Word and Image

Posts tagged “Art

Make your own art

I’ve been to a lot of museums and on occasion I get to feeling a little silly. So, I incorporated the experience in my Photoshop antics. It’s not too hard to do. I’m not a multilayer manipulator. I do a few things only. Otherwise my attention wanes. I like that they hung a window near a window. The obvious problem was with the interior exposure vs the outdoor brightness. It’s simple to fix with two images exposed with the final plan in mind. And then I simply cloned myself. It’s better than genetic modification.


Grandma Moses

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Grandma.

Grandma Moses. Anna Mary Robertson Moses (September 7, 1860 – December 13, 1961), known by her nickname Grandma Moses, was an American folk artist. She began painting in earnest at the age of 78 and is often cited as an example of an individual who successfully began a career in the arts at an advanced age.

I am okay. But the painting is pretty primitive. Is that fair? Maybe childish? Juvenile? Here’s my point. Look at the eyes. They are just painted dots. Dots. Not even an attempt at making them symmetric. I was kind of shocked. Because you start when you are old, it gives you a free pass on technique? I guess, I should get out my paint again. I did some mickey mouse watercolor work last year. I dispatched the efforts to the junk pile. Right place, right time, favorable critics – timing is everything.

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Portrait of the artist

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I don’t consider myself an artist. I make images now. But it is more of a technical exercise with problems to solve. You solve the problem. You have the answer. The right answer gives you a 100 on the test. You get an A. Not so fast. There’s more than just pressing the shutter button. Lots of mundane ordinary photos are taken. Famous painters – Rembrandt, Da Vinci – painted themselves in self-portraits. We presume Da Vinci was left handed among other reasons because he did a painting showing his right hand. Clever! I’m a left hander in a right-hand world. I learned to operate right-handed and then adapted. I cut with scissors from the right and from the left. It’s no big deal. But if you are right handed I deem it a lot more difficult for you than me.  Ha ha. I go both ways. I have talent, but I’m still not an artist.


Iconic

The most iconic painting that equates Le Louvre to art is the Mona Lisa. And did you know Whistler’s Mother is owned by France. Don’t bother to go see the Mona Lisa. Its mounted under glass and crowded with people. You are stuck with the glare of the glass that prevents any meaningful examination. I did not know “Mother” was owned by France and loaned out across the United States. We were lucky to see it in Paris. What do I know? What I can tell you is that iconic paintings tend to be in accessible or hard to find. (they’re traveling.)

I’ve been to a lot of museums in the past several years. Am I making up for lost time? Who knows? What I can say is that I now try for a gestalt overview and then a detail of the brush strokes. It helps to include the label so I can identify the darned painting later. No, even though digital makes this easy, I don’t do it. There are a few painters I recognize. Mostly, I admire the technical prowess. I cannot tell much difference. It’s me. I can’t tell the differences in wine taste either. I’m missing a gene. No matter. I have other talent and am content to continue to look and try to be appreciative. It’s a work in progress (me). Ain’t educashun gran?


Stairway to nowhere

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For $150 million. It’s under construction and I vaguely remember reading something about it. On the approach to the Lincoln Tunnel I first saw it. Then we walked the High Line. And I got to see it up close. Not close enough to walk on it. It will open in 2019. But we could see the construction. It will be the conversation piece hoped for. I’m already shaking my head. Up and down, down and up, it’s the stuff of nightmares. Of course this is better than the social problems we ignore. It’s art?!


Felt

What’s felt? Well you have probably felt felt. It’s a soft material. The definition is more like: take some raw wool and put it under pressure and rub; the fibers will lock and form a sheet of material. Or you may use a needle to lock the material into shapes. How about a giraffe, or a dragon, or a heron? Yup, she did all of that and more. It was enormous 9as in more then 15 feet in size) and she demurred on how long it took to do the giraffe. I’d have lost interest long before the neck ever got done. Hey, it’s art! My (felt) hat’s off to you.


I Can Read

Biggs Museum. It’s the best little museum ever! Free food! Ha! It was a concert event for the artist. She painted with pieces of music in mind. Musicians came to perform pieces with her art in mind. It was a grand event. We were fortunate to attend.

I can read music! I followed the pianist as she played and read her score. I followed the measures. She had to play many redundant same notes following the measures as she read. I wonder? How does she keep track as she plays the same note over and over. I’m sure I’d lose track and miss a note here and there. Besides, if she did, would anyone know? Hey! I don’t read music that well. My only regret is that I never paid enough attention while my kids were in the same music theory class as Alicia Keyes. Nor did I bother to record her early piano concerts when my kids played too. But, I suppose something rubbed off.


Pins and needles

Richard Cleaver does some strange work. It’s unique. I’ve never seen anything like it. It is a bit out there for me. It would appear he liberally uses hat pins. No matter. The work is eye catching. And you would have to admit it took a lot of time to complete. Wondrous things are lurking in the minds of talented artists.


Art

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The last time I played with watercolor was in kindergarten. I was forced to paint something for parent teacher conference. My only goal/task during free time was to take out all of the wooden blocks. I never got to play. Just taking the blocks off the shelf used all my time. Insanity!? (doing the same thing over and over … hoping for a different outcome) So, I sat before a paper clipped to an easel, took a single color, filled my brush, and painted a squiggly line, filling the page, and then sat back contentedly. Have I told you this before? When asked I responded to the teacher, “It’s a roller coaster.” She walked away counting to herself. I remember that part too. So, you’d laugh to think we signed up for watercolor lessons with an artist of considerable renown. To be sure my significant other wanted to meet the artist. Aha! But why take lessons? I fell upon the sword immediately and claimed to be a complete novice.

I mean there were folks there with some serious paint, brushes, and paper. Mission accomplished. We scored an invitation to visit the artist in his studio. I was complemented on my work (ha ha [but he really did – a good teacher]). The artist’s style complimented my own. He just threw the paint upon the paper and then closed in on the details as he went along. I had no details and was very good about throwing paint on the paper. Hey, there’s potential here. Oh, his frames were also art. He was a metal worker in the other half of his life. And, I work in wood. Hmm…..


Local

What they never told me is that you can join a museum and get reciprocity at others. We have been to a lot of museums for free. And I mean in Chicago and in LA and points between. Of course, the exhibits are there to stimulate discussion. Hey! I just retired. Do we really need colored plastic heads strewn about? Humpf!! Gates!? Jean Claude and Christo – Central Park many years ago. It was about orange gates in the park for a few weeks. It was mesmerizing. The artistry is in the concept. The concept pictures and proposal sell for tens of thousands – enough to fund the project’s million dollars bill. I mean millions of dollars. So, the sales earn a lot of money. That builds a lot of gates. By the way, most of the proposals and projects never got built.


Modern

Modern art is baffling too. Rauschenberg painted white on white with rollered house paint and no brush marks. He instructed it to painted over if it aged. Okay! Bullets in road signs. Yeah, that is art too? Jackson Pollack – Drip painting. He put the canvas on the floor, walked around it, and painted away. The upper two to the right are black and white. I kid you not. How imaginative.

It reminds me of the art I was forced to do in kindergarten. My mission was to take out all the blocks. In fact, play time was over before I ever took out all of them. Meanwhile, there was nothing to show for parent teacher conference. To the easel! Reluctantly I took one paint brush and one color and proceeded to paint a twisted curvy line. One. One line.

Teacher, “What is it?”

“A roller coaster,” I replied. The steam was coming out of the teacher’s ears as she stalked away. So much for my budding art career…


Half a Bowl

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MOMA has a shop that specializes in gadgets and things. It’s Modern! Duh!? Yup, it’s half a bowl. Odd but somehow… why didn’t I think of that? Neat! So I did them one back. Half a person – at the info booth. Neat too?!

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Rock

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The German – Andrew Wyeth

Rock! I’ve been under a rock. I missed the most liked tweet – ever! Ah! But I’m not on twitter – tee hee. I got this bit of news from late night TV.

Seriously, I’ve been searching for a way to express my feeling without joining up with the “Antifa.” There is good in the world. Click your heels three times and you’ll be back in “Kansas.”

 

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Chagall Picasso Calder

I have been exposed. I have been there. I have seen them. Cool. Checked off the to do list. Sorry. It’s like smelling bacon. It is not something to be described but to be experienced. Words do not adequately describe a taste or smell. What I see goes through my occipital cortex. Where it goes from there… clueless – me.


Sunday in the Park

… with George. A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884. Pointillism, George Seurat. It was part of the title of a musical by Sondheim. Enough? Look closely and there is no actual detail. It’s “pointillism.” Get the point? Been there more than once. Seen it. I believe I missed the “art gene.”

I had no art work for show and tell – parent visit on conference day in kindergarten. Forced to confront a blank sheet of paper I took a single color and proceeded to paint a twisted path all over the paper in one color with a single brush. Asked what this was, I replied, “A rollercoaster…” I do believe I remember the steam rising as the teacher silently walked away. I was not asked to produce another piece of work the rest of the year. Every kid needs the right button. Points of paint – that would have intrigued me enough to experiment with the science of art. Some people are art and others  – not.


Art

Very bad joke – not PC – sorry to you “trumpers” –

What to you call a boy with no arms and no legs hanging on your wall? – “Art.”

I’ve been to many a museum. You go to appreciate art. But, I ponder the photo op. How? What? You go to the source to see the painting. Brushstroke? Texture? Cracks? Detail? Is there some connection to the original that supplants the image in a book, online, or from my camera? I still don’t know. What? I’ve shot full frame and detail. I’ve seen iconic art in different museums. I saw the Mona Lisa in Paris. Try as I might it’s still a work in progress for me. I go. I look. I photograph. None are keepers for me. I keep going so I guess I haven’t given up.

… a boy with no arms and no legs on your doorstep – “Matt”


Mandala

Monks came and did their magic one day – maybe it was longer. The mandala is ephemeral.

“The Sand Mandala
Mandalas constructed from sand are unique to Tibetan Buddhism and are believed to effect purification and healing. Typically, a great teacher chooses the specific mandala to be created. Monks then begin construction of the sand mandala by consecrating the site with sacred chants and music. Next, they make a detailed drawing from memory. Over a number of days, they fill in the design with millions of grains of colored sand. At its completion, the mandala is consecrated. The monks then enact the impermanent nature of existence by sweeping up the colored grains and dispersing them in flowing water.”

https://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/online/mandala/mandala.htm

Lucky for me they kept this one intact for me to inspect and marvel over. Look at the textures. Elaborate! Oil on canvas is forever. This is like food art. Eat and enjoy. Heal!


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Denver Art Museum. I expected Western art and Remington sculptures. Yup! Saw them. But what’s with the Oriental art? People collected and later donated quite a body of Oriental artwork. Neat!


Coincidence

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It’s odd. I’m in Denver. Don’t ask. I won’t tell you why unless you already know. Dave messaged. He needed advice. He’s in Yosemite. He hiked to the top. El Capitan is in the distance. It’s the back side. My usual picture of the place is from the front. There’s a waterfall – to the right. We ended up in the Denver Art Museum. And wandering through…look! We found the same scene – and it was the reverse side. Neat! I was so struck by the coincidence I told the Chinese tourists passing by me. And they commented they were puzzled because they had visited but not the back side. And I have never visited. I guess I should. It’s on my list. But it probably won’t be too soon.

…yeah, and kids don’t try this at home.


Car Bomb

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It’s art. Brilliant. Back a few decades ago during the break-up of the USSR, I was friends with a Russian physicist. Bombs were going missing. I asked him if he could get me a nuclear warhead. Why? He asked. I wanted to be the first on my block to blow it up… He told me he could get me a space rocket. Great! The catch? You need an orbit (assignment). No orbit, no launch. Another of life’s disappointments. Stick with art.


Clarity – It’s an illusion

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Here’s a neat trick. And even more so, it’s a neat trick to illustrate this illusion. A picture is worth a thousand words. Succinctly, look at picture and one and two. Yes, do a double take. The facing wall is wood art. Brilliant! 3D from 2D. I think I got it illustrated well. And you still don’t get it? Look. Look. Again. Ah!

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Fun

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I’m not much of a museum buff. No real photo ops. Still, there are some fun things. American Gothic. A classic. It needs no introduction. It’s in my psyche. So, to see it up close and personal was fun. I’ve been to the Chicago Art Institute before. Darn, if I remember the painting was there. Still is. And will be when I come back. Maybe (I’ll come back)? So my feet are tired and we needed to get a little less serious about all this art. Actually another woman did this first. I actually had an umbrella. But the security guards are too tight assed. I shouldn’t have asked first. Just take out the umbrella, get the shot, and be gone before they notice. But with TSA, one does not mess with Mother Nature. Nope. Not permitted. They strictly told us at the door to carry our back packs in hand and not on our back. It might swing and damage something. Inside people did as they pleased. Too many people disobeying to really try to police. Oh well…civil disobedience. We made light of it all. No rain for days….

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Bedrooms

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Van Gogh painted his bedroom. It’s famous. It’s been in my subconscious always. I think. I’m not an artist nor too much interested. The Chicago Art Institute is well known. Duh? They put on an exhibition,” Bedrooms.” The lines were out the door. Wisely we looked up the time and found that you could order up a fast pass. Skip the lines. Get into the exhibit fast. Pay extra. Time was money. Paid online an hour before we went. It seemed like cheating. Well, we paid for it, for sure.

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Got there, got in, cut across the big line. In! To the exhibit. There’s plenty more to the museum but we wanted to see the exhibit. Go! Front of the line and the man with the bar code scanner said, “Whoa! You have a fast pass but that does not get you into the Van Gogh exhibit.”

“Foul!” I cried. No problem. Back up. Pay $5/per more for entry. Dammit. You’d think that all that other money would have gotten us in…

The fuss? Van Gogh painted his bedroom three different times. Side by side you can see the differences. And otherwise I am sure I have seen this painting. But I never knew there were three versions. Yes, I do brain surgery. I’ve been under a rock. So, look. The background in each version is slightly different. The three paintings make for an interesting exhibit. I am a photographer. I took advantage that the museum let me take pictures. So many people crowded in front and with their smartphones shot a remembrance. Few paused long enough to appreciate the paintings. I mean ten seconds and one smartphone pic later, that’s not terribly fulfilling. But in today’s world you have about fifteen seconds before the next event hits the news cycle.

To be honest, I did not notice the differences until they were pointed out. This is art not science. I gladly claim happy ignorance. Teach me.

No, I won’t photograph my bedroom three times. No one will care a hundred years from now.


Santa Barbara Beach Art

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Sunny California. There’s a drought on. So yes, it’s sunny. We were on a tight schedule. No time to dawdle. So we got to the beach and had to get a move on. The reason is that we had to get to the drive-in movie by dark. Wow! So I got a couple pictures. Hey, I live on the Red Sea. So the lack of time at the beach was not too terrible. Of course you don’t see artwork on the beach where I am.

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From abaya to nude art, that’s a pretty big leap from where I am. Ah, there’s plenty of sand in the dessert but no naked mermaids in the sand. They have to be here already, right?