Show it

29 05 2015

A little while ago I wrote of my consternation over whether to display or hide my jewellery.

“Show” has won out.

to display

to display

I’m still toying with the arrangement … and may continue to do so for years to come.

The little ring holders are from another successful Etsy buying experiment, as was the brass-glass case behind; the cuff is one I made a few years ago for a Lord Coconut ‘Art of the Cuff‘ exhibition; and of course you know my rings by Helen Britton, Katherine Bowman, Suzi Zutic.


26 05 2015

It was my misfortune to have high school English teachers who deemed it unnecessary to study Shakespeare.

Recently I realised what a shame this was, when a friend read me this passage from Hamlet (Act 1, Scene 5):

I am thy father’s spirit,
Doom’d for a certain term to walk the night,
And for the day confin’d to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purg’d away. But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison house,
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine.
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!
If thou didst ever thy dear father love-

Oh goodness me … “harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood
… how magnificent is that.

Hide it or show it

8 05 2015

I own a couple of very beautiful rings.
I do like looking at them, for they are gorgeous.

When not being worn they’re locked securely away.
But I want to look at them even when I’m not wearing them.

So I’ve been thinking about making a little display of them.
However … well … a part of me is worried about them being stolen.

Though that’s a bit silly right … because:

  • when my apartment was broken into (about a decade ago now) the weird-stealing-people found every bit of jewellery I owned anyway, no matter where I had hid it
  • I can always lock them away on the days my cleaner comes (yes, I am so bourgeois; in my defence my tricky health meant I needed to make difficult choices about where I want to spend my energy; I reasoned that the cost of the cleaner means I have stamina and time to do more soul-nourishing things)
  • living on my own means very few unapproved people wander through the place
  • it’s not like I’d have the display near a street-facing window where passers-by should chance to see them
  • the only other reason for not having them displayed somewhere would be for metal/surface care … however I rotate my rings regularly (erm that sounds stranger than I meant it to!), and therefore it’s not such a problem for me (there are always polishing cloths to care for that)

Do you display or hide?

Still life paintings

5 05 2015

I was watching a documentary the other day about still life paintings (‘Apples Pears and Paint. How to Make a Still Life Painting‘, BBC).

It was pretty good.
Though one thing annoyed me, perhaps unreasonably …

Starting with the interesting observation: that a great majority of still life paintings are lit from the left. I’ve been looking at art since I can remember and admit to not having made this observation.

Another few interesting comments: that the painting of everyday objects was considered the most lowly manner of art for centuries, and that the painting now considered to be the first ‘still life’ is Caravaggio’s ‘Basket of Fruit‘ (1599).

Caravaggio 'Canestra di frutta' (click on image for original source)

Caravaggio ‘Canestra di frutta’ (click on image for original source)

Then onto the theory / justification for the left lighting: that it was due to the increasing literacy (coinciding with the time of the Renaissance) and that in western culture information is read from left to right; and therefore we ‘read’ all information from left to right, even visual information. Ergo the left-originating light in still life.

I think the simpler reason still life paintings are lit from the left is that many artists are right-handed, and that if the light were to come from the right then the paper/canvas wouldn’t be well lit and the working hand would create a shadow.

Actually, I recognise that itself contains an assumption … do you know of any evidence of left versus right hand tendencies in artists?


Apparently Leonard da Vinci drew and painted left-handed – which may actually discredit my idea above, as some of his portraits are lit from the left, with others from the right … but he’s a genius, so he could well have done whatever he liked.

Also, this article discusses claims of left-handed artists, dismissing many of them.

More research to come … I’m wondering if this hasn’t already been the subject of someone’s thesis … surely …