Tag Archives: Gregg Luginbuhl

What is art?

Ask 10 individuals to define “art” and you’ll get 10 different answers. In fact, Merriam-Webster.com lists six definitions of “art” as a noun. Technically, it’s impossible to define art because it really is very personal. One person’s definition may produce a look of disgust from another.

Having grown up one house over from Darvin and Evelyn Luginbuhl, much of my own perspective of art was formed by frequent exposure to Darv’s home studio. Our race to the Luginbuhl’s tv room to watch Saturday morning cartoons with Bill, usually took a circuitous route through the studio, where we were met by the heady smell of clay and Darv’s wheel — an awe-inspiring piece of equipment.

Darvin Luginbuhl, c. 1994

Christmas and birthday presents often arrived in the form of a hand-thrown ceramic pot filled with candy, the bottom of which was always signed with Darv’s swirling “Luginbuhl” signature. Later when my husband and I married, we received a wedding gift of a large teapot with matching mugs, of which there are no duplicates.

In a way, I’m an art snob, but mostly in terms of the fact that mass-produced items don’t fall into my own definition. More importantly, though, my definition is formed — in part — by Darv’s belief that personal, creative expression is essential when “making art.” If I learned nothing else from him, it is that one can almost always find beauty in a piece of art.

When my daughters were young, we kept a constant supply of plain white paper for them to draw, paint, and color on. This practice was encouraged by Darv’s admonition that a children’s Christmas art contest should not involve coloring in some preprinted Christmas design. Instead, they should be encouraged to draw their own picture of “Christmas”.

So last night, while my husband and I perused the items to be auctioned off during the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneur’s annual art auction, we agreed we needed no additional paintings or photo productions.

Our own collection of art includes names like

Paul Soldner, "Of Ships and Sea," c. 1950s

Paul Soldner, Darv and Gregg Luginbuhl, Bob Minto, John Klassen, Steve Smith, Richard Minck, and some pretty amazing stuff by Lindsay and Anne Steiner.

That didn’t stop my husband from bidding on a few pieces. What I didn’t realize was that he fully intended to win the bidding on the only item of wearable art,

Barbara C. Fields' fingerless wool gloves

a pair of wool fingerless gloves knitted and designed by Barbara C. Fields, and inspired by Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s painting, “A rainy Day out on sea.”

Suffice to say that we came home with these beautifully crafted gloves. They meet my current need for art to be useable, practical, and unique.

My only regret is that I didn’t need to wear them today with temps in the mid 50s and no chill in immediate sight. But there will be plenty of time for that. I’m just wondering if the hubs was attempting a subtle hint that I resurrect my wish to become a better knitter. Now where did I put that red yarn?

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Things that made me smile

What makes you smile? Fresh flowers, sun, a hug, a funny joke.

I love fresh flowers. Daisies are probably my favorite because they’re so sunny and make me smile. So…it’s mid-January and why am I thinking about flowers? Okay, partly because I just like to think about them, but also because at our employee dinner, I received my 15-year ceramic vase made by one of my favorite artists — Gregg Luginbuhl. I told Gregg that I planned to keep it filled with fresh flowers on my desk at work. I hope that pleased him. It pleases me. Every time I walk in my office, I see a bunch of yellow daisies, alstroemeria and snapdragons. Wouldn’t that make anyone smile?

That’s not all. In our living room, we had a big bunch of huge Gerbera daisies. After two weeks, they were slowly dying, one at a time. I plucked the last two of the bunch, snipped their stems short and put them in a tiny vase in the bathroom. Okay, here’s the thing. Flowers in a bathroom might seem strange to some people, but think about it. The smell can mask some other not-so-pleasant ones.

This whole flower thing started me thinking about things that made me smile this week…a week that should have been a lot easier than last week, but turned out to be almost as challenging. But I read something recently about the importance of writing down…at the end of the day…one thing that made you smile. So here it is the end of the week and since I never got around to doing this on a daily basis, I’m doing it now. Here are some things that made me smile.

1.) A virtual bouquet of flowers from daughter no. 1.

2.) A second e-mail with another virtual bouquet of flowers from the same daughter.

3.) My mom remembered something that I didn’t, which just proves that she still has the upper hand.

4.) A hug from a coworker. For no reason except she somehow knew that I needed one.

5.) Listening to my husband hum while he mops the kitchen floor.

6.) A student thanking me for helping her get started back to school.

7.) An e-mail from daughter no. 2 telling me that she was filling out her grad school application.

8.) Hearing a snowplow behind my house in the very early, very dark hours — reminding me that the campus maintenance crew was already clearing paths.

9.) A new pair of Smartwool socks.

10.) A slew of e-mails from my brothers, asking what they can do to make life easier.

11.) Seeing pictures of my cousin’s two newest grandsons — born in the same week and weighing exactly the same amount at birth.

12.) Powering up the snow blower…which sort of made up for not getting to mow last summer…and getting a face-full of white, powdery snow.

13.) Sitting on my 40-year-old butterfly chair in the dark of the early morning, remembering hours spent in that same chair while pestering my dad in his study.

14.) Stopping in the middle of the road to watch three deer saunter across the road…and remembering my daughter’s description of the deer that “dropped out of nowhere” to slam into our van.

15.) Listening to Babs sing SMILE. (Be sure to click on the word, smile.)