Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bill & Tony's Two Day Sign Safari and a painting

Last week Tony and I drove around the Valley and Los Angles on a trip he mapped out looking for fifties style signage to photograph. Starting at the old Van De Camps in Arcadia, we hit bowling alleys, restaurants, Liquor stores and the like.

At this Diary that is still in operation. In the greenery on the right was a mystery man in the shadows at a bench provide by the diary, a wholesome spot for the kids to drink their milk fresh from the Dairy. Times have changed as Tony was lucky enough to get a frenzied tongue overture that left no uncertainty to who's milk the mystery man wanted to drink. We tried to hit him with Tony's truck later, but he was to quick for us.

We came across drive- in signs that were missing their drive- in screens and " twofer" restaurants where the new Asian owners didn't feel like tearing down the old signs.

I found this Meth whore ranting to herself in a empty old used car lot. She was kind enough to offer me some potato chips from her blackened fingers, but I wasn't hungry so I declined. She explained that she wasn't a drug addict or a whore, I'm sure her teeth were falling out because of her advanced age of 30. Note the blackened doorway were the locals tried to burn them out the night before. What a lovely world!

We had the worst most overpriced "Martini" at this bowling alley on Washinton Blvd. then went to a local bar called the Embers (as the the fires of Hell.) No Martinis, but great service, the prices were fair and the Liquior not watered down.The artist who painted the murals behind the bar was was and alcoholic set designer who paid for his bar tab at the Buccaneer in my home town of Sierra Madre in the same fashion, only with Pirates instead of devils boys.

We hit some of the same spots of the way back for 'Nocturne" versions of the shots. No fuss during the day at this Liquor store, but this time the middle eastern owners spotted us and started giving Tony the third degree. I came running over to them waving my business card yelling:" My friends, we love your Liquor store, were not middle eastern terrorists who want to blow upon your place, we love Liquor and drink it often! I may make your store into art, into a painting." "You should pay me then" said one of the owners said half seriously. I said: : That is only fair. I will purchase a bag of M and M's from your store!

Next time of to Inglewood... Fired Chicken, Angry Indian women defend their shitty Motels with scolding finger and the brothers tell me where to go.

Here is a little PA painting of a Church in Sierra Madre that has nogthing to do with the trip. Oil on board 9x12

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Blogger BoneDaddy said...

I love the brushstrokes, they seem to add a roughness to the church. Is that late afternoon sun? The whole daylight savings thing messes up my perception of what "aftenoon" really looks like.
Anyway, the church looks tired. What is that yellow spot? I thought it was a head at first.

9:38 PM  
Blogger BoneDaddy said...

by the way, it looks like you guys had a hell of a time--sometimes literally.

1:32 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Bg actually it was a good time-- just one slightly ugly moment I haven't talked about yet. That yellow spot is just the light coming thru the window on the other side.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Chris Ousley said...

Thanks for the adventure. Be careful around all those crackheads and terrorists. Great job on the little church painting.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite the reference file you have going. I think I will leave you to catalog the back alley scene. (haha - my word verification is no fk fun.... no kidding). Sweet view of the church.

2:53 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey C.

Thanks! I'm not to worried. When my time is up, it's up.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Robert Hume said...

Hey that last liquor store looks familar! lol I think you've been shoting near MY shitty nabor hood!

AWESOME paintings as always, you have to post on here if and when you will have another art show in South Cali. I was crazy busy and missed your last one. :(

6:22 PM  
Blogger Ed Terpening said...

Man, I LOVE your blog! Where else can I read about crack whores offering potato chips. I am painting in Carmel this week and having dinner in a posh restaurant, and you're downing martinis...we're so alike! :-)

9:07 PM  
Blogger Urban Barbarian said...

You may wanna start packing more than paint on these excursions...

9:24 AM  
Blogger tonypetersart said...

Hey Bill,
Good job re-telling our adventure. We squeezed alot of action into just a couple days. But you left out some wonderful details, like the yelling Pakistinian woman wagging her finger at us, chasing us out of the old motel/liquor store parking lot... "No taka pickcha"!!

10:15 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Robin-- You were a trouper when you were a student. What happened? ;-) I still consider you a member of the L.A. River School of art.

12:08 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Robert,

Don't well all have a shitty Liquor store near by? E -mail me with your address an I'll send you an invitation to my one man show in October At Segil fine art in Monrovia.

1:57 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Yes Ed, Montebello and Carmel are sister cities right?

2:06 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Come with me Dan, be my bodyguard? What thug can stand up to the Lobster punch?

10:03 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Tony you didn't read down far eonugh-- she's for the next entry... If I do it!

1:54 PM  
Blogger Bagel said...

wow Ive never been happier to see a church. i love the labels there under the post. awesome stuff as usual.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Ryan Khatam said...

super awesome dairy sign. i make picture taking trips like these quite often. there are still a dozen old neighborhoods & streets on my list that i have yet to hit up.

man, i can't wait to see the photos from your inglewood trip, i bet there'll be some real gems in that area

we should make some photo trades sometime because, as i said before in your Boyle Heights post, i have some REAL good'ns

12:59 PM  
Blogger Ginger Pena said...

I have to admit, urban blight isn't really my thing, although you do it well! I really like your chapel painting, though: It's got great color and warmth, and the rugged brushwork keeps it from looking too cute. I think I met you at the PAAR paintout in 2005, and want to congratulate you on stepping up to the bigtime at the SLO paint out.

7:39 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Bajel-- Yeah, after the filth comes the slavation. I like Ann Gale to--

7:57 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

thanks Ryan, I'll try and get to them soon.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Andy J Smith illustration said...

Seems like your travels ran the full gammut here! I smell a LOVE CONNECTION!

6:14 AM  
Blogger Urban Barbarian said...

A Lobster punch from the crab stance? LOL! If you don't mind showing me a few tricks along the way.

10:07 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

I think we did meet in 2005. I gage SLO as a mid- point Contest, the big time would be Laguna, but don't get me wrong I was happy to get in.

11:01 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Smitty ' that's just the smell of balls, like at the gym or a poker game.

11:02 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Oh crab was it? I knew it was some kind of seafood attack... The combination does sound deadly.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the photos! I'm traveling there in two weeks and so excited!

8:49 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Matt , your links won't work for me or I'd blog you back--- Enjoy your visit.

9:54 PM  

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