Millennium Art Glass Company
(A division of fruitcratelabels.com)
A NOTE ABOUT NUDES and FEMININE BEAUTY
I have several times heard...... "Pat, there seems to be a theme running through your glass work... a lot of naked ladies." Well, I can't apologize for finding the feminine form attractive, after all I am a man and an artist. And, even though the feminine form is only a portion of all the things I do with stained glass, I do enjoy the challenge. But, since a few people have mentioned it, here is how I view this subject:
As an historian of more than thirty years and an art collector for most of my life, I see feminine beauty depicted everywhere, in fine art, in myriad media, in print, on television, in movies, magazines, billboards... everywhere. No doubt one reason for this is that throughout the history of our species, more women have been alive than men, something which is still true today. Thus, I believe the love of feminine beauty and the natural attraction to the feminine form is innate in all men (let's say mankind), and has been since time immemorial.
This appropriate attraction to the opposite sex, is the very nature of our human drive to procreate and keep the species thriving. Sex is one of nature's fundamental forces in every species. Evolution and anthropology command us to do it. Sex is one of life's greatest treasures and pleasures, socially, emotionally, spiritually and morally. It promotes companionship, emotional satisfaction, relieves stress, improves our health and longevity and continues our species (it's also fun!) Scientists say, women think about sex every 2-3 days, and men think about it once a day or more! The attraction of males of any species to their counterpart females is at the very root of existance, especially in human beings. The psychology of this is clear in the culture, folklore, literature and history of our species: Since before the written word, lonely sailors on the rivers and seas have made legendary the Loralai and sirens, mermaids and sea-witches, and dreamed of feminine companionship for the thousands of years men have plied the waters in ships. These are among the oldest folklore of mankind, legends predating recorded history. Wars have been waged and kindgoms built and abandoned, and some of the greatest stories ever told, and art works ever created ,were all for the love of a woman, and usually a beautiful one.
The "classical" view of physical beauty as we know it, centers around Mediterranian and Western European world views, dating back nearly three thousand years, which reached its zenith in ancient Greece, in which the classical definition depended upon "symmetry, established proportions and regular features with smooth and logical transitions of form." The same would probably be true of China, Asia and Polynesia around the same time, but less written material exists from these regions describing this ism. But, perhaps the more important aspect was stated by an English author in the early 1980s, "...on the whole, physical beauty must reflect a peaceful and integrated frame of mind. There have been furious beauties and sulky beauties, but they exist in the margain of a calm integrity." (Kenneth Clark 1980) "Considering how the nude dominated sculpture and painting at the two chief epochs of history,..., the dwindling appreciation of antique art during the past fifty years has greatly impoverished our understanding of art in general." (Ibid,1956)
Every culture has it's own historic view of sex, love, beauty and erotica in many forms. In today's modern culture, movies, books, magazines, DVD's, television shows, art exhibitions, and half the content viewed on the Internet, including, the work of a million photographer's studios worldwide, display in every angle and intention imaginable, the feminine form. All this has proven unavoidable, as it is wired into every one of us, all over the world, today. As Leonardo di Vinci said -- "The art of procreation and the members employed therein are so repulsive, that if it were not for the beauty of the faces and the adornments of the actors and the pent-up impulse, nature would lose the human species."
Personally, I have been naturally attracted to pretty girls all my life, (especially redheads). As an adult, I've found after touring many of the great museums in America, Canada and throughout Europe, both male and female artists of the past thousand or more years, revere the beauty of the feminine form and especially the nude, which is commonplace in ALL forms of fine art, and continuous through many styles, mediums, cultures, countries and centuries. Over time, I have visited many important museums, including the Louvre, The Acadamia, The British Museum and National Portrait Gallery, The Ufizzi, and Musee d'Orsee and dozens of other institutions. I've seen that the feminine form accounts for a great percentage of all the "fine arts" these museums choose to exhibit. But even more so, it is the artistic subject of choice of many of the greatest artists known, including: De Vince, Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Renoir, Picasso, Manet, Boucher, Goya, Botticelli, Raphael, Rubens, Rembrandt, Cezanne and a thousand other painters, carvers of marbel, sculptors in a dozen mediums, glass-makers, photographers, muralists, engravers, printers, bronze-workers, etc. The nude in art is timeless and manifest.
As was so gracefully put in one renown text: "The English language, with its elaborate generosity, distinguishes between the naked and the nude. To be naked is to be deprived of clothes, and the word implies some of the embarrassment most of us feel in that condition. The word "nude," on the other hand, carries, an educated usage without any uncomfortable overtone. The vague image it projects into the mind is not of a huddled and defensless body, but of a balanced, prosperous, and confident body: The body re-formed. In fact the word was forced into our vocabulary by critics of the early eighteenth century to persuade the artless islanders that, in countries where painting and sculpture were practiced and valued, as they should be, the naked human body was the central subject of art. For this belief there is a quantity of evidence. In the greatest age of painting, the nude inspired the greatest works; and even when it ceased to be a compulsive subject it held its position as an academic exercise and a demonstration of mastery."
I believe that a beautiful woman, dressed or otherwise, is a joy to behold. I also believe all women are beautiful. I guess, by nature, it is just one of my favorite things in life and art, therefore I choose to pursue it in my craft and artwork, along with, of course, many other subjects. It's worth noting, that since childhood my walls (and ceilings, in my youth) were covered with posters and art. The same is true today. I LOVE visual arts. I have always been enamoured by color, and advertising and artistic design. No doubt, that is why I spent thirty-plus years collecting label art, writing books about art as a cultural artifact, and have worked to acquire the basements of many of the West Coast's finest lithograph houses, because of my dedication to visual arts. And, in their archives, countless examples of feminine beauty. (http://www.fruitcratelabels.com)
(The ad below is from 1903.)
Therefore, being male has a lot to do with my attraction to this subject. But, also being a career professional musician (jazz bassist and lead vocalist) singing of love and beauty and relationships for over 40 years has played a role, too. I have also studied myriad books on art history, famous artists, drawing, design, photography, the nude and the feminine form in art history, stained glass history and practice, and many other related fields. I have been repeatedly taught by many FINE artists, (paraphrasing) "the female nude, or the human nude in any form, is the hardest form in nature to properly acheive in art, no matter the style or instruments used to acheive it. If you can do THAT, you can do anything."
Some people have also asked, "How does your wife feel about all this." Well, her brother, my brother in law, Marty says "the feminine form is like a rose. There are so many, and they are all so beautiful." He is a fine artist of feminine nudes, as was his mom, Norma a career designer and fashion artist (some of her work, including nudes, hang in our home), and sister Aggie is also a modern artist doing lots of nudes in Mexico and Baja these days. The latter have both held successful exhibitions of their work. Marty is a prolific painter. So, my wife is in full support of my work, and is not threatened at all by it. Even she posed for such a portrait many years ago.
For the record: My goal is to define beauty, and to ingratiate those who chose to model for me, and then to return to them something of pride and beauty that will last beyond them. Everyone wins.
So, yes, there are a few "naked ladies" in my work. God bless them all! And, so, yes, I am hopefully going to continue down this path.
I think if there were two images I could show to
describe how I feel about feminine beauty and my personal appreciation of,
and passion for it, and how I approach it in my art and in my hoplessly
romantic heart..., one would be the angle-winged lover in the 1890s'
cigar-box label below, taken from the famous carved statue (1793) and a
painting of "Cupid and Psych," this
version mimics most closely Antonio Canova's (L'Amour et Psyche') painting.
In the original, she does not have the purple fabric around her torso!
And the other, a classic French painting, of a sculptor kissing his come-to-life feminine work . That painting is from the French School of the 1890s, and is called "Pygmalion" painted by J.L Jerome. Both are featured below. :) Thanks! -- Pat
SOME QUOTATIONS ABOUT WOMEN AND BEAUTY:
"Women are always beautiful." -- Ville Valo
"I take great pleasure in great beauty" -- James Bond
"The girls that are easy on the eyes, are never easy on the heart." -- Unknown
"There is nothing more beautiful than a beautiful woman" -- Alberto Vargas
"Women speak two languages - one of which is verbal." -- William Shakespeare
"Beauty is the first present nature gives a woman, and the first it takes away" -- Mere
"A woman can say more in a sigh, than a man can say in a sermon." -- Arnold Haultain
"The rarest thing in the world is a woman who is pleased with photographs of herself." -- Elizabeth Metcalf
"A curve is the loveliest distance between two points" -- Mae West
"Whether they give or refuse, it delights a woman just as much to have been asked" -- Ovid (Publis Ovideus Naso)
"Sure, God made man before woman. But then you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece." -- Unknown
" A woman is like a tea bag..., you can't tell how strong she'll be until you put her in hot water. " -- Nancy Reagan
"Most women set out to change a man, and when they have, they don't like him any more." -- Marlene Deitrich
"I would rather trust a woman's instinct, than a man's reason." -- Stanley Baldwin
"A woman should soften, but not weaken a man." -- Sigmund Frued
"A man chases a woman until she catches him." -- American Proverb
"Good looking girls break hearts, goodhearted girls mend them." -- Mignon McLaughlin
"No mater how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens. -- Abraham Lincoln
"If you are in doubt whether to kiss a pretty girl, always give her the benefit of the doubt." -- Thomas Carlyle
"Anybody who believes that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach flunked geography." -- Robert Byrne
"What I need to live, has been given me by the Earth. Why I need to live has been given to me by you." -- Author Unknown
"Women keep a corner of their hearts for sins they have never committed." -- Cornelia Otis Skinner
"I'm not against half-naked girls, -- not as often as I'd like to
be." -- Benny Hill
"Love is a matter of chemistry, but sex is a matter of physics." -- Unknown
"If love is blind, then why is lingerie so popular?" -- Unknown
"When a man talks dirty to a woman, it' sexual harassment. When a woman talks dirty to a man, it's $3.95 a minute." -- Quentin Crisp
"Sex and golf are two things you can enjoy, even if you're no good at it." -- Kevin Costner
"No matter how happily a woman might be married, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes she were not." -- H.L. Mencken
"It upsets a woman to be, or not to be, stared at hungrily." and... "All women are all basically in competition with each other for a handful of eligible men."-- Mignon McLaughlin
"Some men know that the light touch of a tongue, running from her toes to her ears, lingering in the softest way possible in various places in between, given often enough and sincerely enough, would add immeasurably to world peace." -- Marianne Williamson ("A woman's Worth")
"It's not sex that gives pleasure, it's the lover." -- Marge Piercy
* RESPONSES TO THIS PAGE:
"Pat, last week I was at Breitenbush Hotpsrings for a couple days. My photographer did an amazing photo shoot of me, nude at the pools. I think there are quite a few pictures you will be able to use for a window. I will send you photos as soon as I get them printed up. I was just amazed at how beautiful they turned out. I hope you will be pleased as well. Your artwork is so lovely. I really appreciate your page explaining your love of nudes and the feminine form. Few people understand ME...why I enjoy nudity so much. I feel like you do, and that the human body is just beautiful. I'm glad I can help you to immortalize some female nude beauty!" -- Rishell, Oregon (12/08)
Thomas P. "Pat" Jacobsen -- Artist, Musician, Proprieter
P.O. Box 791, Weimar, CA, 95736-0791 U.S.A.
Phone 530.637.5923. (8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, weekdays (PST) !!)