Archive for art

Old Saint Peter’s Basilica

Posted in Historic Architecture, Pub Library, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2020 by Drogo

The greatest case of Christian architectural evolution is the Constantinian Christian basilica of St. Peter in Rome, Italy. Roman Emperor Constantine had the original St. Peter’s Basilica built (320-360 AD) on the site of Nero’s Circus, to honor the tomb of St. Peter, respect other Christian martyrs, and honor Christianity as the new Roman religion. The adjective ‘old’ was only added after it was demolished in the Renaissance, to distinguish the current from the former building. Pagan Romans used basilicas as public meeting halls, and the architectural form began to change as Christians used it. Although St. Peter’s is still called a basilica (Pagan), it is a large church or cathedral (Christian). The Catholic Church reserves the word ‘cathedral’ for large churches held by bishops, but architecturally for the masses there is no distinction between a cathedral and a basilica. Papal (pope) coronations were held at the basilica, and in 800 AD Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the ‘Holy Roman Empire’ there. Soon after in 846 Saracens sacked and damaged the tombs and treasures.

Old St. Peter’s set an example for related cathedrals and thousands of smaller churches, which followed for hundreds of years and still continues today world-wide. It was a synthesis of assembly hall, temple, and villa. Old St. Peter’s held 4,000 worshipers inside, and thousands more outside in the atrium (akin to St. Peter’s Plaza today). The atrium was added later and had 5 doors (portas) in the gable wall leading into the nave. The atrium was called the “Garden of Paradise” during the Dark Ages. As a large colonnade courtyard plaza, the atrium served to filter  and shelter entry into the interior nave arcade. Atriums or plaza squares are similar to typical Roman villa interior courtyards with fountains or sculpture in the center; in this case a bronze pine-cone fountain and Vatican obelisk. The transition from narthex to nave matches the Roman traditional private upper-class family household altar or chapel and open atrium relationship. Early Christian domestic architecture linked worship with privacy not only because Christianity was illegal, but also because it was conventional to have religious (Pagan ancestor) shrines in homes. Pilgrims approached the atrium portico typically by the eastern stairs.

Old St. Peter’s exterior was fairly plain, and resembled what we would consider a large stucco-masonry barn, rather than a classical temple. This lack of architectural adornment reflected the decline of the Roman Empire and the simplicity of early Christianity, which would continue into the Dark Age that followed. Ironically the new St. Peter’s basilica was the first time the facade had classical pilasters, as the Renaissance revived the Pagan styles. Old St. Peter’s long nave main aisle was flanked symmetrically by four side aisles, and lit by clerestory windows. A great arch framed the entry view of the altar and vaulted apse beyond at the western end. The apse and altar combination with nave procession comes from a long line of imperial Pagan temples (Egyptian Hatshepsut Temple 1480 BC to Roman Leptis Magna Basilica 210 AD). The 100 marble columns were spolia taken from earlier pagan buildings. Old St. Peter’s was over 350 feet long, with a colored marbled transept making a T-shaped Latin cross. The gabled roof with wooden beams was 100 feet high along the ridge peak, and despite fires and thin walls lacking buttresses it lasted for over a thousand years. Old St. Peter’s design was like St. John Lateran’s Arch-basilica Cathedral, built around the same time in Rome. The Renaissance reconstructed basilica was designed by architects: Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo, Sangallo, and Maderno. The new St. Peter’s is larger, and contains some relics of the old structure.

The nave arch had a mosaic of ‘Constantine and St. Peter’, presenting a model of the church to Christ. On the walls between windows were frescoes of Bible themes. Ghiberti and Vasari wrote that Giotto painted five frescoes which were “either destroyed or carried away from the old structure of St. Peter’s during the building of the new walls.” Some medieval relics survived reconstruction. From some descriptions and fragments, the Navicella atrium mosaic (1310) was recreated. It occupied the whole wall above the entrance arcade facing the courtyard. Matthew’s scripture (14:24) was the basis for the large medieval mosaic by Giotto. “After Peter came down out of the ship and walked on the water, he became afraid of the storm and began to sink. He called out to Jesus for help. Jesus caught him and reproved him for his lack of faith, and led him back to the ship, whereupon the storm stopped.” A standing Madonna and fragment of an Epiphany mosaic (circa 700) also survived; but many gold items, like Constantine’s Cross on the Tomb of St. Peter, were lost long ago.

Old St. Peter’s architecture is confirmed by archeology, historical written accounts, and archival drawings. The oldest depictions we have are from 4th century frescoes and 16th century architects before demolition and reconstruction. Excavations confirmed some of the writings and renderings. One of the written sources ‘Liber Pontificalis’ mentions the rumor that Constantine was urged by Bishop Silvester to build the basilica on the site of St. Peter’s grave, and make his coffin with layers of solid bronze with spiral ‘Solomonic’ columns. Its’ construction involved removing or relocating tombs and constructing an enormous foundation on an expanded hillside level-cut.

The turmoil in Rome from conversion to fall (300-500 AD) begins with the 2 main christian basilicas being built to try to appease the oppressed masses of protesters all over the empire who sympathized with the infamous Christian martyrs. It is easier to study the architectural language changes, because the politics was very culturally complex and hard to translate, other than to say it is always about power. Despite the old Roman Pagan authority being replaced from within by Christian Imperial authority, the city was sacked by Christian barbarian mercenaries and migrants (Visigoths and Vandals) for centuries (600-100). Finally even the basilicas were not safe against the last of the barbarians (Saxons, Vikings, and Saracens), until the Roman Church authority was supreme enough across European kingdoms to focus violence against the Eastern Empire and Jerusalem (again) with the Crusades (1100-1300). [dates circa nearest hundred]

 

Plan_of_Circus_Neronis_and_St._Peters1590-Alfarano_plan

Art Color Theory

Posted in Crafts, Education / Schools, paintings, SCOD Online School, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2020 by Drogo

Paint Color Names

Art Talk – by Drogo Empedocles  [Audio Recording]

art supplies 2

This is an essay on color theory for artistic paintings, and not a scientific theory of light colors. Both art and science can view colors according to spectrums. However, there are some paradoxes between science and art color theories; which I do not explore here (but I do in other places). The main paradox is evident in the ‘Key Theory Types’, which shows that light and pigments have opposite blending keys on the greytone spectrum. The other color paradoxes are mainly association vs property issues (blue-red frequencies, color seen is what is reflected, greytones are not colors of light, etc).

 

The best way to depict color theory is usually by Color Wheels, with pallets of various colors in relation to each-other. Colors have 3 aspects: the name of the color itself (hue), the value tint-shade, and the tone saturation (closeness to true mid-value relative to other hues). Increasing tonal contrast in an art composition maximizes tints, shades, and saturations to accentuate distinctions. Decreasing tonal contrast dulls everything to greytone neutrality. 

ryb color wheel

Color Controls (Hues): color names have ‘Tint and Tone’ (ie – light tint, vibrant tone)

Tint-Shade (Value) – true value, white adds brightness (tint), black adds darkness (shade) 

Tone (Chroma) – saturation of true value and contrast between values (intense vs. dull)

 

Types of Paint Colors: Greytone (black & white) and True Colors (first, second, third types)

12 True Colors: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Purple, Brown (Rust), Amber, Lime, Teal, Violet, Crimson

 

Key Theory Types:

Brown is the key mix of paints (RYB)

White is the key mix of light (RGB)

Black is the key mix of print ink or dye (CMY)

Grey is key mix of complementary (opposite tones and tints)

 

  1. Primary Colors (3): 

Paint (RYB) – Red, Yellow, Blue 

Light (RGB) – Red, Green, Blue 

(CMY is the subtractive paint inverse of RGB)

 

  1. Secondary Colors (3):

RYB – Orange, Purple, Green

RGB – Yellow, Magenta (light purple), Cyan (light blue-green)

 

  1. Tertiary Colors (6):

Red-orange (rust), yellow-orange (amber), yellow-green (lime), blue-green (teal), blue-purple (violet), red-purple (crimson)

 

Color Associations: cultural (neon as a bright tint, chinese red, pruscian blue), social, personal, complementary, and warm vs cool

Color families (names listed as light to dark values, mid being ‘true’):

Greens – lime, grass, clover, olive, true, forest

Reds – rose, tuscan, true, cardinal, scarlet, crimson

Blues – cyan (aqua-marine), teal (cerulean-sky), true, cobalt, indigo (ultra-marine)

Yellows – lemon, true, gold, mustard, tan-beige, ochre (orange)

Purples – pink, mulberry, lavender, violet, true, royal, carmine

Browns – oak (tan), ochre-oxide, wheat-grain, dirt, true, chocolate, caramel, indian carmine (redwood), Vandyke

Greys – light (white), mid, dark (black)

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Drogo’s personal paint supply of small containers for paintings: 8 Greens (for plants & trees), 6 Reds, 5 Blues, 5 Yellows (+orange), 4 Purples (+pink), 3 Browns, 2 Greys, and White & Black in larger containers. 

 

 

 

 

Art Painting Brushes

Posted in Crafts, paintings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2020 by Drogo

Brush Types and Strokes

Art Talk – by Drogo Empedocles

art supplies 1

12 small brushes (apx. 1/4 inch bristles)

12 medium brushes (apx. 1″ long bristles)

5 large brushes (apx. a few inch bristles) 

 

Brush Types

Bristles (hairs) can be from animals or plastics. Shape combinations can include: flat, thin, wide, thick, coarse, and round

 

Stroke Techniques

There are wet and dry techniques for strokes. Stroke terms include: Dab, dash, drag, rendering (shading, texturing, stipple, hatch, cross-hatch), simple (forth), back-and-forth, feather, blobs (like when using a palette knife), gobs (like when pouring paint directly onto canvas), flick-splash, wash, …

My Career in Art & Writing

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Creativity / Imagination, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Illustration, Interviews, jobs, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2020 by Drogo

Memoir on My Career 2020, By Drogo Empedocles

 

I am defined socially by my supporters, more than if i were isolated and alone (obviously). Thank you for your support of my life’s work! Is my art and writing my career? I suppose it is, but not if careers must be defined purely by financial profit.

It is strange because my favorite parts of my education did not translate into making money in regular jobs, but i was not as prepared for regular jobs because of my own interests, which meant i cant really blame my art school because i didnt want the regular jobs it turns out. some of us need to spend fortunes to find that out, but trying to make the fortune back by working at regular jobs was the only real way to know whether or not there is a place there for me in conventional business. I like writing and art because I dont need a boss to do them. i still try to make money by selling my work to clients and pleasing patrons; but there is a big difference doing what i love my own way, and people supporting me as a friend, for favors that friends do. I always felt like having a boss meant i was doing work that i needed someone else to tell me how to do, so it was not really a job i would want, unless i was able to be the boss soon or the boss was my best friend. Only when my boss was friendly was a regular job even tolerable for me. Many people feel like they do not have a choice, and for many who just want to do what they are told for a paycheck or who need to provide for dependents maybe that is true; but i feel that if we want to be free, nothing can stop us from eventually quitting jobs that do not fit.

I have heard that being an adult means getting a regular job, to pay regular bills. In fact i always thought that would just happen naturally as an adult, that all my hard work in school would just translate to having the long lost career of my father’s generation. I have also heard that those pensions and life-long salaries are gone (although i still apply to the few that exist), and I know that technology has changed how work gets done, from even the ways I was taught with pencil and paper. I think this Covid Crisis is forcing society to change even more, towards the European socialist model, where a responsible civilization has a government that is by and for the people, and does not just use citizens to extract public resources for the rich. I mean, corporations still will do that, but adults will have a right to life, even if they are not enough of a competitive servant and smart enough to want to take more money from others than they need, simply because they ‘worked hard’ doing what someone else thought they should do. 

 

When someone says “if adults can’t make enough money as an artist, they should get a real job.” I imagine cutting their head off, and sending it to our magical boss; you know the one who would want an employee like me. I would get a gold star and a raise for sure.

Sharing Success

Posted in Cooperative collaboration, Crafts, Creativity / Imagination, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, jobs, Organic Development, relationships, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2020 by Drogo

SCOD Sharing Culture and Brand Theory

Simply put, most of us cannot depend on financial success anymore, in an economy that is rigged against us more the harder we try. Also sometimes no matter how hard we try at things, we do not always get as good as others; but it is important to do what matters the most to us, even if we are disabled or never the ‘best’. Any success of my work is measured by who shares in the joy with me, because they understand the merits of doing what you love with friends by sharing, not trying to exclude by maximizing solitary ‘ownership’ profit at the cost of others. Those who like me for what I do and who I am will know that any concept of ‘brand’ that I have for myself is dedicated to changing the fake world of corporate representation into real organic cooperative democratic partnerships. I have been repulsed by the term ‘brand’ due to the painfully loaded corporate associations and assumptions that people will ‘buy into brands’ even when the corporate brand only considers them a consumer fan, and not a partner. It is possible that popular ‘brand’ ideology can be reclaimed from being like a cattle logo that is stamped on us, to something that we stitch into our own shared creations.

Organic cooperation is how we filmed our collective movies, how I do collaborative compositions and jam music, and how I produce art and books with other possessive egos involved. Those that want to do their own thing in order to always dominate attention, and have exclusive rights and profit just for their selfish inner circle are not part of what I define as being ‘worthy’ anymore. In previous decades I accepted that people felt forced to be greedy due to the rules; but I have been a part of sharing culture enough now to know that a viable alternative exists to the main-stream. Sure we cannot all get along all the time, and there will be some that we try to avoid; but as population increases compromises and truces built on love become more important to avoid hate and murder. We are all in this metaphysical mess together, whether you play with or against others is a personal choice. We all want to be left alone sometimes down by the creek; there will always be things we do not want to share all the time or in all ways, but relations dominate most of our lives and our proportion of sharing (willing or unwilling) increases with population density. 

One of the most important reasons for increased sharing at the highest levels has to do with top secret ‘national security’ issues that are defended by saying that there are no limits of the tyranny of power when it comes to perpetuating war and terror in the name of defense profit. The military industrial complex used our money and resources to wage war and destroy our global environment. Those in power who do not want to share have done terrible things that they have gotten away with, but it is very important to have more citizen journalists and non-fiction authors strive to share important facts that most of us would never know about.

In conclusion, ‘branding’ has the duality problem of “selling yourself”; selling out your integrity with an artificial facade vs marketing who you ‘really’ are. The more commercial a person is, the harder it is to distinguish the two, because they appear to be a ‘professional product’, not a real human. Most of us can be very competitive for survival, but collaboration is better than competition for sustaining happiness in any community.

SCOD Frederick Library Exhibit

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Cooperative collaboration, Events / Celebrations, Multimedia Communication, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2020 by Drogo

SCOD Maryland, Frederick City Public Library Exhibit 

2020 Proposal-Statement

[currently in planning phase]

 

This SCOD (Sustainable Cooperative for Organic Development) group show promotes collaboration more than competition. Being able to exhibit our artistic expressions in public for free is how we win together by sharing. Awards at galleries do not need to be prize ribbons, we can be rewarded with attention and sales. If you like someone’s work, please make a note to find out more about them and contact them if you want to support them by owning and sharing some of their art.

Our goal with this project is to include as many partners as possible, and represent many styles and genres. SCOD art theory strives to remind us that modern art (impressionist to abstract) is not about elitist talent, because it was born from common desperation. The suffering of mental, physical, and economic disabilities caused some to declare “Dada! Art is for all!”. Even today we are realizing that indeed other animals create art to attract attention. As many fish and birds learn, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Trumpian Economic Report 2020

Posted in Book Reports, Cartoon Comics, Commercial Corporations, Cooperative collaboration, Crafts, Critical Commentary of Civilization, jobs, Legal / Laws, Multimedia Communication, news, Organic Development, portraits, relationships, Services, Sales or Trade, Society Clubs or Social Groups, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2019 by Drogo

Artisan Vs. Commercial Market Selling

By Drogo Empedocles – January 2020

In a Trumpian economy most of us are forced to be beggars even when we offer work in return for money, due to an excess of labor not needed or desired by the rich. Trickle-down Reaganomics has failed us, and is still being pushed on us by Trump and all corporate politicians who sold out. We must resist falling to the attacks causing the destruction of our lives and plan to not just survive but rebuild a better world for our children.

Trump’s tax plan benefits the rich, and diminishes the middle class. The estate tax is gone now so that rich children can inherit all their parent’s wealth freely without earning it, while poor children suffer without deserving it. Personal exemptions have been removed. You can still itemize donations, but the standard deduction bar was raised with an overall .5% tax rate reduction. Those basic changes might negligibly benefit lower incomes, but average to upper middle class households are losing thousands on whole due to other changes in the tax plan.

I lost some financial support despite my working through the holidays on several projects. I won’t be able to do as much free or low-budget work with others, until i can secure more income to cover my own expenses at least. my income is only $700 a year recently, so i feel like i get by with quite a little actually. I only currently use one sound program most weeks, and focus on word (writing) programs, which have glitches between formats, but i am able to publish that way. So for over a year i have only been using two editing programs.

Most people should know that any work has a price; and so my work is for sale, as with any artist; we need means to live so we try to sell prints and originals if we can. If people do not know how to want to share money with others, i am not sure how i can help them except to remind them by bringing it up sometimes. I focus on my work more than sales, because i do it for the work not the sales. If i am asked to be more of a sales person i would not do it. i dont know if stating that i will keep doing my own work the way i want no matter what will reduce interest in investing in me or increase it long term; but i really do not see many options to sustain my career legacy. I may get some temporary side jobs like working for Census, but even if i got a huge increase in income what matters to me is what is created with what i have ultimately.

SCOD social capital has increased overall i believe, which is hard to define since it is not income based. I am close to founding a tristate network for hosting art, music, and writing events; but the design is mostly socially dependent, using properties in WV, MD, and VA. The financial components like ticket sales and payments are totally based on how many people i can get to coordinate together. we currently have several proposals still being formed, for multimedia broadcasting and sharing local events, i can pursue these negotiations without financial losses. ive felt on the verge of something big over the years, but i never know when the tipping point will come because … and this is the hard part to talk about, the complex dynamics of partnerships.

I am proud to ‘beg’ with something of quality to offer in return. When you buy my work, you support many other people; because I collaborate with and buy from other artists and friends. To anyone that thinks I am begging by being honest that I do not earn much, I argue that bragging about how good your work is and saying you have been ‘financially successful’ by taking more than you need is worse than begging because to me that could be considered just as unworthy of support. Getting money from other people is not proof of deserving money, it is simply how people pay their bills. Also I am not just begging because I offer plenty of services and products in various fields. I am simply saying why I could use more income, as opposed to those who do not need more for basic living. I have many jobs, and i do them. I tend to give things away for free and make reasonable deals to work with lower income people.  I apply to better paying jobs, but I do not get them, and when i have had them before i cannot keep them for psychological reasons, one being i cannot stand authoritarian control because i desire to fight back against bosses the same as I would with any willful cruel or ignorant jackass; but when we trade self-respect for money we suppress our resentment which can fester and build to a break-down or illness.

I will not spend time defending myself by arguing against assholes, they are not worth my time. I am too expensive for them because they cannot pay me enough to work for them, and it is easy enough to block them and delete their petty comments. Their attempts to troll me are pathetic when i can shut them down easily. It is amazing that people will ‘friend’ me only to wait for chances to attack, without ever once being kind.  These are the type of people that would tell homeless street musicians to “get a job” too.

If fees are low enough with time i can advertise more without major losses on more websites; in hopes to get at least a few sales. Social reception is usually less than enthusiastic on a whole from audiences on platforms. Amazon is the best example ive had because ive been using it for years, i struggle to get a few sales a year even when i post the links and talk about them etc. I know it is not because my books are not as good as ‘Diary of a Whimpy Kid’ or ‘Captain Underpants’ which are best sellers, it has to do with commercial control of the market at the high levels. I mean sure we could argue whose art or story sucks more, but with enough exposure anti-authoritarian subversive books like ours do well with children and ne’er-do-wellz, which are a large portion of the population.

Ironically most of the people who buy my books are part of the vanishing middle class; not the lowest or the highest earning. There are more lower middle class people so they do buy more books, compared to the few upper middle class people who are interested in my books. I have had people with large incomes talk with me for hours, and i gave them books and they still did not buy any, so spending money has more to do with personalities than wealth; which is why those with less wealth will spend more if they have an income, which creates financial flow and opportunities in an economy.

All of these opinions of observations are reasons why many of us are not satisfied with status-quo commercial politics. We want more leaders like Bernie Sanders and progressives on the right or left who can be held to account by their voters who are also the majority of their campaign financing. We cannot afford allowing corporate sell-outsto further rig our own economy, environment, and country against us.

[ see also Lucas Chancel, World Inequality Lab ]

 

How to Price Art

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Crafts, Illustration, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2019 by Drogo

SCOD List of factors for pricing Art:

1.   Market previously for similar items or services

2.   Social associations of symbols

3.   Artist’s feelings about the art

4.   Relationship between artist and customer

5.   Customer’s feelings about the art

6.   Quality of craft technique

7.   Quantity of materials

8.   Hours invested

9.   Demand currently

10.  Design spirit (alien influence?)

The best thing about art, is that it needs no justification. If someone asks you why you priced it the way you did, you can simply say “ALIENS” and leave it at that. Most subjects and work that we do can be considered in terms of ‘science’ and ‘art’; the artificial value of any product or service (or anything) is subjective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snobs Cry “Don’t Punish Success”

Posted in Commercial Corporations, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, Matras Quotes Tips, Music Reviews, news, Politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2019 by Drogo

I have heard the cries of the successfully wealthy and powerful, “Do not punish success.”; from the brilliant actor that satirizes Trump (Alec Baldwin), to the angry metal band that cut off their long hair in the name of maturity (Metallica). As a fan of both Baldwin and Metallica, I appreciate their artistic mastery of craft, and believe that if any one earned the right to be rich by working hard I am sure that they did; however to not understand that the very art that they did was often anti-authoritarian is mystifying to me. Perhaps fame blinds many to hypocrisy, as their same angry fighting spirit that got them there, wants to cling on to “what is rightfully, not wrongfully, theirs”? 

 

When I listen to Metallica’s music, and then i hear them speak about how they do not understand ‘this new desire to rebel against authority’, i wonder how out of touch they have to be to not have learned more wisdom from their own lyrics…. “Master of Puppets is pulling your strings”. To be fair to Metallica, I first heard the cries for mercy from the lead singer of Kiss in his auto-biography; as though it were so much easier to become rich back then, and luck has nothing to do with opportunities or hard work. Talent speaks for itself, and being successful at your craft means being able to sustain yourself enough to do it. Any wealth, power, and fame that comes with successful talent is just layers of responsibility that they can accept, but must let go of eventually, even if it has to be pried from their cold skeleton hands in the grave by robbers. If an archeologist preserves their remains clinging to their assets, ok fine.

 

Money and popularity makes people into gods, so if their worshipers are jealous there is really not much law abiding citizens can do. The gods can proclaim that jealousy should be punished, but not greed; and have their will carried out in the halls of justice, in favor of divine corporations over individuals. ‘Might is right, and weakness is wrong’; did this problem of human existence eat away at Nietzsche’s mind as his body gave way to illness? Ethics may be for the weak, but Jesus did promise that the meek shall inherit the earth. Promises, promises. I see no evidence that the rich are being punished more than average people. In reality evil seems to win by brutalizing those who cannot control them, even while their corruption pollutes the planet.

 

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Arts & Literature Seasonal Gathering

Posted in Education / Schools, Events / Celebrations, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, jobs, news, Services, Sales or Trade, Society Clubs or Social Groups, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2018 by Drogo

Day, Month, Year, Time – Arts & Literature Seasonal Gathering – You are invited to the Victorian Townhouse of the Honorable S.P. (near Market Street) __ Third Street, downtown Frederick, MD; to read anything of your choice for apx.10 minutes, and our informal group will discuss for about the same time as the reading. Tea will be served.

Democratic voting on name of group, which selections to read, whether to record, and date of next meeting.

[for actual current details contact SCOD members]

RIP Artist Thor Carlson

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Recommendations & Tributes, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2018 by Drogo

E. Thor Carlson was from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, of Finnish descent. Thor Carlson was best known for his Oil Paintings and Woven Tapestries, but he was also a WW2 veteran. [1925-2013]

“At Yale studied with Eugene Savage, Louis York, Dean Keller, and Sante Graziani. Before graduation, he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for a year’s study at the Academia in Florence to study fresco painting. Returning to Yale, he completed his fifth and final year, studying with Josef Albers and Willem DeKooning. He graduated ‘In Primi Honoris’ with a BFA in painting (1951). After graduation he went to New York City, working first as a Junior Art Director at the advertising firm of McCann-Erickson and, later, on advise from well known muralist, Allyn Cox, as a free-lance mural painter. He became a member of the National Society of Mural Painters (1956) after painting a mural in the Waldorf-Astoria for Conrad N. Hilton. In 1986, he moved to Charlestown, New Hampshire. During the summer of 1987, he was a “Visiting Artist” at Saint Gaudens National Park in Cornish. Tapestry weaving has occupied much of the artist’s work during the past thirty-four years. His grandmother taught him Scandinavian methods for tapestry. Many of his tapestries have won prizes. His tapestry, “Peaceweaver’s Web”, on exhibit at the Entler Hotel Gallery, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, was viewed by President Bill Clinton during the Israeli-Syrian Peace Conference in January 2000.” – from his website

“Thor visited with my family, and we visited with him for many days over many years from the 1980s to 1990s and a few times after 2000 before my father died in 2009. I mailed him back some of his paintings which were in our gallery but we did not own. We sold some of the pieces we owned, but still have others. He shared with me many personal insights into his art and his writing, and was always kind and gentle. I almost studied oil painting with him, but instead discussed descriptive narrative with him regarding our related thesis work about ‘dwelling’. I was greatly influenced by his style, from having his paintings in our house on display all my life. My favorite times spent with him were reflective at Lake Sunapee, in his house, and at Saint Gaudens. It was my father that got his work displayed at the Entler, and got Clinton in to see the exhibit by running into the street and waving his hands in front of the motorcade. Clinton remembered my father as Mayor of Harpers Ferry during the Earth Day events previously, so he agreed to check out Thor’s Peace Tapestry.”  – Walton Stowell II

Peace Tapestry 01

Architect Antoni Gaudí

Posted in Crafts, Historic Architecture, Sculpture, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2018 by Drogo

Antoni Gaudí cathedral

Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926) was a Spanish Catalan artistic architect of the Modernista movement. Most of Gaudi’s work is located in Barcelona Spain. Gaudi studied skeletal anatomy, color theory, Art Nouveau, and sculptural arts to inform his architectural designs. His architecture integrated trade-crafts like ceramics, stained glass, wrought iron, masonry, and carpentry. Gaudi’s ‘trencadís’ technique used scrap ceramic pieces in organic mosaic forms. Gaudí preferred building scale models, rather than drafting drawings. Gaudí’s masterpiece, the still-incomplete Sagrada Família Cathedral, is said by Wikipedia to be the most-visited monument in Spain. Seven of his works are World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

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Antoni Gaudí CasaBatllo

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Antoni Gaudí detail

 

 

 

 

Sexism vs Feminism: as a male artist

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Pagan, Psychology, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2017 by Drogo

About portraits of women as a male artist: Do all women have to be drawn by women, or only prudishly by men? Perhaps some feel in a Patriarchal society, men should be artistically castrated. When I am angry at men or myself, I do feel that severe hatred against abuse. If women do not think any man should be called a Feminist, they do not have to call me that, regardless of my intense desire to respect and love the symbol of divine feminine (goddess concept) which is in touch with humanity (the relation between our best qualities possible in reality, and the ideal mental world). Sometimes the difference between sexist exploitation and respect to a heroine in portraits is mood, attitude, and personality; and how much those are portrayed to the observer (beyond blatant abuse of a model). If the model conveys they are wanting to share their look with others, guarded or proud, warning or invitation, regardless of the photographer or artist, i think it speaks more about the model or the character of the subject as it should, since they are not meant to represent an object in the art, but a realistic living being with some kind of spirit. i think not all idols are false, if a person looks up to a hero as a subject of study and reflection. The humanity of a subject and how the observer feels about that, is where i like the activity to be. If i can get the observer to feel they have a relation to the subject, regardless of the artist, i feel successful. the power of emotion being with the subject actor, not the camera-man artist who best represents an observer. If an observer feels uncomfortable as an abuser or a victim of the subject, rather than as a more objective neutral non-judgmental observer, then it is no longer a show about observing, but participating like a theater in the round where the audience can get involved in the play, which is not predictable or safe, and can easily be condemned resulting from personal feelings from people who now feel a real involvement and responsibility to judge fellow participants in the act of art. i personally like to draw all shapes of people, some models do happen to be skinny, but i prefer to represent “normal sizes” which are realistically common, and work with people comfortable acting a role or presenting themselves how they want. Sometimes art involves normal traits and sometimes abnormal traits. . Large or small to me depends on the model, when using a model for who they are as a person, i like realism in proportion for serious pieces. For me the self-esteem of a model who I view as a friend is critical. If the observer views all sexuality as perversion, they will not like my observations of nature, and I must accept that is the view of many people who think women should be wrapped up and hidden from view, only men can be topless, or that all public nudity is sin (conservative society). Thank you for listening, enjoy art for art’s sake as much as possible, regardless of the human flaws of an artist that may or may-not be self aware of intentions and how those intentions relate to popular culture or social manners.

Appearance & Reality in Art

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Music Reviews, Philosophy, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 11, 2017 by Drogo

The best media that expresses the theme of appearance and reality, is the wide wonderful world of Art! One can assume that there are four sub-divisions of our sensorial existence in reality: visual reality, physical reality, olfactory reality, and audio reality; which are all dependent on each-other, and inter-connected with individual and group mental realities. There are also appearances of all our senses. A fifth sense could be considered to be our metaphysical imagination (spirit mind). Through drawing and painting visual arts, one experiences visual appearances and then mental appearance. Mental neocortical impressions of fantasy or reality, can be perceived in various combinations. That appearance can be taken to be the reality of what the art represents, until a later meditational analysis of our brains produces a different interpretation of our visual and mental reality, that we believe about the work of art; including what the art actually is, what it represents, and what it means to us or others.

For example, Pieter Bruegel the Elder based his detailed drawing work upon realistic observations, to represent figures and landscapes; however like Bosch, his art combines very surreal and fantastic aspects to what we can identify as figures and landscapes. Mental reality sinks in later, that his art cleverly pokes fun at the Christian Catholic Church. In fact, Bruegel ordered his wife to burn certain drawings because he thought they were “too biting and sharp”. Bruegel’s reality was hidden within the action, setting, and characters of his art works; because he was reluctant to openly admit his surreptitious views on the evils of society.

Bruegel earned his living producing drawings to be turned into prints for the leading print publisher Hieronymus Cock. His great successes were a series of allegories, which adopted many obsequious style mannerisms of his predecessor Hieronymus Bosch. In Bruegel’s works his sinners are grotesque, while the allegories of virtue wear odd head-gear. Imitations of Bosch sold well, like ‘Big Fish Eat Little Fish’ (Albertina), which Bruegel signed but Cock falsely attributed to Bosch in the print version.

Another example of a famous surreal artist is M.C. Escher. Maurits Cornelis Escher was brilliant for drawing impossible shapes, that appear to be possible 3-D objects at first due to his skillful rendering, but then reveal aspects of themselves to be mathematical line trickery upon further examination. Escher’s realism has 4 basic levels: structure, content, contour, and event integration. Structures in a drawing means 2-D surfaces are rendered with 3-D appearance, creating illusions of forms and spaces. Link structure with content phenomena, and form texture contours. Lastly, characters interact and integrate with setting events in a pluralistic world concept with recognizable motifs.

Salvador Dali is still the epitome of a modern surreal artist, even years after his death. Like other surreal artists, Dali leads the viewer’s mind through a maze, and then a sieve. Often his work is presented as being real in appearance, but in actuality is a painting, or photo, or film of dream-like illusions that are disturbing on a sub-conscious level. Dali creates appearance of fantasy, but the deeper Jungian subjective meanings are disturbingly hidden from casual glance.

Appearance and reality in music is strange to talk about, as we do not usually refer to sounding ‘realistic’, as we do with art appearing ‘realistic’. When music sounds real, we mean it sounds like a live orchestra or a real instrument, rather than an electronic synthesizer or recording. However music does create dramatic mental illusions with sound. Composers like Wagner, Mascagni, and Carl Orff were masters of telling audio stories to our hearing senses. Various musical instruments or voices can summon angry gods, peaceful landscapes, bold shining knights, beautiful flowers, and other associative feelings.

In poetry each verse gives an appearance to the reader or listener, and the reality derived is subjective. John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem ‘Snow Bound’ descriptively portrays New England life and structures during snow days. One can almost feel the cold of the snow, yet is kept warm by the brilliance of the writer’s passionate imagination. Lord Byron makes clear the emotions in many of his poems, creating ideal or realistic images within the reader’s head. Poets manipulate emotions with words, to engage the audience.

 

  •  [ from SCOD Thesis Philosophy Theories ]

ART & Literature DRAMA

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Philosophy, Psychology, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 16, 2017 by Drogo

Writing is connected to acting. the line between fact and fiction and life, in books, and in performances it gets blurry. drama shows us our mental relationship with reality. music, art, and drama evoke feelings that can be very conflicting; because it evokes the psychological issues we have, whereby the human mental neo-cortical process judges ourselves and everything else based on perceptions of senses and emotions. audiences are crying out to have the freedom to pass through the veil and explore between the worlds of art & reality. Most people are confined to a life where they are told acting is not authentic, art is not real, and so they rarely dare to go outside the confines of slave-wage jobs that pay the bills. The art of acting remains a mirror world to them, that they don’t view as participatory; because they see it as an illusion to criticize. obsessive fans are right up against the mirror, touching the surface. The best artists are actors that reach through the mirror from the other side, and pull in those that want to cross the line.

This is what Democritus and Shakespeare wrote about concerning Life, the World, and Theater. Even Marlon Brando agrees, in life there are many roles we all play, acts we put on for jobs, and ways we act. One of the most fun conclusions that we are all actors in our own lives, is the realization that our clothing and uniforms are costumes.