PhotoHunter: Miniature

This week’s PhotoHunter theme is “miniature”.

One of the many things that I have acquired over the years from my mother is a rather beautiful powder compact (another word for miniature). I don’t know how she got it or when, but I suspect that it was during the early 1950s when she was living in New York City with my father.

My father was an enamelist in those days, living and working in the Lower East Side and then in Greenwich Village. He also taught at the Art Student’s League. I know the piece is not his and although there is no signature, I suspect that it might be by and artist by the name of Karl Drerup. It is of such a high quality that it really outshines the chipped yellow metal compact.

Karl Drerup used the image of St. George (of St. George and the Dragon fame) in a quite a number of works and I think the piece bears a striking resemblance to some of his work.

I have sent a query off to the Karl Drerup Art Gallery at Plymouth State University, just on the off-chance.

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Jeans…. Just how old do YOU think they are?s

Just about anyone in North America who grew up from the late 1950s onwards has worn blue jeans. Popular culture has led us to believe that jeans were an “American invention” of the late 19th century, and developed by Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis.

In fact, “jeans” or pants made from the hard-wearing fabric “Gênes” or “blue de Gênes” (blue of Genoa) were worn by sailors sailing from India (the name Dungarees is said to come from Dongari Killa in Bombay, where the fabric was manufactured). Some experts say that the fabric developed simultaneously in Europe and India. Quite likely, it began in Europe and was introduced in India. The name denim comes from “de Nimes” for the French city

Whatever its true origin, the fabric, in Europe was used as far back as the 15th century a material for the common people, the working classes. Because of this, we have little actual evidence of the material. It was worn to shreds by its wearers and disappeared into history.

However, the work of an anonymous 17th century Northern Italian painter, newly discovered and dubbed “The Master of the Blue Jeans”, allows us to put into visual context what was mere supposition before. The painter focused on the poor and working-classes and all but one of his known paintings show people wearing or using a heavy fabric, dyed a familiar Indigo hue. The details in tears reveal  the blue was threaded with white and seams are often the familiar double-seams we know so well from modern jeans.

An exhibit at Galarie Canesso, in Paris, is showing works by “The Master of Blue Jeans” and others, revealing the humble “Gênes”. The full catalogue is available on line.

 

 

"Beggar Boy with a Piece of Pie" Master of Blue Jeans / Galerie Canesso

 

 

"Woman Begging with Two Children"Master of the Blue Jeans / Galerie Canesso

 

 

 

^ "Shepherd" 18th C. Ligurian Sculptor ^ detail

 

PhotoHunt: Public

One of my favourite pubic pieces of art in Ottawa, outside the National Gallery of Art.

"Maman" Louise Bourgeois

I should say that the sculpture is of a female spider carrying her egg case (a sort of cage under her abdomen) which is why the title is “Maman”. It is quite tall, so it dwarfs the humans walking past or under it (brave souls). It stands across the street from the Peacekeeping Monument commemorating the Canadian men and women who have served as Peacekeepers with the UN.

PhotoHunter: Words

Back around 2004, I saw a documentary about tattoos and tattooing. One of the people they interviewed was an artist, Shelley Jackson, who was writing a book… on people….

Her idea was to write a book and then have the words in the book tattooed on people. The only public representation of the book would be the “words”– the people on which the words were written. The book was to be titled “SKIN“.

I was fascinated by this idea and wrote to Shelley. I received an answer and an invitation to submit an official “resume”, a letter outlining why I wanted to participate and a brief bio. I did and then received a confirmation that I was to be a word in the book.!

Almost two years elapsed from the day I sent in my request to the day I received by word. It was only 3 days later that I “became” “preserve”…

preserve

preserve

photohunter7iq1

me as the word

me as the word

The word was very carefully chosen by Shelley. In ny “resume” I talked about my work in history research involving Indian Residential Schools; my interest in genaeology; the fact that in many ways, my past had been hidden from me by the actions of my birth father in preventing contact between me and my siblings; and other things which revolved around the idea of “preserving”. I had no idea, nor did Shelley, of what word she was going to give my until Shelley settled on the word “preserve” for me. I was lucky. Many more people would be assigned the words “and”, “to”, and “the”. Interestingly, many of those “words” felt a sense of appropriateness for the word chosen.

Once my word had been received from Shelly, I was to have it tattooed, in black, in a book font (no “fancy” script or lettering… no embellishment, no decoration), and uncapitalized unless the word was the fist word in the sentence. Evidence of the tattoo had to be submitted and the requirements were that there had to be a close-up image which showed that it was a tattoo not simply drawn on, a photo of the “word (the person who is the word, not the word itself, without the word being visible unless it was unavoidable), and the date on which the person became the “word”.

the evidence

the evidence

I would later (more than a year later, receive the only traditionally printed version of the story, a privately printed presentation copy for each participant. This book is only permitted to be read by the participants and the author and the only way anyone not involved in the project would be able to read the book would be if all the participants gathered and were grouped together and read in sequence. With almost 3000 words spread around the globe, no easy task….

PhotoHunter: “Plastic”

This week’s PhotoHunter theme is “Plastic”. My (as in “made by me”) polymer clay jewellery fit the bill….

A collection of pins and pendants

A collection of pins and pendants

photohunter7iq1

Pins and a pendant

Detail

Pins

Pins" "Fish", "Pineapple", "Duck", "Jousting" and "Scarab"

Two pins

Two pins: "Adobe" and "Banana Leaf"

"Pineapple" pin

"India" pin

"Jousting" pin

"Jousting" pin

Ohhh!!! Morbid Anatomy Blog.

The Morbid Anatomy blog. Fascinating!

Rosalia Lomnbardo, or theSleeping Beauty, Palermo Catacombs

Rosalia Lomnbardo, or the"Sleeping Beauty", Palermo Catacombs

Human Oddities

"Human Oddities"

Taxidermia Wurzeltodensis

Taxidermia Wurzeltodensis

And you cannot MISS his website, Astropop….

Musee Mecanique

Venus Flytrap

Venus Flytrap

PhotoHunt: Painted

Despite my being an artist, I don’t have many actual paintings as in paint on paper or canvas to hang on the wall.

This photo is of a mural in my bathroom, which I have added dragonflies painted with “interference pigments” on mylar. They started life as part of the window dressing I did for the art store where I worked.

Bathroom mural

Bathroom mural

Dragonfly detail

Dragonfly detail

photohunter7iq1

This is another mural, done for my niece’s bedroom. Unfortunately, she was never able to use the room as a bedroom and eventually, the wall the mural was on was removed. The painting (on a sheet of Masonite) sits in my basement awaiting repairs and a new home.

Inset wall mural

Inset wall mural

Landscape detail

Landscape detail

Wandering cat (inspired by "Cat Heaven" by Cynthia Rylant)

Wandering cat (inspired by "Cat Heaven" by Cynthia Rylant)

I have been doing a lot of digital art which incorporate digital photos and images which have been manipulated. Some people think that this work is “easy” and “cheating” but it is no less hard work than “real” (as in live) painting. Painting is painting, whether you use canvas and brushes or an original idea or image and use Photoshop to manipulate the image.

Like any medium, anyone can create something using Photoshop but the end product is what counts. If it moves someone or makes them think, it is art.

In the end, if my work makes someone happy, makes them think, or touches them, that is all well and good but I have to be satisfied with the results.

This is the one of my favorite image paintings. It was a photo of a friend’s son, taken at a pool party. I removed details in the background, like peoples’ heads and a light fixture and then spent a couple of days manipulating the surface as you would with a pastel painting. I love this piece…

"Cherub"

"Cherub"

This one is one created entirely on my new art tablet. Just sort of a spontaneous piece to test it out.

Child

Child

…and Tigger, too…

James Kuhn, the man who painted his face every day of the year, has finished the 365-day project.

winnie-the-pooh_1390020i

... and Tigger, too...

... and Tigger, too...

What Artist Should Paint You? Gustav Klimt, of course!

What Artist Should Paint Your Portrait?

Who Should Paint You:Gustav Klimt

Sensual and gorgeous, you would inspire an enchanting portrait… with just enough classic appeal to be hung in any museum!

Thanks to Raincoaster via Az.

Certainly got THAT right. I love Klimt. Since he is dead, however, I will have to do it myself

The following are from a series I started called “Alter Egos”… myself as the subject in famous artworks.

The Klimt ones are some of my favorites.

Frau Fritza Riedler

Frau Mudhooks (aka "Frau Fritza Riedler")

Moi as "Eugenia"

Moi as "Eugenia"

Muddy in Blue ("Portrait of Emilie Floge")

Muddy in Blue ("Portrait of Emilie Floge")

As Judith (Judith and Holophernes)

As Judith (Judith and Holophernes)

From Baghdad to Peace Country by Sherry LePage, – NFB

From Baghdad to Peace Country, is a film about Canadian artist Deryk Houston who, in 1999, traveled to Baghdad to witness first-hand the impact of international sanctions on the Iraqi people, and his unique nature art project designed to call attention to the situation of the children of Iraq.

These are some of Deryk’s landscape paintings.

Kechikahigh

Muskwa Kechika

 

Cows Near Home

Continents

Continents

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