Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Photo Essay

This past week, I noticed these gingerbread haunted houses down in the Culinary Department of the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, and I couldn't resist taking pictures. These were made by the class taught by Chef Peter Babcock.

Seeing these made me think of my own creative processes. In terms of cooking, I started my cooking life by slavishly following recipes. Now, I rarely use a recipe (but I keep my cookbooks to leaf through, like visiting an old friend).

I also think of my poetry processes. Some of my most interesting poems have come when I've taken a poem already written and changing it somehow, like taking a free form poem and putting it into form.

This week, I helped with pumpkin decorating at my school. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera. But some of them were still on display late Friday, so I took pictures. Here are pumpkins on the stairs:

I brought in lots of my craft supplies: cloth, jewelry, yarn, beads. We weren't sure what would happen, but our creative students were up to the challenge. I made this pumpkin with my little nephew in mind; he loves pirates. I couldn't figure out much more beyond the eye patch, but I think it works. After all, my nephew is 3 years old; he's hardly an art critic, thank goodness.

Some students did traditional carving. I tried making this art pumpkin (below), with a face on one side and some cloth Halloween things glued on. I don't know if it translates well to the photo, but you're looking at a ghost, a spider and a Jack-o-lantern in cloth.

This pumpkin inspired me to make a Christmas themed pumpkin, but you can't see it, because someone had already claimed it by the time I arrived with my camera. I had those gingerbread houses on the brain: Christmas, with a Halloween twist. So, I went the opposite direction, Halloween, with a Christmas twist--it's very Nightmare Before Christmas of me. Now I'll return to my poetry notebooks to see if I can do something similar with poems: subvert a theme, exchange one holiday for another, . . .

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