Sunday, October 16, 2011

A few from "Twin Peaks"

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love the work of David Lynch, whom I consider to be a major inspiration. A true Renaissance Man in the world of art, equally loved and loathed; a painter, filmmaker, cartoonist, musician, photographer, furniture builder (what else have I forgotten?) So when he made a tv series, Twin Peaks, in 1990, I was entranced.... again, as in his 1986 movie Blue Velvet, his themes concerned the placid exteriors of small town America, and the strange undercurrents and layers of good, evil, quirkiness, terror, and just the general joy of the mysteries of life. His movies are always a visual and aural delight, brimming with mood and atmosphere and generally considered "weird" by most people....oftentimes justifiably, sometimes not.

One summer in 1992, after the cancellation of the series, I decided to take a weekend trip to visit the town where the show's pilot was filmed and the locations that inspired the fictional setting of Twin Peaks, a town in the northwestern-most corner of the state of Washington...mere miles from the Idaho and Canadian borders, near the mysterious fiction Ghostwood Forest, home of strange and dark things beyond our comprehension.

The real locations were set in the towns of Snoqualmie, North Bend, and Falls City, about an hour east of Seattle/Tacoma. I thought that at the very least I would get a shot in the arm of inspiration in finding subject matter for the paintings I love doing. I hit the Mother Lode, unknowingly scheduling my trip for a weekend when the first Annual Twin Peaks Festival was taking place. It was a HUGE event, attracting thousands of visitors and the press, and the entire weekend was full of activities and events geared for Twin Peaks addicts. I got to meet stars from the series and the upcoming prequel movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, visited many of the locations used, ate most of my meals at the diner from the the show (called the RR Diner on the show, its real name was the Mar-T Cafe, and served as the central gathering place for many fans)... I even bought a prop from a flea market that was used as a set decoration in the movie when the production company was in town several months earlier (a coffee percolator, a perfect memento from "Twin Peaks", seeing how coffee played such a large and endearing part in the series)   

I returned home with great memories, souvenirs, and a ton of pictures that would form the basis and inspiration to create some paintings of the subject matter I became enamored with, the haunted remnants of small-town existence of the early to mid 20th century in America.

The paintings I made are from the environs of Snoqualmie and North Bend, not necessarily locations from the show, but a couple that I did certainly are. These are some of those paintings. All of them sold in my gallery in the mid-90's.

"Dark, Stormy, Pine Tree Picture"   1991   Acrylic on Canvas, 24" x 36"

Actually, this one is from a prior visit to the northwest, and I'm throwing this one in, because it fits the tone of the series nicely. The scene I took this from was in Washington, near Mt. St. Helens.

 "Untitled Waitresses"  1993  Acrylic on Canvas, 10" x 30"

This one was from the interior of the Mar-T Cafe, setting of the show's RR Diner. Very funky little coffee shop full of unforced homespun charm, the waitresses and management were always a joy to talk with during our visits. 

"Coffee Shop Booth"  1993  Acrylic in Canvas, 11" x 14"

Another scene in the Mar-T Cafe.

"Meadowbrook and Park"  1993   Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 72".

This intersection was in Snoqualmie, and was the location of a very weird scene from the movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. This was a HUGE painting, and took some time, obviously.The detailing involving the bricks was an act of madness! I used a thick gel compound as the base for those, and inscribed the areas for the mortar in between with a toothpick, and used multiple washes of color afterward to get the right color, tones, and shadows.

"One-Eyed Truck"   1994   Acrylic on Canvas, 12" x 18"

The name is a play on a location from Twin Peaks, a nearby Canadian brothel named "One-Eyed Jack's". This scene was near Meadowbrook and Park, a block or so away from the location in the painting above this one.

"The Motel Office and the Lazy Dog"   1993   Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48"

This scenario was at what was then called the Mt. Si Motel, used in the movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me as "The Blue Diamond Motel". This painting was always a personal favorite of mine.

I did one other painting from the immediate area that I used as a Christmas Card, and if I ever find the image, I'll upload it.

EDIT.... My friend Jeff Flint just saw this post and sent me several jpegs of Christmas Card images I made back in the day, and here it is.... the actual location was along a frontage road east of North Bend, near the Mt. Si Motel. I needed to make a Christmas Card image in a hurry, so I chose a pic of the mobile home with pink flamingoes as my inspiration to paint from, embellishing it with Xmas lights.  Ho Ho Ho!

(My apologies for the blurred image, but it's pretty much all that I could get. Thanks very much, Jeff! I'll post the other Xmas images when it gets closer to December.)

"A Trailer Park Xmas"   1993    Acrylic on Canvas, 16" x 20"


Jefftoon said...

Nice gallery, Bill. I have some of the Xmas cards scanned, and will send them to you.

WmTodd said...

Jeff, thank you so much! 8^)

Sherry39 said...

Hi Bill: You did these when I lived in Laguna also. I remember stopping by your place on the way down the hill to town and seeing what you were up to. I love the Twin Peaks one. Happy you got a new car. It's beautiful. Good luck with it. Hugs, Coby's Mom

Diane T said...

Gorgeous work as always, Bill. Very evocative of the series, which blew my mind when it first came out and necessitated the purchase of my first VCR.

Coby said...

Nice to see these again! SO glad you took pics of your work. I also have a bunch of postcards from back then. I will scan at 300 dpi and email them to you tonight or tomorrow. Love you!

Unknown said...

I really enjoy your writing style & art work. You are truly amazing!! But I have been telling you this for years LOL I hope you never allow the opinions of others to dictate your work? As you should do what pleases you & makes you happy & in the end it will touch the hearts of many :)

Unknown said...
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