“Branches” Online Art Show

CREATE ART!

So, with the theme of “branches” and this exploration of how so many different things emulate the shape, how about we have an
online art show? (The writing I did that talks about why we’re doing the theme branches is here)

 

We will be taking submissions until the end of August. Betony and I will curate the pieces that are turned in under the theme of “BRANCHES” and will showcase the art online!

Would you like to submit a photograph? A painting? A mixed-media piece or even a sketched idea? If not you, do you know someone who’d love this idea? Invite them to get involved.

Post artwork submissions to the Giants & Pilgrims’ Facebook page or email directly to timthreshingfloor@hotmail.com.

Spread the word and look for the show online
(giantsandpilgrims.com) come the end of August.

 

The Winners of Our #mundania Photo Challenge!

For our June Almanac we did a photo challenge called “mundania”. It was all about finding the majestic in the mundane. The photo prompts included things like laundry, dishes, favorite place to sit, pet, etc. (To see some of the photos we loved and highlighted go here or here. Or look up the hashtag #mundania on Instagram.)

It was tough to choose the winning photo. Below are the runner’s up. They will each receive a FREE limited edition art print from Almanac. Then above is the winner and she will receive 3 FREE limited edition art prints from Almanac and a copy of the album!

Above: Naomi Boyer submitted several great photos for #mundania. We LOVED this picture. It’s composition is beautiful, it gives you a sense of nostalgia, and the subject of “everyday life and play” is strongly captured. It’s a photograph you’d see on Instagram and stop for a moment because you’re arrested over the fact that our normal, everyday life is quite remarkable.

Below: Katrina Steele submitted several beautiful and well composed photos. This one was so clean. She made laundry and everyday chores look beautiful.

clothesline1

Below: We don’t personally know Andrea Mouser from Louisiana, but we know she’s married to a chef. And we know she can take an engaging and joyful photo of just a pile of dishes. What a great picture!

dishes

Many thanks to everyone who participated. What a great thing to get to witness. Enjoy your common (not so common) summer!

Featured Artist: Wes Bruce

Bio: Hi, I’m Wes. Like everyone else, I’m a lot of different things. I’m a son, a husband, a friend, a soul, a supporter, a lover of mountains, rivers,and wild places. I’m a believer in the power of the human imagination. I’m an investigator of the human condition. I’m an artist, an educator, an illustrator, a designer, and a photographer. I’m also a poet, a climber of trees, and an advocate for play (for adults and kids). I’m a rememberer. I’m a protector and purveyor of walking trails, shared meals, and community engagement. I believe in others, and using art as a vessel for character development. I’m passionate, and deeply curious about the world around me. I was born and raised in the woods of Northern California, then spent 10 years in San Diego, and now live with my wife and best friend, Emi in Colorado. We live gratefully, and are aware of the threadedness between joy and mourning. We love libraries & swimming pools.

More Miraculous #mundania Pictures!

Here’s another week in pictures for our Instagram game called #mundania. We’ve all been posting pictures that deal with seeing the majestic in the mundane or the uncanny in the common- recognizing just how miraculous this “normal” life is.

Below are some highlights. The “best in show” that we choose at the end of the month will be winning 3 limited-edition art prints from Giants & Pilgrims! Thanks and keep posting.

Photo by Katrina Steele. “One PM”

1 pm

Photo by James Everett. “Pets”

pets everett

 

Photo by Sarah Hanselin. “Front Porch”

front porch

 

Photo by Shannon (@Skipgo on Instagram). “Coffee”

photo

What is “Almanac No. 1”?

May is coming to a close and I’m taking a moment to pause and reflect on this project. (May’s Almanac theme is “prize” so it seems like a good time to reflect.)

Betony and I had the idea last year. What if we made an Almanac? It would be this antiquated and slightly old-fashioned approach to fields of life and love (instead of agriculture). And we could do paintings and songs that were companions to each other. And we could involve our friends who are amazing artists and writers and thinkers each month with the different almanac themes…

So it happened in 3 parts: an ALBUM, an ART-SERIES, and a MONTHLY PUBLICATION (subscription & online) and we called it Almanac No. 1.

More than an art project, we’ve been hoping this endeavor would be a culture making venture… A bit presumptuous of us I know… But what if helped provide provision & navigation for those fields of life ahead, asking “what IS the good life exactly”? That felt like art worth doing.

Now we’re half a year into the project. We’ve gotten wonderful response to the album and art-series. And Betony and I look forward to each month- preparing recipes and playlists and adventures that go into the month’s theme.

Is it a culture making venture yet? Are we inspiring others and ourselves to live adventurous lives that tell great and noble stories?

I can’t tell yet. But here’s to half-way in and to another 6 months to come… May we be navigating these fields together.

Peace,

Tim
Giants & Pilgrims

 

May Almanac Featured Artist: Kathryn Buncik

Kathryn Buncik stayed in our home for a whole summer a few years ago. She interned at Atlas Church where I worked and for the Coons’ (learning what it means to be an artist in the family context). After those few months she stayed with us we knew Kathryn would always be family, making such a strong connection both Betony and I and our girls.

She graduates from her college in Tennessee this month with an art degree and Betony and I are so proud of her! We wanted to feature her senior art show “Hide and Seek” here with an interview and some pictures. Enjoy Kathryn’s heart, her thirst for wonder, and her lifting art!

The title of the collection (made for your senior show) is “Hide and
Seek”. What brought you to that title? 

The title was actually suggested to me by Betony. And the more I thought about it, the more I liked
it. A lot of my work is made through my reflections of both childhood and adulthood. I think a lot
about my transition from being a child, innocent and curious, to being an adult who knows about a
lot of hard things happening in my life and in the world, yet still wanting to hold on to that curiosity. I
really like the play on words that “Hide and Seek” allows. Taking it in the context of childhood, it’s a
diverting and careless game. But taking it in the context of adulthood and looking at the individual
words of “hiding” and “seeking”, there’s a little bit of peril and fear that plays in to it. So in the
series, I show (mostly) children in the acts of hiding and seeking, yet they are doing so in
mountains and outer space and other vast open areas that, in reality, would be quite dangerous.
But even still, there is no sense of danger when one looks at the pieces. While it can be a hard and
dangerous journey sometimes, I’m enjoying it and find so much beauty in it. And I wanted to make
that much more prevalent than the hardship.

The elements you use for collage feel paired-­down and it seems like I could 
name each quickly:­ cosmos, nostalgic people figures (mainly children), animals, 
searching or play featured… What else am I missing? How did you come to these 
guiding subjects? Why are you drawn to them? 

Definitely. Some I relate to personally. Some I’m attracted to visually. I could talk about each
element and tell you why I used it but I’ll spare you of that.

Where do you find your collage items and why have you chosen to work in this 
series with collage alone? 

I usually find my materials from old books and magazines. I find them in a lot of different
places…old book stores, thrift stores, antique shops, yard sales. Friends have even started giving
me books they think I can use for collage, which I love! For this series I decided to work only with
collage and only with original found materials. They were all handmade (not digital) and I didn’t
scan, resize, or reproduce any of the images. I did that mostly for the challenge. And I love the
history and age that comes with original materials as well.

What are you dreaming of when it comes to future art projects? 

Hmm. More collage for sure. I’ve always enjoyed making art independently, but I think I’d be
interested in some collaboration projects in the future. I don’t know exactly what I imagine that to
look like, but I’m definitely open to the idea of it.

What are the top things you’ve learned in college, since you are now graduating, 
when it comes to your art?

Best art advice I’ve ever been given: “Make what breathes life into you.”
A sweet British man named Nigel Goodwin visited my school a few times over the last few years,
and one of those times I got to sit with him and talk about art for about an hour. I was discouraged
about feeling so drained by various art projects I was working on at the time. After listening to me
for a bit, he told me that at any given time, I should make whatever will breathe life into me. And as
soon as he said that, I completely understood what he meant. I had felt that before. From then on,
I’ve made a point to work on projects that I know I’ll enjoy, whatever medium feels right at the time.
And that has only made me love art making more and more.

Could you give your feelings/stories for 3 specific pieces from your senior show? 

buncik 1

1. This one is probably my favorite of the series. I grew up with 7 siblings and loved every bit of it. It
definitely reminds me of being with them. I also love the matching pajamas so much. The rip in the
side is also something I really love the look of, and I wish I had implied that more throughout the
series. But this was one of the last ones I made so that was more of a timing thing.

buncik 2

2. One thing I’ve been seeing a lot in my work lately is pairs. Two boys or two girls, usually. And
my favorite is when they’re in matching clothes. I’m extremely close with my younger sister (we’re
the youngest of the eight), and I think I just really love the sense of camaraderie and partnership I
get when I use pairs. It’s like they’re in it together, whatever their adventure might be.

buncik 3

3. This is another of my favorites. I just feel so happy every time I look at it. The boy is way too
sweet. And the gentleness of the butterfly makes his experience of being found so joyful. I really
love that idea.

————————————————

Many thanks to Kathryn for sharing her amazing work here!! See the rest of her show at the link below:

www.kathrynbuncik.com

 

FREE Download: Graduation Card Designed by Betony Coons

A FREE Download for you from Giants & Pilgrims matriarch, Betony Coons. Feel free to print it out and it give to a graduate.

Here’s to small provisions for the fields ahead.

graduation card
Design © Betony Coons 2014

 

“Bright”: an Interview and Polaroid Gallery by Jarred Reno

Jared Reno is an artist that we’ve worked with a few times. Did you see the Kickstarter video that led you to buying this Almanac? He was the director. Below is an interview and a gallery of portraits he did.

Jared’s Bio: My great-great grandfather was a Vaudeville escape artist known as The Great Reno. I am also an artist, just not quite that bad-ass. I specialize in film and polaroid photography. I tend to let the edges of light and dark lead the focus of the viewer. I am part of a generation that is looking to the past and clinging to well-intentioned art, process & craftsmanship which can easily be overlooked in this day and digital age.

We are honored he has produced a “Polaroid Gallery” titled Bright this month. You can find more of Jarrod’s work at www.jarrodreno.com

Interview with Jarred Reno:

Do you have a favorite photo you’ve taken? (I’m cheating, I’ve heard this story and LOVE it):

There was a day that I was home with Olive, our oldest but at the time she was maybe 2 years old. She wasn’t feeling well that day and I had been sititing on the couch with her just relaxing and noticed that the light was just pretty amazing coming in from a window. I had also just gotten a really special pack of Polaroid film, it was made with left over chemicals from the Polaroid warehouse when they shut down, this film, after the photo was taken would fade to black within 12-24 hours unless you cut open the polaroid and let it dry out to stop the development. So anyhow Olive was leaning up against a window and for just a second looked right at me, she had a very somber look about her. I hit the shutter and the Polaroid popped out and me and Olive sat there and watched it develop. After about 2 minutes it was fully developed and as I sat there looking at it, knowing that this shot because of this special film, will fade to complete black within the next 12 hours. I realized that I had a choice to make.

Do I cut the polaroid open to stop the chemicals so I can share it with other people?

Its a moment from my precious daughters life I’d be able to look back on for the rest of my life?

Or do I let it fade away and be one of two people that saw and experienced this moment captured?

My eyes filled up tears from the overwhelming feeling I got while looking at it and realizing some important things. To me it was the purest photo I’ve ever taken, I feel like everything that should have been captured, was. And honestly by ‘chance.’ She could have blinked or turned away.

I was soooo torn…. It just looked amazingly beautiful in my hands. The darks so dark, the detail so detailed, the light so perfect, her face, her eyes were speaking to my heart and I had no words to describe it. If I stopped the development I’d be able to show people and hopefully pass on something good in that…. if this thing fades to black… will it just be a waste? will I regret it? Tess, my wife wouldn’t even be able to see it.

This film illustrated something amazing to me. My daughters life, as is ours, is fleeting, something I’ve alway known in my head but now fully realized and felt it in my heart. Our moments in life are fleeting. To most of us, we have moments we wish we could re-live. I bet anything that those moments were FULL of LOVE and emotion. I bet anything! Not to put aside moments of sadness/pain because those are just as important in life and as in art!

I captured a true moment with true emotion. Olive was sick that morning, she was somber and that was shown in the photograph. The image made me FEEL. What I realized was…. the POLAROID in itself was not important and is not eternal, but the MOMENT itself was important and eternal.

The point was the moment! Not capturing it for later. But experiencing it while it happend! I felt so grateful!

We need to seriously stop and experience moments.

So, I let the polaroid fade and found so much joy in letting it go knowing that the moment was what was important and its something I’ll always have:) WOW. Though, I did scan it multiple times over the course of its fading and with getting these printed off and mounted in succession I hope for it to have an impact.

How do you attempt to bring a fresh artistry to portraits? Meaning, your pictures look very unique. What’s your approach that you think makes them such? Do you have guiding principles?

Light. That is the first thing I look for. I’m drawn to where light begins to fall off into shadows or where beams of direct light cut through shadows. It makes for interesting photos. Light reveals shape and dimension… I’m constantly looking for interesting light and that is the basis for all my photos. 2nd, is creating a mood, most of the time I like a quiet, introspective mood in my photos, it creates a bit of mystery, a look into someones spirit.

Where did the passion for photographing people/ weddings come from?

Growing up I’ve always loved sifting through thousands of photos that my parents had taken throughout their lives. I love it. I love seeing and feeling emotions from the past. That is what sparked my desire to shoot portrature and weddings specifically. People and relationships are what life is about and to highlight humanity and beauty is an amazing and important thing.

Why do you choose to use older equipment when camera technology has come leaps and bounds?

I started out with old cameras. When Olive was born I knew it was time to get a camera and just happened to have a really old Polaroid camera on my shelf and figured out that it worked. I loved the sense of timelessness it gave. The toned down colors and the soft focus. It felt more real than sharp digital cameras. It also made me slow down and be really precise with my photography, its expensive to shoot polaroid and film. Ive had a lot of practice anticipating moments and reacting when I need to by pressing the shutter button. I think through shots more than if I shot digital. I love that it forces me to be intentional. Also, the cameras look, feel and sound awesome. Each one of them is so different from the others.

What’s your favorite vintage piece of equipment you have?

Thats hard to say… Polaroid wise is my Polaroid 195 which is from the ’60s but was their professional model. Its amazing. Film-wise is my Mamiya RZ67 which shoots medium format film and gives such an amazing depth and clarity to photos. Its definitly the foundation of my gear

Boston_4th_bday_polaroid101-copy Luca_Venter_Polaroid_v101-web Julian_M_polaroid-v101-web sara_rose_polaroid_10-v1-web

“Like the Morning” One-Take Video

Our featured painting and song this month is “Held/ Like the Morning”. You can hear the album version of the song  here. The piece Betony created as companion for the song is seen above, a video of us singing it together while Bet is in process in her studio is below. We caught the moment with this one-take video.

 

Giants & Pilgrims One-Take Video “Hold You Closer” from Tim Coons on Vimeo.

Like the Morning
Giants & Pilgrims

G bm dm A
When they tell you, get your head down

G bm dm A
I will tell you, keep your head up

G D   G D
And I will hold you closer, I will hold you close

Take your questions by the millions
Put your coat on, steal your kisses

G                              G/F#  A    D    D/C#  bm
When you’ve come undone or turn and run
G             D                A
I’ll be the one with the morning

In your best parades or worst of days
I’ll be the same, like the morning
Roll your fists up, let your words cut
In defenses throwing each punch

If your head should lie or you need a guide
I will reply like the morning
when confetti rains or your heart breaks
I will stay like the morning

Betony’s Almanac Painting “Held”: Process & Story

In the Giants & Pilgrims painting series is a piece called “Held”; a primary image of a woman curled-up surrounded by elements of earth and garden . Below is artist Betony Coons’ process pictures alongside some bits of story and meaning, giving why she created the piece.

IMG_5927
From Betony:

I saved the creation of this piece for last. I think I was nervous about it. I don’t paint people very often, and I had a very clear picture of what I wanted.

I have had two miscarriages the last two years. Each were very difficult in their own way, but through the process, I discovered strength I didn’t know I had and felt “held” by those around me, mourning with us.

For me, this painting is my processing of those experiences. I knew I wanted to paint a curled up figure, in a sort of fetal position, but I didn’t want it to be sad. I wanted her to feel strong. The piece is about movement, history leading into new voyages and journeys forward. Water is portrayed as moving us towards the next adventure; holding on to the mystery and beauty of life.

My favorite part of the piece is the darkness in the center with the little flecks of gold leaf. To me, it speaks of this mystery and beauty.
IMG_5653

IMG_5657IMG_5656IMG_5764

IMG_5776 IMG_5778