Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Inspiration: Edwin Holgate

Edwin Holgate, Suzy, 1921 (source)
Edwin Holgate, Portrait of a Woman, 1930, (source)
Edwin Holgate, Self Portrait, 1934 (source)
Edwin Holgate (1892-1977), was a Montrealer, and a member of the Beaver Hall group, he was a prolific painter of the human form. His works have that 1930's feel about them- solid figures, with a well defined physicality. His works aren't about light or colour or texture- though that's all there of course- they're about the human form, about making you feel the round heft of a forearm, the smooth plane of the cheek and nose.

His colour palette is so similar to Lilias Newton and Prudence Heward- that there is no doubt that they worked closely together- things like a favorite shade of plum or mustard rubbing off on each other. I love seeing that and seeing a bit behind the process, I like art the best when it reveals a bit about the artist. I think that anything made by hand should contain some sort of clue as to the personality of the maker, some memento that this was made by human hands.

My main dislike of renaissance art is that it's too smooth, too slick- it looks just like the image in the catalogue- there usually isn't a single brush hair to remind you that someone made this by hand. I think that's just a concern now- of course- in this day and age of manufacturing, Michelangelo wanted the image to look foreign as though it was it's own creation, made by nature, not by him. That was the ultimate coup, I guess.

Monday Inspiration 2014 is all about Canadian artists. Each Monday I'll pick a new one to profile- If you can think of any that you think I ought to look up- please let me know in the comments- I'd love to hear from you. You can find a list of the artists I've done so far here. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

This Moment

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.- Amanda Blake Soule

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Spring flowers

Yes- that's my baby outside in a shirt and diaper only,
my theory is that you have your whole adult life to wear pants in public, live it up bottomless while you still can.

This post is basically just a barfing up of photos from my camera- "Blech!" to you on the screen. Ditch Lady Slippers and Lily of the Valley, Bleeding Hearts, Muscari. These are the only spring flowers I've photographed this year- no Lilacs at all- weird! and none in the house either- they're all done now- but the sweetly scented Lily of the Valley made it inside to the table- never did anything smell so sweet.

Another sweet thing was the Victorian Tea the Village held- we got all dressed up in Antique clothes (except the girls- those are 1980's dresses), they belonged to my husbands great grandmother and are circa 1910. Very Very beautiful hand sewn work, the lace is amazing, and things are fragile- but it's nice to get them out and wear it. It was such a different time period clothing wise- where you adjusted your figure not by dieting, or trying to actually sculpt your flesh in the shape you want- but by corseting here and padding there- making your waist 20 inches one day, 22 the next, your bust ruffle going up and down to adjust to your shirt, your bum padded out to fill out your bustle, so Foreign to us now. Also the layers and layers of gauzy clothing- at first you wonder if it could possibly be right that they wore such flimsy skirts- but when you have four of them on you're so totally swathed in fabric, it seems like you'd be fine going outside in winter as is.

I love this big floppy bow in her hair, and how her new lace up boots go so well with the dress. 
 The tea itself was really lovely too- china cups and homemade mints, tiny sandwiches, and dainties, the girls were over the moon! They had sugar cubes too which the most satisfying thing to my kids- you could give them a choice of cake with decorations and chocolate oozing from it, sprinkles, candles, icing roses- the works- or one sugar cube and I truly think they'd choose the cube- well,  it would be a BIG decision anyways.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Monday Inspiration: Roman Bartkiw

Bartkiw, Pommes Dore, 1996, (source)
Roman Bartkiw, (1935- 2010), was a Ceramist and Glass artist. He is apparently known for his innovations in glass work- though I can't seem to find out what those are or see any of his glass works online. There are some ceramic birds online- but mostly on ebay and Kijiji, and I can't seem to find the real site only find them on google images. Someone could doubtless find more images of his work in person, or also if they had more time to search online ( I have the time bomb of a soggy diaper soaking through my pants- Oh! that reads as though it's MY diaper! If this is the first time you've read the blog- rest assured I have children- it's almost always their pee on me- not my own.)

I really love this work though- the simple lines and distilled forms are so soothing, and powerful at the same time- it's really lovely. You can read quite a bit about him here. He's collected in several museums, the AGO, and the Museum of Civilization.

Monday Inspiration 2014 is all about Canadian artists. Each Monday I'll pick a new one to profile- If you can think of any that you think I ought to look up- please let me know in the comments- I'd love to hear from you. You can find a list of the artists I've done so far here. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Monthly Photo Challenge: Stormy Skies

I've had to reach into the archives for this one- no photogenic storms yet this year- I thought about including a photo of my little ones with their stormy faces- (we've certainly had our share of dramatic storms on that score...), but settled on this photo of Lobelia after a storm from 2012- not quite the directive- but close I think, artistic licence and all that. The Bike photo is one of my favorites from the summer of 2013, and the Hoar frost covered tree is from winter of 2013, it's my favorite tree in all the yard I think- so stately and gracefull.

I'm joining in with a Personal Photo Challenge  for June- check out the other entries over there it's fascinating.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Old George's Hidden Village

 Last week we went on a day trip out to Old George's hidden village in Whitewood, it's a couple of hours from here and it's a neat place to go (if a little dusty), part Museum, part antique shop, part something else entirely, Old George is the owner and quite the character- happy to tour you around and explain the place, and it's a great place for kids, (well maybe it's just that way for our kids, they're well versed in looking at old junk and finding it interesting). If your kid has any sort of imagination they'd love it- there's tons to look at and imagine about, N was almost every shopkeeper there was, a sheriff, a shoe salesman, a pioneer woman, a kid about to get eaten by a bear, you name it.

It's like an old curio cabinet you can walk around in, and it's really interesting, and inspiring to see this place, because it's huge and built out of one man's imagination and passion for old things and times. And also because there's a treasure trove of stuff to get your juices flowing, at least two new ideas for pots came out of this trip, and lots of designs that I'll appropriate, as soon as I get the chance to work in the studio again.

If you're passing by Whitewood Sask. this summer I highly recommend a little visit to Old Geo.