Kathleen Buckley & the City II

As a follow-up to our previous post, here are some additional urban landscapes painted and drawn by Kathleen Buckley:

Shoots & Ladders marks Kathleen’s departure from the rich blue skies found in her paintings from the turn of the century. To offset the blacks, whites, grays, and neutral colors of urban Smogopolis, she has begun employing the dark green that dominates the right third of this piece.

Shoots & Ladders

Roller Coaster blends the representational and abstract. It is the work of a dissolute Mondrian, a drunken architect. There is also something almost nautical to the structures on the right of the picture. They might remind one of ocean liners docked alongside glass office buildings.

Roller Coaster

Hillside may exemplify Kathleen’s “green slopes” miniperiod as well as her piece Beach House encapsulates her earlier “blue sky” phase. Again, her lines here straddle the boundary between the abstract and the representational.


Root Doodt Doodle brings Kathleen’s perspective down to street level. The title suggests that we are to sense the (possibly rinky-dink? nostalgic) atmosphere of an old-time circus. The piece also foretells a transition in her development as an artist, as it resembles the sort of miniature works she would soon begin executing with pens and markers around 2005.

Root Doodt Doodle

As suggested by the rich blue sky, Grandma & Grandpa is the earliest piece presented here. Among other things, it depicts the outbuildings and wires on the rural (Carleton, Michigan) property of John and Elizabeth Naszradi, Kathleen’s maternal grandparents.

Grandma & Grandpa

Because and Get Ready display common elements of Kathleen’s pen and marker drawings: a concatenation of shapes and figures, an increase in whimsy in her choice of detail, surrounding airy space replacing any solid ground, any geographical contextualization. These conglomerations of industrial and organic shapes evoke both old-fashioned Rube-Goldberg apparatuses and cybernetic future cities or vehicles.


Get Ready

In Topanga My Yang and Ying My Hollywood My Driveway Ain’t Your Trash Can, Kathleen combines urban landscapes with the natural world, social commentary with humor.

Topanga My Yang

Ying My Hollywood My Driveway Ain't Your Trash Can

Damn. That pickle sure is messy. Better clean it up before Mom gets home.

The Messy Pickle

About poetsguide

A former altar boy and a former U.S. Army interrogator, respectively, John F. Buckley and Martin Ott were born and raised in Michigan, meeting each other at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor before separately migrating to California in the early 1990s to attend graduate schools, their friendship evolving into a writing collaboration – what they refer to as poetic volleyball. They both currently live in Southern California, John with his wife, Martin with his wife and two children. John teaches English composition at several local colleges, while Martin works as a marketing strategist for a global company. John still affects a strange piety; Martin still finds himself asking a lot of questions. Individually and together, their writing has appeared in over 150 periodicals and anthologies, garnering three Pushcart Prize nominations for Martin’s poems “India Ivy” and “When Bridges Fall” (available in his collection Children of Interrogation, which has been a finalist or semi-finalist in eighteen poetry prizes) and John’s “Poem for Christy’s Daughter” (available in his collection Kinks in the Hose). Martin has also optioned three screenplays. His chapbook Misery Loves was published on Red Dancefloor Press. John’s chapbook Breach Birth was published on Propaganda Press.
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