Sunday, June 25, 2023

Well-Used Crayons

 Although oil pastels might be thought of as a very grown-up type of crayon, the first versions were created for students in Japan in the 1920s. They came in winter and summer versions, with less oil in the latter to discourage melting. After enduring the shortages of World War II, Picasso convinced the French art company Sennelier to make high quality oil pastels. They have been around ever since, combining the ease and fun we remember from our Crayola Days as children, with the adult thrill of seeing a smooth stroke of azure blue curve across a piece of 300-weight paper and blend with a patch of vermilion. The tools may change but the pleasure remains the same.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Floral Rainbow

 After the pansies, hyacinths and irises die back, summer brings an explosion of color in a variety of heights and textures. Dark-eyed coreopsis mingle with delicate larkspur. The first daylilies echo the gold of yarrow and, because it has been warm, pink coneflowers already stand on stems sturdy enough for small birds to alight. Bees love a garden like this which offers all the pollen they need to feed their hive. I love it too, feasting on the colors.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Bean Dreams

 Clare Murry Adams' mixed media sculpture currently climbs a wall in the Riffe Gallery in downtown Columbus Ohio. An avid gardener as well as an artist, this artwork is an homage to the dependability of beans and a musing on their inner life. Look closely within each bean pod, created from coffee filters and tea bags dipped in encaustic medium. I love the "treasure hunt" aspect of this. Viewers discover fragments of old letters, bits of wire or thread, hand stitches, machine stitches, postage stamps or tiny drawings. Beans, like people, are unique. There is much to learn and enjoy from both.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Glass Sewing Machine

 Micah Evans has created a version of a very early Wilcox & Gibbs sewing machine from borosilicate glass, using a torch to build delicate, lacy components for what originally was a heavy, sturdy machine. The perception of a tool can change over time. There are people who collect old Singer sewing machines. They appreciate the beauty of their shapes and the decorative stenciling on them as much as the fact that they still actually work. This version in glass reminds us of its original function but it is purely art.