today's project. small. gleaned rosehips. herbs from a winter garden. decoration for a gift.
years ago, someone i once worked with asked why i never publish my art on this blog. art is where things started, the whole design bit was roundabout: for a long time, i drew bits and pieces and created logos and stationery for people. it was a small (happy) business. it was great, it fit all around raising 4 active kids, and the logos and stationery turned into events and flowers which led to houses and stores and, eventually, this blog. now, another small plunge. to put up (and admit to) something i've drawn. it's just a sketch (from December?), but it represents the style used while working.
which leads to the daily project thing. the doll in palaka definitely took more space than a day. her face looks pretty much like most of the faces i've drawn since second grade, only maybe a little more. there's a reason things hit a jam here. since drawing that face, everything has revolved around it. still working on the one-project-a-day-plan, just not publishing everything; some of them are quite off-the-cuff. the bird, below, is from day 15.
here's a picture i lifted (without meaning to) from someone on ebay; tried to go back and find it and purchase it, but didn't have the patience to sift through the piles. it wasn't even really expensive. it's all about patience, i guess. she looks full of hope, sort of, doesn't she? but pragmatic. (pragmatism can be helpful at times.) look at the mom taking the picture. she's in the mirror.
... when i learned that meryl streep narrated chrysanthemum. her version of the velveteen rabbit was (is, evermore shall be) one of the great childhood classics; we played it awfully often in our little house in connecticut. three small thornes listened with streep-induced rapture in a toasty living room while snow piled up outside the great plate glass windows of our tiny quarters. bravo, bravo mr. henkes and ms. streep. (and please forgive me borrowing chrysanthemum from your beautiful website, mr. h.)
will be working on this
a bit more this evening,
but it looks as 'tho she'll
stretch into another day-
the dress is made from a
scrap of palaka that came
from H. Muira; we visited,
one last time, the summer
before the legendary store
shut its doors. more, here.
before the legendary store
shut its doors. more, here.
paniolo in palaka:
The pencil is lassoed to his hand so that it might dry in place. The sculpting material wasn't actually for me, but purchased a few years ago for lessons I was giving (it's quick drying, from the Netherlands). The driftwood is from Oregon, perhaps near Bandon (not the links but the older simpler town part, which is fresh).
As all of this terrible business has gone on in France, my thoughts have gone again and again to a chapter in Alain de Botton's work Status Anxiety. It's entitled "Art." If you are so inclined, I recommend reading it.
A friend's recent note mentioned that she liked words I'd posted a few days ago, the "how would they make a toy with no instructions, no wrong way to do it, and only the materials at hand?" bit. She wrote: "But what if we approached more of our projects with that attitude? So much could happen. I need to apply this to my life." (Btw, she publishes a brilliant travel blog.) I replied- something about not being afraid, and how that is a hard place to get to. Well, can I tell you something? Every post I put up lately makes me at least a bit afraid. Sometimes more. (And Thea thank you & I owe you a note, your mail made my day.) There's no road map, and I'm still scratching my head over the appearance of dolls. It's all so soft, I suppose. In this world, we are not really supposed to be soft and admit it, are we? Hard and clean and bright. Clear and concise. The soft world is not easily navigated. It's -- well, it's squishy. Neither here nor there. Primordial. Intuitive.
Which brings me back, sort of, to de Botton, the role of art, and going out on a (pear-tree) limb.
In Status Anxiety, de Botton examines the role of satire and caricature in 19th century France. Note, if you will, that the Frenchman Charles Philipon spent two years in prison for drawing the monarch as a piece of fruit: he drew a cartoon of King Louis-Philippe as a boated pear. As de Botton points out, the French word poire, which means "not only 'pear' but also 'fathead' or 'mug', neatly conveyed a less-than respectful sentiment regarding the monarch's administrative abilities." In the same vein, we find that Napoleon, in 1799, ordered the closure of every satirical paper in Paris, because "the most powerful man in Europe ... would not tolerate cartoonists' taking liberties with his appearance."
This freedom of expression was not a "falling off the log" thing for the French.
"The most subversive comedy of all may be that which communicates a lesson while seeming only to entertain. Talented comics never deliver sermons outlining abuses of power; instead, they provoke their audiences to acknowledge in a chuckle the aptness of their complaints against authority," writes de Botton.
He goes on to say this:
"Furthermore (the imprisonment of Philipon notwithstanding), the apparent innocence of jokes enables comics to convey with impunity messages that might be dangerous or impossible to state directly."
There's the rub.