Category Archives: Uncategorized

Insider Art – Bloomfield Farm at Morris Arboretum – what happened!

Where I was on October 15…

Claudia McGill, Artist

Yesterday, Sunday, October 15, my husband and I participated in the Bloomfield Farm Day Insider Art and Craft Show.

Bloomfield Farm is part of the Morris Arboretum, located about 15 minutes from my house. We are members, which is how I was able to participate – exhibitors are all staff or members of the Arboretum.

Bloomfield Farm is a section of the Arboretum that is not generally open to the public to wander, though it contains the education center in which classes are held. There is a historic grist mill which has been restored by volunteers on the site as well as research projects in progress on the grounds.

This event allows the public to see the site, visit the art and craft show, listen to music, and tour the ground and building. The grist mill also goes into operation and is open for tours.

OK. I’d never done this…

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Bur Oak

I took some portraits of acorns with my point and shoot camera – the photos are at the end of this not-too-long post from my personal blog. I pass these on here, on my art blog, with the justification that they are photography, but mostly I did it because the acorns are so beautiful, I felt the need to make portraits of them, rather than just snapping a few photos to illustrate the post. Look at these shapes and the colors. Just a marvel, and thank you to my little camera.

Sometimes You Get So Confused

On Sunday morning, September 24, my husband and I took a walk in Norristown Farm Park. I’ve written a lot about this park, especially recently. We are exploring here, though we have been acquainted with the location for some years.

If you are interested in some information about this fascinating site, the former farm attached to Norristown State Mental Hospital, look here for a start.

Anyway, today we were walking. Near the former dairy barn and milk processing area, now the park offices we came upon a snowstorm of these odd items scattered on the ground underneath a tree.

They were just littered thick under our feet. I picked one up. I peered at it. An acorn. Yes, it was.

Here they are in the tree.

There was a little info plaque nearby. We learned that this tree is a bur oak (or burr, sometimes spelled). This particular tree has…

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Fine Arts and Crafts Festival, Swarthmore – Take a Look — Claudia McGill, Artist

Well, everyone, this festival is history, and a nice memory it has turned out to be. Let me tell you about it. The event is put on by the Community Arts Center, Wallingford, PA, but is held in the downtown section of Swarthmore, PA, just down the road. Swarthmore is a small borough and home […]

via Fine Arts and Crafts Festival, Swarthmore – Take a Look — Claudia McGill, Artist

Blurry Photos on Purpose

These blur photos were all taken at Chestnut Hill College in the Logue Library.

I make these images by waving the camera around and clicking the shutter on my point and shoot camera.

If you want to try this kind of thing, you get the best results with a slower shutter speed and/or a lower light situation. You need to give the camera time to know it’s blurring things.

This first group was from June, 2017.

And here are some more, from August, 2017. I’m hoping you are not getting dizzy.

Wrap-up: Lansdale Festival of the Arts

Here’s where we were on Saturday, August 26, 2017!

Claudia McGill, Artist

We participated in this show on Saturday, August 26. I’ve done this show for two decades and it has been held in Memorial Park under the trees for the past 29 years. It’s a short drive, about 25 minutes, from our house.

I feel at home in this show. It was one of the first ones I did when I started in my art career. The same people run it as did back then; they are unfailingly pleasant, helpful, and genuinely love the show and their work.

The event is naturally popular, then, and they get a nice group of artists showing 2D and 3D art.

Plus, it’s a Lansdale tradition to have free doughnuts and coffee for the artists, to keep us going as we set up. Here is a photo. It is dedicated to my friend Diane, who has moved out of state but did the show with…

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Two Favorites

I visited the city on Wednesday, August 9, the city being my city, Philadelphia. My husband had a meeting at his downtown office and I decided to take the ride in and go look around.

It was a beautiful day. I rarely go into Philadelphia anymore, but for many years I was here every day – I worked in several different locations (for the same employer) in Center City and in the historic district. I also drove all over the place for my job, so I know a lot about the entire city; but it’s the hub of things I want to talk about today.

On this walk, I visited two of my favorite art pieces, both public art. I’ll show you a little bit and then, if you are interested, you can find more info on the internet or…you can visit Philadelphia!

All right. We’ll start with some relief sculptures on this building.

It’s the US Courthouse (now Robert C Nix Federal Building) and the William Penn Annex of the post office. The building is quite large – it extends a half block on Market Street and goes all the way through the block to Chestnut Street.

The reliefs I am interested in are along the 9th street facade. They were the work of Edmond Amateis and commissioned by the government through the WPA to ornament this 1930’s building.

They depict mail delivery and show it taking place in far-flung locations. I have always loved these sculptures for their style and beauty, and for the idea that mail delivery unites the world, with people working hard to get a letter where it needs to go.

Here they are: they are arranged in two pairs. You will notice a difference in the look of the reliefs – two were in the sun and two in shadow.

First, the cowboy and the city postman:

Next, mail delivery in the tropics and in the far north:

Every time I am in the neighborhood I stop to take a look. For more information look here.


 

Now, my other favorite. It’s Dream Garden, a huge mosaic located in the lobby of the Curtis Center at 6th and Walnut Streets, right next to the Independence Hall complex. I worked in a building around the corner for some time and when I needed a respite, I’d come over and visit the mural.

It was designed by Maxfield Parrish and created by the Tiffany studios. Many many small pieces of glass, iridescent, opaque, all glowing. It was installed in 1916 in this building, at the time the home of Curtis Publishing (Ladies Home Journal, Saturday Evening Post). The building itself is fascinating and beautiful, but I am showing you just the mosaic today.

As a note – there are a lot of pictures on the internet, better than mine – here is its official entry by its owner, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

The mosaic was almost lost to the city about 20 years ago, when its owner died and the heir proposed selling it to a Las Vegas casino. In a complicated transaction with public donations and the cooperation of other beneficiaries under the will, the mosaic became the property of PAFA and is now protected as a historic object.

I noticed some “band-aids” on the mosaic that were not there when I last saw it.

A bit of research told me that construction elsewhere in the building had shaken the structure a year ago and damaged the mosaic. I can’t find details on what the restoration plan is, except that it is being studied for repair. I feel better knowing it is in the care of a museum, at least. Anyway, my pleasure was not diminished by the “band-aids”.

All right, now you’ve seen them. My favorites.

The Boating Party with Claudia McGill

Take a look here – I was interviewed! And given lots of space and time to talk and show my work. I am very grateful for this chance and very flattered.

Thereisnocavalry

Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1881. By Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

The Boating Party is a series of Q&As with writers, artists, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, sculptors, illustrators, designers and the like.

In times of economic hardship, the Arts are usually the first things to be axed. But, in my view, the Arts are one of the most important aspects of our civilisation.

Without the arts, we wouldn’t have language or the written word. Without the arts, we have no culture. Without culture, we have no society. Without society, we have no civilisation. And without civilisation, we have anarchy.

Which, in itself, is paradoxical, because so many artists view themselves as rebels to society. To me, artists aren’t rebels, they are pioneers.

Perhaps, most importantly; without the Arts, where is the creativity that will solve the world’s problems going to come from? Including economic and scientific ones?

In this Q&A, I am delighted…

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