Tag Archives: Art

Leftist Art For The Home, Courtesy Of Amanda


The Sheller children

A combination of painting and collage, the Sheller children gallery, created by Amanda . Amanda, Jonathan, Theresa, Katy, Deanna and Benjamin.

For many years, my oldest child Amanda has enjoyed doodling, and we’ve been entertained by the resulting images.

Well, we southpaws are supposed to be artistic, but somehow the drawing gene totally skipped my right brain, while it appears to be fairly strong in Amanda’s. Over the years, she’s drawn many interesting things. Earlier, I posted a Christmas card she drew for an on-line Hallmark Cards contest, and she’s done fairly well in those contests.

When she went to college, she became the cartoonist for “The Simpsonian,” crafting both editorial cartoons and a comic strip.

Besides the witty cartoons and related artwork, she’s done other things, such as collage style pieces, often incorporating drawings.

Audrey has asked for and received several artistic favors now and then. When she was manager of The Birthplace at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Amanda was the artist for a booklet given to siblings of new babies. Amanda’s art has graced more than one school project of Audrey’s at Mount Mercy University and is a feature of “the spa,” as Audrey’s comfortable, comfy office is sometimes called.

Young Amanda in cartoon form

The first home decoration by Amanda--the illicit garage drawing. I think she doodled some similar images in ink on our deck railing, but that medium, exposed to weather, has not preserved these early examples of artes Amandicus. Her old school lecture notes are fun to find, because they are often decorated with self and other drawings. She didn't often fix her hair this way, by the way, but her cartoon avatar usually did.

We are lucky enough to have several Amanda art galleries in our home. The first was a bit of illicit art penned on the wall of the garage when Amanda was in high school.

Later, she personalized (at Audrey’s request) our main hallway bathroom with beach-themed art (that features, in one corner, a hairy, bearded, glasses-wearing gentleman being menaced by a shark—one could interpret it as a caricature of one of Amanda’s ancestors. An immediate ancestor.).

We’ve had to touch up the mural now and then, but have preserved it through bathroom repaintings.

Not long ago, Christmas 2009, I think, Amanda crafted framed portraits of herself and her five siblings, which hang in our living room.

We completed a kitchen project last year—had a sliding glass door installed, and Audrey recovered and painted the walls. To dress up the room, and, I presume, to emphasize it’s cozy “grandparents’” kitchen hominess, Audrey asked Amanda to draw some kitchen—appropriate art.

Well, the art, shipped recently from Norwich, England, has been framed and hung. I enjoy it very much. (See YouTube video below, and I’ll put the images in a Facebook gallery, too) It’s colorful and witty. I am no artist or art expert, but I think they are very attractive. And, I think one thing that makes Amanda’s art entertaining to me is that she’s a character artist—that is, her pictures have expression and personality. The people seem to be engaged in something, there are always little scenes going on. It’s fun that way.

Even when I’m being stalked by a shark …

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A Very Short Faux Haiku Blog Post


Tristan rhymes
with piston and
this is no coincidence

OK, OK, it’s not much, and not even structurally really haiku. I just got done playing with the cute little ball of energy, and also, after engorging myself on chili and pumpkin bars, was bounced on by his 2-year-old sister.

“Nikayla” should rhyme with “piston” too-and she does, even if her name doesn’t.

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Art Should Be, Not Mean


Three babes at Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha--but the naked one definitely lacked in personality. Audrey and Nina walking thorugh museum grounds, with sculpture.

Or something like that. Maybe artists take that poetic advice a bit too seriously.

We are in Omaha visiting Nina this weekend, and Paula and Dave have kindly allowed us to stay at their house. The Joslyn Art Museum is free on Saturday mornings, so we went there.

Image of Van Gogh painting form Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, web site.

They are showing a “beyond impressionism” exhibit, that includes a lot of impressionistic art works from the turn of the 19th to 20th century.

Somehow, I enjoyed that art more than the modern art exhibits. It’s not that all modern art is useless, but some of it is so abstract that it fails to communicate.

I suppose self expression is more the point of some art than communication, but you could say that about writing, too.

As a writer, while I don’t mind writing for therapeutic or self-discovery purposes, I do want my reader to understand or feel some empathy with my point.

I can’t claim to completely understand a Monet or Van Gogh—but at least they are accessible to me. I can stand back from a painting and get an impression of a time or place or a quality of light or a mood.

In contrast, abstract stripes on a wall or geometric patterns don’t say as much to me.

When we get back to CR, I’ll post some images of museum—exterior or lobby shots, naturally I could not photograph the artwork. I recommend the museum, not just for this travelling impressionist exhibition—if you can catch it, go for it—but it’s got an interesting permanent collection and fun outdoor exhibits, too.

What can I say? When I’m in the mood for art, show me the Monet.

Statue near museum entrance.

Same statue, walkers resting near it.

Upper lobby inside museum, sculpture. Audrey said similar sculpture in a hospital she used to work at was informally known as the "sperm sculpture."

The sculpture that most amused Audrey-cartoon kids spilling out rear of settlers' wagon.

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