Halloween isn`t Halloween without a pumpkin to light the way. Pumpkins are generally easy to carve once you put a face to a name (excuse the pun). The facial features such as the mouth and eyes can increase the scare factor, wide eyes and pointy teeth generally have a frightening impact. The typical “jack o lantern” has taken on various forms including caricatures, iconic characters and staged pumpkin still life.
Now lets see what everyone else got up to………
My Top Ten Pumpkin Heads
This picture was taken during the summer at the New Miller Dam in Wakefield. This location is teaming full of wildlife and acts as a sanctuary to both animal and adventure seekers. It is very scenic and tranquil, it is great for those who are looking for escapism- to get away from it all.
I also love this last picture as it shows a bath house half submerged under water, which gives it that romantic but tragic feel to such a beautiful building. The way the trees try to camouflage the building to protect it from the outside world is very secretive but loving.
This week I came across a crafter on ETSY, known as Baltic Frog. I was amazed at the quality and effort that had gone into the Baltic Frog range of homemade crocheted rugs. Personally I like the natural designs and textures of the rugs, the fact that they are homemade gives the brand more of a personal appeal. As you may already know I am a lover of great quality natural products. I believe there are three major differences between items which are mass produced and items which are produced as a handmade “labour of love”. Items which are mass produced do not have a personal identity, they also lack creative finesse and touch.
Each and every rug in the Baltic Frog range has its own creative flair and they are all handmade using mixed yarns, this particular rug is 109cm in diameter. I love the fact Christmas is around the corner and I may have to buy one for my spare bedroom. This particular rug retails at about 58 pounds, bargain!
As a cat lover I think my cat (Misty) would also appreciate lounging on a rug like this as we have bought her many things to sit and sleep in but she hasn`t liked anything, she would much more prefer to sit on the sofa or on the carpet.
This is Misty! – Felix stunt double!
My first impressions of Banksy is that he loves his privacy and shy`s away from the public eye. His illusiveness adds appeal but also shows a humane side to his imminent stardom. I can`t help but feel cynicism, by choosing not to reveal his true identity it seems on the outside that the media attention which he is receiving is unwanted or is it? Was this the plan all along? By remaining illusive this therefore has increased his stardom and promoted the Banksy brand.
The latest piece of news which hit the headline was a graffiti artist vandalising a piece of art created by undercover Banksy. I was quite perplexed because why would a graffiti artist graffiti over graffiti art which sole purpose was to spread enjoyment. All graffiti artists work towards a common goal to promote artistic flair, mark their territory and reinforce rebellion. Was the graffiti artist trying to prove a point that graffiti has lost its way and has been sold to the commercial devil (so to speak). Or has Banksy crossed the line by being allowed to graffiti in New York, as so many artists have tried to follow in his footsteps and have received hardly any recognition for their work.
I think his work is significant and represents a shift in society from breaking conventions to ultimate acceptance. Take The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, in this image graffiti represents a life which the character Will once had, a tough middle class up-bringing, and the only way to express himself was through rebellious acts of vandalism. Banksy is a fortunate artist who has been allowed to express himself by creating iconic pieces of graffiti art. Part of me thinks would he have received the same recognition during the 1990s? I think not!
I love the colours which autumn brings
For the crumble;
70g rolled oats
70g plain flour
40g granulated sugar
70g of butter
For the filling;
10 apples-peeled, cored and turned into cubes
100g of granulated sugar
4 tablespoons of water
Generous helping of ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Peel and core the apples, quarter and cut in to chunks.
- Put the apples into a pan with the sugar and water. Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes and place in a small ovenproof dish.
- Place the flour and oats into a bowl and mix well. Cut the butter into small cubes and add this to the oats and flour. Mix with your fingertips and rub the butter into the mixture until it resembles an even crumb texture. Add the sugar and mix through.
- Cover the fruit with the crumble mixture. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until the crumble is golden and the apple hot.
When I was watching the 60 Minute Makeover yesterday morning, the interior designer on the show made a reference to Carl Larsson, a well-known Swedish artist. He was famous in the Industrial Revolution for his depiction of “children” and making the family home more about family. The use of pastel colours in interior design was also a Larsson trademark.
When doing my own research I discovered that most of his paintings capture the innocence of children mostly from a voyeuristic perspective:
This print is known as Shelling Peas, Pub. In `Lasst Licht Hinin` (Let in More Light`). 1909.
I like this image due to its traditional interpretation of family life, for example, the mother in this image has commandeered the help of her daughter and son to prepare the vegetables. All of the characters are bonding and working together to produce something magnificent. The wall art in the background of this image represents a struggle, you could interpret this as the struggle to receive help from her children or it could be something quite sinister- it could reveal that these moments never last as there is a struggle between childhood and adulthood.
In the Holly Hedge
I chose this image because it epitomises the bond between children and Mother Nature. As a child I loved to play in the garden and I once found an over grown tree to hide in, a great piece of camouflage. It had a readymade entrance way where I could hide if I never wanted to be found. Hide and seek was an iconic game played by all, the child in this image is no exception as she is half submerged in the holly hedge. The interruptions of the red berries amongst the green mass is very reminiscent of Swedish pattern and design as green and red are two colours which are frequently used in abstract art.
My Eldest Daughter, 1904
Larsson was also a family man who had children of his own. In this image we see his eldest daughter gazing across the table whilst reading a book. Larsson`s daughter looks very mature for her age and well dressed. By taking an image which is to the left, it reveals an angelic quality. She is sat in equal opposition to the painter which shows again admiration for the person in this image, she is not looked down upon or put on a pedestal, she is a balanced and well rounded person. As you look through the eyes of a painter, you see a very talented man who loves his family, who has a passion for Swedish design with the use of homely colours such as, whites, green wash, browns, pastel blues and creams.