Wednesday, December 12, 2012

twelve twelve twelve

Did you know that Munch painted multiple copies of his most famous work?  He also did it in pastels and then made a lithograph though the stone was accidentally destroyed after a short run of prints. 
Here are four 'original' Screams:

and a copy of it which seems to be everywhere!  Munch didn't do tattoos!

The original German title given to the work by Munch is, Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature). The Norwegian word skrikusually is translated as scream, but is cognate with the English shriek. Occasionally, the painting also has been called, The Cry.
In his diary in an entry headed, Nice 22 January 1892, Munch described his inspiration for the image:
One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord—the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The color shrieked. This became The Scream.
This memory was later rendered by Munch as a poem, which he hand-painted onto the frame of the 1895 pastel version of the work:
I was walking along the road with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.
Among theories advanced to account for the reddish sky in the background is the artist's memory of the effects of the powerful volcanic eruption of Krakatoa, which deeply tinted sunset skies red in parts of the Western hemisphere for months during 1883 and 1884, about a decade before Munch painted The Scream. This explanation has been disputed by scholars, who note that Munch was an expressive painter and was not primarily interested in literal renderings of what he had seen. Alternatively, it has been suggested that the proximity of both a slaughterhouse and a lunatic asylum to the site depicted in the painting may have offered some inspiration. The scene was identified as being the view from a road overlooking Oslo, the Oslofjord and Hovedøya, from the hill of Ekeberg. At the time of painting the work, Munch's manic depressive sister Laura Catherine was a patient at the asylum at the foot of Ekeberg.
In 1978, the Munch scholar Robert Rosenblum suggested that the strange, sexless creature in the foreground of the painting was inspired by a Peruvian mummy, which Munch could have seen at the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris. This mummy, which was buried in a fetal position with its hands alongside its face, also struck the imagination of Munch's friend Paul Gauguin: it stood as a model for the central figure in his painting, Human misery (Grape harvest at Arles) and for the old woman at the left in his painting, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?. More recently, an Italian anthropologist speculated that Munch might have seen a mummy in Florence's Museum of Natural History, which bears an even more striking resemblance to the painting.
The imagery of The Scream has been compared to that which an individual suffering from depersonalization disorder experiences, a feeling of distortion of the environment and one's self.   (mostly mined from wikipedia)
In Other News:   Over on Facebook everybody is posting a dozen of this and a dozen of that, so here is my offering-  Twelve New Brushes!  They arrived today and I'm itchy to try them-  silicone so I can use them with encaustics.  I got several different brush sizes and cuts, and 5 or 6 scrapers of different kinds, all in pretty colors.  If I like them in use, I'll get a few more.  They are safe up to 500 degrees, and the encaustics are liquid at a far lower temperature.  Stay tuned for the working report!

The Mindless Daily Report on What I do to Justify My Existence:   Actually got to the studio today for a few hours.  I wound 5 skeins of yarn into balls, I sent off a tear sheet and pricing to a woman who is interested in a quilt of mine, I worked on the Serials a bit more- some of the dates are in the wrong size font, and I opened boxes from Blick.  Also received back my quilt from the SAQA in Florida show and my little Honorable Mention ribbon was included.  Two awards for the two shows I've entered this summer and fall-  pretty proud of myself in spit of both being 'also ran' awards!  
no expense was spared

On the way back home I picked up the five big boxes I sent down from Boston and got through a few of those.  We had two palm trees removed from the courtyard and replaced by some fluffy cousin that won't go over 10'-12' high!  No kidding, who wants to look at palm trunks?  After twenty years they were just so wrong!  The workmen were here most of the day.  And the statistic of the week is we had ELEVEN INCHES of rain last night in a 3 hour window.  Just a few miles south of here the rain totaled 1 1/2"-  this is definitely a weird state.  I was scared to go to sleep thinking we were going to wash away as the pool lapped at our bedroom doors!  And oh yeah, I got a pedicure finally.  After two weeks in socks I needed it to transition back to open shoes!  Today I also had a JetBlue offer of a $100 fare so I booked a trip back in February for cheap-  even after adding extra space seats I got in way under $300.  It was just a two day offer and the travel dates are restricted too, but it worked out just fine for me- now at least I can give the contractor a date I'll be back for furniture delivery and putting it all back in the rooms it belongs in.  We also will need to schedule some deliveries that week.  Glad it didn't cost me three times as much!  And then tonight we went to a candlelight dinner and show by the Jupiter High School choir, or maybe it's a glee club, I don't know, but they were jumpin' all over the place, full of enthusiasm and very cute.  It was supposed to be Christmas carols but it was more just based on carols and very enjoyable.  No music, just voices.

And today's Christmas trees:
A People Tree

A wine tree-  notice its outside?  They must be empties.

Bicycle wheel tree

The Plugger's Bookshelf tree

Artists' Book tree

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