Beauty in suburbia

10 12 2014

The original ceiling of room that was once the front room of a beautiful home, and now part of a suburban cafe.

what's not to love?

what’s not to love?

Lesson for today: look up.

Blog roundup

6 12 2014

Oh dear readers, I fear this may be the last Blog Roundup post. There just aren’t that many blogs around any more, and those that are around are only being rarely updated, with notable exceptions:

  • Katherine Bowman is one of the few bloggers still updating regularly – this makes me happy, for I do love her work
  • my other favourite, David Neale, is only rarely updating these days
  • the most excellent Melissa Cameron continues to engage with readers; thank goodness really, she’s an incredibly important source of competition information and such, and is critically interested in so many aspects of making – if you’re not already regularly reading her, you ought to
  • in non-blog writing, I have discovered The Jewellery Activist … the authors sometimes writes, though mostly collects images and writing from other jewellery-related sources; definitely worth your regular visit

Tell me if you’ve found interesting sites recently.

Sigh … I do think it’s time I joined instagram, as that seems to be where all the young kids are posting nowadays … though it does lack the written element I enjoy even more than the images.

I’ve moved those blogs that haven’t updated for near six months into the ‘Hibernating’ group on the Links Page.

I’ve also retired a bunch that haven’t updated in over a year … though for posterity I include their links below:

Note that many of those still making of course have websites and/or tumblr and/or instagram and/or facebook and the like…

New art crush

5 12 2014

I’ve been indulging in art documentaries and have a new little art crush. It’s surprising really, for it’s an artist who’s almost been hiding in plain sight: Johannes Vermeer.

His most celebrated painting, ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring‘, is so ingrained in our culture that it’s hard to separate the genuine beauty from the artefact, its visage and accumulated assumptions (book covers and posters and movies and such).

Take another look at his other paintings … lordy, they’re lovely … the colour and quietness is so appealing.

from Wiki; click on source for original source

from Wiki; click on source for original source

Most especially, in my eyes, ‘The Milkmaid‘ (c.1658, above), ‘The Wine Glass‘ (1658-60) and ‘The Astronomer‘ (1668).

Visiting art icons

4 12 2014

Visiting art galleries and museums is one of my very most favourite things in the world. Having read bzillions of books about art over the years, highlights of gallery visits are of course seeing pieces I’ve read about and have been wanting to see in person. Unfortunately the experience is sometimes underwhelming.

If you’ve been to see the Mona Lisa in The Louvre you know exactly what I mean. Even though she wasn’t on my list of must-sees, I still did battle the crowds … why? perhaps just in case I would experience some kind of artist revelation in her presence (or something; I didn’t as it turned out).

If you’ve seen Stonehenge from a car or bus as you’ve whizzed along the nearby main road, you also know what I mean. Disappointing and barely majestic (though it is better when you’re walking around it, and I would happily visit again and again).

And so I come to Picasso’s Guernica, housed in Madrid’s Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.

image from Wiki

image from Wiki

I still think about the experience. As I wrote at the time, it was surprisingly intense and powerful, and the artwork hit me in the chest. But it tested every skerrick of my patience to be among the bustling crowd and the gormless visitors taking photographs even though there were more no-photo signs than artworks in that room.

I’m probably a gallery snob; for I do find it tiresome to hear the inane ramblings of those who are obviously only there to be able to say they were there, and not there for the sake of the artistic experience (oh you know you can tell the difference too).

This artwork deserves so much better … how I wish I could have just sat in the room on my own, in quiet solitude, to feel the immense impact of it. I wanted to be engulfed by it, to feel what moved Picasso to make it.

If only galleries would consider making iconic artworks available in such a manner … to set aside a few hours, in the evening if necessary, perhaps even only once a year, when patrons (for a fee of course, likely a large fee) could have ten minutes with the artwork alone (with guards, naturally), in silence and solitude.