Pattern, Alexander GirardThis is Alexander Girard. Love this pattern. Feels Matisse-y, but cut papery, and also the sixties/ pop/ Herman Miller rules the universe as well. Love the way the counters work with the forms, where the pattern of one is overlaid on the other and vice versa. The palette is not totally corporate crayon box, but the greyed out greens, blues and warm greys really make it along with the ballet pink which sort of quiets the magenta down. Hot and brights against greyed and quiet. Really works in a nice way. I need to learn about this. And, it is not blocked out in squares, but more free range/ organic grid versus the crap I have been doing that is all gridded out. Forget that. Need to work on this…maybe in the tradition of CF Payne, just see what they are doing by beginning to copy this to really understand what is going on.

I got up early this morning to take Alexander to his running practice. We all had an early night of it at the Luckystone after a late dinner thanks to you know who not getting her stuff in gear. Albeit, I made a really great tomato tart (from M Stewarts little pocket cooking magazine) and we had corn from the stand which was extrordinary. The produce, as an aside has been amazing this summer. Plump, sweet and robust. And with this thinking, I took myself to SilverQueen (you pick) after dropping A. off in the middle of the Hector National Forest to pick something (I was hoping peaches). Instead, I picked raspberries. Yellow gold ones and red ones. They were as big as wild strawberries…and in the cool morning with the bumblebees working diligently at their tasks, the quiet drone of the work and getting lost in my thoughts really was quite meditative and wonderful along with picking a big bucket of berries to mascerate and freeze for colder times. What a gift. And what a time to think and collect my thoughts. There is so much going on, it was good to let the ideas mascerate themselves, and see what could bubble up that was interesting and actionable from not focusing but randomly letting the ideas float and flitter like the buzzing bees.

Was back on the Fraktur and Conrad Beissel reading last night. Was re-reading about the identification of David Kulp, the Brown Leaf Artist, a known (and newly identified Fratktur artist and itinerant schoolteacher and scribe). I adore Kulp as I love his use of color, his calligraphic vines and florals, his confident use of the brush/pen, and his naive angels and figures that charm me to no end. Kulp was finally identified by a book he penned that was found in the bottom of some ordinary German texts. This book Kulp wrote/illustrated has his teaching book, his tools to illustrate concepts to his students, along with tables, notes, lists all in his handwriting which matched the script of the Brown Leaf Artist. The Mennonite Heritage Center speaks about this type of teacher/scrivener this way:

Bookplate (Bücherzeichen) for Barbara Meyer, David Kulp, 1805, Philadelphia Free LibraryThe colonial schoolmaster, Christopher Dock, introduced to the Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite community a folk art form known today as fraktur.  Earlier known as fraktur schriften (literally broken, or fractured writing), this was a type of decorated or illuminated religious writing which has origins in the monasteries of medieval Europe.  Dock taught at the meetinghouse schools of the Skippack and Salford Mennonites during the 18th century. 

Other schoolmasters who followed Christopher Dock and continued the fraktur tradition in Mennonite schools in Montgomery County include Huppert and Christian Cassel, Henrich Brachtheiser, Andreas Kolb, Jacob Gottschall, Jacob Hummel, Isaac Z. Hunsicker, Martin & Samuel Gottschall, and Henry G. Johnson.  Bucks County schoolmasters whose work has been identified include Johannes Meyer, John Adam Eyer, Samuel Meyer, David Kulp, Rudolph Landes, Jacob Oberholtzer, and Jacob Gross.

The use of fraktur schriften played a significant role in the educational process.  A writing example, called a vorschrift, was used to teach the students to write the alphabet and numbers, and to learn hymns and scriptures.  The texts on the vorschriften encouraged and admonished the children to fear God, lead pious and obedient lives.

The schoolmaster also drew colorful birds and exquisite flowers on small slips of paper, which he gave to industrious children. He decorated bookplates for handmade hymn-tune notebooks.  Later, in the first half of the nineteenth century, schoolmasters created many delicate bookplates for printed hymnals, Testaments and other devotional books.

Fraktur writing flourished in this community from approximately 1750 to 1845.  The reluctant acceptance by the German-speaking Townships of the state sponsored public school system in the 1840s brought the decline of fraktur writing in the schools.  These vibrant treasures were cherished by the children, safeguarded in family Bibles, and passed from one generation to the next.

Isn’t it remarkable that futher I get away from Fraktur and Folk art, the closer I am to getting back to it again? I marvel at the work of Alexander Girard and David Kulp. Same sensibility, same vision just different eras, different times. Am I throwback too? or a continuation of the same song, just a different place and time. Or, is this somehow a creative wormhole? Love that idea. A creative wormhole where something that happens in one place can be happening in another place in another time.

The Internet Encylopedia of Science tells us (dumbed down for artists!):

A hypothetical “tunnel” connecting two different points in spacetime in such a way that a trip through the wormhole could take much less time than a journey between the same starting and ending points in normal space. The ends of a wormhole could, in theory, be intra-universe (i.e. both exist in the same universe) or inter-universe (exist in different universes, and thus serve as a connecting passage between the two).

Must go. Hometeam is here.