Day 359- Paul Duhem- Locked Doors

It’s Day 359 and it’s Christmas Day!  Merry Christmas to you all.  I had a great time doing today’s piece and now I have to cook a bunch of food for my husband, brother and myself and try to have a nice relaxing day.  Please join me in honoring Paul Duhem today!  I wanted to honor his style, but also honor today’s holiday. 🙂

Paul Duhem

Paul Duhem

Paul Duhem

Paul Duhem

Paul Duhem was born in Blandain, Belgium. He left school at 14 and worked as a farmhand for various agricultural concerns. During the Second World War he went to Germany, where he laid rails for the railways. Going to France at the end of the war, he was arrested for his collaboration with the Germans. But not being in full possession of all his faculties, he was transferred from prison to a psychiatric hospital before being employed as a labourer in farms in the region.

In 1977 he was admitted to a home where he did horticulture. Twelve years later, at the age of 70, Paul Duhem started to draw within the framework of a

Paul Duhem

Paul Duhem

workshop. He devoted himself to this activity, continuing until he died.

The human figure is a recurrent motif in his compositions. He drew the same face, which can be interpreted as a self-portrait, over and over again in an obsessive manner, declining it in series, introducing subtle variations in shape, rhythm and color.

Biography above is from Art Brut.com’s website.

Paul Duhem had been institutionalized for more than 40 years and was well into his seventies when he established a grueling quota for himself. He made up his mind that he wanted to produce six artworks a day, every day, for the remainder

Paul Duhem

Paul Duhem

of his life. Each morning after taking breakfast at a hospital for mental patients in southern Belgium, he brought out his crayons and jars of paint and crayons and, in the three or four hours before lunch, produced three new drawings. Then, in the hours between lunch time and dinner, he turned out three more works. Duhem’s subjects mostly took just two forms — a sad-eyed homme whom everybody understood to be Paul himself, and also the locked doors that he encountered everywhere in the mental institution.

Duhem was born in Blandain, a farming region. Because his parents were too poor to care for all their children, he was mostly

Paul Duhem

Paul Duhem

raised by grandparents. He attended school until his fourteenth year, and then left to work on a farm. Duhem was serving in the Belgium Army during World War II when, after being wounded and suffering shell shock, he was taken captive and held for two years in a German concentration camp.

Duhem finally resumed the life of a farmhand, but the war and prison years had taken a toll on his mentalstability. Diagnosed as schizophrenic, he was admitted to a mental institution in 1977. Because of his years as a farm worker, Duhem was given assignments as a gardener and groundskeeper at the institution.

Paul Duhem

Paul Duhem

In 1990, after beginning to show fragility of health, he was retired as a day worker. Soon after, he started producing colored drawings, at first turning out works with a variety of subjects, including birds, floral still-lifes and windmills, and then gradually limited his art to his own visage and the locked doors. He was 81 when he died in the summer of 1999.

Duhem’s work is widely admired art brut enthusiasts today, and is to be found

Paul Duhem

Paul Duhem

in nearly every significant museum collection of art brut in Europe. A large Paul Duhem museum show was presented in Brussels in 2001. The show then traveled to museums in France and The Netherlands.

Biography is from Dean Jensen Gallery’s website.
I hope you enjoy my piece today!  I had a great time painting it.  I will see you tomorrow on Day 360.  Then only 5 paintings left.  I can hardly believe it.
Best,
Linda
Santa- Tribute to Paul Duhem Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Santa- Tribute to Paul Duhem
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Santa- Tribute to Paul Duhem Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Santa- Tribute to Paul Duhem
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Santa- Tribute to Paul Duhem Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Santa- Tribute to Paul Duhem
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Santa- Tribute to Paul Duhem Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Santa- Tribute to Paul Duhem
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Santa- Tribute to Paul Duhem Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Santa- Tribute to Paul Duhem
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 354- Mark P. Wilson- For Your Amusement

It’s Day 354 and I am so excited to pay tribute to another close buddy of mine…one of my bestest friends!  I’ve known him for years and we used to draw together all the time when I lived in Seattle and I couldn’t believe how hard I laughed at the characters he used to come up with.  I am constantly pushing him to do more art, draw comics and eventually make cartoons because I truly believe it’s one of his greatest talents.  Please join me in honoring Mark P. Wilson today!  I asked him to write his own biography as well.  It’s kind of short and I also wanted to pack his art into it.  Hope you don’t mind!

Mark P. Wilson

Mark P. Wilson

Magical Unicorn Tea Party- Mark P. Wilson

Magical Unicorn Tea Party- Mark P. Wilson

Biography, huh?  Well, I was born in March 13, 1976 and raised in Cedar Falls, IA.  I watched a ton of cartoons growing up and always enjoyed them all, even the crappy 70s low budget corner cutting ones and the weird asian import ones with bad dubbing.  I also really love the really old ones the Ub Iwerks, Max Fleischer, and Silly Symphonies stuff.

When Pee-wee’s Playhouse came out, I totally freaked out and was an obsessive fan.  Loved reading comics

Space Gramps- Mark P. Wilson

Space Gramps- Mark P. Wilson

(from Donald Duck and Harvey comics to Archie comics to superhero stuff) and satire magazines like Mad and Cracked and was very inspired by my older brothers attempts at this style of satire, which consisted mostly of poop jokes.

My Uncle Bruce was an abstract painter and his pieces hung around our house.  They were an influence throughout my childhood.  Also, our Grandma used to wear these wigs to work and she gave her old clothes and wigs to my mom for dress-up clothes for the daycare and those got a ton of use and appear in many of our movies as well.  I think that inspire some of the outfits my characters wear.

Mark P. Wilson

Mark P. Wilson

I was also really into sugar cereal mascots and marketing and McDonald land and all that Sid and Marty Krofft stuff.  I liked making up continued stories using these characters that seemed so obviously limited and disposable in nature.   I think my work is very crude/unpolished but the ideas are fun and the emotion comes through.  I tend to use bold black lines and bright colors because I’m a big fan of stain-glass windows.  I try to make my work have that same luminescent feel.

I think that I make art now for the same reason that I started doing it, to amuse myself and others.    I moved to Seattle

Karmic Vortex- Mark P. Wilson

Karmic Vortex- Mark P. Wilson

when I was 19 and eventually met Linda Cleary there and she showed me Michael Kupperman’s work and forced me to do a bunch of drawings and that started setting some things in motion.

I need to work more consistently, recently I’ve been into the idea of animating some of these creatures and hopefully that will actually happen (I have the software).

I currently live in Seoul, Korea and teach kindergarten.  I love encouraging

Mark P. Wilson

Mark P. Wilson

the kids with art projects inspired by their individual creativity.  In Korea there tends to be an element of conformity and I try to get the kids to trust their own artistic instincts.

~

I hope you enjoy my tribute today.  I had a ton of fun painting it.  It brought back memories and inspired me to get back into doodling and creating some fun absurd characters.

I will see you tomorrow on Day 355!  Only 10 more left!

Best,
Linda

How 2 Be Cool- Tribute to Mark P. Wilson Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Pen and Ink on Canvas

How 2 Be Cool- Tribute to Mark P. Wilson
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Pen and Ink on Canvas

Side-View How 2 Be Cool- Tribute to Mark P. Wilson Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Pen and Ink on Canvas

Side-View
How 2 Be Cool- Tribute to Mark P. Wilson
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Pen and Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 1 How 2 Be Cool- Tribute to Mark P. Wilson Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Pen and Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 1
How 2 Be Cool- Tribute to Mark P. Wilson
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Pen and Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 2 How 2 Be Cool- Tribute to Mark P. Wilson Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Pen and Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 2
How 2 Be Cool- Tribute to Mark P. Wilson
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Pen and Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 3 How 2 Be Cool- Tribute to Mark P. Wilson Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Pen and Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 3
How 2 Be Cool- Tribute to Mark P. Wilson
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Pen and Ink on Canvas

 

 

 

Day 346- Kelly Moore- Absurdity is My Friend

It’s Day 346 and I have an improv show tonight and things to get done today…so I’ve finished my painting and I

Kelly Moore

Kelly Moore

am excited to honor today’s artist.  Please join me in honoring Kelly Moore today!  I’ve compiled information about him from various sites.

Kelly Moore

Kelly Moore

Kelly Moore is a Self Taught Artist who has no formal training or education in art. His Original, Expressive work has been referred to as Outsider Art, Art Brut, Raw Art and Visionary Art. His intuitive style and technique reflects a raw, primitive quality that is frequently juxtaposed with a startling innocence.

From the website- www.artistaday.com

Toxic Alternatives-Kelly Moore

Toxic Alternatives-Kelly Moore

i paint at the flea market

on the tesuque reservation in new mexico.

and i am a completely self taught full time artist.

Massacre- Kelly Moore

Massacre- Kelly Moore

folks have described my work

as art brut, folk and even outsider art

personally

i think i am my own

genre of art

i am a flea market artist

From his website. www.kellymoore.net.

Review of Absurdity is My Friend available on amazon.com.

Aliens- Kelly Moore

Aliens- Kelly Moore

This is a well produced book outlining the work of self-taught artist Kelly Moore from New Mexico, where he shows his work at the local Tesuque Pueblo Market. Large color reproductions fill the volume and are accompanied by Moore’s poems and photographs of his desert environment and surrounding landscape.

His colourful paintings are composed of a whole variety of strange figures and beasts often in a carnival

Desert Light- Kelly Moore

Desert Light- Kelly Moore

procession across the surface or set within a distant landscape.

Other compositions are more involved with lettering, swirling, colors, thick impasto and dark surrounding atmosphere, while others show different series of strange figures, including ghosts, or ornamental beasts lined up in rows before one’s eyes. An attractive book which is an impressive documentation of Moores work. –Raw Vision Magazine

ABSURDLY MOVING ART

I met absurdity out West and now he’s a friend of mine. I stole that,

Brave- Kelly Moore

Brave- Kelly Moore

actually, from the title of a book published by an artist we discovered at a flea market outside Santa Fe. What’s absurd is that Kelly Moore isn’t as well known as Thornton Dial or Howard Finster. He’s so outside art that he actually makes art outside – almost year round, in his Tesuque Flea Market “stall.” He bungie-cords this three-sided gallery closed during the week, more to keep out the snow or desert summer heat than thieves.

If it was just the wack-factor, I probably wouldn’t be writing a blog about this guy. We have plenty of crazy right here in Beaufort, South Carolina. But Kelly Moore’s work stopped me cold and it was 97 degrees out at the time with forest fires burning on two sides. He was adding the finishing touches to an unframed canvass in the one triangle of shade inside his flea market stall, listening to Sixto Rodriguez on a battery-powered CD player.

“You ever hear this guy?” said the painter. “He blows my mind.” I had, actually, just a few days earlier when I

Billy the Kid- Kelly Moore

Billy the Kid- Kelly Moore

watched “Searching for Sugarman.” Rodriguez gives away the money he earns — now that he’s been rediscovered. Kelly Moore gave me a copy of his book of paintings and poems.

He writes with even less punctuation and spell check that Word autocorrects for – stream of consciousness from a mind determined to swim against the stream. Describing his painting is more difficult. There’s something so personal, and gripping about the unrestrained figures, dreams and animals he paints that it’s impossible to art-speak it away. He tries, mostly in self-deprecating quips about failure and rejection.

"Dead Cowboy Totem" by New Mexico flea market artist Kelly Moore

“Dead Cowboy Totem” by New Mexico flea market artist Kelly Moore

He wanted me to be sure to mention his body odor and his three-photo-only policy for not sucking away his soul. He scuffed the dust off a metal sewer cover that a friend sent him from New Orleans after the hurricane – in case I needed a portal to get the hell away from him in a hurry. It was not-so-subtle satire from a man rebuffed for not being native enough, primitive enough, awe-struck-by-art-schools enough for the outsider art word to champion.

So I will, for what it’s worth. I’m not an art scholar but I’ve been lucky enough to look at art around the world. With Kelly’s work, I didn’t even have to leave this country to be transported. It lifted me out of the representational, the familiar, the pretty and took me on darker dreams to wilder places. Great art is like that. It’s a connection that transcends language or culture, whether you live in a camper or a castle or paint in a studio or a shed in the desert.

Above is from Teresa Bruce Books Blog, Right Brain Safari.

I hope you enjoy my tribute piece today and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 347!  I’m definitely buying his book!  And you should too!

Best,

Linda

Find Your Soul- Tribute to Kelly Moore Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Find Your Soul- Tribute to Kelly Moore
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Find Your Soul- Tribute to Kelly Moore Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Find Your Soul- Tribute to Kelly Moore
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Find Your Soul- Tribute to Kelly Moore Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Find Your Soul- Tribute to Kelly Moore
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Find Your Soul- Tribute to Kelly Moore Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Find Your Soul- Tribute to Kelly Moore
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Find Your Soul- Tribute to Kelly Moore Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Find Your Soul- Tribute to Kelly Moore
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 341- Len Jessome- Need To Create

It’s Day 341 and I really had a great time with today’s painting.  I love the style and somewhat therapeutic effect it had on me.  Please join me in honoring Len Jessome today.  I couldn’t find a photo of him online so I decided to use a self portrait.

Autoportrait- Len Jessome

Autoportrait- Len Jessome

Jesus wouldn't like it - Len Jessome

Jesus wouldn’t like it – Len Jessome

Canadian artist , Leonardo Jessome was born in 1963 in Hamilton, where he lives and works. He left his career in 2000 to devote himself full time to his artistic activity.  Its very singular work is already present in many private collections in North America and Europe.

His work is based on the human condition and man’s place in contemporary society . He painted portraits of rare intensity in a unique graphical style .

His inner demons led him naturally to the raging street art but it’s

Almost Happy- Len Jessome

Almost Happy- Len Jessome

not the bomb attack that the artist but his canvases with brushes in a raw style , powerful and free.

Biography is from Galerie Sylvie’s site.

i have a manic need to create—my work is based on the temporality and fragility of life and all the experiences life may encompass. i use whatever medium is available to express an idea. sometimes i use house paint, industrial rust paint and / or mix these with artists paints, each has a unique property and express ideas differently.
 
I Love You- Len Jessome

I Love You- Len Jessome

flowing industrial paint achieves different results than artists oil. as in life not everything mixes as perfectly as one might hope, exceptions are made to the exclusion of others. as a result my work may patina and change over time.

It is the capturing of the idea that is key. the patina records the passage of

Darkness I Wish I Was Yours- Len Jessome

Darkness I Wish I Was Yours- Len Jessome

time. the style of my work changes often, expanding my awareness and perceptions.

i like that my paintings live in many parts of the world. snippets of my thoughts and feelings scattered around this earth that will remain when i am no longer here.
Len Jessome

Len Jessome

Above is from Len Jessome’s blog.

I hope you enjoy my piece for today!  I will see you tomorrow on Day 342!
Best,
Linda
Always Lurking...-Tribute to Len Jessome Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Always Lurking…-Tribute to Len Jessome
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Always Lurking...-Tribute to Len Jessome Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Always Lurking…-Tribute to Len Jessome
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Always Lurking...-Tribute to Len Jessome Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Always Lurking…-Tribute to Len Jessome
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Always Lurking...-Tribute to Len Jessome Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Always Lurking…-Tribute to Len Jessome
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Always Lurking...-Tribute to Len Jessome Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Always Lurking…-Tribute to Len Jessome
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 338- Josiah Polhemus- A Sober and Amazing Journey

It’s Day 338 and I am super duper excited about today’s artist.  First off, because he happens to be a good friend of mine that not only inspired my very project, but I also have the honor to play with him in my improv group The Incidentalists.  He is such an inspiring and amazing friend in so many ways and I am so glad to know him.  Please join me in honoring Josiah Polhemus today!  Another neat thing is that he wrote his own story below!

 

Josiah Polhemus (at his 365 Painting A Day Art Show!)- I took this photo. :)

Josiah Polhemus (at his 365 Painting A Day Art Show!)- I took this photo. 🙂

Josiah Polhemus

Josiah Polhemus

Josiah Polhemus

I grew up in Palo Alto CA. Born in 1967 to parents who were both teachers. Robert Polhemus a Stanford Professor and Elizabeth Hamilton a schoolteacher. I have three siblings two older Camilla and Mackinlay.   My younger sister, Andromeda, was born 5 years after and was the child of Rebecca Reynolds. The split in the marriage was likely the reason I turned to art. I found it early in life to be an escape from my reality. I had friends who also enjoyed drawing and were creative. Many of them were more talented than me. I think, at first, I just tried to mimic the styles of my friends.

We were all heavily influenced by comics and, for me, MAD magazine. To me, MAD was the very very best. I wanted to be Sergio Aragones and I wanted to be Don Martin. My brother and I would spend hours drawing. At the same

Josiah Polhemus

Josiah Polhemus

time, I began acting very early, first at my school, then, in community productions. I never lost my interest in acting or drawing. In high school I would draw comics for my high school paper. I never took my talent too seriously because my very first art teacher in high school gave me a “C.” It was my lowest grade in high school.

In college I turned to theater but would always give cards to my fellow actors as opening night gifts. Many commented on my good wit and ability to capture likenesses. It wasn’t until after graduating with an MFA from the American Conservatory Theater and

Josiah Polhemus

Josiah Polhemus

reaching a level of professional acting I didn’t expect so quickly that I decided to move to Los Angeles. As Matt Groening found fame first with his comic Life In Hell about his time in LA then later becoming the creator of The Simpsons, I found drawing to be a way of facing the difficulty of trying to make it as an actor in LA. While I had some success acting, most actors I knew had jobs doing things like catering, office temp jobs, working for famous people as their assistants. I landed a job at 1-800 Dentist as an operator.

Several up and coming actors and directors had part time jobs there, too. I got my brother a job there and during a crafty art fair we decided to make a series of post cards about Santa Claus called Santa Facts. Each post card depicted some made up fact about Santa. The cards were a hit and launched our greeting card business Avant-Kardz. My brother Mack and I began collaborating on making money with our art.

Josiah Polhemus

Josiah Polhemus

Avant-Kardz started in Venice Beach and we were able to get our cards into Borders Books, Fred Segal and several other coffee shops and greeting card stores. We got tired of peddling our wares and decided to approach magazines to see if they might be interested in a comic strip about the entertainment industry. Several magazines took us seriously and we were able to meet with Entertainment Weekly, Premiere, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Film Threat.

Finally, we landed a deal with then national magazine BUZZ. We were given a year contract to do our comic strip The Wize Brothers. Meanwhile, I was teaching Art at Hollywood High School and still pursuing acting and my brother was working at 1-800 Dentist and pursuing a filmmaking career.

We eventually made two films together The Scottish Tale and My Bad Dad. Both were accepted into many film festivals and got distribution through Hollywood Video. The brothers blew a book deal when both ignored a successful pitch to a publishing company. We were too busy trying to make it in the other fields of acting and

Josiah Polhemus

Josiah Polhemus

screenwriting. I was in talks and met a few times with Sandra Tsing Loh to develop a comic based on here NPR series The Loh Life. It fell through when her husband starting drawing the pictures himself and sort of, didn’t want the strip to be about the real Loh family.

I gave up on the comic business and began to just concentrated on writing, directing and acting. I was getting a lot of work at the time doing all three. I successfully made two short films that got distribution through Vanguard Cinema.

Josiah Polhemus

Josiah Polhemus

While I had begun to paint and was highly influenced by my Mother Elizabeth Vezzani who taught me so much about the appreciation of art, how to mix colors, depth and perspective and balance. I never took it seriously. I developed a bad habit of smoking pot that kept me from picking up the paintbrush. When I did and saw the results of being high and creating, they were always disappointing.

After moving back to the Bay Area in 2006 and landing more film, teaching and full time work running a theater company in Oakland, I found myself feeling trapped in by my addiction and a marriage that was suffering. The separation caused a 6-month period of total depression and a constant use of pot.

After meeting Amy Prosser the fog lifted and I came out of my depression and found an ability to stay sober for

Josiah Polhemus

Josiah Polhemus

at least the majority of my time. I have since had occasional slips with pot but after realizing the importance and joy of living sober I made a decision to do a 365 paintings in a year project.

The paintings would reflect every day of my sobriety. The project almost fell apart when, 8 months in, I slipped. For a few weeks I was smoking pot and the paintings suddenly stopped. The effect was profound. It showed me that my life had no creativity when I was using and that, the minute I stopped using, color and creativity came flowing out of me.

Josiah Polhemus (Getting ready for his 365 Painting A Day art show!)

Josiah Polhemus (Getting ready for his 365 Painting A Day art show!)

I caught up on the project and completed 365 paintings. The completion of the project is now a book and an art show. They are featured at the YWCA in Berkeley through January 8th and will then be shown at the Little Farm in Bolinas California through February 1s 2015.   A documentary is being made about the project.

You can like my project on facebook here.

https://www.facebook.com/PaintADayProject

 

I hope you enjoy my tribute today!  The one challenging thing was trying to choose from the millions of ideas I had.  All of his paintings are so clever, emotional and inspiring that I really wanted mine to be meaningful.  I think it turned out good. 🙂  Hope you love it Josiah!

I will see you tomorrow on Day 339!

Best,

Linda

Dream BIG- Tribute to Josiah Polhemus Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Dream BIG- Tribute to Josiah Polhemus
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Dream BIG- Tribute to Josiah Polhemus Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Dream BIG- Tribute to Josiah Polhemus
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Dream BIG- Tribute to Josiah Polhemus Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Dream BIG- Tribute to Josiah Polhemus
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Dream BIG- Tribute to Josiah Polhemus Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Dream BIG- Tribute to Josiah Polhemus
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Dream BIG- Tribute to Josiah Polhemus Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Dream BIG- Tribute to Josiah Polhemus
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 336- Henry Darger Jr.- In the Realms of the Unreal

It’s Day 336 and I’ve been excited to do this artist for a long time.  I knew it was going to be challenging and I think I had too many ideas that my brain got a bit jumbled.  Well, I finally did it and I think I’m pretty happy with it.  Please join me in honoring Henry Darger Jr. today!

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

Hands of Fire- Henry Darger Jr.

Hands of Fire- Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Joseph Darger, Jr. (April 12, 1892 – April 13, 1973) was a reclusive American writer and artist who worked as a hospital custodian in Chicago, Illinois. He has become famous for his posthumously discovered 15,145-page, single-spaced fantasy manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story.

The visual subject matter of his work ranges from idyllic scenes in Edwardian interiors and tranquil flowered landscapes populated by children and fantastic creatures, to scenes of horrific terror and

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

carnage depicting young children being tortured and massacred. Much of his artwork is mixed media with collage elements. Darger’s artwork has become one of the most celebrated examples of outsider art.

Darger was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Rosa Fullman and Henry Darger, Sr. on April 12, 1892. Cook County records show that he was born at his home, located at 350 W. 24th Street. When he was four years old, his mother died of puerperal fever after having given birth to a daughter, who was given up for adoption; Henry Darger never knew his sister. One of Darger’s biographers, the art historian and psychologist John M. MacGregor, discovered that Rosa had two children before Henry, but did not discover their whereabouts.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

By Darger’s own report, his father, Henry Sr., was kind and reassuring to him, and they lived together until 1900. In that year, the crippled and impoverished Darger Sr. had to be taken to live at St. Augustine’s Catholic Mission home and his son was placed in a Catholic boys’ home. Darger Sr. died in 1905, and his son was institutionalized in the Illinois Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children in Lincoln, Illinois, with the diagnosis, according to Stephen Prokopoff, that “Little Henry’s heart is not in the right place”. According to John MacGregor, the diagnosis was actually “self-abuse” (at the time, this term was a euphemism for masturbation, rather than self-injury).

Darger himself felt that much of his problem was being able to see through adult lies and becoming a ‘smart-aleck’ as a result, which often led to his being disciplined by teachers and ganged up on by classmates. He also went through a lengthy phase of feeling compelled to make strange noises (perhaps as a result of Tourette Syndrome) which irritated others. The Lincoln asylum’s practices included forced labor and severe punishments, which Darger seems to have worked into In the Realms of the Unreal. He later said that, to be

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

fair, there were also good times there, he enjoyed some of the work, and he had friends as well as enemies. While he was there, he received word that his father had died. A series of attempted escapes ended successfully in 1908, the 16-year-old returned to Chicago and, with the help of his godmother, found menial employment in a Catholic hospital and in this fashion continued to support himself until his retirement in 1963.

Except for a brief stint in the U.S. Army during World War I, his life took on a pattern that seems to have varied little: he attended Mass daily, frequently returning for as many as five services; he collected and saved a bewildering array of trash from the streets. His dress was shabby, although he attempted to keep his clothes clean and mended. He was largely solitary; his one close friend, William Schloeder, was of like mind on the subject of protecting abused and neglected children, and the pair proposed founding a “Children’s Protective Society”, which would put such children up for adoption to loving families. Schloeder left Chicago sometime in the mid-1930s, but he and Darger stayed in touch through letters until Schloeder’s death in 1959. Darger biographer Jim Elledge suggests that Darger and Schloeder may have had a romantic relationship while Schloeder lived in Chicago.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

In 1930, Darger settled into a second-floor room on Chicago’s North Side, at 851 W. Webster Avenue, in the Lincoln Park section of the city, near the DePaul Universitycampus. It was in this room, for 43 years, that Darger imagined and wrote his massive tomes (in addition to a 10-year daily weather journal and assorted diaries) until his death in April 1973 in St. Augustine’s Catholic Mission home (the same institution in which his father had died). In the last entry in his diary, he wrote: “January 1, 1971. I had a very poor nothing like Christmas. Never had a good Christmas all my life, nor a good new year, and now… I am very bitter but fortunately not revengeful, though I feel should be how I am…”

Darger is buried in All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois, in a plot called “The Old People of the Little Sisters of the Poor Plot”. Darger’s headstone is inscribed “Artist” and “Protector of Children”.

In the Realms of the Unreal is a 15,145-page work bound in fifteen immense, densely typed volumes (with three of them consisting of several hundred illustrations, scroll-like watercolor paintings on paper derived from magazines and coloring books) created over six decades. The majority of the book, The Story of the Vivian Girls,

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, follows the adventures of the daughters of Robert Vivian, seven princesses of the Christian nation of Abbieannia who assist a daring rebellion against the evil regime of child slavery imposed by John Manley and the Glandelinians.

Children take up arms in their own defense and are often slain in battle or viciously tortured by the Glandelinian overlords. The elaborate mythology includes the setting of a large planet, around which Earth orbits as a moon (where most people are Christian and mostly Catholic), and a species called the “Blengigomeneans” (or Blengins for short), gigantic winged beings with curved horns who occasionally take human or part-human form, even disguising themselves as children. They are usually benevolent, but some Blengins are extremely suspicious of all humans, due to Glandelinian atrocities. Darger illustrated his stories using a technique of traced images cut from magazines and catalogues, arranged in large panoramic landscapes and painted in watercolours, some as large as 30 feet wide and painted on both sides. He wrote himself into the narrative as the children’s protector.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

Once released from the asylum, Darger repeatedly attempted to adopt a child, but his efforts failed. Images of children often served as his inspiration, particularly a portrait from the Chicago Daily News from May 9, 1911: a five-year-old murder victim, named Elsie Paroubek. The girl had left home on April 8 of that year telling her mother she was going to visit her aunt around the corner from her home. She was last seen listening to an organ grinder with her cousins. Her body was found a month later in a sanitary district channel near the screen guards of the powerhouse at Lockport, Illinois. An autopsy found she had probably been suffocated—not strangled, as is often stated in articles about Darger. Paroubek’s disappearance and murder, her funeral, and the subsequent investigation, were the subjects of a huge amount of coverage in the Daily News and other papers at the time.

This newspaper photo was part of a growing personal archive of clippings Darger had been gathering. There is no indication that the murder or the news photo and article had any particular significance for Darger, until one day he could not find it. Writing in his journal at the time, he began to process this forfeiture of yet another

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

child, lamenting that “the huge disaster and calamity” of his loss “will never be atoned for”, but “shall be avenged to the uttermost limit”. According to his autobiography, Darger believed the photo was among several items that were stolen when his locker at work was broken into. He never found his copy of the photograph again. Because he couldn’t remember the exact date of its publication, he couldn’t locate it in the newspaper archive. He carried out an elaborate series of novenas and other prayers for the picture to be returned.

The fictive war that was sparked by Darger’s loss of the newspaper photograph of the murdered girl, whose killer was never found, became Darger’s magnum opus. He had been working on some version of the novel before this time (he makes reference to an early draft which was also lost or stolen), but now it became an all-consuming creation.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

In The Realms of the Unreal, Elsie is imagined as Annie Aronburg, the leader of the first child slave rebellion. “The assassination of the child labor rebel Annie Aronburg… was the most shocking child murder ever caused by the Glandelinian Government” and was the cause of the war. Through their sufferings, valiant deeds and exemplary holiness, the Vivian Girls are hoped to be able to help bring about a triumph of Christianity. Darger provided two endings to the story, one in which the Vivian Girls and Christianity are triumphant and another in which they are defeated and the godless Glandelinians reign.

Darger’s human figures were rendered largely by tracing, collage, or photo enlargement from popular magazines and children’s books (much of the “trash” he collected was old magazines and newspapers, which he clipped for source material). Some of his favorite figures were the Coppertone Girl and Little Annie Rooney. He is praised for his natural gift for composition and the brilliant use of color in his watercolors. The images of daring escapes, mighty battles, and painful torture are reminiscent not only of epic films such as Birth of a Nation (which Darger might easily have seen) but of events in Catholic history; the text makes it clear that the child victims are heroic martyrs like the early saints.

One idiosyncratic feature of Darger’s artwork is its apparent transgenderism. Many of his subjects which appear

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

to be girls are shown to have penises when unclothed or partially clothed. Darger biographer Jim Elledge speculates that this represents a reflection of Darger’s own childhood issues with gender identity and homosexuality.  Darger’s second novel, Crazy House, deals with these subjects more explicitly.

In a paraphrase of the Declaration of Independence, Darger wrote of children’s right “to play, to be happy, and to dream, the right to normal sleep of the night’s season, the right to an education, that we may have an equality of opportunity for developing all that are in us of mind and heart”.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

A second work of fiction, provisionally titled Crazy House: Further Adventures in Chicago, contains over 10,000 handwritten pages. Written after The Realms, it takes that epic’s major characters—the seven Vivian sisters and their companion/secret brother, Penrod—and places them in Chicago, with the action unfolding during the same years as that of the earlier book. Begun in 1939, it is a tale of a house that is possessed by demons and haunted by ghosts, or has an evil consciousness of its own. Children disappear into the house and are later found brutally murdered. The Vivians and a male friend are sent to investigate and discover that the murders are the work of evil ghosts. The girls go about exorcising the place, but have to resort to arranging for a full-scale Holy Mass to be held in each room before the house is clean. They do this repeatedly, but it never works. The narrative ends mid-scene, with Darger having just been rescued from the Crazy House.

In 1968, Darger became interested in tracing some of his frustrations back to his childhood and began writing The History of My Life. Spanning eight volumes, the book only spends 206 pages detailing Darger’s early life before veering off into 4,672 pages of fiction about a huge twister called “Sweetie Pie”, probably based on memories of a tornado he had witnessed in 1908.

Despite Darger’s unusual lifestyle and strange behavior, he has not generally been considered mentally ill. This

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

topic is addressed in the biographical film In the Realms of the Unreal, in which Darger, while certainly described as eccentric, is also mentioned to be “in complete control of his life”. MacGregor, in the appendix to his book on Darger, speculates that the most fitting diagnosis is autism, of an Asperger syndrome type.

Darger’s landlords, Nathan and Kiyoko Lerner, came across his work shortly before his death, a day after his birthday, on April 13, 1973. Nathan Lerner, an accomplished photographer whose long career the New York Times wrote “was inextricably bound up in the history of visual culture in Chicago”, immediately recognized the artistic merit of Darger’s work. By this time Darger was in the Catholic mission St. Augustine’s, operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor, where his father had died.

The Lerners took charge of the Darger estate, publicizing his work and contributing to projects such as the 2004 documentary In the Realms of the Unreal. In cooperation with Kiyoko Lerner, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art dedicated the Henry Darger Room Collection in 2008 as part of its permanent collection. Darger has become internationally recognized thanks to the efforts of people who knew to save his works. After Nathan Lerner’s death in 1997, Kiyoko Lerner became the sole figure in charge of both her husband’s and Darger’s estates. The U.S. copyright representative for the Estate of Henry Darger and the Estate of Nathan Lerner is the Artists Rights Society.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

Darger is today one of the most famous figures in the history of outsider art. At the Outsider Art Fair, held every January in New York City, and at auction, his work is among the highest-priced of any self-taught artist. The American Folk Art Museum, New York City, opened a Henry Darger Study Center in 2001. His work now commands upwards of $80,000.

Since his death in 1973 and the discovery of his massive opus, and especially since the 1990s, there have been many references in popular culture to Darger’s work by other visual artists including, but not limited to, artists of comics and graphic novels; numerous popular songs; a 1999 book-length poem, Girls on the Run, by John Ashbery; a multi-player online game, SiSSYFiGHT 2000, and a 2004 multimedia piece by choreographer Pat Graney incorporating Darger images. Jesse Kellerman’s 2008 novel The Genius took part of its inspiration from Darger’s story. These artists have variously drawn from and responded to Darger’s artistic style, his themes (especially the Vivian Girls, the young heroines of Darger’s massive illustrated novel), and the events in his life.

Jessica Yu’s 2004 documentary In the Realms of the Unreal details Darger’s life and artworks.

Comic book artist Scott McCloud refers to Darger’s work in his book Making Comics, while describing the danger artists encounter in the creation of a character’s back-story. McCloud says that complicated narratives can easily spin out of control when too much unseen information is built up around the characters.

Darger and his work have been an inspiration for several music artists. The Vivian Girls were an all-girl indie/punk trio from Brooklyn; “Henry Darger” is a song by Natalie Merchant on her album Motherland,

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

“Vivian Girls” is song by the band Wussy on their album Left for Dead. “The Vivian Girls Are Visited in the Night by Saint Dargarius and His Squadron of Benevolent Butterflies” is a song by Sufjan Stevens on his album The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album, “The Story of the Vivian Girls” is a song by Comet Gain on their 2005 album City Fallen Leaves, and “Segue: In the Realms of the Unreal” is song by the band …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead on their album So Divided, “The Vivian Girls” is a 1979 song by Snakefinger (Philip Lithman Roth) also recorded by the Monks of Doom on their album The Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company, “Vivian girls” is a song by the band Fucked Up on their album Hidden World, and “Lost girls” (about Darger’s work) is a song by Tilly and the Wall on their album Bottoms of Barrels. On their 1994 album Triple Mania II, San Diego’s industrial noise performance outfit Crash Worship reworked several Darger images and screen printed them on a copper foil foldout discfolio; as well as the insert and disc.

Darger is the subject of a radio play, Darger and the Detective, by Mike Walker performed by members of the Chicago-based Steppenwolf Theatre Company for BBC Radio 3.

Biography is from wikipedia.

I love his story so I decided to include all the the page.  I hope you enjoy my piece for today and I will see you tomorrow on Day 336.

Best,

Linda

Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Side-View Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Side-View
Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

 

Day 331- Grandma Moses- Life, A Good Day’s Work

It’s Day 331…and it’s Thanksgiving!  I thought today’s artist was perfect to pay tribute to on a holiday!  Please join me in honoring Grandma Moses today.  If only we all can find fame (for the first time or again) at the age of 80 and live til the age of 101!  I give thanks to her for pursuing such creativity later in life.

Grandma Moses

Grandma Moses

Anna Mary Robertson Moses (September 7, 1860 – December 13, 1961), better known by her nickname of “Grandma Moses,”was a renowned American folk artist. Having begun painting in earnest at the age of 78, she is often cited as an example of an individual successfully beginning a career in the arts at an advanced age. Her works have been shown and sold in the United States and abroad and have been marketed on greeting cards and other merchandise. Moses’ paintings are among the collections of many museums. The Sugaring Off was sold for US$1.2 million in 2006.

The Burning of Troy- Grandma Moses

The Burning of Troy- Grandma Moses

Moses has appeared on magazine covers, television, and in a documentary of her life. She wrote an autobiography of her life, won numerous awards and was awarded two honorary doctoral degrees.

The New York Times said of her: “The simple realism, nostalgic atmosphere and luminous color with which Grandma Moses portrayed homely farm life and rural countryside won her a wide following. She was able to capture the excitement of winter’s first snow, Thanksgiving preparations and the new, young green of oncoming spring… In person, Grandma Moses charmed wherever she went. A tiny, lively woman with mischievous gray eyes and a quick wit, she could be sharp-tongued with a sycophant and stern with an errant grandchild. ”

Starting at 12 years of age and for a total of 15 years, she was a live-in housekeeper. One of the families that she

Grandma Moses - Christmas at Home

Grandma Moses – Christmas at Home

worked for, who noticed her appreciation for their prints made by Currier and Ives, supplied her with art materials to create drawings. Moses and her husband began their married life in Virginia, where they worked on farms. In 1905 they returned to Northeastern United States and settled in Eagle Bridge, New York. The couple had five children who survived infancy. Her interest in art was expressed throughout her life, including embroidery of pictures with yarn, until arthritis made this pursuit too painful.

Born in Greenwich on September 7, 1860, Anna Mary Robertson was the third of Margaret Shanahan Robertson and Russell King Robertson’s ten children. She was raised with four sisters and five

GRANDMA MOSES The Old Checkered House in Cambridge Valley

GRANDMA MOSES The Old Checkered House in Cambridge Valley

brothers. Her father ran a flax mill and was a farmer. Moses attended a one-room school for a short period of time as a child. That school is now the Bennington Museum in Vermont which has the largest collection of her works in the United States. Moses first painted as a child, using lemon and grape juice to make colors for her “lambscapes”. Other natural materials that she used to create works of art included ground ochre, grass, flour paste, slack lime and sawdust.

She left home and began to work for a wealthy neighboring family at 12 years of age, performing chores on their farm. She continued to keep house, cook and sew for wealthy families for 15 years. One of the families that she worked for, the Whitesides, noticed her interest in their Currier and Ives prints and purchased chalk and wax crayons so that she could create her own artwork.

She was 27 when she worked on the same farm as Thomas Salmon, a “hired man”. They married and established themselves nearStaunton, Virginia where they spent nearly two decades, living and working in turn

Moving Day on the Farm- Grandma Moses

Moving Day on the Farm- Grandma Moses

on four separate local farms. To supplement the family income, Moses made potato chips and churned butter from the milk of a cow that she purchased with her savings. Later, the couple bought a farm.

Moses and her husband had five of ten children born to them survive infancy. Although she loved living in the Shenandoah Valley, in 1905 Anna and Robert moved to a farm in Eagle Bridge, New York at her husband’s urging. Thomas Moses died in 1927 of a heart attack, after which her son Forrest helped her operate the farm. She retired and moved to a daughter’s home in 1936. Anna Mary was known as either “Mother Moses” or “Grandma Moses,” and although she first exhibited as “Mrs. Moses,” the press dubbed her “Grandma Moses,” and the nickname stuck.

Grandma Moses

Grandma Moses

As a young wife and mother, Moses had been creative in her home by, for example, using housepaint to decorate a fireboard in 1918. Moses made embroidered pictures of yarn for friends and family beginning in 1932.  She also created beautiful quilted objects, a form of “hobby art” as defined by Lucy R. Lippard.

Moses had developed arthritis by the age of 76, which made embroidery painful. It was suggested to her by Celestia, her sister, that painting would be easier for her, which spurred Moses’s painting career in her late 70s.

Moses painted scenes of rural life from earlier days, which she called “old-timey” New England landscapes. Moses said that she would “get an inspiration and start painting; then I’ll forget everything, everything except how things used to be and how to paint it so people will know how we used to live.” She omitted features of modern life, like tractors and telephone poles, from her works of art.

Her early style is less individual and more realistic or primitive, despite her lack of knowledge of, or perhaps rejection of, basic perspective. Initially she created simple compositions or copied existing images. As her career advanced she created complicated, panoramic compositions of rural life.

She was a prolific painter, generating over 1,500 canvasses in three decades. Initially Moses charged $3 to $5

Grandma Moses

Grandma Moses

for a painting, depending upon its size, and as her fame increased her works were sold for $8,000 to $10,000. Her winter paintings are reminiscent of some such of the known winter paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, although she had never seen his work. A German fan of her work said, “There emanates from her paintings a light-hearted optimism; the world she shows us is beautiful and it is good. You feel at home in all these pictures, and you know their meaning. The unrest and the neurotic insecurity of the present day make us inclined to enjoy the simple and affirmative outlook of Grandma Moses.”

During a visit to Hoosick Falls in 1938, Louis J. Caldor, who collected art and worked as an engineer in the state of New York, discovered paintings made by Moses in the window of a drug store. He bought their supply and ten more from her Eagle Bridge house for $3 or $5 each. The next year, three Grandma Moses paintings were included in New York’s Museum of Modern Art exhibition entitled “Contemporary Unknown American Painters”. Her first solo exhibition, “What a Farm Wife Painted,” opened in the same city in October 1940 at Otto Kallir’s Galerie St. Etienne. A meet-and-greet with the artist

Grandma Moses

Grandma Moses

and an exhibition of 50 paintings at Gimbel’s Department Store was held next on November 15. Her art displays included samples of her baked goods and preserves that won Moses prizes at the county fair. Her third solo show in as many months, was held at the Whyte Gallery, Washington, D.C. In 1944 she began to be represented by the American British Art Center and the Galerie St. Etienne, which increased her sales. Her paintings were exhibited throughout Europe and the United States over the next 20 years. Otto Kallir established the Grandma Moses Properties, Inc. for her.

Grandma Moses’s paintings were used to publicize American holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and Mother’s Day. During the 1950s, Grandma Moses’s exhibitions broke attendance records around the world. Art historian Judith Stein noted: “A cultural icon, the spry, productive nonagenarian was continually cited as an inspiration for housewives, widows and retirees.” Her paintings were reproduced on Hallmark greeting cards, tiles, fabrics, and ceramics. They were also used to market products, like coffee, lipstick, cigarettes, and cameras.

n 1950, the National Press Club cited her as one of the five most newsworthy women and the National Association of House Dress Manufacturers honored her as their 1951 Woman of the Year. At age 88, Mademoiselle magazine named Grandma Moses a “Young Woman of the Year.” She was awarded two honorary

So Long Till Next Year- Grandma Moses

So Long Till Next Year- Grandma Moses

doctoral degrees. The first was bestowed in 1949 from Russell Sage College and the second two years later from the Moore College of Art and Design.

President Harry S. Truman presented her with the Women’s National Press Club trophy Award for outstanding accomplishment in art in 1949. Jerome Hill directed the 1950 documentary of her life, which was nominated for an Academy Award. In 1952, she published My Life’s History, her autobiography. In it she said “I look back on my life like a good day’s work, it was done and I feel satisfied with it. I was happy and contented, I knew nothing better and made the best out of what life offered. And life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.” In 1955, she appeared as a guest on See It Now, a television program hosted by Edward R. Murrow.

Grandma Moses

Grandma Moses

She was a Society of Mayflower Descendants and Daughters of the American Revolution member. Her 100th birthday was named by New York Governor Nelson Rockefelleras “Grandma Moses Day”. LIFE magazine celebrated her birthday by featuring her on its September 19, 1960 cover. The children’s book “Grandma Moses Story Book” was published in 1961.

Grandma Moses died on December 13, 1961 at 101 years of age in Hoosick Falls, New York at the Health Center. She is buried there at the Maple Grove Cemetery. President John F. Kennedy memorialized her: “The death of Grandma Moses removed a beloved figure from American life. The directness and vividness of her paintings restored a primitive freshness to our perception of the American scene. Both her work and her life helped our nation renew its pioneer heritage and recall its roots in the countryside and on the frontier. All Americans mourn her loss.” After her death, her work was exhibited in several large traveling exhibitions in the United States and abroad.

Biography is from wikipedia.

Painting’s not important. The important thing is keeping busy.

Grandma Moses
Keep in mind that she lived to 101!  Keep busy folks! 😉

I hope you enjoy my piece for today!  I was going to add more figures, but kind of liked the solitude after painting the little girl ice skating. 🙂  I had a nice time doing today’s tribute.  I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 332!  Hope everyone is getting stuffed with food today!  And I am grateful to all these artists that inspire me and continue to inspire me!  I am thankful for art in general for always being there for me in all ways possible.  Aren’t we lucky to live in a world so full of creativity?

Best,

Linda

Next Year's Around the Corner- Tribute to Grandma Moses Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Next Year’s Around the Corner- Tribute to Grandma Moses
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Next Year's Around the Corner- Tribute to Grandma Moses Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Next Year’s Around the Corner- Tribute to Grandma Moses
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Next Year's Around the Corner- Tribute to Grandma Moses Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Next Year’s Around the Corner- Tribute to Grandma Moses
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Next Year's Around the Corner- Tribute to Grandma Moses Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Next Year’s Around the Corner- Tribute to Grandma Moses
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Next Year's Around the Corner- Tribute to Grandma Moses Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Next Year’s Around the Corner- Tribute to Grandma Moses
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 322- Ruzena (Anne Billon)- Teeming Overcrowded Worlds

It’s Day 322 and I’m starting to feel more normal (health-wise)…knock on wood!  I worked on today’s piece last night and today because of the amount of pen & ink detailing I had to do.  I forgot how much I miss working with pen & ink (which is one of my favorite mediums)!

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

I also had the pleasure of corresponding personally with today’s artist who lives in France.  She is a little elusive and I’ve read that she doesn’t like to talk too much about her art.  It was hard to find her biography and current pieces online so she emailed photos and a bio to me.

Her artwork has rapidly become one of my new favorites and I am so exhilarated and honored to do a tribute to Anne Billon A.K.A. Ruzena today!  I hope my tribute does her justice…It was hard to figure out what exact materials she uses and when I zoomed into her pieces…they just intimidated me with all their detail!  Such haunting and beautiful artwork!  I translated her biography and CV from French so please excuse any awkwardness. 🙂  I included tons of her artwork because I love it so much.

Anne Billon (Ruzena)

Born in 1971, Anne studied Social and Economic Administration and History of Art, which led her to work in the field of culture for fifteen years. She is now works

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

at an administrative job.

She has always drawn and is self-taught.

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Anne’s maternal Czech grandfather wanted to call her Ruzena. It seemed more appropriate to her parents to choose a name for her to live a less detonating journey for a young French girl. But the reasonable choice was not enough to obscure innate predispositions for refractory behavior.

With exacting detail drawing, Ruzena expresses a world with teeming, overcrowded arabesques organized around angular shapes and mysteriously balanced chaotic compositions that express the ambiguity of being torn between legal requirements and thirst for total freedom.

But humor watches over this tragic universe to bring it a generous subtle tone; a secret humor, tender and painful, like a fragile bow playing on the sharp teeth of the suffering she wants to tame.

With a constant ironic wink, another way to ask the eternal questions that agitate humanity since its origins,

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Ruzena built a profoundly original work that takes its strength in doubt, holder of any authentic creation.

Text is from:

Gerard Sendrey Catalog Extract and dissenting Visions Publishing 2001

Expositions:

  • 2009   . “The world of design and creativity,” group exhibition, Rives (France).
    • “Private Collection” collective, Alter-Art exhibition in Grenoble (France)
    • . Gallery Ex nihilo in Grenoble, France (exhibition organized by the Association Œil’Art)
  • 2010   . “Phantasmagoria”, group exhibition, Gallery Myiawaki, Kyoto (Japan).
    • “Young contemporary painting” sale at Drouot, Paris (France)
  • 2011   . Outsider Art Fair in New York, represented by the Henry Boxer Gallery.
    • “Young contemporary painting” sale at Drouot, Paris (France)
  • 2012   . Collective exhibition in honor of Postman Cheval Gallery Yutaka Miyawaki, Kyoto, Japan
    • . 4th Biennial art shared Rives (France)
    • Ruzena (Anne Billon)

      Ruzena (Anne Billon)

      . “Because what I write can be read in the dark,” solo exhibition, Dettinger Mayer Gallery in Lyon (France)

    • . Outsider Art Fair in New York, represented by the Henry Boxer Gallery
  • 2013. Outsider Art Fair in New York, represented by the Henry Boxer Gallery.
    • Shared collective exhibition in Saint-Trojan les Bains (France) art
  • 2008   . “Black Drawings”, group exhibition, Galerie Beatrice Soulie, Paris.
    • “Shared Art” group exhibition, Rives (France)
    • . Solo exhibition, Galerie Dettinger Mayer, Lyon (France)
    • . Group exhibition, Gallery Dettinger Mayer, Lyon (France)
  • 2007   . “Contemporary Cabinet of Curiosities” group show, Beatrice Soulie Gallery in the exhibition “The Art Elysées” in Paris (France)
    • . “I Margini dello Sguardo – Arte nella Collezione Irregolare Menozzi” group exhibition in Reggio Emilia (Italy)
  • 2006   . “Confinement,” group exhibition, Aubagne Art Festival Singular (France)
    • . “Shared Art” group exhibition, Rives (France)
    • . Personal exhibition, Museum of Creation Franche, Begles (France)
  • 2005   . Solo exhibition, Galerie Dettinger Mayer, Lyon (France)
    • . “Art Brut and Affiliated Works,” group exhibition, Institute for the Humanities, University of @19.04.13-30x20Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA)
  • 2004   . “Interlacing”, group exhibition, Staffelfelden (France)
  • 2003   . Group exhibition, Gallery A Sardine stuck to the wall, Geneva (Switzerland)
  • 2001   . “Visions and Creations dissident” group exhibition, Museum of Creation Franche, Begles (France)
    • . “Interlacing”, group exhibition, Staffelfelden (France)

 

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Ruzena (Anne Billon)

Permanent:

. Henry Boxer Gallery in Richmond Hill (England)

. Dettinger Mayer Gallery in Lyon (France)

. Jeff Ross Collection in Seattle (USA)

. Collection Dino Menozzi, prints Reggio Emilia (Italy) Cabinet

Biography, CV and photos are courtesy of the artist.

I hope you enjoy my tribute for today.  I had so much fun creating it and it inspired me to do more pen and ink work.  I’ve been painting so much that sometimes I forget the other mediums I love so much.  My arm does feel a little like a zombie’s though.  I also forgot how taxing it is on my tennis elbow to draw so much…but it’s so worth it.  The biggest challenge was mixing the different mediums.  Ruzena’s style with that is seamless.  I wasn’t sure if she used colored pencils and it was hard to do that part.  I enjoyed the pen and pencil part, but I think I wasn’t successful with the color part!  Oh well!  I will see you tomorrow on Day 323!

Best,

Linda

My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon) Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon)
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Side-View My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon) Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Side-View
My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon)
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Close-Up 1 My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon) Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Close-Up 1
My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon)
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Close-Up 2 My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon) Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Close-Up 2
My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon)
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Close-Up 3 My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon) Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Close-Up 3
My Little World- Tribute to Ruzena (Anne Billon)
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed Media on Paper mounted on Wood Panel

Day 315- Heinrich Anton Müller- Parallel Visions

It’s Day 315 and I had a great time with today’s piece.  It was nice to work with some slightly different material.  Like a chalk marker and pencil.  Join me in honoring Heinrich Anton Müller today.  Below is an article from the NYTIMES.com.

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller was born in Versailles (France).

ART REVIEW; The Fantastical Visions Of an Obsessive Outsider

By ROBERTA SMITH
Published: March 17, 1995

These days, outsider art is, as a genre, thoroughly studied and widely appreciated. It may be becoming so deeply in that it almost renders the very term an oxymoron. Still, an exceptional exhibition at the Swiss Institute in SoHo proves that for Americans at least, some significant surprises and discoveries remain.

This show introduces the art of Heinrich Anton Muller, a Swiss outsider, or self-taught, artist who died in 1930 at the age of 61. He’s great, almost on a par with outsider giants like Adolf Wolfli (who was also Swiss), Martin Ramirez and Henry Darger. Muller’s work is not a secret in Europe. Even in his lifetime, his large drawings of fantastical figures and animals were known to Hans Prinzhorn, the German psychiatrist who was among the first to write about and preserve the art of the insane. Muller’s art received its first gallery exhibition in Paris in 1949 and was admired by Jean Dubuffet, who included it in his art brut collection. It also inspired other French artists, like Daniel Spoerri and Jean Tinguely, who both dedicated artworks to Muller, and was seen in the 1972 Documenta exhibition.

Muller’s only previous American appearance was in the less-than-coherent “Parallel Visions” exhibition at the Los Angeles County

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller

Museum of Art in 1991. But this show of 35 drawings and four photographs, which was organized by an independent curator, Roman Kurzmeyer, for the Kunstmuseum Bern and was previously shown at the Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, is his first retrospective in the United States. (The Swiss Institute says it will probably also be the last, because of the drawings’ fragility.)

Muller was a mechanically inclined vineyard worker, born in France, who spent the last 24 years of his life in a mental hospital in Munsingen, Switzerland. Around the turn of the century, he invented a machine for grafting grape vines; others stole his design after he failed to maintain his patent. This loss seems to have triggered a breakdown. Hospitalized in 1906, he began around 1914 to build elaborate linear structures, involving frames and moving wheels, which he saw as perpetual motion machines. (His materials included discarded wood, rags and wire, as well as his own secretions and excrement).

These obsessive works do not survive; in fact, Muller sometimes destroyed them in protest against his confinement. But even in photographs they easily evoke Tinguely’s kinetic junk sculptures, and also resemble distant relatives, madly multiplied, of Picasso’s welded steel sculpture “Project for a Monument to Guillaume” in the Museum of Modern Art.

Luckily, Muller vented his often lustful imagination on paper, too. Looking at his sad, seductive creatures the mind zooms back and forth

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller

between distant and local cultures: to the frequently childlike drawings of Klee and Chagall, Middle and Far Eastern art, medieval art and modern art, as well as Swiss folk art. There’s an image of a duck here that could almost be Japanese. Yet when Muller draws a house, it is complete with Swiss decorations, and when he writes on certain images, explaining the action, it is in big cursive words rendered in exemplary 19th-century penmanship. An outstanding example of the latter depicts one Pere Darou, astride an old-fashioned bicycle, taking his pig Rafi for a walk.

Muller’s main formal staple is a banded line, in pencil, white chalk or colored pencil, that sinuously delineates most of his heads, figures and hybrid creatures, but also, like a flattened serpent, has a life very much its own. Serpents are pertinent, for several of Muller’s people have spiraling reptile tails instead of legs. And one of the best drawings in the show, “Hermine,” depicts an Eve-like woman in orange and green pencil. Holding a bunch of grapes, she stands on a fruit tree with a smaller figure in her belly while a serpent glides upward toward her through a faint glow of orange.

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller

With their big eyes, sad expressions and often ghostly whiteness, Muller’s creatures communicate an acceptance of the harshness of life. They seem like enlarged versions of figures from a book of medieval fables, or an illuminated manuscript. For example, “Hermine” has a small, quite beautiful rat on her head, and she’s not the only one; the device brings Aesop to mind and, similarly, gently stresses the interrelatedness of the species. Vulnerability is signaled in other ways: especially striking is an image of a goat whose hooves have grown into long curls, which resemble exotic Persian slippers and suggest neglect and immobility.

Despite a prevailing wistfulness in many of Muller’s images, his art can also strike the eye as quite aggressive. His banded line almost always takes command of the surface, and his work is infused with an implicitly confident — and modern — sense of scale and process. His drawings, not unlike his sculptures, are also constructions, sewn-together pieces of butcher paper or cardboard in which blunt stitches, sometimes forming borders, add to the drawn motifs. His backgrounds are often enlivened by being rubbed, tinted or textured, and he can also smear on materials with an almost expressionistic verve. In “Our Baker,” white chalk seems to waft over the body of a slyly grinning serpent like flour or smoke, giving his shape further power.

This power gives way in the show’s final works, made after 1925, when Muller suffered a severe case of pneumonia. He returned to his art but produced much smaller, more delicate images of figures and wilted trees in colored pencil. They seem to be almost in the process of fading from sight, which is consistent with the biographical note that Muller died in 1930 “after a brief illness during which he would not allow himself to be examined.”

Article on Heinrich Anton Müller from www.nytimes.com.

I hope you enjoy my tribute today on this interesting and intriguing artist!  I sure had fun creating it.  I will see you tomorrow on Day 316.

Best,

Linda

Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Side-View Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Side-View
Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Close-Up 1 Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Close-Up 1
Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Close-Up 2 Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Close-Up 2
Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Close-Up 3 Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Close-Up 3
Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Day 309- Jad Fair- Cuttings and Covers

It’s Day 309 and all I used today was a pen and a pair of scissors!  It was super difficult and I can’t believe today’s artist does such complex pieces.  Today’s artist is not only an artist, but a musician and more.  He’s one of my favorites!  Please join me in honoring Jad Fair today.

Jad Fair

Jad Fair

Monster Party, Haunted House Album Cover- Jad Fair

Monster Party, Haunted House Album Cover- Jad Fair

Jad Fair (born June 9, 1954) is an American singer, guitarist and graphic artist, most famous for being a founding member of lo-fi alternative rock group Half Japanese.

Fair was born in Coldwater, Michigan. In 1974, with his brother David, Jad Fair founded the lo-fi group Half Japanese. Since then, Half Japanese released nearly 30 records.

Besides Half Japanese Fair performs and records as a solo artist, as well as collaborating with such artists as Terry Adams, Norman Blake, Kevin Blechdom, Isobel Campbell,Eugene Chadbourne, DQE, Steve Fisk, Fred Frith, God Is My Co-

Jad Fair, Old Lady and the Devil, 2007

Jad Fair, Old Lady and the Devil, 2007

Pilot, Richard Hell, Daniel Johnston, J. Mascis, Jason Willett, Monster Party, Weird Paul Petroskey, R. Stevie Moore, Thurston Moore, The Pastels, Phono-Comb, Steve Shelley, Strobe Talbot, Teenage Fanclub, The Tinklers, Moe Tucker, Bill Wells, Jason Willett, Adult Rodeo,Lumberob, Yo La Tengo, and John Zorn. Because of his constant output and his large series of collaborations, his discography is very large, and mostly consists of releases on small independent labels. In 1982 Fair released his first solo work, the single “The Zombies of Mora-Tau” followed by the full length album Everyone Knew … But Me one year later.

Me Got You (Drawing)- Jad Fair

Me Got You (Drawing)- Jad Fair

Besides his musical career he’s also active as a visual artist, drawings as well as papercuttings. He took up papercutting to alleviate boredom while touring on the road.  Many of the album covers are made by Fair. Four books of Fair’s art have been published. Exhibitions of Fair’s paper cuts and drawings have taken place in New York, Tokyo, Glasgow, Austin, Paris, London, Houston, The Hague at the State-X New Forms festival and in Nantes at Le Lieu Unique together with Daniel Johnston.

It’s Spooky is a 1989 collaboration album by Daniel Johnston and Jad Fair. Strange but True is a collaborative album between the band Yo La Tengo and Jad Fair. It was released by Matador Records in 1998. Song titles on the album were taken from outrageous newspaper headlines.

In 2002 Fair recorded an album with R. Stevie Moore, titled FairMoore, described as “a lovely, heartfelt effort that shows both in top form” by Dave Mandl, who stated that it “brings together two fiercely original figures in

Jad and David Fair, Best Friends Album Cover- Jad Fair

Jad and David Fair, Best Friends Album Cover- Jad Fair

the American music underground”, the album consisting of Fair reciting his poetry over Moore’s instrumental backing. Words Of Wisdom And Hope is a collaboration between Glasgow, Scotland’s Teenage Fanclub and Fair, released in 2002.

In 2008 Vincent Moon made a short documentary called Paris lost in Texas, which is part of his The Take-Away Shows-series. In this short movie he visits Fair in house in Texas. In the same year experimental instrument builder Yuri Landman constructed for Fair a special 2 string instrument called the Bachelor QS.

Paper Cuttings- Jad Fair

Paper Cuttings- Jad Fair

In 2011 Half Japanese reunited as a live band and toured through Europe. In 2011 Thick Syrup Records released the compilation album ’78 LTD. This album features the track “36 Perfect Ways I Ching of Love” Fair made with Ken Stringfellow (Posies, R.E.M.). In 2012 Fair contributed to the Landman album That’s Right Go Cats with a 22 minute vocal contribution on side A of the record. The Nantes based venue Le Lieu Unique has organised a large exhibition of graphical work made by Fair and Daniel Johnston in April 2012. In the same month Fair released a lost album called Songs from a Haunted House with Gilles Reider on Interbang Records.

In 2012 Jad Fair released on Joyful Noise Recordings a collaboration with French experimentalist trio Hifiklub, and German guitarist/producer kptmichigan. The band was originally assembled to provide the audio component to Jad Fair’s art exhibition at Le Dojo – Nice in France, 2011.

Biography is from wikipedia.

In 1974, with his brother David, Jad Fair co-founded the lo-fi alternative rock group Half Japanese. Over the ensuing three decades, Half

Houston- Jad Fair

Houston- Jad Fair

Japanese released nearly 30 records, and in the process, attracted a solid base of fans passionate about the band’s pure, unbridled enthusiasm for rock and roll. Jad also performs and records as a solo artist, and occasionally collaborates with such musicians as Daniel Johnston, Teenage Fanclub, Moe Tucker (of Velvet Underground), Yo La Tengo, Steve Shelly and Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth), John Zorn, Kramer, and more.

Jad’s talent for album cover design (he designed many of Half Japanese’s and all of his own solo album covers) led Jad to a second career as visual artist. His simple, joyous drawings and intricate, complex paper cuttings are shown in galleries around the world. Books of his artwork have been published in the U.S., UK, Germany, France and Japan. Jad is available for illustration work, including CD covers, t shirt designs, and advertisements.

Short bio above is from www.jadfair.org.

I decided to do a paper cutting for today’s tribute.  I hadn’t done anything like it this whole challenge.  I like how it turned out.  It was a challenge and reminded me of paper cutting snowflakes when I was little!  This was hard because I was trying to do a very specific design. I hope you enjoy it and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 310.  Only 55 paintings to go!  Wow.

Best,

Linda

Squidman Loves Me- Tribute to Jad Fair Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Squidman Loves Me- Tribute to Jad Fair
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Side-View Squidman Loves Me- Tribute to Jad Fair Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Side-View
Squidman Loves Me- Tribute to Jad Fair
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Squidman Loves Me- Tribute to Jad Fair Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Squidman Loves Me- Tribute to Jad Fair
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Squidman Loves Me- Tribute to Jad Fair Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Squidman Loves Me- Tribute to Jad Fair
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Squidman Loves Me- Tribute to Jad Fair Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Squidman Loves Me- Tribute to Jad Fair
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas