Sunday, March 17, 2013

Looking For Dave Robicheaux

On the Way to Weeks Island
Oil on canvas, 10x10
Tubac Trip Painting No. 7

I spent much of Friday in and around New Iberia, Louisiana. 

Fans of detective novels will surely recognize the place as the hometown of Dave Robicheaux, the main character in many of James Lee Burke's novels. 

Through Dave, Burke writes with a tender reverence for New Iberia. Dave treasures the town, and while he accepts change, he'd rather it stay the way it was. 

So places like the Evangeline Theater and Victor's Cafeteria become touchstones. East Main Street, with its brick buildings and iron railings and wide sidewalks speaks of a time when life was maybe more predictable, more understandable, more comforting. 

I spent an hour or so in downtown New Iberia, including having lunch at Victor's Cafeteria. For me, with my gluten allergy, the choices were limited. Pretty much everything was battered and fried, so I got a plate of veggies, and doused them with Tabasco and Cajun spice, and enjoyed myself. 

On the advice of Joseph Lockwood, whom I met at Starbucks, I drove to Weeks Island, looking for a painting. I found one on the way, a brilliant blue canal going into a field yet to be planted. 

I'm determined to get to the West, and so I set out from New Iberia with that destination in mind. I didn't stop to paint in western Louisiana, but it is gorgeous, and I am going to paint there on the return trip. 

Here's my painting in the landscape: 


Scenes from the day

The Evangeline Theater in downtown New Iberia looks pretty much like it did when it was built - at least that would be my bet! 

 It's spring in western Louisiana! 

 This bigger-than-life-size man, covered in Spanish moss, was beside the highway in Texas. 

I met Joseph Lockwood in Starbucks in New Iberia. He'd lost a SIMM card, and though we couldn't find it, we had a nice chat, and he directed me to Weeks Island, where I found my painting. 

 Victor's Cafeteria is one of Dave Robicheaux's haunts

If you can't eat gluten, the choices at Victor's are a little limited. 

Downtown New Iberia

 What??? No Dog of the Day? Nope! 

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