Saturday, January 29, 2011

"artists helping artists", anne mckee - 2011

Most of you know that for the last several years I've been a contributing artist in the Anne McKee Artist's Fund Fine Arts Auction. This year's auction is happening next Saturday night, Feb. 5 and once again, I'll be joining very nearly 100 other Keys Artists at the Fort East Martello Museum at 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd. in Key West.

The evening opens at 7pm for an hour of viewing the collection that includes drawings, paintings, fine arts photography and sculpture and is followed at 8pm by the auction itself, conducted by auctioneer Charlie Bailey-Gates who's a pretty funny guy who really knows how to sell stuff. It's an easy evening under the stars of beautiful artwork, smiling faces, gourmet finger food from Small Chef at Large, and tickets for two complimentary cocktails plus unlimited champagne;
for all that, admission is just $25. per person.

Here is my offering for this year. . .

"She Dreams of Guitars"
Fine Arts Photography, 16" x 20" matted & framed
Gallery value, $500.

"Artists Helping Artists" is the engine behind the auction and the purpose of The Anne McKee Artists Fund itself.
The proceeds raised at the annual auction go back into the fund and are then are re-allocated to provide project-based grants to Florida Keys artists. I've been a fortunate grant recipient and can tell you, it's a win win for everyone. Buyers get a beautiful piece of artwork; Artists get a few bucks for brushes and paints or whatever it takes to keep working.

If you can make it, come on by. I'll be one of the guys with a flashlight directing the parking traffic. See you there.

Monday, January 24, 2011

beer • soda • ice • bait

The more time I spend up on Sugarloaf Key (for my out of town readers, that's about 17 miles north of Key West) the more I like the place.

You've gotta love how the items for sale here are prioritized

Maybe it's because I've got friends up that way, maybe because of the easy access to the water and maybe it's the richness of it's unspoiled natural nature.

Or maybe because it's usually nicely quiet and you can see more stars at night.

It's probably a taste of each of those things. But more than anything else, I've gotta say, it's something in the air.

I haven't really put my finger on it yet but the more explore, I'm pretty sure I'll figure it out.

Reflecting back to my previous life as a mogul monster on the NorthWest corporate corridor, I think that if Key West were New York City, Sugarloaf Key would be Connecticut.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

what's up dock?

. . .Nothing profound or prophetic but maybe poetic in how these old and well worn wooden docks lend themselves to a memory of an earier time.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

southernmost point

"A larger than life concrete buoy marks the Southernmost Point in the continental United States, only 90 miles
from Cuba.
Located at the corner of South Street and Whitehead Street, it's the backdrop for a Kodak moment for virtually every traveler to Key West."

Well, that's pretty much the party line on the thing. . .
Actually the southernmost point in the continental United States is somewhere along the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor and as for our red, black and yellow concrete buoy, it's more like 94 miles from Cuba. (but, trust me, I understand better than most that marketing trumps truth every time).

image courtesy of conchscooter

Back in the day, the site was marked by a much less ostentatious sign that was stolen as many times as the city could replace it. So in 1983 the city fathers (and mothers) decided to plant a little something that was just a bit too big to fit in the trunk of a car. Since then, our Southernmost Point buoy has been the most visited and photographed attraction in Key West. (mostly, I'm thinkin', because it's FREE)

I've even heard a story that the place is haunted and if you get there at dusk or just before dawn, when no one else is around, you might see the ghost of a young man gazing out over the water to the horizon.
But like I mentioned earlier, marketing trumps truth
every time.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

government road

In a moment of geek last week (yeah, I have them sometimes) I was playing with GoogleEarth and getting a bird's-eye-view
of Key West.
I found my current house, the last three places I've lived since I've been on the rock and traced the route I run on my bike workouts which led me to a look at the airport and that's when I found Government Road.
Now, I've always known that Government Road was there but, in all my years here, hadn't taken the time to go down it.
"Hmmm" I thought; a corner of Cayo Hueso I haven't explored; we just can't have that!

Government Road is a paved business that runs (I'm guessing here) about a half mile through mostly undeveloped natural nice-ness and parallel to Key West International across the salt marsh.

At the close end is Little Hamaca City Park and at the far end the road ends at a paintball battlefield. But it was the ruins I discovered in between that piqued my interest.

"What's all this then" I asked myself. Remains of radar towers (lots of them), concrete buildings big enough to warehouse Sherman tanks and something that looked to me
like a bunker.

That's when the light came on. . .
A military installation that just could date back to the
Cuban Missile Crisis.

In October of 1962 I was 10 years old and even though I have real memories of those days, the concepts of naval blockades, evil communists and nuclear armageddon were fairly abstract. I'm not even sure I knew a place called Key West existed.

Anyway, back home later in the day, I did a little homework and sure enough, here was one of the four firing batteries built to defend Key West if the situation between Kennedy and Khrushchev got out of hand.

It's a pretty amazing story actually. . .
On Oct. 20th, 1962 the 6th Battalion's 65th Artillery Unit and their low altitude defense missiles were ordered to move from Fort Meade, Maryland to Key West and in only 9 days, the troops and missiles were deployed and all four firing batteries were operational. (pretty damned quick)

Judging from the map, I'm guessing these are the ruins of Bravo Battery.

So it appears that Key West was loaded for bear in those days. It's got me wondering how weird it could get around here if the United States actually does decide to invade Venezuela.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

another maxine moment

I could buy my girl a million dollar goose down bed
but she'd still curl up in a box the
U.P.S. dude delivered this afternoon.
Felines, go figure.

Monday, January 3, 2011

a love story

Shooting through a long lens on a boat, even in a light chop, is problematic at best.
All the same, when I spotted this Cormorant dance of romance 100 yards off my starboard rail, I had to give it a try.

At the end of the day, these are not the best pictures I've ever taken but, sometimes the sentiment of the story is worth more than the quality of the art.

"Love doesn't make the world go round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile."
Elizabeth Browning

Saturday, January 1, 2011

a new year in paradise

"A New Year's resolution is something that goes
in one year and out
the other."

I've never been big on New Year's "resolutions". I mean, why put that gun to your head?
Resolve to do or not do something and by
March or April you've probably screwed it up. Then comes the disappointment,
maybe shame and guilt and you end up riding your own ass over it until June or July when, finally, the warmer
sun and seawater
can wash it all away.

Self improvement is, more realistically, a day to day proposition and "New Year's Day" is just another day.
Live today a little more consciously than you might have yesterday and hope that tomorrow will be better than today.
No pressure, no pain, no problem.

"Live every day as though it's your last.
Because some day, you'll be right."

"Celebrating Paradise" a photographic study by Arthur Winstanley
© 2011 Arthur A. Winstanley
Original photography & PhotoShop, 10" x 20" matted & framed
Museum quality prints available for purchase