Artist's Statement About The Work

A Calling Out In Houston's First Ward.
Oil on Canvas

As I drive to and from the studio in Houston's old First Ward, I always enjoy seeing this neighborhood
landmark. The yellow house is/was a restaurant - grocery store - income tax service. I love that "mustard" paint color.
I was always afraid to go inside. I had heard that the owner was the go-to guy in the neighborhood... for everything.
He would lend money, allow folks down on their luck to stay in his rent houses free, etc...

In the vacant lot next door to the yellow house was always a group of men/women hanging out in the shade of that big oak tree.
They had their own lawn chairs, milk cartons, a card table and other old stools and chairs. They were always there. Hangin' out,
playing dominoes, drinking, laughing... I would never make eye contact or slow down. I was a-scared. Some folks in the
area referred to them as the "neighborhood enforcers/protectors".

I started a painting of the yellow house.

The neighborhood in that block suddenly started to have new town homes and fancy cars parked outside... Almost overnight
the old homes came down and new ones sprang up. And about that time, the yellow house began to change, too.

One day I saw the house had been tagged and graffiti painted all over. Horrible things were written on
the house. Even the ice display/container was defaced. I do not know why I was so sad... I don't know the owners
of the yellow house or anything.

I dutifully changed my painting to be like the defaced house.

Then a couple of weeks later, the graffiti was painted over with house paint. Quickly more graffiti followed. Then more "white-out"...
I heard gossip that thieves had cut a small entrance in the back of the house so they could steal small items at night and then
cover up the entrance so they could keep going back for more "freebies"

I tried to keep up, changing the painting as quickly as the yellow house changed.

I screwed up my courage and went in and bought a beer.... a major step for me! It was clean, well lit inside and the beer was cold.
The owner was not there. Next some kind of structure was being installed over the door way.

I added that to the painting...

The painting reminded me of something I had seen before. Maybe the guys in the vacant lot next door are involved in the goings-on.
I had seen them before... Aha! They were the gamblers in Carravagio's painting - The Calling Of Saint Matthew! I changed the seating
arrangement to match the famous painting more closely. Carravagio's "ray of light" became a reflection off the mysterious structure
being built over the doorway.

The house keeps changing... I give... I can't keep up...

The mysterious structure became a roll down door. Heavy duty iron door bars were added... The vacant lot has been "rehabilitated".

Uh Oh, big trucks and tractors are parked on the street...

Well, shoot. The wonderful old yellow house is being torn down... I made a heart breaking photo... but, I just can't post it...

I went by the demolision area and salvaged what I could... yellow planks, graffiti planks, asphault, rocks, etc

Maybe I can make some mixed media work from the remnants... and, and, and... Well, shoot!

I'll keep you posted from here... maybe I can document what replaces "my" old yellow house...

Maybe it will be yellow...