Saturday, August 22, 2020

Artist Highlights: M.C.Escher

 Image result for esher artist biographyImage result for esher artist biography

Image result for esher artist biography

Our artist highlights today focuses on one of the most amazing illusion artists known at M.C. Escher.  I recall creating an art lesson plan for elementary school.  All the students enjoyed it and how similarities to Salvador Dali might have inspired each other's works.   Many factors could have influenced his work, such as time period.   

He was by far one of the most exceptional graphic artists of his time.  Born in the Netherlands in 1898 and in a family of four siblings.  

Personally I have been to the Netherlands and a truly beautiful country and I recall the people very proud. A lot of bicycles, too.    He dabbled at the School of Architecture and decorative Arts.  It was graphic arts that he pursued.   I assume he was not supported by his father in his decision but a teacher who directed him in his pursuits of his career.   

After he married, he resided in Italy that encouraged his realistic works of art of lithographs.  It seemed he was drawn to metamorphosis of animals, design of architecture and contrasts.  During ghis lifetime Escher made 448 lithographs, woodcuts and wood engravings and more than 2000 drawings and sketches.   He was also left handed.  In addition he worked as a graphic artist illustrating and designing books, carets, stamps, and murals.    A genius of his time he truly is still remembered today by his works that play with our perspective.  I would have to gather he connected with his subconsciousness very well with a photographic mind.  The way he saw his world drew us in to his very well indeed.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Separation's Eve

A Pennske truck slowed in a school district, its headlights picking out a car that had stopped at a speed bump.

In the driver's seat, Ed grumbled. "Another speed bump phobic. He must have a full glass of water on the dash. Add that to the list of people I'd send to Mars."

"It's quite a list by now," said the dwarf Hecabano. "Before that, it was those who hang an arm out the window."

"And," Wicca added, "who walk with palms facing the rear. And--"

"Okay, okay."Ed took an alternate route to stay on schedule. The trip to Pennsylvania had already been delayed by rioters. Wicca's magic put them all to sleep so they could pass the war zone. It also afforded the vampire Cambris an orgiastic romp. She was full as a tick.

Suddenly Ed hit the brakes at a restaurant, targeting another of the offending signs that set him off.

"Here we go again," Wicca said.

Ed made some alterations with a magnum Sharpie, then sprinted back to the truck. The sign now read NQ MA8R NQ 8BRV+GB.

"It looks Russian," Hecabano pointed out. "One would never know it once said NO MASK NO SERVICE."

Ed tucked the marker away. "Well, if I'm a vandal, I'm also a thief, since I had to klep the marker outta personnel. And speaking of the studio, Wicca looks like somebody stole her favorite dolly."

"Humorous, Ned." The horror show hostess glowered. "If this is our last supply run before it all blows up, there goes my show. And I'm nobody in Outworld!"

They arrived at the nature park as they always did. Wicca blanked the cameras and opened the mag-lock gate. The truck lumbered to a stop in front of a destroyed statue of William Penn. This time it didn't goad Ed.

"Who cares?" he said. "I'm flyin' on Sharpie fumes. Anyway, I see the mermaids made it."

The three performers from Six Forks Palladium waited near an impressive pile of suit cases. Binia, Sirtis and Ellie had traveled from the east coast for Wicca's invite to tour Outworld.

"Holy cow." Ed climbed down to survey the trunks and cases. "We have stuff in Outworld. You got encyclopedias in there?"

Blonde Binia was perched on a trunk. "I don't know, Ed. There may be nothing to come back to. Coming in earlier, we saw a mermaid statue someone had broken up."

"Why would they do that?" wondered the brunette Sirtis.

Ed spread arms for the obvious answer. "Because it's a statue!" Wicca and Hecabano laughed, but Cambris remained attuned to the night sounds. Those nearby had gone silent.

"Let's get movin'," Ed decided. Wicca donned a magic mask depicting an Oktoberfest gentleman, which would allow them to walk into the illusory hillside. They began unloading the truck of goodies unavailable on the other side: sodas and snacks, magazines, cosmetics, specialty foods, batteries, CDs. . . .the list was long.

The mermaids followed Wicca through the gateway with their possessions. It was their first view of the Archon plane, the universal hub between an infinity of dimensions. An endless domed lattice soared above, looking out on a nebula. Fantastic structures and bridges were guarded by tall, black-robed Archons, who admitted the proper mask for a specific dimension.

"Ours is that way," Wicca said. "It's a depressed arena with lots of doors. Don't open any but the one I show you. Otherwise, you let out a horde of freaks ready to rumble."

Cambris, in bat form, flapped ahead toward the new home of the Dracula brides. Everyone else made frequent trips from the truck until Hecabano pushed the last cart through the arrival tunnel.

"Is that everything?" Ed asked. Wicca had bespelled a park guard to return the rental truck.

Wicca crossed arms glumly. "My Mercedes certainly isn't here. But then, there aren't any gas stations on the other side. Or auto mechanics."

Trailing the group, Hecabano shook a fist at the Earth tunnel. "We'll be back! I think. . . ."

Monday, August 17, 2020

Art from Nature

 Fall Autumn Tree Clip Art. A simple clip art illustration of a tree with fall and autumn colored leaves in red, yellow and orange - isolated on white background stock illustration

Fall is just around the corner. With the pandemic that has created so much chaos in all directions I'm gonna do what I know how, create and focus on the art and writing projects at hand.  All kinds of questions come up, will there be an annual corn maze this year?  County fairs are already postponed this year which is a bummer.  What are we supposed to do this fall?  There are lots to do and many of us take a lot for granted and get back to the simplicity things of life.   Getting closer to our loved ones.  Be kinder to others no matter what.

Try a new hobby.  Try making up  a nice fairy garden from nature.  Rocks, pebbles, moss and slate rocks.  You can paint the twigs and made a very nice display. 

Fairy garden in a flower pot outdoors. Fairy garden with a white picket fence, gazing balls and pond in a flower pot stock photos

Try a nice new soup.  Is everyone into pumpkin?  Somehow I could never get into Starbuck's pumpkin lattes.  It just seemed I never developed a taste for it.    Seems like it is going to be a different fall and we're keeping our eyes on our candidates who will win America to lead her next.

Pumpkin cream soup on rustic wooden table. Pumpkin cream soup, seeds and dry autumn leaves on rustic wooden table stock photography

Art from nature is one of those things, almost like getting back to out primitive roots..  We uses the materials that are around us.  For some reason kids can do it really great.  Gather up some fallen leaves and make leaf prints.  Get a green, brown, orange or yellow crayon and take off the paper wrapper.  Lay the leaves under white construction paper  Run the crayon over the paper and see the impression that comes up.  It's really nice.  Below is one my daughter made when she was four.  Try out some other herbs etc.  and flowers, they are such a nice way to make greeting cards for family and friends. 

When you're not writing, take a break and do something different.  Enjoy art from nature however you see fit. 

Soul Sleep

The lucid state: a knife edge between sleep and waking, harnessing the full cognitive power of the brain, generating dreams of perfect reality. The difficulty lies in maintaining that delicate balance for a satisfying length of time. But as for everything else, they make a pill for that. A sandy-haired youth in a black jacket can attest to it.

Brent marched his shadow elf around the floating city, setting off TNT kegs to destroy hordes of skeletons and giants. He took wild chances, punching the giants, dodging their predictable, programmed club smashes. Only someone who had played the "Soul Break" stage two thousand times  could get away with that. Inevitably he grew jaded.

With the game complete, he settled back to contemplate a vial of sickly orange fluid. That had been a quest in itself. He'd spent months on lucid dream sites earning enough trust to track it down. It was guaranteed to induce a long-lasting lucid state, that phenomenon he'd experienced only twice--and briefly at that, because the shock always kicked  him out. The potion would prevent that.

Having primed his mind with the game, he quaffed the sour tonic and got ready for bed. The priming was vital: it wouldn't do to come awake in a random dream, where telephones were wired to the floor, or some such dumbness. What a waste. He scratched irritably at a mosquito bite on his ear.

He was in a small, ornate cell he knew well--the start of the game. Brent exited to the familiar foyer flanked by two other doors. Forty such doors must be opened, releasing captive spirits to win the game, and these two were pretty much freebies. He touched the red button on each. Blue spirits came running out, then evaporated joyously. Freed at long last. Thirty-eight to go.

He pushed a keg halfway up the corridor, attracting notice of two skeletal pikemen, touching the fuse button when they were two squares distant. This made them arrive just in time to get blown to bits. It was Brent's first inkling of a problem: dreams had no sensory input beyond sight and sound. But the deafening blast had knocked him down and scraped a knee. Maybe it was a touch of irony in how his shadow elf had inflicted major pain of thousands of foes.

Moving on, he tried to pick up a fallen halberd, but of course it wouldn't budge. Grimly he worked his way down twisting passages, littering the place with scorch marks and bits of bone. The first of the arenas guarded by giants was a pulse-pounding experience. But that same experience had Brent on autopilot. He dashed to a dead end, dodging skeletal archers, and quickly moved four barrels as a barrier. When the giant stomped in, he lit the first fuse, which chained all four kegs. Added to the sensory tally was the stench of death when the giant went up in gobs of meat.

An arrow nicked his thigh as he raced around the arena freeing the three souls there. Blood. This had not been a good idea. It only got worse when he encountered the coldmage on the east platform. The boney magician threw bolts of sizzling cold, and near misses stung Brent with sharp icicles. Yet he pressed on, now at the halfway mark.

An unfamiliar door appeared next to one of the spirit doors when he reached the airship chamber. Was it the way home? He couldn't risk it, because the denizen would probably ask him if he'd freed all the souls. He blocked it with barrels just in case, and moved on.

At last Brent had destroyed five giants and a hundred boneys, coming full circle back to the mysterious door. He stared at it, feeling the chill moan of wind that ghosted through the city. He was actually sweating. Phantom screams echoed from somewhere. Summoning some grits, he reached across the barrels to touch the red button.

He should have known the barrels wouldn't stop her. Cut scenes could not be interfered with. She glided forth and levitated over the barrels, this black-skinned woman in gold African armor. Very scanty armor. Programmers needed to get out of the house more often.

"Wait--I know you," Brent croaked. "You're Sylea, the vampire who bites the hero on the ear, so he or she can wear a second magic earring. But you aren't supposed to be here. Your cell is at the Citadel of Pain." Now he remembered. The mosquito bite, and the whole thing about the ear. Damn! Maybe she was a construct of his own mind, but it didn't make her any less dangerous.

Her kittenish voice startled him. "Have you brought me my blood vine?" That tasty plant was found in the Gothic Castle, and was key to her dubious favor.

Brent gulped. "Well, no, but I've freed all the souls. The game is over."

"This will only hurt for a moment," she purred.

She remained perfectly on script, and Brent began to relax. A hole in his ear was a small enough price to pay. Once he was safely back in his bed, he'd reflect on how awesome this was. He turned his head to present an ear.

Sylea turned his head back to face her. "I was really hoping for the blood vine. There is only one thing that is better." It wasn't his ear that her fangs were coming for.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Dirk shouted toward the kitchen. "Hey Mike, here he is!"

 A sandy-haired youth in a black jacket ran toward Dirk's brawny warrior. "Get me outta here!"

"You don't always see him," Dirk explained as Mike perched next to him on the sofa. "But he's sneaky, so you have to stay sharp." The youth didn't notice the lit keg at a blind corner. El blammo!
"Ha haa! What a dufe. What a dweebus!"

"What happens if he catches you?" Mike asked.

"He latches on like a leech, slowin' you down, and your chance of gettin' killed goes way up."

Mike laughed. "These programmers have a sense of humor, tossin' in a real guy like that."

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Hitchcock: Undone by a bug, as it were. I recall something similar happening to Jeff Goldblum in "The Fly". I suppose we shall need a suitable moral for our tale: If you play with dynamite, use plenty of bug spray.