Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Haints and Boo Hags in Geechie culture

What is Geechie?

The urban dictionary defines Geechie as a person of caucasion descent who hails from the South Carolina Low Country and the Coastal Empire of Georgia. Geechies have a strong Gullah influence. Geechies are highly influenced by religion, the saints and voodoo.

Why am I blogging about Geechie?

Because y'all... I AM Geechie. We have interesting superstitions and strong beliefs of "other worldly" things. As a child, I was told the spooky stories of the different haints and boo hags. I was scared senseless that boo hags would bite my feet if I went around barefooted after dark and that the angry haints would sew my mouth shut if I told a lie. I still hold some superstitions of my childhood. For instance, I will not put my purse on the floor. I'm not afraid of germs; I am afraid that the boo hags will get my money by "ridin' in my bag until all my money get gone." There will always be a window in my home that is adorned with colored bottles to keep the haints out.

What is the difference between a haint and a boo hag?

A boo hag is similar to a vampire, except that it is not interested in your blood... a boo hag wants your breath, your energy, your happiness and your money. Boo hags don't have skin so they are red and angry.

A haint is a typical lost soul, although nowadays, a mean woman (er... a um... well *ahem* a bitch) is also referred to as a haint. Haints are afraid of colored glass, nails and a specific color of blue that is referred to simply as "haint blue."

How has Geechie influenced my art?

Geechie has influenced my art in many ways. Recently, I have created a second "haint tree." My haint trees are made from a botttle that has a controlled break in the center. There is a charm or pendant that hangs in the bottle from the corked top that is accessable from the broken center. The cork of the bottle has wire coming out of it with colored glass beads. My haint trees are on a haint blue base. These little darlings are guaranteed to keep out the haints and boo hags while expelling any voodoo workins' that are ailin' ya.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Is the name of an art show that important?

After pondering different titles for my upcoming show in May 2010, I finally came up with a pretty good one: Captain Bibelot's Fortune - A Vignette of 2D & 3D Expression. Hmmmm... Is this name thought provoking for my type of art? Will people get it? Is the name too corny? Does corny matter?

Bibelot: a small object of curiosity, beauty, or rarity. Bibelot is French, which I find quite metaphoric since I am known as Madame Teasley on Etsy. I've not shared this name with mon mari yet...

Let me know what you think? Does the name make or break an art show?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Number five in Seven Deadly Sins of Womanhood - Homewrecker

Here it is in all it's splendor sitting on a pedastal at Chastain's Studio Lofts. This was a very personal addition to my womanhood series... I felt much of the pain all over again as I created it.

Homewrecker. The definition of the woman (er... women) who aided in the ruin of my first marriage. Well, shoot! I'm better off. I know this. My fabulously supportive and extremely hot husband knows this. Everyone who knows me, knows this is a fact. I have one question: Why did it hurt so badly to create this piece of art?

My home was wrecked in 1997. My life (as I knew it) was over. I was destroyed - but like a phoenix I rose from the ashes to become a new woman... a stronger woman! I take pride in what I have become since 1997. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am an artist. I am.... ME! I am a stronger woman because of the other woman - the homewrecker.

I tried to hate her; however, it seemed to consuming - time, energy, money, life. She gave me an unwanted gift that I am actually grateful for - the rest of my life to live!! So even though I fully believe that homewrecking is WRONG - my homewrecker empowered me. This is a tribute to her - the woman who used all of her powers of feminism for EVIL.

Monday, April 13, 2009

How do I create a commissioned piece and still add my personal message?

Assuming that you hve already discovered your artistic voice, how do you create a commissioned piece of art and add your message? This seems to be my biggest buggaboo in creating commission pieces. How do I create what the person wants while still maintaining my integrity as an artist?

The first thing that I have to remember is that the commissioner likes my work and likes my message before I even begin the piece of art - that's why they asked me to create it for them in the first place!

My message is that everything has a purpose: Everything is useful, everything has beauty and everything has sentiment. Perhaps I am taking a psychological approach to my art through my voice. As stated in Maslow's hierarchy of needs - everything has a desire to be needed. Everything as a desire to fit in.

Applying my message to a commission piece, takes time and much thought. My most recent commission was a "golf theme" painting. This was particularly hard, because I don't see the golf course the same way as someone who plays golf does. To me, the golf course is a dark, dreary place where balls are lost - never to be seen again. My husband, a golf enthusiast, sees the golf course as a magical place where men get together to be guys. It's sentimental to them.

After painting over the canvas several times, I was down to the wire on that painting. As a matter of fact, I delivered the painting still tacky from the master's mix. I had to make this painting of something so foreign to me reflect my voice. I had an opportunity to speak through this painting. I'm still not sure what I had to say with this painting, but I made a point to say it.

After searching for something... anything... that I could find some sort of attraction to, I found a picture of an antique golf club. It looked like a club that my husband keeps, which was his father's club. I painted a close-up of this club. To me, it was beautiful because it was old and had a story. I began painting this antique club.

After I finished my painting, I had to add pieces of me to it. I added nails, which I use on every piece of non-wearable art that I create. Nails represent the words of my father, which I feel quite confident he read in an email or something. The statement was "Words are like nails, you can remove the nail but the hole still remains." The words ring true. I added a nail for each time I cursed while creating that painting.

I also added some numbers. Why not? There are numbers on a golf course. These numbers were important because that's how many days I bitched and moaned about the how I was going to start the painting when I don't play golf.

The person who received my golf theme painting loved it; however, I was not as thrilled with it as I have been with other pieces.