Monday, October 31, 2016

Inspired by Parsons & Charlesworth Exhibit "Spectacular Vernacular"

"....Observation is often the spark that leads to a project idea..." is part of the introduction to the exhibit's room of photographs in  "Spectacular Vernacular".

This fascinating design show is at the Chicago Cultural Center through December.

 The photos are themed "Alien Americana" (photos of the US) and "Routine Rituals" (in India). To see Parsons and Charlesworth photos, you have to go to the exhibit. Besides the photographs, there's much more to see.

Their photos made me think: I have thousands of photos in my "picture bank" that I have taken over the past decade. Perhaps some of these will inspire me to consider some project ideas, like painting or an art quilt?

The photographs below are from my collection (have appeared on the blog); they fit a category like "Alien Americana".

Happy Halloween, btw.

Halloween display in soda boxes at the grocery store

Manhattan Beach, CA tourist shop window

Barbie Smart Car in Beverly Hills, CA auto dealer

Renovated Railroad Station in Cincinnati, OH

Our own Carrots--A Chorus Line

Under the Brown Line in Ravonswood, Chicago, IL
(I already have a plan for this photo).

Friday, October 28, 2016

Barbara Kingsolver's "Bean Trees".... and dilemma resolved!

After sampling the author's work with "Prodigal Summer", I was undecided whether I "liked" her work or not. So I agreed with myself to try another (this time, her first novel "Bean Trees", from the 1990's).

There's a lot to like: especially addressing the issue of infant/child sex abuse! Her characterization of little "Turtle" was handled just right. The main character's efforts to adopt her little charge were touching, complete with her self-doubts about her ability to protect and nurture the baby.

The author's ability to describe nature: sunsets, flowers, storms, etc. Strong. (But tossed into the narrative self-indulgently?).

Kingsolver has a social agenda (who doesn't?). So her novels are sprinkled with one dimensional characters you can't really "picture" or "feel you know", but seem to stand for whichever ideal she's in favor of, or against. This is not literature; eventually, it feels like nagging.

I remember how vividly: "Like Water for Elephants" makes you feel the injustice of mistreating captive animals and letting old people rot in nursing homes. "March" leaves you not doubt about the horrors of human bondage, while providing full-blooded characters; the same goes for "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman". Kingsolver's work does not rise these examples of artistry.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Happy Birthday, Mother

Among the photos and letters discovered among my late Uncles possessions, I found this never-before-seen photo of Mother, taken early 1940's. The location was outside the family's Cincinnati home on Mt. Auburn.

She would have been "early 20's", maybe in college or working at her first job at Kroger's food labs in Cincinnati. She was a dietitian. Soon she would join the Army. Everyone was joining up, including all the date-able young men, or "fellows", as she called them.

She told me much later, she did not intend to "spend the war taste-testing strawberry jam at Kroger's".
Way to go, Mother! Europe was where she met and married my Dad in 1946.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Mount Saint Helens on a Partly Cloudy, Mid-September Day

Hubsy climbed Mount Saint Helens on September 20, 2016. These photos were taken from the visitors center a couple of days prior.

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Awesome Black Hills of South Dakota

Inspiring, beautiful and evocative landscapes; these ancient and mysterious spires. In the midst of all the glory, I was a little offended by the various carving, such as Mt. Rushmore; this seemed like vandalism applied over the natural finish of the place. I hope no more carvings are allowed, after the completion of the Crazy Horse monument.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Near Wall, SD: The Badlands.

A testament to the power of gradually flowing water as it erodes its way down hill.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Dramatic Skies in Southwest Minnesota near Luverne

We visited the Prairie Rock Honey Company just outside town and near the State Park to purchase bottles of locally produced honey for ourselves and as gifts.

The Butterfly Hotel is open for business--and packed!

We started, several years ago, to assist the butterfly population by nurturing the young specimens indoors. It was slow going. But this...