Monday, March 25, 2013

What Was In Your Easter Basket?

Mike Twohy / The New Yorker Collection / Issue Publication Date: 04/12/1993
Mike Twohy/ The New Yorker Collection 4/12/1993 

Centuries ago, spring was seen as a time of new life and renewal. An ancient Middle Eastern custom was to take baskets of seedlings to the fertility goddess Eostre to ensure a good harvest. The goddess carried a basket of eggs which represented new life. What we think of as Easter baskets originated in Germany. The Easter Hare would leave baskets of goodies in a "nest" for the children. In the Roman Catholic Church, the tradition of a large Easter meal symbolized the end of Lenten fasting. The feast was brought to the church in baskets to be blessed by the priest.

When I was little, my brother and I were allotted one dozen eggs and a Paas Egg Dying kit. Our eggs always turned out either very pale or grayish. We had the same pretty baskets every year which would usually contain a chocolate bunny and some jelly beans. My son's Easter basket would have candy and, of course, twelve eggs (he is an only child so he got them all) and a small Lego set. He made out like a bandit though when we got to Grandma and Grandpas for Easter dinner. Have a nice relaxing Easter. I have included a link to a site with ideas for making your own Easter baskets.
--Lynn Conaway


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ordinary Vessels as Art

Back in the olden days artists often included ordinary, everyday objects in their art. Still life paintings which became popular in the sixteenth century actually exalted the value of simple everyday things. Items were arranged in a small scene, often described as a staged reality. Seventeenth century painter Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin is considered a master of the still life. Because he was too poor to hire models Vincent van Gogh would often paint pictures of the ordinary objects around him.

Still Life with Three Bottles and an Earthenware Vessel
van Gogh


Still Life with Copper Vessel
Jean Cardin

Contemporary artists still use ordinary objects but the objects may not just be pictured in the art, they ARE the art. Now days artists want viewers to see a new kind of reality.


---Lynn and Carole

Monday, March 4, 2013

How would a photographer answer the Vessels call?

I was thinking about how a photographer might interpret the Call to Artists in the Vessels show, since it is open to any medium. There are many examples of fine art in the Old Masters that depict vessels of all sorts. But I began thinking about contemporary photographers and from there my thoughts turned to Anne Geddes, who is known for placing babies in fanciful costumes and vessels. I know, I know -- you fine art photographers are probably saying, 'You'v got to be kidding me." 
Geddes -- I know, I know -- is very commercial. She’s sold more than 18 million books and 13 million calendars. I’m not sure how fellow photographers view her work artistically, but you can't argue that she certainly is successful. And I’m sorry, but I love baby photos. So in hopes this inspires some photographer to consider how to respond to a call for vessels art, below is a sampler of Geddes.
There's a comment line below. If you'd care to offer your thoughts on how photographers might meet the show parameters, please do.  
Everyone please remember the  deadline to submit is May 1. See the rules here in our archive or at
--Nancy Berlier