The Despair of Abandoned Homes

Happy Valentine’s Day friends!

It is no secret that I have a love affair with saving historic buildings.  I consider them works of art and after all, architecture is about people. Our built history is created by people and it is people that give brick and mortar life.

I moved to St. Louis seven months ago knowing that one of the biggest problems confronting this city is abandoned homes and buildings.  And while the city and preservation advocates have worked diligently over the years to improve this situation, today out of a total of 129,500 properties, a whopping 25,000 are considered vacant and abandoned.

As I drive around the city, it breaks my heart to see crumbling and discarded buildings, however their beauty and form can still be seen behind their mask of despair.  Regrettably, in many cases, the time for valiant action to save these old beauties has long since passed. I have noted that once they fall into the abandoned and neglected stage, it is not only the elements that keeps them under siege. To add to their misery, they are attacked and plundered by those seeking to obtain any value they can still be extracted from them.

“Love Me Don’t Leave Me” series

Love Me Don’t Leave Me series. Entitled “Jilted Lady”

 

I know, it’s a complicated issue, but as an artist and lover of history, I decided to shine the light on the plight of these forgotten relics with my Love Me Don’t Leave Me series. My aim is to show their haunting beauty and a give a tiny glimpse of some of the stories that still might hide within their walls.

This one, the first in my series, is entitled “Jilted Lady”.  Look closely and you will see why. I also wanted to show my fascination with how abandoned buildings such as this tend to attract new growth and life, such as the wild flowers and the mating doves in the broken window.

This is a mixed media piece. I started with a black and white photo that I took, then added four different artistic mediums to create the exact effect I wanted, including ink pen, watercolor, acrylic paint and colored pencil.

And if you are concerned that my passion for old buildings has made me morose and bitter in my old age, I think not.  Here’s a happier picture to prove it.  Bruce and I are celebrating our 34th Valentine’s Day this year.

Bruce and Leisa — Valentine’s Day 2023

I truly wish you the best on this special day. Celebrate it with your loved ones and appreciate all the people that bring you joy. There is so much for us all to be grateful for, and on that note, I will say that I am very grateful for your support of my art and artist endeavors over the years. So thank you!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

With love,

Leisa

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