Hull Elevator 

I was able to get in some oil painting practice using my homemade pochade box on location on June 10, 2017.  

I found a great spot in the shade and painted this scene of some grain elevators in Hull, Illinois. I’m not real thrilled with the finished oil sketch, but it was good practice. I recently modified my homemade cigar box pochade with a T-nut so I could mount it to a camera tripod. My first attempt at this modification failed, but I was able to rework it. The new fitting worked like a charm. 

A nearby resident stopped by to see what I was doing. I had a nice conversation with him, and he even brought me a cold Pepsi to drink. Rural America at its best! 

All-in-all, an enjoyable day of painting and watching trains pass by! 

Tom Conboy 


Watercolor Journal Entry 3

St. Mary, Missouri (July 14, 2016) 

I was able to get in a quick watercolor sketch this morning while my wife was running an errand. The air temperature was 82°F, but the humidity was quite high.  A sweat bee and wasp tried to harass me as well.  Fortunately they both moved on elsewhere.  I guess they were art critics!! 😁

Tom Conboy 

Watercolor Journal Entry 1

I purchased this journal book of watercolor paper at Hobby Lobby a few years ago. The plan was to go out every week or two and document scenes. Time to dust off 3 years of inactivity and get started! 

I finally got started with watercolor journaling on June 13. I tried to sketch and paint a scene along the railroad tracks in Bernie,  Missouri.  The MFA elevator is the focal point for this quick watercolor sketch.  My goal was to complete it in less than an hour due to the fading sunlight.  I also included the time, temperature, and additional information on the opposite page (not visible in photo below). 

The completed painting is less than satisfactory, but the lessons learned were valuable.  This journal features handmade paper and appears to have little or no sizing on it.  I use dry watercolor paint pans as well tube paints. I tried using tube paints with this paper, and the results were not good. The watercolor paint absorbed quickly into the paper with little opportunity to rework it.  A little color went a long way, and the chroma was far more intense in several areas than it should have been. I will use the dry paint pans with this journal paper in the future. 

The overall experience was enjoyable, and I look forward to the next journaling opportunity! 

Tom Conboy 

Abandoned Grain Elevator


This scene is located in Dexter, Missouri.  The grain facility is no longer in use, and I am not sure it will ever be used again in the future.  
I really enjoy exploring old rural communities for scenes like this.  So many relics of days long ago.  These types of scenes are favorites of mine, and are great subjects to paint!

Tom Conboy

MFA Grain Elevator


This scene is located along the abandoned Rock Island Railroad in the town of Gerald, Missouri.  The tracks were recently pulled up for salvage and eventually the railbed will be converted into a bicycle trail.

(2004 photo)

Tom Conboy