By Gone Days, the Phone Box at the British Banker's Club
Dimensions: 12" x 9"
Medium: oil on canvas
Edition size: Original
Availability: Only available at Peabody Gallery
A fragile antique jewel, in a busy modern world.
The British Bankers Club in Menlo Park is a historic bar restaurant. I have been to several private parties there, and found the vintage environment absolutely delightful.
I originally had in mind, to do a light, loose painting from a recent photo shoot; the vintage stained glass entrance to the BBC, with the faded red antique phone box that sits next to the patio dining area, in the foreground.
But once I actually began the painting, I realized that the feeling I got from this scene, was entirely different then how I had intended to paint it.
This scene, is in a busy bustling modern area of Menlo Park California, a couple miles up from Stanford University.
It almost seemed out of place in it's surroundings. The "Phone Box" is there as an homage to local art and history and was a lovely "surprise" to find. But next to it, was a big modern turquoise bike rack. The day I was there, someone had chained their bike to the Box instead of the rack, running chains around the fragile slats.
It had been raining for weeks. I was there on one of the first clear days of spring. The beautiful BBC building, was difficult to shoot from the outside because of the tarps and scaffolding that had been protecting it.
It's wonderful that people have taken the time to preserve these architectural art works, but there was a sense of ... nostalgia, even melancholy that day, that these works of art were now almost obscured by the progress that had moved in around them.
So the painting reflects this sentiment; a little point in time, almost lost, but not quite: a fragile antique jewel in busy modern world.
Final thought: Lunch at the British Bankers Club, then hopping across the street to go art shopping at Peabody Gallery would make for a lovely afternoon.
------ Riki Nelson