Monday, February 09, 2015

Sepia Saturday 265 - No Crafty Genes

This week's Sepia Saturday theme - "Ceramic decoration" is a 1920's photo from the Aalto University photo archive in the Finnish city of Helsinki.  I found the moody lighting and shadows in the photo beautiful. 

The subject of creativity was on my mind as I turned the corner to drive home to De Luz the other day. An artist at work on the street caught my eye as I drove by. Artistry is not the usual bill of fare in this part of town; the area is plagued by gang tagging and featured frequently in the Sheriff's log. The punchy bright colors being applied popped out dramatically in a sea of off-white and pastel colored homes and buildings. "I wonder what that is?" I thought. About a mile up the road I decided to u-turn and have another look.

Turned out the artist was Brett Stokes, Fallbrook's famous artist and he was painting a fence post. Usually he paints the sides of buildings and huge wall murals. He was working fast and during our little chat he covered a lot of the post. If you call this "Fence post decoration", you get my connection to this week's theme. Not sepia of course, but you can't have everything. 

Here are two of Bret's wonderful murals from around our town. 

Santa Fe Crossing Main by Brett Stokes

The Old Ones by Brett Stokes

I have very few pictures of people engaged in creative endeavors in my photo albums. My grandfather Hector, with his carvings, has appeared several times for Sepia Saturday and here he is again. His output was remarkable but also the creativity he demonstrated at his advanced age. Straight from his imagination into his carving tools poured his amusing riffs on people - Injuns, Mounties (RCMP for all know-nothing non-Canadians) and Cowboys.  There was a mini-arkful of exotic animals among which elephants were a recurring theme. My particular favorites were the heavy-drinking men he gifted with red noses and the people with sparkly sequined buttons and eyes. 

Personally I've never been successful with crafts. Grandpa's gene skipped me. At various times in my life, I knit or crocheted as a kind of therapy - not for the pleasure of creation. My efforts always fell short mostly due to my own impatience. The things I knit usually ended up off-kilter from dropped or gained stitches; crib covers I crocheted began as squares or rectangles and then row after woeful row would somehow morph into parallelograms or worse. Halfway through the crochet projects, bored to tears with the colors I'd chosen or sick to death of the project because it dragged on too long, I'd see disaster looming and reach the crucial point - either rip it all out and start over (the perfectionist's option) or convince myself that a parallelogram was the preferred shape and my lime green and mauve crib covers were artistic break-throughs. 

If I ever decide to try anything knit or crocheted again, I'll try to find a project like this one on-going at our library. All you have to do is a 5 x 7 piece and you can donate it anonymously. How much could you mess something like this up? 

From the newsletter of Robert and Sarah Gen at Painters Post 
here's a bit of inspiration from someone who'll never quit being creative.  

Park your rocking chairs
by Jean Morey, Ocala, FL, USA

Marsh Dwellers<br>watercolour painting<br>36x24 inches by Jean Morey
Marsh Dwellers
This past Sunday I graduated from Eckerd College with a major in creative writing. I turn 80 on the 29th of June. I remain audacious in my pursuit of recognition and expression of the value of all people of every color and gender. I have been expressing this in my children's book illustrations since the early '60s and now can write my books with confidence as well. It is a myth that people get less capable as they get older. Too many people buy into this idea and just fold. Not my approach. I will now go for my MFA at Savannah College of Art and Design this Fall and maybe on for more anthropology and archeology after that. It helps to be computer literate. I say, park your rocking chairs, we have too much that this generation need to learn from us to give up now.

1 comment:

  1. We know Brett Stokes and his mother and our mother used to be best friends. I love your Grandpa's carvings. I didn't know you knitted! You think you know someone and then you find out something shocking!!!
    "Park your rocking chairs" was very inspirational.