Monday, January 08, 2007

The Art of Blogging

If you were to visit my downstairs bathroom, you would find three prints which I have seen so often that I rarely give any of them much thought....until two nights ago. Two nights ago I was dozing off for the evening when I thought I fell over a brilliant idea. It was a potential blog name for Papa Bear. Papa Bear has a gift for the written word, but he is an awful typist. If he were to blog it would be because I set his blog up for him, but all the conditions would have to be absolutely perfect to entice him to hunt and peck in his own virtual world. I really thought I had found the perfect title, but I was wrong....oh so VERY wrong!

In an effort to distract you for just a bit, I will introduce you to the two prints in our very tiny bathroom that were never up for consideration in the name game. The first is your typical floral print as shown below:

Written along the bottom is Pisci Odorosa (Physh family) Usually found in wet situations. Blossom has slightly scaly texture. Not suitable for long lasting arrangements.

This picture has an off-white border with an oak trim. It appears to have been purchased from Tidwell Art Gallery at 321 King Street. There is a signature on the back that is not decipherable. I believe the signature has everything to do with the frame and nothing to do with the print. I know that Papa Bear received this as a gift from his sister over 20 year ago. I queried "Pisci Odorosa" just moments ago and wound up with this eBay listing for a 1973 book entitled How Does Your Garden Grow? Nonsense was the only listing......ummmm...I pressed the Buy It Now! Button.....AAACCCKKKKK!!! $14.99 + S&H just seemed like a great deal considering the situation. I've decided I can either create my own art from the prints, add it to my book collection next to my Edward Lear A Book of Nonsense or give it to Papa Bear's sister as a present somewhere down the line. I think I've caused enough damage here. Let's move to the next picture:

This is Mary's favorite picture entitled "Ce que c'est practique!" ou "How Practical". It is printed on Kodak High Gloss paper and was purchased from Petterson Antiques, 201 King Street after 1986 and before 1992. I do not know the history of this, but an interesting detail I did just discover is that the frontside of an envelope was used to make a paper backing for the frame. On the backside of the envelope is scrawled Sure doesn't get any closer than this! Does it! -Daniel G. Petterson. Inside the envelope is a wedding invitation to his marriage ceremony with June Elizabeth Caldwell on 12/28/1986......does anyone know if he ever got married?

OK, so on we move to the last picture which may be more widely known than the other two.

This one is called The Frugal Repast by Pablo Picasso. It, too, was a gift to Papa Bear over fifteen years ago.....and what a cool name for a blog! He could feed us whatever size morsel he cared to, or not. Ah, but I never realized his feelings surrounding this print. His analysis of the scene was one of imminent separation. He sees a man clutching his love. Her glass is full and she doesn't need him. His glass is empty, the empty wine bottle is on his side, he desperately needs her, but the tighter he holds her, the more likely she will leave. With this depiction in mind there is no way Papa Bear would ever blog on a site that generates such negativity.

I still like the blog idea...oh well. I am in the process of redirecting the scene above as I see it. I think, like all art, you bring to the viewing your own baggage. How you see the art is based upon what was going on with you when you first considered the art. As this is the first week that I have actually considered this piece of work, I am still open to impressions about it. What I see is a couple who have been together for a long time. They are very comfortable together. The is woman burdened - maybe someone close to her has died, or she has just been laid off or her last child has left home or perhaps it is just late and she is tired. Whatever the case she has no appetite. The man is trying to console her. His hands are holding her gently. The bottle of wine is on his side because he just poured the last bit of wine in her glass. The man is looking away because he is distracted. It seems that both are waiting.

I think I see mutual contentment in this work because I am content in my own relationship. Without looking up anything on the periods of Picasso's life, what do you see?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Butler Family Reunion of 1917

I am posting the below photo for Naomi. It was taken three years before she was born. She is about 87 and is my 1st cousin 3 times removed. I understand that she has recently viewed Rose Butler's photo album and may be able to identify a few of those folks that I could not. I am hoping that seeing some of these faces will put a smile on her face and warm her with memories.

This photo is a copy of the original. The names of everyone here is listed on a piece of cardboard behind the photo along with a note that partially reads: "names written as Coreta Geiger Weekley gave them on 7/15/81 at reunion. Taken at George & Augusta (SPECK) Butler's house in Sparta, Ohio in August of 1917 at reunion. Walk in front is made of wood and spreads across & around house to outhouse. Barn in background belongs to them." There is also mention of notes on the original photo from the 1935 & 1939 reuinions listing the passing of 11 & 18 family members.

Coreta, my great grandmother & Naomi's 1st cousin, identified her family as follows:

Bottom Row L-R: Donald Hatton holding John Wesley Butler (Naomi's brother), next Hazel Reed, Dorothy Scarborough holding Chester Scarborough & Hoy Reed, Aunt Mary Geiger (Coreta's sister, I think the writer was taking liberties here), Floyd Shepard, Enice Shepard, Mom-Coreta Geiger- 14 yrs old.

2nd row L-R: Al Scarborough & wife Lizzie holding Lloyd Reed, Dan Butler (cousin) & wife, Great Uncle John Butler (who our uncle was named after) Mary E. Butler, Guorge & Augustus (SPECK) Butler, Uncle Henry E & Aunt Bell Butler (2nd wife of Henry), Kate Kraft

3rd row L-R: Aunt Luella & Uncle William Butler (Naomi's parents), Lena Ryan Duff (raised by Clarence Butler), Annie & John Reed, Clarence & Ora Butler (son of Henry E. Butler), Rella & Aunt Stella Hatton, Oren & Mildred Scarborough (mother of twins), John Trease & wife Ritha DIll, Burt Kraft (Lady on 2nd row's son), Grandpa & Grandma Shepard (Coreta's mother - Rose Butler Geiger Shepard & stepfather William Shepard who she considered her father - the writer is taking liberties again)

4th row L-R: Uncle John A. Butler, Kenneth Trease, Ray Butler (son of Henry E. Butler)

I'm not certain when my print was made. I am only hazarding to guess that it was reprinted in 1981 for members of that reunion when Coreta identified everyone. It is slightly fuzzy, but if any relative would like me to - I'd have absolutely no qualms with sending a reprinted reprint.