Friday, November 27, 2009

The Friday Evening Nudes

Poll results thus far clearly indicate that readers of The Pagan Sphinx are 51%  supportive of naked nymphs as blog decor.  Only one voter asked for a Surrealist painting but I do have a tendency to listen to the minorities and would be happy to change it to something really trippy by, say, Leonor Fini or Leonora Carrington. One of these days, but for now Nymphs triumph.

Seven, or 24% of readers voted to "keep it nude", so they should be satisfied with the Bougereau for a while longer. But never worry about a lack of nudity in art around here!  The Friday Evening Nudes is coming up, as promised.



Camille Pissaro

Christopher  Wilhelm Eckersberg
1783- 1853

James McNeil Whistler
American born/British-based

George Hendrik Breitner

Annie Swynnerton
1844 –1933

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Greetings

If you live in the U.S, don't let the turkeys tackle!  ;-)
Regardless of where you are enjoy your day,
Pagan Sphinx

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pagan Sphinx Entertainment Highlight: The New Coen Brothers Movie

If life is just a series of small, pleasurable amusements, I think I'll take it.   ;-)

Film makers Ethan and Joel Cohen Coen prove that good American films can still be made. Here is the trailer from their latest movie A Serious Man. WP, Lovely Stepdaughter #1 (visiting from San Francisco for the weekend) and I went to see it on Saturday night. We got there late and had to sit 12" from the screen but well worth it, since the offering from the creators of Fargo, is always likely to be entertaining.

That all religions often fail us than not, is an under-statement. Not to mention the god of Mathematics.

And because there's not a bone in my body that can resist the song in its entirety - Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane:

Monday, November 23, 2009

What's Goin' On (Long Post With Good Pictures)

Hello, all

One of my classes is over - the grueling one. The other continues into January but with only that one to concentrate on, I think I will have more time for other things such as spending extra time with my family for the holidays, interests and blogging. Family stuff will predominate a couple of weeks into December. My mother is currently in the states with my brother and his family and will join us at our home mid-December and through Christmas. Challenges abound but nothing I can't handle if I make it a priority. I wish I could have been that rational about it last week. Everything caught up with me after weeks of being sick and overwhelmed.

Last week was quite a ride, as things escalate into the holidays at my dysfunctional place of employment. I wrote a post about it but the snark level left a bitter taste in my mouth and I decided not to press the publish button. Too bad my soul can't handle snark. It's always my best writing! ;-)

Whenever I have a moment, I sit down at the ancient laptop and look further into artists from the file labeled look into. I have amassed so many images that the external hard-drive is already full and I'm looking into what to do for extra space. One of my main art preoccupations right now is learning about women artists and their lives. But when I do searches, I invariably find a whole bunch of other interesting art tidbits and I feel like a kid in a candy shop!

My knowledge of artists and art history is growing by leaps and bounds. It's been a long time since I felt this stimulated by any one interest and it makes me feel great.

With so many gorgeous and interesting images in my files, I felt I needed an online space to keep track of my favorites; a place I can revisit to find how I've categorized each image. I created a daily art diary called Give Us This Day (Our Daily Painting). This blog's header has something in common with The Pagan Sphinx header in that both display images of oil paintings hung in the same museum:  The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Nymphs and Satyrs by William Bougeareau and Young Christian Girl by Paul Gaugin. Two very different styles by two very different painters but both with personal meaning for me, since I've seen them both so many times, up-close and personal, and always surrounded by people I love. Well. Except once when I was dating after my separation from my ex- husband - ironically that was my worse date, ever. :-D  I will spare you. Suffice it to say that the man intensely disliked and openly criticized every piece of art his gaze fell upon. It was not clear whether he fancied himself an educated critic or if he just didn't like art. Any way ya look at it - Mr. Wrong. Besides, I don't like pony-bead necklaces on men!  :-D  Listen, I really did spare you the details, okay?  ;-)

If you click on the Paul Gaugin image, it will take you to my daily art diary. I don't have time to write any personal thoughts on the paintings or vignettes to accompany each, but there are some really beautiful paintings posted there already, with basic information such as one would get on a visit to a real museum. You don't have to comment, though you can. But Blogger does this thing to me that really buggers up my blogging:  I am frequently unable to leave comments with my google ID. In  the case of Give Us, I am unable to leave comments on my own blog. So. My friend Linda of Vulture Peak Muse has left some lovely comments and it makes me happy that she enjoys visiting. 83% Happy. That's one of my post tags. I should tell you the entire meaning behind that in a post one day, though I think a couple of people have caught on to that already! Sorry about my esoteric qualities. I'm basically a shy, private person and I am continuously frustrated by my inability to write a personal story well. I can to satisfy myself. I guess that will have to do!     :-)

I took a path there. And I am now about to return to an earlier thread in this post. Classes. I'm having a time of it getting used to being an older student. What seems to be bugging me the most is the way that three out of three instructors I've had thus far fail to understand at times that they are teaching adults. My classes primarily consit of post-bachloriate students or masters level students seeking alternate teaching licenses. My first instructor looked at me with a sad face once and said in almost a whisper:  "you're giving me a headache". Okay, lady.  The other one verbally chewed the head off of a student who was feeling a tad frustrated - with him and for good reason. I may just finish off my current course and use the ones I've completed as padding for my resume and to indicate that I've upgraded my teaching skills. And. Call It a Day. This idea calms me. Sigh. Since I discovered the benefits of staying calm and peaceful, I tend to eschew all the rattle. Except, of course as it applies to Shake Rattle and Roll. I still love my rock music and at times, I like it really loud. And beautifully written and interpreted folk songs. These are among the things that keep me going.

The state of the world? I'm tuning out. A loud rattle. It makes my head hurt. I have no emotional or mental space for it at the time being. My neighbors in Maine voted against marriage equality. I'll just drive through on my way to Nova Scotia, thank you. A gourmet picnic lunch or two is being planned already for next summer, so we don't have to spend money in Maine. See, I still care. It's just that I have to be selective.  ;-)

My daughter (SG1) and daughter-in-law  (The Beloved) on their wedding day, outside of San Francisco City Hall. They celebrated their one year anniversary on October 28, 2009. 

Look soon for an Artist of the Week post on the work of French artist and painter's model, Suzanne Valadon. 

Suzanne Valadon

Another gem of an artist I've discovered is Canadian Emily Carr.  As always click on images to enjoy extra voluptuousness.

I apologize for the lack of rhyme or reason to the posts. The feature Artist of the Week is more like "artist of the month" and I've let some of the others go by the wayside as well. I saw some beautiful paintings of animals on a recent museum visit and wanted to share some for the Art Animalia posts. There is just not enough time to amuse myself! 

 It's a photo I took of a painting at the museum of British Art at Yale University. I think the artist is Stubbs - sounds like a proper English name to me!

And because I don't post  my photographs on The Pagan Sphinx nearly enough, here is one I took earlier this Fall on a day trip to Vermont.

See you 'round the blogosphere.
Pagan Sphinx

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