Friday, January 30, 2009

For Shadow Shot Sunday - Little Red Flyer

Little Red Flier

(click photos to enlarge)

Taken yesterday at recess

Visit Hey, Harriet, who hosts Shot Shot Sunday, and see the work of other shadow seekers

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fabulous Blog Award

I've recently ventured out farther into the blogosphere and have discovered some very fine blogs. Gobs of blogs. Largely, the new blogs I've been reading have been introduced to me by people who like to take pictures and post them to various theme memes such as Ruby Tuesday and Shadow Shot Sunday, to name my two favorites.

Honestly, I don't know how I ended up at Thorne's World but as I did, she had just moved out of blogger and into her new space on Word Press. First of all, I immediately admired her courage in doing this, as Word Press is exactly where I should be renting. But I'm scared to lose all of my blog possessions. And when I went to Thorne's World and was immediately treated to a laugh in just the first sentence of the first post I read, I knew that I would want to have Thorne as one of my bloggy friends.

So, friends of the Pagan Sphinx, please meet Thorne from California, whom I am only just getting to know but already think highly of. I'm honored to have been recognized by you with this award.

And today when I read my comments I was invited to Thorne's World to pick this up:

I love the yellow dress. I could never pull off yellow, not even when my hair was deep brown. Maybe because my skin is light but an olive undertone. And the heels are something my size 91/2 feet could never tolerate. Though I do have a thing for nice shoes, especially strappy sandals. I don't care for hats and I only wear one when I absolutely have to in scortching heat or heavy rain or bittere below zero temps. Oh and the dog. I always think I'd like to have a sassy little dog one day - isn't that some sort of little terrier she's walking? They're cute and jaunty and everything but my experienes with them have not been good: too barky and annoying and nippy. I have never been that skinny, either. Especially at this stage of my life.

I would not have written so much about the blog award picture if it didn't love it, which I do. It's very 60's Paris. And I loved getting from Thorne, my new blog bud, who, as it turns out is a blog bud of Betmo, who also recieved this award because she is awesomelly well-informed and tells it like it is. Bet (whom I have taken to called Betty in my head) is also a really nice person and dedicated blog bud.

Now. For the rules:

I'm supposed to name five addictions:

1) blogging
2) taking pictures
3) carbonated spring water
4) collecting home renovation ideas (but rarely following through)
5) that first sip of coffee in the morning

Now I'm supposed to give the Fabulous Blogger Award of the lady with the little dog to five other bloggers who are not only deserving but will also play the 5 addictions game. It's really a win-win situation, if I think you're deserving you don't have to play the game to get the award. See? I'll still like you even if you don't play the game, in other words.

Steve at Color Sweet Tooth: a consumate artist, Steve is also a highly thoughtful commentator and kind and generous soul. You should check out his paintings. I actually own one and if I ever get around to affording the mat and frame for it, I will post a photo of it hanging on my wall. Meanwhile, you can view it here. It is even more beautiful in person, I assure you. If you like that, also please have a look at this one. It was inspired by my daughter and daughter-in-law's wedding at San Francisco City Hall. I still get chocked up when I think about how much this painting means to me and how grateful I am to know someone who was able to capture so beautifully the love between two young people just embarking on their future together. Thank you, Steve for your art and your friendship.

Hey, Harriet deserves this award. Tracey from Brisbane has treasures gallore about life and art in her city and she's a very fine photographer so her readers are treated to spectacular and creative photos of her environment. Tracey also hosts Shadown Shot Sunday, which can easily boast about the talent and dedication of a good number of participants weekly; all of whom are very intelligent, articualte and friendly. I highly recommend you visit, except that you will be swept off your feet by the beauty of Brisbane and then you won't stop chewing your partner's ear off about how you have to go there some day. Like me. ;-) And tracey, I'm thrilled that you've been coming by the Pagan Sphinx as well as "the eye". I enjoy your comments very much. Oh, and I love the "random surrel generator" thingie you have on your blog. I look forward to it. :-)

Bobbie at Almost There. She tells lots of stories about her Norman Rockwell past and her children and grandchildren but she's not stuck in the past and that's obvious by the posts she writes on the state of our nation and the world and her caring and concern for the earth and its people. I admire this lady a whole lot and I can't go a day without at least checking in quickly to see what she has to say. Bobbie also takes great photographs which she posts to various memes like Ruby Tuesday and Sky Watch Friday. In fact, it was through Bobbie's blog that I first discovered Sky Watch. And also how I met this wonderful blogger:

Dianne at Forks Off The Moment. What can I say? I adore her. She's sweet and very funny; down to earth and also creative and political and oh, so very cool. And she's a native of the greatest freakin' city on earth -New York. Dianne has an exceptional knack for writing posts that draw people like moths to a flame. And her photos are really good too. Check them out on Do You See What I See.

Susan and co-blogger Crow of Phantsythat. Susan is another amazing, imaginative, whimsical, creative, loving soul. The artwork she shares is so special and dear and lovingly rendered, that I'm always touched by what I see there and so grateful that I am fortunate enough to view her wonderful paintings and hand-painted silk scarves and purses and jewelry. Oh and did I mention how she can write, too? The kind Susan is well-traveled and shares many vignettes, adventures and pursuits through her other blogs: Adventures Ink and Baby Days a little illustrated story that I fell in love with on first read. Do have a look. Don't miss a thing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Good News!

Our family has been agonizing over where SG1 and her wife, The Beloved would wind up living after graduation from Mount Holyoke in May, 2009.

The worries have been many: my daughter and her fiance were married in California just a few days prior to the passage of Prop 8. Her wife, S.W. aka "The Beloved" is a CA citizen who has been studying at Mount Holyoke for four years along-side my daughter. The couple had decided that SG2 will take a one-year break before graduate school to mentally adjust to the challenge of applying to a joint Masters/Phd program. S.W. went ahead and applied to several universities in the state of Calfornia, her first choice being UC-Santa Barbara.

Their marriage is now considered invalid, which presents several challenges, not the least of them is graduate housing for couples as well as health insurance. SG1 is a bipolar individual who can only do well when on the correct medications - especially in light of the path she has chosen of pursuing academics the way she has. We've worried about housing options for our daughter and DIL, about whether SG1 will be able to find employment for a year before enrolling in her own Masters/Phd program.

Today, S.W. , who just returned from a visit to her parents home in Sacramento yesterday, recieved the excellent news that she'd been accepted to UC-Santa Barbara, in the newly created Department of Feminist Studies! The couple is giddy beyond belief. One hurtle has been mastered on the way to their west coast future!

I'm so incredibly happy for S.W. She's a brilliant, loving young woman who adores my daughter and strives to make her happy. I feel very proud and lucky to have her as my daughter-in-law.

There are still more hoops to jump through, though at least they know exactly where they're moving; assuming the university offers S.W. a good package. We're keeping our fingers crossed while awaiting the details.

By the way it's 61ºF / 16ºC, right now. The weather there will suit SG1 very, very well!

My lovely daughter-in-law

A Good Day to Visit Blogs

Taken a couple of weeks agon on a blue sky day. I played around with my ancient version of photo shop and found this "ink outline" effect that was sort of fun.

It's a snow day! When I received the call at 5:30 this morning, I had a ferocious headache, so I'm grateful to be very much ensconced in my cozy house while the snow falls...and falls...and falls. It's entirely white out, except the trees that accumulate precarious layers of snow on their gray, bare branches.

I'm not quite ready to dress up in warm layers and go out there and I'm not feeling obligated to post anything in particular. So I'm gonna be a blog whore and visit as many blogs as I can for a while. That is, until it stops snowing and I can take pictures. You really can't see much out there right now.

I hope to see you on your blog today and if I don't make it and you want me to read something, please let me know!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

This week's Ruby Tuesday features several photos of paintings I saw on a recent visit to the Clark Art Institute. For this Ruby Tuesday post they were, of course, chosen for their use of red.

I've been posting to Ruby Tuesday from my photo blog The Pagan's Eye but because this post has an art theme, I thought I'd place it here instead. I hope you enjoy it. And come by "the eye" sometime. Once in a while I get lucky and post a half-way decent picture. ;-) You can always just say hi if you don't have time to leave a comment.

An hour west of us in The Berkshires, this smaller museum has a lot to offer: samples of American painters such as Remington and Homer and a pretty good sized collection art by Renoir, Degas, Sisley, Cassatt and Manet, among others. Add to that furniture, glass, silver and sculptures and you have a very eclectic mix of works amassed by the William and Francine Clark, the art collectors who established the museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Here is a bit about them taken from the website:

In 1910, after a distinguished career in the United States Army, Sterling Clark settled in Paris and began collecting works of art, an interest he inherited from his parents. When he married Francine Clary in 1919, she joined him in what quickly became a shared passion. Together they created a remarkable collection of paintings, silver, sculpture, porcelain, drawings, and prints with complete reliance on their own judgments and tastes. In 1950 the Clarks founded the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute as a permanent home for their collection, and the museum first opened to the public in 1955. Since its conception, the Institute has had a dual mission as both a museum and a center for research and higher education. It is in this spirit that the Clark has expanded over the last five decades to become the influential institution it is today.

The museaum allowed photography without flash, so I was allowed to go shutter-happy. I was pounced upon by a guard only once when I accidentally let the flash go off. I demonstrated the requisite profuse apologies but he still kept a strict eye on me after that.

The light there is quite dim, so many of these have been balanced and enhanced. I also cropped most of them to some extent.

They are much better in person, firstly. Secondly, they may be better images of these on the net but having taken my own pictures helps me to recall better what my appreciation was in person. If that makes any sense.

Coming up on Friday, is a set for The Friday Evening Nudes, of photos I took at the Clarke. I hope you'll join me then.
Love and peace,

Renoir, above and below

Sleeping Girl with Cat

A Young Woman Reading Lucio Rossi 1875
The Guitar Player Boldini

Offering the Pinale to the Bullfighter Mary Cassatt 1873
Musical Group
Francois Joseph Navez

Apples and Grapes in a Basket

Thanks to Mary for hosting Ruby Tuesday. That gal is red-hot! ;-)

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