Art Abandonment Project – 7th Drop

 

Art Abandonment logo

The weekend of August 12, the kids and I took a little trip half-way across the state to Madison…the justification being a new bra.

Once we tried on all kinds of over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders and selected the ones we wanted – it was time for fun.

Not that bra shopping in an upscale boutique-y place isn’t fun when you get to embarrass the hell out of the lady assisting with the sizing, selection and trying-on of the things…but I digress.

I’ll admit, I’m a bit ‘coarse’ when discussing boobage.  ESPECIALLY my own.

We ended up on State Street.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Wisconsin’s Capital city – state street is the connecting street to the actual capital building and UWM’s campus.  It’s filled to the brim with an eclectic offering of tiny mom&pop shops:  eateries, bars, glasswares, clothing, artistic gifts, metaphysical stuff…etc.

It’s also interspersed with an amazing number of very well thought out urban ‘chill’ spaces – fountains, greenery, water amusements, seating areas, and the like.

Because Madison has taken such care in creating an attractive space around the actual Government building(s), State street is a magnet for a very interesting class of people.

To put it bluntly – you get the hippies.

I don’t mean this in a negative way – I LOVE the hippy vibe – these are people who, in any day and age the tag has been affixed, go against the standardized social ‘grain’ of the time.  These are the thinkers, the dreamers, the rebels, and the artisans.

In short – my kind of people.

With such an eccentric gathering, how could I NOT bring along a few little artworks to abandon?

Grouping

I picked a total of 5 pieces for this little trip – an offering of some of my best…and some forms that hadn’t been chosen for abandonment before this.

We’ll start with this little teashop on State Street.  The kids wanted something kinda sweet to drink, and I badly needed a bathroom – Sencha Tea Bar served to fulfill both functions.  I laughed so hard at the signage in their restroom, I HAD to leave an offering…so the multi-colored fin whirly was perched on the sign.  Although my little twiddle isn’t as beautiful as Beyonce – I hope whoever found the piece treasures it as much as I loved making it.

We then wandered down State Street in the direction of the college quad.  One of my favorite things about State Street is the mix of old & new.  Here…some ancient storefront architecture bracketed with modern high-rises.  Perfect if you need some bohemian foodstuffs 😀

20170805_163638

Once we emerged into the quad – we found a gathering of flow artists…doing their thing to the beat of a small drum-circle.  I don’t know if you can really call 2 drummers a ‘circle’…but I was willing to just go with it.  Besides – the beats they performed were infectious – I couldn’t keep my feet still throughout the entire performance.

I managed to drop the dude and the inverted whirly in the quad – the dude ended up between the railings behind the drum circle, and the inverted whirly on one of the concrete seating areas surrounding the quad.

 

The kids spun things along with the group…after all, they’re flow artists and knew some of these people…and I wandered about the quad with my cell phone camera.

20170805_163413

 

 

 

Art comes in many forms – this storm grate isn’t your standard piece of cast iron.  This kind of detail is what makes the State Street area something special to visit.  And look…I took a selfie of my feet 😀

 

 

 

 

 

20170805_170916

 

 

You know I live in Wisconsin – we worship cows ALMOST as much as we worship beer.  I couldn’t help but snap up this little cutie.  She was quite intrigued by the flow artist spinning his hoop in the grass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

20170805_165158

 

 

 

 

I don’t need to go to Europe to see a castle…we have one of our very own!

 

 

 

 

 

The last piece to be abandoned in the quad was the full Persian keychain.  This wasn’t my standard abandonment, however.  One of the flow artists was having a birthday.  The group stopped in the middle of their performance, and offered impromptu birthday wishes and a pretty green present.

As green was her favorite color…the FP keychain was just the thing – it had green scales attached.  S duly presented my little twiddle to her…and she ran over to give me the biggest hug I’d had in quite some time.

FP Keychain

We had 1 more stop to make.  Mimosa Books & Gifts on State Street is a familiar haunt for the kids – they offer a lot of metaphysical stuff, some Eastern-themed tchotchkes, and tumbled, carved and shaped mineral stones.

Lots of those.

I slipped my final whirly on a corner of the counter when we were checking out.

We then grabbed a bite at the Which-Wich.  I tell ya – their lettuce-wich’s are HUGE – and very keto friendly.

We then made our way back to the old cheap-jeep.

But first…

When a building demands a good goosing – who are we to disappoint?

20170805_193542

And the last shot I’ve got from the Madison trip?  This little gem, spotted as we were getting into the car.

20170805_193916

If there were ever any doubts about how Wisconsinites feel about their beer, their football team, and their major religion – I believe this photo has erased all of that – the only thing missing from the signage was an advertisement for bratwurst.  We worship hops, the Packers, grilled brats, and Christianity in this state (well, the majority do…I’m the weird one!) and in that order.

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Golden

I ran across Dutch Goes the Photo’s Tuesday challenge.  His word of the week?  Golden.

 

Have I got a golden shot?  Abso-freaking-lutely.  And a story behind it, as well.

Dawn Photos 004

This shot was taken in August of 2010, in the midst of my high priestess time.  I call it that, because I was in a studio apartment in the middle of downtown, was walking all over the place to keep the walls from closing in on me (studios are, by their very designation…SMALL living spaces), and had just realized what a wonderful energy the Fox River generated at the small dam visible from my unit’s windows.

Yea, I was drunk on the vibe and the freedom I had acquired by the move and the ending of my 12 year marriage.

Prior to the taking of this shot, I didn’t consider photography a viable art form.  You didn’t do anything to produce the image, after all, except push a button.  The gadget did all the damn work.

This shot was taken on a cheap point & shoot camera.  It was one of a series I took in the early AM.  I have to say, this wasn’t the shot I went out to take that morning (that composition didn’t gel in the slightest), but was one last click taken as I was headed back to my building.

This is the photograph that changed my mind on the photographic arts, turning me from a cynic of the art form into an active participant.  And though I cycle through artistic expressions (in my half-century above the ground, I’ve written, painted, drawn, carved, etched, sculpted, sewn, braided, photographed, photoshopped, and made interesting things with bits of metal), photography is still pretty high up on my list of ‘I’m bored…what can I do today?’ projects.

I even wrote up my story about the dread pink menace earlier in this blog:  Oops..I broke the Dawn  

 

 

The Concrete Jungle

Took a new route home from work the other day.

I started out like I usually do – down the industrial leg.  The cemetery did some judicious tree-trimming along their fence, so I no longer have to dodge the long boughs to get through. More sunshine and less shade make that stretch just a bit hotter though – so it’s one of those give & take situations that everyone over the age of 12 has learned to adjust to.

 

Instead of heading all the way down the industrial leg, I took a slightly sharp right turn into a residential area…in search of more trees.  More shade.  A bit more breeze.  Plus – I get to tramp on different concrete.  Who knows what I’m gonna find?

20170516_164039

(the last time I took a different route home, I ended up snapping a couple of shots of Les Paul’s memorial graveside…so ADVENTURE!)

The residential trail WAS a bit cooler, as I was walking with my back toward the sun instead of it blasting my side – and the wind was brisk enough to cool things down a bit.

Ooooo – big hill.  Let’s turn left here to avoid…

And down into a stretch of …how shall I say this…

Cheap Apartment Units?

It was almost like I’d stepped through a portal.  Trash now clogged the streets and gutters – empty pop cans, Power-Aid containers, the torn pages from at least one book.  Various scraps of other unidentifiable paper danced in the breeze up and down the obviously-patched (read…badly tended) blacktop street.  The lawns were dominated by brown, frizzy, untamed grass, widely interspersed with large swaths of light brown dirt under the old oak trees.   Concrete stairways marched up the low rise between the apartment buildings and the sidewalk clearly showing their bellies – the earth had eroded from underneath them.  The handrails were either missing or brown with rust.

The buildings themselves – all brick – all uniform – all looking like they had been more than just a bit neglected in the maintenance department.  A LOT of the windows in these buildings had cracked blinds, blankets, or sheets hanging in lieu of commercial, uniform, curtains.  One window even sported a large splash of mud.

Because it was a nice, sunshiny afternoon, the residents of this neighborhood were out and about.  A couple of young men were conversing with another couple of young men in a car stopped dead in the middle of the street.  Off to the side on the other side of the street another couple of men conversed in the doorway of one of the buildings.

A young lady finished her conversation with another, then darted across the street after giving me a long look.

On my side – 3 moms stood on the dry grass chatting with each other as they kept eagle-eyes on the kids playing nearby.

As I approached, all those eyes zeroed in on me.

 

Now…my favored ideal when I’m out and about is what I like to call chameleon mode.  Yes, the people around me are aware of me, and I of them, but I’ve pulled in my energies nice & tight, so I just flit on the edge of that awareness.  If you’re a fan of the Hitchhiker’s series – it’s almost as if I’ve placed a SEP (someone else’s problem) field around myself.

SEP Field

I like it when observing eyes just slide off.

Yesterday … no amount of pulling in of my energies was going to make those eyes NOT notice.  And focus.

I was the interloper.  The intruder.  The one who did NOT belong.

The expressions of the regular denizens of that place went from easy and social to calculating.  Alarmed.  Assessing.  Was I a threat?  A predator?

Or was I prey?

I watched body language change as each set of eyes came to rest on me.  Backs stiffened up.  Conversations died.  Eyes narrowed and nostrils flared.  Hands unconsciously curled and the kids play abruptly ended.

Now…I’ve been breathing air for quite some time.  Driven through my share of ghetto-ish neighborhoods, walked a couple others.  But this is the first time in a LONG time I’ve been in such a place without companionship.

Yes…I was extremely concerned.  But I bravely soldered on through to the marching beat of the tune blasting on my iPod – and they all just stared as I walked.  I guess I was assessed as SEP after all.

Now that my adventure has ended…I gotta ask…

Does anyone else out feel the poverty in the air when you find yourself in (gah!  I HATE political correctness!) a disadvantaged neighborhood?  Can you taste the desperation in the wind?  Do the vibrations of these struggling humans echo from the Earth itself?  Does the miasma which chokes these locations threaten to cut off your breath?

Or am I just too freaking sensitive for my own good?

 

Somebody Order an Ark?

We had a weather-event in Wisconsin last week Tuesday.  It got wet.

Really wet.

Really, REALLY wet.

Dinosaur weather

I remember 2 ladies at work not able to make it in, as they were flooded in.  I remember one lady who managed to get TO work getting a news push, citing the dam that was 2 blocks from her house had failed.

(for the record…everyone ended up safe, as sane as before, and semi-dry…)

I remember having to drive to work, as I don’t own a wetsuit or flippers.

I also remember walking to work the day after the stormage pounded through…because I had to detour.  Bethesda park’s walking path was flooded.  Now…I could get ON the footbridge spanning the Fox River…but I couldn’t get off it.

Here’s a couple of shots

 

This one, taken earlier in the spring, the Fox River is firmly in it’s banks, you can see the walking path winding all the way across the park.20170508_165502

Here’s the shot from the same vantage point.  You can see where the water has totally covered most the path.

Flood July 2017 Bethesda Park

This morning when I once again donned my walking shoes and set off…I thought I’d at least see where the water now was in the park, and see if I could now get through.

Almost success!

I can now get onto the park grounds from the footbridge, but I have to go straight up the hill instead of the walking path down by the river.  I call it ‘Taking the High Road.’

I’ll take it whatever way I can get it 😀

noahs-ark

No (ah) Ark Required!

Art Abandonment Project – 4th drop

Art Abandonment logo

It’s been a while since I did a bit of artwork dropping.  To be perfectly honest, I was not very satisfied with the tags I had (pulled from the Art Abandonment files, printed on plain white paper, and cut to size) and this restricted my ‘will’ to package things up.

But…my workbench is overflowing with whirlys, stars, and some sizable strips of European 4 in 1 left over from one of the dragon wing design attempts.  It was time to clear some of the chaos.

I did find some new tags.  On Vista Print (it’s on online print shop, they have a lot of different stock designs for business stationary) I found a business card background I was extremely pleased with…and I could add in whatever text I wanted.  You can see the results in the drop pictures below.

Once I got these in my hot little hands…I could barely wait to package stuff up.  YEA – clearing clutter AND getting back into freely distributing a little bit o beauty into the world.

 

Life is good.

All 4 of these were abandoned on July 16, 2017, in the Downtown Waukesha area – after 7pm, as I did a bit of walkabout.

The whirly bird was abandoned by my most favorite fountain.  This is the water feature I was first drawn to when I moved to Waukesha…it had a wonderful energy as it was situated right on top of the small dam.  And, although it still has a fantastic energy…it no longer pours that energy out to me.  I’ve moved further downstream.

The 8 pointed Byzantine Star was abandoned at this point on the Fox River Walkway.  I found some old, rusty staples in this wood beam…one came out easily, was re-inserted equally easy, and allowed me to hang my little package for max visibility.

The 6 pointed Byzantine star found it’s temporary abandonment resting place smack dab in the middle of our very artsy downtown area.  This is some kind of electrical or grid-service box.  The gallery which shares the sidewalk with this has painted it with a downtown scene to jazz it up.  This is one of the biggest reasons I love the downtown area.  After I did and photographed this drop, I waited for the crosswalk light to change, then passed a pair of uniformed officers heading the opposite way.  I can only hope this star was picked up by one of ’em.  I can’t think of anything more fitting than a star for a cop 😀

And, finally, the European 4 in 1 key-chain.  I’ve been sitting on this (and a 2nd, which I haven’t converted yet) patch of chainmaille for a bit.  It was one of the failed wing attempts for the dragon project.  It consists of around 400 rings.  Up until this point, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with the patches…I just knew I didn’t want to unweave ’em.  So I stitched up one end and added a short length of chain to attach to a key ring.  And…because all this walking and abandoning is hard work…I stopped at the little sweets place downtown for some sugar free chocolate gelato.

 

Hope my little twiddles brought a smile to the face of the lucky finders!

Get on my Lawn!

For quite some time, now, I have a segment of my walk where I abandon the solid concrete and put feet on the ground itself.  I feel by doing so, I connect just that much better with our Earth.  Connecting with nature (even the tiny bits you find in your standard city) is something that speaks beyond words.

There is this long swatch of grass bordering the railroad tracks and the river.  Because it’s this close to the tracks, it’s considered the domain of the city (you can’t build that close to the tracks because…well…when rail accidents happen, they tend to spread their destruction), and thus, is fair game for any walkers who wish to wander.

So…I leave the pavement at the beginning of this swatch, and tromp across a narrow band of green with the river on one side, the street on the other, and the tracks once the river bends north to swing around Bethesda Park.

Right here…the little red line…is part of my walk home.

Untitled

The trees along this stretch fan out and over the grass, giving me a bit of shade.  The breeze comes up from the river, giving me a bit of relief from the (usually) hot sun.  It’s here that I offer a bit of blessing, and a bit of homage, to the Fox River.

I honor the Fox River with a bow and a few soft words of admiration when I come up to this point on my homeward journey, because water is life, for which I am grateful.

The Natural has taken it upon itself to give a little something back to me.

Raspberry bush

I have been graced with a tangle of wild raspberry bushes under the canopy of trees bordering the river.

I take one or 2 berries a day…just a bit of sweetness for my walk.  I leave the rest.  So far, the bushes haven’t been stripped by any foragers…either of the 4 legged or 2 legged kind.  I feel it’s a bit of a secret understanding between the Natural and I – and a tangible display of our mutual acceptance of each other.

 

The HoneyMoon’s over (Lake Michigan)

Originally published 6.15.2014 on The Tempest and the Teapot’s Google site.

This Friday, June 13th, 2014 – there was a rare event.  A full moon rising on Friday the 13th.  What made this moonrise even rarer was the coloration – a warm, amber-honey color was predicted for this rising.  Thus, the Honey Moon.

So, risking all the horrors of Friday the 13th – and when you’re carrying a DSLR camera to the beach/lakefront that’s a LOT of money to be daring the bad-luck fairy to look away from – the mythos of the full moon causing madness (ok…so I’m already crazy and didn’t need to worry too much about that one) and the SQO’s being bored, I dragged him into the car and off we went.

Once we got to the lake, I realized I had forgotten all about the whole ‘cooler by the lake’ thing, and was only wearing a light top with no sleeves.  Well…  Artists always suffer for their work.  My Turn!!!

We arrived a bit early – sunset was in full swing, but the moon hadn’t come up yet.   So, as I had some time to kill, I set up on my beach for some sunset shots.

I wasn’t disappointed – Mother Nature delivered a very purple sunset…

My beach on the Lake (and just to be clear, here, if I’ve gone to a location for shots 3x or more, it officially, at least in my mind, becomes ‘mine.’  My Beach, my Riverwalk, my Fountain, etc…) runs roughly northwest to southeast, so I can get both sunset and moonrise on the same location.

I foresee a foray out to my beach in my future…one VERY early morning.. to catch a sunrise.  

Two years, hasn’t happened yet.  Can I procrastinate, or what???

As we made our way up the concrete causeway to the round observatory extending into the Lake, I found – people.  Not many people, mind you…but just a few -as crazy as I am- with cameras extended toward the horizon to catch the Honey Moon rising.  Once again proving that I’m not the only nut-job in this state, but amongst a small, eccentric minority of slightly insane nature-lovers.

I snapped away.  Moonrise was well in progress, the color was fantastic, and the camera was singing in electronic joy.  Once I took my attention off the moon – I noticed the power plant further up the shoreline.  Beautiful, the way the reflections hit the water.

Say what you will about the cost of utilities these days, but I’ll forgive them my high-heat bill last winter for them putting out this spectacular light show on the shore.  But only last winter’s bills.  This winter, they’re on their own.

Now, I know I’ve mentioned that the SQO is a musician.  As a performer, he’s a natural in front of the camera.  I’ve lost count of the number of projects he’s appeared in – he’s always a willing vict…er…volunteer for whatever insane idea I have involving my camera.

I’d come across a number of forced perspective photos on the web – and naturally, the ‘what the hell’ just burst out of me in the throes of the moonrise (who am I to question the strange ideas blooming under the light of the full moon?)
Several moments of ‘just a bit to the right, now raise your hand JUUUUUUST a bit more, back to the left a hair, turn your head a little more, lower your chin, NOPE, too much, lower your hand a fraction of an inch,’ produced this ducky little shot.

 

And, as an aside – He was certainly more attentive to the Lakeshore temperature than I was – June, and he’s sensibly dressed in a leather jacket, hat, and scarf, while I’m doing the whole ‘Freezin’ for a Reason’ thing.

Overall, the shoot went well – but I couldn’t tempt the wicked fates of Friday the 13th by getting great shots without paying the price for my success – even with being under dressed, freezing my bunz off, and succumbing to the influences of the light of the crazy-generating moon.  (where do you think the term ‘lunatic’ comes from?)

Finally, there were no more good shots to be had.  As the moon rose higher in the sky, the amber hue faded away, until only the standard white moon filled the sky.  Quite pleased with my shots, I quickly packed things up…because by this time I was shaking more than a bit, I believe I started acquiring a lovely shade of blue, and the mosquitoes were undaunted by the brisk night air.

In Wisconsin, the mosquitoes grow fur to combat the weather!

The DSLR came off the tripod and into its bag – close and clip.  The Canon with the mega-zoom got looped around my neck.  The tripod was folded, but the legs were still extended.  The teacup had its own little bag to stay secure in, along with a smallish brass chalice I’d picked up at Goodwill (seriously, folks, if you’re ever looking for awesome photo props that won’t break the bank – go to your local Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, or any other resale shop in your area), and they were both nestled inside.

We made haste to the car – up the concrete sidewalk toward shelter and warmth, when I heard it.

A metallic tink. Followed by the breaking of glass.

I had forgotten to zip the bag with the teacup.  Both it, and the chalice, launched from the bag in a misguided attempt to break for freedom.  My poor, brave, foolish little teacup.  I guess the pressures of stardom were too much for it.  It must have been depressed to never be pressed into service as a container for a hot bath of Earl Grey, surrounded with happy, crunchy bikkies on the side.  It ended its life of photographic supermodel-dom on the concrete walkway for the observatory on Bender Beach on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan.

Rest in Pieces, little buddy. Friday the 13th took you from me, and the Honey Moon is now over…