A Valentine from the archive
From my series of mixed media prints done in the late 1990’s. I made heavy use of a 1968 yearbook from Southern California that I found at Alta’s wonderful thrift emporium in Joshua Tree, California. I suppose these lettermen have no idea….
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Arrivederci Roma, mixed media on canvas, 10”x10”
I’ve just squeezed about every piece of art I can out of the Carr Family’s vacation album from 1961 (more about that old photo album I found in 1996 here). One of the few things left were these old black and white postcards from Rome. They went under the exacto knife while Nino Rota was playing in the background and then presto, here it is.
Prints and other goodies based on this piece are available from Society 6.
Old Cape Cod
Old Cape Cod, mixed media on canvas 10”x10”
What can you do with a stack of vintage postcards from the 1960’s and 1970’s? With a bit of Patti Page playing in your head, you start to cutting and gluing. I realized that one of the postcards even had a long lost motel in East Sandwich where my family first rented a cottage in the 1970’s. That was before we moved to Cape Cod.
The postcards I used are more than vintage, they also show something that is now all but lost. The Cape Cod I remember had hundreds of small summer cottages. Cottages covered with weathered cedar shingles. There usually was a white picket fence overgrown with salt spray roses (Rosa rugosa). The cottages were “quaint” and “rustic.” They were filed with furniture that was often one step away from the dump. There was no cable, no phones and no air conditioning. When it was hot, you opened a window and hoped for a sea breeze. And there was that smell of damp, the mix of humid summer air, a touch of mildew, and a bit of salt marsh. Lift up the rag rug and you might disturb an earwig. Today those cottages are mostly history. Torn down to their foundations and converted into ordinary houses with little charm. If the remodeled cottages are rented out to tourists, they come with all the comforts they now demand. Cable, wifi and high thread count duvet covers in place of old chenille bedspreads.
If you want to have a little of Old Cape Cod you can get a print or even laptop cases or an iPhone cover from Society 6. It’ll look swell with you madras plaid shorts.
December 21, 2011 – Christmas Cards
Being the oldest child has certain advantages. As babies we are the recipients of a level of parental enthusiasm that there is little energy for when the younger siblings come along. Not that my brother or sister were neglected, but I got things like the filled out baby books and scrapbook of every greeting card I ever received (the scrapbooking ceased as soon as my brother came along). Parents with a toddler and a newborn have better things to do.
Now, what do you really do with all these old Christmas cards, valentines and birthday cards in the 21st Century? Well, a few of them finally got recycled for today’s piece in the 2011 Project.
October 6, 2011 – Circles and Grids in 3D
Much of my 2D work encompasses a meeting of circles and grids. I thought it was time to take it to a third dimension. I also have been inspired from a bit of a retro cinema bender I have been on. I have been watching the Sean Connery Bond films. It can be rather inspirational. Who needs faux 60’s on those we-won’t-mention-them popular TV shows. Give me the real thing. Campy, kitschy and groovy – this piece may be a prototype for some new wall panels when I have the time….
May 18, 2011 – Food and…
Food and what? I clipped this image and ad out of a magazine years ago. I have no idea what it was for. I stuck the ad in a big envelope long before the series Mad Men came along. Look closely, these gentleman aren’t quite so glamorous looking as their fictional counterparts. So the question remains, “Food and what?”
Perhaps these gentlemen are not even ad agents. Could it be a meeting of members of the Rotary Club planning an event? Perhaps it’s a group of Nixon operatives planning to fix the local ballots? Could it be the Springfield chapter of the Mattachine Society having a luncheon? It remains a retro mystery. Unless there is no mystery at all, and the modeling agency just got a call, “Four businessman; one old, one young.”
January 22, 2011 – Swinging London
There have been vestiges of Swinging London seeping into my world the last few weeks.
I recently happened on the trailer for Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blow-Up. The trailer is brilliant. It promised “the dazzle and madness of London today.” A friend and I tried to watch the film on DVD. Alas, I just don’t have the patience for the artsy slow bits. Maybe when people used to smoke in movie theatres, this was easier to endure.
Last night I was watching an episode of one of my guilty pleasures. Yes, I love Midsomer Murders. It’s formula, a bit corny and just plain entertaining after a long day. The episode I watched last night had a particularly glamorous, elderly actress. She was camping it up as a penniless member of the gentry living off of borrowed money. True to form, she came to an untimely end. Apparently rural England is just full of rather quaint murderers.
This morning, I was so curious that I had to see just who that actress was. It was Honor Blackman. No wonder she was so fabulous! Perhaps her most famous part was as one of the greatest Bond Girls — Pussy Galore. So, with some groovy British radio playing with a nod to Honor Blackman and somewhat influenced by Gilbert & George, I was inspired today by Swinging London