Wednesday, March 31, 2010

. . . added local color

Here are some more photos from wandering around new areas of town on my lunch period. The one above is a bit like the one I showed here a few days ago. I like the composition of this one better.

And this is another shot of another boarded-up glass door in the same building. The reflections in the glass are not as prominent in this shot. It seems like a rather gloomy nightmarish picture. But interesting.

I had to park so far away from the office yesterday that I should have just walked from home (not really, it's like 35-40 miles.)

But at least I got these two shots of companion thingamabobs on a set of steps. I will keep snapping these shots and showing everyone a macro view of this place. . .

Monday, March 29, 2010

. . . used orange plastic

A few weeks ago, I found some of that orange plastic grid stuff that construction workers use. This small piece is the first time I tried it out. I need to work with it some more, but I see lots of potential. On this piece, I laid it on top of a canvas prepared with extra heavy gesso and smeared (okay, I'm having an elder moment here, can't remember the real name of the medium) a product that is supposed to dry to the texture of watercolor paper. The different texture didn't make much difference in the finished product, but it was an interesting experiment anyway.

It was a busy weekend, no time for art, some personal frustration about selling the house and repairing a canvas and always always always finances. As I mentioned to a friend the other day, it seems like it really does take a lot of energy to maintain a positive attitude, and sometimes I'm just emotionally exhausted.

Friday, March 26, 2010

. . . found more inspiration

Yesterday on the way to and from the post office I wandered around some different areas in downtown. Wonderful photo opportunities. Like the boarded-up window here. . .

and the surface texture of this old retaining wall. . .

and the backside of this garage (this photo could use some more editing, I think. . .)

and once again, one of my favorite subjects, the dumpster, this one completely rusted. . .

and finally, this kind of creepy picture. . . it is a boarded-up doorway. In the glass you can see the reflection of trees across the street. I can see monsters' claws or bat wings . . . disturbing but cool. Enjoy the day and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

. . . am always surprised

at the end results of my paintings. It seems that they never come out the way I had originally intended them. This one is an fine example. I think you can tell that I have been influenced by the photographs I have been taking recently. . . the ones of the buildings I am encountering on my wandering trips through the neighborhoods around my workplace. This is a small piece, a practice piece, if you will, about 6 x 9", on canvas. I don't know why I call it a practice piece. I very rarely paint a bigger piece based on a small painting.

Last night, instead of working on my new painting, I had to make some repairs to a canvas that has already been sold. I would rather have painted the whole piece again than repair it. . . I don't even know if my efforts will correct the problem. I painted the piece a couple of years ago and I'm glad it's sold, but I don't like the fact that it needs repairs and I can't identify what caused the problem.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

. . . showed more shots

from my alley explorations. The photo above is obviously a crop of the picture of the building I so loved in my last post. There were so many ways to crop that picture.

This one is more concrete with rust stains from a metal fence . . .

and so is this one.

And although this is not an abstract photo, I just love it. It looks like a huge tangled mess. I hope some utility worker can perform the delicate surgery required to reactivate this thing, because it looks like it's broken to me. Your utility dollars at work. Neurons? Axons? Dendrites, anyone? (I'm sorry, I'm showing off there. . . I actually had to look those words up yesterday.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

. . . wandered through alleys

during lunch time yesterday. I love the picture above. . . the textures and colors of the building are amazing. The effects of deferred maintenance, in real estate jargon. Click on the picture to enlarge it. I didn't crop this one because I wanted to show you the building itself, but it's evident there is inspiration for paintings here.

Juicy colors and textures on a concrete wall below a rusted metal fence.

Hubbell telescope-like shot, only this is of the Deffenbaugh Disposal garbage dumpster. . .

and another side of the same dumpster. You just have to love an old city with alleys.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

. . . took a week

to complete this small painting? And most of it was done yesterday afternoon. Last week I decided that since I wake up every morning at 5:00 a.m. anyway, I might as well "honor my art" as my friend and the fabulous artist and art coach Leslie Miller would say, and paint instead of reading the paper or doing the crossword puzzle or anything else for an hour. So I started this small study, an experiment for the bigger version, one very early morning last week. The problem was the drying time. Even with acrylic paint, and even creating two paintings at the same time, without sufficient drying time, I was wasting my time, turning everything to a muddy mess. Especially this painting, where I used really thick applications of both extra heavy gesso and paint. So I will just keep trying to integrate all the various pieces and bits of my life into one satisfying whole, where I manage to accomplish everything I need to do to keep body and soul together. And I guess if it takes a week to finish a painting, then it just does.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

. . .shared the results

of some playing in the studio. Here are more of those little pieces that I keep next to the "real" painting I'm working on. Sometimes they simply amaze me.

My weekend was very busy, and I didn't have an opportunity to make any art. I found myself getting cranky. I think I just need a lot of "me" time these days. But as I was scurrying around the countryside on Sunday, I spotted some of that orange plastic fencing that you usually see around an open hole in the ground. It was just there in the road, waiting for me to pick it up. I didn't see an open hole, so I grabbed it. Oh, I have been wanting some of that, just a little bit, to use as a stencil or as a stamp of sorts. Look for those rounded off squares in future paintings. No wonder my kids think I'm insane. I hope when they put me in a home, it will have art and painting facilities. That's all I ask.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

. . . found inspiration everywhere

I try to get to work very early so that I can park free, but so do a lot of other people, so it's a crap shoot. If I'm lucky, I get one and then I sit in my car and read for a while, until I figure the door to the office is unlocked. So that's what I was doing one morning when I glanced up and saw, off in the distance, this view. I always have my camera with me, so without even getting out of the car, I zoomed in and shot this vignette. Taking out a lot of extraneous stuff (stop sign, tree), and altering the colors a bit, I think I have here the inspiration for another painting, all right angles and earth tones.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

. . . unearthed a treasure

Last week as I was rummaging through the studio looking for paintings that Walter the Art Guy could take with him, I came across this piece. It's 8 x 8" on wood. Walter only wants things on canvas. I don't recall anything about this piece. I must be losing my mind. Or, as often happens, I didn't like it when I painted it so I put it away. And now I like it. If anyone is interested in purchasing it, please email me at mary c buek at (without any spaces) and we can discuss. The price? How about $40 plus shipping?

Today I go to court. After I get done, I will be a single woman again. My overwhelming emotion is relief. I'm probably supposed to feel sad, and I do, a bit. But isn't it interesting that something that can seem so devastating can actually turn out to be positive? I wish all my art friends were here so we could commemorate this day in some suitable manner, perhaps involving fruity girly alcoholic beverages and flinging paint.