May 19, 2015

Sleepy

        It’s one of those dull rainy days here.  Thank goodness, because we’ve been in desperate need of the rain, but nevertheless it’s making me feel sleepy and I just can’t seem to get any energy today.  So I’ve chosen to go with it and feature some block prints that celebrate sleeping.  Of course you have to understand that I wouldn’t be honoring the theme if I got all into deep reflection and in-depth analysis about these pieces.  That would take energy.  So I don’t intend to say much.  Just sit back and enjoy the beautiful black and white.
        First, a woman asnooze with a couple of dogs, by Gwen Raverat.  You can read my previous post on Raverat here.  Since the woman’s hair is done and she’s wearing slippers, this seems the closest to how I feel right now: like lying down on the couch in the middle of the day and dozing.
        Next, a woman asleep with her child, by Käthe Kollwitz.  You can read my previous post on Kollwitz here.  When you have a baby, you grab whatever sleep you can get, so this woman is undoubtedly more genuinely exhausted than simply lethargic, like me.  As always, Kollwitz does a beautiful job with the light and shadows.
        This next woman is about shape and line rather than light and shadow.  But my main concern at the moment is not the Elements of Art but the art of the nap, and I don’t think this one looks nearly so comfortable with her body twisted and her arm thrown up over her face.  Maybe the artist, S.J. Melcher, kept insisting on shining the light in her eyes while she was trying to sleep.
        And finally, a napping ploughman by Miriam Macgregor.  Actually, although the title refers to a ploughman, he looks more like a shepherd to me, complete with sheep and crook.  In any case, he’s probably just had his lunch and is enjoying a rest in the 
shade.  No rainy day for him.  Possibly not much sleep for him, either, with the parrot squawking on his knee!
        And that’s enough for today.  I wouldn’t want to overtire anybody.

[Pictures: The Sleeping Beauty, woodcut by Gwen Raverat, 1921 (Image from the Raverat Archive);
Schlafende mit Kind (Sleeping Woman with Child), woodcut by Käthe Kollwitz, 1930 (Image from Lempertz);
Asleep, woodcut by S.J. Melcher (Image from Live Auctioneers);
Ploughman’s Parrot Press, wood engraving by Miriam Macgregor (Image from Primrose Hill Press).]

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