Exploring and Encouraging a Healthy Life Marked with Joy

Posts tagged ‘Art’

Don’t Tell ME You Can’t Tell I Teach at an Art School!

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(Van Gogh)

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(Michelangelo)

Last evening, I grandson-sat Daniel (8) and Gabriel (5) while daughter Amy and son-in-law Orte went fancy gallivanting around town.

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First, we played a quick game of basketball in the 110 real feel (Neal feel!) Savannah heat, quickly realized we were idiots and ran back inside.

Then we ate a hasitily prepared supper (I like the word “supper” in the summer south so much better than sometimes-pretentious “dinner”), consisting of peanut butter and honey sandwiches, and scrambled eggs and microwaveable bacon.  (Okay, so maybe not the healthiest Savannah summer supper choice.)

Afterwards, I broke up a third fight over what level to play a video game (Skylanders?  Huh?) and threatened pain if they didn’t stop.  (Do grandchildren anywhere take grandparents’ threats seriously?)

Finally I suggested drawing pictures.  Daniel immediately bought into the peace ploy, quickly pulling out the tools.

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We went to work.

D and G:

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D:

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G:

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Me:

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To be honest, I think I felt more pressure since I teach as an adjunct at an art school (SCAD–Savannah College of Art and Design).  Allright, so maybe I teach ESL (English as a Second Language) there.  But still, it’s an art school.

Daniel’s first (of nine pieces!) finished work of the evening:

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“Spyro Super Fire Balls.”

Gabriel’s first (and only): “Morning Apple Orchard” (which looks a little like “Spyro Super Fire Balls”):

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(“This makes my hand hurt,” he exclaimed, upon completion–and immediately lay down under the dining room table to rest.)

My first work, “Spotted Dog with a Bad Attitude”:

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The muses inspired, and the art continued to roll out.

Daniel:  “Let me brainstorm on what to call my next one.”  (Two second pause.)  “Sharp Tooth Spyro!”  And so it was.

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“Mega Bolt Cynder”:

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“Destroyer Horn Spyro”:

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Daniel wasn’t the only one the muses attended to:

“Green Tree Circle of Life”:

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“Self Portrait”:

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When we finished, Daniel and I curated an art gallery in the sun room.  (We barely heard Gabriel as he kept yelling from the playroom:  “Stop drawing!  Stop drawing!”)

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At one point Daniel looked at me and said, “This is SO much fun!  Don’t you agree, Abu?”

My artistic heart melted.

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Marching to the First Friday Art March

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Last night, not knowing what to do (as is most often the case), I ventured over to the Starland neighborhood near Savannah’s historic district to see what the First Friday Art March was all about.

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Oh my gosh, what fun!  Centered around Desoto Avenue’s Desotorow Indie Arts Market, the monthly event brings together area artists and craftspersons to highlight their work.  The mission is “to  research and understand the local economy, create opportunities for artists to pursue creative and financial goals, provide resources to artistic groups and individuals and showcase local art to promote a sustainable creative economy in Savannah, Georgia” (from the website).

(I want to be a famous artist!  But I can’t draw or paint.  Or sculpt.  Or, gosh, really do anything artistically.  Except with glue, dried macaroni and glitter.)

I bought a cool necklace:

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Listened to some hip music.

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I think this group was called the Whiskey City Redemption Choir.  (At my age, I don’t ask questions.  I just pretend to like it.  Like with Lady Gaga.)  (I draw the line at the Kardashians.)

I bought some great-smelling vegan soap.  (Vegan?  Soap?  Huh?)

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Check out their site:  http://kleosoaps.blogspot.com/.

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Here I am with Clinton Edminster, Executive Director of DesotoCorps.

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Clinton’s bio reads:  “Raised in the snowy jungles of the north but warmed with the blood of a southern twang, Clinton finds himself dedicated to the potential he see’s at hand. No puzzle should ever be left finished. He volunteers his time at Armstrong University, is receiving a degree from Foxy Loxy, and works for tips at Desotorow. Wait, that’s the other way around. Actually, it’s ok.”

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And here I am inside the Desotorow Gallery, with a piece of pink chalk, interacting with the “What Makes the South?” blackboard canvas.  My answer, “Hidden Honesty,” is intended to make people think I’m deep and thoughtful.  Maybe like William Faulkner or Jeff Foxworthy.

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I’ll definitely go back next month.  Join me!

Sidewalk Happiness

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Listen up.

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Last Saturday afternoon thousands of folks (including yours truly) meandered through Savannah’s Forsyth Park with heads laid low.  Not because we were all forlorn … quite the opposite.  We were all looking down–amazed!–at the park’s sidewalks, sidewalks covered with incredible, just-created chalk art.

It seems that sidewalk art is old, ancient even, dating back to the 16th century in Europe (they had sidewalks then?!).  When I think of chalk + art, I think of what I do when I’m bored on the driveway:

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(In this piece, my goal was “happy and exuberant but confidently well grounded.”  Yes?  Work?)

The artists (several hundred) made the Savannah College of Art and Design’s 32nd Annual Sidewalk Arts Festival an event that kept me open-mouthed for over an hour.  (Usually only Leopold’s can do that.)  (Okay, Jen, maybe Riverstreet Sweets too.)

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Armed with a colorful box of chalk …

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… and a numbered sidewalk square …

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… the art students, portraitists, watercolorists, landscapists, muralists, miniaturists, illustrators, caricaturists and cartoonists went to work.

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Here’s Renuka Adhav, a delightful and talented BFA painting student from SCAD Atlanta, whom I met before she started on her piece:

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Here I am holding her chalk (I’m not sure why).

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A couple of hours later I returned to Renuka’s spot, finding her and … THIS:

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Oh.  My.  Gosh.  And guess what?  Renuka won Second Place for Individual Student entry!  Congrats–you go girl!

(I’m starting a new business called “Believe Me!  I Can Pick the Winner Before They’re the Winner!”  Contact me at 1-800-NealNos for details, pricing and availability.)

As I walked around, I kept having to remind myself that these paintings were drawn on fairly Rough Concrete, for goodness’ sake, with Big Pieces of Chalk.

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Can you believe the quality of these paintings?!

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One fascinating sidebar at the festival … the über cool Yarn Bombing.  What?  You’ve never heard of yarn bombing?  Hmm.  Okay, neither had I.  When one plucky young art student tried to explain it to me, I kept interrupting her and asking, bewildered, “Yard Barbie?  Huh?  I don’t see her.”  And, “What?  Yard Bobbing?  Like apples?”

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According to always reliable source Wikipedia, yard bombing (aka yarnstorming, guerrilla knitting, urban knitting or graffiti knitting) “is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk.”

Well yarn bombing showed up all over Forsyth Park.  And it covered objects, such as light poles, trash cans, tree trunks/branches and world-famous bloggers’ heads.

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What a fun Saturday afternoon.  Thanks to SCAD’s Sidewalk Arts Festival for helping me to sink a little deeper into local art.

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