An Approach to Art Making #2

An Approach to Art Making #2

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Art could be divided into groups such as:  supply, craft and manufacturing artist.

Supply relates to those things derivative of materials and supplies that could be purchased, for example, from an art supply store.  A good example of a supply oriented art work may be one that incorporates nibs, brushes and ink like Oriental Paintings or Bonsai garden paintings with fan brushes or outdoor art stations.

Craft may be things oriented to craftsmanship, from an artisan or may even be home spun. Examples may be things like burning into leathers, making candles, or a bricklayers training in tile, marble and terrazzo and making monuments or perhaps building engraved picture frames, cake decoration, or making clay monsters, or a holiday decoration or a cut out turkey made of paper or maybe some type of whittler.

A Manufacturing Artist may make sophisticated art works in a studio or factory based environment inclusive of sculptural works or electronic works or even professional frescoes via fresco printers and architectural works or installations or programmatic/technological works, or even the museum itself and mostly extremely fine art and almost all high art.

Culture is another distinct road in approaches to art making.  Dedication to culture may inspire one to develop a culture or work on a subculture.  An artist may become concerned with cultural branding or contributing an aspect of art or art practice that develops their communities culture.  A cultural offering may set the tone for a business or enterprise or an organization, branding it and guiding its organizational epistemology or setting the tone for employees.

High art practice is often engaged in a curatorial based art making where a group of artists may utilize the same photo to curate a group exhibition.  The photos are sometimes based on iconic imagery or indicative of an era.  Groups of artists and curators may form a temporary or permanent collective group.

What a scholar might find really riveting, that is perhaps buried now is the initial use or heading of “The Arts” that was inclusive of science etc.  In the early days of education, there were three subject’s religion, the arts and medicine.

Use of acronyms in art can be a way of “big talking” -small or formulaic. Acronyms like “HISS” that means “highlight, spotlight and showcase” become important or acronyms like “Quepine” that means “Question, Proverb and News” can be used for art making.

Black Magic is also indicative of a kind of wielding or wizardry or technology use or logic. Black magic use can be something like programming things with thoughts by thinking over them, or digging holes or making connections between objects or talking to things or taking readings or working with numbers like 81 as Magic and Flight where you see in the eight a Spider and the one, a wing.  Black Magic brings as James Baldwin coined it, “force vitale,” to art among other things much like the Chinese technique of calling “chi” or soul or “charming,” or animating like placing eyes on something.

One may draw a right angle with a diagonal cross thread through to create an art technique using perhaps era or time. It’s possible to grid or work on a time-based series using a right angle quick method.

“Era and Charm,” incorporates a black magic technique and has been very successful for making things like teapots.

Another interesting technique used by artists is “what does that make you think of?”  This technique has to do with when you ask continuous questions of yourself or someone else leading to a trail of words away from a root word.  For example, if I said I have an apple, what does that make you think of?  You said red, and then I said what does red make you think of?  You said blood etc. and on and on and connected the trail back to apple to ascertain some unique, hidden, connected or passive meaning.  With this dialogue, one would begin to build their artworks from a kind of “art game playing.”

Another breakthrough in technology that has gotten into art is “the feed.”  The feed has to do with when you send through a host, an agent or program.  The feed can be music or emotion etc. Feeds or programs are particularly interesting in textile printing where a print may be made distinct when it is impacted by a program and made, for example, exciting or sensual, animated or dotted.

Perhaps a breakthrough in approaches to art making is the “eclectic gallery district” or the placement of art or the combining of supply, craft, manufacturing art etc.  All the usual pomp of art but inclusive of perhaps a “home sweet home sign maker” or portrait district or maker galleries or antiques or fiber arts or a variety of textile galleries-eclecticism in art may also be a mainstay. Eclecticism in art may create a greater ability of “treasure trove” and individuality within the home or arts final destination.

Really ultimately what makes or can make a really good fine artist is lots and lots of programs, lots and lots of technology. Artech can be many things including sound technologies or opera voice pieces, or holograph technology or film modulation technology etc.

For This Famine, a Poem

For This Famine, A Poem

For This Poem, A Famine

By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu


When I was little

I was a pony

I grew up to be a horse

I regretted my complaints

Like the infamy of the raped TV star

Who publicized and reduced her potential

The maraschino, no cotton wool

She sued and price tagged her pain

She shouted

And marked her soul

How much for rape?

How much for slavery?

Where does that Devil come from?

Maybe I should thank my Devil

As a muse

And accept my fate

And cry for nothing

For this famine, a poem

For this poem, a famine

He was so jealous

Not to walk in my shoes

He said even for this moment

They beat each other with bats for a stronger crest

He kicked until the shit fell out

He enslaved her 4 ½ decades and said I am the greatest producer

He staged their wedding several times

And people stashed the Vielchenblau napkins in their bags

That said a Chinese lamb, a blue rose in 14 karat gold

The festivities were gay until

Someone screamed from jealousy

Little Jinn walked out of the closet closing his zipper

The doors of imagination bridal chamber empty

The bride was left in a basement defrosting hamburger

To protest her German Chinese suitor

A voyeur, a squirrel, a cabron

She tipped her glass

In a wino’s voice she said

“I am marrying Little Jinn”




Superb Clavichord Recital by Carol Lei Breckenridge: Fantasia, Rondos and Variations

Clavichord Recital Breckenridge
Carol Lei Breckenridge Photo Credit: Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

“Superb Clavichord Recital by Carol Lei Breckenridge:
Fantasia, Rondos, and Variations”
By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Pease Auditorium featured Carol Lei Breckenridge on a five-octave Clavichord on May 30th 2015 at 4 PM in Eastern Michigan’s Alexander Building. Breckenridge spoke at length about 18th Century Music including those she played by C.P.E. Bach, J. Haydn ad W.A. Mozart. Breckenridge gave a memorable performance in front of a large room-sized organ that takes up most of Pease Auditorium.
Breckenridge said of Bach’s composition, “ it is a sudden contrast piece with a dynamic effect of expression, new style was exploring contrast.” From Bach, Breckenridge played 4 pieces including Fantasia in F Major, Ronda in D Minor, Ronda in A Major, and Rondo in B Flat Major.
Following Bach, was a delightful piece by Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), Andante with variations in F Minor (1793). The Haydn composition was described by Breckenridge as “binary and with a long coda attached.” Breckenridge said she plays the Haydn piece on Forte Piano but when played on “Clavichord brings out the soulfulness of the piece.” The Haydn composition was full of “librato” which is characteristic of the Clavichord. Breckenridge said you can hold the keys further down to raise the pitch and oscillate the keys to get a librato.
The Saturday evening recital’s finale was a composition by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Ten Variations on a Theme by G.C. Gluck (1784). Breckenridge described Gluck: “Gluck was an Opera Composer (of these melodies) who lived in Vienna around the same time as Mozart.”
The Clavichord, according to Breckenridge, is especially prized in Northwestern Germany for its “Expressive qualities and the quiet individual feeling the player gets from it drawing you in.” A poem was recited by Breckenridge’s husband in German and English from a book titled, “De Clavichord IV,” that described the Clavichord in detail: (paraphrased below)
“Assuager softly consoling Clavichord, calm my heart, deprived of my tranquility, I have not yet been made happy, I lament it to you, sing until dawn appears, until I feel no more pain”
Breckenridge played with the latest technology of a “tablet” for sheet music and an electronic digital pedal device that turned the sheet music’s pages.
She said to pretend you’re in a living room, to the audience, who formed a half moon shape around her. Breckenridge played quietly and emotionally on one of the oldest keyboard designs from the 18th Century that started as a small box. Breckenridge utilized advanced keyboarding skills often playing dramatically with two hands and traversing the keyboard.
“The Clavichord keys hit against brass,” said Breckenridge. Many early keyboardists in the 18th Century were trained on the Clavichord. Mozart and Haydn owned Clavichords for performing and private practice. The Clavichord was described by Breckenridge as a “place to go and a sorrowful private instrument to express feeling.”
Breckenridge will play at the Boston Early Music Festival Fringe concert on Tuesday, June 9th 2015 at 3:00 PM at the Goethe-Institut, Boston. “The instrument Breckenridge played for this program was a five-octave unfretted Clavichord built by Paul Irvin, after a 1765 Clavichord by Friederici.” “Carol lei Breckenridge, from Ann Arbor, Michigan specializes in eighteenth-century music played on Clavichord and Forte Piano.” Website: