|Spruced up Sandpoint Historic Train Depot|
Do you have a good idea of what inspires you, makes you choose to work with particular colors or designs? I thought I did: clean lines, interesting angles, symmetry, repeating geometric shapes, everything orderly. I often think it's that traditional quilting background of mine and the study of antique quilts underlying this tendency in so much of my work. The curves and texture and autumn palette I know comes from my long time habit of walks in nature. So imagine my surprise when sorting through some photos of our recently restored historic train depot that I found them less interesting to me than the ones I took of the station in its dilapidated state. Here are some before and after shots to show what I mean.
Most of the restoration has been to the outside of the building, to stop damage from a leaking roof and crumbling mortar. I'd tried to capture the crack running down one wall under the window near a loading bay. The rest is a bit of a mess.
Here's the wall "better" and I must admit I rather like the way they painted that loading by door. Except for that, this area has lost that "worn" character that theoretically I should not be drawn to. All neat and pretty and orderly design elements which I always think of as my core inspiration.
The brick platform along this side of the building and wrapping around to the front was falling apart, some bricks missing. It reminded me of some quilts I'd seen where the geometric pattern started falling apart and off the quilt. Could I do this, I remember wondering?
I was glad to see that the brickwork had been restored and in some areas replaced with new bricks. But now in a photo it struck me as rather boring from an inspiration point of view, although quite lively from the perspective of placement and value
Here is where old meets new. I realized how much more I preferred the old. Maybe the new will weather over time to be more appealing to me.
And as much as we admire a building that has been saved from destruction, what about its smoothed out surface and straightening up soon has us moving on?
Well, I can't say that is a hundred percent true for me. I still stare at newer buildings and want to sketch them, still entranced with their lines and angles, especially ones that soar into the sky, and dream of capturing that perspective in cloth, if only abstractly. But now I see better this other thing that can draw my attention, things opposite to what I think I prefer, the gentle decay that says "Look again. There's a lot going on here even as I slowly disappear."