Friday, January 30, 2009

6th of the 6th

I was tagged recently by Robyn over at her wonderful art blog, Art Propelled to post the 6th picture in my 6th photo folder. This was taken a few years ago on a hot summer afternoon.

This is TJ, the youngest of my three sons, Daniel, my oldest son and my daddy.
All you can see of Daniel is his shoulder behind the motor.

Here is the 7th of the 6th:

Now you can get a better look at everyone.

It was this little cutie's 4th birthday:

Don't you love her eclectic taste in toys? Princess wedding gown and
Darth Vader potato head, what more could a girl ask for?

Here she is with her sister:

Say cheese, please!

I guess I cheated by posting more than the 6th of the 6th. I couldn't resist those silly smiles.

Rules of the Game: 1. Pick the 6th picture in your 6th folder. 2. Post that picture on your blog and the story that goes along with the picture. 3. Tag 6 other people that you know or don’t know to do the same thing and leave a comment on their blog or an e-mail letting them know you chose them.

I'm tagging these 6 people. Play along only if you want to.

Betsy from My Five Men
Indie from The Bitten Apple
Oliag from Picturing the Year
Sarah from A Day in the Life of a Dreamer
Starlene from Return to Myself
Trish from Nana's Living the Dream

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Office

I was back at it today. Back at creating an alternate universe for myself. This time it was a host of co-employees to work with. Young and old, male and female, they each have unique personalities. Some of them are a little eccentric and some of them are reliable, some like their jobs and one or two of them are know-it-alls.

Here we are, all lined up for a photo opp for the company newsletter.

This photo was taken with cutting edge technology that not only records the employee's image, but also assesses his emotional health....we were told we all need to see
the company physician for some mood elevators.....

Here we are after we found out we were losing our complimentary breakfast donuts and diet cokes because of the downturn in the economy.

Guess which one I am. Yeah, I'm the one in the middle that looks like a self-satisfied-amused-by-the-world-she-created twit.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sometimes I Feel Like A Nut

I've been feeling a little out of step with the world lately...........

So I decided to draw some weirdos to keep me company.

Monday, January 26, 2009

More Posters

I ran across these WWII era posters while researching yesterday's blog entry. Thought you might like a little look-see.

My mother had a cousin in the service whose ship was blown up in New York harbor during WWII. He was thought to be in the middle of the ship as his body was never found.

Hmmm, is this Australian poster endorsing water torture techniques?

Is this Hitler as an angel of abundance and fertility???
I don't think I'm sure what this one means. Maybe it was showing him as the
supreme provider for the Fatherland. What do you think?

I guess they are happy to see each other.....

I wish I could find the website where I found these. The captions told what their countries of origin were. I remember seeing some from Scandinavia, the UK, Russia, Germany and Spain.

These seem to cover the gamut of emotion, from fear to elation, from patriotism to abhorrence.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Soviet Era Art

In 2003 the Tate Modern museum featured a exhibition of Soviet era propaganda posters. I was lucky to see it and I have been fascinated by the genre ever since.

Red Cavalry 1921 unknown artist
David King Collection

Red Moscow Heart of World Revolution 1921 Vkhutemas
(Higher State Artistic and Technical Workshops)

David King Collection

All Russian Agricultural and Craft-Industrial Exhibition-Pageants and Sport
August-September 1923 Alexander Lebedev

David King Collection

I found these 3 postcards in the museum gift shop. Unfortunately, representations of my favorites were not for sale. Back in my hotel room that night, I made a crude sketch in my travel journal of the one that I especially liked. It was circa WWII and it featured Hitler and Mussolini grimacing together under an umbrella. A three pronged lightening bolt strike ended in the middle of the umbrella over their heads. One prong was the Soviet flag, one the British Union Jack and on the other was the Stars and Stripes.

The exhibition wasn't part of the musuem's permanent collection and the images are no longer available online. It did help me understand why Soviet poster art is considered the beginning of the modern propaganda poster.

To read more and see additional examples of this art form click here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Everyone Has A Story

My drive to work takes about 35 or 40 minutes. I usually listen to books on CD or NPR. Yesterday morning it was NPR. Storycorps:Recording America came on. For those of you not familiar with it, Storycorps is a oral history project whose purpose and goal is to honor one anther's lives through listening. Each conversation is recorded on a CD that the participants are given to take home. Their conversation is also archived at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear. For example, friends or relatives might interview one another, grandmothers and grandfathers might tell their stories, etc. Every Friday morning NPR airs one of these interviews. This is a portion of one I listened to yesterday morning. E J Miller interviews his father, Ed Miller Jr about his own father, Edward Miller. Click on the following exerpt to read or listen to the whole interview.

Asked what kind of advice his father had given him, Ed, 57, admitted he thought most of it was "corny" at the time.

"Do a good job and work hard, and you'll get noticed" was one bit of advice. "And not necessarily to get noticed, but because it was the right thing to do," he said.

"The most important thing I learned from Pop," Ed said, "was to be gentle — not a gentleman, just gentle, you know?"

EJ said he had learned that same lesson from Ed. Then he asked his father what it felt like when he became a dad.

"If I had advice for people now who are young, having babies," Ed said, it would be this: "Try to remember every single minute of that time when your son or your daughter thinks that Daddy is the greatest thing in the world — when you walk in the door, that the sun is shining because Daddy walks in."

It's the memories of those times, Ed said, that he still cherishes, especially when he sees parents out with their young children, walking hand in hand.

"And I'll tell you, my heart aches for the days I used to do that," Ed said. "It's heartaching sometimes."

But he added that he feels lucky because "I'm blessed with a woman that I'm still in love with. And you three guys."

"There's no doubt about it," EJ said. "You are my hero. You're what I think of as a good man. I thank you and Mom for just being such great examples."

"That's pretty cool, J," Ed said.

I love you," his son said.

"I love you too, man."

It was a gently told story and it touched me deeply.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Official Pass &Things That Make You Say Hmmm?

Did you know you are invited to Bloggington D.C. today for Inauguration Day festivities? Click the official Cyber Pass to be a part of this historical event.

In honor of the "Day," here are some little known facts about past presidents.

At his inauguration, Washington had only one tooth. At various times he wore dentures made of human teeth, animal teeth, ivory or even lead. Never wood.
(John) Adams was the great-great-grandson of John and Priscilla Alden, pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. Older that any other president at his death, he lived 90 years, 247 days.
(Thomas) Jefferson was the first president to shake hands with guests. Previously people bowed to Presidents.

James Madison: First president to wear trousers rather than knee breeches. He stood 5 feet 4 inches, the shortest president.
James Monroe: First president to ride on a steamboat. First U.S. Senator to become president. First inaugural to be held outdoors. His daughter was the first to be married in the White House. The U.S. Marine ban played at his second inaugural and every inauguration since.
(John Quincy) Adams swam nude (weather permitting) in the Potomac River every day. First elected president not to receive either the most electoral college votes or popular votes. He named one of his sons George Washington.
Andrew Jackson:In 1835 he made the final installment of national debt making Jackson the only president of a debt free United States. He was the only president to serve in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. He was the only president to have been a prisoner of war. He was the first president to have been born in a log cabin. First president to ride a railroad train. Wounded in a duel at the age of 39, Jackson carried the bullet, lodged near his heart, to his grave.
Martin Van Buren: First president born in the United States of America. He and his wife spoke Dutch at home.
(William Henry) Harrison gave the longest inaugural address - one hour 45 minutes. First president to die in office. Inaugurated on March 4, 1841, contracted pneumonia in late March, died in the White House on April 4. Served 30 days.
(John) Tyler served as president without being a member of any political party. He was a grand-uncle of Harry S Truman.
James Knox Polk: Before the advent of anesthetics and antiseptic practices, Polk survived a gallstone operation at age 17.
(Zachary) Taylor served in the regular Army for 40 years and never voted, never belonged to a political party nor took any interest in politics until he ran for president at age 62. He was elected in the first national election held on the same day in all states (November 7, 1848).
Millard Fillmore: No formal education. Fillmore couldn't not read Latin and refused an honorary degree from Oxford University, saying a person shouldn't accept a degree he couldn't read.
Franklin Pierce: Because of religious considerations Pierce affirmed rather than swore the Presidential Oath of Office. He gave his inaugural address from memory, without the aid of notes. He installed the first central heating system in the White House.
James Buchanan: He was never married, so the duties of White House hostess were performed by his niece, Harriet Lane. One of his eyes was nearsighted and the other farsighted. As a result he always cocked his head to the left. Buchanan tired of being president and refused to run for reelection.
Abraham Lincoln: At 6 feet 4 inches he was the tallest president. Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd, had a brother, half-brothers and brothers-in-law who fought in the Confederate Army. Lincoln was the only president to receive a patent, for a device for lifting boats over shoals. He was the first president to wear a beard. His son Robert Todd Lincoln, was in Washington, D.C. when Lincoln was killed, was also on the scene when President Garfield was shot in 1881, and President McKinley was assassinated in 1901. A poll of historians named Lincoln the nation's greatest president. Washington was second.

If you want to read more fun facts about our past presidents click here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Dig Modigliani

I recently mentioned that I would love to see some original Modigliani paintings and a couple of you confessed that you had never heard of him. I didn't mean to name drop, so let me introduce you to a few of my favorite paintings of his.

Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) is know primarily for his portraits and nudes. His interest in African masks, primitives and sculpture can be seen in the way he rendered his subject matter. Although, his portraits are simple and seem to follow a type of formula, they express the model's individual personality very well.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Portrait of Paul Guillaume 1916

Woman of Algiers 1917

Portrait of Leopold Zborowski 1916-1917

Portrait of a Girl (Victoria) 1916

Juan Gris 1915

Young Red Head in an Evening Dress 1918

Woman with a Black Cravat 1917

Jacques Lipchitz and his Wife 1917

The French art critic Jean Cassou said that "style is the greatest revelation of the art of Modigliani." The background colors, the detail, and the clothes are of secondary importance. It is the person in the portrait, the startling real emotion, the glow that seems to come from within, the simple elegance of line and shape, that capture the viewer's attention and make Modigliani a great master.

I never tire of looking at his paintings and would love to have the opportunity to see a "real" one someday. I'd love to study the texture, see all the lines and the colors.

A few years ago I decided to paint Rachel (my daughter) in the style of Modigliani as much as I was able. It was a challenge for me to try and break down her features into a more simple form, but yet capture her essence. I don't know that I succeeded in that, but I like the painting anyway.

And here is a fabric ATC, I made and traded a couple of years ago, of Leopold Zborowski.

I hope you've enjoyed your virtual museum tour.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

One Ringy Dingy

I received a phone call from my daughter-in-law yesterday. Upon answering, her first words to me were: "I'm standing here looking at a Mondrian." Aw, that's mean!

She was at MoMa. I was on my way to run errands.

My reply, "Please do not tell me if you see any Modigliani pieces."

And then I went about my mundane Saturday.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

This View Always Makes Me Happy

Standing on my back deck, I can turn 180 degrees and everywhere I look I can see these lumpy mountaintops. Standing on my front porch and turning 180 degrees I can see the same thing. I'm surrounded by an undulating landscape. If I ever move, this is what I will miss the most.

(the white truck is excluded from sights I will miss)

Friday, January 16, 2009


How about a little challenge today? Just for some completely off the cuff fun, write a haiku inspired by this photo.

Here is the way defines a Haiku.

Haiku is a Japanese verse form that relies on brevity and simplicity to convey its message. It is usually three lines of five, seven, and five syllables, and frequently includes natural images or themes. It is believed to have been first written in the seventeenth century and is based on a Zen Buddhist philosophy of simplicity and the idea of perfection that excludes the extraneous.

Post your entry in the comments section. I'll be back in a little while with mine. Don't be shy. Play along for something adventurous to do on this cold winter morning.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

No Wonder

My mother liked to fix my hair like this. I was probably 10 or 11 when she stopped.

Sausage curls on Shirley Temple-yes, on me-no! It's no wonder I turned out like this.

Did your mother inflict a particular hair style or type of clothing on you long past the time when she should have given it up?

Are you scarred like me?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Update And More Random Ramblings

Thanks everyone for your critter advise. We've moved the trap to a better (we hope) location. We are trying to be humane....that tack isn't working so far. I've got the name and number for a animal removal service, but I just don't want to spend that much money. I'm hoping for a miracle that includes the removal of the squirrel and me being able to hang onto my savings too. Keep your fingers crossed.

Even as I type the fiend is crunching on something....eeeeeek....please stop the destruction NOW!

Basically, I have nothing to post about tonight so you are going to get a peek of my favorite color to wear. It makes my eyes look amazing! (even if I do say so myself)

I took a picture of the shirt I have on, but in artificial light
it doesn't look right. This swatch is close to the right color without the richness that the real color has.

this is me in my teal jacket that I mentioned
liking so much in my interview a few posts ago

And my favorite jewelry to wear with it.

the rings

the earrings

and my favorite necklace

I made a couple of trips to the basement while I wrote this post. A cat has decided that he also wants into my basement. And as far as I'm concerned, if he can get the squirrel out then I'm all for it! I guess I'll call the animal control people tomorrow....while I still have a house to come home to.

Which reminds me of one of my youngest son's favorite books:

Henry's Awful Mistake by Robert Quackenbush Copyright 1980

Which begins this way:

The day Henry the duck asked his friend Clara over for supper, he found an ant in the kitchen.

And pretty soon this was happening:

Henry pounded a big hole in the wall where the crack was.
But he couldn't find the ant. So he kept on pounding.

And that is how Henry's big mistake began.....I can identify.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Julie Moos And The Hat Ladies

In 2000-2001, artist and photographer, Julie Moos used a 4 x 5 camera to photograph the Hat Ladies of Birmingham's New Pilgrim Baptist Church.

In the African American community there has long been a tradition of wearing only your best Sunday finery to church. This finery includes hats of all styles and colors. These women wear their clothing with regal majesty and pride. Moos captured that essence in each of her 18 color portraits.

Mrs. Forman and Mrs. Daniels

The large format images (40 x 52 inch prints) were on display in a solo exhibition at the Birmingham Museum of Art in 2002. Since then they have been shown at various other galleries around the country.

Mrs. Rose and Mrs. Pleasant

I attended this show and have to tell you it was fascinating. Each woman's personality and her relationship to the woman she was paired with seemed to jump right out of the photo and into the room. I only wish I could have found all 18 images for you to compare and admire.

Check out this article for more information about the fabulous Hat Ladies.