Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall shadows

                              The shadows in the fall afternoons are long, and make incredibly wonderful, distorted shapes.  The dried leaves and acorn caps have strong sculptural qualities, and are yet another sign of fall.

I can't end this post without noting that I took these photos while walking my dog the other afternoon on the sidewalk in front of the town courthouse (above), designed by architect J. Reily Gordon. It's in the style of  H.H. Richardson -- reference Woburn Public Library (below).   The concrete sidewalk is the least interesting detail of the courthouse, but did make a fantastic backdrop for shadows.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Reminds me of..

Last week, after I did this bird drawing, I thought  
"She reminds me of someone".

Yesterday Vermeer's "Girl with Pearl Earring" came to mind--  the similarity being the long shape on the right, as well as the positioning of the subject in the frame. The gazes and facial expressions are completely different. 
I've been thinking a lot about how our brains respond to shapes and pattern, as opposed to reading emotions and facial recognition. Both are basic survival skills-- shapes and movement for identifying predators or prey,  and facial expressions for detecting potential threats or aggression.

John Gould: Blue Pitta. Early 19th c.

The bird prints, for me, evoke both responses.  I have a strong visceral reaction to the shapes, colors, and high-contrast patterns; at the same time, I'm projecting myself into the emotional life of the creature, what is it thinking, how is it feeling.  It's the simultaneity of these responses, the sense that I am suspended between  two primitive, but very different reactive states, that engages me and gives me a great deal of pleasure as well.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1950's pressboard puzzles

My favorite puzzles as a kid.  Love the grouping of random objects and the bright, colorful, flat shapes in a  yellow field. The sun is my fav!

Below, a smiling ship-- LOVE that white shape of steam or smoke, or maybe sound from the whistle? floating around the stack.....and the yellow dot?  I wondered what that was as a kid and still don't know the answer 40 years later, but it's a great little piece to handle.  Maybe it's one of those big pegs on ships that they wrap the line around.

Peaceful dreams and cows wandering around in the background, not unlike my life right now.....

Love the image of a deadly-smelly skunk with the bright butterfly.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pecan shell and leaf-- Shape and structure

                             A couple of things I picked up on my evening walk.

I particularly like the color variation on the veins of the leaf.