Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Men Of War

"Men of War"

Today is Veterans Day, an official United States holiday observed on November 11th, that honors people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Veterans Day coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I (World War I formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918).

Having said that. I don't know where I was going with this piece. I think the overall influence came from the current state of our world: War and conflict. Death and sadness in so many places. That is all we see on TV, what we read on-line, and what we hear on the radio.

It's not just ISIS and the whole middle-eastern 'thing', but what about the 40+ students kidnapped and murdered in Mexico, the Ebola epidemic in East Africa, global warming and our politicians in Congress in full denial mode. . . .

I guess the days I worked on this piece, I was feeling all of it coming down at once.

All that aside, the finished piece is actually fun and whimsical.  You can pick it up, take it out of it's cradle and play with it.  The sound of the BB's rolling around is quite soothing.

 When you lay the piece flat, the BBs will spread out on the bottom of the frame.

They are beautiful to look at, aren't they?

Two identical wooden frames covered in vintage dictionary pages. The front frame contains a glass cover, the back frame is secured with a thin piece of wood.

The toy soldiers, an estate sale find, I was told are from the Vietnam era. 

The red beads are actual plastic AMMO!  (I found whole jar at a recent garage sale) 
They are beautiful, aren't they?
The stand is made from a wire cassette tape storage unit, cut in half and inserted into a piece of scrap wood that has also been papered in text.

I would really like to know what you think about this piece.
How does it make you feel?  
Does it conjure up unanticipated feelings?

Thanks for stopping!



  1. When I first saw this piece, I was moved by the message the piece sent to me. Maybe it was because it was Veterans Day, or maybe because of the state of our current affairs, as you pointed out, but I felt an instant foreboding.

    I read that you thought the piece was fun and whimsical. That is not what I got from it.

    You have such a wonderful sense of how to put things together, and using two frames to make this piece was genius. I have NO idea where you find time to run a studio and go to all those garage sales. But you put so many disparate pieces together all the time, there's no way the viewer can't be moved, whether it's to laugh, cry, or feel another emotion inside.

    1. interesting observations on the piece.

      ps: a big part of my love for what i do is "the hunt" for art materials . . . so saturday mornings are garage sale days, and sunday mornings are flea market days (we have 2 fleas really close by) . . . and tuesdays i stop at my favorite thrift stores in town . . . i have what you call, a routine . . . HA!

  2. I forgot to tell you. You asked about rust. This is VERY dangerous if you have an open cut. If your rust migrates to an open sore, you can develop serious problems because the rust attaches to the hemoglobin in your blood. I always wear gloves when working with rust, and I don't take them off till I know the piece is safe. If fabric, I soak in baking soda water, then rinse. If paper, I spray with fixative. Hope that helps.

    1. thanks E! i will keep that in mind as i work with rusty things . . .

  3. pour moi, c'est le jour d'anniversaire de mon fils... alors les billes rouges sang , je les interprète autrement :))))

  4. An impressive piece created at the perfect time. I think it is extra cool that it is interactive,

    1. thanks Seth. the subject matter is thought provoking. the red beads are fun.

  5. I like it. I can see my kids gravitating towards it to move the ammo-beads around, swirling them around the soldiers. Not sure if that is what you had in mind when you created it but that is what came to mind. My husband is in the Reserves so we have plenty of "soldier stuff" around our home and our 5 year old son especially loves to wear daddy's soldier things. I think my husband would think this project is pretty cool.

  6. The red beads or ammo made me think of the fields of poppies... but perhaps that is because the poppies are everywhere here at the moment... the soldiers and the red... a very emotive piece and as always the viewer will take from it suing past experience so see it through different eyes.

    1. Poppies? what a great idea. seems like red poppies are worn in honor of America's war dead, typically on Memorial Day, i wonder if it's so for Veterans Day also. . . . ? i will have to research that. . . .

  7. You did it again with another wonderful and very unique creation. Thanks Rebeca for sharing at VIP.