Monday, December 16, 2013

The Ghostly Artz of Christmas Present

The Ghost of Christmas Present is the third ghost to visit Scrooge. This ghost’s visit is foretold by the ghost of Jacob Marley. 
                      Marley's ghost by John Leech
Jacob Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge had been friends since their teenage years when they were both apprentices in the same business firm. Later they opened a financial business together which Marley called “our money-changing hole”.
It is Christmas Eve and exactly seven years have gone by since Marley has passed away. 
                     Jacob Marley by Tim Bruckner
Charles Dickens describes the ghost as being “a jolly giant”. He has dark brown curly hair, wears a green robe lined in fur, and on his head sets a wreath made of holly with glistening icicles hanging from its branches. 
          Edward Woodward Ghost Christmas Present

He carries a large torch and is first seen sitting in the midst of a huge feast. Around his waste is strapped a scabbard with no sword. This is to symbolize Peace on Earth and goodwill to men. He claims he can change his size and fit into room large or small.
   Kenneth Moore as the Ghost of Christmas Present 1970

The visitation of the Ghost of Christmas Present happens on December 24, 1843. The ghost proudly tells Scrooge that he has 1,842 brothers. 

This week The Ghostly Artz of Christmas Present

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Ghostly Artz of Christmas Past

Charles Dickens wrote a novella titled A Christmas Carol and on December 17, 1843 
                                                                  First Edition, 1843
it was published by Chapman & Hall. It is the story of a bitter old miser who endures 4 haunting in the course of one Christmas Eve and how what he sees changes him.  The story was an instant success and has never been out of print.
                                                                              Charles Dickens  1867 - 1868
A Christmas Carol takes you on a journey where you will experience every emotion through images. Images of darkness, sadness, coldness, despair, and death but, it will also lift your spirit with images of joy, light, warmth and life. Just as winter mellows into spring, Scrooge, the miser who is the embodiment of winter mellows into a gentle old man filled with goodwill.
                                                           Scrooge and Bob Cratchit
                                                             woodcut by John Leech
The second haunting Scrooge endures on that Christmas Eve is that of The Ghost of Christmas Past.  In an effort to get Scrooge to repent of his cruel, miserly ways the ghost reveals to him scenes from his Christmases past. This is how we, the observers learn what the young Scrooge endured that made him into the man he is and why he dislikes Christmas. 

                                                                         Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past.
                                                                          Original 1843 illustration by John Leech 
Here is how Dickens describes the ghost…”being now a thing with one arm, now with one leg, now with twenty legs, now a pair of legs without a head, now a head without a body: of which dissolving parts, no outline would be visible in the dense gloom wherein they melted away."

This week we present The Ghostly Artz of Christmas Past.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tinsel Artz Painting

I had just finished decorating my tree and was gazing at it when I thought about a topic for this week’s Artz. I wondered if tinsel would come up in a search and sure enough I got Tinsel Painting.

Tinsel Painting was a decorative art that was popular in America from about 1830 to 1890. Only the wealthy, who were seeking a refined education for their daughters, could afford to pay for this training.
                                                                     Tinsel Painting, Wreath of flowers. ca. 1875.
 It has roots in an art form dating back to the Italian Renaissance. Tinsel Paintings are reverse paintings on glass with crumpled or smooth colored foil applied to areas on the glass that are clear or unpainted. When viewed before candlelight the effect adds shimmering highlights to the painting.
                                                Tinsel Painting: Wreath, Birds, and Daguerreotype, Artist unidentified, 1855 - 1865
Think about this a moment, it is 1846 and you need foil. It was not like there was a roll in the pantry or up the road at Safeway. By this time drug stores were using foil to wrap creams. Confectioners were using it to wrap bon-bons and the Marines were using an experimental cartridge made of foil designed by Colt.

Tinsel Painting was considered a safe past time for wives and daughters as it kept their minds on the home as they created. Many of the pieces created commemorated events in the lives of these women; a marriage, a birth, an event, a friendship are just some of the subjects these beautiful works are about.

Enjoy Tinsel Artz Painting.