Power at Sunset – Daily Painting

“Power at Sunset” – 8 x 10 inches – oil on canvasboard

Last weekend we drove out to Palmdale on business and I rode along because I couldn’t resist the skies full of incredible clouds. On the way home, after the sun had already set, I saw a glowing building and asked my husband to pull over so I could investigate. I gathered from all the high voltage signs that this was some sort of power distribution center, and of course I took a bunch of photos – the strong contrasts of colors inside the building and the dramatic sky were just too tempting. One of these days I’m probably going to get busted for suspicious behavior. But sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.


  1. n.b.
    December 13, 2006

    This is a terrific painting! I love the strangeness of the scene, yet it is understandable, readable, too. More like this please!

  2. hfm
    December 13, 2006


  3. wendy
    December 13, 2006

    Yes, it is glowing which makes the picture interesting with the contrast of darkness. You are prolific and focussed. I am too obsessed with updates of Fiji coup news that I can’t get drawing done at all.

  4. wendy
    December 14, 2006

    Karen, thank you for your kind thoughts. Yes, it does impact upon family but we are in touch by email and phone every day.

  5. Detlef
    December 14, 2006

    This is one is one of my favourites. It really appeals to my derelict building/industrial building fetish. Great work.

  6. Karen
    December 14, 2006

    Thank you Detlef (and everyone) I like old buildings, too – and old mines, rusty things and so on. It’s the texture that appeals to me, I think. Even my husband said tonight that he was surprised when I jumped out of the car, captivated by the building. We drove by it again tonight, at about 7 pm and it wasn’t the same. It was the sky and the twilight light that gave it that special look.

  7. Tami
    December 14, 2006

    Great job capturing the feeling of dusk. I love the lighting in the building and the look of almost desolation around it. Maybe you should carry some of your paintings with you to help bail you out if you get busted for suspicious behavior

  8. Karen
    December 14, 2006

    Tami, good idea. Don’t laugh but I have thought about having my sketchbook at the ready (which is full of drawings of Ripley, plants, cats and other things) should I be suspect. I think I’ll just hold up my oil-paint smeared arms if accosted. An then there’s always the easel in the trunk …

  9. Laura
    December 14, 2006

    Karen, I see it exactly as you described. The feel of the place is just terrific, this is a winning piece! It was very cool to run into you in the
    Nature Center yesterday and I am sure some golden Sycamores are in our futures.

  10. Casey
    December 14, 2006

    Wonderful urban landscape. There’s something disquieting about this one that’s very effective.

  11. Karen
    December 15, 2006

    Thanks, Laura. Casey, yes, it is sort of eerie, isn’t it. And walking by it at night with everything sort of humming but no one there … shiver.

  12. wagonized
    December 15, 2006

    This looks like a Bruce Springsteen song — maybe i am thinking of Darkness On The Edge Of Town… but the atmosphere is extremely well rendered.

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