A Favorite Work
“Lunchtime at Price’s Chicken Coop”
The culinary anchor of Southend, Price’s Chicken Coop has been serving southern fried chicken, biscuits, fries, and slaw since 1962. Price’s Chicken Coop has fed generations of construction workers, residents of Southend, Wilmore, Dilworth, Eastover, and Myers Park , uptown professionals, busy moms, event planners and everybody in between. Lines are always long at lunch as cars, trucks, and light trail passengers empty out into the street and make a beeline through the door seeking Price’s mouth watering, crispy chicken, fish, and shrimp platters that are served exclusively to go. And nobody forgets to order a tall glass of Price’s southern style, syrupy sweet ice tea!
This watercolor painting was composed from a collection of photos taken by the artist over a period of several years. It is a snapshot of a time before the CATS LYNX line was operational, when the Charlotte Trolley ( locals call it a streetcar ) left its barn for the Uptown run, and before the 2009 Duke Energy Center dominated the skyline. The design roughly features a “W” with Price’s Chicken Coop forming the left angle, Uptown serving as the inverted “v”, and the trolley line forming the right angle. Chase Saunders began the work nineteen five years ago; however, it was so detailed, he put it aside before returning to it in 2009. It has at least 300 hours of brush time with a point the size of a sharp No. 2 pencil. The image of every window pane, brick, person, car and every shoe was painstakingly sketched and captured.
UPTOWN FROM painting
This piece is first of The UPTOWN FROM series which is contemplated. It draws inspiration from the topography and the hill upon which Charlotte is sited and from which the Queen City leads the region. Charlotte’s skyline is recognized from as far away as Grandfather Mountain and much like the great European cities are identified from afar by the prominence of their cathedrals, Charlotte’s skyline has become a symbol of progress and economic development in North Carolina. As the Charlotte skyline continues to change, additional works will be created. Each piece shows everyday people going about their lives. If you look closely, you will find that they are observed by the red dog* that watches and wanders through each painting in the series.
*Where is the red hound dog?
If you have trouble finding the red dog on this picture, look for the Trolley. The dog is slightly to the left of the Trolley crossing the trolley track. He has been drawn irresistibly by the scent of fresh cooking oil. He is, after all, a dog. And he has high expectations that he can beg a chicken leg, a back, or some tasty morsel from at least one charitable soul or dog lover!
The UPTOWN FROM painting
Charlotte is ever-growing and changing. Known as the Queen City, she was named by her founders for the Eighteenth Century, English Queen Charlotte. Her towers of commercial power are visible over the verdant forest canopy that grows from our region’s hard red clay. Charlotte is built on this red clay, a material that only found its value through the toilsome labor of each generation which settled here. Charlotte values hard work and continues to welcome and acknowledge the successes of those who come here to work hard, live, and play. The UPTOWN FROM watercolor series is a record of the skyline from locations of human energy.
The UPTOWN FROM painting draws its inspiration from the topography and the rock hill, once honeycombed with gold mines, upon which Charlotte is sited. Charlotte’s skyline can be recognized from a distance as far away as Grandfather Mountain over hundred miles away. UPTOWN is defined by the beltline of interstates and bypasses crossing over Irwin and Sugar Creeks. Within and adjacent to the beltline are her lending houses, administrative buildings, forum, coliseum, churches, stadium, jail, courts, gymnasia, museums, and theaters. These institutional structures serve as the stages upon which the rich pageant of life plays out.
The original watercolor took over three hundred hours to paint. Most of the work is done with a sable hair brush with a point the size of a needle. Each scene features people going about their daily lives. In effect, each picture becomes a time capsule of what we are, and in the future, who we will be.