Monthly Archives: August 2012

Judith takes a swing

(From Doublemint Twins of Judith)

You see the similarities … right?

Panos Evangelopoulos, “Judith and Holofernes,” 2008, Oil on canvas,                   57 x 51 cm,

Both paintings have at least two people – a male and a female – and the female has her arm raised.   And there are legs sticking out …

However, the first painting depicts an active struggle between Judith and Holofernes in the nude while the second … well, basically she is sneaking up on a dude that is passed out fully clothed with the chalice still in his hand.

Bartolomeo Salvestrini, “Judith and Holofernes,” c. 1620-33, Oil on canvas,                  172 x132 cm, auctioned by Villa la Ferdinanda, Florence (4/10/1969)

Yep.  Definitely difficult to tell these two apart.

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Posted by on August 31, 2012 in Cacciatore


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Judith has a twin … only different

(From Doublemint Twins of Judith)

Not exactly a copy but pretty close …

Leonello Spada, “Judith gives her servant the head of Holofernes,” 1618-19, Oil on canvas, 119 x 157 cm, Galleria Nazionale, Parma, Italy

First, Spada.   All the usual elements:  Judith, maid, severed head, sword, bag.   Voluminous red gown.   Caught in the moment of “What the …?”     frozen in fear, afraid to make a sound, waiting for the chance to bag the head and get away.

Stephanie Marie Hatch, “Judith Slays Holofernes (Female Heroes),” 2009, Acrylic, fabric, collage, india ink, and pencil on wood panel, 48 x 36 in,

Second, Hatch.   All the usual elements: Judith, maid, severed head, sword.   Voluminous red thoughts. caught in the moment of “What the …?”  frozen in fear, afraid to make a sound, waiting for the chance to bag the head and get away.

Actually, the focus of both works is the female experience – based on one of many stories about women.    How they depend on each other, cling to each other, trust each other.   And Hatch takes this examination one step further …

I started incorporating mixed media into my work, using photography, painting, drawing, collage, and old fabric.  I use embroidery both as a method of drawing and painting.  My use of thread references traditional female pastimes, an activity of creation and domesticity, delicacy and femininity.  My embroidery represents a woman’s voice, revealing basic truths about my sex, the basic form of our emotions, thoughts, power struggles, and relationships to the stories that are told about us. (1)

Consequently, Hatch gives us the explosion of thought from Judith and the maid, in color and texture.   As they pause in the panic-filled moment, the red and purple bubbles burst forth like adrenaline balloons.   I cannot hear them but I can feel the unspoken words — alarm, fear, indecision.   And both artists leave us with the hope that – if we trust our female companion and let the moment pass – the anxiety will die down and we will once again feel secure.

(1)  Stephanie Marie Hatch, Statement, March 2009.

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Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Story


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Judith has Dinner in the City

(From Doublemint Twins of Judith)

ACK!!    An artist in my own backyard!!!   And I could actually OWN this!!!

But where would I put it?

Marsha M. Pippenger, “Judith with Holofernes,after Artemisia,” 2008, Handmade paper collage on canvas,                      9 x 12 in,

Artemesia Gentileshi, “Judith and Her Maidservant,” 1614, Oil on canvas, 114 x 93.5 cm, Galleria Palatina, Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy

Pippenger admits to borrowing liberally from Gentileschi – with admiration of course.   In fact, this is one of 27 collages that connect two women 500 years apart, all reflecting admiration and appreciation for the women whose contributions spanned those years.   The collages begin with the story of Christine de Pisan, who is often called the first female Western novelist in the 15th century, an Italian in the court of France, who …

… set out to refute the misogynist writings of the times by penning her own rebuttals.   One of these is a book called “The Book of the City of Ladies”, in which Christine is visited by three Graces, Ladies Reason, Rectitude, and Justice, who proceed to instruct Christine in writing about illustrious women of great accomplishment and good moral character.    In the book, these illustrious women of whom Christine writes, build a city of refuge for women, to be inhabited only by those women who are of good character and great accomplishment.

The collages connect de Pisan 500 years later to the artist Judy Chicago, who also saw that women were neglected in the history books.    Chicago expressed the desire to include women at the table of historical accomplishments by creating 31 china place settings for invited female guests (rather than servers) in an art installation – “The Dinner Party”.    Pippenger created her collage series that “imagines the meeting of Judy Chicago and Christine de Pisan across the centuries.”

My collages travel in a kind of circular fashion, beginning with 9 small collages retelling major elements from “The Book of the City of Ladies” followed by an iconic image of Christine de Pisan. On the opposite side of the “gallery” would hang nine small collages about the “Dinner Party”, followed by the icon of Judy Chicago. The final collages lead up to the story of their meeting and look to the future. Enjoy.

And when I arrive at the gallery in Dayton, I will enjoy.   Immensely.


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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Story


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Judith goes tandem

Because there are so many works of art and so little time.  And because some of the art works are related to others, descendants of others (if you will), it seems like it’s time to double up.  To compare and contrast how two artists have taken the same yet difference approaches to Judith’s story.

Thus for the next few days, you get the Doublemint Twins of Judith in art.  Although some twins may be strangely fraternal …

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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Mooring


Judith shares a cynical, dark sense of humor

Talk for long with Thomas Bennett about his art, and you’ll hear him repeatedly, unself-consciously, refer to what he does as “pushing images around.”    Look for some time at his work, however, and the movement of the medium becomes palpable …   Concerning the tendency to darkness, Bennett said “It’s hard to say that there’s anything conscious going on there. I suppose I have a kind of cynical, dark sense of humor.  (1)

I suspect Judith has a cynical, dark sense of humor, too.   I know I do.

Tom Bennett, “Holofernes is Expendable,” 2010, oil, etching inks, paint stick on monotype, 12 x 18 in,

Caravaggio, “Judith Beheading Holofernes,” c.1598, Oil on canvas,145 x 195 cm, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Rome, Italy

Bennett borrows Caravaggio’s composition but reverses it and transforms it.  Where Caravaggio shows Judith’s intensity, Bennett translates the same arrangement into movement.   Rather than standing statically to the side and holding her victim at arm’s length, Bennett’s Judith appears to be pulling back to gather the impetus to push her blade forward into Holofernes.  Her expression is less troubled and more determined.

Holofernes is expendable.  Of little significance when compared to the overall purpose, and therefore able to be abandoned.  Yup, in this demonstration of movement, it is clear he is going to be left behind – at least everything but his head.

(1) Janice Steinhagen, “Interview with Thomas Bennett,” Willimantic Chronicle, December 21, 2000.

(2) Flickr, Tom Bennett’s Photostream, Set: Monotypes (viewed February 16, 2012)

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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Gory


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Now for something completely different (LIII)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Judy Moody series, written by Megan Jo McDonald, follows the humorous adventures of a third-grade girl with plenty of attitude.  With more than 10 million books in print worldwide and $15,013,650 in box office revenue, she is a very popular Judy.

She has moods to fit every occasion and special faces she makes to go with them. Of course, her mom and dad and little brother Skink are used to it. Even her best friend Rocky knows when she’s having one of her moody days. But Judy is also very creative, too, and when something catches her interest she gives it her all.

This delightful series by Megan McDonald is loaded with laughs and moments of wisdom as readers follow Judy through her oddball adventures. The stories deal with family life, feelings, and friendship. From collecting bandaids, to entering contests, to living in a tree to make her point about the environment, life with Judy Moody is never dull. hopes you’ll enjoy meeting this fiesty heroine and all her friends. And while you’re browsing through the reviews, don’t miss the Fun Facts, author information, and games! (1)

(1) Ann L. Bruns, JUDY MOODY Series,


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Judith and the Jewish girls

Giovanni Andrea Donducci (il Mastelletta), “Judith and the Jewish girls,” Oil on canvas, 250 x 200 cm, San Salvatore, Bologna, Italy

Ladies and Gentlemen, here to perform their big hit, “Put your head on my shoulder” – Judith and the Jewish Girls!!

Put your head on my shoulder
Hold me in your arms, baby
Squeeze me, oh, so tight
Show me that you love me too

Put your lips next to mine, dear
Won’t you kiss me once, baby?
Just a kiss goodnight, may be
You and I will fall in love

People say that love’s a game
A game you just can’t win
If there’s a way I’ll find it someday
And then this fool with rush in

Put your head on my shoulder
Whisper in my ear, baby
Words I want to hear
Tell me, tell me that you love me too

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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Distracted


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Judith in a metal corset

I am not sure why this is Judith, but I am honored just the same.   Because a lovely figure has been re-purposed out of materials that were cast away.

Katherine Clear, “Judith,” 2006, steel and found objects, 65 x 42 x 12 in,

Katherine Clear, “Judith,” 2006, steel and found objects, 65 x 42 x 12 in,

Katherine Clear, “Judith,” 2006, steel and found objects, 65 x 42 x 12 in,

I wonder what the scraps looked like before Katherine Clear applied them to her art.    I wonder if the scraps themselves suggested the form to the artist – like a statue emerging from marble – or if Clear formed them to a vision she already had.   No matter.   The fact that a coif and a gown can be represented by rusted metal is  miraculous.   And hopeful – that everything has a purpose and beauty can be found anywhere.

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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in Cacciatore


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Judith needs a seltzer

Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), “Judith and the head of Holofernes,” Oil on canvas, 96.7 x 72 cm,                     The Courtauld Gallery, London, England, UK

Maid:     M’lady, are you unwell?

Judith:    Oh my, yes.  I’m suddenly very uncomfortable.

Maid:      Was it something you ate?

Judith:    Let me think.  There was dates and figs and olives and yogurt and cheese and beans and lentils and lamb and goat and ox and pheasant and turkey and suet.  No, there isn’t anything that should have caused a problem.

Maid:     Something you drank?

Judith:    Ummm, we started with fermented cactus shots and moved to beer before we switched to wine.  We pulled out the honey mead before we ended with the coffee liqueur.  No, nothing I drank was a problem.

Maid:      The hookah?

Judith:    Oh, that was only a couple of hours.

Maid:      The dancing?

Judith:    Just the Whirling Dervish.   But then I stopped and belly danced.

Maid:      Do you think the decapitation had any ill effect?

Judith:   Nah, nah.   What’s a little blood and guts?   Although the screaming was a somewhat disturbing.

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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Distracted


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Judith on the Ohio

As much as one of the last series on Judith was depressing, I find this to be strangely comforting …

Xhanthi, Judith and Holofernes, 2010, digital art,

It may be Judith’s expression of satisfaction and contentment.  Or it may be the river winding among the hills that reminds me of home.  Soft sunlight and green trees are always a nice accompaniment to a bloody head.

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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Glory


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