Sunday, June 22, 2014


Recently, I did a Google search for old gas stations and grocery stores in Texas, and then did a street view of the results. That way, I'd be able to tell if there was a place to park and set up my easel. One of the places I found that fit the bill was the old Chudej Brothers Store in Engle, about 90 minutes from my home. Engle (from the German Engel, or Angel) and the surrounding area was settled by German and Czech immigrants.

As I was setting up, an artist named Terry (I've forgotten her last name... sorry, Terry!) drove up, excited to see that someone was going to paint. I also met the current owner of the building, who stopped to say hi on her way out for the day.

Chudej Brothers Store, Engle TX.  9x12" oil
Terry asked me to stop by her place up the street to show her my finished painting. She drove me around the area, showing me some terrific old buildings to paint, including the 1800s era Freyburg Methodist church. She also gave me some information about the store I painted, including the fact that the old Czech lady that ran the place once told her that a particular stain on the floor of the building was from when a guy was shot years ago...

I will definitely make the drive out there again, once the weather cools off. It was in the mid 90s and humid on Saturday. Hundreds of paintings waiting to be made.

Freyburg Methodist Church

Terry introduced me to her chickens and gave me a pair of fresh eggs.

On the way home, I drove through Smithville, a town that has been featured in several films. I parked in a bank's covered area and painted an old Mobil station, now a retail shop. There was a brief downpour, which made me very happy about my choice of a sheltered spot.

Smithville Mobil Station, 9x12" oil