Tell me a Story: November 2021

I thought I had one more day to get my blog done, but apparently not, Tell me a Story goes live in the morning. Family vacations are fun, and one of the things I wanted to do while we were in Tampa, South Florida, was to head to the Salvador Dali museum. I honesty did not see it happening, but Amy said she was keen to go, and Kathryn wanted to go as well, so we made a trip of it.

I love Dali’s artwork that goes without saying, but what I had seen from researching the venue was the incredible architecture of the building. I could not wait to get inside and see what there was to see.

Just a heads up if you are visiting, and plan to take photographs. Limit yourself to your camera and 1 lens. They do not allow backpacks in the premises. You have to leave them in your car, or put them in a locker. I understand they are worried about things going missing but to be honest the artwork was not going to fit into my camera bag, and I was not happy that I was expected to leave a $800 camera lens in the car. Fortunately Amy had a diaper bag and I could leave my lens inside there but remember that if you are visiting.

Immediately I am so impressed with the structure of the building, and the lattice type effect of the huge dome window. The internal staircase was amazing. What you are seeing above is the tip of the staircase

Amy and Luka in front of this interesting outlook
The central staircase going from the lower to the upper floor.

The sign next to the cracked effect of the window said the following: “Photographer Lee Miller broke boundaries of convention, technique and decorum to help shape the understanding of our own human possibilities. Our enigma glass is “broken” in her honor. How might you break boundaries?

Salvador Dali was born in Figueres, Spain in 1904, and lived both in Spain and in the USA. I have always know Dali for his abstract work, and love his art, but I did not know that he also was influenced by the Impressionist era as seen above, and at a later stage Catholicism. Below are two of my favorite abstracts.

Daddy Longlegs of the evening – Hope!
Fantasies Diurnes

The above image was titled “Portrait of my dead brother”. What fascinated me is how he created the image using dots and such interesting shapes. From what I read Dali had hope that the mysteries of religion would be revealed through physics and molecular biology. This image is one of the large canvases that he created. To see this in full size is incredible.

Below is a stunning image of a Woman looking out on a sunny day. The title to the artwork says the following ” Gala contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at Twenty Meters becomes the portrait of Abraham Lincoln – Homage to Rothko (Second Version). When I look at the image in a small version I see Abraham Lincoln perfectly. When I look at this image I see Gala contemplating the Mediterranean Sea.

Below are two more abstract paintings that appealed to me. The first image is titled “Oeufs sur le Plat sans le Plat” (Eggs on the plate without the plate). The second is titled “Enchanted Beach with Three Fluid Graces. That particular painting really appeals to me.

As I mentioned earlier Dali was influenced by Catholicism, and the was apparent in some of his images. Below the image is titled “Galacidalacidesoxiribunucleicacid” (Homage to Crick and Watson).

Below this image is titled “The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.

There are so many more images and I did not do justice to his famous image “The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory. Go look it up – it is a stunning piece in my mind, and often reminds me of the Pink Floyd some “Time”.

Below I spent some time looking at different angles of this incredible structure before we headed outside to view the Garden.

Kathryn and Cody

I loved the different angles and shapes and reflections I could see in each setting. The dome type effect just fascinated me.

Kathryn and Cody at the famous representation of the Dali mustache.

The artwork above was titled “Christ of St. John of the Cross”.

Amy taking a break at the clock bench.
A tiny bird with a Dali mustache.

The we were back inside at the base of the staircase and I managed to get these last two images before we headed out. I love spiraling staircases and the effect that this had was amazing.

Lastly we snapped a shot of Cody in the gardens. Kathryn struggles with serious arthritis, and Cody is her service dog. He does an amazing job of being there for her to help her along the way. A silent disease like arthritis sometimes has people looking at you and asking what is wrong, why do you need a service dog, why do you need a wheelchair? Like many others Kathryn has good days and bad days, and we are grateful that Cody is there to assist her.

If you are heading to the Tampa area in South Florida, I would encourage you to take some time to visit the museum. Just remember no backpacks, or you are going to be as unhappy as I was heading in.

Thank you for joining me this month.  This is a circle blog so take some time to view what the other artist has for you this month. My friend Arthur of Lupji Photography is up next. I look forward to reading what he has to share.

Share Six: November 2021: transform

Can you believe it is November? It has been a long, weary year and I, for one, am glad it is nearly over. I am starting out praying that 2022 is going to be a better a year.

When I arrived home this evening I had an idea how my blog was going to go and yet when I sat down to edit my photo’s, my mind went in a completely different direction.

In my mind I could hear Barbara Streisand’s voice. She has the most dramatic and engaging voice and I have always loved how she carries me along in harmony within a beautiful song.

Tonight as I was editing, I could hear the words “Send in the clowns”

Isn’t it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground
You in mid-air
Send in the clowns

Isn’t it bliss?
Don’t you approve?
One who keeps tearing around
One who can’t move
Where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns

~ Frank Sinatra

If you want to hear Barbara Streisand singing this beautiful song, click here.

While the story behind the song really doesn’t have anything to do with my blog, the clowns do.

Clowns {transform} from a normal human being to someone so incredibly engaging when their faces are painted, their garments are draped across their bodies, the big shoes go on, a breath is taken and the curtain is raised.

I love clowns. I loved them as a child and I love them now. At the circus, the clowns were my favorite. I remember Tickey. He was a tiny little clown and you can see a wee bit of him here as he performs in his tiny tartan kilt. Oh we were so young, and the circus was a favorite place to go. Even today clowns transform for me. They change me from sad to happy. I loved to see their smiling faces looking backing me back then, and I still do today.   I still have have about 30 of them. Mainly small and packed in a box. I had one large clown with a ceramic face that I still have out today. He sits on the cabinet in my office and I am happy to have him in my space.

In fact I was looking for photo’s of my son and came across a photo of his room and a child and it was filled with clowns. Probably a nightmare for any child when I think about it, but clearly my obsession. I wanted bright primary colors. But looking at these photos today I was a little overboard. Polystyrene clowns, fabric clowns, porcelain clowns, hanging clowns, bookend clowns. Okay the nightlight clown was a little creepy at night when it’s red nose shone brightly. If I look closely there was even a clown calendar. Seriously, a lot of clowns. Poor kid, I said “no wonder he is such a comedian today”. Below are my 32 year old photo’s of my clown obsession and Cameron’s bedroom. I noticed my bag was packed and ready to head off to the hospital.

I had a mother in law that was an incredibly talented at sewing toys. If it was sewn, it was by her. My kids had so many stuffed toys. If a glue gun or polystyrene cutter was used, it was me. I also sewed the duvet and curtains. My how times have changed. Luka has a very sedate bedroom compared to the riot of color that Cameron had.

Two weekends ago we happened to go and visit Cameron in a little town in the middle of nowhere Florida, called Lake Placid. And yes it does have gators. This little town is another example of transformation. They took this “I just passed through a town” town with some lakes, and made it into a destination place to visit. The catch, for the tourist, is all the murals you will find on the walls around town. I have shared them in the past, but I never got to see the clown museum. I just took photo’s on the outside of the building this time but perhaps next time I will actually go in. The colors on the outside of the building certainly transform the building and this small portion of the town.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica clowns date back to the times of ancient Greece typically as a secondary character. They were also found in Roman times typically wearing a patchwork robe and a pointy hat. In the latter half of the 16th centaury the Harlequin became famous. He was often found in a black domino and in general his behavior featured slapstick comedy. Clowns were found in the English plays by Shakespeare, and in Germay, traveling English actors introduced clowns to the German society.

In the 17th Centaury, the white faced clown, made his appearance. However, the earliest true clown was Joseph Grimaldi, also affectionately known as “Joey”. He as known for slapstick beatings, tumbling and physical tricks.

Why do clowns wear red noses? According to the web it could be traced back to 3 brothers who became a trio in 1909. Each had their own character and designed face. One of the brothers had a white face and represented a elegant but self-important clown, another took the middle of the road between the two brothers, and the last brother took on dark eyebrows and an overstated face with a red nose. Known as the Auguste clown, this clown is typically a joker and who has overstated features and wearing ill fitting clothes.

I did not know that there are actually master clowns and the 4 well known master clowns are Otto Griebling, Bobby Kaye, and Lou Jacobs and Glen Little. Finally a bit of information I was not aware of – I did wonder if clowns could patent their face but apparently it is very hard to stop another clown from copying their faces, but it is not encouraged. To keep track of all the different clown faces, an artist was hired to paint the faces as a record onto eggs.

For me Cirque Du Soleil is a wonderful big tent adventure. While the acrobatics are out of this world, and I have to say I am super impressed, it’s the clowns that garner the laughter with their antics. I have seen the Beatles Cirque, and last year we saw Alegria. Even in that dramatic show, they had clowns. Apparently Corteo is about the life of clowns – I may need to watch out for that one but right now it is in Norway.

Clowns have the most amazing way of engaging young and old, taking a sad face to one of joy and laughter.

“I think I will be a clown when I get grown” said Dill. “Yes sir, a clown…. there ain’t one thing this world that I can do about folks except laugh, so I’m gonna join the circus and laugh my head off”

“You got it backwards, Dill” said Jem. “Clowns are sad, it’s folks that laugh them.”

“Well, I’m gonna be a new kind of clown. I’m gonna stand in the middle of the ring and laugh at the folks”

~ Harper Lee

This is a circle blog and as I mentioned, we have some very talented ladies in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. My incredibly artistic friend Elizabeth of It’s Still life Photography by Elizabeth Willson is up next is up next. I can’t wait to see what she has to share. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page. Definitely check out her incredible art.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_transform

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.