Wednesday morning

I am moving the columns around as my Blackberry Tester (Rob) said that the Blackberry was not happy with the content on the right. Thus the shift of the content to the left. We will see how that goes. If you have any input, please let me know.

Am still working on the Hangar pieces. Seems so slow. But at least its left foot/right foot and we are making some progress.

We got a bunch of pieces in from the Mexico and India markets for my client and the work is very hodge podge we are gearing up to redesign the work to more accurately say, "now this, is what is acceptable". It's often a problem, when put in an oversight role, to know how critical and pointed one gets with other people's work. But, with the broad horizon of "does this suit the entire company?", "does this represent the company appropriately?", or "does this say Fortune 100?" --then the gloves can come off. Only big problem comes from most of this graphic work is done by inhouse designers in these countries--so combined with a defined skill set and vision, and our lack of market understanding and cultural context, communications can suffer. So we redo entire programs just to show that simplicity is possible, encourage a cleaner, less junked up piece (deleting bad color fields, tacky fonts, cheesy stock art, and the omnipresent proliferation of the tagline of the day. And so it goes.

Ordered my two prints for Picture Salon yesterday. Love how simple the process is, and how nice the work looks on canvas--without glass or acrylic deadening the color. Plus, easier to ship etc. I should have them in two weeks.

Going a bit deeper yesterday in the land of folk art around religious themes, I learned that this Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) area of Germany that bounds the Czech Republic is responsible for more than Christmas Pyramids, Smokers, Nutcrackers, Angels, and Easter bunnies in wood. There is another decoration that exclusively comes from this area called Schwibbogen. Schwibbogen are decorative candle holders that were originally made in black metal and have grown to being made of wood depicting historical or religious themes. Since WW2, they have grown in popularity--and now incorporate all sorts of imagery from landscpes, skylines even to advertising. Interestingly, the first ones incorporated the Erzgebirge angel and miner (Bergmann) which the candlestick holder also depict in wooden figurines. Seems like a miner and an angel are in the mix for later this week or so. Am looking at these metal shapes of trees and loving them.

Wikipedia takes this one step further>>

"The most famous design was created by Paula Jordan in 1937 for a show in Schwarzenberg. It depicted the 3 main sources of income of the people in the region in the 18th and 19th century. Thus the Schwibbogen showed apart from some traditional symbols; 2 miners, 1 wood carver, a bobbin lace maker, a Christmas Tree, 2 miner's hammers, 2 crossed swords, and an angel. It holds 7 candles. Contrary to popular belief the candle holder was always associated with Christmas. The light symbolizes the longing of the miners who didn't see the daylight in winter for weeks sometimes due to their long working hours below the surface. Over time the designs changed. Especially in the last few decades after the World War II the Schwibbogen has reached not only a new popularity, but has changed a lot in its looks. Now it is typically made out of wood which depicts historical or religious scenes. But there are even landscapes, skylines, advertisements ... there is almost no limit to the possibilities. What remains is the link to Christmas traditions. Especially in the Ore Mountains the windows of the houses in villages and towns feature a lit candle arc - usually with the traditional designs or at least local scenes. The town of Seiffen is particularly noted for its production of Schwibbogen in its craft shops, usually wooden arcs now."

Long John and the Tights play at the Pourhouse tonight. I think we will take a break and go to listen to them. Should be fun. Snow is falling and the work continues.

Winter morning

The Wooden site had a Erzegebirge folk toy (a type of a vertical yoyo) that was a little lady in a skirt. Charmed, I did my little flower spinner picture in response to that object. A little it of springtime in the early January morning. I am charmed with this whole German folk toy discovery as it addresses the type of imagery I saw in the Pennyslvania Fraktur illustrations, along with the heavy duty decorative (no holds barred) influences as well as the simple, primitive style that I love in folks like Edward Hicks, Morris Hirschfield, Leger and others inspired by the same roots. And so it goes.

I am girding myself to get back into the Garden of Eden work what with a feeling for figures and the boost that ths SOILA Silver gave to me. I think I will be looking more at Hirshfield and Hicks for their treatment of animals along with these German folk toys.

Seems that the wooden Noah's arks that I have adored since consciousness, stem from this German tradition. Here's one from Wooden Wagon (again) Oh my, look at that, they have a Garden of Eden themselves!>>. Plus, if we go back to the German roots of this progression, the Fraktur artists also addressed Adam and Eve (and the Crucifixion as the other story) in their illustrated documents and books. Here>>,Here>>, Here>>, Here>>--just for instance. Right? This is where my head is dwelling now.

Mandy is making a fire in the cold, cold kitchen. Its fun having her and Sonata visiting. We will have a full house next week with more visitors that we might have all the beds slept in this big house. Guess the hams need to be pulled out of the freezer for this entertainment. I have committed to have a dinner for 16 or so prior to the High School Snow Ball--so I need to put my mind on that.

Working away at the Hangar work (note below). I am steadily making progress...and my hope is today/tomorrow I will be back at center on that. I need to order a print for both shows I will be in in the next few months. Print Regional posted their Design Regional Show (March 1 deadline)--which I think I will fire a few pieces to. Might have a chance with Juri and the valentines.

More later. Maybe more pix.