July 11, 2007

MY FATHER-IN-LAW, THE BILLBOARD PAINTER

My father-in-law, Nelson Streeter, was a very talented man. He was an artist, designer, sign painter, and creator of billboards. Back when billboards (and signs) were painted by hand, of course. Imagine.

Kurt traveled to Syracuse, New York, about two years ago to visit Nelson when he was in a hospital there. He came home with a photo album of his father’s work. There’s some incredible stuff in there. The sheer size the billboards just blows me away, but I am also amazed by the confidence in Nelson’s brush and the detail he was able to achieve on such a large scale. The photograph above is of Nelson painting in his workshop. The photo below is one of his finished billboards.

Nelson passed away a few months after Kurt’s visit. I never met Nelson, but I feel I know him through his paintings.

They just don’t make them like they used to.

5 comments:

Jessie Zenor said...

That is pretty incredible. It must be neat to see all of those old giant paintings. I wonder if anyone has any of the pieces of hand painted billboards. I wouldn't mind covering my wall with a chunk of a billboard.

Amy C Evans said...

Yeah, me too. I know that Nelson would usually paint over old billboards. That had to be hard to do. And what a shame. I don't know if the company is still in business, but it's definitely worth a little sleuthing to find out if there are any bits and pieces laying around.

On a related note, one of my former students from when I taught art at the arts high school in Houston, Texas, got his hands on some discarded paper bilboards (the ones they print out and just glue on), and he made clothes out of them. Very cool.

Claire said...

Hand painted signs just amaze me. It takes so much talent to make them- and they're just passed by. They have such a warm, human look to them. It's really a shame they're dying out.
You really do come from an arty brood! Lucky girl.

Anonymous said...

Ahh! Hey Amy! It's Maggie Streeter (Tom's Daughter)! I was on my friends computer looking up my grandpa and I found your website. It's pretty cool. Tell Uncle Kurt I said hey! Call the house when you get the chance.

Amy C Evans said...

Hi, Maggie! I'm so glad you found me and this post about your grandpa. Please tell your family hello. We need to head over that way to pay y'all a visit! Know you're always welcome here. We'll talk soon. xoxo