Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

As promised, ARTWORK!

Jonathan and Catherine brought these items home a couple of weeks ago, but I just now got around to taking pictures of them and posting them for your viewing pleasure.

Obviously, everyone thinks everything their kids do is marvelous and spectacular, but it's equally obvious that part of that is just the normal over-active pride in your offspring. Let's face it--a lot of stuff kids do in art class is just plain crap. My kids do scribbly garbage all the time. And that's where most of it goes--the garbage.

But, they also still have an amazingly good eye on occasion. I have my artsy side, and I have to say that sometimes they have absolutely astounded me with their creative abilities.

Now, you might disagree, which is fine--for every artist, there is an equal and opposite critic. But here are a few things that I think are good, regardless of the age or ancestry of the artist.

First up, a couple of bas reliefs, done on aluminum sheets cut from soda cans and then colored with markers, if you can believe that. They are a bit hard to photograph due to the reflectivity of the medium and the fact that I had them laid on the floor shooting down on them, but in vivo, they are actually quite attractive, with the marker inks having a sort of jewel-like irridescence when applied over the aluminum.

The first is a seahorse by Catherine--

She was also quite proud of the curly-cue wire hanger she made for it that you can see at the top of the picture. It's like a seahorse tail, don't you know.

The next is of a preying mantis on a leaf, by Jonathan--

The flat layering of the composition is remarkable, as is the detailing of the foliage and the insect--it has a rather Art Nouveau outlook in its depiction of stylized natural objects rendered in industrial materials.

The next two are works on paper by Catherine. The first is a sea turtle, done with watercolor over black ink on posterboard--

The background has a pattern of finely sprayed paint droplets that look either like dappled sunlight reflecting off underwater coral, or guts splattered all over a roadway. Either way, it is a compelling image.

And the last is something of an homage, done in pastel chalks on watercolor paper--

Look familiar? Try this on for size--

The interesting part is that it's NOT a copy.

Unlike fake Indian and fake artist and entirely real jerk Ward Churchill, the work does not attempt to directly mimic the subject art, but incorporates some of the stronger compositional elements--the horizontal swoop of cloud forms, the diagonal interplay between the moon and the treetop, with the differing interpretation of the ground plain, which has become less distinct, and void of habitations.

Further, the foreground treeform, which in the original is a foreboding slash through the village, is reduced in size, and combined with the brighter pastel work, creates a lighter, less menacing piece. Likewise, the stars of the original work have become more like pinpricks of light, almost like fireworks, with tendrils of clouds connecting them to the main portion of the ground plain--the artwork succeeds in being even more abstract in its representation, yet not without divorcing itself completely either from the original artwork nor the original landscape. The representational form of the subject of the artwork, as well as the artwork itself as a subject, both still retain their recognizability, but with an added layer of artistic self-consciousness, seen in the almost Miro-like whimsy of the draftsmanship of the various pieces.

So there you go.

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