Saturday, March 27, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Eye Shadows

Front of William College Museum of Art, featuring Eyes (nine elements), 2001, by Louise Bourgeois.
Commissioned on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the museum.
Louise Bourgeois is a French-born American Abstract Expressionist Sculptor, born in 1911
 To see a couple of truly professional photos of this sculpture series go here

Shadow Shot Sunday is brought to you every week by Tracy at Hey Harriet from Brisbane, featuring photography from around the world.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Friday Evening Nudes

You're So Vain



Guido Romano
Venus at her Mirror
Frederick Carl Frieseke 

Joan Miró

Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Women's History Month and Artist of the Week

"Well-behaved women seldom make history."
~ Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

This week,honoring American Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt
Self Portrait
gouche on paper 23x17in
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

 May 22, 1844 – June 14, 1926) was an American painter and printmaker. She lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists. Cassatt often created images of the social and private lives of women, with particular emphasis on the intimate bonds between mothers and children. see entire wiki entry here

From Mary Cassatt: The Complete Works:

Even though her family objected to her becoming a professional artist, Cassatt began studying painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the early age of fifteen, and continued her studies during the years of the American Civil War. Part of their concern may have been Cassatt's exposure to feminist ideas and the bohemian behavior of some of the male students, of which one was Thomas Eakins, later the controversial director of the Academy. About 20% of the students were female. Though most were not bent on making a career of art, they viewed art as a valid means of achievement and recognition, and a socially valuable talent. Cassatt, instead, was determined to become a professional artist.

Cassatt admired Degas, whose pastels had made a powerful impression on her when she encountered them in an art dealer's window in 1875. "I used to go and flatten my nose against that window and absorb all I could of his art," she later recalled. "It changed my life. I saw art then as I wanted to see it." 

 In 1891, she exhibited a series of highly original colored drypoint and aquatint prints, including Woman Bathing and The Coiffure, inspired by the Japanese masters shown in Paris the year before. (See Japonism) Cassatt was attracted to the simplicity and clarity of Japanese design, and the skillful use of blocks of color. In her intrepretation, she used primarily light, delicate pastel colors and avoided black (a "forbidden" color
Painted in Seville, Spain, this picture depicts a young woman serving a refreshing panale (honeycomb or sponge sugar dipped in water) to a bullfighter. Cassatt had traveled to Spain to study the work of Old Masters. With its bold handling of paint and rich colors, Offering the Panale demonstrates the influence of such seventeenth-century painters as Diego Velázquez.
Note: Though I detest bullfighting (despite my Iberian roots), I love this painting. The flirtateous stances of the bullfighter and the young woman and the way Cassatt was able to capture the essence of the bullfighter's doubtless superiority! The painting is also a very familiar one, as I've seen it dozens of times at the Clarke Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The bold color is amazing.

The above work by Mary Cassatt is also at the Clarke

More works by Mary Cassatt

The Boat Ride

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Midweek Blues

The Blue Fairy Cottage
Nova Scotia

We visited this crazy little concrete house last summer in Hall's Harbor, Nova Scotia and fell in love with it.  This year, we've staying there for two weeks. There is a little balcony in the back of the house facing west, so we'll see some good sunsets over the ocean. With Winter just ended and spring slow to begin in New England, summer still feels a long way away.

I recently discovered Midweek Blues when I visited Coloring With Light, a wonderful photo blog from Ontario. We're Canadian all over here!  :-) Which is a good thing. I like the system in Canada far more than I like our own American one. I love Montreal - one of my favorite cities. And the Fundy Shore. When I first stepped out of the car and encountered the view, I felt immediately as if this place was a second home. WP has been going to Nova Scotia every summer for at least fifteen years now; for me, 2010 will be my third summer visiting. 

Dig the little sailboat at the top of the chimney. Now that The Blue Cottage is officially booked, WP and I talk about it everyday. I'm not sure if that helps to ease the wait or if it strains it! We're spending the last two weeks of July there. We'll miss blueberry season this year but I understand it's scallop season in Digby.

Thanks for visiting!
Pagan Sphinx

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ruby Tuesday Goes to the Museum

And now touches of red that have nothing whatever to do with sheep! Oh, and you can visit and/or participate by visiting Mary at Work of the Poet for Ruby Tuesday

Chat Noir
poster by Alexander Steinlen
Art Nouveau painter and printmaker

Toulouse-Lautrec print

Lautrec signature detail

I took these photos at the exhibition Cafe and Cabaret at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, featuring posters, prints and paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec and Steinlen.

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