Trucks hold a special place in my memory and heart. When I was growing up, my grandfather had his own business as an electrician. My dad occasionally would need to borrow Gramp’s big, yellow pick-up truck and if I was lucky, I got to go along for the ride. Inside the cab of the truck, there were always wintergreen and butter-rum Lifesavers candies and Chiclets gum. When I got a little older, I was allowed to ride in the back of the truck behind the cab. It was great fun bouncing around back there, hanging on to the bar or sitting on the wheel well getting my hair all tangled from the wind.
I took a trip down to Moab recently and took some photos for inspiration. In this time of Covid, with the world turned upside down, I wanted to convey a sense of peace, calm and a bit of nostalgia. Instead of painting the F150 that was heading toward me when I took the shot, I decided to paint one from a long ago memory of a truck my dad bought when I was a kid. It was just like the one pictured in my painting. His truck was dark blue and an antique when he bought it. I remember the floor had a big hole in it and you could see the ground rushing by as we rode along. I don’t think it ran well as he sold it shortly thereafter to a neighbor. It mostly sat in his yard, the grass growing up around it. I always thought it was and amazing piece of engineering and design.
The series of events of late are surreal for me and there are a lot of heartfelt emotions to comprehend, process and absorb. When titling this painting, I wanted to capture the essence of the storm and relate it to my own feelings of unrest, vulnerability and injustice. Dylan has always been a favorite of mine and this song plays in my head as I think about all that is happening now.
Shelter from the Storm
‘Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood When blackness was a virtue the road was full of mud I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. And if I pass this way again, you can rest assured I’ll always do my best for her, on that I give my word In a world of steel-eyed death, and men who are fighting to be warm Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. Not a word was spoke between us, there was little risk involved Everything up to that point had been left unresolved Try imagining a place where it’s always safe and warm Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail Poisoned in the bushes an’ blown out on the trail Hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. Suddenly I turned around and she was standin’ there With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. Now there’s a wall between us, somethin’ there’s been lost I took too much for granted, I got my signals crossed Just to think that it all began on an uneventful morn Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. Well, the deputy walks on hard nails and the preacher rides a mount But nothing really matters much, it’s doom alone that counts And the one-eyed undertaker, he blows a futile horn Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. I’ve heard newborn babies wailin’ like a mournin’ dove And old men with broken teeth stranded without love Do I understand your question, man, is it hopeless and forlorn Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. In a little hilltop village, they gambled for my clothes I bargained for salvation and she gave me a lethal dose I offered up my innocence I got repaid with scorn Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. Well, I’m livin’ in a foreign country but I’m bound to cross the line Beauty walks a razor’s edge, someday I’ll make it mine If I could only turn back the clock to when God and her were born Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm”