2009

Now Terry said “as much a labor of love as of art” which lets her off the hook. But there is something about the photos above that my Little Red Truck paintings (2.5 done thus far) don’t quite achieve. It could be the setting — that green truck looks like just another bit of foliage sitting in the farmyard, with Mt Hood peering over the distant foothills. Or it could be the light: the ridge of light above the Old Truck in Basin gives it verve, and its vintage as well as its origins (in the US Army, I think) provide a spark. Like its current admirer, the Little Red Truck isn’t quite old enough to really antique; just rusted out. And it sits in the midst of a residential neighborhood, full of cars not much younger than itself. Indeed, our Honda is only 12 years younger and feels like a sort of newish vehicle.

So perhaps I can’t put a romantic spin or streak of light that would feel like art on my beloved, but mundane little truck. But perhaps, if I paint it as is ( upgrading the 2.5 paintings already done and adding a few more, maybe with a remembered background [Kansas roads?]), in 2050, it will look quaint and artsy. Maybe. Or maybe I should just be happy to be giving it a good last fling before it goes to the auto graveyard.

–June

This entry was posted in Art, Little Red Truck, oils, Portland and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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