Raku Firing @ my Bargara Studio

Wheelethrown-vessels-to-be-Raku-fired

Wheelethrown-vessels-to-be-Raku-fired

Handbuilting-vessel-using-textured-coils-burnished-lid.

Handbuilting-vessel-using-textured-coils-burnished-lid.

Fresh-from-the-kiln-Raku-fired-with-post-reduction-using-seaweeds-gathered-on-the-beach.

Fresh-from-the-kiln-Raku-fired-with-post-reduction-using-seaweeds-gathered-on-the-beach.

Cooling-down

Cooling-down

Fragrant-Vessels-Brisbane-Grammar-School-Art-Show

Fragrant-Vessels-Brisbane-Grammar-School-Art-Show

Part-of-Fragrant-Vessels-work-for-the-Brisbane-Grammar-School-Art-Show

Part-of-Fragrant-Vessels-work-for-the-Brisbane-Grammar-School-Art-Show

Too-hot-to-handle-work-for-the-Brisbane-Grammar-School-Art-Show

Too-hot-to-handle-work-for-the-Brisbane-Grammar-School-Art-Show

Still-in-flames

Still-in-flames

Summer-Nights-Raku-vessel-to-be-shown-in-BRAG

Summer-Nights-Raku-vessel-to-be-shown-in-BRAG

I love doing my Raku firing late at night- no noise, no people, no interference of any kind- i need to be in full focus!!  But after many firings for the whole week finishing my Raku way past midnight I decided to have an early session- as the sun was going down. It had some impact on the title of the work- check my Summer Night- one can feel the breeze !!

Advertisements

Passion Play (now titled RED) gets used by Mr. Walton. YES!

Mr. Walton used one of my paintings AGAIN. I love this! This painting, 18×18″ is now at Unsettled Gallery in Las Cruces.

Brutalizing Greece by Todd Walton 

passion play 2Passion Play by Nolan Winkler

“Greece should go back to a national currency to have more autonomous decision-making with regards to it own economy, which it needs if it wants to pave a more sustainable path.” Jennifer Hinton, co-author of How on Earth: Flourishing in a Not-for-Profit World by 2050

Near the top of the list of horrible things I’ve witnessed in my life are the beatings of small weak defenseless people at the hands of big strong brutal people. We had two big vicious bullies at my elementary school, and when I started Third Grade, I was sick with fear for days after I saw those two brutes pummel a little boy. And the more I read about what the international hedge fund criminal banking consortium and their elected lackeys Merkel and Obama are doing to Greece, the more I feel the same disgust and hopelessness I felt when I watched those giants beating that little boy.

“The Greek government should nationalize the banks and encourage people to start credit unions.” Jennifer Hinton

Mainstream American media outlets are reporting on the Greek financial crisis in the same way they report on everything: falsely. Yes, the situation is somewhat more complicated than how points are scored in baseball, but not much more. Greece had a corrupt government further corrupted by entanglement with Wall Street bankers and investment firms, specifically Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs. Lloyd got the Greek government to borrow billions of dollars to invest in the great stock and toxic asset bubble that burst in 2008. Rather than punish Lloyd or the corrupt Greek bankers and the corrupt government officials for their folly, the international banking system demanded that the Greek government pay off the astronomical debt by cutting pensions, raising taxes on everyone except the rich, selling public property and public utilities to multinational corporations, and forcing Greece to borrow more money to keep paying the interest on the money owed to the criminals who had ruined their economy.

That’s what happened. Today Greece is in a deep economic depression because hundreds of thousands of doctors, computer programmers, engineers, college professors, and other well-educated and employable people fled the country rather than stay there and starve under the heel of the vicious bullies who keep beating the crap out of Greece, though Greece is already supine and literally in its economic death throes.

“Greece should keep for-profit interests from buying up its common wealth.” Jennifer Hinton

Sadly, as Robert Reich reminds us, “People seem to forget that the Greek debt crisis—which is becoming a European and even possibly a world economic crisis—grew out of a deal with Goldman Sachs, engineered by Goldman’s Lloyd Blankfein.”

Lloyd Blankfein is the current CEO of Goldman Sachs, an American Wall Street banking and investment firm that is the headquarters of the supranational financial overlords. Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton are the current darlings of Goldman Sachs, which suggests, barring a Bernie Sanders miracle, that Hilary will be the next President of the Unites States. The Republican candidates are so silly and/or terrifying that it should be no great trick to scare the voters of America into voting for Hilary, who will campaign on a platform of…wait for it…helping the beleaguered middle class, never mind about anyone lower than the shrinking middle; they don’t vote much anyway.

We will be told that Hilary will appoint better Supreme Court justices than her Republican opponent, she will be better for women’s rights in general, and that she really cares about the people of America. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you and I’ll give you the name of my very good friend who will build you the tollbooth after your check to me clears. We will not be told that Hilary has been chosen by the international oligarchy currently destroying the earth and forcing the Greeks and anybody else who defies them to suffer and starve and die needlessly for lack of basic human services and decent medical care. And if you don’t believe that, you live in a different dimension than I do.

“The Greek government should encourage not-for-profit enterprise in every sector to prevent the extraction of profits from the real economy and encourage social entrepreneurs and innovators to start up their own not-for-profits. These enterprises would help alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Greece, create a more stable economy and keep the financial surplus in the real economy.” Jennifer Hinton

During recess at the beginning of Fifth Grade, I happened upon those two big bullies beating the crap out of a kid who had just skipped Fourth Grade and was now in my class. He was half the size of the bullies and was being badly beaten, while a gaggle of boys and girls stood nearby watching in horror and feeling helpless.

I liked this kid who was getting beaten up. He was funny and smart and he laughed at my jokes. So because I liked him, and maybe because I’d had a recent growth spurt and was feeling cocky, I grabbed one of the bullies by the arm, pulled him away from the kid and said, “Leave him alone,” which inspired the bullies to start pummeling me. I, however, was a fairly large kid and started swinging wildly at those big idiots and one of my swings connected with one of the bully’s cheeks and he yelped like a dog when you accidentally step on his tail, and the next thing I knew four of my pals were fighting the bullies with me, and lo and behold the big meanies ran away.

If only there was some way for us, you and I and a few hundred million other people, to come to the aid of the Greeks against those big greedy sadistic idiot money monsters. I’m not talking about helping Greece pay off the criminally created debt. I’m talking about helping them start anew after the bullies finally leave them alone.

11th hour change

landscape 2 sm landscape sm

Last week I was looking at two small canvasses recently painted with red earth and blue sky and decided to cut them free of their stretchers, adhere them to boards I’d prepared for encaustic and applied a few layers of wax. Seeing the painting through the wax was not unlike looking out onto the landscape through heat haze and I liked the texture. After adding some Japanese tissue paper, fabric, some incising, their names, ‘Early Moon’ and ‘Coy Moon’, jumped out at me for a change. These latecomers will now be part of our wbhd show!

Centerpiece II: Cholla and Desert Bird of Paradise

Centerpiece II: Cholla and Desert Bird of Paradise, oil on linen 16x12 in by Jean Reece Wilkey

Centerpiece II: Cholla and Desert Bird of Paradise, oil on linen, 16×12 in, © Jean Reece Wilkey

It’s the monsoon season now, but we’ve had an unusual amount of rain all spring so the desert treated us to an wonderful visual display. The Cholla cactus flowers are so bright they tend to look fake, and the yellow feathery blossoms of the Desert Bird of Paradise remind me of the Mimosa tree we had in the front yard of my childhood home in Texas.

Centerpiece II, like the Centerpiece I, shows vases holding desert blooms on a briefly indicated table. The landscape forms a backdrop to the scene as it does in our lives. The flowers serve as the table’s centerpiece but in a more formal sense the imagery is also centered. According to scientists, we are biologically wired to like order and so often find formal design pleasing. It’s a little thing we can control about our world and our lives.

I’ve been thinking a lot about order and chaos in art. I love this idea from Alfred North Whitehead: “Order is the lure of beauty; and beauty is the teleology (or purpose) of the universe.”

This painting will be shown at Unsettled Gallery. You can read more about these on my blog.

Pomegranate

Here’s the latest of my paintings for the Wide Bay High Desert show.

pomegranate flower

It’s titled Pomegranate Flower and it’s 8″ x 8″, oil on panel.

The flower is picked from a pomegranate bush in our front yard. It’s been raining a lot this summer and as a result our yard has become very lush. The pomegrante bush is a prime example of rain’s benefits. This is a special plant to me. It was given to me several years ago by my graduate painting students. It was a thoughtful gift. They knew that I often used pomegranates as subject matter in my work. I’m happy that this bush is flourishing, because it has special meaning to me.

pomegrenate bush         Pomegranate Bush

The pomegranate fruit has many symbolic meanings.

In particular the pomegranate plays a significant role in the myth of Persephone. Persephone was carried off to the underworld by Hades. Her mother Demeter was enraged and as revenge prevented Earth’s crops from growing. Zeus intervened and negotiated an arrangement between Demeter and Hades, but unfortunately Persephone had already eaten a seed from a pomegranate, fruit of the underworld. Because of .and during that time no crops would grow on Earth.
Thus the pomegrenate can be  a symbol for the change of seasons.

In many religions the pomegranate is a much used symbol, as in this detail of the painting  Madonna and the Pomegranate by Botticelli.

madonna-of-the-pomegranate-sandro-botticelli

In general, the pomegrenate symbolizes fertility, abundance, sexuality, and everlasting life among other things. It’s rich red color and lucious interior make it a fitting subject for painting.

f3850f84ffd42be83f436aa0dd78e3b3

Giovanna Garzoni    Pomegranate with Chestnuts