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END OF A RAIL LINE

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  You want to write more about this place. Hard scrabble, sitting along route 521. Write more than there is, mystery lingers here. So much of Kershaw’s fate linked to the soil, How it seems the whole town is headed that way. Fading away except for the distant gold glitter that remains. They say 2,000 live here, but there is no bustle on the streets. Just worn out sides of buildings once used, The place made by the railroad, rail lines that don’t stop here now. Just a few grain cars straddle its tracks. The gold mine a few miles away, digging away at the earth. But crops of soybeans the real gold now. They turn the fields purple and red in the fall,  Unlike gold, they come back time and again. Harvested and hauled by bin trucks that line up. They take little of the earth, need no chemicals to grow. Replenish the soil with nutrients for other crops. The market always waiting for them. The processing plant at the end of town, turning them to oil. You never see the

SOUTHERN CORNERS

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  I could write a lot about the South. How it's more rural and forested than you think, how two lane roads travel to small towns, some forgotten or forgetting. The warmth of the people you meet, the quiet distance they will keep. The splendor of a Southern Spring, the sultry summers that make you pause, deep colors of fall fields, the cold winds of Winters with barren trees. New industry with promise and jobs. Old industry in vacant places with people left behind. Sometimes though, you find a simple shop or store and look in the corners, the story of the South is all there. I could write a lot about the South, but not tell what you will find…

LIBRARY 5

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What is a library today? They seem to exist in some middle ground between tech driven digital media and hard cover books. The later seems heavy and old, but they are the core of any library.   It’s not really called Library 5, more formally known as the Mecklenburg South County Regional Library. It’s just the 5th one I visited trying to find a good group of art books and place interest. This one did not disappoint.  The colors and lights were bright. The library is surrounded by the canopy trees of the Piper Glen District, the windows almost seem like they bring the trees in. I would call the building mid century modern, others might say Bauhaus or even Brutalism. Regardless it is done well with lots of unique room and places to study, read, meet and even craft. Yes, they have a “Makers Space” room with a 3D printer. I stayed there enjoying the place longer than I expected, leafing through photography books and people watching. The decor distinguished the place and provided encouraging

WANDERING WITH HOLGA 120N PLASTIC CAMERA

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  The Holga 120 medium format camera was designed by Lee Ting-Mo in Hong Kong. It started production in 1982 with hopes of it becoming a cheap camera for the masses in China. However, with the advent of 35mm film, the camera never achieved its goal and faded from the market place. In recent years, the camera gained a second life. Photographers became attracted to its imperfections, light leaks and surrealistic images it produces. It’s still cheap usually costing less than $65. You don’t get instant results. You never know what the image shot initially looks like because it’s a film camera. You have to wait for the processing. Once in a while you find art, imaginations and treasures in the shots you get back. All gathered while wandering in the world with your Holga

THE ART KIT (when not perfect is perfect)

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Your personal thoughts and reflections deserve a better place than being buried in your business tools, like your phone. Maybe it’s because business demands perfection, where your thoughts demand freedom.  Being Present Minded is key to getting in touch with your thoughts. Modern electronic devices take you away from that, there are just too many distractions. All this is a reason to craft what I call an art kit. During the workweek, it can be as simple as a small notebook. One you pull out of your brief or purse to jot a hand written note, record a passing reflection, a saying, even a sketch on. I find these marks of your being more frequently resourced than electronic notes. There is an art to them, that art is you. On the weekend, that art kit can be expanded to a small day pack, one that might include that same notebook, but also a plastic camera, art coloring pencils or even brush pens. Perhaps these are defined best by the plastic camera. Film or digital, most are under $65 and s

POOLUCKAS

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  So much of your day is already dictated, the have to do’s, the commute, the work. Early morning though is yours, all be it brief. You look at some art, ideas flow in you head, you want to see them come alive. You pull open your art studio door, grab a few of the burgeoning art tools and go for it. This is not an hours long affair, it is all about quick, fast, let it rip. Freedom the rest of the day won’t have. Art brush pens are so good for this. They never produce fine art, nothing approaching real paint and fine brushes. Some illustrators work wonders with them. For the rest of us, they are just slashes of color on paper. You play with a blank sheet of paper, making marks here and there. Your hand wanders, filling in colors. You get silly, even stupid in your efforts. Standing back, your not sure what you have. It’s certainly not a Picasso or Jackson Pollock. You decide to call them Pooluckas, a gathering of spirit if you will, maybe art, maybe not. They are yours though. You are h

A PLACE APART

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  I’ve often wandered the city trying to find a quiet corner, a place apart, only to find myself there….