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Branches Online Art Show: Feature # 2

Happy September! We are excited to share the second installation of our “branches” themed art show with you. All last month we asked artists to submit pieces on this theme and we had a really wonderful turnout. Enjoy these lovely interpretations!

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Betony Coons

 

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Brittany Schmidt

 

Brittney Maddox

Brittany Maddox

 

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Garrett Leonnig

 

Celtic Table 5

Nancy Lynch

 

Thanks to everyone who submitted! For a peak at the first feature go here.

Branches Online Art Show: Feature #1

We are so excited to share with you the first set of artwork from our open online art show “Branches.” Photography, drawing, painting and writing are represented here.

We’d love to hear/see your interpretation of the theme “Branches” and will be accepting submissions through the end of August and be posting new pieces. Perhaps your piece could be/ will be in Feature #2.

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Bill Youmans. He says of the above piece, “notice how the branch from the upper left becomes 3 branches, and then following the stem of the leaf as it spreads into the leaf structure, the 1 into 3 pattern repeats itself over and over, smaller and smaller.”

 

Elaine Furister_The Velvet Tree

Elaine Furister – See more of her work on Facebook

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 Kelly Cook – To see more of her artwork and purchase this piece

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Brittany Schmidt

 

Essay by David Shelley:

Grieving Lost Branches

As I write this, two younger, more vigorous men are cleaning up the mess in our backyard. A heavy, wet snow came through one night. It brought much-needed moisture for our trees. But it arrived at the end of October, before the trees had shed their leaves. The heavy snow collected on the leaves, and branches as thick as my waist snapped like fortune cookies. Nature’s pruning took away locust, aspen and maple branches, and half of our old willow. A lot that once looked forested now looks as though a tornado had passed through. One young locust had the pliability to bend all the way, its top touching the ground, before I broomed off the snow, allowing it to spring back. But it straightened only halfway. It now leans like an old man with his walker.

A tire swing once hung from one of those willow branches. My father loved to swing his grandchildren when they were small. He, like that once-mighty branch, is gone now, and his grandchildren have grown and left the house. This was expected, but I dwell on it with mixed feelings, not unlike the mixed feelings I have had when saying good-bye to too many departed friends.

It is natural and good to get snow in October, and natural for mature trees to shed major branches at times. There is a time to break down, and a time to build up, Solomon noticed. But we do not merely notice such seasonal changes. We mourn them. I will miss the massive beauty of the willow, and the welcome shade it brought. It is now in a season for starting new branches–not because it is spring, but because most of the old branches are gone.

The willow itself does not seem melancholy. It will prove hardy. Years from now, it will have great branches again. I am the one who mourns the loss of those branches, because I enjoyed watching that tree spread its green canopy, its shady glory, over our home. I enjoyed watching my father play with his grandchildren. It is the past tense that lingers like a dark cloud.

A friend of mine said that when his father died, he felt as if his covering had been removed and he was exposed to something–I’m not sure what. Looming mortality, perhaps. I think of him as I look at our willow, now looking as ragged as a family name after a scandal. I feel the incongruity of that welcome water, feeding the tree it broke, renewing the process of beautifying and beneficial growth. Will we ever see unlimited growth without pruning, I wonder, or will we gain an eternal appreciation for the necessity of breaking off branches to reinvigorate new growth? Will I someday experience heavenly pruning and exult in it? Or will I never be pruned again? I long for a pure faith in the Vinedresser, a faith that trustingly welcomes either option, because I am tired of grieving the loss of old, familiar branches. – November 2012

 

To hear more from David find him over at Facebook

A History of Jazz Playlist

This month’s playlist follows the idea of branches.

We did a map with this run of songs depicting the beginning of jazz to present day flavors, starting with songs that would have influenced the genre on to it’s current state.

The Entertainer • Scott Joplin  • 1902
Livery Stable Blues  • Original Dixieland Jazz Band   • 1917
St. Louis Blues • Bessie Smith/Louis Armstrong   • 1925
Taxi War Dance • Count Basie   • 1939
All of Me • Billie Holiday    • 1939
Scrapple from the Apple • Charlie Parker/Miles Davis   • 1947
Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue • Duke Ellington    • 1956
Mack the Knife • Ella Fitzgerald    • 1960
Resolution • John Coltrane   • 1964
Bird Land • Weather Report   • 1977
Confessions to my Unborn Daughter • Ambrose Akinmusire    • 2011

“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.

 

Theme for August and Poetic Intro: “Branches”

Whenever I think of August I think of it in terms of the last summer month- the last days of hot sun with everything growing and flourishing all around. I also think of family reunions. If they haven’t happened yet during the usual break people take in summer, then they will this month. Lastly, but not really lastly in these thoughts towards this wide-catching theme, I think about swings and long hours of play outside in August.

So for our Almanac this month we decided on the theme of “branches”. The growth, the roots of family and influence, play… Here’s a poem that hails all that is August!

Branches

August is a family tree
a reunion

an examining of roots
and an amazement at just how high, tall and wide
these things
can grow

The deep heat of the summer is passing
and all that sun, all that water
has given way to life on the edge of harvest,
a marvel of stretching and greenery

and the summer pause gives room for aunts and uncles and cousins
it gives room for the rumination of root and where all this comes from
it gives room in that open, blue sky for 

branches

to stretch and angle themselves closer and closer

to the light