A Remake Of The Resting Place

December 1, 2019

Late in the steamy summer of 2013, I created a public art installation with fellow artist Molly Rose Freeman. Our creation was titled The Resting Place. The Resting Place was an outdoor room. A free-standing structure with benches and a door and windows — an artistic resting place on one’s journey down the Atlanta BeltLine path and metaphorically through life. Molly Freeman painted the outside and I painted the inside. We had a good time. It was a temporary official public art project for the Atlanta BeltLine.

After a few months it was taken down. I then gifted it to an East Lake neighborhood preschool. I reconstructed it there on a snow-flurry day in February. I rebuilt it and made it better— added some parts and touched up things. Later it was taken down again and used in another way at the school. I lost touch with it. For reasons unknown, the school gave it away. Perhaps they had rested enough. Then it was given to someone who had plans for it but they never happened. It disappeared. It had a good life. I was happy with that.

Years later I got a phone call from a man that wanted to return The Resting Place to me. I said, “Ok.” I’m glad he called me, but when the painted boards arrived they were in a state of disrepair. ( On a side note, I drove through the State of Disrepair back in 2002. I was headed to New Orleans and wanted to see some new sights. I stopped once at a gas station down there and then kept on going. I saw a man with seven teeth. I saw a one-eyed dog. I got a flat tire and then my belly hurt a while. I decided to drive fast as I could to the state line. No need to hang around in such a dismal place. ) Well, back to my art project…. The painted boards, now in bad shape, were dumped on my driveway — muddy and very rotten in parts. It made me feel a bit sad. I salvaged the sections that were worth saving. I placed others on the burn pile in the back field. I love a good fire.

I leaned the boards up against the north side of my barn for many months. I thought about them. I would cut grass by them and walk by them. I did some more thinking. I thought about where they had been and what they were and what they could be — sort of like myself. I couldn’t throw them away. I thought I would like to create NEW art with them. I decided I would like to turn them into something I could sell to help out my growing family — something that could live on for others in their homes. I came up with a good plan.

I started to work on them recently. I cut off the bad parts. I cleaned and sanded and sealed the wood to stop any decay. I collected a stack of reusable boards that I could work with. I painted over parts of them I didn’t like and made new art. I let the old art speak to me and took things in a new direction.

I am happy I gave The Resting Place a second life — or maybe it was a fifth or sixth. Many times I have wanted a second life — a new life. Some folks would deny they ever thought about such things, but I sure have thought so. Maybe it helps you keep striving to make things better. I want to make things better. Lately, I have painted a number of paintings on the old wood sections. I took what was remained on the old painted wood and let it speak to me. I tried to let the ideas flow. I wanted to protect some of the older work but not let it hinder the new ideas.

I sold some of the paintings recently at my open studio event. People seemed to relate well with them. In fact, some folks asked if they could buy the original boards sitting around, without new touches. I said, “OK.” I will paint on the remainder of the old boards in the near future when I have fresh ideas and a brush of shiny paint. I still have plenty-a-stack to work with.

Now that we have rested a spell, let’s stand up together, put our boots on and walk a bit. Are you ready? Come on. Walk with me.

To see my available paintings please look here.

See you soon,

Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks