Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Child's Journal, A Christmas Story of 1892

A Child's Journal of 1892
Signed and dated by N.C. Bemis of Wiscasset, Maine
Christmas Scene at Nellie's Home
"The True Santa Claus"
written by Eva L. Carson
You bigger boys and larger girls,
Who smile in pitying way
When baby gravelly tells the tale
of Santa Claus's sleigh,
How Santa stops, with bags of toys,
On everybody's roof:
While his reindeer lightly prance and dance
Upon each tiny hoof.

You see the stockings being hung,
With but a scornful laugh;
Why- don't you know the story's true?
That is- the better half?
He's the Christ-Child in Germany,
Here- Santa Claus we say;
But through the world, at home, abroad,
The dear saint makes his way.

It has a meaning deep and true,
The lovely fairy tale,
Where would we be but for love
That watches without fail?
What makes our Holidays delight,
And never knowing pause,
Gives all we are and all we have?
LOVE is our Santa Claus!

"Be Not Simply Good, Be Good For Something" 
a quote from Nellie
A flower for a Happy Home
Greetings to the arrival of the Three Wisemen
The Bemis Family 'Tree'
The Tree of Life
Murray dons his Stocking Cap
Ada waits patiently for Christmas Supper to begin
The Owl and the Skunk (I'm certain the Owl and the Pussycat has a nicer ring to it)
As guests arrive for Christmas
Mother ponders if she's forgotten anything
Warming the henhouse
Ethel Arrives
Merry Christmas Greetings
Mother in her new dress
Arrival on the appaloosa
The Bemis Family
A Kangaroo Toy arrives and the Cat has had at it.
Nellie's school mates mustn't be forgotten
The Family Cats make a fine portrait
The arrival of Rainbow Chicken greeting the family goat
By Sea or by Pram
Tiny the Cat is always good company on a rainy day
Family portrait of Pinky
A dream of flying
Apple Picking in the Farmyard
Esther's Hand Age 5
A Stenciled Native American Indian, Noble and Proud
Early Simple drawing
Why do Uncles always have such scratchy beards?

The earliest drawings are of stencils and this tracing of her younger sister's hand, along with heads traced from jar lids and story clippings fro children of the day, as Nellie becomes more confident, her drawings progress nicely.
Here are a few of the 156 drawings, there are also 21 layed-in pages of story clippings.
Holly & I purchased this book many years ago, we'd put it aside and it lay forgotten, yet this Christmas it seemed important to share it with all of you.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, Happy Hanukah, and may the sliver of the moon smile upon you for the Ramadan Season. Blessings to all, may we find mutual peace and understanding for all who inhabit this planet Earth.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Pecha Kucha Taos Volume 18, 20 x 20 September 27, 2015

Robert Cafazzo  “Paintings in Motion”

“What am I doing Here?” a book,
by Bruce Chatwin
“How Did I get Here?”
a line from Once in a Lifetime, by David Byrne
In 1991, I needed to learn how to walk again.
My Thinking was,
I already knew HOW to walk,
After all I’d been studying movement,
‘Motion’ was a major component of my paintings.
The Edweard Muybridge Motion study photographs had been my study guides.
They are Individual phases of motion mapped out,
They tell a “How To” mechanics of animal locomotion.
Yet, it’s NOT that easy,
There are unknowing subtleties,
It’s Much more complicated than it looks.

I came to Taos to Heal, to Walk, to Wander, to Explore
and to spiral out.
To Learn not just HOW to walk again
but also how to Live again.
Pronounced dead, 30 days in a hospital bed, 3 months in a wheelchair.
Soon Afterwards,
I came to Taos. 

For ME, the paintings are a narrative,
a tail told over and over again.
They are everything I Love:
From Storytelling, to Color, to Texture, to Movement, the animals and the flexibility of Meanings.

Taos is my studio,
it is the nature around me,
the animals of the desert and forest,
the animals at the farm next door.
The horses and the buffalo running straight down the Paseo! 

Through Movement, Color, Texture, Light and the Grid,
I paint Animals in Motion.

My style is that of cave paintings and petroglyphs
with a twist.

The first major gallery in New York City I exhibited with was Jus de Pomme.
The gallery director began to laugh as I unwrapped a painting.
A PINK Cave painting!
She was hooked,
Who in the world would do such a thing!

I can’t help myself,
I like the color Pink! 

For ME,
Cave paintings and petroglyphs across the world have a commonality.
In Africa and Australia the animals may be quite different from the animals of Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Yet, They all tell stories.
Many depict so much more than what humans seem to remember.
I strive to tell those stories.
The interconnectedness of the Human Race.

We used to use the phrase a “GIMICK”
What some people would call a ‘hook’,
a recognizable ‘style’ unique to your own work.
Your Voice.

An artist chooses a vehicle in which to express themselves.
What makes up that vehicle is IMPORTANT.

Artists make decisions on so many levels,
it’s amazing that any of us keep doing what we do.

Choosing a color palette,
Subject matter,
and a Style. 

Color can be quite easy
Blue and Pink are the Most beautiful colors in my palette.
Or, “Color” can be challenging…

Paint the Night sky, an artist knows that color is Not Black! 

A friend of mine said to me a while back,
what color do you like to use the least…  
…find a way to make THAT color beautiful.
For ME that color is yellow,
Fall in Taos is ALL yellow,
and I find it breathtaking! 

Here in Taos we are blessed to have a
Blinding unyielding Light,
creating color,
or washing it out,
the bluest of blues,
the brightest reds.

The creation of an ‘art colony’ in any given place,
Depends on the quality of light,
in that place. 

Movement, we all notice something ‘move’ out of the corner of our eye.
Years ago I saw Baryshnikov
‘Walk’ across a room,
he made it look so effortless,
as though he were walking on water. 

viscosity I want to pick up my paint with my hands,
to slather it onto the paintings’ surface.
Occasionally I see people
touch my paintings,
(who touches paintings?)
I have to chalk it up to that luscious textural surface. 

I also think of Agnes Martin and her GRID,
that meditative walk along the surface.
The involvement of the imperfection
of her hand as it runs up against the turmoil
of an imperfect canvas.

I THINK about making art and every artist that came before me. 

When I taught for 21 years at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston,
Boston’s Museum School.
there’d be that student who had great FEAR
of their ability to draw.
I’d tell them that if they could write,
then they already knew how to draw,
that They had a Unique ‘signature’
an ability to make a drawing that only they could create.

I’m told more and more schools will stop teaching cursive writing.

This could be the end of ART as we know it.

…and yes,
making art,
IS WORK and it’s FUN.

ART matters,
it has been with us throughout human history.

In my gallery I’m frequently asked if I teach any longer?
I always answer,
No, I do not.
Yet here I am tonight still teaching,
And still learning. 

This evening,
I am honored to have been invited
by Matt Thomas and his team here tonight.
Thanks to many of you who have encouraged me to be here tonight.

To stand here,
to learn something from the other speakers,
and hopefully,
to have taught you,
this audience here tonight,
and to have learned a bit about myself as well.
Thank You all.
Here's the link for the Video: 
Sidebar: To any of you who may be about to deliver a speech, it is true that PRACTICE makes perfect. My speech here was about 870 words total for a 6 Minute 40 Second presentation, about 130 words per minute. it was exhilarating, I was quite nervous. I'd do it again if asked, and if you are asked, do it. 20 seconds per slide image on the screen beside me, yet I was so busy saying the words I never quite saw the images. I did however highlight my script close to when each slide would change. Hopefully sometime soon, the video of this presentation will appear on Vimeo, when it does I will add the link here. Thank you to those who attended, thank you those of you who have read this post. To the many of you who were so encouraging Thank You so very very much.