ART BEAT – Tim Hunt’s Main Street Sketches

Image by Tim Hunt

Image by Tim Hunt

By Tim Hunt

Tim Hunt explores his community outfitted with a small sketchbook, pen, and watercolour kit. In our regular feature, he shares the pages from his sketchbook and tells the stories behind his work.

Tim Hunt: This distinctive 1930s gas bar and neighbouring hair salon sit abandoned. Grass and weeds have rooted in the asphalt, and overgrown bushes and creeping vines give this prominent corner a ghost town vibe. Both buildings have been vacated for removal in the upcoming 417 bridge construction.

I chose to sketch this scene from the front steps of the Old Town Hall. Part of the appeal of on-site sketching is in making decisions about composition and perspective while editing some details and highlighting others. In this case I took creative license, squeezing the buildings together and altering the sign placement in order to fit the key elements into the drawing.

Presently, the site reveals another bit of history: the uncovered sign of the previous business, Bigras Granite (which relocated to Main and Hawthorne from Greenfield Avenue during the 417 construction in the 1960s). The Gordon McGovern sign on the side of the building and the Coke machine mural are both a nod to this clay-roofed structure’s gas-station roots.

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