I often head out on unplanned photographic adventures around Snohomish, Skagit, and King Counties. I never know what I will find… or whether it will be worthy of sharing. These graffiti concrete paintings compelled me to share.
It was March and the rain had finally stopped long enough to venture out. I found myself under the Highway 530 bridge in Arlington Washington. This is the highway that was covered after a sudden mudslide in Oso Washington that took several lives a few years back. Behind this shooting location is the Stilliguamish River.
Under the bridge I found a wonder of awesome graffiti… graffiti that came with a message.
In the top image I felt a bit of sorrow for the artist. Seems he/she was tagging something personal for the world to see and to weep along with them as they found their art under the bridge. On this day I had a sympathetic mindset for the artist.
Pain, sorrow, and loss were jumping off the art work at me. I felt they were leaving a message for the world to see and feel. That message was “I am human. I have feelings. I need love.”
I consider myself an artist. Not an artist of graffiti under bridges but an artist with a lens. My lens is my pen that shares the story of moments in time. My lens is my therapist.
As an artist I can say we see thing that are beautiful in a way that the general population does not see. We see the gum wrapper and see beauty. We see the small details in God’s creations and find art and beauty. We hide our pains just the same as the graffiti artist under the bridge. We are also human and often times alone in our own mind.
And we were given an awesome gift. The balance of the gift steals from other functions. In my case I can find beauty and photograph it, I can take an ordinary scene and make it an extraordinary masterpiece, but I can not carry a tune, or dance.
We (artists) are sometimes weird, see things others do not, tell stories that matter to us and are riddles to the world and it is our plight to create for the world.
I hope this artist finds peace for their loss in life. I hope they learn to smile, to live, and to love because that is all that truly matters at the end of this life.