Old Conversation

This was done in my studio on Lopez Island, with a ball point pen on 300# cold pressed watercolor paper over several hundred hours using reference photos, drawings and sketches from this old cannery building, near the Guemes Ferry landing in Anacortes. It is a very unique medium, that allows me to build subtle layers of values to give an almost transparent illusion of space and form. I chose this 130 year old, falling into the earth, codfish cannery as it has spoken to me several times since I moved to Lopez Island, in the 1970's, as the "soul of an era" along the shore at Guemes Channel. Indeed, this is one of 16 fish canneries that were built within a 5 mile stretch in the 1800's, when Anacortes boasted the largest salmon cannery operation in north America and is now the only one standing. I introduced the male figure into the foreground in era clothing pre-dating 1900, as someone headed to work there, like an apparition, wearing clothing from then. This building has remained unoccupied for the 46 years I've lived here and feels a little haunted to me. Blackberries and otters will probably win the final demise of this bundling, which shouldn't take too much longer now. 

Post Script: The building burned to the ground in a "mysterious" fire in the early morning hours in June 2021. It was slated for demolition by property owners but conveniently burned down just a couple of weeks before the demolition was to begin. 

Name Old Conversation
Date Painted Jan 09 2019
Medium Pen and ink
Dimensions 32h x 41w in. framed
Framed Yes