Thursday, March 1, 2012

End of an era...

More change, in my City.  The old Con-Agra grain elevators in Kansas City are being demolished to make way for retail development--more Urban Removal.  I've always loved the sun on these rounded shapes, so I was relieved there was still enough to sketch when we went in to take Joseph to the doctor yesterday.

The sun was very bright, and it was warm in the Jeep...nice to sit and sketch.  Because of the complex shapes, this time I decided to sketch first, with my mechanical pencil...
The site is surrounded by railroad yards that once moved millions of tons of grain from this location around the country.  I wonder what will happen to all the miles of track?

Here's my view out the window...you can't get terribly close for safety reasons, but then I wanted the big view, anyway.

I was aiming to capture the effect of light and shadow, as well as destruction...
I've recently discovered what a handy art desk the door to my glove box is! 

I don't believe I could work very large, but it IS a more workable solution than balancing everything on my lap and the console...

And here's the finished sketch, scanned when I got home.  I'll miss this interesting old building...

18 comments:

  1. A titan of American, big-business agriculture bites the dust. Your painting chronicles its grandeur and demise so beautifully. As always it's interesting to see your set-up and process.

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  2. I love the glove box idea! Between workshops and books and blogs and one great sketch after another, do you ever sleep?!

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  3. You paint with such poetry. How many people drive by this and miss the beauty? I'm so glad you captured it.

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  4. Thanks, all! It really is a beautiful old structure...there's just something about circular towers/silos/grain elevators...

    And Barbara, I don't watch TV. Frees up no end of time!

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  5. Kate, I'm amazed at your shadows. There's so much life and color in them. I would have tended to paint them much darker and more contrast-y. Yours look just perfect. You've made the whole scene glow with sunlight.

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  6. Thanks for sharing the whole story! I really like the discovery of the glove compartment door as an easel! -- Jack

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  7. Well, it's actually more of a place to put her paints & tools rather than an easel: she usually works in her lap or on a table. I don't think she's used an easel for over a decade.

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    1. Except that little tabletop easel, you're probably right--unless I'm painting a larger acrylic. I don't try to do that on the spot, though!

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    2. Guess I didn't express my observation very well -- I didn't mean to suggest that an easel should be placed on top of the glove compartment door -- just that the door made a good substitute for the flat part of a small easel, where paints and tools are normally placed, as Joseph says. It might be possible to prop a piece of watercolor paper clamped to a support against the dashboard, making it the upper part of the "easel,"if somehow it could be steadied in the notch at the hinge of the door. On the other hand, I haven't seen your little tabletop easel, Kate -- maybe it could be placed on the door, using the door as a very small table!

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  8. What a fantastic painting! And a wonderful memory. Sometimes we keep track of the special events, and forget the day-to-day things that actually make up our lives. This will bring back so much when you view it in the future.

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  9. Beautiful painting. Sad story. Thanks for sharing your process.

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  10. And thanks all, I REALLY had a great time doing this one...

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  11. Thank you, this is such a cool post, Like that shadows, I gotta check my glove compartment, great idea!

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  12. Kate, This a great sketch. I also saw it on the USK blog and it really jumps off the screen. I have sketched in the car too. The front passenger seat folds flat and becomes a work surface for a computer or a sketchbook. It is a nice way to stay warm and listen to music while working. The only problem is finding the right parking space!

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  13. Thank you both...Michael, that would be REALLY handy! I used to have a VW bus that was going to be a traveling studio, but it never quite worked out. Probably because the bus never quite worked, period!

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  14. Lovely, heartbreaking, beautiful.

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