August 25




Nebraska has a pretty good graffiti artist, wouldn’t you say?  This grain car near the Wilton Grain Farmers Union Elevator is waiting for a load of grain, and is displaying the artwork some busy artist added.  I often wonder why no one around here adds their touch to the grain cars?  Is it a matter of respect?  Of lack of inspiration?  What is it?

Actually that’s the question I ask most of the time when I see the graffiti, “What is it?”  Or, “What does it say?”  I can’t read it, but this one I could, “Nebraska” and the encouragement to add other states.

Down the line a bit further another artist added his or her work, and this one I could recognize, also.  It’s a bulldog.

Can you read what it says by the bulldog? Over here on the left is an isolated image of that same thing. Let me know if you figure it out.

June 23

They must be travelers pausing on their way through little old Wilton. The sides of those rail cars, like passports, bear the stamps of far away places where they’ve stopped and been marked. The artistry renders the language in to a cryptic cipher.  I struggle to read them, but to someone I’m sure they mean something, perhaps a branding of a network, a neighborhood, a gang, or  just an expressive person.Eventually, they end up parked at Wilton near the grain elevator waiting to get loaded so they can go back to the home turf of the artist who branded these cars.

I imagine the patient work that goes in to rendering the straight lines, the shadows, the depth.  I imagine cardboard used as edging and a whole lotta shaking of the cans as the artists rough out what it is they’re trying to say.
Around here, graffiti artists just aren’t that creative. They grab a can of spray paint and spray their graduating year, and that’s it.

February 12 part 2

Starting a mural

Kat Horton is a talented artist who works as a home remodeling contractor. Yes, that’s right, she’s a construction worker, but of the most talented kind.  She used to be a Second Grade teacher in Houston, Tx.  She’s also been a computer techie.  Now, she does building remodeling in North Dakota — with an artist’s touch.  Once in a while she gets to do something she likes, such as a mural or a logo.   She’s done company logos in their office,  and Vikings football helmets in a rec room.  In this case, on February 12, she was painting a scene inside a pair of knockout in the wall of a nice home in Bismarck.  She doesn’t get to do it often,  mostly she’s doing drywall taping and texturing, or bathroom remodeling, or painting.  In my estimation, she should be doing more artwork.  I guess that’s the “Plus” in her company’s name, Kat’s Painting Plus.

The finished look