Over the summer I have been to numerous local fairs, and other events to occupy my time. Some of these events have allowed me to make connections and to promote my novel, Legend of the Mystic Knights.
Some of these events were just for sheer pleasure. These include the numerous county fairs I attended, and this included the Great SchaghticokeFair. Like the Washington County Fair I spoke of in my last blog, this one too is an agricultural fair.
This fair had its share of rides and games of chance, and although I did not participate in any, it was fun to see them. I did, however, like to view some of the farm displays, especially those of antique farm equipment. I always like hearing the sputtering of an old engine as it runs and turns a belt to run a saw or other machinery.
I will say there were some glitches at the fair. One was they had a horse judging competition. This is where riders parade their horses, showing their riding techniques along with the skills of their horses. I am not complaining about this event, I am just stating they should not have had it scheduled at the same time that less than 100 feet away, that there was a monster truck show going on. Loud noises from a huge truck and trying to ride a horse do not mix.
One thing I did visit was a tent with numerous tools, and clothing available. I always visit these tents because they do have good deals on tools. I ended up buying several leather making kits for use in constructing my leather armor (future blog coming).
The Schaghticoke Fair will be one of the last, if not the last type of country fair I will attend this year. It is sad to think that summer has ended and the fall has begun, and soon my world will have a white covering of snow. However, before my world freezes, I do have October to look forward to and this means Halloween season.
My next adventure was to go to the Hyde Collection.
The Hyde Collection- Is an art museum and historic house located in Glens Falls, NY. It was founded by Louis and Charlotte Hyde. Today it is a museum that embraces a diversity of styles, periods, and media.
For full disclosure, I found out about the Hyde Collection from my friend Caitlin Stedman, who works at the collection. She also directed in me several short films, “Lemonaid” and “Home” produced by her SnarkyAardvark Films.
During the day that I attended there was a special exhibit featuring the works by Andy Warhol and Winslow Homer.
Let’s talk first about Andy Warhol. He was probably the leading figure in what we call the ‘visual art movement” or commonly referred to as “pop art”. Warhol is probably the most famous artist in American culture since the 1950’s. The exhibition was entitled “The Late Drawings of Andy Warhol (1973-1987)”.
“The Late Drawings of Andy Warhol (1973-1987)”, although I do not even think of myself as any type of art critic, I am going to criticize these works. This in no way reflects on the Hyde Collection, (or some of the other works by Warhol which are brilliant) for these works are considered masterpieces by most of the modern art world.
What I do have an issue with these “drawings” is the way Warhol did them. Most of these drawings were of famous people, (from James Dean to Mao Zedong) and were simple pencil sketches. How he did them was to take a picture of these famous people, and using an overhead projector traced them on a piece of paper.
Now if you listen to the “art world” experts their explanation for this work: “This technique used throughout his lifetime allowed Warhol to produce “machine made” lines that are equally automatic and expressive, impersonal and intimate.”
This is my take on his drawings. When an artist becomes so iconic, such as Warhol, it becomes almost impossible to criticize him. His reputation supersedes his ability, and hence he can almost do anything and it is classified as a masterpiece. What he did “copying” these pictures onto a piece of paper are called genius, if you and I did this; we would have failed 7th grade art class.
Now let me say something about the exhibit I truly enjoyed, Winslow Homer.
Winslow Homer was an American artist and printmaker. He was almost entirely self –taught, but was a well-respected artist and worked as a commercial illustrator. Later he worked in oil painting and water color.
Many of Homer’s work concentrated on landscapes. During the Civil War, he worked for Harper’s and was sent to the battle field. His drew and painting not only numerous battles, but also quiet times of the camp life. Homer was also noted not only for painting military life, but also woman during this time, showing the effects of war on the home front.
Homer’s art was a realistic look at everyday life. His work shows nature, and man, during hard times, and good times. It showed the nobility and savagery that each showed, and had to endure.
Next week. I may speak, if I go, about the last Renaissance festival of the year.