Merritt Island, Florida
20.000 x 16.000 x 0.500 inches
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Painting - Acrylic On Canvas
This abandoned church site is on Merritt Island. It is mostly burned down. The stucco walls were a faded peach color. Graffitti was scrawled on the walls here and there. Weeds and scrub palms were growing among the remains of the charred wood. When I first found it, the sky was full of circling turkey vultures.
There are many words for a group of vultures. A group of vultures may be a cast, committee, meal, vortex, venue and even wake. Vultures rotating on thermals of hot air are referred to as a 'kettle', since they look like the rising bubbles in a boiling pot of water.
While I was painting this en plein air, a couple of policemen stopped by. They told me that this place used to be a church camp. It was determined to have been destroyed by arson. I was unable to find any further information about the place.
I tried to find information about it online but only succeeded in finding a youtube video of some guys walking through the remains.
It looked as if the round structure, which I originally believed to possibly be a round staircase, was simply a round room. It is an oddly shaped building adding to the spiraling effect of the circling birds.
I know that this is an unusual subject fraught with symbolism. If it hadn't been for the sky full of vultures, I might have not painted it. I sat in the tailgate of my van to paint the scene. It grew quite warm as the sky filled with afternoon clouds. It seemed to me, that what had been built by man was now being reclaimed by nature. An osprey called insistently from a nearby tree warning the vultures to stay away.
May 19th, 2013
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