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Posts tagged “arts

Waiting for Showtime, 2012

instruments in stage light
instruments in stage light

Waiting for Showtime

Drums, guitar, bass and piano wait in the dimmed stage lights for the performance to begin.

I had the opportunity to photograph a performance last year, “A Gala Tribute to Joe Negri” at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall. I’ve created a slideshow of the rehearsal, performance and party afterward which includes music from the performance. Click here to see the photos and listen to the music–and I think I’ll need to remix this in a newer style of slideshow for YouTube.

I’m also going to be catching up with a few other photos for the days I’ve missed since the concert. October is beautiful, even in the rain! (No, the jazz standard is “September in the Rain”).

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Waiting for Showtime, 2011

instruments in stage light
instruments in stage light

Waiting for Showtime

Drums, guitar, bass and piano wait in the dimmed stage lights for the performance to begin.

I had the opportunity to photograph a performance last weekend, “A Gala Tribute to Joe Negri” at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall. I’ve created a slideshow of the rehearsal, performance and party afterward which will ultimately include music from the performance. Since this will be a few more days, I can’t wait to show some of the photos. When the full presentation is up I’ll post another image with a link to the slideshow.

I’m also going to be catching up with a few other photos for the days I’ve missed since the concert. October is beautiful, even in the rain! (No, the jazz standard is “September in the Rain”).


Turquoise Doorway: 2011

turquoise doorway

Turquoise Door

Someone’s entryway on the North Side of Pittsburgh, with a turquoise patina that contrasts very satisfyingly with the old red brick of the row houses. There was too much traffic in the street to back up far enough to get the entire door, and too many cars parked along the street to catch it from across the street. Still, 909 has a very nice doorway.


Creekside House

house on a creek
house on a creek

Creekside House

I’ve been enjoying photographing some sites and buildings around town, in the present day though they look quite old, and presenting them in black and white or in a sepia or otherwise aged appearance. Snow works well for this, as well as the excess of midday summer sun.

This house is on the other side of a tiny little creek, but it’s only accessed from an alley and across a footbridge made of railroad ties with no railing, and I’d always wanted to photograph it from the angle at which you can’t see any other buildings so it looks as if it’s out in the middle of nowhere. Someone still lives there, and someone has lived there constantly for decades; the house is very well-kept. This access would seem an imposition today, but people didn’t used to be so particular about such things, a home was a home.


House By Tracks

pastel painting of house by train tracks

pastel painting of house by train tracks

I passed this scene just this morning on my way down Main Street for a number of errands; a day very much like the one in the painting, and, as before, I took several photos of the scene trying to catch the glare of the sun, the feeling of the hot, dry silence of a late summer afternoon, the house sheltered from the tracks and from the sun by trees, its little back porch inviting. As usual, I was disappointed that the photo didn’t seem to convey the feeling I wanted no matter what I did with it—and I modified it every way I could think, enhancing the colors and desaturaing them, making it black and white, sepia, over exposing the highlights, but to no avail. I walked along the tracks in another part of town on my way back and think I captured the hot desolate walking of railroad tracks there, which I will post a little later.

So I looked up this painting I’d done almost ten years ago when, in another attempt, I was unhappy with the outcome of my photos, then on film, and decided to paint the scene to see if I could get it that way. Also, our annual art exhibit “Carnegie Painted” was coming up and I was looking for subjects. This painting did well for both efforts. The scene doesn’t look too different now than it did then, or actually many decades ago when I remember walking by here, something I really didn’t think about until just now.

I still have this painting, and because I pulled it out and dusted it off to look at it for this, I also posted it in my shop on Etsy and in my Marketplace. It’s never gotten much attention from people, it’s not classically “pretty” and I understand that, but it has a lot of character, and it’s always brought back that hot Sunday morning on Main Street for me.

framed painting

Framed view.

About the painting

Nothing captures the heat of a summer day for me more than a view of railroad tracks, gravel blazing in the relentless August sun, the empty tracks themselves seeming to magnify the silence of a summer afternoon. Add to that the lush trees with deep, welcoming shadows and a faded blue sky and that’s summer for me, possibly because I often used railroad tracks as a shortcut when walking around in summer.

I also wanted to capture the brilliant highlights on the greenery, and the greenery itself aside from the trees, the scrubby, tough wildflowers that grow in the gravel along the railroad tracks.

I will really digress here and mention that I always associate it with the short story from Stephen King’s anthology Different Seasons entitled “The Body”, which became the movie Stand By Me. I was past my childhood days of following railroad tracks to the next town, but when I read that story something clicked for me—as a writer. As I read I could feel the sun beat down on my head, hear the insects, see the tracks stretch out before me in the quivering mirages of summer heat as if I was walking those tracks again and I decided I wanted to do that too, to take people to the place I was in my imagination by writing about it. I had always dismissed the things I’d taken in through my senses as my own experience and which others wouldn’t be interested in. I realized that the descriptive terms that built an image of physical place for the reader are built on what we take in through our senses.

I thought about that today as I walked along the tracks in the sun in 94-degree heat, much hotter on the creosote-soaked ties and metal rails, the brush and wildflowers growing tall around me, the tracks in a flat valley though just a short distance, a shortcut from one part of town to another. But I took in every detail, color, scent, sound—that mid-day quiet with the occasional insect or one bird, then silence—my thoughts, some day this will all appear somewhere in something I write.

frame corner for painting

Frame and mat.

I’ve always been fascinated by houses that were right next to railroad tracks as well, wondering how people managed to live there in the days when trains screamed by and emitted tons of toxic pollution. It all tells a story of a time gone by extending into today. While this house reminds me of many I’ve seen along other railroad tracks, this house is right off of Main Street in Carnegie and is still occupied. I took a few hours on a Sunday afternoon in 2002 to paint it for our annual art exhibit, Carnegie Painted.

This original pastel is painted on Wallis Sanded pastel paper, image size 9″ x 12″. I framed it in a custom moulding pine frame painted dark green with edges trimmed to natural wood, a 2-1/4″ acid-free natural white top mat and a 1/4″ acid-free forest green bottom mat. Finished framed size is 14″ x 17″. It’s in my shop on Etsy, so click on over and take a look.


Small Roses

pastel sketch of roses in a vase
pastel sketch of roses in a vase

Small roses, pastel, 8″ x 6″, 2001 © B.E. Kazmarski

Just one little sliver of sunlight crept through the blind and that was all it took to illuminate these old roses in a tiny glass vase. I stood in my kitchen and sketched this as quickly as possible before the light changed.

These are roses that I grow, am unbelievably bright pink pasture rose and an ancient deep red sweet-smelling climbing rose. Blooming plentifully in June, I placed them in an inexpensive glass bowl; they fall apart rather quickly but I still wanted to enjoy them indoors. I had prepared a number of drawing surfaces on old pieces of mat board, this being a combination of gesso and marble dust applied in a thick impasto, leaving deep brush marks for whatever I drew on it.

Here is a photo of the pink pasture rose.

I sell a print of this as a signed digital canvas print of an original pastel painting, gallery-wrapped on wooden canvas stretchers with black paint covering the sides, ready to hang or frame as you choose. The original was 8″ x 6″, but canvas stretchers are difficult to find smaller than 8″ so I just make a slightly larger print and gallery wrap it. I can also make an original size print and wrap it around a piece of 1/2″ gatorboard. I can also make other size prints as well, and I offer it as a greeting card in one of my collections. Find it in my Etsy shop.


Chive Talkin’

chive flowers and shadows
chive flowers and shadows

Chives

Good, now you can have that disco ditty by the BeeGees running through your head too.

I took this photo at just this angle. The chives lean in over my wooden steps, and at that time of the afternoon they cast these perfect shadows on the weathered, grained and scratched wood. It’s a simple repeating design with subtle colors I might use as a background somewhere, perhaps not the photo itself but a stylized version of it, as below, with a little more detail and finishing. Cool block print or screen print too.

posterized photo

Stylized Chives


My Neighbor’s Laundry

painting of laundry on clothesline
painting of laundry on clothesline

My Neighbor’s Laundry, acrylic, 6″ x 12″ © B.E. Kazmarski

This is what it looked like today!

This could be anywhere, but Carnegie really is a place where people still use their backyards to hang laundry. And it really is my neighbor’s back yard on a lovely summer morning.

I originally painted this for my home town’s annual art exhibit “Carnegie Painted”, and it was one of the very first acrylic works I’d painted since high school, but I could see the colors, see the canvas, see the texture of the paint and off I went. Interestingly enough, this is a small portion of a larger painting. There was a neat old barn of a garage behind it, but I just couldn’t work out the colors right but I loved the laundry, so I cut this out of the panel and framed it.

I sell this as a signed digital canvas print of an original acrylic painting, gallery-wrapped on wooden canvas stretchers with black paint covering the sides, ready to hang or frame as you choose. The original was 6″H x 12″W, but canvas stretchers are difficult to find smaller than 8″ so I just make a slightly larger print and gallery wrap it. I can also make an original size print and wrap it around a piece of 1/2″ gatorboard. I can also make other size prints as well.

You can find this 8″ x 16″ canvas print in my Etsy shop.

The original was sold but that summer morning lives on, available as this print and in the gallery “My Home Town” as a note card on my website.


Grand Entrance

two persons walking up steps
two persons walking up steps

Grand Entrance, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

The the shallow angles of the staircase to the second floor of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, colorful in the late afternoon sun streaming in the window wall out of view to the right. The geometry of the steps and color blocks appealed to me with the two non-geometric figures in the foreground, lots of symbolism about goals and climbing  and achievement as we went to see the Impressionist exhibit. You’re not supposed to photograph in the museum, but how can I visit a place that awakens my creative self without taking it in and expressing it creatively? I caught a few photos, though not of the art, just of the space.