Peonies in Porcelain

Peonies in Porcelain
Peonies in Porcelain

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“Peonies in Porcelain” is an original acrylic painting by Donna Cushman of the Constitution State, Connecticut. Donna is a Quadriplegic, and she paints with a brush held in her mouth. This greeting card was reproduced from an original acrylic painting by Donna Cushman for THASC Sales Co., a private company dedicated to the employment of a unique group of handicapped artists who create art to help rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and pride through their artwork.
“Peonies in Porcelain” is an original acrylic painting by Donna Cushman of the Constitution State, Connecticut. Donna is a Quadriplegic, and she paints with a brush held in her mouth. This greeting card was reproduced from an original acrylic painting by Donna Cushman for THASC Sales Co., a private company dedicated to the employment of a unique group of handicapped artists who create art to help rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and pride through their artwork.

As a child of the 60’s and 70’s, that is a baby-boomer, I was very much attracted to high-heeled boots and shoes that were so “in” at the time and Donna Cushman’s painting immediately caught my eye.

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20150624_141221-1I was also attracted to the peony flower which is a traditional floral symbol of China and is used symbolically in Chinese art. Throughout Chinese history, peonies in the ancient Chinese city of
Luoyang are said to be the finest in the country.

Since peonies are native to Asia and Southern Europe, I enjoyed their beautiful scent when I was living in Beijing and throughout my travels of southern China. In Japan its root was used as a treatment for convulsions while in the Middle Ages their seeds were medically significant.

20150624_142034-1The Chinese also use the fallen petals as an addition to salads or to sweeten water like lemonade. Peonies are commonly used in Japan as tattoos along with lions, tigers, dragons and koi-fish as a masculine design.

To me I can only imagine them as feminine as can be with their soft petals and of course, those high-heeled shoes!

Join me next Tuesday as we get closer to our national holiday, July 4, and continue to celebrate our THASC artists.

Zai jian! (Good-bye in Chinese)

-Maria

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THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.
www.thasc.com

Marples the Clown with Daisies

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“Marples the Clown with Daisies”

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“Marples the Clown with Daisies” is an original pen, ink, and acrylic drawing by Gary Lapelle, resident of the Mountain State , West Virginia. Gary conracted polio at the age of three that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Gary is now able to walk and has partial use of his right hand and arm from surgery and rehabilitation. This greeting card was reproduced from an original artwork by Gary Lapelle for THASC Sales Co. which has employed a unique group of handicapped artists who create art to help rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and pride through their artwork.
“Marples the Clown with Daisies” is an original pen, ink, and acrylic drawing by Gary Lapelle, resident of the Mountain State , West Virginia. Gary conracted polio at the age of three that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Gary is now able to walk and has partial use of his right hand and arm from surgery and rehabilitation. This greeting card was reproduced from an original artwork by Gary Lapelle for THASC Sales Co. which has employed a unique group of handicapped artists who create art to help rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and pride through their artwork.
Most children love going to the circus and being entertained by funny clowns of all shapes and sizes who make them laugh. The principal types of clowns are the “whiteface”, just that, ie., it uses clown white makeup to cover the face and neck, and is more sophisticated, sometimes seen wearing the ruffled collar. They are also called the “sad clown”. I have a small clown doll on my shelf which will show you what I mean:

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20150415_082512-1The ‘auguste” face usually has the mouth and eyes thickly outlined in white. Usually his costume is either too big or too small and his role is being confused or foolish. To give you an idea of what an auguste clown, also known as the “happy clown” would look like, I’d like to show you my Capo di Monte clown which I purchased in Venice many years ago. It has great attention to detail. First, let’s look at the face make-up (note the mouth and eyes in white)

Clown costumes tend to also exagerate some body parts, such at the feet and noses. You will note the oversized shoes on my clown:

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The character clown in the American circus is usually either a hobo, tramp or bum clown. Emmett Kelly, Red Skelton, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin were all character clowns. Clowns don’t talk but rather use props like a squirting flower or riding a “clown bike” to evoke humor. Sometimes clowns do, however, perform other skils in the circus, like walking a tight rope or riding a horse. Time to look at my clown in full: Note the large bubble nose and the “squirting” flower on the lapel and his oversized trousers:

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Some people have expressed a fear of clowns, particularly those in the circus The term “coulrophobia” is used to describe this fear as abnormal or irrational fear of clowns. Some argue that notorious figures in real life (John Wayne Gacy) have contributed to this fear. Additionally the fact that much of a clown’s behavior is anti-social can create feelings of unease. NOTE 1.

When I see a clown, I think immediately of Judy Collins classic “Send in the Clowns.” I actually have a clown music box that plays the song.
Here are some of the lyrics:

20150415_082211-1“Isn’t it bliss?
Don’t you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can’t move….
Where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns.

Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear. I thought you’d want what I want…
Sorry my dear!
And where are the clowns
Send in the clowns
Don’t bother, they’re here.”

Hope you all enjoyed our blog on clowns which was inspired by THASC artist Gary Lapelle. Marples looks like a “happy clown” to me. What do you think?

Join me on the last Thursday in May to salute those whom we honor on Saturday, May 30, Memorial Day.

-Maria

Note 1. “Why Are Some People Afraid of Clowns?”, Zidbits. October 20, 2011.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.
www.thasc.com