March 13, 2010

Artist of [Undetermined Timeframe] #2: Photographer Katie Nelson

Well, Blog, it's no ordinary Artist we honor today, it's Katie!  Yes, THAT Katie, the older of my two fab daughters.  Katie is multi-talented (and that's not just a mom talking, it's more a craftsperson talking), but today we're focusing on her photography. Okay, Blog, I will not omit mentioning her photo on the cover of my 2009 novel Looking on Darkness.  Can we carry on now?  Thank you.

Today I completed the project of converting 12 of a series of Katie's "texture photos" to a wall art installation in our dining room.  Check out how totally awesome it turned out, Blog:

I know, right?  So let me tell you a little about the interesting origin of these shots.

Photos #5 and #11 were taken Labor Day weekend 2009. Katie went with her boyfriend and photography mentor Chris to Chippawa Lake Amusement Park, outside Medina, Ohio. Open from 1878 to 1978, the park has been abandoned for over 30 years. Says Katie, "Most of it has rotted away, been scavenged, burned, or demolished, but echoes of its glory still remain in the bits and pieces of split wood, crackling paint, rusty tracks, and warped metal."

Photo #1, from the same trip, was taken at Union Train Station in Gary, Indiana. Katie reports, "There's something for everyone from crusty textures to lurky corners to gorgeous flowers and berries growing from the rubble. My photography barely scratches the dusty surface."

Photo #6 was taken at City Methodist Church, also in Gary. Katie says, "It was like a museum really...beautiful dusty crumbly things at every corner. While I'm sad such a gorgeous place is in ruins, I very much thank Chris for showing it to me, so I too could find the beauty in this forgotten gem."

Also last fall, Katie and Chris visited the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on another photography road trip. Photos #3, #7, #8 and #10 are from the Quincy Mine Hoist in Hancock. Meanwhile, photos #2, #4 and #12 are from the Centennial Mine in Calumet. Such amazing studies in rust and paint, eh Blog?

Since not everyone who read this blog can come see this gorgeous art installation in our dining room, (although of course they are invited to drop by anytime, Blog), I made this slide show to show off the detail of Katie's photos a little better.  Of course in real life they are even more awesome!  I just love how these shots demonstrate the random beauty that results, completely unintentionally, as nature works its ways on the unattended creations of man.


  1. What an awesome idea and what gorgeous photographs! I'm quite envious of Katie's ability to see and capture beauty in what many of us would dismiss as trash. That last line of yours is quite poetic, too!

  2. Aw, thanks! Words I sometimes can do--photos, not so much! LOL At least not at this level...I too am so impressed by Katie and Chris's abilities in that regard.

  3. What a fine menargerie of textures! Bravo, Katie and Chris (and thanks, Diane, for sharing!)

  4. What such a wonderfully written piece about my work!! I can't thank you enough!!! I've never really had someone else write about something I've's kinda nice ;) I'm so glad you and David like the installation so really goes quite well with your decor! This whole thing has been quite an inspiration to do more with the textures. It's definitely my favorite photographic niche and I'd love to really focus on the texture stuff for the Route 66 trip! I mean c'mon, Route 66? Talk about forgotten gems! Anyway, thanks again're too much!! :)

  5. People have said that, not necessarily in a good way! LOL But thanks, it makes me very happy to have made YOU happy. And your photos will bring us and our houseguests a lot of joy in the years to come! Bring on Route 66 baby!!!