Around the Bend – Model A, Route 66 Holbrook, AZ
12×16 oil on canvas
Originally completed in 1926, Route 66 brought the country west; for work, for a new life, and to explore. Covering a total of 2,448 miles, the iconic roadway originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending in Santa Monica, California. Businesslike motor courts and restaurants popped up to serve the travelers, and many still remain.
Sections of the Mother Road still exist. One of my favorite areas is near the Petrified Forest National Park and Painted Desert in the northeast corner of Arizona. The land stretches out in all directions with shades of pink, buff, and smoky blue buttes. If you’ve driven through, or seen Pixar’s movie Cars, you know what I mean.
On a recent trip through Holbrook, Arizona, we stopped in at Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Company, worldwide premier dealer of Arizona Rainbow Petrified Wood. They have a 1931 Ford model A parked out front which gathers almost as much attention as the mountain-high piles of geodes.
Maybe you have thoughts that you’ve lived in the wrong era. Sometimes I do. Staring at this car made me long for those old days, when travel was romantic and new discoveries were around every bend.
So I painted Miss A, but I put her out on an old roadway, in a southwest landscape, with a ribbon of blue sky over her and adventure before her.
from the wanderlust series