Haiku ~ Bootstrapping

Haiku: Bootstrapping

The concept of bootstrapping, or “pulling oneself up by the bootstraps,” means to get yourself out of a situation by using the resources you have at hand. In computer parlance this has been shortened to “booting” and is the term used to describe when a system is initially activated and then starts up using existing hardware and firmware prior to loading the operating system.

Anyhow, I thought I’d extend this concept a little today using my iPhone’s predictive texting to generate a Haiku.

Staring with the word haiku, I selected one of the 3 suggested words that followed and repeated this until my bootstrapped haiku was created:

Haiku is the art

And the sunset in my house

Is so much better

 

And here’s the screenshot to prove it…

180119_Haiku_Autotext

~Richard

Inspired by the Creativity of Children

Last week I went back to the ceramics studio after a break of a couple of months or so. Over the summer the art center runs a large number of classes for children and the place is very busy. I was finding it a bit hard to get started again and then I looked through some of the ceramics that the kids had created over the last few weeks.

I think they have done a fantastic job. One of the best things about the children’s work is that many of them (especially the younger ones) have no real constraints in their minds. They are free to just take an idea or prompt from the teacher and run with it.

170904_clay7

170904_clay6

170904_clay5

170904_clay4

170904_clay3

170904_clay2

170904_clay1
After seeing these great works, I am reinvigorated for the fall ceramic season…!

~Richard

Mondrian inspired work

Pieter Cornelis “Piet” Mondriaan was an important member of the De Stijl movement, founded in 1917, which sought to reduce their art to pure abstraction and simple form and color. Often this meant using only straight lines and primary colors in the work they produced. Mondrian (he dropped the second ‘a’ to fit in with the Paris art scene) is perhaps best known for his grid-based paintings that follow this form of “neoplasticism,” as shown in Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow, painted in 1930.

I have always liked the simplicity and boldness of this art and a couple of years ago I created some digital art that was inspired by it, although I modified the form by using using lines that intersected at angles other than 90 degrees in place of strict perpendiculars associated with Mondrian et al.  More recently I have translated those thoughts into ceramic work that builds on this thought into a three dimensional piece. This is the first piece to come out of the kiln.

170605_Mondrian2

170605_Mondrian1

~Richard

 

 

The Art of Lyme Disease

As part of our bucolic Pennsylvanian environment we have many deer traipsing across our property throughout the year. These pleasant little groups, especially when they have the fawns with them, are nice to see, although, despite the best attempts of Disney, they do have a few annoying, and even darker traits.

The most direct impact they have is their relentless browsing on many things in our garden. We have had many plants, both vegetables and flowers taken, and much damage done to young trees and shrubs too by these marauding hordes. In their defense, it’s understandable as to them we are nothing more than a provider of a herbivorous smorgasbord from which to dine, but it’s bloody annoying nevertheless.  

That being said, these hoofed visitors are generally harmless to us, though, with two notable exceptions. Firstly, they have a tendency to leap out in front of traffic, so injuring or killing not only themselves but many drivers who hit them and, secondly, they are a significant part of the lifecycle for the parasite that causes the Lyme disease that is so prevalent in our area.

Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the spirochete parasite Borellia burdorferi which is carried by the deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, and delivered when the tick is having a good blood meal on a human being. This little payload can cause a classic “bullseye” rash of concentric red rings on the skin as the infection spreads, although it does not occur in all cases. Once infected the victim exhibits flu-like symptoms of fever, fatigue, muscle aches and generally feeling unwell. If it is diagnosed quickly enough then one or two 28-day treatment cycles of oral doxycycline should take care of it, although there can be long term effects which include joint pain, arthritis and neuropathies.

The weird thing, from my perspective, is that a person does not obtain immunity from the infectious agent, but can be reinfected. I know this as I have been immunologically diagnosed with this twice in 3 years so far.

So, as I sat here over the weekend I thought I’d create some “Lyme inspired” artwork, in the style of those pop art posters. Lyme Disease – the gift that keeps on giving!

Lyme1

Lyme3

Lyme2

Richard

Artful rescuing and repurposing an idea

Many months ago I created a roughly square ceramic plate on which I was going to use some creative glaze. After drying this was put in the kiln to bisque fire but unfortunately it cracked badly, possibly due to another piece of work being placed on it during firing, so creating some heat stress. I was disappointed but at least the plate was intact so I left it on the shelf in the studio. I would bring it down once in a while to think about what to do and then usually put it back again.

Then a few months ago I decided it was taking up too much space and I should experiment with some more glazes and finally use this piece. So, I dipped one half in assad black glaze and the other in white and then fired it, as this was my favorite combo at that time for several pieces I had created.

When I took the plate from the kiln I was immediately struck by the vision of a dark sky being torn asunder by a tornado tearing across the plain, with mountains in the distance.

A few more weeks passed and I thought why not add the most iconic red shoes to this scene as a finishing touch!

170505_Inspiration.jpg

It would be great to hear of others’ stories of saving or reusing damaged pieces of art to create a totally new piece.

~Richard

A Story – Keyhole Figures

It was only a brief vision, but it left him stone cold nonetheless. They had said that early in the morning, when the place was quiet that strange things happened near that door. He had been doing his regular rounds but was a little delayed when he passed the space. Maybe only ten minutes but it made all the difference. He felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up and and a deadening silence as he passed. Glancing over his left shoulder as he walked down the incline he saw the figures quite clearly. A young woman in a shawl and a small boy. They just stared at him as if they were expecting him to be someone else. Their gazes bored into him with longing. He blinked and they were gone, but he shivered and quickened his pace. He made up the ten minutes by the time he reached the end of his rounds. He would definitely not be late again…

170422_KeyholeDoorStory

~Richard

Decadence and Elegance

I have been re-listening to the Kraftwerk album, Trans Europe Express, that I first heard back in the late 70’s and was inspired by the lyrics “elegance and decadence” from the track Europa Endloss (Europe Endless) to create a variation of one of my art photographs.

Ironically though it was the much more widely known track Hotel California, by The Eagles which ended up directing how I modified the image. It’s funny how things turn out.

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~Richard

 

Banksy or Pranksy?

Some care to identify the World’s highest paid living artist, others don’t. I like what s/he does, as an anonymous artist either way. (See what I did there?)

This article came to my attention today. Am I the only one to notice that it occurred around April 1st?  Time will tell…

170403_Pranksy.jpg

~Richard

When does an artwork cease to be original?

I was at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) yesterday for several hours and as I walked in I saw that three artists/restorers were at work retouching/restoring the huge canvas on the ground floor by Marc Chagall, “A Wheatfield on a Summer’s Afternoon.” Later, as I was looking at the works of Marcel Duchamp I noticed on the wall plaque that this famous “Fountain” was actually a 1950 replica of the 1917 original and that, similarly, his 1919 work “50cc of Paris Air” had been “broken and later restored.”

As I was contemplating these pieces the thought came to me – when does an artwork cease to be original? Using these three examples I can understand that artworks deteriorate and may need to be restored, and I fully see the requirement to “preserve” Chagall’s work by retouching, but at what point does it become the restorers work? The original brushstrokes are not preserved. Are the pigments used exactly the same composition and color as the original – in every stroke?

This concept becomes even more problematic in the case of the Duchamp examples.  

When “50cc of Paris Air” was repaired the glass vial may well look the same (well, sort of – it’s hardly an invisible mend), but was it repaired in Paris, in the same place that Duchamp created it? And even if so, it certainly would not contain the same air from 1919 which was no doubt differently polluted than more modern atmosphere. 

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Finally, in the case of making a replica piece, what are we to make of this? Is it original art or is it not? I assume that as long as Marcel Duchamp was involved in the process then it is still original, albeit derivative, but if not then is it simply a “worthless copy” created by someone else?

170316_Duchamp_Fountain

And what of the digital world? Almost all my 2-D art is created electronically and exists in multiple backup copies as binary data stored on my laptop and other drives. Where is the original art in this case?

So, a lot of questions – does anyone have any thoughts on this?

~Richard

 

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