When you live in the high plains west of Lubbock and Amarillo (as I did 2008-2011), you see big blue sky (unless it is windy) and dramatic sunsets, but you do not have a whole lot of beautiful landscape to see (IMO). New Mexico has some beautiful spots, like Whites Sands, the Lincoln catwalks, Gila Monument, and of course the mountains around Santa Fe, but all of these are far from where we lived.
The brutal heat and ridiculous wind do a number on billboards and signage. As a result, many that are not old or historic appear to be relics of years past. I started taking photos of interesting ones.
We left New Mexico in summer of 2011, but I kept taking pictures of signs, in California and our travels across the country to live in Virginia.
Eventually, some of these photos become artwork:
I love the graphic nature of lettering incorporated into my paintings, particularly if abstracted into shapes. It is an element you can find in many of them, from the beginning (gravemarkers, Chinatown and Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco) to the present (The Boardwalk, Pike Place, and an upcoming painting of Glen Echo). I anticipate more in the years to come.