Monday, June 23, 2014

The Artz of Grave Digging

I am going on an adventure next week and as I was speaking with my friend Seamus about our trip I informed him I love to explore old forgotten cemeteries. We then chattered on and I shared I was looking for inspiration for my Artz show this week and he suggested Grave Diggers. I grabbed it knowing it would take some time to explore for art where the main feature was a grave digger. I was right.

What showed up the most was Grave Digger the monster truck racing team. There are 9 Grave Digger trucks and drivers so they can make more appearances. Grave Digger was first conceived in 1981 by Dennis Anderson and his now famous comment  "I'll take this old junk and dig you a grave with it".

Grave Digger is a German Heavy Metal Band that emerged in the 1980s.

Grave Digger is a song by Dave Matthews.

 A noir webcomic.
An extreme obstacle race to be held in Oklahoma September 2014.

  An enormous burger served at Champions Riverside Bar & Grill.

This week we present The Artz of Grave Digging

Monday, June 16, 2014

Beetle Artz

For weeks these black beetles have been getting into my house. I have never had this problem before but have been told they come out every year. Really?? Where have I been? They are swarming my porch, my house and I see their crushed carcass almost every where I go.  Are they popping up from underground? 

According to an entomologist with Texas AgriLife they are very common in Texas. What is not common is them being above ground. They live most of their life below ground feasting on other ground dwelling insects and they are vital to a healthy garden. They do not bite nor do they sting. 

They have inspired me. 

This week we present Beetle Artz.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Artz of a Haunted Priory

Binham Priory or St. Mary's Priory, Binham as it is also called, lies as a stately, yet haunting ruin. Most of it is gone, dissasembled piece by piece for the stones by the Paston family who bought the Priory and the land during the reign of Henry VIII and his Dissolution of the Churchs in 1539.  That is it was until a stone fell from the top of one of the arcades and killed one of the workers. Taking this as a sign from GOD the workers fled in fear vowing never to return. 

Are those the moans of a man? Is that the rattle of chains you believe you are hearing?  In 1130 the prior from a neighboring Priory having descended into a violent madness and bursts of terrifying insanity is said to have been taken away in chains and locked in a monk's cell in the lower parts of Binham Priory. Dying alone and still wearing his chains he was buried in the Priory yard. 

In 1335 using the wealth from the Prior treasury; one of the priors who had been experimenting with alchemy fled the Priory for fear he would be accused of witchcraft and burned when he was discovered or so the legend tells. He was never seen again. 

Then there is  the  "Black Monk" who has been seen by many people stepping out of  the Ley tunnel, which runs from the nave of the priory to the shrine of Our Lady in Walsingham 3 miles away, and wandering away over the grounds moving his head from side to side as though he is searching for something. 
But, those are  not the only eerie tales associated with Binham Priory. 
                                 Bnham Priory - Cheryl Surrey

 One afternoon a fiddler was enticed to follow the tunnel playing his fiddle all the way. His name was Jimmy and  he agreed  to seek out the reason why the "Black Monk" haunted the tunnel and entered into the passageway. His fiddle could be heard for quite some time drifting through the air,  and from under the ground where he walked the tunnel.  The music grew fainter and then suddenly was no more. The fiddler was never seen again. But sometimes when the day is just slient enough people have claimed to hear a fiddle playing not far from the Priory near an ancient burial mound that became known as Fiddlers Hill. 

Jimmy was not alone that day when he entered the Ley tunnel. His dog went with him. Unlike Jimmy though, several minutes after the music stopped the dog came running back out. A whimpering, trembling dog with his tail tucked under his legs and in a state of shock.  That night a storm raged over Binham Priory, the village and much of Norfolk. The next day the dog had disappeared and the entrance to the Ley tunnel where Jimmy went in was destroyed and caved in. 

                                              Medieval Grafitti in Binham Priory, Norfolk

In 1933 a road crew was widening the road near the burial mound known as Fiddlers Hill not far from the Binham Priory. As they were digging up ground they discovered three skeletons. One of those was a dog. 

Binham Priory is a Benedictine Priory in Binham, Norfolk, England and was founded by a nephew of William the Conquerer, Piers de Valognes, my 29th Great Grandfather and his wife Albreda.  A weekly market was held at the Priory and on Lady Day, March 25 each year a fair was held. Part of the original church was spared and is still used as a Parish Church today. 
                                   Binham Priory by Andy Waspe 

This week we present Artz of a Haunted Priory.

Monday, June 2, 2014

6 Fingers & Toes in Artz

My youngest child was born with 6 fingers on each hand and on one foot she had 6 toes. On the other foot there were also 6 toes and as she grew up that foot grew wider allowing space for her toes. I could not find shoes to fit her little foot. When she was three, at the recommendation of a Shriner who played with her while I waited at a restaurant; I scheduled an appointment at the Shriner's Children's Hospital.  They X-rayed her feet to see what was going on inside and there in the foot that was not growing normally was another toe. The doctor smiled and assured me he could reshape her foot. We both looked at my daughter as though she was something sacred. 7 toes on one foot. 

When she was three days old they clipped off her 6th fingers which, though they had bones were not attached to the rest of the bones in her hands. Now she is also missing 2 toes. There are five one foot and 6 on the other. As I was looking for inspiration this week I was thinking about my youngest child who turned 21 just two weeks ago. 

Two weeks after my youngest was born one of her sisters went on a field trip with her school to the Presidio La Bahia . There in the little chapel is a fresco painted by Antonio Garcia called the Mexican Annunciation. It is of Gabriel appearing to Mary and covers the entire wall behind the alter. When you approach it, look at the feet of Gabriel, count his toes there are 6 on each foot. My daughter announced when she came home that day that her sister was the daughter of an angel because she too had 6 toes. 
                                        Mexican Annunciation by Antonio Garcia
This had me curious and I discovered a verse in the Bible; And there was again a battle, at Gath; and there was a man [there] of great stature, that had on each hand six fingers, and on each foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to Raphah. II Samuel 21:20. 
                                         James J. Tissot, "David Slings the Stone" 
Legend whispers that Raphah was the father of Goliath.  Yes, The Goliath of David and Goliath fame. That Raphah descends from the Nephilim, the fallen angels that loved and bred with the women on earth in the times before, and during Noah. The children of these angels and women were tall, my daughter is 6'2", had 6 fingers or toes or both, my daughter has both. Yes, she descends from fallen angels but GOD has graced her with beauty. 
                                                     My Daughter

This week we present 6 Fingers & Toes in Artz.