Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

America has a problem.

We need an intervention


In art the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can inspire.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

About three years ago I made a table for my daughter, Meghan. About two years ago she and I started to decorate it using some stencils of butterflies, stars and flowers that she had and a little impromptu stuff like the “Queen Bee” (which you might guess is supposed to be me), but we never finished it.  A few months ago, she was mad at me so she took her markers and made some random marks all over the desk. I was pretty upset because it was such a personal thing for her to destroy and it hurt my feelings. Of course, that was her intention. She later regretted it and felt sad that the table was ruined beyond repair. I decided to try to fix it and surprise her with the results, which you can see below in two parts (left and right sides…couldn’t get it all in one frame). I had to get creative and use the vines to cover up the marks. She really likes it and now we can finally do the finishing touch of putting polyurethane on it.

I understand why she did what she did. I remember being young and mad at my mother but unsure as to how to strike back at her without getting the snot beat out of me. Little girls are good at figuring out how to hurt their parents’ feelings–maybe it’s an evolutionary aspect to our gender. Ultimately though, we both liked the end result. Me because it seems so whimsical and I was able to save it. And she because I loved her enough to try to save it and I forgave her for messing it up in the first place. But it’s the story behind it that I think I will always remember.

Table Design, Left side

Table Design, Right side

Our charade is the event of the season

Posted: October 19, 2012 in Art, Personal

Masquerading as a man with a reason, my charade is the event of the season.
–Kansas (the rock group, not the state)

I wanted to share a painting that I did about 25 ago. It is, obviously, a man being crucified. Done in a style and intention reminiscent of Georges Rouault (1871-1958) a French expressionist. You can see some of his works and read an interpretation of his ethos here.  Boston College had a large exhibition of his works in 2008.

To boil it down, he was concerned with representing the surface of people versus their inner self–the semblance versus the reality. To do this he used a kind of stained glass expressionism to explore disreputable subjects (e.g., clowns and prostitutes). The glittery costumes belied the sadness and difficulty of their lives. But he didn’t look down on them and you can see how he lets their dignity shine through. Conversely, he would use high society people in his paintings to show how beautiful they seemed but how venal and self-involved they actually were. Again–what society expects and perceives versus the reality.  He also ventured into using religious subjects but in those paintings the individual personality of the subjects is supplanted by a more symbolic presentation.

I loved the bold colors, the social commentary, the subtle mixture of the profane with the sacred, and the way he played with symbolism. His subjects were uniquely individual and still somehow universally symbolic. So this painting was my own interpretation and tribute to his work. The first is the full painting and the second is a detail photo.

“A Crucified Man”, oil on canvas, 1988, Tina M. Rhodes

Detail of “A Crucified Man”

All graphics and written material on this blog are Copyright 1988-2012 by Tina M. Rhodes (aka, Ms. D. Ranged in AZ) unless otherwise indicated. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any use of materials on this website, including reproduction, modification, distribution or republication, without the prior written consent of Tina M. Rhodes, is strictly prohibited.

Do or Do Not

Posted: September 4, 2012 in Art, Personal

I’ve been mulling over my lack of creativity lately.  It bothers me in a way that I can’t quite articulate.  Yes, there is the usual frustration.   There is doubt.  But I think the worst thing that keeps going around in my head is that I might be tapped out.  And I no sooner think that way then my brain latches onto something creative and I’m off to the races.

It used to be that I had plenty of time to spend in creative thought.  And I mean that specifically to differentiate it from logical thought.  In logical thought I can multi-task while doing it.  There are rules and structure and it’s not terribly hard.  But creative thought requires my entire mind and if interrupted, I lose the thread.  It’s like daydreaming except that I am consciously pushing in a direction to see where my stream of consciousness will go.  For instance, I will think to myself, “What if….” and then I just let my mind go.  I must appear rather strange to those around me.  My face is probably pretty blank, my gaze unfocused, my ears are closed…a sort of fugue state.  I only hear my own internal voice relaying ideas and images.  Sometimes the thought will go down a dead end, so my mind will backtrack and start on a new line of inquiry.   I always come away from it with a new idea, mainly for the fictional book I am writing.

Sometimes ideas come to me in dreams.  I woke up the other night with a very clear idea on how to add conflict and interest to the story (won’t reveal it here because I am a tease like that).  🙂  Dreaming creative ideas happens a lot more now than it used to.  I think it is because I have so little uninterrupted time for reverie in my life.  Work requires my full attention–that’s the nature of programming, at least for me.  Computer programming to me is simply problem solving.  Unfortunately, once I’ve figured out how to solve a problem in my head or on paper, I lose interest in making it a reality on a computer.  But that’s what they pay me for–not just the solution but the app that provides the solution.  My private life, well that requires my full attention too.  Ever ignore a toddler for more than a minute?  You end up with a Tonka truck stuck in the toilet, the toilet paper roll completely unrolled and congealing into a thick paste in the water that would then be overflowing from said toilet (just as an example).  I do have time at night, when I’m just completely done in physically.  Most nights my brain wants to keep going while my body cries out for sleep.  And I’ve been giving in to my body’s needs because I know how that leads only to dark, low places of illness and suffering.

Ultimately though, I will have days where I’m not much good for anything practical.  I think it’s when my creative tank becomes so full that it becomes insistent, pushing against my oh-so conscious, logical world.  That’s where my brain is at today.  I’m trying like crazy to focus on some code but all I can really think about is a piece of art that needs some adjustment to be truly finished and just right.  Below are two photos of it–the first is the entire thing (sorry so blurry, stupid cheap cell phone camera) and the other is a detail shot so you can see what the panels look like).  It is a series of stained wooden panels with molded metal sheets attached to them and the panels attached to one another with copper wire.

Aforementioned unfinished work

Close up of one of the panels

It feels unfinished to me and the copper wire connection idea isn’t working the way it should (or at least, the way I want it to look, which I can see in my head).  So that’s where I am at today while a million more practical things are interrupting my creative bliss.  I envy those who get to spend their lives in purely creative endeavors (I know these people exist, I see them on the Intertubes sometimes).  This is where I stop before I go into my maudlin “the road not taken” spiel.

Light Blogging

Posted: February 22, 2012 in Art, Personal

I haven’t been blogging much last few days because I’ve been pretty sick. I’m back at work but not up to full speed. For now, here is one of pieces of artwork a pastel still life. Hopefully will be back in the saddle tonight or tomorrow.  I’m sure the AZ Republican debate tonight will provide me with tons of fodder.   Until then, Namaste.

Pastel Still Life

Pastel Still Life