Sunday, September 25, 2016
Saturday, September 24, 2016
|Me painting Wings|
In my research of Lucas Cranach as my ancestral grandfather and artistic muse, I was delighted to find out that he was also talented with a speedy brush. Called "Pictor Celerrimus" or "fast brush", Lucas Cranach was granted a crest in 1508 by the Saxon Elector Friedrich The Wise that was emblematic of his speed- a winged serpent! Cranach used the winged serpent to sign his paintings, prints, and public works that were created from his workshop. After his 24 year old eldest son Hans died in 1537, the workshop, carried on by the second son, Lucas the Younger, altered the wings of the serpent from a wide spread to softly folded back.
Friday, September 23, 2016
Lucas Cranach and his 15th century workshop cranked out dozens upon dozens of variations of the Biblical story of Judith and Holofernes. The ladies may vary, but they consistently depict the heroine as an absentminded or smug 15th century lady of nobility. His models were ladies ranking from high society. They wore their best outfits to pose for him. He painted them, and his journeymen copied them over and over again for the open market.
Cranach was a collaborator with Martin Luther, supporting the Protestant reformation. The story of Judith struck a chord with the Protestant reformers, since it described the courage of a small nation (such as Saxony) resisting a tyrant from outside who sought to impose his own beliefs about God on them, (such as the Pope). Some historians, like Steven Ozment in The Serpent and the Lamb (Yale Press 2011), say that Cranach was championing the female in society by calling out her wily wits and upper hand over the dreamy drunken sex-obsessed males. They conclude that the Cranach workshop's obsessive manufacture of Judith paintings are proof of a contemporary belief in the superior intelligence, courage and social equality of women.
There was definitely an attempt at this time to balance the classic focus of male heroes in Christian tradition with biblical heroines who could be role models of particular virtues. Judith is the sober beauty who sacrifices her body to a rapist in order to disarm the enemy and save her city. Am I the only one to find the conjectured historical analysis of this series of paintings to be a little blind? She has just slain a man! None of this is a message of equality or virtue. It is more like a threat...and a warning.
|Are two heads better than one?|
|Why not three?|
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
My students are amazing. Here is work drawn from life in ink from two of my drawing classes which are mostly made up of 9th and 10th graders.We worked from a still life and borrowed plants from other faculty members. The aim was to emphasize positive negative space (in the plants), and cross contour lines, as well as line weight (in the still life).
Monday, September 19, 2016
|Linoleum prints and collage|
|Like a prayer flag of sorts...|
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Saturday, September 17, 2016
This isn’t the first hundred years of distorted body ideals. The curious success and the sexual provocation of the "Hottentot Venus" influenced the fashion of Victorian women. The Bustle and the Basques, which called for layers of short over-skirts, bows, belts and lots of trimmings, hung over a framework that ballooned out the shape of the female form beyond her natural waist and hips. A tightly laced bodice emphasized a tiny waistline, which is still in the vogue, sans petticoat today.
|My inner Barbie again|
The first breast implant was made on a French lady in 1895. World war I dramatically increased the stature of plastic surgeons. In 1962 the first silicone breast implant was created. In 1982 doctors in America import the French technique of liposuction.
Today Plastic Surgery is a growing option. In 2014, plastic surgeons performed 15.6 million cosmetic procedures. The demand for plastic surgery continues to grow as medical advances offer a wider array of options for patients. The American Society of Plastic surgeons (founded in 1937), statistics say that buttock implants and lifts are among the fastest growing procedures over the past year. The top procedures, world wide, are breast augmentation followed by nose reshaping. And males are having plastic surgery at significantly increased rates since 2000. The top two procedures are pectoral implants and male breast reductions