Heavenly skies above construction, Nevada Texas

Old Dog, Guard Your Church- Nevada, Texas

Nevada, Texas churchfront
Church renovation in Nevada Texas
Nevada, Texas
Details in Nevada Texas
Stained Glass windows in Nevada, Texas
Church construction details, Nevada Texas
Lovely Doors, Nevada Texas
Heavenly skies above construction, Nevada Texas

Old dog, guard your church, Nevada Texas

There’re a lot of towns with strange, geographically inexplicable names here in Texas. There’s also innumerable churches, cathedrals, mosques and religious meeting places on pretty much every street corner, no matter what part you happen to find yourself in. I’m not religious in any of the ways that really matter, but I can respect and admire the beauty of these buildings and what they mean to those who visit. In a small town like this, less than 2 square miles total and easily missed, with a population of less than 1000, it’s easy to understand how you could find 2 churches within a stones throw of each other.

We quietly rolled down the loose gravel roads, the rocks ping ping pinging off the cars underside and disturbing the deep settled stillness and calm of the streets. There weren’t any people to be seen, bikes laid down on the grass outside of houses and birds chirping on chipping white picket fences. We pulled up to a church under construction, tools left in the grass and  piled on the sidewalk. That kind of trust is hard to find in bigger cities, and while there was a slightly grumpy dog tied to the yard next door, he was more sleepy than guarding and while eventually he got a big suspicious of our idling car, it was nice to be allowed to linger without purpose in front of that church and imagine what it might look like some day.

~m

A love like that, fables and coffee

A Love Like That- Sketches, WIP’s and Podcasts

little things, fables and coffee leaves and paint jars, fables and coffee closer look, a love like that, illustration detail, fables and coffee I say Murder, work in progress illustration lovely things, fables and coffee close up, fables and coffee A love like that, fables and coffee

So i’ve been on a rather obsessive history kick this past week and a half . It started when I downloaded, out of mild curiosity, a couple of episodes of the fantastic podcast, “Things You Missed In History Class” which…gah, if you ever have the chance, listen to a couple of their episodes, maybe during your morning commute, during chores or just while quietly ignoring the world. It’s awesome, truly. And so, after listening to a couple of episodes, I got a few more….and then a couple of more…. after which I realized a couple of things.

Numero Uno – gods I really REALLY missed a lot all those times I skipped class, and

Numero Dos- history is totally my jam. Not that I despised history in general before, it was just sorta… in my peripheral. I had a good grasp of major events and influential players but.. that was pretty much it. It never interested me like travel, design, architecture, biology, politics, science and sociology did. Course, now that I kinda think about it, i’m honestly not sure why I wasn’t more interested in where those topics that I was interested in progressed from. Of course whenever I get mildly obsessed with a topic, I have to have a concentrated obsession within it, so…my current historic obsession? The Phoenicians, weirdly enough.

On a separate note, i’ve decided to take a break from my art journal. Not that I don’t enjoy doing it, and perhaps I’ll change my mind rapidly and have one up for next week but….for now at least, i’ve decided I want to focus on actual, full illustration projects. I want to do a series of 12-16 mini mountain-typography ones, as well as expand on some ideas you can see in the photos above. And man, i’m REALLY terrible when it comes to time management. Like, dear gods, it’s honestly a miracle some days that I even get anything done with the way I waste time so easily like sand between my fingers. So while I enjoy working on pages in my journal, I kinda want to focus my attention on other artistic spillings, at least for the next couple of weeks. Also, I need to find a way to overcome my Tumblr addiction, can someone please start a support group? I feel that if anyone ever did start one though, we’d end up making a Tumblr for it and then we’d never get anything done at all.

~m

 

its the shame, it's the prize

When The Day Is Done- Flowers and Prose

little bud, when the day is done, sketch idea lovely flowers flower petals and sketches sketches, fables and coffee fables and plants flowers and watercolor brushes its the shame, it's the prize

Reawakenings come slowly, but they do come …

I’ve taken a bit of a break from my art journal these past 2 weeks (wow, wait really? I just realized it’s literally been 2 weeks since I’ve picked it up…alright then ), not because of anything really just… the usual February slump that comes around this time of year, always. I think it hits me a little worse than most people, that feeling of “jeez, this new year is really not going how I wanted it to…” because right after February comes to a close, I turn a year older. Not that I hate my birthday, it’s just that extra mark down in the years that you thought you’d have done certain things by this point (like get that tattoo, see Norwegian peaks or eat a whole box of Cap’t Crunch in one sitting) .

Also, I spent the last two weeks listening to Nick Drake on and off again and let me tell you, if you don’t feel at least slightly maudlin before, you’ll be more than halfway there after a couple of tracks. It’s a loveliness that wraps itself in tender tendrils that can be very hard to escape.

I decided to kick myself at least partially out of this slight slump though, by spending a sunny winter Sunday afternoon with my father, digging our hands into moist soil and repotting some flowers I had bought. I wanted a little more life inside my apartment and making that extra time before I leave for work to make sure the sun has a chance to fall on some buds, as well as checking in on them while I sketch at night, it’s been a kinda wonderful sort of thing. So i’m battling it out with the rest of this month, and while i’m sure i’ll get to March with some bumps and bruises, as long as I get there, it’s all good.

~m

America, texas here you are

A Flag on Every Street- Caddo Mills, Texas

Paynes Furniture

America, texas here you are

Mona Lisa Pizza

sleepy sunset first street

caddo mills

Save Us All, the graffiti said, East Texas

east texas photography

red white and blue, you are so american darlin'

under hairworks

lovely, isn't it? East Texas

Caddo Mills, East Texas

red door, Caddo Mills Texas

Caddo Mills, texas

First Street, Caddo Mills, Texas

There was an American flag on almost every street corner. Trucks rattled by towards the fields that seem to engulf this sparse town of less than 2,000 and the smell of diesel and cheap beer floated on the warm breeze while the hot sun beat down down down onto cracked sidewalks and empty streets. The taste of USA felt so strong here, from the way the dogs barked from behind chain link backyard fences to the parked police car next to the pizza place, the lone passenger in the drivers seat reclined for a nap in the afternoon heat.

Save Us All , the graffitti proclaimed up above the furniture store and I wondered who had ventured up to the structure to spray those words for all to see. Save you from what, I idly wondered, god being around the corner on every street here in these small towns. . Graffiti is possibly endemic here, with so many wide open walls just waiting to be sprayed with messages for gods both here or not, and underneath their fresh layers of white, I could see remnants of previous messages just waiting to be recovered on many walls.

Residing in Hunt county, with an estimated 459 housholds as of the 2000 census, you can’t help but wonder at the life here. There is beauty, the colors red-white-blue popping out from everywhere, and the little houses that sprawl out from the town center are filled with thriving gardens that clearly showcase a special kind of quiet resilience that isn’t easily found in modern suburbia. Between Greenville and Royce City, it’s bypassed by the highway that connects both and as such, it’s easily missed unless you aim for it by placing your life in the hands of any of the small farm roads that connect it to main civilization. Or, I guess if you wanted to, you could fly in, as they somehow have their own municipal airport. Don’t say these places can’t surprise you.

~m