Archives for category: Art
The Enchanted Owl, 1960.

The Enchanted Owl, 1960.

Here’s my tribute to the pioneering Inuit artist, Kenojuak Ashevak. She was world-renowned for bringing attention to her people’s culture and mythology through her illuminating interpretations of Far North and Arctic animals…particularly birds. We lost the legend herself earlier this year at the ripe old age of 85, but not before her signature style brought happiness to many an avid collector of her drawings and sketches. Membership into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and her art being chosen to grace three Canadian stamps and a 25¢ Canadian circulation coin were career highlights.

In her owls and loons, head and tail feathers dance and shimmer like rays of the sun, as she said, “driving away the darkness.” Ravens and wolves, often entwined with one another, form a web of scavenging, opportunistic bodies that are intensified by color-blocked splashes of plumage or all-over fur. Crowded on the paper — croaking, gurgling, cawing and howling — you can almost hear them they are so loud.

Animals and humans transformed, communing with the beyond. Shaman knows the way.

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One of nature's floral water vessels.

One of nature’s floral water vessels.

Once upon a time there was a bed of flowers past its prime. On a sunny winter day walking around Agnes Scott during a break from a short course, I came across these. I think they are hydrangeas. So glad the college gardeners found the shrub’s sculptural beauty worth leaving for others to admire.

Curiosity got the best of Little Miss Etymology.  The Greek hydr- from hydor meaning “water” was obvious. But it wasn’t until I got to peering at the dark brown clusters on my screen that I connected -angea (from angeion for “vessel or capsule”) to what are actually cup-shaped seed pods.

Ice cream that doesn’t break a sweat.

Dreamstones, as they are commonly referred to, are essentially “nature imitating nature” in vertical canvases of rock. So highly regarded were these naturally occurring Cangshan蒼山 deposits from Yunnan Province (Southwest China) that the town where much of it comes from, Dali, lent its name to the Chinese word for marble: da4li3shi2, roughly “big texture stone” or 大理石。What a coincidence then that the Spanish great, Dalí, was principally a landscape artist.

First prized by scholars and the like-minded, the marble also formed a type of tribute to the Imperial Court. Unfortunately, along came a revolution, and the stones and most everything associated with them was destroyed, their romancers nearly silenced. You see, you don’t just cut a slice from the quarry, mount it in wood and call it art. There’s technique, knowledge and an eye for color and pattern that go into choosing, classifying and interpreting the marble. Raw stories in the massif; collected stories waiting to be polished.

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