Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Huichol Yarn Art

I love these yarn paintings for the vivid colors (again!) and the phantasmagorical subject matter.

The Huichol can be found in the most remote regions of the Sierra Madre mountains in Mexico. Today, the Huichol number only about 10,000.

These paintings serve as pages of their history, an explanation of the world they live in, and an accounting of good and evil. Each color, every line, every symbol, no matter how abstract, has a meaning.

White represents the cloud spirits. Blue is the south, the Pacific Ocean, water, rain, and femininity. The rabbit and serpent represent fertility. Red is the east, grandfather, fire, and masculinity. Green is the earth, heaven, healing, and the heart. The eagle is a divine guardian. The two-headed eagle is god looking all ways at once. The figure, with what appears to be long protrusions from his head, is a shaman talking with gods or the spirits. The deer represents peyote and the link between the shaman and the great spirit. Flowers, which always adorn their artwork represent the passageways of the heart.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Mexican Blankets

Just because I like the vibrant colors.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Guell Park

Guell Park-Barcelona. Here you have the fabulous and bizarre genius of Antoni Gaudi in park form. My son said it looked like Dr. Seuss land--it’s hard not to agree. You know you're in a special place when you can catch the kids on camera in a rare bout of sibling affection.

Valle Crucis

Valle Crucis, Wales. So you're driving your car down the road and you just never know what's around the corner. And there...right before your eyes...materializes a magnificent 12th century abbey you didn't even know existed! It's why we travel.

The layout of the abbey largely followed the standard Cistercian plan. The abbey church accommodated both the choir monks, who spent their time in prayer and contemplation, and the lay brethren who undertook more mundane duties, such as agricultural work, enabling the community, at least in its early years, to remain largely self-sufficient. The monks observed their daily offices in the choir, beneath the crossing of the church, separated by a screen from the lay brethren who worshipped in the nave.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Painter of Light™

Ah…Thomas Kinkade, the beloved Painter of Light™. Beyond goofy?..corporate kitsch?…sentimental crap?..no, no, no…he’s much more. Here you have a choice selection from his little known collection "Demons of the Apocalypse”. And you thought he was just into feeding off the clueless who have just a wee bit too much disposable income.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Scottish Borders

This is Ferniehirst, not a mini castle, but a fortified house in southern Scotland. Notice the gun holes in the tower-it must have been pretty wild back in the day. Parts of this place are over 500 years old, so that means most of the population were then living in mud huts and the gun holes must have come in handy. Also pictured are my two lovely children-back when they were good and pre-teen. The zombie-like demeanor they are affecting is most likely due to the vast amounts of culture they were exposed to that day. Oh well, at their age and beyond, my eyes would glaze over very quickly in similiar situations. So, it’s an old tradition to torture the children in this fashion. Some day, when they’re old like me, they’ll think that it was cool, maybe.