Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Stills: The Letter B

Thanks to all of you who have expressed concern over my absence. First, I should say something about where I've been.

It's very difficult to find inspiration for photography when the natural world around me is dying. Most of the photos I've taken lately are documentary and pretty grim. If you've kept up with the news you'll know our area has been surrounded by wildfires, scorched by high temperatures, and dry as a bone. We've received something like 2 inches of rain in the last 12 months. The river is just a pile of rocks. Animals are dying and the vultures don't even bother them.

Barren and Broken

This was taken near our house. One little Parralena blooming by an unfortunate armadillo (not Patches, but he's not been seen in months).

Our well has been dry for five months and most of my time is taken up finding water and hauling it. The garden, our fruit trees, the lawn, and just about everything else we've planted in the last decade is dead. Fortunately, we've been able to keep most of our animals alive, although we lost some older chickens (Stefania, Kitty Hawk, and Sumo) to heat exhaustion. Since we live in a remote place and can no longer grow our own food we're having to make more frequent trips into the city. It's all very exhausting.

Trying to keep positive about the situation, I'm painting pictures of water. Here's a 24" x 48" canvas on which I've just started working in oils.


I also took a three week trip and followed the rain around wherever I could find it. That made me happy.

Beams of light in a rain storm over New Orleans

It's also been a time to focus on the inside of the house. We usually spend so much time outside we sort of neglect the interior. For instance, we've lived without flooring for five years now and sort of just noticed. Everyone thinks the black mastic that once held down the 50's linoleum IS our choice of flooring...

So, I'm getting ready to repaint all the walls and put in flooring. To make room for this work I'm putting things into storage. Some of the first things to go have been my books and shelving. I don't know why this has been so nostalgic, but it's like packing little pieces of myself away. I took this today as the last light illuminated them.


Know that I'm thinking of everyone even if time does not presently allow me to visit or post on your blogs. For more images of the Letter B, visit Sunday Stills.


aurora said...

Terrible about the drought, I can't imagine. You're brushwork is beautiful. A lot of expression in your photography, nice!

NitWit1 said...

My family in Brownwood are down to water rationing. Their Lake is over half empty. And there is talk of electricity rationingnot sure why unless it is to keep up with air conditioners.

Other family around Dallas and south seem to have it just as bad. A Lake near Corsicana I was told was in bad shape.

But you painting is very good.

Ed said...

Glad to know you are o.k., hope things look up for ya soon..:-)
great looking painting..

Anonymous said...

Love your painting. I'd love to see it finished. I have relatives in Texas and know how bad this drought has been. Our son Jason lives in Bastrop and is on a evacuation watch right now. Over 500 homes lost so far. :(

Devin Greaney said...

I a very sorry that such a beautiful part of the world is having it so rough.. plus what has happened to the people Bastrop AND that park was one of my favorites made terrible even worse. Your knowledge of nature means you see the impact worse than others see it. But I know when things start coming back to life, you have that eye for the natural world which means you will see life before others do. Droughts always end and those rivers, plants and animals will come back. Sucks right now, I know.

PS- those are incredible paintings!!

Firas said...

Your painting is so very beautiul!!
And your photos say more than what they show!

Pondside said...

For some reason, I just thought of your blog today - where did that come from? Anyway, I'm so sorry to read about the difficult summer you had. I hope the work on your house is going well and that you'll soon be back to your normal activities.

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