… pass it on.” ~Albert Einstein
Did you know the official name of Woodstock was The Woodstock Music and Art Fair?
I didn’t deliberately set out to publish three posts in a row that reminisced about the 1960s and the Woodstock era … it just kind of fell into place. Especially this weekend’s posts. I have a ton of photos collected from my Summer treks that have languished in my computer pictures files, as I struggled to get any posts published the last six weeks. So, I decided to parlay some of those photos into today’s 1960s art theme.
Although I don’t have a photo of a garment I created back in the 60s when tie-dying was an artsy-fartsy way to show your creativity with colorful tee-shirts, or long, gauzy dresses that nearly swept the floor, I can churn out a post with an arty creative theme, so here goes.
Tie-dye was all the rage – just a few simple steps and a little messy, but it was your time to shine and show just how creative you really were by simply dying material, then twisting it to form one-of-kind, dyed creations. When I asked my mother if we could make a tie-dye shirt for me, it was an emphatic “no, you’re not making a mess in my washing machine.” My father backed up her answer by chiming in with “no Linda, we are not raising a hippie here!” … so that was the end of that topic.
Thus, there was some teenage angst as I was denied showing off my creative side, except for a brief foray into charcoal sketching in the late 60s and then after the sewing bug bit me. More about that later.
Art exhibit in the ‘hood.
On a Friday morning, three weeks ago, I was headed home after a five-mile walk at Council Point Park, having secured some close-up photos of a groundhog munching on leaves. A post was already bubbling around in my brain about Mr. Groundhog, and, as I rounded the corner at the cross-street, I stopped in my tracks. Whoa! A sign advertised “Original Art 4 Sale” and a row of brightly colored canvases were either propped up against the chain-link fence, or hanging along it.
Now, I had passed that same house, about 90 minutes before and there was nothing out there – I would have noticed. So, as your roving reporter, I had to dig out the camera and take some photos and that was when I met the artist of those colorful canvases, Brian Spicer.
We made our introductions and I asked if I could take some pictures of Brian and some of his artwork and he was happy to oblige.
I perused those paintings, then asked Brian which was his favorite. He didn’t hesitate and said “wait a minute – it’s inside in my studio” so he was off in a flash and when he returned, this was what he produced.
I told him the painting reminded me of the marshy lagoon areas with all the cattails and endless reeds at Lake Erie Metropark. All that was missing was the invasive, frothy Phragmites that are everywhere at that venue.
While visiting with Brian I just had to mention that I always look at this house when I pass enroute to Council Point Park, because I like the chalk art that is often displayed there. I told him that I had just used the cute chalk art bunny with the ice-cream message the weekend before, then slipped him a card with my blog name on it so he could check out that post. Brian told me he had drawn that bunny and I remarked that I’d been photographing the chalk art at their house in recent years for my blog, and was impressed that the chalk artist had gone from childish scrawls to ramping up their drawing skills this Summer. He laughed and said “no, that was me this time; before it was my niece!” He also decorates rocks and hides them at the local parks, just a small part of this painted rock craze, which, in year #3, continues to enthrall those who paint, hide and find those stone treasures.
Now, as a general rule, Brian does not line up his paintings on the fence, but did so that day because our City was having its annual, two-day “Art in the Park” event at Memorial Park and he thought he just might snag a few passersby who would be parking on the side streets to attend the event, which featured art, crafts and also local bands. Brian had tried to register for a vendor booth at the Park, but he had just missed the registration cutoff. They didn’t promote this event unless you happen to follow our City’s Facebook site.
So, Brian said he displayed some of his paintings on his Facebook page from time to time and I encouraged him to start a blog at WordPress. Since it took me so long to get this post done, Brian has already created and posted in his new blog entitled “Blue Dog Creations”.
Art in the Park.
The next day I headed to Lake Erie Metropark and after a morning of walking and taking photos, I came home and headed over to the “Art in the Park” event at Memorial Park.
There appeared to be a lot of vendors’ tents outside and a sign said crafters were inside the Kennedy Memorial Center as well.
Now, I don’t consider myself hard to please, but nothing really struck my fancy, so that I was willing to part with some money. I strolled the grounds where there were food trucks and bounce houses and it was more of an arts and crafts show as you see below.
What did intrigue me a little was a vendor who sold vintage-style aprons, so it was here that I lingered the longest.
I saw this simple apron, just a square of fabric with two long ties. I told him I made one of those for my mom for Mother’s Day in 8th grade Home Ec class, circa 1969. Mom’s apron was pink-and-black-striped, which sounds a little gawdy now, but it was perky looking. She saved it in her dresser drawer for decades. I looked all over the house to see if I could find it for this post, as it resembled this simple apron which was going for $20.00. Unfortunately, it was nowhere to be found. We had several assignments to be completed under the tutelage of the very patient Mrs. Baldwin and that apron was my first creation.
This crafter’s vintage aprons were interesting and I looked around at his collection.
I told him I never made those frilly, old-fashioned cobbler’s aprons, but I did make no-frills cobbler’s aprons for my mom for years during my sewing hey day. Those I found and I’m able to include a picture of three of them and they were well worn. I figured I’d keep them to protect my clothing from whatever.
I sewed all my own clothes for years because I was always tall and I didn’t like my pants looking like I was waiting for the floods, or having my jackets appear that they belonged to a little sister. He said he was self-taught and never used a pattern. I said I was not good at hand sewing and finishing off my sewing projects and the joke in the family was that I did all the machine sewing and my mom did all the hand sewing, like basting in sleeves or gathers, sewing the buttons on, hemming the garment, yet I would crow about how I sewed the outfit all by myself.
While walking home I reminisced a little about aprons in the Schaub household. My grandmother and mother always wore a cobbler’s apron while cooking. At an early age, because I was curious about everything, I asked each of them why they wore an apron while cooking. My grandmother replied “Nanny doesn’t want to get splatters all over her clothing while she cooks” and my mother explained in better detail “Mommy has a big chest and she’s short – when she leans over the stove to reach the pots on the back burners, she drags the front of her clothes into the open pots.” Since I’ve never had a big chest, and it seems I’ve been 5 feet nine inches tall forever, and, especially, since I don’t believe I have ever had four burners going at one time, I have never needed an apron. Just sayin’. 🙂
I did the whole “Art in the Park” in about 20 minutes and didn’t hang around for any of the bands because I could hear them from my home several blocks away.