Mount Dora Redux | the art of Dr. Hugh Brown

Oil Paintings | Mount Dora Redux

The Mount Dora watercolors were completed during the 1990's and mostly showed the city as it would be seen by a visitor. Now Dr. Brown is re-visiting his view of the city, this time in oils, to illustrate aspects the visitor might miss and have no particular interest in seeing, i.e., sights that have no particular historical or aesthetic significance. Those things the everyday resident sees as she/he goes about her/his city. Some are "gritty", others may harbor some aesthetic merit but the paintings are reflective of Mount Dora as a place where people live and make their living.



2010,  24" X 36",  Oil on Canvasboard,  Catalogue# OMDR8100

The painting could also be titled, "A Study in Green", as it shows a field of grass on a hot summer's day shaded by live oak trees adorned with Spanish moss. Located on the outskirts of Mount Dora, it apparently serves as a pasture for horses.



2010,  20" X 24",  Oil on Canvasboard,  Catalogue# OMDR8200

Originally a citrus processing plant, more recently a factory that converts chicken droppings into an organic fertilizer. The buildings are in an advanced state of decrepitude, rusty and forlorn, except for a few minutes on clear mornings when the rising sun endows them with a golden glow. The surrounding neighborhoods are not impressed by the odiferous emanations the process involves. Mount Dora industry is diverse. These buildings are neighbors to a bird perch factory and a golf cart customizer.



2010,  20" X 24",  Oil on Canvasboard.,  Catalogue# OMDR8300

The hard freezes of the 1980's caused much of the citrus industry to move further south. The groves that remained have been further decimated by development. Nonetheless, enough groves remain in Mount Dora to require harvesting by migrant workers so such sights are not yet uncommon during late fall and into winter.



2010,  20" X 24",  Oil on Canvasboard,  Catalogue# OMDR8400

Camp Avenue is a transitional neighborhood being just across the street from the industrial area where the chicken poop factory does its conversion. No, there is no artistic license here, that really is a bathtub in one of the backyard sheds. The dark shape next to the tree in the foreground is a carved owl.



2010,  20" X 24",  Oil on Canvasboard,  Catalogue# OMDR8500

In common with many locales these days, Mount Dora has a micro-brewery. This painting could have also been titled, "A Study in Green II".



2010,  24" X 36",  Oil on Gessoed Masonite,  Catalogue# OMDR8600

The only thing "busy" about the Port of Mount Dora is the plethora of trees planted such that they obscure the "light house", Mount Dora's official symbol (see, Mount Dora Watercolors for six more views of the light). Low foliage that lets the light stand out would be much more appropriate and pleasing. Nonetheless, no series of Mount Dora paintings would be complete without at least one depiction of the light. The Port has more than ample dockage but no boats to use those facilities.



2010,  18" X 24",  Oil on Gessoed Masonite,  Catalogue# OMDR8700

A bane of most Florida municipalities, trailer parks are eyesores, need full services but have little or no tax base and are exceptionally dangerous to persons and property in severe weather. It's said that Florida is the only place one will find a mansion built next to a 7-11. The inspiration for this painting shares a cul-de-sac with $250,000-$300,000 homes.



2010,  24" X 36",  Oil on Gessoed Masonite,  Catalogue# OMDR8800

"...As American as apple pie...", virtually every U. S. community has a baseball diamond. Mount Dora has several diamonds of which Heim Field, depicted above, is home for the Mount Dora High School "Hurricanes" baseball team. As well, many other teams from little league to senior play there. It has lights for night games.



2010,  20" X 24",  Oil on Gessoed Masonite,  Catalogue# OMDR8900

Trains were once important to Mount Dora, its major link with the outside [see Mount Dora Watercolors (you'll need to scroll down a bit when you get there) for more detail and other train related paintings]. The last train, a short excursion for visitors, stopped running some time ago because the track was deemed unsafe and funding was not available for making repairs. Thus, the roadbed is now rusted, rotted, and weed ridden, the once proud red overpass faded to a sad pink. Perhaps the roadside signage is a metaphor. Any resemblance to Edward Hopper's railroad painting is purely coincidental (right).



2011,  24" X 30",  Oil on Gessoed Masonite,  Catalogue# OMDR9900

There are three railroad bridges in Mount Dora. The one depicted in this painting is the only one that still supports regular traffic. The other two, the Chautauqua Bridge seen in the painting immediately above this one and the Tremain Street Bridge seen in the Mount Dora Watercolors are used minimally or not at all. The painting, in common with the City Limit Sign watercolor, also illustrates the hilled landscape that characterizes central Florida's lake district. Mount Dora is about 160 feet above sea level.



2011,  24" X 30",  Oil on gessoed masonite,  Catalogue# OMDR991000

Although the two establishments abut one another, they are on a street corner with their fronts at a 90 degree angle to each other. Some artistic license, namely moving Sugarboo's front 45 degrees towards Ivory's, was applied so both could be part of the painting. They are in the same area of Mount Dora, what used to be called "Eastown" (the same area as depicted in some of the Mount Dora Watercolors), and represent examples of the revival of the area.



2011,  24" X 30",  Oil on gessoed masonite,  Catalogue# OMDR991100

As with the PORT painting, The Frosty Mug was a Mount Dora site visitors would likely visit but one having interest to residents also. Originally an automobile repair garage and gas station, it later became Eduardo's Station, a tex-mex restaurant popular with bikers. Next it became the Frosty Mug, an Icelandic restaurant, the only one in central Florida (or the entire State for that matter), renowned for its fish and chips. It too was popular with bikers. Today, the Frosty Mug is gone. The building now houses a nightclub.

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