But otherwise, Mrs Lincoln…

We recently went to the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois.

As I love embroidery, I was very much interested in the dresses of Mrs. Lincoln. I would never want to wear one but the workmanship on them is incredible!

Mrs. Lincoln, looks a bit stout in her photos but she was surprisingly tiny.

The bodice though of course they would have used real flowers.

A close up of the embroidery.

The following are dresses that belonged to Mrs. Lincoln’s contemporaries. 

This one is my favorite, how heavy it must have been!

In contrast to such finery and displays of wealth is this display showing the separation of a family at a slave auction, a scene Lincoln witnessed and was haunted by.

On a lighter note, this display showed Lincoln seemingly amused by his sons’ shenanigans.  They said, the other people in the law offices did not like the boys coming to the office as they reigned terror over all while their father ignored the chaos they created.

The outside of the museum.

This mural was a block or so over from the museum.

And yes he is staring at you.

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

 

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The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity. ~ Herbert Hoover

When you enter the Presidential Library of Herbert Hoover, there is a  beautifully made mixed media piece by Richard Pinney.  There are wood carvings and photographs and all sorts of bits and pieces.  I was quite taken with it and inspired as well.

Absolute freedom of the press to discuss public questions is a foundation stone of American liberty. ~ Herbert Hoover

Children are our most valuable natural resource. ~ Herbert Hoover

These dolls were given to President Hoover by Belgian children as a thank you for his war famine relief efforts.  The lady doll seems to be imploring the rather haughty male doll. I am not sure why he has his back to her but I am quite sure that his hat is to die for.

There’s also a slightly out of focus ghostly reflection that appears to be wearing a rather dashing black and white checkered coat. Interesting.

This toy fire truck was made in dedication to the fire fighters who put out the fire at the White House in 1929.

The fire started in the White House attic where 200,000 government pamphlets about all sorts of subjects were stored and then had the good sense to set themselves ablaze.

The President, his son and several other men, worked to remove as many files and historical items as possible while Mrs. Hoover carried on with the Christmas party for children she was hosting.  The children apparently didn’t notice the fire and good times were had.  Mrs. Hoover later handed out cast iron fire trucks to the children that had been at the party.

Hebert Hoover certainly had his share of foibles as all people do but he was an interesting man who did interesting things.  I highly recommend going to his library if you’re in the area.  If you like to meander, the grounds are quite large and perfect for a stroll.  He is buried on the grounds. 

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

The Super Blue Blood Moon

There should be dramatic music played every time someone says that.

And it should be said as if a wrestling announcer is saying it..

Laaaaaaaaadies and Gentleman….

(and the crowd roars)

Here in the night sky, hanging around that planet we call home, waxing and waning and dragging and pulling the water in and out and in and out and in and out..

It’s not just great..

It’s not just blue..

It’s not just bloody..

It’s the…

Supppppperrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuue

Blooddddddddddddddddddd

Moon!!

Dum Dum Dum Dahhhhhhh….

Then all the Goths cheer! (do Goths cheer?)

This is not the greatest photo, a little fuzzy but I took it at 4am when I was also a little fuzzy so it’s all good.

Anyway Happy Super Blue Blood Moon Day. Congratulations on making it through the first month of the year. Woo hoo.

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

A beautiful ghost and a rather silly swan.

Over on WetCanvas in the Fantasy/SciFi forum, there was a challenge for the month of January. The theme of the challenge was to create something, in any medium, that had to do with a song.

Mine is from a Canadian singer, Loreena McKennit. She wrote and sang a song called “The Bonny Swans”. Loreena McKennit has such a beautiful voice!

The video is a bit long but the gist of it is that a girl is drowned in the river by her jealous sister. Her sister wants to marry the girl’s love. The body is swept around where the swans swim and eventually is laid out by a miller who thinks it’s a swan. A harpist comes sees the body and makes a harp of it. He is invited to the sister’s wedding to the girl’s love. At the wedding the harp sings the story and tells everyone what the sister did to her.

I’ve been looking at tapestries and have been on a medieval binge so I did this, in a naive medieval style in material ~ embroidery floss and linen. I did a quick sketch on paper and then pretty much free styled this as I went along.

It shows the sister in her wedding dress as the ghost comes out of the harp to tell of her murder and a swan is attacking the sister as well.

The swan cracked me up, it’s a silly thing.

Please ignore the fuzz by the swan, I didn’t realize it was there till after I took the photo. (and can I say how much I loathe how long it takes and the manner in which Windows 10 downloads photos)

This is on a 12 inch hoop.

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

Merry Christmas!

I was involved in a Christmas card trade on WetCanvas with a few other artists. It was so much fun and I received some beautiful cards from all the world. 

These were the ones I made. They’re ink and metallic watercolor. The metallic are so much fun to work with but they are hard to photograph!

christmas art painting watercolor ink

I also did a Science Fiction ~ Fantasy Christmas trade. I made this dragon for a wonderful friend of mine,  who is a guide on the Science Fiction & Fantasy forum on WetCanvas. She does monthly challenges there that are so much fun and very clever. If you like scifi or fantasy, check it out!

This is watercolor, ink and a whole lot of glitter. 

I hope you have a happy holiday whichever one you celebrate!

Much love and good wishes to all!

 

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2017

 

The Pumpkin Dragon

Through triangle eyes

He glared at the night

He stared at the night

He dared the night

 

To try and break through

His stalwart candlelight

He had read

Of a serpent

On a medieval page

Who loathed all pumpkins

And in a serpentine rage

Would crush the life

From innocent gourds

Leaving pieces scattered about

For the rampaging hordes

latin dragon medieval

He heard the leaves rustle

Crackle

And break

Oh no! It was that

Evil and Ancient old snake!

 

It wrapped round his midriff

And he started to shake

He found it surprisingly fuzzy

For a centuries old snake

And in that moment

As it started to lean

He realized it was only Dummy

Dressed up for Hallowe’en!

Happy Hallowe’en

From Sammy

And Zeus

Medieval Pumpkin Dragon ~ Ink and metallic watercolor, 11×9 inches

My rather shabby Latin reads “Beware the Pumpkin Dragon ~ It will eat your Eyes ~ Your Heart ~ And steal your breath ~ Beware!

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2017