Monday, February 25, 2013

California Artz

I am in California this week so I will present places I am going and have been.
So far I have seen snowy mountains, fertile valleys ripe with oranges and flowering fruit trees in an ever stunning array of colors from white through every hue of pink and purple.  I have been on several beaches and tasted wine from local wineries.

Oakland, Las Angeles, Newport Beach, Big Sur, San Jose and miles and miles up the Pacific Coast Highway are just some stops I have made.  Avila Beach, Ventura Boulevard, Santa Cruz, Elephant Seal Beach, and Carmel, as well as the points north I will see this week.

There is plenty to inspire and I will share that with you.

Here is some beauty I have captured.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Presidential Artz

Today is Presidents Day. It is a Federal Holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February.  It was first celebrated in honor of our first President George Washington. Later it was moved to fall between President Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays.  In 1971 it was moved to Monday as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

We shall look at how a few artists captured a president this week. Shall we start with a very large sculpture by John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum?

Gutzon Borglum as most of us may know him.

He was a painter whose portrait of General John C. Fremont led him to his first patron, General Fremont’s wife who introduced Borglum to Theodore Roosevelt. 

While living in Paris he studied at École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Julian and held several very successful exhibits. It was here that he was influenced by Auguste Rodin and abandoned painting for sculpture.  His sculpture Mares of Diomedes was a gold medal winner at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition and brought him much notoriety.  He created a bust of Lincoln that President Roosevelt displayed in the White House.

This sculpture inspired the Daughters of the Confederacy and they invited him to carve a bust of Robert E. Lee into Stone Mountain. He wanted to carve in Stonewall Jackson on a horse, Jefferson Davis and a row of soldiers. Borglum was released from the job over a political statement and his original work did not survive the artist who replaced him.  

But in came a historian from South Dakota and offered him a job he could not refuse.  He moved to Keystone South Dakota at the age of 60 and in 1927 began carving Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Roosevelt into Mt. Rushmore.

 Borglum died at the age of 74 in 1941 from complications of surgery and never got to see the finished work. 

Enjoy some Presidential art with us this week.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine Artz

Valentine’s Day is the feast day of St. Valentine. It is a celebration of a saint named Valentinus who was imprisoned for marrying Roman soldiers who were forbidden to marry as well as perform marriages for Christians. Caesar believed that unmarried men made the best soldiers. While in jail he healed Julia, the blind daughter of his jailer. Before his execution he wrote her a note and signed it “from your Valentine”. Geoffrey Chaucer grabbed this day and celebrated it among his circle of friends as a day to celebrate romantic love. It became very popular at court.

Some of the symbols that are associated with this day are hearts, doves, flowers and plump winged Cupids.

To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,
And dupp'd the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.
—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5
Enjoy some Valentine Art this week from The Schertz Area Artz Council.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Heart Art

A loving heart is the truest wisdom.
Charles Dickens

In times past hearts were believed to contain the soul. It was the seat of emotion, reason and thought. Tradition has colored hearts red; red for blood, passion, strong emotion.

In ancient days the seed of the Silphium was used as an oral contraceptive and it is from the shape of the seed that we see the heart.

 The human heart is vaguely shaped like what we now know as a heart symbol. 

Swans necks curl together during their mating ritual and create a heart. 

Brothels would mark their signs with a shape that represented female breasts that looked in shape like a present day heart. Turn the heart upside down and it was a symbol for males in a brothel.
This week we shall look at heart in art.