Category Archives: art

this time.

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even though

it’s mid-april

and the skies

delivered snow today

i thought back to a few days ago

when just like today

i had my sandals on

and came upon

a mother and child

in the sun

taking time

to create art

with simple and happy words

‘have a nice day’

for anyone in the neighborhood

who may come by

needing this message.

“this time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”

-ralph waldo emerson

out of the box.

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National Crayon Day on March 31  sparks fond memories of childhood creations in full color as we celebrate one of America’s most beloved toys, the crayon! Crayons delight our senses not just with their brilliant colors but also with their distinct smell, the feel of them in our hands, and for some kids, the waxy taste. With over 12 million crayons made daily, one is never far from reach. So, grab your box of 64 crayons, sharpener included, and get ready for some artistic expression and nostalgia.

Crayons have a colorful history. While hued wax molds have existed for centuries, the modern-day crayon got its start in the 1900s. Crayola crayons were introduced in 1903 by Binney & Smith as a safer and cheaper alternative to the art utensils in use at that time.  Binney & Smith premiered their famous eight-pack of crayons with the color line-up: Black, Brown, Orange, Violet, Blue, Green, Red, and Yellow. This color mix, along with their names, remained unchanged for 45 years. Since then, many colors have been added, color names and packaging have changed, and color styles such as neon, metallics, and glitter have emerged. A few colors have even been retired from the color wheel, typically on March 31.

The Crayola crayon has a special place in the hearts of Americans and Americana. It was one of the original inductees into the National Toy Hall of Fame in November 1999. It is estimated the average American will have used 730 crayons by their 10th birthday. Even Mr. Rogers has had his hand in the history of crayons by molding the official 100 billionth crayon in February 1996 at the Crayola plant in Easton. Crayons not only add color to our lives, but they’ve also been held as an analogy for the colorfulness of the human race and our ability to live together in a diverse world. Crayons have been used for creating artwork for years.

Originally used for industrial purposes, their popularity soared when the brand Crayola was introduced.  Crayons are used as a medium for creating artwork by children in schools mostly, but is also popular among adults who use it for creating contemporary art. Many households have a box of crayons stashed away somewhere, and today is the day it is pulled out. Everyone can enjoy crayons for creating vivid drawings. 

BY THE NUMBERS

100 – the number of colors Crayola crayons are available in. 

50 – the number of crayon colors retired by Crayola. 

3 billion – the number of crayons produced by Crayola in a year. 

18th – the ranking in terms of how familiar the crayon scent is to adults. 

1962 – the year when Crayola changed the name of their crayon ‘Flesh’ to ‘Peach.’

15 feet – the length of the world’s biggest crayon. 

223 billion – the number of Crayola crayons produced to date. 

730 – the number of crayons used by the average kid by the age of 10. 

“we could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names, but they all have learned to live together in the same box.”

-Robert Fulghum, american author

 

 

 

credits: national days

a gift.

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when someone in our class

got injured while playing outside

the kinder quickly sprang into action

creating art and cards for their friend

23 pieces of art from 14 children

given to her to know she was cared about

 a quiet smile was her gift back to them. 

 —

“making art is like giving a gift: evidence of your spirit and that you are here.”

– paddy mitchell

rainbow trout.

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not my trout, but an artist who creates in my style

 a few or five decades back

in my elementary school years

i undertook a project that i loved

an end-of-the-year

comprehensive non-fiction report

covering a wide swath of the animal kingdom

involving research, factual write-ups, and illustrations.

i worked on this tirelessly

gleaning material

from the only source i used for everything 

our set of encyclopedias

(no google to be found)

all was going well

until i came to the rainbow trout

with no illustration provided

 i used my imagination

creating my own vision

of what a rainbow trout might look like

a beautiful striped fish

with every color of the rainbow

spanning across its shiny and scaly skin

at last

the final piece in my big report complete

rechecked everything

put it all in my new yellow folder

decorated the cover

proudly turning it in

waiting for my teacher’s response

 she perused our reports

while we had silent reading time

 then called me up to her desk

with the hugest of smiles on her face

my report open to the rainbow trout page

telling me that she was going to give me an a+

she said she could see

 i was truly a creative

even more than a scientist

that both were good things to be

and she was right.

“the fish was a twelve inch rainbow trout with a huge hump on its back – a hunchback trout.”

-richard brautigan

yellow.

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the kinder create with loose parts

dressed all in yellow. 

clearly in their yellow period. 

 

 

“yellow is the color which is closest to light.

we associate the rays of the sun and the stars with it.

it is the radiance of the spirit.”

– ueli seiler-hugova

raining popcorn.

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popcorn is art and one of my favorite snacks

(though it’s no flamin’ hot cheetos!),

something to consider on national popcorn day.

Raining Popcorn (2001) is a piece commissioned by the Faulconer Gallery of the Grinnell College in Iowa. The commission would take artist, Sandy Skoglund many months to complete. In Skoglund’s art practice, the conceptual subject matter works in conjunction with the physical materials she uses, drawing on historical references, and instilling them with psychologically complex meaning.

Produced in 2001, just before the September 11 attacks, Raining Popcorn references the complex roots of American contemporary culture and overconsumption. The unifying subject throughout the piece is popcorn, so pronounced and repetitive it replaces nature. The popcorn becomes an all-encompassing reality, lining the walls, the floors, the subjects, and alas growing from trees. This obsessive environment constructed by Skoglund derives from the artist’s desire to combine sculptures of animals, live humans, and nature into a space that involves thought and play, as part research and part recreation.

The abundance of Popcorn acts as a reflection of the cultural environment, being noisy, excessive, universal, and part of popular culture. Currently, Americans eat 13 billion quarts of Popcorn a year, produced mostly in the heartland of America, from Illinois to Ohio. The piece is a response to memories and experiences Skoglund felt as a graduate student in Iowa.

The painstakingly handcrafted quality of the endless popcorn creates a fantasy landscape, one that raises questions about climate issues and our surrounding environment, as well as fantasy and reality. In Raining Popcorn, Skoglund’s objects and composite staging have a base in truth; they are not a product of photoshop or digital manipulation. It is critical for the artist that the photographs evidence something genuine. The constructions are explicitly staged to be photographed from one unique viewpoint.

“americans love popcorn, and their love doesn’t quit.”

-rosecrans baldwin

 

Credits: Sandy Skoglund, Raining Popcorn – Holden Luntz Gallery

twists and turns.

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 i love that someone has created a poster

with some of our more interesting twists and turns

 and wonder about the mindset

of the road planning engineers.

were they perhaps going for

 more of an ‘artsy’ and unexpected approach to the roads?

more like the road of life?

“life is full of surprises and serendipity. being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success. if you try to plan every step, you may miss these wonderful twists and turns. just find your next adventure – do it well, enjoy it, and then, not now, think about what comes next.”

-Condoleezza Rice – Former U.S. Secretary of State