Thursday, December 18, 2014

Partial Reclining Figure

Reclining Figure, Close-Up, Columbus, 2014

Henry Moore's sculpture, "Three Piece Reclining Figure:  Draped", as it stands outside of the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio.  Here I have seemingly cut off the head of the woman, but in truth the artist did not give the work a head.  Like so many pieces of art crafted by men, the female subject lacks a head.  Is this because the artists lacks the skill to render the fine facial features of the female form?  Or is it because he doesn't deem it necessary that she have a head?  It's the Praying Mantis effect in reverse.  While it doesn't always happen, it happens often enough for it to be noticeable. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Pianist's Hands

      The Pianist's Hands, Pittsburgh, 2013

My mother is a pianist, playing/practicing nearly everyday (except while on holiday) for the last 70 years.  It's taken quite the toll on her hands, worsening the arthritis that has settled in the joints.  Regardless, she still plays for the church.  Her rendition of "Angels We Have Heard On High" brings tears to my eyes.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Red Pole

          Trinity Episcopal Cathedral In Winter, Pittsburgh, Christmas 2012

This is Pittsburgh's oldest unreconstructed landmark, standing as it always has in the heart of downtown.  At one time it's cemetery was the resting place of over four thousand individuals, but now just has a smattering of a few prominent early settlers and natives, including Red Pole, chief of the local Shawnee.
Here is his head stone:

Friday, December 12, 2014

Primanti Brothers

Primanti Brothers, Southside Pittsburgh, 2014 and Beyond

Pittsburgh is somewhat famous for the Primanti Brothers restaurant sandwich which has fries and slaw piled on it.  It's an ok sandwich, I mean, it's not poison, but it's nothing special.  I would never, ever go out of my way to have one.  In fact, the only time we eat there is when people from out of town visit and they demand - yes DEMAND - that we suffer through the experience with them.
My primary complaint comes from exactly how the sandwich is delivered to you.  It's wrapped in thin paper, not even so much as a paper plate.  And if you dare ask for a knife and fork, you get the flimsiest utensils that Chinese convict labor can produce.  That knife aint cutting nothing, and the tines on the fork bend when you try to spear anything.  Forget asking for your fries or slaw on the side.  They'll laugh in your face.  You end up contending with a mountain high sandwich with soggy fries and bread.  Unless your a champion speed eater, the whole concoction loses integrity when you're about half way finished, falling to pieces on your now soggy and torn serving paper.  It's a mess, and an embarrassment.  All of the structural/serving faults could be forgiven if it was the best sandwich that you ever had, but it isn't.  I can, and do, make a better sandwich at home.
My advice is:  Beware.  You might want to bring your own utensils and plate.  Who knew you could long so much for a plate?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Touching The Art And It Touching Back

Casey Jane Ellison is the mastermind, and I do truly mean a mastermind, behind the web series, Touching The Art.  When I first discovered this youtube channel a few months ago, I was struck by how it's both serious and seriously funny.  Art (people in art, not the works themselves, because that would be impossible) so often takes itself so f*cking seriously that whimsy, humor, any sort of lightness of being, immediately discredits you.  What 'Touching the Art' does is address very real issues within the art community, large and small scale, and how women and people of color are always given the identifiers of: Female Artist (white), African-American Artist (male), Female African-American Artist, Hispanic Artist (male), etc.  We live in a world where 'white male' is the default, and the rest of the art world has to be segregated into their proper categories lest there be chaos.  This makes me not just a female artist, but a lesbian female artist.  Given that I'm a woman, my persona could be further broken down by age because our male dominated society is also ageist, making me a middle-aged, lesbian, female artist.  The lesbian and female may seem redundant, but trust me, it isn't. 
        Rosbro Cigar Smoking Snowmen, Pittsburgh 2014

To wrap things up I've included a pic of my favorite vintage cigar smoking plastic snowmen from the 1950s.  Take it away, guys!  I love me some inappropriate whimsy.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Refracted Reflection

     Polar Vortex, Connoquenessing Creek, January 2014

I am working on a water themed portfolio, so of course I revisited the photographs I took last winter of the bankside trees reflected in the above mentioned creek.  I didn't notice this at the time I was taking the pictures, but later, while working on them on the computer, I noticed that as the temperatures quickly plummeted it caused the water to begin to thicken, gelling into ice crystals, that then not only reflected the trees, but refracted them as well.  

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Close Up In Contrast

Miniature Olive Tree Roots, Pittsburgh, 2014

Olea europaea, this miniature olive tree only grows to be about four to five feet tall and can easily be managed in a pot.  That is, until or unless your cat decides to LAY on the tiny tree and systematically undermine the integrity of the main branches and trunk of the tree.  Simply, Peep's killed the olive tree last winter.  Hopefully I'll be able to keep him off the replacement one I got over the summer.  Olive leaf tea is very therapeutic and refreshing.