Creating Beauty

As a child, I was frightened by a humongous Kissy doll. At 3, it was as big as I was and when you pulled it's hands together it made a smacking or a supposed kissing sound. I was sure it would get up and get me......making smacking sounds as it neared my bed.

Now I make dolls.....some are supposed to be scary, but most just reflect how I look at beauty. To me we have a very narrow view of what beauty is and is not. I have cerebral palsy and don't think I'm whining about it I'm not. I'm lucky my case is very mild compared to some people's. But you can pick me out as different, I walk awkwardly, but my arm and leg work correctly.....for someone with a partially paralyzed arm and leg.

I look like someone with CP is supposed to and in my way I'm attractive. I try to reflect alternative beauty in the dolls I create and so in some ways I'm still dealing with fear, but now it's not my own.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ghosts, Pie and Fresh Cream

The one pie my Grandma Bartlett made that I thought was strange was funeral pie. It's actually just raisin pie. Of course if you lace any dried fruit with brown sugar, eggs, cream and brandy and bake it in a good crust and top it with real cream or homemade ice cream you've got a winner. 

I think what freaked us kids out was the family story that went with it.  Tale of the black dog.... circa 1912.

The Bartletts were Irish dirt farmers from way back and kept the Irish tradition of the family wake for yrs. My Aunts Catherine and Virginia were around 8 and 10 when a cousin of theirs died by drowning. 
It took a couple of weeks to find him and the corpse was found in a seated sort of pose. So poor cousin had to be tethered inside the coffin so he wouldn't sit up. 

My aunts just wanted the grown ups to stop drinking and wailing and serve out the mountain of food (out in the yard behind the house of course.... cousin was ripe.) Grandpapa heard them fussing and sent them out with the promise of extra funeral pie if they were good . 

So escaping the stinky death house, they went to see the tethered horses in front of the barn. While they were talking to the horses, a huge black dog the size of a Great Dane appeared  on the path to the house. 
The girls walked up to see the dog and he came towards them and started circling them very slowly. As he circled he got smaller and smaller and vanished. 

They ran screaming back to the house as the body was finally being taken away in the horse drawn hearse. All the drunk adults thought it was cousin on his way to Hell. Apparently cousin was a dick. The ghost didn't seem to put a damper on the festivities and Virginia and Catherine got a whole pie and a little pot of cream to themselves because cousin scared them.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Art History in the Time of Trump

A couple of Saturdays ago Mike, my brother Ken and I went to the Getty museum. To avoid visual overload, we just went through the 13th-16th century mostly Italian and French paintings section.

As per usual the early paintings had ugly angry babies and they didn't improve with the Mannerist ones who just looked dead. But that's something for another post. Now in the later sections the Renaissance painters brought happy back to art. Well, at least for me anyway because I love Greek and Roman mythology. Mike and I have a decent background in art history so listening to the guides can be interesting. I love art lectures.  Now this lovely Italian painting of Danae that is some what new to the Getty.  

If you don't know the story, Danae, daughter of the King Acrisius was imprisoned by her father when it was prophesied that her son would kill her father. She was locked away in an underground bronze chamber. Zeus, who could never walk away from a complicated lay, impregnated her by appearing to her as a golden shower.

Now why this gets funny, at least to me, is this was the week of the Trump/Russian golden showers story. I was wandering around listening to the guide as she worked her way over to Danae. I wondered if there would be any smirks or giggles about the golden showers story.

The guide went into an elaborate look at the golden falling shapes and don't they look like coins monologue. As an art teacher by training, I was annoyed. I wanted to laugh because she was trying so hard to not say golden showers, but she was NOT telling the actual myth! Alt-history is not acceptable. It may seem a small thing in the scheme of the universe, but tiny lies add up.