Home for 100 Years!
Perryton was founded in 1919 and hosts the annual Wheat Heart of the Nation Celebration every year in recognition of the massive wheat production in Ochiltree County. This painting of the Equity grain elevator here in Perryton was auctioned at the WheatART of the Nation Art Competition and Auction. One of my favorite parts about Perryton there’s nothing better to do than paint. Here is the process:
First things first, a frame. When building a house, a car, or a piece of art. Because I wanted the canvas and the frame to measure out to 4 ft on every side, I carefully cut and laid out cuts for the structure before I wrapped the canvas. The 2x2 the canvas bars were clamped, screwed, and sanded to be sure not to leave any harsh lines on the stretched canvas.
Using a standard canvas drop cloth, stretching pliers, and a staple gun I wrapped the canvas around the wooden frame. Stretching it like a drum, making the center tight first by stapling top, bottom, left, and right and repeating opposite sides until you’ve wrapped around the corners. Be sure to staple on the back, leave extra room for the corners while stretching, and fold your corners neatly. Because I would later be drilling 4 holes into the back of the canvas, I decided to adhere the back of the canvas to the frame using wood glue and a brush.
Next I painted the canvas white, carefully applying even strokes across the large surface. Using a slow criss-cross technique, covering the canvas longways and then covering the canvas across, removing excess paint along the way. I am also sure to cover the edges evenly.
After a couple of layers of white, a sanded finish, and a replication of white, I drew out the outline using Photoshop for measurements. I was able to crop the picture to the actual size of the canvas and align the architecture more accurately and aesthetically. Not to mention drying time.
A mix of pthalo blue, cerrelian blue, and a dash of alimzuren crimson from my dry pigment jar was used for the base, adding titanium white to the lower sections. Instead of painting to the line, I chose to paint over the line to fulfill the illusion that the sky is behind the building, using long, even, and time consuming patience they blue sky was painted. It’s arguable I blended too much and that there’s not enough contrast between the bottom and top. However I really enjoy the reflection the blue has and it’s slight separation from a picture perfect sky.
After waiting days for the blue to dry, I remeasured and drew out my lines again. This time filling the section with white. After this layer of white is dry, I am able to finally draw out the details.
For the detailed sections, I used a 1:1 transfer, to avoid any discrepancies and to save time. For everything else I took measurements and color samples from Photoshop. The first goal is to cover the canvas.
It placed first in the painting category among a wonderful body of submissions. It was won by Wes Beal, who plans to hang the piece in the Equity Exchange main office here in Perryton.
Being that Ochiltree County is one of the leading producers of wheat for the country, it's a given there's not much scenery, unless you have a thing for wheat fields. The grain elevators in surrounding areas serve as a monument to their local communities, it's the first thing you'll see coming into town.
The final piece, including the frame, measures to 4ft x 4ft.