Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Shattered Expectations: Guaranteed

Concept painting for "The Eleven", moment #5  -  25" x 25" acrylic on canvas

Shattered Expectations: Guaranteed was the title (well, it is still the title actually) of my submission to the AiS call for a mural for project #5 of “The Eleven” series for the football commemoration throughout the downtown area. This time it was limited to submissions from only Stark County resident artists to give us a fair chance at representation. Of the 30 to 40 applications, (different numbers have been quoted) one was selected as the winner and 5 additional pieces got chosen to be bridesmaids. Dirk Rozich was crowned the winner….my fellow bridesmaids include Scot Phillips, Su Nimon, Tommy Morgan and Tim Carmany, names familiar to all of stark county who follow anything to do with art stuff. Rather than ugly taffeta gowns, we get a nice check…..nice touch and well received by all I am sure.

Being artists, we are of course extremely curious as to who was our competition and what did we each propose? As a creative community, we are aware of each other’s styles, skill sets, and concepts so we can guess but not be sure. That being said, I had no idea who D. R. was….or else I have seen his work but never bothered to read the name which is most likely the case as with the vault mural at Julz.  Anyway… I am reprinting my proposal statement and the concept canvas image (a nice 25” x 25” to add to the storage room) for anyone interested in what my submission was all about. My starting point was one of the offered considerations for the final work….that it be a dynamic piece of art so people, even those who have no interest in football, would want to come see it (or a paraphrase thereof). 

So I thought about my totally nonathletic family and what would make them stand there and look up at a building for a few minutes…at an image about football…(without resorting to a story about panty hose or fur coats). Hmmmm…that same thing that made this little kid sit in a dentist office waiting room knowing it was going to hurt but I couldn’t get this magazine at home (stop that, I was a kid…) Highlights!  Remember that page where pictures were hidden in a linear drawing? Find the ice cream cone in a tree, or the tire in a jungle…I loved that stuff!!  So behold…my bridesmaid for your perusal.

“Shattered Expectations: Guaranteed”
By Judi Krew

This painting is created in a “stained glass” style technique using bold colors and a bit of illusion. Many specific aspects of Super Bowl 3 are depicted as outlined below. The stained glass window is often associated with religious architecture so I consider it a subtle reference to football being like a religion to many people, a game being a moving experience and Joe Namath, well…almost a god to some fans. Joe Namath shattered the expectations of many people that day.  He had given a prediction that some in the media considered a break of tradition or appropriate behavior for players, hence the title of this piece. Technically, a stained glass window is held together by thin threads of lead between glass pieces all working together to remain balanced and stay intact, a distribution of weight and duties. Theoretically, a team works the same way…held together by everyone doing a small and specific part to make the big picture work. There are no paintings on public buildings in or around our area that use this style of art.

Below are the specific images found it my concept piece:

The logo for Super Bowl 3 appears in the upper left, under lights, to commemorate the NFL’s first season to use them. Color and line work create the illusion of lighting. An outline of a football is included in this area.

The score of the game is in the upper left with AFL inside the 6 of the 16, and NFL inside the 7 (scores for each league) and the year of the game, 1968, in the 1, of the 16 so it is placed next to the logo. An orange for the Orange Bowl forms the center of the 6 in the AFL score of 16. A linear Hall of Fame building is the hyphen.

The upper left corner is “shattered” (and left unpainted on the wall) so the wall itself shows through, creating the illusion of a stained glass window being on (or in) the wall.

Joe Namath is depicted with a “number one” hand gesture in reverse to point to the score (leading the eye to the shattered area) as if to say…I told you so. It is also “outside the box” for a reason. His image is rendered in the window looking directly out to the viewer and much larger than life using a combination of “glass” and painterly brushwork. His hand contains a linear Vince Lombardy Trophy.

The team logos are included by using the Jets helmet, angled like a battering ram, and the Colts horseshoe in the middle, almost as if hit by the helmet, but also either hanging on or falling down, however the viewer wishes to see it. The horseshoe is broken because they lost the game. A linear goalpost extends out of the helmet.

All the remaining spaces are filled with 11 football figures in simple linear renderings depicting moves common to a football game and representing the number of men per team on the field. Perhaps they are a bit reminiscent of the ones found on the iconic Hall of Fame bridge over Interstate 77. The outline of a bell is also found in the line work representing Tom Bell, the head referee of the game. The contrasting green along the lower edge represents the playing field.

I did opt out of painting it myself and would not have accepted the budget to do so….fear of heights and no experience at such undertakings made it seem like a good Spock choice.

Congrats to D.R. and my fellow runners-up!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Can you follow this?

"What is this handwriting of which you speak?"

I was watching a show the other night, okay I’ll admit it, Americas Next Top Model….the new edition. This time (new network, new host, and new judges) the premise is to pick a winner by building the best “brand”.  The contestants are doing tasks and challenges to build their “brand”. It totally rotates around social media, how many followers they get, how many re-tweets etc… to somebody who doesn’t get it, this seems ____. I’ve inserted and deleted quite a few words but decided not to offend anyone so pick what you want.

They are all beautiful creatures and I looked up their bios, all a bit old for traditional new face models. Most are from regular towns with regular jobs but they are blessed with egos and confidence that most of us would consider a bit much, but in the business they wish to succeed, necessary qualities. Just what that business is, I have yet to figure out. They want to be famous for being famous by doing nothing of importance for the welfare of anybody else. They want people to follow them because of “who they are and how they look”.   They don’t really want a “job” where you have to show up and get dirty and be accountable. They want the “job” of being who they are because others want to be them. What happens when they are 56 like me? We have come a long way from the John Glenns and Jane Pittmans of the world.

I should have turned it off, but like a train wreak one must rubberneck. Now these are young women, our daughters and sisters and future female leaders right? They are in their mid 20’s, prime time to start making a difference (minus the pantsuit of course, I won’t abandon fashion that far). So on a recent episode they had to do some task of which I can’t remember but one poor thing was so flustered because (and I will quote as best I can remember)…

“OMG this is so hard! I wish I was back in LA. All you have to do is look cute and you get invited to all the best parties and get to be with the important people. New York is too hard, they expect you to talk to people! I have to talk to them to get them to invite me, but I’m cute, come’on, it not fair, its too hard.”

I am sure my text is missing a lot, I was too shocked to get it word for word. This is what we want for our youth? This is the LA point of view?  Now I have to somehow justify all this with what is happening in my own world, the online one I am attempting to build which unfortunately does revolve around fashion and image and social media.  At least my art roots are firmly ahold of this other world of mine. I see colors and textures and composition in what is being made and pictured. I don’t give a rats ass if anything is “on trend” (I hate that phrase with a passion because it is all BS). I prefer to deal with reality as in don’t go too short if your birthday candles take too long to blow out. Or tights…..they ARE NOT PANTS!!!! I am having a blast playing grown up Barbie with what I make and what I have to make what I make look good in a photo. Did you make it to the end of that thought? The only part of me you will see in a photo might be the toes of a gnarly sock that I forgot to crop out.

I guess I am no better than these waffle heads on the TV show. I am trying to build a “brand” I guess. The trademark for Hoard Couture has been approved and will be official posted this week by the US Govt office that does that stuff. I just pay the bill from the lawyer. I have a Pinterest page now for the fashion, a Fine Art America and Pixels pages for the art and production of products related to that, I have an ancient website for my career works that was what we all needed back in the day when exhibitions were my focus, and I have an online shopping site to market the Hoard Couture fashions both original and reimagined designs. There is also a Facebook page just for me, a Facebook page for the fashions and soon a Facebook page connected to Instagram only (or so I am being advised by my intern). All this means passwords and daily postings and managing data…. Heaven forbid anyone buys something then I will have to go into complete panic mode and find my paypal account and the item and put on some clothes to go to the post office!  Oh yeah, I have this site too and I know I am forgetting something, there is another place I am supposed to be but I can’t remember. I think I even forgot the point of this post.

Oh well, I’ll just end it now while I have some train still left on the track. I think my point was that all this social media stuff has changed our world in ways we cannot even begin to understand just yet, we need another generation to go by for comparison. But it is changing who we are, what we value, who we want to become and not necessarily for the better. There is a part 2 to this but that is for another post later.  In the meantime, if you want to find me, I am evidently all over the place, just not where you can really see me….and I am still in my jammies!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Dirty Little Secrets

Dear Blog,
I am sorry to have neglected you all these weeks and months like that one grape which falls out of the bag and rots in the corner of the drawer. I see you often, but sort of just grab what I need and go. So today I am writing to apologize for abandoning you since I have discovered all these dirty little secrets.

DLS #1 – Begin prolific is a bad thing. It was supposed to be a good thing. I am learning it would have been better to put down the brushes and scissors, and picked up more books. Reading only fills up the brain, not the basement.

DLS #2 – Being prolific is dangerous to one’s health. You see, all these created things have to be put into a cyber gallery space that requires hours and hours of typing. Hours and hours of typing leads to carpel tunnel pain. Pain keeps one away from typing so you poor blog site, get the short end of the straw. I know you will always be there on the screen, waiting patiently for me to return, but those cyber surfers are short on attention and need constant feeding.

DLS #3 – I really should write down all the great thoughts I have for blog ideas that happen to evolve during the night, but I’m just not that dedicated. It would mean waking the cat who then starts to howl thinking it is feeding time. Then the bladder kicks in because it hears the cat howling and thinks great, gotta go…now. So I don’t write ideas down for you blog, I just vow to remember them.

DLS #4 – I can’t remember much anymore. If I don’t write it down, I forget. Of course I also forget where I put the paper I wrote it down on. Let’s just blame this one on the cat again and move forward.

DLS #5 – People don’t really shop on line unless it is with a big company. Maybe they can’t find us little people. Maybe they don’t realize that I refuse (so far) to spend $ “boosting” posts. Maybe they don’t realize that I have yet to figure out Instagram which supposedly is essential to selling. I heard that about Pinterest. My wrist hurts just thinking about it. If thinking starts to hurt, I won’t be able to read, so I guess I’d have to go make more stuff. I think Catch 22 needs an upgrade….more like Catch 82….

DLS #6 – Okay, once one gets all their pictures taken, edited and uploaded without annoying backgrounds and distracting bodies (per trend), one comes to find out that now the pictures are supposed to be with people wearing stuff and in an environment. Really? So now I have to find people willing to pose and then do all that wrist action going through the process of data input again? Can I sue myself for workman’s comp?

DLS #7 – We live in a mobile world dear blog. Well you don’t. You just sit here in your blue W icon waiting for me to feed you words. But people do. Those same people who are supposed to be ordering merchandise from their mobile devices and wanting it shipped. I’m cool with that. I’ll ship you whatever you want to buy, but will you be someplace stationary long enough to get it? I can envision those drones chasing somebody down the street trying to drop off their package…like a scene from a Woody Allen movie.

DLS #8 – Dear blog, I hate to hurt your feelings but nobody reads you anymore. Not since I stopped talking about other people’s art. Plastic Jesus remains a big hit, but nothing else really interests anybody. It’s you and me Snarky. Maybe I should do fake review of shows that should have existed but didn’t. If it works for the Ruskies it should work for me right? This has potential……

DLS #9 – Bloggy, I did avoid you as well because of this tumultuous year. You are supposed to be a place for opinions and comment, but with all the vile rhetoric going around this year, I felt it best to lay low and not wake the sleeping cat.  Keep the claws in the paws, keep the tail low and go, ride the fence and hope everybody calms down…..

DLS #10 – I will put forth promises to you that I will write more. Don’t believe me. Staying home again is rather nice. The world is full of crazy drivers and distracted people so why should I venture out and write about a show that nobody will ever read when I could be sitting on my patio or walking the woods? Hell, I’m old enough to move to the Villages, shop on Senior Citizen’s discount day at many local retailers, and give young hooligans a stink eye without worrying about the resulting wrinkles. I even look forward to watching Hogan’s Heroes every night just so I can sing the theme song (yes, it has real words!)

DLS #11 - There are many more dirty little secrets about this online shopping and selling biz that I wish I knew then but I do know now…. However, if kids can learn common core math, then I can figure out cyber clouds. So Bloggy, while you wait for me to come back again, don’t feel like I have abandoned you. There are so many cool and funny things to write about, but between you and me lies an ornery cat.  

That’s about it for now Snarky blog. Thanks for listening (or recording I guess). See you soon (really, I’ll try harder). Love, me. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Circling the Airport

No, not literally. That phrase best captures where I am right now (for the whole 5 of you wondering). With the closing of a brick and mortar and a return to the home studio process, something happened. I think I retired (for now anyway)…. from the career which defined “me”.

In October, I was presented with the Alumni Gallery of Achievement (Hall of Fame if you will) Award from my high school. 5 of us were inducted. On stage, giving a speech, doing a recorded message for the in school TV station (sure a long way from the nerdy AV guy who hid in a dark room and knew how to magically work the film machine), engraved image on the wall for perpetuity, intro at the homecoming game…all those bells and whistles one would expect for being honored to have been busy and very successful for 35 years in a chosen profession. It was great….but it felt like an ending. Not a bad thing, but like an “okay, you can put the brushes down now.”

Couple that with the timing of empty nesting 6 years after the fact…..I was gone before the kids were….and it just feels weird. Now don’t go thinking I am going to go back to serving on committees and boards and special events and all that time absorbing activity…I am rather enjoying the emptiness.

But nature abhors a vacuum so I hear and down time has never suited me. Now I sew stuff, or rip it up and remake it, or cut things apart, try something new and may ending tossing in the dumpster. It is like creating a painting but without the cleanup. Some may think that rearranging garments is not as “impressive” or “worthy” as creating something on canvas.  Perhaps. But at least I don’t have canvases stacking up along the walls waiting to be disposed of by my kids if nobody wants them. Someday they can just drive a van to the local clothing donation center and say hasta la vista baby with no guilt attached.

Textiles (fancy word for garments and clothes so I sound more impressive) still require an understanding of line, shape, color, texture and space….especially when one never uses a pattern or guide. The elements of design still exist, only in a different form.  I am still working with my hands…more so now than ever before. My brushes were always between me and the surface. Now I am in direct contact with the media…I can feel each stitch and how the fibers are reacting. The colors, especially in denim, have subtle variations that can affect the look of a piece on the human body. Textiles have different weights to them just as watercolors are different than acrylics. The only downside is the number of pins and needles I lose on the floor, in the carpets, on the chair cushions……and the times I stick myself with various sharp objects. Sewing is far bloodier than painting!

Another reason I am circling is personal and related to family. I need to be ready to “go” at any time should someone older or younger than me need help. It is simple to turn off the machine and walk out the door. No clean up. Sometimes life is a holding pattern and other times we can land safely and disembark. My extended vacation downtown is over and I am back on a plane to a new adventure. No idea how long the flight will be, where it will take me or what lies ahead, but there are plenty of drinks and snacks on board and I have a window seat! Will I paint again? Absolutely, I miss it already and ideas are building up, but now is not the time. My supplies are in the overhead bin and I can’t get to them just yet. You will know when I land….and you can bet I’ll be well dressed. Until then, please check out the online shopping site at HoardCouture.com and the associated FB page Hoard Couture Original Denim. The Fine Art America merchandise and print site will be have new (old works) added to the inventory as well over the next several weeks. Plus I have to learn Pinterest, Snapchat and who knows what else…so knick knack patty wack give this old dog a bone and let’s learn some new tricks!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

In the Spirit of Peace

Normally I would not post anything too religious or political but I have to share this because it really touched me last night. I attended the Walsh University Celebration of Lessons and Carols, a concert by the Walsh University Chorale and Chamber Singers of which someone special to me is a member of the chamber group. Two hours of music and verse, old standbys and some bring down the house southern gospel. Impressive indeed.

One hymn however was unknown to me and the text was included for the audience to sing along. It was introduced by the conductor, Britt Cooper, as piece he selected on purpose to address the tensions that have faced our country since the election last month. His explanation was longer than that of course but no need to elaborate here. You will understand when you read the words below. Sorry I cannot provide a musical reference as to the tune itself so think of it as poetry and search your hymnals or the internet for further details. Also, if you so desire, substitute “little child” for a deity or symbol of your own faith but I believe the context and intent will remain the same.  Enjoy in the spirit of peace and fellowship.

We Wait the Peaceful Kingdom
(Kathleen Moore / Hal Hopson)

We wait the peaceful kingdom, when wolf and lamb shall lie
In gentleness and friendship without a fear or sigh,
When lion shall be grazing, when snake shall never strike;
A little child shall lead us both strong and weak alike.

Where is the peaceful kingdom? When will this new day start?
We long for peace and comfort to reign within each heart.
Yet not in our lives only, nor simply in our home:
We pray that all creation will one day find shalom.

When wars of desolation and hate come to an end,
When nation meets with nation and calls the other “friend”,
Still in peace in all its fullness will only have begun:
“shalom” for all creation begins with justice done.

That little child shall lead us to walk the chosen way,
To share the peaceful kingdom, to greet God’s newborn day.
The child born in a stable is sent to break our chains,
To bring through word and table the day when justice reigns.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Paradise by the Dashboard….right.

If middle aged women designed this machine it would do something like this…..

The “dashboard” to which one must return constantly when working on some programs would be renamed “Location of Main Topics” Then these menus (were people hungry then they designed this world?) would be called my “things I may need to do under each major topic….like a “to do” list, list”   And before I forget, (we are middle aged here, keep that in mind) but every 30 seconds, a “be sure to SAVE your progress” box would flash right in the center of the screen and not go away until on clicked on it.  (I just saved this…)

The issue of moving the mouse once one has decided to click on the “expand this category and show me the ‘to do’ list arrow, would not go away if one tends to be a bit wavy on mouse control. Our eyesight isn’t what it used to be and the distance from face to screen is too far for reading glasses but not far enough for regular glasses. The screen floats someplace just out of focus but clearly visible. Little mousy arrow/dot doesn’t run a steady course but how many dang times do I have to go back and expand that “to do” list because I veered off course a millimeter or so? (just saved this….)

If this machine were truly smart, it would know that if I have done the SAME THING at least 5 times in row, I am probably going to want to do it at least once more. If I wanted my progress go back 5 steps each time I push save (hang on….needed to save again) then that is what I would be doing on my own, but I’m not. Just keep going in the direction I have been for the last couple of hours. I do not enjoy mousy time going back and forth pulling up (or out or down) my “to do” list  (save) then tiptoeing through the tulips to get back to my same spot, over and over and over…..

A really smart machine would notice if I do something I have not done before, like push a button that does something I do not understand…because my eyesight isn’t what it used to be and my finger slipped. This machine would flash a sign (like the Save sign…hold on, gotta save) that would say “hold up lady, are you sure you want to do that? You hit the C or F or whatever button and this feels unfamiliar….why don’t I fix it for you and if you really wanted to do that maneuver, you can hit it again and we will both know what you intended. Oh, and DO NOT hit save if you have not responded to this message.) Because if you do….in little text will scroll the words….”ah shit, now I have to text my kid at work or his girlfriend at school and ask for help “

I think that options should be offered for that hand symbol with the raised index finger. Sometimes a raised middle finger seems more appropriate.

A great feature would be the ? button. If one were to push the ? symbol about 6 times in a row (because we are irritated), a box would pop up that asks you what’s wrong? You type in your problem and the machine fixes it. It doesn’t TELL you how to do it, it just corrects the issue. Issues like stuff suddenly disappearing. A finger slip again and lots of work all gets sucked up into cyber purgatory. (save).  If that happens, why can’t a little guy carrying sign appear on the bottom of your screen, a sign that says, “it’s okay, everything is right here, all saved, just click in my sign when you need it back, no need to have a panic attack {he’s a little poet too}.

Labels should make sense. Header and Footer? I know, they are grammar terms for page layout, but why is it so hard to say top and bottom? Maybe I want a Lefter and a Righter…why are those not options?

Could we get these machines with two options of operation…and don’t ask me about “operating systems”. Half the time I can’t get the system I think is logical to operate in a method that is systematic. There should be an “efficiency” option and a “conversational” option. Those who like checking boxes and drop down lists would be happy and those of us who feel this machine works FOR me would be happy. Conversational option would pop up questions which we can answer such as “what color would you like the background?” I could type in “light blue would be nice, not too robin’s egg though” and it gives me one. It should give us feedback or affirmations such as “nice choice” to which I can respond “thank you”.  I wonder if I need to get back out with real people more often? (save).  

The Word document I am on now has a little paintbrush up by the scissors, paper and paste images. I think it needs a rock symbol. Come on, rock, paper, scissors would be funny. I understand the use of the scissors to cut, the papers to copy but the paintbrush is a big disappointment. It doesn’t paint anything. It is format related. I want a rock. You click on the rock when really ticked off and want to throw one through the screen. A box would pop up – in conversational option of course – that would first apologize for pissing me off, then ask what it can do to help me. (save) I really want those paper and scissors buttons to move. That would be fun, to have the scissors open and close, the papers shuffle around….how hard would that be?

There are also too many ways to do the same thing. Want to “find” some text, push this button or that one or type in the words or do a hundred other choices. Why not just proofread the document? Remember how we had to actually re-read our papers before turning them in? We made the choices for words and usage and had to check our spelling. We learned from that. This thing tells me that half of what I write is wrong. Good thing James Joyce didn’t write on a computer.

How about little bike flags that appear on documents which get hidden by others as “pages” pile up on the screen, the proverbial messy desk of yore. When a page gets covered by another on the screen, I’d like one of those orange flags on a long stick to sprout out from the top of the page so I know its back there. Of course in middle age world, the flag would be like a post-it note with a word or two on it so I would know which page it is without having to click on it. (save)

I could rant about the “blackboard” which really isn’t or any number of other techno technicalities but I will “save” that for another time. Right now I need to go use my hands and make something, which alas, I will have to photo and upload and all that jazz on this machine. Sometimes it takes longer to do the mechanical part than it does to do the manual part. Thank you for allowing me to vent. (And thank you for all of the Birthday wishes, one big positive aspect of cyberworld is the instant communication between friends and family near and far). 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Judgement Day

Just a few thoughts about this past week….

Would you ask the 911 or suicide prevention hotline person who they voted for, and if not the same as you, would you hang up?

When the AAA guy comes at 6am on a cold snowy winter morning to jump start your car so you can make it to work on time, would it matter who he voted for?

If the hospice nurse holding a loved one’s hand during their final hours on this earth not be of the same party as you, would you tell her to let go?

If the fireman searching for your lost dog in your burning house didn’t agree with your point of view, would you tell him to forget it?

If the guy working the parking deck exit thingy didn’t vote your way, would you be willing to sit in that deck for a long time?

Would you turn down the couple who is spending money on your creation because the sign in their yard didn’t match yours?

If the surgeon about to care for your cancer tumor didn’t vote your way, would you get up from the table?

The leaves will still fall, the earth will still spin, and gravity is still working fine……

Did you offer someone a smile today? Did you say “thank you” to a stranger, did you appreciate the sunshine on your face or appreciate the warm coat you were wearing? Did you thank the deity of your choice that you woke up to live another day?

We are all guilty of something, we are all better than someone else, and worse than many. We are human, we are alive, we are able to love and be loved. We are able to do good deeds for others and make a positive difference in their lives, one simple gesture at a time. We cannot be responsible for how others think or feel, it is not our job. Our job is to be a good person so we can be good to others, one person at a time.  Hold open a door, smile at an elderly person, say thank you to anyone that deserves it and judge only yourself as to whether you did the right thing today or any other day. 

When your life is in someone else’s hands, and someday it will be, who they voted for, will not make a difference at that moment in time. Nor should it ever when the moment has passed. Love thy neighbor….I’ve heard that someplace before….sounds like a plan worth putting into action.