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All About Oilwell Paintings

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Black Gold landscape oil field historical wildlife horse oil gic
Black Gold landscape oil field historical wildlife horse oil gic
Oil Patch landscape nature oil field giclee reproduction oil pai
Oil Patch landscape nature oil field giclee reproduction oil pai
Oil Patch landscape nature oil field giclee reproduction oil pai
Oil Patch landscape nature oil field giclee reproduction oil pai
Oil Patch landscape nature oil field giclee reproduction oil pai
Oil Patch landscape nature oil field giclee reproduction oil pai
Drifting Through the Oil Patch landscape oil field giclee on canvas by G. Harvey
Drifting Through the Oil Patch landscape oil field giclee on canvas by G. Harvey

Distinctive to the landscape in Texas would be the sight of an oilwell.  Paintings are often made of them because while they are found throughout the country and the world, there is such a high concentration of them in Texas.  Perhaps what makes Texas so unique is that while these may be found individually in other states and places around the globe, in Texas they are often found clustered together in rows.  This is a sight to behold.  Texas is the state known for petroleum production, so it’s only natural that there would be many oilwell paintings depicting this production process. 

Just as some artists focus on one subject matter such as lighthouses or seascapes more than another, oilwell paintings are the focus subject for some artists such as Andy Thomas.  While this is not the only subject that he paints, he does have an impressive collection of works featuring this drilling machine. 

There is evidence of drilling that took place all the way back to the fourth century B.C.  Of course, that was a different type of machinery, and the product that was being drilled for was used for many other things than what petroleum is used for today.  It was mostly brought out of the earth for lighting purposes and to help make sea faring vessels more waterproof.  Today, it has many uses, but it is known for its use in powering engines in everything from automobiles to jet planes. 

Since the first one was built in 1859, it is possible that there are oilwell paintings that date back to that time period.  From that moment on, petroleum production became a huge industry and towns grew out of the dust and dirt of prairies and farmlands for the workers who were doing the drilling.  In many of the historical portrayals that Andy Thomas has done, it is easy to see the towns with their rutted and muddy streets crowded with early automobiles, horse drawn carriages, and saddled horses standing idle outside of a mercantile.  Merchants and other types of professionals such as blacksmiths all began to set up shop in the small towns as more and more people arrived to work at each oilwell.  Paintings that depict this time period show a clash of old world meeting new innovation and industry.  Again, a story is being told with each brush stroke.

It would be impossible to tell the story of the United States during this time period that began in the mid 1800’s without telling the story of drilling for this petroleum based product.  It is as much a part of the heritage and history of this country as is the American flag and the story of the Pilgrims coming to first settle here.  Artistic renderings offer a glimpse into the world of those who drilled for the product and those who ran the companies that sold what was brought up from the ground.  This is just another story to be told about this great country.


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