Monday, December 25, 2017

Neighborhood Christmas

Today I've created a tag for Tag Tuesday where this fortnight's theme is Christmas Memories.

The focal image is actually a copy of a lithograph I purchased for my friend Sally's Christmas present.  This is a delightful representation of the Minisa Bridge, which, along with the high school in the background on the left, is about nine blocks from my house.  The bridge sits over the Little Arkansas River.  I cut the tag by hand, painted and distressed it, then added the beautiful painting to the top.

I encourage you to enlarge the scan and you will see it was designed and painted by Hugh Greer.  You can also see Jack's Drive In, the red triangle in the far back right of the painting.  The next time I'm headed that way, I'll take a photo of the bridge as it appears in the painting.  Of course, it will be without snow, since we've had no moisture for so long, it's pathetic.

 As a bit of history is in order, in 1928, the Wichita Indians (yes, they are a real tribe) built a ceremonial lodge on an island that sits in the middle of the Little Arkansas River.  The lodge was fashioned after Father Juan Padilla's church, the first church in America.  When the city of Wichita decided to build a new bridge across the river, it was suggested that the city planners incorporate a design similar to that of North High School.

The 40 foot wide bridge over the Little Arkansas River at 13th Street was built in 1932.  Students at North High chose the name of the bridge which is a translation from the Zuni, "Red Water at Sunrise" and chose the Indian/Native American motif bridge design.  The bridge incorporates Indian and buffalo ornamentation made of colored concrete and crushed glass.

This has special meaning to my foodie friend Sally, who was the school psychologist at North High until she retired a few years ago.  I have already given this lithograph to her, because we have a tendency to give gifts at times other than on "special" days like Christmas.  That makes "ordinary" days special to us.

But I didn't stop there.  I wanted to join Sheila at Orange Esmeralda, our wonderful host this month at Art Journal Journey with her theme Let's Celebrate.  But in order to use the tag, I had to turn it into a journal page.  And because this is definitely Christmas themed, I'm also joining Moo-Mania & More.     

Using a paintbrush, I mixed gray and white acrylic craft paints directly on the page in my new art journal.  Then I doodled around the page using a blue metallic Gelly Roll pen and a stencil.  Since I don't really like to doodle, this took forever.  I had to stop several times to rest my hand.  Next, I added the title "The Christmas Bridge."  The actual name of the painting is "Minisa Bridge at Christmas."

As you read, I'm linking these entries to Tag Tuesday, Art Journal Journey, and Moo-Mania & More.    And possibly even more important, I want to wish each of you, my friends, readers, and followers a very Merry Christmas if you celebrate it.  You are the reason I keep making art, keep sharing photos, and keep going day in and day out.  After all, you and my two cats are my family, the only family I have.  Have a joyous day.

14 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

That's a beautiful picture with an interesting history. Thanks for linking your lovely tag to Tag Tuesday, much appreciated. Merry Christmas, have a great day. I am heading back to bed,where I also spent most of yesterday. I have a dreadful cold and cough. Hugs, Valerie

froebelsternchen Susi said...

What an interesting and beautiful bridge this is and I like the tag with the photo - and you had a brilliant idea for the continude use of the tag on the page - the background fits so well Elizabeth!
Great to see another "Let's Celebrate" page linked to the challenge!
Have a Very Merry Christmas my friend!
I am busy with preparing our Fondue dinner!

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Oh and I forgot to give you an extra kiss for linking to Moo Mania & More as well!
Much appreciated!

pearshapedcrafting said...

Wow! This whole post is brilliant! The fabulous scene and the history of the bridge are fascinating! I love how you incorporated the tag into a journal page too! I hope you and 'the boys' have a lovely Christmas Day! Merry Christmas!Hugs,Chrisx

johanna said...

a beautiful lithograph with an interesting Story. good you copied it for further use:)
i´m going with your idea of making presents at other times than Christmas, taking spontaneous occasions...
hope you have wonderful days!
(i will update my link to t-day tomorrow...)
♥♥♥, johanna

Meggymay said...

I love how you have added your wonderful tag to the journal page. It is a fantastic photo you took of the lithograph.
Have a good day Elizabeth and thank you for the friendship I have found here on your blog.
Yvonne xx

RO said...

Beauty and history are such a perfect fit for Christmas Day, Elizabeth! Always something unique here to marvel at. Hope your day is going well! Merry Christmas! Hugs...RO

Cindy McMath said...

Very pretty page Elizabeth! I’m glad my card arrived in time. I am surprised it took that long as I thought I was way before the deadline! Marry Christmas to you my friend.

Rike said...

What a beautiful painting (first I thought it was a photo) of this bridge with an interesting history! You made a wonderful tag and journalpage with it! I like your doodling on this page, hard work has come to a good end :)
Wish you and your cats a merry Christmastime and a Happy New Year!
Rike x

Cindy McMath said...

Lovely tag and page you made here Elizabeth. Your doodles are great! I got a kick out of your comnment about that song list - I did the same thing! You can sort it by year, by artist or of course by number. It was fascinating to me that for some of the artists I recognized some really lesser known songs were featured while some of their ‘big hits’ (in North America) were nowhere to be found. Of course there were also a lot of European artists I don’t know at all. Happy Boxing Day! I don’t think that is a thing in the US but for us it’s like our Black Friday in terms of sales. I may hit the art supply store. :)

Incipient Wings said...

again, a beautiful, informative post. I never know what treasures I'll
find here, thank you!!

sheila 77 said...

Hello Elizabeth,
Lots here to enjoy, including a history lesson. I will now wish you had been my history teacher as well as my geography teacher.
I had a laugh at your aside ("Since I don't really like to doodle, this took forever") - the things we do for our blogposts! Three challenges in one, that's a good score! Of course I am especially pleased that you linked it to my theme at AJJ, many thanks (again) for that. And I am very touched that you regard me (as part of your blogging friends) as your family, especially as we are included with two cats (the most special of family members).

Divers and Sundry said...

Merry Christmas! I love seeing local Christmas connections -art, stories, etc.- linking particular locations with the holiday.

Jeanie said...

Merry Christmas, albeit belatedly. So behind -- we've still been doing festivities!

I can't think of a more perfect subject than your take on this wonderful litho. The name Minisa has special meaning for me, as it was the name of Rick's family's ancestral cottage. This really is a handsome bridge and you're right -- when you enlarge the photo you can see all sorts of magnificent detail. Truly the work of a wonderful artist.

I send you warm wishes for a very good time between the holidays. Somehow I think lots of art and creation might be involved!