Advent Day 6

6 crows a flapping….

To see the image online, go here to the Brandywine Museum. The image itself is by Andrew Wyeth. It’s a tempera painting from 1943 called “Osborne Hill (Crows in a Landscape)”. And it’s LOVELY. Unfortunately for me, I need permission to put it up on my site. But linking to the museum’s digital copy seems to be OK.

An additional treat for Advent Day 6 because I can’t put up the crows, check out Jamie Wyeth’s beautiful, sympathetic rendition of Nureyev in “Half Smile, Nureyev (Study #20): http://collections.brandywine.org/objects/12018/half-smile-nureyev-study

And I did not know that the interactions between Nureyev and Wyeth were made into a play. But now I do, and so do you.

Art Advent Calendar – 2

Modern Stained Glass Window, Kölner Dom

Modern stained glass, Koln DomPhoto of Southern Transept window in Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral). The Cathdral also has an Advent Calendar. You can access it here. The original window that was in the South Transept was destroyed during WWII. The modern window (reglazed in 2007) was based on a design by Gerhard Richter. If you want to learn more about it and see better photos of other windows from the cathedral, visit the Kölner Dom website.

 

Art Advent Calendar – 1

December 1

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
One lady reading…

Oil painting of woman reading by lamplight. Woman bends over book in front of her with shoulder turned to viewer. Lamp illuminates her outline.
Lady Reading by Lamplight, 1895, by Minerva J. Chapman.
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC

If you’d like more information about Minerva J. Chapman, check out this brief bio from Smithsonian Institute. Her work is still available, if you have cash on hand. Dreamy work: Pence Gallery.

Planning for Advent

We’re in the process of gearing up for our Christmas/Fall concert (this weekend), and hoping it will sound as good as last night’s dress rehearsal.

For the blog, I’ve decided to do a visual sweet treat for Advent. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make a genuine Advent calendar of art I’ve seen, but I can at least post a few photos of great or surprising art… or poetry quotes to brighten up December.

So I guess… watch this space. Hopefully I can get some things scheduled in advance. In particular, really great art that not everyone sees, because it’s on special exhibit.

Painting seasonal emotions

Several people I know, who live in the far north, talk about darkness, and how gloomy things are. I’m currently enjoying early evenings, taking time to play with paint.

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Much of the time, that’s with electronic help (photos I took while on a walk, earlier in the day), because a location is either too crowded with people or the weather is uncooperative [rainy, or very cold] for perching on a park bench and sketching. I’m exploring new media (water-soluble wax crayons), and not worrying too much about how loose the images are. I’m going for the mood.

Washington, DC can be beautiful, with blue skies that make up for the crowds. I was in a shopping street filled with Louis Vuitton and other products I can’t afford, gawping at the windows displays….  watching college students pose in front of a backdrop of whimsical umbrellas. How tempting to snap a photo, then play with my tools.

So, how do you save yourself from the bad mood monsters? Is it art, or crafts? Making music, or going to a concert? Coding a new website or reading a great, cozy book? If you’re in Australia or somewhere in a heat wave, do you find yourself struggling with seasonal moods? For me, right now, I’m letting watercolors break up the gloom, playing with shadows, collecting leaves for practice painting, and trying not to dip my brush in the mint tea.

 

Pausing

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Superwoman, by Kiki Kogelnik, 1973

It’s the eve of another election in the USA, and so my house is collectively pausing (to check the candidates or our polling place), and also hoping. The world is complicated, and our small corner is no less complicated than a larger portion of the country. I’m personally uncertain about the justices on the ballot, and there are a couple of poorly worlded addenda to City ordinances that have me reaching for the dictionary.

So, if you have the ability (legal or physical) to vote in this cycle, please make your opinion heard.

Meanwhile, I’m keeping my head out of the news coverage until Wednesday, and practicing my chorus music. Nothing like the sounds of carols and festivities to get the cobwebs of politics out from between my ears. I’ve also been spending a good bit of time enjoying art supplies, as a cathartic release from dealing with the canvassers calling the house.  And after a conference, I had the pleasure of visiting the National Museum of Women in the Arts in DC. I’ll probably have a little report on what the museum is really like. Incredibly powerful to see art from a woman’s perspective.

 

Lots of rain equals

…lots of time for the cats. And also: opportunity for the crickets to escape the basement and become lots of toys for the cats. Altogether now: ick!

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I am glad that we’ve had more than 2 days without rain. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to take walks without an umbrella or raincoat.

In book news, I’ve found a wonderful book on trees called Seeing Trees by Nancy Ross Hugo, with positively luminous closeup photographs by Robert Llewellyn of bark, leaves, fruit, acorns. Everything that’s inaccessible while you walk thru a city park with protective barriers around the trunks.

In other news, Inktober is in full swing, so I’m tweeting different pics. Not sure if I’m keeping Flickr in the sidebar, due to changes of service, so I haven’t been putting any images there. Let me know in the comments if I should, while I ponder other photo sharing services that will work with Ravelry, etc.


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