Category Archives: Art

More windows

Once I start noticing a thing, like the white stickers on car windows, I start seeing them everywhere.  Of course the very best ones that I glimpse are the ones I see as I am driving along.  And it would be impossible to pull my phone out of my pocket (the seatbelt holds me securely in place) and snap a picture before the traffic light changes.  Oh well, sometimes these things are just meant to elude one’s grasp.   But I did manage to capture these images on parked cars.

In lieu of stick figures, Star Wars seems to be the next most popular way to graphically illustrate one’s family.  I have seen Darth Vader as paterfamilias, various storm troopers, and this one, with the large war machines,  At-At’s, for the parents and the smaller war machines, At-St’s to show the number of kids.  Must be some sort of fan, eh?

I loved this sticker from the moment I saw them pull into the parking space.   The combination of the cheerful yellow truck and the image of the elephant, it was really quite striking.   (Although they probably don’t have a pet elephant waiting at home).

I saw this one in the same parking lot as the elephant, and I somehow don’t think that it has an ulterior meaning, it was just a pretty thing.

And then there is this creepy sticker.   It’s on a rather nice SUV, but this girl wants everyone to know that she is a scary person at heart.

So we have seen these people’s obsessions, and you see my obsession, taking a peak into their souls.

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 known 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 was the artist 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 she an angel?), she is holding a banner labeled gold (representing Fortune perhaps?), and has a dangling, trussed up person in front of her (no idea what so ever).   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.”

 

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.

Art of the Street

In the last post I showed you (dear reader) the bird-like art of a local sculptor at the new arts center.  But wait, there is more in the bird art category on view at another business in town.

How about a giant chicken (readily recognizable as poultry) perched atop a saloon, right on a major thoroughfare.   Surrounded by artificial palm trees (sadly, palms do not grow here naturally), the chicken is master of all it surveys.

Or perhaps a flamingo is more to your taste?

Instead of rusting, enigmatic, possibly industrial art, one can admire a rusting 100+ year old cast iron stove here.

And how is this different from art that one would have to pay millions to possess?  Other than not being for display and sale in a fancy gallery by a big name artist.  (The city did make the owners take down car henge,  a previous artwork, which was made using cars instead of standing blue stones).

So instead of just a weird face, this place has the entire figure!   Yes, a giant fiberglass cowboy, complete with an enormous fiberglass beer.  Just to let one know what is on offer at this location.  It is the art of the pour, rather than the visual arts.   And this artwork is just as striking as the expensive stuff at the arts center.

Art on the street

The local state university is quite near my house.  And just like the universe itself, the university is expanding.   The most recent building is an arts center, and what is an arts center without art?   They have plonked down a number of large pieces of art, in a sort of random accumulation, so that one can tell that this is, in fact, an arts center.

The giant chicken roadrunner bird-like thing was made by a local sculptor some years ago.   It used to be at his house, until the neighbors complained about tourists showing up to look at all his art (there was a bunch of these).  So now it sits here in splendor (and it really is lovely).

This is another one of his pieces, and it moves in the breeze.   So on this day, that was the way the wind was blowing.

And here is yet another piece from the same artist, he made a lot of these things.  (And now you can see that the wind has changed direction too).

This one is not so attractive.   It looks like some sort of abandoned industrial by-product or fallen space junk, rusting away into oblivion.

This one is made of neon and at night, whatever they are supposed to be lights up, one after another.  I thought that they looked vaguely like roses, and I was immediately put in mind of Four Roses brand whiskey (the choice of skid row alcoholics everywhere).  And yes I do realize that there are five whatevers, but it’s hard to count them when one is just driving by after dark.

And then there is this bit, a collaborative effort of the artist and the grounds keepers.

I’m not sure how all of these pieces go together in any kind of artistic harmony, but I’m sure for the artists the best part is that they are displayed (and they got paid for it!).

 

Shadows

Our local art museum is a tiny facility.   It used to be even smaller until a past CEO went on an expansion binge before moving on.   So now there are big spaces to fill.  And one doesn’t want to crowd the artwork together, they have to have room to breathe (or something).

I was there for another free day, but it wasn’t the art that caught my eye, it was the shadows.  I just love gallery lighting, it makes the ordinary more interesting and unexpected.

There is nothing special about a branch (except that someone sold it to this museum), but the multiple overlapping repeats of the image give the piece some interest.

This piece is a mildly famous work by a feminist artist, one of those 60’s things.  The art seems rather trite to me now, but I love, love the shadows.

These shadows include the shadow of my cell phone (oops!)

But this one is the king of the shadows (note the crown).

I like the #5 definition in my dictionary (I know, how retro to use a physical dictionary): a delusive image or semblance: anything unreal or unsubstantial.  Or #6, a phantom, ghost or shade.  And that is why I like to capture them.

Pterodactyl About Town, pt.2

No ordinary pterodactyl, this one turns up in the swankiest places, like today’s political event, held at the estate of a late city father.

Nice fountain.   Pteri scared it into just dribbling.

Although I will admit that the Buddhist statue guarding the entry way seems to be singularly unimpressed by the sight of a pterodactyl.  Perhaps this happens all the time.

This is more like it:  attacking the stone decorations.

It was a political event, so there must be flags.

And every politician knows the real secret to getting people to turn out for an event is to provide some food.  Nom nom, delicious catered food.  It’s the standard fare of a picnic, baked beans, potato salad, hamburgers and brownies.   To bad that it wasn’t the weather for a picnic, it started to rain, so off we went.