Monday, December 24, 2007

It's all about Dolls

"promise not to tell"


I am kicking off this New Year blog entry with a doll piece I did a couple of years ago. It has all the elements that I like, assemblage and painting. I hope to incorporate these elements into new work for the doll show the jafagirls are doing in June.
To dear family, friends, fellow bloggers and visitors
Happy New Year

One of my absolute favourite videos last year was "Doll Face" by Andy Huang.
Although I have shown it before it seems fitting to share it again for those who might have missed it.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Found Art Card


What prompted the Card

False Kindness
Have you ever met someone who acts so kind but inside they are seething with resentment, jealousy and/or bitterness. I knew a woman like that once. She always acted so kind and volunteered to do things, proclaiming what a good Christian she was. Then resentment or jealousy would start to nibble away and she would find reasons to dislike the person or people SHE had volunteered to help. She would start to say little things, play the gaslighting game ( use of deceptive information to promote a distorted view of others or tried to convince others they said something they didn't or try to convince them they had forgotten things).
I saw the real woman one day. She took off the mask of kindness and it sure was pitiable and ugly. The sad part is that no matter how much she wears the mask she can't escape her own demons. I suppose the way to look at it is at least she tries, which is more than one can say about others.

Me I have more respect for those who are true to themselves, even if they are not likable. At least I can be spared the painful process of finding out that the person I thought I liked proved to be someone I would never have chosen to be friends with in the first place.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Creative Motivations

Can you believe I actually think I've run out of things to say, which is ironic considering the failed painter just gave me this very cool award. LOL!! Thankyou Noonan :)

Okay, I have this to say. The holidays are upon us and I can't get my teeth into any serious studio work, which is not to say I haven't spent time plotting. Still I have felt a wee bit guilty about it and then I reread an article about Yoko Ono in which she is quoted:
"I work whenever and wherever I'm inspired". So I am reminded that it will happen when it happens.
Meanwhile I thought I would share what led to my Edith Sitwell painting titled "electric eel" - after a quote of hers-"I am an unpopular electric eel in a pool of catfish.". It all started when I saw a photograph of her by Loomis Dean in an old Life Magazine. Her haughty look and hands just intrigued me. I had a stone that seemed perfect to paint her face on. I wanted to use the form of the stone and illusion to define her features on the stone.


I just got this typical British Christmas Card from relatives in England. There is my favourite little bird the British Robin Redbreast and the iconic pillar post box.

Monday, December 10, 2007

On a brighter note

acrylic on canvas board, slightly altered on the computer

Fellow Jafa pal Nancy and I watched the Jackson Pollock movie starring Ed Harris and I thought I would give dripping a try. Hum! What is it people say about it being easy? It isn't a horrible effort, but it doesn't have the lyrical qualities that a Jackson Pollock painting has. Seeing his huge paintings in the real is magnificent. There is just something about them that makes them sing, the layers, the touches of colour, the balance. and the scale of it.

I have added a new art blogger who specializes in abstract expressionism on my side bar: pollocksthebollocks, check out his current painting, it is YUMMY. I really liked "Journey at Sunset" on his gallery page!



Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Story of the finger bone


Here is the backstory to this piece called "Gold". As I was putting it together I decided I wanted to use a real finger bone. I felt it would add a discomforting brevity and remembrance to all those lost in the annals of history. Perhaps help it be remembered as one of those lessons from history where thousands of innocents died for greed of gold ( in light of current claims lobbied against oil rich land). So I went and ordered one from the Bone Room. So I get it in the mail and I feel really queer about it. I call the bone room and find out it was from China originally. I can't open it. It sits on the shelf for several weeks. I feel haunted by it. Who's finger bone was it? Was it from an executed convict, sold by permission of the family, robbed from a grave, what?

One day my friend came over and I asked her to open the package and we look at it and I just can't do it. I can't use it, can't look at it, let alone touch it,can't keep it in the house (my friend took it away). So much for me wanting to make others uncomfortable! I think now if I had used it it would have been too distracting. So I used a chicken bone, and I know what chicken it was because I ate it.

The point of the bone: represents the bones of thousands of women and children still buried in the fields where the camps once stood. Underneath the white woman is a black face because thousands of African women and children died in camps, not because the British thought them hostile, but because they lived and worked on Boer land.

So I even creep myself out with my own artwork sometimes.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Effigy Dolls: ConcepciĆ³n

“As the world grew cold and grey, it was once feared that the sun was approaching the end of its life. It was at the time of the winter Solstice or Brumalia (Dec 25th according to the Julian calendar) that Saturnus, the god of seed and sowing, was honored with a festival called Saturnalia. At the temple of Saturn a sacrifice was made to placate the gods and to ensure that the great light of the heavens would be reborn. Humans were once sacrificed to the god, but as society evolved, a goat or a pig was donated for the occasion. The woolen bonds which fettered the feet of the statue were loosened to symbolize the liberation of the god. After the religious rites were performed the crowds were dismissed with the proclamation: “Io, Saturnalia!” trumpeting the beginning of the joyous festivities. Crowds filled the streets, Romans paraded singing “unto us a child is born this day” Stalls laden with presents lined the streets near the Forum, but the great present of the season was the doll, of wax or terracotta. Hundreds of thousands of these dolls were on sale or held in the arms of passers by. Gone was a time when human beings were sacrificed to Saturn, the god or his priests had to be content with effigies of men or maids-dolls!” source material
I was at a goodwill store and saw this ugly doll and tossed it back on the shelf, but THEN it occurred to me that once a child had loved this doll and in some way it had a weird charm. It was made in China so there must be thousands of them somewhere in this world. I bought it and had it sitting on the shelf for months. I was invited to participate in a winter solstice show a couple of years ago and this doll just seemed to shout at me from the shelf.. So I spray painted the doll white and added charms that had symbolic meaning and built a box to display it.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Sketchbook: Painting of a Robin Redbreast

I used to love seeing the fat little robin redbreasts in England. When I was growing up it was considered good luck to see a Robin at the first of the season.
Do you know HOW they got such bright red chests?

According to an Old English folk tale "when Jesus was dying on the cross, the Robin, then simply brown in colour, flew to his side and sang into his ear in order to comfort him in pain. The blood from his wounds stained the Robin's breast, and thereafter all Robins got the mark of Christ's blood upon them." source wikipedia

More Trivia
You can see some wonderful photographs of the Robin, which is the British National Bird, on the bbc website-Science & Nature.

Jafabrit Visits
Casey- Check out "winter" and the lush colours
Laketrees is a new one-love her black and white portrait paintings
Cynthia-confronting Change
Bad Kitty- the name alone is cool :)-is facing the challenge of landscapes (I sympathize)
Failed Painter- whose dragon tale coils around the tongue delightfully
Lincoln's Bird Blog in which he, coincidentally, has a current entry about the American Robin.