Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Super Park

Late last week I drove past the St. Louis airport and was reminded of these relic aircraft guarding the Missouri Air National Guard entry. When the Department of Defense went through the last round of post-Cold War base thinning, they kept the Air National Guard base, but got rid of the 131st Fighter Wing, which had flown out of Lambert for many years. All the F-15s are gone, but these talismanic remnants are still here. Something about the civilians trudging along with their suitcases near these planes-on-poles seemed evocative.

Coincidentally I posted another picture of airplanes in January with a discussion of onsite drawing and photography. In that case I sat down and drew, then checked photo reference after the fact when I got around to painting the spread.

Here I wanted to compress the planes with the parking folderol. This image cannot be seen in real life, because these two planes are half a mile from one another. Plus the parking booth is down a hill and quite some distance from the plane on the right. So I shot some photographs in several spots and built a composite image which suffices for the purpose. But I went straight to the drawing table when I got back early Friday evening, so my spatial sense of what I'd photographed was still fresh. Otherwise the effort would have gone to waste. Dead photographs, no drawing, less hard drive space.

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