Signs & Arrows

July 10, 2019
Sam Vance

Gouache on paper

Obviously, signs and arrows are kind of my thing. I haven’t really delved into the whole psychology of their meaning yet. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with finding a sense of direction, looking for signs, seeing signs… This sketch made me laugh. How often are we going along, sure of the direction we’re heading when we hit DETOUR.

Do you ever feel like sometimes there’s just no right turn?
Goauche on paper

A friend of mine simply replied, “yes.”

One Way
Pen & Ink on paper
Box Office
Gouache on paper

I haven’t done a lot of city scapes but this one was fun to do. Lots of color going on, a human element and the challenge of painting it fast.

Gouache on paper

I did a couple of paintings this week from former drawings. The daily painting exercise sticks with me through the following days and weeks. Sometimes an image stays in my minds’ eye and I will return to it. This one happened because I simply had paint on the palette that I didn’t want to throw away. I had finished my daily painting and I whipped this one off in a few minutes. I still have to go buy more paint…

Drive In
Gouache on paper
American Landscape
Pen & Ink, Gouache on paper

I tried a couple of different things with this (after some failed attempts the day before- not posting those). This started with pen and ink, adding gouache and then returning with pen on top. It has a kind of amusing cartoon look to it. In regards to the subject matter, I’m not that interested in political or social art for its’ own sake. I’m not an evangelist against fast food although I don’t eat it. But the golden arches strikes me as something that is uniquely American. And, as a landscape painter who is interested in signs, it’s kind of hard to avoid something so obviously entrenched in our cultural consciousness.

Gouache on paper
Way West
Gouache on paper

By far my favorite image of the last week. I am working on a larger scale version of this one on the big easel. Sometimes I am able to find out the history of the signs that I find along the road. This one used to be the Way West Motel on Aurora Avenue, here in Seattle. The big vertical MOTEL letters tracing the white portion have long since fallen off. But I actually found some old photos online. Since it’s demise, the motel has become (among other things) a pot shop (short lived) and most recently La Iglesia Pentecostal Unida del Nombre de Jesus. You can’t make this stuff up.

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