Monday, August 31, 2009

. . . explored West Bottoms







I had a house showing on Saturday morning, so I drove to my favorite place in Kansas City, the West Bottoms, to take some pictures. I had not been there for a long time. There was a Bacon Festival going on, but since it was still early, I missed the cook-off and the bacon eating contest.












I just walked around and took the odd picture or so before the camera just kinda quit on me for a while. I have some idea of incorporating some of these pictures, and others that I have taken recently, into some collages. . .









As usual, I'm loving the industrial grittiness of the area. I talked to a young lady in a gallery/studio who told me that a lot of artists were moving into the bottoms because the rent was still fairly reasonable, and there certainly were a lot of spaces to rent. The gallery was showing some of Derrick Breidenthal's art. He is a local artist, and one of my favorites.








I have taken pictures in the West Bottoms before, but have cropped most of them to isolate certain segments. Here are a couple of shots of the entire buildings. Aren't they just Dickensian? Okay, well, at least my idea of the era in which Dickens wrote. . . minus the traffic signs and viaducts and utility poles.






I have been spending a lot of time in the studio, with nothing really to show for it. I have been making small studies on small pieces of wood. It's fun, quick, and if I screw up, I just start again. Also, using the wood, I can use wax, and I feel more comfortable using papers. Perhaps something will come together in the next few days. Now I'm off to watch Nora for a little while. Hope everyone has an art-filled productive week.


12 comments:

Jazz said...

I love these pictures. I'm a fan of urban grit and rust and that sort of thing too. That first picture is great. I'd love to see some of your photos collaged into a mult-media painting.

Karen Stiehl Osborn said...

What are some of the cross streets in West Bottoms? I'm not familiar with the area, but it looks like a great photo jaunt. I'm coming through KC in a couple weeks.

layers said...

I think taking up close pictures of cracks and brick and textures like the Bottoms--- you never know what will show up in your work.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

You have a fabulous eye for urban and industrial beauty in decay - the lines, the shapes and the compositions you find are always appealing. Good to hear that you are painting and enjoying it.

Margaret Ryall said...

I love your photography. You always zero in on things that are usually ignored. The fact you are in the studio working is enough.

Jeane said...

I love your painting, but I really love your photos - these are fabulous!

Mary Buek said...

Jazz, I'm trying to figure out how to use them in just that sort of painting. My problem is my printer, which isn't too great. I'll work on that. . .

Karen, are you coming to the Plaza Art Fair? The West Bottoms are north of the 12th Street Viaduct. If you come south on I-35, I think there is an exit for 12th Street, then you would turn right, go to the bottom of the viaduct and turn right again, and there you are. . . The highways downtown are a complete mystery to me, whoever designed them was insane. I know my necessary routes but after that I'm lost. All the Halloween spook houses are down there. Maybe you could google "The Edge of Hell". Also the Dolphin Gallery is on the south side of the viaduct, and you could maybe google that to get to the general area, plus it's supposed to be a pretty neat gallery. Let me know if you have time to wander around. . .

Donna: The area is very inspiring, always. I know what I like but don't always know how to achieve the effects. . .

Leslie: thank you, that's nice of you to say. I may end up living in one of those places, so I had better like it, I guess.

Margaret: This week I have dedicated to cleaning the garden because it's so beautiful outside. As a fellow gardener, I know you will understand. Even that can be inspiring.

Jeane: Thank you so much.

self taught artist said...

the photo above your 'as usual' paragraph is superb.

Mary Buek said...

Thanks, Paula. . . isn't it interesting how even the simplest things can be inspirational?

Karen Stiehl Osborn said...

Mary, I am headed to St. Louis next week, then back through KC on my way to Lawrence later in the month. I might have some time on that trip to meet and take photos for a while.

Sherry said...

These pictures look like something out of Edward Hopper. WOonderful!

HeartFire said...

Fabulous urban pictures, love your photography. I too am drawn to those kind of images...