Friday, May 10, 2013


11" x 14" Oil on Canvas Panel
The painting that starts off this blog post might look a little familiar. It was done at the same spot I painted at a few weeks ago. Indeed, I've painted here a number of times, and will likely paint there again. The paintings never turn out looking quite the same. You can read about the last time I painted at this spot here.

The main differences between this painting and the previous one are that more space in the composition was given to the mountains and less to the road. Also, the canvas panel is a slightly smaller size.

But there's another reason I painted this scene again...

A couple weeks ago I was headed out to the weekly drawing session. To be prepared I took pastels and oil paints in case I wanted to use one of those mediums instead of the usual charcoal. And I took the painting of the bench trail to show to the others who attend the drawing session. As I struggled to get everything into the car, I set the painting on top of the car so I could focus on loading the equipment.

Do you see where this is going?

Have you ever put a drink or sunglasses on top of your car as you dealt with other distractions before driving away, and forgot about what you had left on the roof? Well...

I. Forgot. About. The Painting!

It was rush hour and traffic was snarled. It took some time to find a place to turn around and go back for the painting. When I reached it, this is what I found:

None of these tire tracks are mine. I checked.
There was nothing left to do but turn the painting over and identify the victim. With a hefty sense of denial, I thought that maybe, just maybe, the front of the painting wasn't damaged too much. That is - until I turned it over and saw the carnage. Here's a sample. The whole picture would be much too gruesome:

Road grit and grime were heavily embedded in the entire face of the painting. The paint layer was pocked and gouged. There would be no fixing it. Two cars went around me and a third waited as I picked up my rectangular roadkill. Then I continued on to the drawing session where neither the painting nor my misfortune were shared with anybody. Two days later, I went back up onto the bench trail and made the painting shown at the top of this post to replace the one I lost. Unfortunately, I didn't have another 12" x 16" panel at the time so I used an 11" x 14" panel instead. A few days later I confided my sad tale of woe to the owner of Terra Nova Gallery, who, alarmed - and amused - suggested I make a blog post out of it. So there you have it.

Maybe the Museum of Modern Art would be interested in the tire tracks, if I give it an obscure and obfuscated enough title...


Scott Ruthven said...

Bummer. Even though I know better, I still set stuff on the bumper or roof from time to time. Usually doesn't end well :)

James Gunter said...

Thanks, Scott. I know better too, but every once in a rare while I seem to need to re-learn that lesson.