Tuesday, April 27, 2010

. . .took a break

at least from taking pictures of ruins, rust, and remains. . .

I've thought it before, that I would quit looking for old nasty stuff . . . but then I come up with pictures like these. Enlarge them to really get the effect that I do.

I wonder if taking these pictures have any effect on how I paint. . .

and many times I wish I could paint the photograph.

I doubt I'll be able to resist looking for rust, ruin, remains.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

. . . saw nightmarish qualities

in these photographs. I was driving around yesterday, running errands, and spied a bunch of rusty stuff on a side street. I circled the block and came upon a bunch of old abandoned moving vans.

These pictures are all of a step on one of the vans that was covered with some kind of goo. . . I didn't touch it, but took some pictures, noticing the interesting textures.

I certainly had plenty of clunkers in this batch of pictures, but these, I thought, are phenomenal, albeit creepy, scary. There are things that look like bodies, fossils, things trying to crawl out of some primordial ooze, maybe. . . just use your imagination.

Such wonderful things just happen, don't they? To people, too, I think. I must keep that in mind.

Although I didn't paint, I did clean up my art space, which took a long time. I also went to visit a gallery where I have some paintings that just aren't selling, thinking I would take them home. The owner talked me into leaving them there. . . I guess I defintely won't sell them at home. I still have almost a fully day today to get something started. . .

Friday, April 23, 2010

. . . have had it

It's been such a crappy week, honestly. My normal equanimity in the face of staggering odds (okay, a bit of hyperbole there) was not in evidence. Let me share with you the occurrence that just put me over the edge. A while back, while I was still married, I noticed that my electric bill was only about $8, but did I question it? Not at first. Then every month for about a year it continued to be $8. A real moral dilemma here. . . do I report the broken meter or do I just continue paying the minimum charge? Everyone I asked just looked at me like I was crazy. . . of course don't report it, are you nuts? Except for Ann, my little sister, who warned me that karma could bite me in the ass if I wasn't careful. So I faithfully sent in my $8 every month, rationalizing that the meter guy read the meter every month and if he couldn't see that it hadn't moved one tiny bit in all that time, it was actually KCPL's problem, not mine.

Then one day I get a bill from KCPL for $2,000. And a listing of my payments that had been reversed, so it looked like I had not paid for months. By that time I didn't have $2,000 or even $2, so I couldn't have paid it, and besides, as far as I was concerned, the electric company had just arbitrarily picked a number and said I owed it, even though it was their mistake. By this time, the husband had split and KCPL had his name on the account, so I even quit getting the normal monthly bills, since they were going to his forwarding address. . . well, one of them, anyway. And of course he wasn't going to pay them or even tell me about them. Probably didn't even open them. So I went on-line and registered with KCPL as my husband just so I could access the current monthly charges, which I paid faithfully, on time. But I didn't put a dent in the $2,000 broken meter charges.

Wednesday night when I come home from work, my garage door opener didn't work. I went in through the front door and found a note from KCPL: "We stopped by to collect $2,000 but you weren't home so we shut off your power." Just f-ing superb. I called to explained the situation in tones just short of hysteria, and made arrangements to pay the $2,000. But KCPL would not turn on the power again that night. They claimed to have "one business day" to get the power back on. I didn't think I could manage to spend the night and get ready for work the next day without power, so I packed up my stuff and spent the night at my son's house. The power came back on about 4:15 p.m., as far as I can tell.

Keep in mind that this was just the culmination of all the rotten things that have happened recently. Sometimes I wonder how I manage to get up every morning. Now, besides everything else, I'm a deadbeat who gets her power turned off the minute the weather warms up and the power company decides they need their $2,000, which they "estimate" is what I owe them. Okay, I've vented, I feel better. I even have today off work, but it is raining so I can't work in the garden and the mechanic can't get my taillight fixed today for some reason. So I plan to stick around the house and make some art. That, too, will make me feel better. And Ann was right, karma just took a bit bite out of my butt.

These photos of bridges are actually for a painting I have in my mind. I can't figure out exactly how I'm going to execute it, though, and it's driving me nuts. I just don't have the skill or expertise or knowledge to know what to do to come up with what I see in my mind's eye. This particular bridge, or actually a viaduct, is in a small nondescript park right on the Kansas River in Kansas City, Kansas.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

. . . pictured an elevator

an old abandoned (?) grain elevator, found on my wanderings during lunch.

There's plenty of inspiration here for paintings. . .

and these are just from one side of the place, and the camera's batteries went dead too soon, so I will go back next week.

I admit it. . . I'm getting a little tired of taking pictures of junk, rust, decay, falling apart things. I think I should be taking pictures of warm sandy beaches, tropical islands, the ocean, sand, sun, maybe an close-up of a margarita, blended, with salt. Kind of hard to find all that in Kansas. Maybe the margarita, though, now that you mentioned it. . . join me tonight, okay? We'll toast to Art. And anyone else who happens to be around.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

. . . took my advice

and actually got out of the car to take these pictures at lunch time earlier this week.

I found an amazing metal fire escape hanging precariously from the side of yet another derelict building.

The whole thing looked like it could fall any time, but I got right up and under it and shot some quick pictures.

These are all rusted metal. . .

beautiful pictures, in my mind, with little or no practical value.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

. . . visited with family

My baby sister came home last week for the first time in a couple of years. She now lives in Pennsylvania. Almost the whole family got together at my mother's home.

I took a ton of pictures of the family, but these shots were taken on a walk downtown to watch an antique car parade that never actually got started, at least not as long as we waited there.

I have found more wonderful photos in that little town, even though I usually get there after the old junkyard (metal recycling place) is closed at noon on Saturdays. Everyone knows everyone else, and so if I had really wanted to shoot in the junkyard, my brother said he could go get the keys from the owner. That's living in a small town. . .

My other brother has an auto bodyshop in that town. All I had to do was wander around behind his building and sure enough, there were lots of interesting things waiting to inspire me.

These pictures have taught me something about taking pictures in the city where I work. I need to actually get out of the car when I take pictures. They come out much better. And I need to start painting again. The spirit is willing but the body is tired, tired, tired.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

. . . focus on green

A lot of the decrepitude that I've taken pictures of in the last week seem to feature some shade of green . . .

maybe old green paint doesn't hold up very well. . .

this one is a favorite. . .

and you just have to appreciate the texture on this door . . .

and the desolation of this site.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

. . . explored industrial remnants

Most of the time I take shots of these types of buildings and crop to something that interests me. However, today I'm showing some pictures of the actual buildings, because they intrigue me. This triangle-shaped building is one of my favorites. The windows are boarded up so I don't believe there's anything inside it.

This building is in pretty bad shape, but look. . . there's a window unit air conditioner up there. I would like to know if there's an office up there or if it's just a reminder of better times. . .

This shot was taken deep in the area that was either the West Bottoms of Kansas City, Missouri or the Fairfax District of Kansas City, Kansas. The state line runs right through the middle of this area. Yes, there's a street named "State Line". . .

I like this shot. But I wonder about the past of these buildings, and I really wonder about their future. I wish there was a way to preserve these pieces of history but I fear they will continue to deteriorate. It's probably just not economically feasible to restore them.

Just a few blocks away from these buildings are vast new aluminum-sided warehouses and the UPS main station, with acres of paved parking lots, chain-linked fences and semi tractor-trailers lined up nose to tail. But have you noticed anything missing from these pictures? There are no people. There are definite signs of human activity, though. Lots of tagging. . . nothing even artistic, just gang signs, I guess, not that I would know a gang sign from a stop sign. I love these old buildings. I wonder about what went on inside them, when they were new, cutting edge, state of the art. I wonder about the men and especially the women who were employed here. I wonder what happened to the original owners of the buildings. . . did they prosper? Do their families still own these buildings? What scandals and secrets do these walls keep? I can't think about it too much. . . because I would want to find out and I don't have time right now. Definitely a project.

Monday, April 5, 2010

. . . finally finely finished

repairing a painting. . . I would have preferred to start from scratch. I will send it off to its new home today. I'm tired of dealing with it. I'm sick of looking at it. And worst of all, I have no idea what caused some of the paint to crack, only on the very edges.

So it was a productive weekend. Worked in the yard some, cleaning up the most obvious debris from a tough winter. Finished my taxes, completed the census report; I'm good with the Feds now. Played the Easter Bunny with the babies. Had a few house showings. ETC

Now I can get back to making new art. Have a creative week. everyone.