Showing 1 - 10 of 62 posts found matching keyword: art

I'm an artist with an affinity for history who grew up in the shadow of Stone Mountain, so it should be no surprise that I have a special soft spot for public portraiture sculpture. As you can imagine, I have very mixed feelings about 2020's approach to statues of the past.

Jefferson Davis should be no one's hero. I've been to Richmond, Virginia, and I've seen their monument to a man who defined his political career by trying to force the enslavement of an entire race of men. The monument is a disgusting tribute to the traitorous Lost Cause, and it should have been removed from the public space long before now. Should it be destroyed? It will always have propaganda value for the wrong kind of people; perhaps the only appropriate solution is to melt it down so that it cannot become a subversive icon, the same way there are no longer statues in the wild of Stalin or Saddam Hussein. I have a nostalgic emotional connection to the carving on Stone Mountain, but I rationally accept the world may be a better place without it.

But let's not get carried away. There is a difference between statues dedicated to perpetrators of genocide and hatred and statues of complicated political leaders whose actions have contributed directly to our current freedoms. Without Winston Churchill, whose statue is currently under assault in London because the man had unconscionable views about Indians, it's very likely that the only statues in Britain would be of Adolf Hitler, who wasn't exactly enlightened about race relations himself.

In the past, I've laughed off reactionary arguments that if we allow people to tear Robert E. Lee off his bronze horse, hammers would next come down on monuments to George Washington. Maybe that's not as crazy as I thought. America in 2020 wouldn't exist if Washington hadn't been the man he was in 1776, but he did own slaves in his day and that seems to be criteria enough in the current climate to have him blasted off Mount Rushmore. Washington was by no means a perfect person, but should perfection be the standard for which statue is allowed to stand and which isn't? I can't think of too many idolized men who can clear that bar. Maybe just Christ of the Ozarks, the Lincoln Memorial, and this guy:

Look, up!

So begone with your racist Alexander H. Stephens (no relation) and greedy Christopher Columbus statues if you must, but let's reconsider what modern life might be like without slave-loving Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase or colonialist Teddy Roosevelt's trust-busting and national park conservationism before we add them to the scrapheap. We could always use the reminder that not all great men who built our civilization were good.

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My Memorial/Independence Day yard art:

America still needs your help!

And a closer image from his inside stand (each painting so far has it's own foot so that it can be displayed in the house between visits to the yard):

Based on art by Marvel Comics

I created Captain America about two feet taller than Santa Claus because he's someone everyone should look up to. (Santa Claus, on the other hand, is a dirty socialist.)

Happy Memorial Day!

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So, when I took down my Santa Claus decoration for Christmas, I left two anchoring poles embedded in the front yard. Rather than let me pull them out, Mother insisted that I create more decorations for other holidays.

Turns out, I've got nothing else to do.

Introducing my Easter Bunny:

Easter Bites Back

Here's another beside the front door for better scale.

The great American chocolate bar.

I'm already working on the next piece. (I had to brave a trip to Michael's, where only 10 customers are allowed inside at a time, to pick up some blue paint.) I'll show it off when I get closer to July.

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Second try on gingerbread cookies. This time I used a 50% smaller cutter, but I only cut the bake time by 25%. Oops. As a result, they're a little crispy. At least they're well dressed.

Everybody's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed gingerbread man

Frankly, the taste is nice enough, but they could be burnt crisp and I'd still like them. The scents of gingerbread and peppermint are the best things about Christmas.

Next year: colored icing. (I think I'll make that my New Year's Resolution.)

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Last year I vowed that instead of gingerbread houses in 2019, I would make gingerbread men. It was a good decision.

I looked at a bunch of gingerbread cookie recipes before deciding which to use. (I didn't want to use my house recipe because I wanted cookies that didn't have the texture of drywall.) Like apple pie recipes, most gingerbread recipes are very similar, deferring primarily in the ratio of flower flour to butter. The one I decided I liked best I found in the Tis the Season Holiday Cookbook (2000) by Mary Engelbreit. It must have been another good good decision. I made 2 dozen on Friday, and they were all gone by Sunday.

As you can see, I had some trouble with piping the royal icing. My first try was too thin (overcompensating for the 2018 disaster), and the second batch popped the seam of my makeshift Ziploc pastry bag. I got the hang of it only relatively late in the game.

Now that I know what I'm doing, I guess I'll just have to make some more.

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November wasn't only about pies and movies!

When I was a kid, my favorite Christmas decoration was a pair of legs painted on plywood mounted to the top of a chimney. They were connected to a windshield wiper motor and kicked, like Santa was stuck face down. It was a good gag.

Cue earlier last month when Mom said that she wanted a new Christmas yard decoration. She was looking at lit Santa Claus blow molds like she had on her door as a child, but when she tried to convey the idea, all I could think of were those kicking legs.

I didn't manage the same level of technical innovation, but I think I got the nostalgia angle right.

Ho, Ho, Ho

Kind of looks like a bit of Photoshop there, doesn't it? Here it is a little closer.

The Taste of Christmas

My next door neighbor seems to like it. He's already asked where we bought it so that he could get one of his own. Mom had to let him down easy. This Santa stands alone.

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Mom got a deal on some Day of the Dead hand towels at TJ Maxx, so she decided we'd be decorating in that style for Halloween this year.

This is the door hanger I made for her.

Knock, knock. You're dead.

Cultural appropriation at its finest!

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Here's your housewarming present, Keith.

Keith's phone lock screen

Now I have to get to work on a present for Coop's new baby. I wonder what a baby wants on its phone lock screen.

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While we were on the way to a second place finish at trivia last week (where we learned that a flute is a woodwind instrument and a Philco Predicta was a television), friend Keith was amused by my phone lock screen and background. I assume that's because he is envious and would like to use them himself. So here you go, Keith.

My phone lock screen

My phone home screen

If you like those, you might want my computer background image, too.

My computer home screen

Ask yourself: is it vanity that I have my name and face all over my devices, or is it that I want everyone to know who they belong to?

(It's vanity.)

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Some people craft quilts or give soup to the homeless to feel better about themselves. I painted some miniatures.

Who you gonna call?

Believe it or not, it was not something I had done before. I wish I could explain how satisfying I found the experience.

I think maybe I need to paint more often. Not houses or canvases, mind you. Just tiny little pieces of plastic.

I'm sure it's what Renoir would have done if he'd known about Dungeons and Dragons.

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To be continued...

 

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