Sunday, April 12

Happy Easter

     I have to admit, I don't actually celebrate Easter, but I was raised with Easter baskets, dyed eggs, and that sort of thing - just none of the religious meaning.  My siblings and I were not raised with any religious training or belief system.  Well, I take that back; our training was to not have a belief system that involved religion.  We were *taught* that to follow a religion was a kind of weakness, or cop out.  I'm not saying this is true, or even that my parents still think this, but that's the message we heard, loud and clear, growing up.  My dad came from a very active Italian catholic family, and my mom was WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) through and through.  We didn't go to church on sundays, but for a time we went to something called the Ethical Society.  Peace marches and civil rights were our religion, and 'playing' protest a childhood memory.  Marching around the dining room with our handmade signs that read "Nixon needs Fixin'" and "DUMP the HUMP"...  Okay, I date myself!  

     Anyway, Easter got me thinking about and pondering it's meaning, which led me to the word resurrection, and I love words.  I feel a lot of my artwork is about resurrection, indirectly.  I take cast offs and renew them to create new work, as a lot of artists out there do.  As I looked at the table in my studio, a kind of altar like space, I realized that the majority of items on it are what others might call 'dead' items - bones, fossils, rocks, insect carcasses, feathers, empty seed pods, broken pottery and glass shards - I'm sure they are recognizable as collectable and treasured items to many of you!  'Dead' and resurrected as pieces of treasure, right?  

What is their value?  Why do they call to us?

What is that life that is still within them, or that we re-infuse into them?

resurrect |ˌrezəˈrekt|
verb [ trans. ]
restore (a dead person) to life : he queried whether Jesus was indeed resurrected.
• revive the practice, use, or memory of (something); bring new vigor to : the deal collapsed and has yet to be resurrected.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: back-formation from RESURRECTION.

     This is one of my favorite bones, referred to as the crucifix bone, because of it's rather uncanny resemblance to Christ on the crucifix.  My husband (the one time altar boy!) said it would have been more appropriate to post it on Good Friday, to which I retorted that no - I was resurrecting it, and giving it new life as art and discussion topic today!

I leave you with a sampling of the assorted bones I've collected over the years.  Some have made it into artwork, as you saw in my Bone Nest and video, but I need to do a whole lot more to use them all up!

click on images for closer view


  1. Karin I love when you do posts like this. Mind you I love when you do any post period.

    But I love these because they are so informative and always let me peek at you at the same time.

    I laughed at the former altar boy giving his two cents. har har. I think he should get an extra kiss for even bothering.

    Is that bone of the crucifix etched like that or is that natural.

    Totally fantastic post by my fantastic darling friend.

    Love Renee xoxo

  2. Dang you are quick! John read my post and said he's going to keep his mouth shut from now on :) I doubt it! All the bones are aux natural - pretty amazing, isn't it? I forgot to say, it's from a cat fish.

  3. I once had a pastor that said some people are religious, some are spiritual, some are both/neither. I always found that an apt way to explain the concepts of grace, hope, journey, all the elements that, whether or not organized, make up my faith. I'm grateful to go to church to expand my knowledge and vision, to feel connected, a sense of community; no dogma, politics or guilt there... I think I'll stop now:) Happy Easter.
    The bones are way too cool!!!!

  4. Personally, I'll gladly take peace and civil rights over any of the major religions (though, admittedly, some of the mellower branches of them tend to be all about peace and civil rights, anyway).

    Overall, I tend to think of religions as organizational structures that take metaphors, like resurrection and literalize, codify, and institutionalize opposed to creatively exploring their possibilities in a more open ended way as you're doing here...hmmm, I seem to be going off on a rant. I'll stop.

    Anyway, love the bone photos....

  5. I've always been intrigued with bones myself. In particular skulls. There is something renewing about using them in different ways. While I was in school, our professor brought in many different types of skulls, including a real human skull which I'm not exactly sure how he acquired, and set up a still life for us draw. It was surreal looking at "death" and creating a still "life". Something beautiful and creepy at the same time. (I have a pic of that still life in the slide show on my blog if you're interested.)

  6. Your dead bones speak to me...they do. Truly, what is it about those collected objects of yours that have life in them? your art is very resurrecting and new creating and i loved that you shared some of your background with us. thanks for the comments on my latest odd painting- coming from you, the encouragement meant a lot!

  7. sigh... all of the bones, and the shark's tooth... the cicada (?)... so much LIFE here. so much beauty...


  8. Nice to know others keep dead bugs on their art table.
    Wonderful post! Merci.

  9. Karin, to remind readers of the power of rebirth and resurrection is a wonderful thing. This is a gentle way to encourage people to take whatever steps make sense to the self at a given moment. To initiate your own rebirth has profound significance at every stage. Unleash your inner power. Rediscover the meaning of completeness, love and acceptance.

  10. Delicious post! It's great being able to zoom in to your studio or wherever it is that you create art. And what treasures! We have just aquired a weathered whale vertebra and because I was so thrilled someone brought me a cow skull.

  11. Before I ask my question, I apologize because I really don't mean to be rude or disrespectul. Does the values of your upbringing mean that you are possibly prejudice?

    This may be a rude question, but, honestly, I don't mean to be. I just want to understand when one uses the term "White Anglo Saxon". I'm really not sure what that means.

    Please educate me. Thanks! :)

  12. Hi Presious, No problem, I actually am using the term descriptively - as my mother used it to describe herself! I have no idea if it's derogatory or not, so for me it isn't a prejudice because I am not judging anything, just using the term as the way she did. She is white, ancestry is anglo saxon, and she was a protestant, factually. Nothing more was meant by it.

  13. Hi again Presious, and here's how possibly clueless I am - I thought maybe you meant I was prejudiced against whites - did you mean against other races? Not that it matters - I'm not prejudiced against any race or people :) As I wrote, we grew up with civil rights as our *religion* which means my upbringing was based on fighting FOR the equal rights of all races, for women, etc. I am not prejudiced, and have respect for all people from all back grounds.

  14. Karin,

    Thank you so much for that :). Civil rights for all...I like that! All races have had their share of grief. Thank you for sharing so openly.

    Sorry I didn't think to look in this comments section. I'm still new to the blogging world! LOL



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