Bottom of the Barrel

By: pbcmedia

Jul 26 2008

Tags: , , , ,

Category: 1, Art, blogging, Creativity, Humor, Kids, Random


Focal Length:5.8mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon PowerShot SD850 IS


I had no idea.

None whatsoever.

This is a picture of the bottom of the barrel. No Photoshop. No tricks.

I was doing an art project with two kids that involved acrylic paints and using their hands as brushes. They had to wash their hands of the old color in order to smush them around in a new color. I emptied out the water at the end of the project and this is what I saw.


My goal now is to aspire to be at the bottom of the barrel.

First step toward my goal: Create a new series called, yes, you guessed it.

“I had no idea”

Have you ever used this phrase?

Tell us. Do. Better yet, show us. Have your people call my people. You know the drill.

©Pat Coakley 2008


14 comments on “Bottom of the Barrel”

  1. Wow, that is awesome! I’ll have to think about the no idea thing. LOL … I have no idea about many things, I just don’t know it yet!

  2. That is amazing . . .

  3. That is really a nice find!

    I’m an artist (*) – and use Photoshop – but would have a great deal of difficulty trying to approximate anything close to how cool that bottom-of-the-barrel image is.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. I say that… often. I LIVE that phrase.
    -Turkish Prawn

  5. Ok. I’m out of commission because someone named TP just gave me!! Oh, I had plans for my Saturday but they just flew out the window. Oooooo, baby.

    Welcome, flyingdisc! Artists welcome here! I’d write more but my ocean liners are sinking.

    Tysdaddy and Dobegil, let me know when your contribution to “I had no idea” is up, text or image. I know you are busy. Going to school. Fathering. Mothering. Earning a living. Cleaning out your refrigerator. REading 112 books!

  6. If that was a studied, intentional work, it would have garnered hours of assessing and positive critiquing from the muckety mucks of the world of art journals.

    It’s too luscious an image to pass up and how I’m not surprised it spoke to you. And now to us.

    So who’s to say?

    I say it’s art.

    I also said to my art professor in Parsons many years ago, that I didn’t understand the hour long analyzing of Jackson Pollacks splatter paintings. Not that it too isn’t art. I just didn’t get the ” deep ” meaning of it.

  7. I have conflicting emotions when it comes to abstract art. Is it truly art if there is no concept behind the piece? Is it truly art if no workmanship was involved in the making? Is beauty in itself enough to turn something into art? I don’t know. A good movie to illustrate these questions, while not exactly answering them, is the 2007 documentary: “My Kid could paint that.” I highly recommend it.

  8. BL: It’s funny. Here we go again. Often I read about abstract artists I’m interested in so I can understand a little more about what the big whoop is…particularly, if I like something but don’t have a clue why. I’ve never read anything about Jackson Pollock’s work. I never seemed to be able to connect with it.

    And, Yes, I totally understand your conflict, Nat. Let’s leave this photo out of it for the moment.

    But for consideration of the masters of abstract art, I think great concept and workmanship are involved although personally, many many times I have to read about it before I “get it” what the concept is. I have often noticed that some pieces just elicit a response from me, immediately, no concept what so ever…just connection. Being in a room with Mark Rothko all around me is a sublime experience. (National Gallery of Art in DC) And, sometimes, I have emotional responses that I have no idea what is going on. Eg. I remember going to a William De Kooning ( I’m not too sure of right categories here but I think he’d be abstract expressionist, right?) exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston many years ago. I hadn’t read anything about it which is typical of me. I am not one who dons the audio tour earphones. I just wandered through the gallery and came upon this one very large painting and tears simply jumped out of my eyes. It was that instanteous. After I left the gallery, I picked up the literature and realized that the painting that I had seen was one of his late, late paintings when apparently his dementia had already gripped him. Seriously, I had no concept or idea. But, I think he did. PS. I love discussions like this.

  9. Ooo did you see the Warhol tongue??? Abstract is the sharing of an invisible vision… art is subjective so I am choosing to be a scaredy cat and leave it at that not getting into intelligent discussions. Besides my brain is on vacation, currently visiting an Amazonian tribe, drinking an odd mixture of fermented juice of grape… Great image, great concept!

  10. I love the picture Pat. Beautiful. I want to print it and put it on the wall to remind me how beauty can often be unintentionally created.

    Re: the abstract argument, a book that helped me to understand the various styles of abstraction and the stories behind some of the most favoured works of abstract art in the 20th Century is called Shock of the New. I highly recommend it. It explains the impact of the industrial age on artists and their views of the world, moves through the fauves, cubists, futurists… etc etc explaining how each movement came into being, the key personalities involved and the resulting artworks. You don’t have to like the art to find the book absorbing.

  11. I want that hanging on my wall! What a great photo. So luscious, and what fun you and the kids must have had messing in the paint! They don’t know it yet, but I’ll be doing an art project with my students this week. I hope they’re as willing to dive and take risks with colors as they are with their writing …

  12. ~Accident or no, the photo is beautiful and it’s colors most agreeable. I wish I had such a revelation as the one you had with the paint, I love finding pleasant surprises! I have put my answer to your challenge/post up though, and it coincides with Sunday Photo Essay… Which due to my usual site being down, took me about 2 hours to resize and put together the 3 photo posts, Gah!!!

  13. Abstract art is the sharing of an invisible vision….Hmmm…I like that very much, Sanity!!

    Epicurienne, is that the Robert Hughes book?? I saw him interviewed and thought he was fabulous. Great suggestion! Now, let’s see if I’ll read it or better question, how long will it take me?

    Girlgriot, let us know how the art assignment goes! I am much more adventuresome with words than paints. Sometimes, even the kids will look at what I’m doing and say, “Um…Pappy? That’s sorta boring.” BORING?! And, I look at it again. They’re right. Then, I make up a story about it and they smile but weakly.

    Sweetiegirlz: people, sweetiegirlz posted “I had no idea” blog about a haunted house with an old woman wandering around it. My retirement home, perchance?

  14. This comes under the category of “found art” Be open to it and it will often appear.

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