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February 2007

Posts from January 2007



A Maverick Radar Guides Fate / Side of a Building in Nashville, TN / January 2007

Spent a long weekend in Nashville enjoying music, history, art, fried chicken and biscuits. While there I read about "redirection" -- when, due to circumstances, we are sent down a new path (to new opportunities, ideas, etc.) that we might not have considered. I love the idea of redirection. We haven't failed or run into a brick walls, instead we are merely being redirected. It is a way to think of something that could be negative in a positive way. I also like the idea of a "maverick radar" detecting my position and direction and guiding me in the right direction.

We must step up the Stairs


Steps in Transition / New Jersey / January 2007

The carpet that had encased the steps has been removed revealing beautiful, if somewhat beat-up, oak treads. The balusters and handrail are gone leaving big holes behind. The bottom step has been sacrificed for more floor space.

The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps -- we must step up the stairs.
        - Vance Havner (American Baptist preacher)

Color influences the Soul


The Bluest Blue Sky / Saturday Afternoon on the Adriatic, Croatia / May 2005

More from Alan Fletcher's The Art of Looking Sideways:

Colour is a power which directly influences the soul. Colour is the keyboard, the eyes the hammer, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which places, touching one key or another to cause vibration in the soul. It is therefore evident that colour harmony must rest only on a corresponding vibration in the human soul.
    -- W. Kandinsky. Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1947)

Do colors express an idea or feeling?


Three Pink Flowers / Sveti Vid, Croatia / May 2005

From Alan Fletcher's The Art of Looking Sideways:

During the 1930s the painter Amedee Ozenfant, intrigued with colour metaphors, decided to record colour words which expressed an idea or feeling. He randomly selected five pages from the works of fifty French poets commencing with Baudelaire and ending with Cocteau. He then tallied up the number of times they occurred. Pink or Rose (hue not flower) came tops. The primaries of blue, red and yellow came next with a 55 per cent preference for blue but only 18 per cent for yellow. Of the three secondary colours only green was mentioned. Orange and purple didn't turn up at all. I don't quite know what conclusion to draw except that they do say that "If you're in the pink, everything seems rosy!"

The dust of everyday Life


Sleeping Youth, His Head and Arm Resting on the Back of a Sofa / Pencil, by Adolph von Menzel (1815-1905) / The Pierpont Morgan Library

Art washes away
         from the soul
                   the dust of everyday life.

                              -- Pablo Picasso

(I'm having one of those days where the dust of everyday life is obscuring my vision and dulling my soul.)

Snow Crystals


Snow Crystals on Leaves of Many Colors (click image to see the crystals glowing) / New Jersey, January 22, 2007

Every sect is a moral check on its neighbor.
Competition is as wholesome in religion as in commerce.

-- Walter Savage Landor (1775-1964)

Emancipation of the Mind


Organization, 1933-1936, oil on canvas painting by Arshile Gorky (1904-1948); American abstract expressionist painter of Armenian ethnicity / National Gallery of Art, Wash. DC

Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes... Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an explosion into unknown areas.
    -- Arshile Gorky

Make your own Crumbs


OK, here we have Acme brand Italian Style Bread Crumbs that were in the refrigerator. I was making a meatloaf and thought I'd throw in a few bread crumbs . . . until I took a look at the ingredients. About one-third of the way down it listed CORN SYRUP. What was corn syrup doing in bread crumbs? And following that was PARTIALLY HYRDROGENATED VEGETABLE SHORTENING! Again, what was that doing in bread crumbs? Both of those were enough for me to decide that this can was going right into the trash, but I kept reading to see what else was in there . . . among other things, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE (wasn't that the thing in Chinese Take-out that caused headaches?). See the label of all the things you never thought would be in a can of bread crumbs after the jump.

Maybe it's best to make your own bread crumbs and season them as you please.

Continue reading "Make your own Crumbs" »

The Sun and the Moon


Helios and Selena Fountain in the park near the church of Saint Jacob in the seaside resort of Opatija, Croatia. The fountain and figures were sculpted by Hans Rathausky (1858-1912) in 1889 / Opatija, Croatia / May 2005

The figures on the Helios and Selena Fountain represent the Sun and the Moon. According to legend, Helios was the sun god, each day driving a chariot from east to west across the sky and sailing around the northerly stream of the ocean each night. Selena (Selene in Greek; Luna in Latin) was the personification of the moon as a goddess and is associated with Greek poetry.

The Angels were all singing out of tune, and hoarse with having little else to do, excepting to wind up the sun and moon or curb a runaway young star or two.
-- Lord Byron (1788-1824) from "The Vision of Judgement," 1822

See a picture of the whole fountain after the jump.

Continue reading "The Sun and the Moon" »

Persuasion is better than Force


Helios / Opatija, Croatia / May 2005

Aesop tells a fable describing a contest between Helios the warm sun, and Boreas the chill wind of winter.

"Boreas (the North Wind) and Helios (the Sun) disputed as to which was the most powerful, and agreed that he should be declared the victor who could first strip a wayfaring man of his clothes. Boreas (the North Wind) first tried his power and blew with all his might, but the keener his blasts, the closer the traveler wrapped his cloak around him, until at last, resigning all hope of victory, the Wind called upon Helios (the Sun) to see what he could do. Helios (the Sun) suddenly shone out with all his warmth. The traveler no sooner felt his genial rays than he took off one garment after another, and at last, fairly overcome with heat, undressed and bathed in a stream that lay in his path. Persuasion is better than force." - Aesop, Fables (from Babrius, Fabulae Aesopeae 18) (from