My First 40 Years
Dover Station 1984 oil on canvas 36x44" Collection of Ted Fallon
This beautiful old Orange Line station had won architectural prizes in its day.An MBTA stop, it was the first station on the Orange Line that I walked out of in 1980 when I went to the Emmanuel Gospel Center to interview for an internship position. It was a magnificent structure that was in need of a bit of repair. Inside there were 2x4s holding up the ceiling in certain places. I noticed that some other prominent Boston artists (George Nick and David Moore) had done paintings of it, and I wanted to try my hand at it, too. This was a large canvas, and it took some physical effort to lug it down to Berkeley Street. When the wind picked up, it acted like a sail and pushed me back or forward with the wind... sometimes I had to redirect the edge of the canvas into the wind and just stand there and wait. Berkeley Street used to be Dover Street, but more than one person told me that its name changed because it had a bad reputation. This painting took an entire summer of sunny afternoons to paint.
Some interesting things happened while I worked on this painting. Once, a street person walked by with a plate of food he'd just gotten from Pine Street Inn, a homeless shelter. When he turned to look at this painting he stopped, stared, and dropped his plate of scalloped potatoes right there. I think that was a compliment. I also saw someone sprint out of the entrance near me and run past me, almost knocking my painting over. Soon I noticed screaming and a woman in high heels pointing after him, yelling, "Stop that thief!" This left me in an awkward position; if I pursued the thief, what would happen to my painting and all my art supplies? But a gas station attendant ran after the kid who eventually tossed the purse away and kept running. The woman got her purse back. All in all, I got quite an education about urban landscape painting that summer. Interestingly enough, this all happened in the now fashionable SoWa area of town.