Posts Tagged ‘art’

“Buy Art”

I like to read bumper stickers.  Sometimes they are just silly and annoying.   Sometimes they are downright offensive, but I try to avoid ramming the cars that are sporting blatantly racist and anti-environmental messages.

The other day we were on the freeway when an old Impala sailed by us.   I liked the message tacked in the back window:  “Buy Art.”

“Yes,” I exclaimed.   “I do that.”   It was particularly appropriate since I had just purchased art from an artist friend of mine, who painted a wonderful mural on the front of our barn.

DSCF0693 DSCF0694 DSCF0704 DSCF0712 DSCF0713 DSCF0719

We also purchased the sun sculpture above the mural.


Our house is well supplied with art.   I’ve been in the habit of buying ceramic art for long before I met Jim.   This still life sports a couple of pieces displayed in the living room.


I have a lot of bowls I have collected over the years.   We actually use them on a regular basis.

We also have a lot of dragons in the house, most of them are original works of art.  This is just a small sampling.  A tiger eye bas relief, a leather mask, and a ceramic dragon who guards many eggs, and one very small amber dragonet.

08Aug 2007 005 Dragon 007 dragons 009

I could make this into a very long post, and put up a lot of photos.  But I won’t.   We have a guache  in the bedroom, a watercolor from Seville in the living room as well as a beautiful print from the Seattle area.

Every once in a while I hear from someone who is “decluttering” their life, or read an article telling you just how to achieve that feat.   I toy with the idea of decluttering, but then I wonder which of the pieces of art I am going to get rid of.

Which amazing rock is going to be relegated to the garden?   Which one of the hundreds of sea shells I have picked up over the years?

I guess I’ll just stay cluttered.

And I’ll keep on buying art.

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Three Haikus

Three Haikus I recently wrote on the theme of Time.


Particles drift in/Shapeless space without substance./Time does not exist.



Murmuring river/current carries my canoe/ through bird concertoes.



Big bang collapses/ into the black hole that waits/ consuming all things.

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Since our cruise took off from Vancouver and our cruise line offered a convenient transfer there from the SeaTac airport, we decided to go a little early and spend some time in Seattle.   It was a city which we enjoyed immensely during our past Navy life when Jim was stationed at Bremerton, right across Puget Sound from Seattle.  We used to take the ferry across and spend a day there dinking around Pike Street Market, enjoying a beer somewhere.   Often we would by a couple of dungeness crabs, have them split, and take them home with crusty french bread for dinner.

All I can say is that tourism has pretty much ruined Pike Street Market.   I’m sure in the off season it is still a fun place to shop, but during the cruising season it is a zoo packed with people who are there to experience it, but not actually interested in buying anything.   The amazing displays of food, flowers and art are viewed as entertainment.   I’m sure that there is stuff being sold, but if you actually want to buy seafood, it is better to go across the street to the less popular market which is not crammed with tourists watching the fishmongers throw fish across the aisles.  Whatever.

We had scheduled a hot air balloon ascent, but it was cancelled due to foul weather.   This is still on my bucket list.   As Jim said, we just need to get out to Albuquerque when the hot air balloons are there.    The same company we scheduled with in Seattle area runs a branch in the Albuquerque area during the fall and winter.   I’ll bet they don’t get weathered out so often there.

So we took our rental car and went for a drive instead, out to Whidbey Island, where Jim served two tours of duty early in his Navy career.   He showed me the very first house he lived in there off base, and we were both impressed that it is still there 40 years later.    Drove across the Deception Pass bridge and down along the I-5 corridor to the winery area north of Seattle.   We enjoyed tasting wines at the Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Crest wineries, purchased three bottles to take with us on the cruise which we shared with our cruising companions.   After the wine tasting, we headed back to Seattle with plenty of time to return the rental car before we got charged for another day.

Ha ha ha ha ha.   It has been a long time since we experienced a big city rush hour traffic congestion situation.    I hope it is even longer before I do again.   It took us over 7 minutes to go around the block to get to the rental car place.

As is our usual custom, extensive research was conducted before we left on this vacation.   Despite the fact that we lived in the area for a while, that was twenty-five years ago, and much has changed in the interim.   One of the things that has been established since then is Chihuly Garden and Glass at the Seattle Center.  Dale Chihuly is an internationally reknowned artist in glass.  I was aware of his existence when we lived in the Seattle area, and I wish to heck now that I had purchased some of his work at that time, when it was still affordable.   At the museum gift shop they had Chihuly bowls for sale, the cheapest one was about 8 inches in diameter and they “only” wanted $4000  for it, and NO, I do not have the quantity of zeros wrong.

A few years ago, Chihuly did an installation at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis.   I visited that, and blogged about it.

When I was up in Seattle with my mother and sisters back in late May, I suggested that we might want to visit this exhibit.   When the price of admission was mentioned, $19 for all day entry and re-entry after dark, my mother deemed it “too expensive.”    The upshot was, we Smith women did not experience the Chihuly exhibit, which is a shame; I think we would have all enjoyed it.  Jim and I determined to go, and as far as I am concerned it was WELL worth the price of admission.

Even though Chihuly no longer does a lot of work due to injuries, he has a group of glass artists that carry out his visions.    And visions they are.  The museum contains pieces that date back to his earliest work, when he was inspired by North American Indian basketry.





Once you leave this room, you enter a room that is inspired by the ocean and the myriad creatures that inhabit it.   Now I have to say, this was an extremely difficult thing to photograph, what with the hordes of people surrounding it and the rather vast size of the installation.


To give you a little concept of scale, this is one of the creatures on that vase shape of glass.   It is about 6 inches long.


Also in the room were numerous smaller pieces depicting crabs, shrimp, and my favorite, the octopi:


I really had a hard time getting great shots in this room.   The lighting was designed to highlight each individual work, some of them were large and had lots of shadows.   I did not have the right equipment, and so many of the images remain in my memory rather than in digital form.  There were plenty of others that were good enough to delight.

This is one of the huge glass balls that supported one of the octopus creations.


The next room contained the Persian ceiling.   Now I honestly have no clue as to why Chihuly chose to call these sorts of things Persians.   Anyway, these sorts of forms occur all through the exhibit.   Here, there was a glass ceiling that had the pieces stacked all over it, some on top of others and the whole thing lit from above.   It was magic.    I could have shot 500 pictures in here and never gotten it all.   We spent a long time looking up in this room.  Amazing.


You walk out of the Persian ceiling into another very large room that contains an installation inspired by Chihuly’s mother’s garden.   Another one that was difficult to shoot:  large large large and surrounded by people oohing and aahing (just like we were).   The phantasmagoria of botanically inspired shapes was… well… amazing.   Sorry.  I just don’t have words.

A side note here:  more than once as I progressed through this collection of shape and color I wondered what it would be like to be on some sort of psychedelic drug while experiencing this art work.




At spots in the exhibition, there were what was referred to as design walls.   Chihuly discovered paint somewhere along the way in his glass blowing career, and began working out designs using all sorts of media on water color paper.



You can see his chandeliers in the above design wall.




Another room was inspired by an installation where he was floating glass balls in some river, sorry, don’t remember which one.   Anyway, there were people out in small boats catching the balls  at the end of town after they floated down the river,and Chihuly liked the idea of boats full of balls.  Incidentally, that boat is a real boat and about 20 feet long.


He also did a boat full of floral forms.   This is a detail of one of the flowers in that boat.


The last inside room was one that contained several giant bowl forms.   They were very large, around a meter in diameter.  I can’t imagine how many of these were spoiled during the annealing process of the glass blowing.    Absolutely incredible.




After all this intense color in black rooms with brilliant spot lights, we emerge into the Glass House, inspired by the great conservatories of the world.


Frankly, I thought it was more magical at night.


The informational signs claim that many of the forms here were inspired by the Space Needle.



I can see it.    I was fascinated by the huge botanical form, an installation of many Persians.



Outside, in the gardens, I see another inspiration for the Persians in the hardy geraniums.


The Space Needle shows up all over the place.



And now, the gardens.   Both in the grey afternoon and at night, illuminated.   I felt that some of these installations would have benefitted from being lit from underneath the actual glass piece rather than having spotlights on them.   But that is a mere quibble.   Everywhere was color, fantasy forms, details of color and light.










Last image, probably my favorite despite the blur.  There were installations on the installations; the art had become habitat.   This was the home of a little spider, all upset because my camera was so close to her, shaking her web so that maybe I would not notice her…


I hope you have enjoyed this tour of Chihuly’s visions in glass.    It was extremely difficult to cull the hundreds of images I acquired along the way through this positively fabulous collection.   There were hundreds and hundreds of pieces of glass, every one of them was beautiful.

“Even the orchestra is beautiful….”

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Autumn mandala

It was a rainy day here in the Ozarks, but not particularly cold or windy, so I took Ruby for her walk anyway.   We had a wonderful time.  Of course she found a stick, which I threw numerous times.

We saw large mixed flocks of sparrows and finches, who were enjoying the ripening grass heads in the field.  I saw song sparrows, white crowned sparrows, and white chinned sparrows.   I’m sure there were others out there too.   The gold finches were flying with them.  Around the house we have lots of juncos and chickadees.   This morning I saw a brown thrasher in the stroll garden, which surprised me.   I would have thought they had migrated south by now, but it hasn’t really been all that cold here.   There is no sense of urgency.

The oaks are turning their shades of red and orange, and the japanese maple by my pond is a wonderful scarlet right now.   I felt inspired to make an autumn mandala scan using these items plus some grass that was calling me.

The mood is somber out there, matching mine.   I’ve been thinking very deeply lately, motivated by my sessions with my therapist.  There is a lot to grieve for, and I have been journaling a lot.

My father fails daily, the weight of his years suddenly seems almost too much for him to carry any longer.   The family is gathering this weekend; we are throwing a dinner party for the whole group here since we are going to be gone over Thanksgiving.    I am glad we are going to have this opportunity to be together before we all fly to the four winds once again.

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Photohunt: Cards

I like to make cards.   With the advent of the internet and email, hand made cards sent by snail mail seem to be an anachronism.   Still, I like making them and sending them.   I think people like getting them, too.


See other Photohunters here.

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Things are progressing in the Ruby and Mallory relationship.   I have no photographic evidence of this, largely because most of this activity takes place at night in poor light conditions.

But, Ruby has decided the Mallory is a “good thing”, and they have begun playing together in a very charming way.  Ruby has a big orange ball that sort of looks like a tennis ball and has a squeak.   Mallory thinks that ball is just right for wrassling with.   The other night, Ruby was a little jealous because Mallory was getting all this attention, and she brought her ball to us.   So, we were multi-tasking, making the string work for Mallory while throwing the ball for Ruby.

Ruby brought the ball back and dropped it, and Mallory attacked it.   After she kicked it away during one of the wrestling “falls”, Ruby picked it up, and then delicately dropped it again and nudged it with her foot so it rolled over to Mallory.   Pounce!   Mallory was on it again, and Ruby watched benignly at the ball being “killed” until Mallory kicked it away again, towards Ruby.   Ruby pushed it back. . .  They also play chase games, which are very exhilirating for Mallory since there is an element of danger in them.

We have also witnessed Mallory running up to Ruby as she lies with her head on her paws, wrapping her little cat arms around that big head and washing that large expanse of forehead.  Ruby looks slightly confused, and Mallory stops washing after a few licks and sort of makes a “that’s a lot of hair” face.

Meanwhile, the gardens are growing.   We are having to water quite a lot, as it is very hot and dry right now.   Not looking forward to my water bill with much pleasure, I’m afraid.

Managed to bruise my wrist rather badly the other day.  The occasion was a demonstration of how to apply elbow grease to wall washing activities so as to actually remove the dirt from the wall.   Unfortunately, I forgot about the little edge of counter top that was extending onto the wall about halfway up, and came in contact with it in “full elbow grease” mode.

I found time to make an art journal page…

I cropped and posted this picture of spiderwort a few days ago.   This morning as I was examining the image, I realized that in addition to the tachnid fly I was interested in, there was another bit of wildlife occupying the spiderwort.   Check out the little green crab spider that is lurking to the left of the pollinator.

I think it is interesting that I cropped and uploaded that image and never noticed that spider until several days later.    How things can hide in images and your subconscious is fascinating!

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I guess I’ve been studying Syncopated Eyeball’s work for long enough now.   I was walking the dog at sundown the other night and captured the three day old waxing crescent.   While I was cropping it, I realized that I was tuned in to the textures and forms that I see in her photos and finding them in mine.

The clouds were pretty amazing that afternoon.   A big thunderstorm was just over and the front was blowing through as the sun went down.

One of the things I dislike about my town is its insistence on above ground power poles.   It makes it hard to get any “clean” shots of atmospheric phenomena.

In other news, we have the Iowa Niece living with us now.   We are very much enjoying her presence in our home, she is a lot of help and a willing worker.   Of course, we want her to eventually be able to get a job and pursue her education, but right now I am REALLY happy to have a minion to help me with the garden chores.

The dianthus are going nuts now.

Little robins not fledged yet.

The mother robin was on the nest when I went over there, and I was cussed up one side and down the other while I was getting that shot.

The bees have left the ajuga and have turned their attentions to the Ninebark.

And, I have done a few more journal pages.   These are actually two separate pages, done two days apart.   When I took the protective paper away from the left hand side I found that there were certain congruencies between the two that were interesting.

So, I’m off to the garden to do some pruning and weeding.

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