Category Archives: Ephemera

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.

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.

Household creatures

There is an ancient tradition that a cricket on the hearth brings good luck.   (Although I think that a chirping cricket is an invitation to mayhem, as one tries to find and destroy the pest.)  The best sort of cricket to have on one’s hearth is made of brass, one can get the luck without the nuisance of an actual cricket.   I fortunately have no crickets (yet: it’s still early summer), but I do have some little creatures around that amuse me, and amusement is much more reliable than ‘luck’.

I love little frogs (as you will soon see) and this one lives on a quilted wall hanging.

This one bookends the other side of the wall hanging.

Now how did this frog get there?  And why don’t I pick it up and put it somewhere else?   I just like seeing it there, a small splash of color against a large beige floor.

But it’s not all frogs around here, these finger puppets are ready to leap into action from the top of the door jamb.

But wait, there’s even more of them.  (The rest of the finger puppets have gone to Afghanistan.)  Finger puppets add a cheery touch to any room, a fact that decorating magazines have chosen to ignore.

And Pteri is currently residing in this room (doesn’t want to hang out with the rest of the dinosaurs), perched atop the carbon monoxide monitor.   Perhaps considering attacking the giant fly nearby, or perhaps just being admired.

Memorial Day

Every Memorial Day I go to the cemetery for the Veteran’s remembrance.  And they usually have some sort of military re-enactors there.

These troops were sent out west, even to here in Colorado after the Civil War, to fight Indians and such-like.  This group finally collected enough money to put up a commemorative plaque in Memorial Park nearby to recognize service of these troops.

WWII is popular for re-enactors, possibly because the uniforms are so stylish.  (One can frequently see regular, current Army uniforms around town).  My question was why they had the netting on the helmets, and they answered that it was so that troops could put leaves and twigs or whatever in for camouflage.

There were displays of the sorts of things that soldiers might carry around.

The MRE’s of their day, these packages contained a tin of something and a side of crackers, and this food was made to last forever.  One might need a smoke after that.

A nephew has just gone to Afghanistan and I am going to send him a package of useful items (granola bars and jerky, the K-rations of today).  Another nephew (who has been to Iraq twice) recommended “Anti-monkey butt powder” as a useful and superior product to foot powder.  As it turns out this is a real product, so I have bought some to put in the package. 😉

The map of Marburg was interesting to me because that is the hometown of my late mother-in-law.  She was a teenager during the war.  And after the war she married M’s father (a soldier) and came to America, so a big thank you from me to the US Army.

Beautiful Food

Back when photos required film, I really doubt if many food pictures were taken by ordinary photographers.   Film required that one’s picture be in focus, with correct lighting and then there was the expense and the waiting period for it to be developed, before finding out if the picture was a success.  But with a digital phone it is super easy to take multiple pictures at no cost (other than the cost of having a phone).   Thus there has been a giant boom in both selfies and food pictures.

This is the most ordinary of dishes, a taco salad.   I assure you that one’s I make for myself do not look this beautiful.

Corn soup with heart-shaped chili oil at a fancy restaurant.   Corn soup is a very traditional Native thing.   I often make it from the recipe I got handed down from my grandmother on the Rez    This version was so delicious that I was quite tempted to lick the bowl.

This is also a new taken on an ordinary item, roasted vegetable tacos on freshly made corn tortillas, something I would never make.

I do make stuffed Poblano peppers, but they never look like this (mine are covered in green chili sauce and cheese).   Once again it is the beautiful sauces (tomato and red chili) that made it memorable.

I speculate that part of why we take pictures of food is to remember it (perhaps even in the hope of re-creating it), and the other part is to make our social media friends jealous.  🙂  I hope this worked.

Halloween

Halloween was once my favorite holiday.   Before it became the adult party extravaganza that it is today, it was just a holiday for children to go out and beg for candy.   One could buy sacks of candy and perhaps the odd spider or two.   But now there are lots of things sold for those who like to go mad with decorating.   And I appreciate their spirit, because someone has to do it.   The people who once went all out with wires and flying figures have moved on, but others have accepted the challenge of totally covering their yards with scary stuff.

These folks always have a yard full of carved wooden bears, and the bears wear seasonally appropriate decorations, like these Halloween costumes (I bet that the people give out really good candy too).

I especially love these low-tech homemade displays like this one in my neighborhood.   Well done!

This skeleton appears to be running away from the grinning big pumpkin.

 

Dogs are usually friendly, (at least the dogs I know are.)  I’m not too sure about skele-dog.

Skeletons peeking in the windows are just the worst.  They are a bigger nuisance than having woodpeckers (yes, Ms. Woodpecker I know that you think my house is perfect for you, but I disagree).

More of the same

It’s sometimes hard to say when the subject of a post is done.   And I find myself looking at new things and thinking that they could be a part of a previous post.   So here are some additions,

This lovely candidate for the trees post, serves as a shady bower to protect those persons waiting for the bus.   From the hot New Mexico sun in Santa Fe.

This tree however is a lonely bit of art, positioned on a sidewalk where few travel by foot.   It has metal birds perched on the branches, while a real hawk circles above.

I had promised the previous piece of art that I made to a friend.   But since it did win a ribbon, I found that I could not let it go.   So instead I decided that there was nothing for it but to make another one.   This time I sort of knew what I was doing, and I think that this one has better contrast between the mane and the face.  I whipped out the finished piece the day before my friend’s auction to raise money to help tigers in Thailand.  It wasn’t going to sell for very much, so I bought it back, and now I have two lion quilts.   (And I made a donation to help the tigers too.)

These are some rather unusual birds about town, from right in my neighborhood.   I have no idea what these wild turkeys were thinking as they strolled about, blabbering away in turkey talk.  But they were the first of their kind I had ever seen nearby, looking for place to hide before Thanksgiving no doubt.

Cars

Besides festivals I also like car shows.  And not with just any sort of cars, I love the steel and chrome of vintage cars.   Because back when these cars were manufactured, styling was everything.   And no detail was unimportant, even a detail like hood ornaments (note for young people: almost every car had a bit of chrome on the front of the hood that proclaimed it’s identity).

This one on a vintage Cadillac features a flying person, just to let one know that riding along in this car was almost like flying. (sort of).

For the more literal minded, this one has a stylized bird.

How about one featuring a greyhound, they are known to be quite fast.

But not as fast as a wheeled rocket (a wheeled rocket??).   I’m sure this mash-up of two ideas symbolizes great speed.

This hood ornament was on the oldest car at the show.   I love the way the chrome is an integral part of the hood (bonnet to you Brits).  The hood ornament is not a stylized anything really, just a bit of bling, to help speed you down the road.

Parade

What is a summer celebration without a parade?   (There are lots of parades in our downtown, which the local merchants hate).  Here at the 107th Annual, it was a fine day for the parade, and there was a good turnout of participants.   The parade always starts late because it is hard work herding all these cats people, politicians, beasts and machinery.  Anyone who wants to show up can be in the parade, but politicians have to pay $100 for the privilege.  😉  Heading up the parade as usual was the State Police and the local fire department (they are quite proud that they have a newish truck!).  They were followed by the color guard of old soldiers who had squeezed into the old uniforms.  Next:

The mariachis were the most colorful group in the parade.  I don’t know if they are local, or if they are the sort that turns up at events. The mariachis at Mass just wore plaid shirts, so I don’t think they are the same group.

It is the West, so there must be horses.  And a rodeo queen or two.

This is M’s uncle, riding on a 1950’s John Deere, and coming along on the tractors behind him are cousin-ish relatives on his other tractors in the collection.   (Don’t ask me what he uses the tractors for or why he has them).

This is the son of M’s actual cousin, driving Great-Uncle S’ 1928 truck.  As Uncle S never threw anything away (he did finally buy a new truck in the 1950’s) the truck even has the original manual.

Non-relatives, these are government employees from nearby Fort Union National Monument at the tail end of the parade.   In between were Shriners, school kids, parade marshalls, heavy equipment,  old cars, new cars, a dog, a parade queen, more relatives and miscellaneous marchers.  And a good time was had by all.