ASPERMONT – Can a bronc rider hold a cup of coffee at mid-buck?
“Sure he can, it depends on how good he is,” Lisa Flowers said, laughing.
With her daughter Prairie, she’s co-owner of Headquarters General Store, which soon is moving to 111 West Sixth St., about a block east of where it is now on Washington Street.
“We’re hoping to be in here sometime in September,” she said. We’re shooting for the first of September, for hunting season.”
On the east-facing wall of their upcoming new digs, Lexi Haag has been creating a massive mural on the rough brick, the center depicting the aforementioned bronc rider with a coffee in his hand, his horse bucking wildly, and Double Mountain in the background.
Flowers explained a little more about her store.
“My daughter Prairie is the other owner, and we have a full coffee bar,” she said. “We really wanted (the mural) to keep an Old West, general store-feel but incorporate the coffee. So, the bronc rider will have his cup.”
Painting her way through college
Lexi recently was atop the scaffolding, filling in the color of the cowboy’s arm. Below, her grandmother, Jerre, filled in the spines for the prickly pear cactus that bookended the design.
“I’m giving them their 5 o’clock shadow,” she confided.
A student of landscape architecture at Texas Tech University, Lexi said her art is helping her pay for college. While this was her third or fourth large mural, it was definitely the tallest she has yet painted.
“I did an indoor one in San Angelo, that was my first time to ever paint on something bigger than your typical canvas size,” she said. “And then a year ago, I started one in Colorado City, which is my hometown.”
The canvas for this work isn’t your normal brick. Typically brick walls are relatively smooth with slight dimpled channels where the mortar was placed, then smoothed away. It’s what you’ll normally see on outward-facing walls, the kind the public would normally pass by without a second thought.
This wall was anything but that.
“Originally, there was an old filling station here,” Flowers said of the empty lot now fronting the in-progress mural. Her new-to-her building she guessed dates from the 1930s, so whatever was beside it had been at least that old.
On the ground near Lexi’s scaffolding hexagonal bathroom tile still could be seen in the cement. Flowers envisions an outdoor patio for the lot.
Taking their lumps
But as for the wall, the original masons who built it were more than a little generous with their mortar.
“Oh, my, you should have seen the lumps,” Lexi said. “They disappear in the paint, but if you stand to the side, you can see all the lumps sticking out.”
When she couldn’t thickly camouflage those clumps with layers of paint, she’d incorporate them into the design. One of them cuts across the bronc rider’s face, giving his jaw a chiseled effect when viewed in the right light.
“I started last Wednesday, a week ago today. I don’t think it lacks too much, it’s the fun stuff now, which is detail,” she said. “That’s what I enjoy, where you really get to see it start coming together.”
And a cowboy balancing his cup of joe from the back of a crazed horse? Stand by, that could be coming next summer to a rodeo near you.