Monday, February 23, 2009

Breathe in Some More Art

I said I was going to do a follow-up art post and by golly, I meant it. Now that I have all of my images in front of me I don't know how I shall choose my favorites! Perhaps this will just have to become more of a regular feature. Anyhoodle, let's look at some art!

Don't you just love Roman sculpture? I can never get enough of this guy (Augustus). His breastplate! His left leg! That drapery! And don't you just love how his ears stick out a bit? A good bit of sculpture just blows my mind all to pieces.

Desolation, by Thomas Cole as part of his "Course of the Empire" series (all of which are good). I have a lot of love for a good landscape and Thomas Cole is brilliant. I just love American art, don't you? It's probably my favorite American thing, besides hot dogs. Just kidding.

The Incredulity of St. Thomas. I'm partly including this because one can never look at too much Caravaggio and partly as a treat for you LOST fans.
I really wish we had some Caravaggio in LDS churches.

Light of the World, by Holman Hunt. I don't care much for Hunt on the whole, but this may be my very favorite painting of Christ in the whole of this world. Isn't the lighting just so soft and lovely?
(Side note: I spotted this in a parlor in Jeeves and Wooster episode)

St. Sebastian Attended by St. Irene, by de la Tour. For some reason I never got into de la Tour while in school. Maybe I just didn't see the right painting or maybe I was too distracted by Caravaggio's and Bernini's in-your-face drama. At any rate, I ran into this one in a journal* recently and it's just gorgeous, isn't it? It's so still and so well lit. It looks so real and yet not at the same time. Oh, and there's an arrow in St. Sebastian.

Ah, the Colosseum. Can I even say how much I love this building? Just look at it! This was in fact the picture I was referring to in my last post. I'm a sucker for a blue and yellow color scheme, but also it's just a fantastic picture. This is my favorite piece (piece?) of architecture for so many reasons, but suffice it to say if there were no Colosseum, I may not have a degree in art history now. Such is my love and such is its draw for me.

I decided in the course of picking pictures for this post that the next art post will be devoted to illustrators. It was just too impossible to pick one or two this time. There is so much beautiful art in the world! How can one blog ever contain it?!

* I wish I could say I subscribe to the leading art journals, but really I just get my hands on them occasionally at work. Then I flip around and write down all the names of paintings that catch my eye. Such is my continuing art education.

PS: Vote in the poll! Let your voice be heard! Anonymously!

Friday, February 20, 2009


This is the best picture I have seen since last night*:

*The picture I saw last night was glorious so...competition was stiff. Otherwise...this is the best picture I have seen in a few months.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Art: Breathe It In!

There is an art museum here on campus, and I have never seen all of it. It's right next to the main library, and I've even used the art library several times (it's attached to the museum). My first semester I went to one of the three floors and saw their ancient things, which was fun, but there were two unexplored floors. (In my defense, I tried to go a few times when I first came here but, for example, they were fumigating.)

So today I had an hour and a half to fill up, and I kind of wanted to break up my 11 hours of sitting with some off I went to the art museum. I started in the "Western Art: Late Medieval to the Present" collection. Once inside I stood there for a minute, breathing in art-filled air and suddenly all I felt was relief. And then I remembered that that always happens in a museum. I walk in and see beautiful things; they instantly start seeping into my being and all is right in the world.

In honor of museums the world over, here are some of my favorite paintings that I can remember off the top of my head (I have a folder of them on Vera so I may post an addendum later):

Maxfield Parrish's Lantern Bearers. American Illustration...I love it so! It's so unappreciated, especially by art historians (except me, of course. Hah!)

Caravaggio, for all his many, many flaws, has a special place in my heart. Is this best illustrated by a painting about decapitation? Maybe not, but it's just so mesmerizing.
Judith Beheading Holofernes

Things I have soft spots for: Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon and drama.
Napoleon Crossing the Alps, and, just because I love you, here is another version.

Sometimes I think Waterhouse doesn't get enough respect because his paintings are so popular with the common people, but really, his paintings are beautiful and wistful.

Rain! I love rain. And I love a good rainy atmosphere captured in a painting. Thank you, Caillebotte. This is also the only painting in this list I've seen in person.

Paris Street, Rainy Day

Saturday, February 07, 2009

These Bugs: I Hate Them So

It's story time again and the topic isn't really anymore pleasant than fire. So many of you faithful readers have no experience with the thing I'm going to discuss--demonstrated by your confused looks and use of the phrase "A what?" I feel compelled to enlighten you. Or I should say, I feel compelled to make you all share my dread. Plus, these stories are pretty good (though maybe not as good as the spider babies, you be the judge).

The subject of today's stories is camel hoppers. Technically they are camel crickets, but they were called camel hoppers in Alabama, where I was first exposed. And so their name has continued. Let's take a look:

(Words cannot express how horrifying it was to have a whole page of those pictures on Google. Augh.)

Here are a few facts you should know about hoppers. First off, I love grasshoppers. They are charming! Camel hoppers are like horrible, mutated grasshoppers that were experimented on by a shady government organization. Their weird hunched backs remind me of aliens (partly because of a dream). They jump crazy high and really spastically--you never know which way they're going! They get really big. They're ugly and foul. Also, they're tough to kill because they've got steroid-enhanced exoskeletons. Now, let us continue.

I've had several duels with hoppers. I'm not really good at killing bugs, I will admit. I often use shoes and I jump around a lot, but I'll do it. But hoppers are hard because of all those reasons I mentioned, mainly the jumping. Here are two of my battles:

The time: Several summers ago. The place: the hallway outside my room. It's mid-morning. I start walking down the hall. There's a hopper, just chilling there on the floor. I confess I hollered for my Mom but she was in the shower. What was I supposed to do? Well, I got my Mom's math book* that was handy. And I threw it at the hopper. I missed. I got it again. This process continued until I finally landed that book smack on top of that thing. But I knew its crazy exoskeleton had protected it and I had to do something else. So I stood on that book. For a while. My Mom wasn't really impressed with my tactics, but that may be because I let her clean it up.

The time: two summers ago. The place: the hallway between the laundry room and the garage door. I was going to go to Girls' Camp in a few weeks and I had a case of water bottles sitting near the garage door for that occasion. Around this time I did some laundry and I saw a real beast of a hopper skulking around the freezer, but I just hurried out and forgot about him. The morning I was supposed to leave, he came back, as big as ever and I had to do something about him. So I picked up that case of bottled water and dropped it on him (I had to get a lot closer...cases of water bottles don't throw as well as books). I'll admit it was kind of satisfying. Unfortunately I had to take the case with me, so not long after my victory I had to pick it up and scrape the corpse off the bottom. And yes, I left it for my Dad to clean up. It's how I roll.

Are you starting to feel like you have bugs crawling all over you yet? Well, this next story is my best AKA my worst. Is it the root of all my fears? Pretty much. This is the story of my stalker hopper.

The time: mid-1990's, bedtime. The place: my room downstairs in Missouri. I was lying in bed, all cozy. The door was open and the hall light was on. I looked over. There was a hopper in the middle of my floor. I knew it would crawl all over me in my sleep so of course I got out of bed and crept upstairs to my sister's room to sleep on her floor. Problem solved!

Except when I woke up in the early hours of the morning I saw that hopper. Sitting on my pillow. Looking at me. I got in my sister's bed and my groupie was gone by the time real morning came.

Later that day I was sitting on the floor in my sister's room. I looked over and saw that hopper. On my shoulder. Looking at me. What followed was a lot of screaming and jumping and shuddering and more screaming. We killed that thing, for the most part, with a binder and dumped its still-twitching body out the window.

And that, my friends, is a faithful narrative of all my dealings with camel hoppers. Or some of them anyway.

*I know it's cruel to use a book like this. But it's a math book so it's okay.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


I was going to write a whole post about the glories and wonders of spring and how it's going to be here so very, very soon. But then I found this picture and really, need I say more?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Something Worth Sharing

I ran across this yesterday, and because I like you all so much, I wanted to share it with you. All I ask is that if any of you ever make it, please send me pictures and a review.

Bacon Explosion!