Friday, April 06, 2007

Camellias: heavily perfumed, gorgeous flowers that grow on large bushes in the South. An older couple who lived at the end of West Cranford Street when I was little (eg., under 8) had tons of these bushes, and we (my sister Jenna and I) would pick tons of flowers and bring them home to Mom. She was always worried that we were stealing flowers but really, we would never do that.
These are camellias growing about the yard of the oldest house in Valdosta. The yard is huge, unpruned, uncared for, and I love it. The house itself is a disappointment; some committee has fixed up the crumbling, peeling house and repainted it, so it has none of its old degraded beauty. But I stomped around the property anyway around 10 this morning, clicking away with my camera, searching for interesting shots. It was a whole uninterrupted 90 minutes of solitude. Ah.
Below, you see the back of the house. Looks haunted, right? The trees are great; I love 'em. Anyway, it was fun. My goal was to photo all the old houses downtown and then meet Craig at his studio and maybe get a few shots of him with his work.

This is a house right across from the one above. This one is inhabited, and is still in the process of remodeling. It has this weird turret-thingy poking out from the wrap-around porch.

Moving on across downtown: I parked (illegaly) behind Ashley House, a retirement apartment building, and crossed Ashley Street to get some good "industrial" images; old business signs, interesting textures to use at work, whatever.

This is an abandoned (?) warehouse which had that sign "POLICE NO1577" spray-painted on it every few feet. I don't know why, but thought it was worth photographing. The one below is a cool lock I found on one of the doors. I like locks.

Here's the whole facade: I shot individual pix of the painted bricks up close, the individual words, etc. etc. but wanted one whole image as well.

Moving on, because it was time to meet Craig, I took a few fast images of the old Army/Navy Surplus Building on Patterson Street. Jenna got her first (and only) pair of combat boots there back in the late 80's or early 90's, whenever they first became popular. The store's closed now but I'm sure every photography student at VSU has shot this building for an assignment. Curiously, I never did while I lived here. But now I have the strong urge to photograph and capture images of the town I used to live in. Nostalgia.

This almost looks like a painting to me.

The greatest thing is, the steps lead to nowhere. Where DID they go, back in the day?? By the way Krissy, if you ever read this, all of these images you're looking at are posted just as they were shot. I was really practicing getting good exposures.

Now we come to Craig! Craig Hawkins is a good friend and fellow art major from VSU (my second stint at VSU). He married the lovely Donna, and paints for a living. Check out his blog at Recently the planets aligned and Valdosta actually remodeled the old GoodWill building downtown and turned it into an art store/gallery downstairs and the upper floor was chopped up into studios which rent at decent prices. I'm sick with envy!!
Here's Craig with some of his work:

Donna found him this wingback chair, and in Harry Ally fashion, Craig painted it. Mr. Ally has a similar one in his office in the VSU Art Dept. There's a drawing of Donna beside him.

Craig goes through a lot of "looks," and this is one of my favs. He looks so "artsy," to be perfectly lame and cheesy. I'm so glad to have such cool friends. Our time was short, but sufficient. He had to get home and eat lunch and get on the road to ATL. He had several paintings in a show opening tonight.

So those are a few of what I took this morning, between 9:30 and 12:00pm on Good Friday. I'm home for my Big Mama's 90th birthday party, 50 people will show up at Mom's house tomorrow around 6:00pm for dinner and festivities, it's 12:34AM and I should be asleep, but I had to tell my story. It's made me so happy.
My sister's here and we watched the History of Motown and Rock n Roll on Biography. Great stuff. Mom's downstairs, finishing the German chocolate cake. Hannah's sacked out. Dad's listening to the Allman Brothers outside. They (he and Mom) had to take Thelma, their black lab, to the vet today, to have her put to sleep. It just happens that today is also the day that Dad and Jenna went and picked her out as a puppy and brought her home, nine years ago. So, it was sad. They only have Louise now, the blonde. Thelma and Louise. They were indeed a pair.
Happy Easter, my friends. I miss you in Texas, and I'm so glad to see you who are here in Georgia.

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