The view from Lynne's front yard the morning after a rainstorm, it was my favorite sky, blue, grey and white with spots of flying sun.
The vagabond artists posing ever-so-decorously in front of the Chocksett Inn in Sterling MA. Ginna is the only participant who wasn't fully captured. Note the aprons on those who think ahead. Note me at upper left, one of those who doesn't think ahead.
Ginna showing her work. On the left is Lesley and on the right is Anne.
I finished this one at home with the threads. I didn't plan to do that, but the longer these things stare at me the more they tell me about what they need. So threads it was! I'm a bit leery about using religious imagery and usually don't, but the icon theme made that tendency more overt. The animals become totem-like and in this case, somewhat predatory. The threads always seem protective to me, so perhaps they protect the Virgin. The title is a verse:
Saints Florus and Laurus, and I haven't researched them to find out who they are or what they did to achieve sainthood. I liked it for the angels and the horses, yes, when I was young I was one of those girls who drew horses contantly.
A Judgement Day, the top (of course) showing the heavenly realm and the bottom showing sinners being pushed into hell. That black thing on the right is a "sin worm" and contains sinners with their sin carefully inscribed on each bulge in the worm.
And the art, one of the first 2 I did before going to the museum, St. George's shadow is here with a variety of saints who will remain nameless because I don't have a program to tell who is who:
As the didactic says, this is Christ the Pantocrator or the judge who points the way. He doesn't look cheerful, but the serious business of weighing souls was impressed on the faithful by his expression.
Another blurry shot.....this one of 3 saints whose robes, and the pattern in them caught my eye. The way the fabric pattern is absolutely flat without any hint that it covers a 3-dimensional form really amazes and delights me.
Last, another of the collages. All the reverence and narrative in the icons bled into the kind of imagery I used. Lynn provided all the animal images that became strangely totem-like, I had the saint's images in my packet of papers and the flat checked pattern came from a kind waitress who brought me a pile of the beautiful paper used to line the bread basket.
Unfortunately for viewers, my snapshots are not nearly as clear as they should be, but you can get the drift here. This is an Iconostasis made in 1850 that depicts local saints, the 12 apostles and 12 feast days.
I loved the title to this one: Allegory of the Image Not Made by Hands. The story is that Christ held a cloth to his face and created a portrait of himself not made by hands, so that these are copies of an icon made by him. This story came in handy when icons had to be defended against the iconoclasts.
And lastly, my collage, with a bit of paint and color pencil that was made in response to the icons I saw at the museum and the general sense of creative reverence. I don't pretend that this even borders on the holy. My work took what I saw and combined it with Joe Campbell, surrealism, narrative and intuition. Mostly I flew by the seat of my pants.....with some help from other participants in our movable studio: the beautiful blue patterned papers were created and then gifted to me my Bonnie.
More tomorrow, I'm behind with unpacking, reorganizing and getting ready for the holiday.
To begin with.....I have to let all the wonderful moments settle from my trip to Lynne's house (a jewel with a view), her incomparable hospitality, the friendship of women (you Collagistas know who are) who I had never had the opportunity to meet and share art with and our lovely setting in the Chocksett Inn in Sterling MA. Then there's the time we spent at the Icon Museum in Clinton MA just down the road from where we stayed. Everything is on simmer right now and I'll have more to report in other posts, but just for today, here are some shots from the museum, all Russian icons:
This is called a Minyeia and it's a liturgical calendar with a year's worth of saint's feast days. There were so many saint's days (2 or 3 a day) that there are way more than 365 figures. Each line is a week and the figures are very tiny, magnifying glasses were provided for the purpose of making everything out. We were told that the smallest brushes consisted of 1 horsehair and that the artist had to learn how to paint between heartbeats!
This is the St. Nicolas that we all know and love, or, to be more precise, the original St. Nicolas. Scenes from his life surround the central figure who was a 4th century bishop in Turkey. The visuals were designed to narrate the life of the saint without text because most of the faithful were illiterate. The frame around the scene (and there are frames of this sort on all the icons) represented earthly existence and the content represents holy existence. I've always admired this kind of presentation for it's vivid but structured story telling.
Hodigritrea or Smolensk Mother of God. In contrast to other icons that are repetitions of a single depiction of the subject, there are 450 ways to paint this, plenty of choices! The word Hodigritrea means "She who shows the way". The figure of the infant Jesus is odd, he looks like a miniature old man and is the result of not really being able to paint children properly but is also a device to emphasize his wisdom and divinity.
More tomorrow, I'm in a flurry of laundry, cleaning and organizing and have 5 more examples but no time to write.
I believe this guy has a plum for an eye. Last of the envelopes for the Art Soiree in MA....actually, there is one more but I didn't want to impose on your patience. I will be busy creating blog fodder all week but may not be posting much here. See you next week!
Just this morning at about 6:45 when the lake was smooth as glass. Cold though, probably upper 20s but the lake is still liquid. The back deck was covered with a thin layer of frost that made it as slippery as an ice rink! And if that wasn't exciting enough, sitting in the chair looking out over the water I saw a large bird approaching shore, which isn't unusual, most of the time they're blue herons. But in the sun, it was clear this large bird had a very white head. So I started jumping up and down before getting my camera and this guy was kind enough to pose for a picture in the tree next door....
Their were 3 or 4 crows there to harass him so he flew away minutes later but I'm so excited to see this eagle and so pleased to get this shot. More later.......
Another empty suit, another day. Changing these solemn, upright pillars of the community into something Magritte might have thought of tickles me. When this man's bio was written and the photos taken and inserted, do you think he ever supposed this would happen? Just goes to show, the future is really opaque. Someone ought to inform the trust lawyers.