Faces in Places

I had ended up downtown at the terminus of the annual cattle drive through town.  It always starts near the private college and ends at the former county courthouse, which is now a museum.

I had always noticed the large faces on the facade, there is a Native American (also know as Red Indians in the UK) over each of the large windows in the place.  These faces don’t look to be too pleased with the goings on in the building, but perhaps that is only fitting.

The animal kingdom is represented by this lion’s head.   He would be part of a fountain, if only the water had been turned on.

The intermediary between man and beast can be seen in the base of this light pole.   With cherub faces and lion feet, one wonders, ‘what on earth the artist was thinking’?

This woman is just part of the woodwork in this former district courtroom, but she appears to be happy about it.

Unlike the previous sculpted faces, this figure is painted and shows the entire body.   And what exactly the figure means is rather enigmatic.  She has wings, is holding a banner labeled gold, and has a dangling, trussed up person in front of her.   The more usual figure of blindfolded Justice holding a sword and a scale is nowhere to be seen in this courtroom.   Perhaps this is an allegory of how our local justice system works.

Windows

If ‘eyes are the windows of the soul’, what are actual windows?   And more specifically, the windows of one’s car?  We generally live an anonymous life, one can’t tell much about a person’s interests from just a quick glance at the person.   But on one’s car it is easy to put out the information about what one is interested in.

Although it is sometimes a puzzle to figure out the enigmatic meaning behind the window.  Is this a romance reader, or a cynic?

To graphically show one’s stick figure family, was an early trend, mostly it was parents and the number of kids.   But this person has a complete family and doesn’t need anyone else, just her two dogs and a cat.

This one is based in a realistic depiction of the pooch and it was quite a large sticker.

This person wanted people to know that they were not a local.

This is my friend’s car.  While the end stickers are easy enough to decipher, the middle one is a little harder to figure out as it shows a rotary cutter, which is what one uses to cut up fabric for quilts (’cause scissors are just too slow).

Another enigmatic sticker (well it’s enigmatic to those who don’t follow anime).

So true.

 

 

 

New Art

I don’t know if there is any particular part of creating art that could be said to be the hardest part, it’s all hard, just in different ways.

I suppose the first hard part is having inspiration.   Some people fill endless sketchbooks with ideas, and then struggle to decide which one is worthy to finish.   But I typically have a single notion of what I might want to create, then the next step is to figure out how to do it.

Of course the model is the late Miss P.

And because I always work in fabric, I need to have a bunch of choices to try out.  Does the fabric play together nicely, or do they clash?   And the eternal question ‘Do I have enough fabric?’ (the answer is always ‘No”.)

And I also needed fusible web, sharp scissors and, wait a minute, how did Pteri sneak into the pile?

So here it is, the finished product.   I had an amazing (to me) amount of trouble with this piece, many things that could go wrong did go wrong.   I cut pieces out backwards, the fusible stuck to everything but the fabric, I actually sewed two important finished bits together and had to re-cut them at the last minute.  It was due at a show by 4:00 pm and I delivered it at 3:37 (so it was 23 minutes early, thank goodness that the traffic wasn’t bad).  And then the best bit, it was juried into the show.

I think the entire experience can be summed up in this quote from my e-friend Shreve “It’s when I’m under pressure that I realize what a great procrastinator I really am.”

 

Going South

I once again found myself in the city to the south.  At one time, it was much more prosperous than my town, it had industry and lots of good paying jobs.   But the industry is gone, and now the city looks to attracting the leftover tourists from our town.   And one of the many reasons to go there is this tourist area.

I think that they call it neon alley.   There is always the question of what to do with the signage of a building, folk art that let one know instantly what the business was selling.   (Although I am not sure what the lamp with Aladdin written on it was advertising, possibly magical wishes).  Most of these are no longer going concerns, although at least one of these businesses still exists.

Cigar stores used to be part of the urban landscape, it was a manly thing to smoke a cigar (me and M used to smoke cigars when we went camping to annoy the insects).   And back in those days when smoking was allowed they also sold cigarettes.   The turquoise sign came from a little family-run cafe over on Main street, and we did patronize it when it existed.

These bits of ephemera are just randomly placed on this half block long brick building that has been partially restored.  Located right across from the train station, it had a commercial function at one time.   But now it houses a Senator’s office, a lawyer’s office, a cafe, tavern and an antique shop.  The newer part looks to have been built in 1903 and the building survived years of neglect to remind us of the past.

The background painting surely was done a really long time ago.   I can’t imagine anyone bragging about selling wine from Herrman, MO (I have tasted these on a bet).   Greyhound still offers service, but doesn’t even have an office, let alone a waiting room.   One just stands on the corner near a parking lot.

And a final bit of unusual ephemera is an ancient British telephone box.   Of course it does not contain a telephone, or even cards advertising ladies who will answer one’s every need.   But it does make one wonder “how the heck did this get here”.   And possibly “why”.

Clouds

Do you see yonder cloud, that’s almost in the shape of a camel?

By the mass, and ’tis like a camel indeed.

Methinks it is like a weasel.  It is backed like a weasel.

Or, like a whale?  Very like a whale.

Thus sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud.

Many thanks to Bill Shakespeare for once again providing such an excellent guest post.

 

Conceptual Art

There is the sort of physical and permanent art, well known genres like painting, sculpture, or some such, and then there is the ephemeral conceptual sort of performance art.  And after never being exposed to conceptual art (unless you count those 60’s be-ins), I have recently been to two of this type of event.

What are you looking at?   Why it’s part of a multiple lens camera obscura image of a flowing creek, so the image is upside down.  The artist had manufactured the camera obscura out of plasticized black cardboard, binder clips, nylon fabric, blackout cloth and lenses ingeniously working together to make this ephemeral piece.

Flip the image around and it makes perfect sense.  And it was only there for a limited time, it’s gone now.

And then there was this performance today, which involved a San Francisco artist and free beer (but only one beer, sadly).   I must say that this was a more interesting piece than the previous one in this gallery, which involved real and fake hair going up a wall.   And it did get a rather large turn out, the room was full of chattering people instead of the more usual echo of one’s own footsteps.

My one lonely beer was served by this nice young man.  He was tonight’s guest bartender, serving up this Mexican beer.   He writes about food and drink for the local free newspaper and seemed to be happy to be part of the event.  And I suppose that I was happy to be there too.

Oh deer

Well there I was having another art day and I had ended up at a rather swanky hotel.   The hotel was having a plein air day with a number of their artists who show at the gallery out and about painting the scenery at the hotel.   As I was leaving I stepped out of the front entrance and saw her.

What you can’t see in the picture is that she is quite near the front portico, with lots of valets and doormen standing around.   There were a few tourists milling about as well.   She calmly  was trimming the shrubbery and enjoying the tender freshly planted flowers that come from the hotel’s own greenhouse.

And after a hearty meal like that one needs a bit of a lie down.

And perhaps a little scritch to make one’s self completely comfortable.

And if one cared to memorialize the day, and one had several thousand dollars just rattling around in one’s pocket, one could purchase something like this bronze deer, available to buy right there in the hotel gallery.   Or perhaps some other wildlife art to remember encountering  the fauna of Colorado right outside the fancy hotel lobby.

Still more Pterodactyl

Sprouting up like mushrooms after a rain (not that we have had much in the way of rain), why it’s the tents of a local art festival.  It’s a chance for starving artists to meet with the tight-fisted public, and perhaps flog a little art on this beautiful sunny day.   (For some reason there was no dinosaur art represented, go figure.)

And the fair is located at a downtown park, usually empty.  But for today  the park’s main attraction is a giant rotating circle that sprays water onto children (no dogs allowed) and perhaps a stray pterodactyl or two.

Hey Pteri, I think that you really need to do something about that breath.

Perhaps a small treat will do the trick.  Yes, that’s better.

What’s that on stage right now?  It’s Pteri pretending to be the star of the show. However you slice it,  Pteri is certainly the best pterodactyl of the day.

 

Pterodactyl about Town pt.4

Hey wait a minute!   That looks like a traditional teahouse from Tajikistan located right behind Pteri.   (I know, who knew such a thing was possible?)

And here is the beautiful interior.   Oh Pteri, quit clowning around and sit down at the table.

My father always said (well not always, he did also say other things) “straighten up and fly right”.   And I suppose that this is good advice for any pterodactyl too.

And the reward is a lovely cup of chai tea, just like they make in Tajikistan, wherever that might be.

Pterodactyl about Town, pt.3

Pterodactyls grow up and love to explore new places.   So on this day Pteri decided to see the university town to the north.   And it is worlds away from our comfortable city, in more ways than one.

This town has a large pedestrian mall that replaced the old heart of the former business district, so once one finds a spot to park, it’s a great place for people watching.  And what sort of people does one find?

Well gosh, we don’t have any of these (a guy balancing on chairs while keeping up a continuous line of blather in the hope of some donations from the crowd) around here.  We don’t even usually have crowds.

And we especially don’t have any of these, which was apparently a dance? troupe of half naked men.   They certainly were dancing to the beat of their own drum.

But there are also art galleries everywhere.   And pterodactyls have a well known (at least to me) affinity for art.

No Pteri, I know that looks like food, but you can’t eat it (it wouldn’t be very tasty for one thing, and it probably costs a bomb).   So we had better stop for now and find some place to have a snack.   (To be continued.)