Friday, August 23, 2013

New Painting

This was only the second time this year that I've had a strong desire to paint so, when I found myself inspired without a canvas, it was time to become resourceful.  After looking through my closets an idea finally came to me... Given my history of incorporating and/or painting on unique objects, it was a natural fit to use an empty wooden magnum wine box I had saved.  After all, what good is a box in a drawer when you've already enjoyed the wine that came with it. ;)

The title is named for the road where the grapes from the wine in the box were grown.  It is also an abstract expression that is meant to represent all of my road travels through wine country. 

 "Vineyard Drive"
5 1/4 x 19 x 5 1/4
Mixed media on wooden wine box
This painting is finished on all sides so
can sit on its own or hang by its wire

This rustic and earthy abstract is full of texture and unique hues
that beautifully capture my experience in wine country ~

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bubblegum Alley

Like most kids, I was a hardcore gum and candy connoisseur... and I had a mouth full of fillings to prove it.

Cue Bay City Rollers.

Classic gumballs, Dubble Bubble, Dentyne, Trident, Fruit Stripes, Big League Chew, Blow Pops, Bubblicious, Chiclets, Tiny Chiclets, Freshen-up, Razzle, Big Red, Juicy Fruit, Bubble Yum, Hubba Bubba. You name it, I chewed it.

Little did I know, as I was perfecting my bubble blowing skills in the rural Midwest, a quiet alley in Central California was slowly being plastered with the used gum.  Lots and lots of used gum.    

Fast forward a few decades to this week's random stroll down a unique SLO landmark: Bubblegum Alley

Located between 733 and 734 Higuera Street in downtown San Luis Obispo, this 15-foot high by 70-foot long alley is said to have been started by students as early as the 50s.  Surviving two power washes in its early years, it eventually became a protected attraction that continues to be decorated with the used gum of passers-by.

Teenage girls giggle and ask me to take their picture, a father and son add their gum to the wall, and a mother reminds her kids "not to touch anything" as she fumbles with her iphone to capture their huge smiles 

It's not exactly sanitary, and there are items stuck in gum that are a bit cringe worthy, but this remarkable sight is worth the trip if you find yourself in the area.  Whether you view as a form of art or a sticky eyesore, Bubblegum Alley is a memorable experience that seems to bring out the kid in each of its visitors, regardless of age.

I may no longer chew gum, but this was definitely a fun one to check off my bucket list.       


© Natalie Starnes