July 3, 2012

-image-beauty

You absolutely must go see the gorgeous fairy mobile roo has made. It’s magical.

We all need more beauty in our lives, right? Well, get a gander at the beauty she’s created. You’ll be glad you did.

She’s giving it to some friends with a new baby and, for the record, I shall now be stalking them. Just for the mobile. That’s all I want, people. Hand it over and we’ll have no problems.

August 23, 2011

-image-a new favorite

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Winslow Homer, The New Novel

Isn’t it gorgeous? I love everything about it, oh, but especially, those colors …..

August 1, 2011

-image-the scope of his genius

As can be seen by the artwork on this blog, I’m a huge HUGE fan of William Adolphe Bouguereau. He was simply a genius — a genius — of the human form, of mood, of nuance, who worked as an academic painter in the mid to late 19th century, essentially swimming against the rising tide of Impressionism roiling all around him. The Academics loved him; the avant-garde mocked him. He was libeled, slandered. His name was removed from textbooks and encyclopedias for decades. He was quite simply, as the old saying, goes, born at the wrong time. He was a genius of a soon-to-be-bygone era and he suffered for that.

But he also, nearly single-handedly, opened the French art academies to women. HE did that. He painted 825 paintings in his life, a mind-boggling accomplishment, especially when you consider that most of them were life-sized.

And he loved his work with a unfading passion, saying even late in life, “Each day I go to my studio full of joy; in the evening when obliged to stop because of darkness, I can scarcely wait for the next morning to come…if I cannot give myself to my dear painting I am miserable.”

I can scarcely wait for the next morning to come …… how does that not clutch at your heart? Such joy, such childlike abandon.

But decide for yourself. I’ve included just two of his pieces below. His work runs the gamut from moments small to huge, subtle to searing.

The header image on this blog is cropped from a painting called “Petite Maraudeuse” (Little Thief). This is one of his small captured moments that I love so much, a pretty little thief caught, I imagine anyway, moments after her oh-so-naughty theft. She’s concealing her stolen pear a bit with that sly bend of her wrist, but frankly, I don’t think she feels all that bad about it. Hahaha.

Good Lord, I love her so much:

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Then he breaks us in two with this, “The First Mourning.” Adam and Eve and the body of their son Abel, murdered by their other son Cain. I love this piece, but with an asterisk, a warning, some caution cones. It is SO direct, so unflinching, so private, really, that it’s a nearly pornographic depiction of grief. Nothing is spared. Nothing is left concealed, which is amazing because you don’t see faces or, rather, you don’t fully see faces. You see shapes, lines, color. And the poses, their relationship to one another, the frankness of Abel’s splayed body, the difference in his skin color compared to theirs. You almost cannot look — or you can look for only seconds at a time. That’s how it feels for me anyway. Like I’m an intruder, a voyeur, on a personal apocalypse. You are seeing the very moment their lives changed forever. Doesn’t it feel as if it’s happening as you look at it? For me, this isn’t some mere depiction or imagination. It’s almost as if Bouguereau had a vision from God of what that moment was actually like. Bouguereau just has that gift of immediacy. He puts you there. Whether a big moment or small, you’re there. You’re there. I don’t know how he did it. I just don’t. It’s his particular genius, his God-breathed gift, and I want it to be a mystery to me. Too much knowing can rob you of awe and there’s just not enough awe anymore.

Try to look at it. Try to take it in. It’s worth it, but I tell you, when I look at it, I literally feel helpless.

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Subtle and searing genius, both. I don’t know how that’s even possible.

I am, and always will be, a massive fan.

June 21, 2011

-image-“in hope of changing their fate”

A painting by Amanda Blake, an artist whose work I just love.

I love the longing and mystery infused in all of her work. I could stare at this forever and come to different conclusions every other moment. Gorgeous. (I could have made a smaller file, but I didn’t want to. The details, the details …..)

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March 17, 2011

-image-magical

Gorgeous installation by Gerda Steiner and Jorg Lenzlinger.

Falling Garden
San Staë church on the Canale Grande
50th Biennial of Venice, 2003

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This is so magical to me.

October 30, 2010

-image-“puget sound on the pacific coast”

By Albert Bierstadt, 1870.

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Isn’t it gorgeous? LOOK at that light, that mood.

Breathtaking.

August 7, 2010

-image-“free crayon portraits with short story”

Oh, I just love this whole idea. Love it. Love it. Want one.

Life always seems a wee bit better when you stumble across the whimsical people.

I cannot get over the little blue typewriter.

July 25, 2010

-image-i can’t stop laughing

Larry Moss, balloon artist extraordinaire. I love people who are serious about being silly.

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His site says, “The fine art of folding air.”

Hahahahaha. Go check out his homage to Jackson Pollock and his haunted balloon house.

What I wouldn’t give for a balloon piece of any of my Bouguereau girls!

July 4, 2010

-image-genius

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Hahahahahaha. The genius of Brian continues unabated. I asked for a Waldo, he gave me a Waldo.

And, yes, NOW I like this painting.

July 2, 2010

-image-“christian” art for your holiday weekend

Oh, Lord.

Someone sent this image to me in an email, talking about how GREAT and BEAUTIFUL and MEANINGFUL it is and how I needed to send it along to non-Christians I know.

Why? What for? To say, “Hi! Not only am I a Christian, which probably annoys you, but I have really bad taste, which is inexcusable. Wanna hang out?”

You know, I can’t explain it, but this painting actually enrages me. Mainly because it sucks and I’m a crankypants. But also because this is what Christians consider “great art.” Throwing anything and everything “symbolic” at a canvas and causing sensory overload to the point of seizure and meaninglessness. The effect on me is the precise opposite of its intended effect, I’m sure. This painting actually means NOTHING to me because it’s trying so hard to mean EVERYTHING. Ugh.

(The culprit/”artist” is John McNaughton.)

Oh, his website — which made me a little dyspeptic — showed this piece in cloying closeup and that document Jesus is holding? It’s the Declaration of Independence.

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Let me bullet point my issues here:

~ Again, it’s just bad. It is. Anyone with a modicum of taste will agree. I’m sorry.

~ I’m not saying the dude doesn’t know how to paint. I’m saying the dude doesn’t know how to think or edit himself, which is much worse.

~ You know, it’s basically Thomas Kincaide meets patriotism and I cannot stand Thomas Kincaide although I have no issue with patriotism.

~ But it does meld Jesus with patriotism, which I DO have an issue with.

~ Jewish Jesus is pretty and white.

~ He’s holding The Declaration of Independence, which he wrote as we all know.

~ Lincoln has his arms outstretched worshiping Jesus and/or The Declaration. Although, Abe? You’re turned the wrong way, aren’t you?

~ The dude next to Lincoln — Adams? — appears to be worshiping Lincoln or gesturing to Lincoln. “HE farted. I didn’t do it.”

~ I do enjoy the fellow on the far right next to — Adams? — who seems about to bolt from the canvas. Hahahaha.

~ The little kid gets to touch The Declaration, but not Jesus. “Don’t touch the robe, kid.”

~ I also enjoy that Ben Franklin looks slightly pissy and pouty. “You know, I invented electricity, Jesus, so big whoop on the halo thing around your head.”

~ The weeping justice makes me vomit.

~ Is that Thomas Jefferson or John Hancock to the left of Pretty Jesus there? Is that a rolled-up copy of The Declaration or a baseball bat? Is he about to open a can of whup ass??

~ Is the dude in the lower right-hand corner texting?? Hahahaha.

~ Who’s that woman between Franklin and Jefferson/Hancock? Is she wearing a breastplate? It looks like …. Joan of Arc??? I’m so confused.

~ Is that Reagan next to the Betsy Ross chick? What up, Reagan? He seems a blank to me. Is this Alzheimer’s Reagan then?

~ Why is the blonde reporter in the lower right interviewing the pregnant lady’s hair?

~ Who’s the sobby janitor on the far left?

~ O how I hate this.

~ Although I would totally change my opinion if Waldo were hiding somewhere in there.

Please take a moment this weekend, pippa, to ponder this painting and the rich confusing history it represents.

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!

(UPDATE: Commenter Brenda put a great link in the comments to the artist’s site. Click on this link and you’ll be able to scroll over all the faces and learn what ALL THE SYMBOLISM is. You must check it out. Lordy.)

Oh, oops. My bad on something. Jesus hold the Constitution. Jefferson, to the left there, holds the Declaration. And here I was hoping it was a baseball bat and someone was about to open a can of whup ass.

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