In some instances the buildingscapes have a Hopperesque feeling -  stately structures but almost devoid of people. In  most places some of the buildings are really well done.  The red and green building’s interior that I painted was fabulous - a bar with carved ornate wooden fixtures.  A steel cut out of a scene with trees and cows and riders was wonderful, but the bar was not in use.  Someone came by to tell me that one family had restored the entire

“block of buildings” and said that they would never get their money back.  They were only a couple of stores, a SubWay and a gift shop. The Shiner Brewery had been sold and since that happened the previously city friendly and supportive relationship had gone away.  A former major employer of city folk, they fired practically everyone and now hosted weekend “events” for bikers and had a rock band that created a lot of commotion but little to help the cities economy.  The Bar I painted had been run by a couple and it was enormously successful. but at the end of the 2 year period of free rent, they decided ttolo move on. The reason they gave was that “it was too much work!” 

We stayed 8 miles away in the town of Yoakum.  While nosing around Yoakum I found the headquarters for the Double D Ranch Company.  When I did the catalogue for the King Ranch in south Texas (once the world’s largest ranch, it was a country within itself)  they sold their clothing and home accessories.  Yoakum has on it’s city entrance sign that it is the leather capital of Texas.  Double D had - still has apparently - the most beautiful leather clothing, jackets and pants, boots to die for etc.  $1,500.00 etc and up.  I started asked  the one and only very young sales clerk if she had heard of Cutter Bill Western Wear or the King Ranch.  She did register knowledge of the King Ranch, but she was much too young to know of Cutter Bills. She told me that they used to make eveything in the beautifully “restored block”  on the mostly empty restored Mainstreet of Yoakum at that location, but now it was mostly done in Asia because no one would/could do the handwork any more! What a shame for the area, for Texas and for Yoakum. 

The Forrest of Semijphores at the top of the page is among my favorite subjects to paint.  This one was really a forrest.  I have not seen so many structures at one street junction.  Above, below, beside, front and back, it was extreemely will marked.  However while I was there for the better part of two days no train ever came by.. If you paint in Waxahachie near a train track you are nearly blown away several times an house by trains whizzing by.   The Amish furniture manufacturing company was unusual.  The windows for the Double D Ranch Outlet were standouts in a little town of of not much obvious originality.They were really well done as were the clothes for sale in the Outlet.  It is one of those brands that makes me want to be a Cowgirl.  I have one item made by the Double D, a pillow on my bed with three Curtis Indian reproductions in a field of lovely burgundy velvet.  They are a hidden treasure in Yoakum.