Thursday, May 26, 2016
I love painting and I love looking at paintings. For the last four years I have been focusing on animal portraits with their humans. It is no easy task to paint a picture like this. And although my art is nothing like the painting pictured above, I am inspired by it for sure. Notice how the hunting dog is timeless and never out of fashion, yet it is painted in 1833! Devoted, humble, stately are typical dog characteristics that Kruseman captured in his portrait. My favorite parts of this painting are how the artist painted the dog's fur, the woman's shoe peeking out of her dress and her exquisite hair.
What do you like about this piece, if anything at all?
Portrait of Alida Christina Assink painted by the artist Jan Adam Kruseman 1833, photographed by me at the Rijks Museum February 2016
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
As much as I love plants & flowers, I am no expert on them. Other than a few common names, I rarely know most flower's names. After finding these tall ones at the Massapequa Preserve last Sunday, I googled "purple wildflowers" into the google images search bar. I then scrolled through a wide variety of purple blossoms until I found a bunch that matched mine exactly. Dame's Rocket is her common name. I'd love to know how someone came up with that title! Sounds like another Google search is in store. Meanwhile thanks to Wiki I did find her technical name "..Hesperis Matronalis is a herbaceous plant species in the Mustard family".
Monday, May 23, 2016
A couple of weeks ago while visiting my son at the Rhode Island School of Design, I also made sure to visit the RISD Illustration Gallery. If you're ever in Providence, I suggest you check out their ISB Gallery located in The Illustration Studies Building at 55 Canal Walk. Below is a description of this insightful children's book pictured above. As a lapsed Vegetarian, I can very much relate to the storyline in terms of what happens when one makes a radical change in their life. Basically, not everyone around the person who does the changing likes it so much. The good thing is, you find out who your true friends are. Illustration is a means of story telling and to me this story is about learning how to be true to yourself while also understanding your impact on those around you. Pink Flynn is a story about the reality of life that all of us as humans will experience in one way or another. The beautifully executed illustrations help soften the blow of the reality of this thought provoking story, as the reader can't help but take pause and ponder the imagery encouraging us to think about what it takes to evolve in this complicated world.
Sunday, May 22, 2016
I only spotted this one nest this morning but it was all I needed to bring back memories of the Gypsy Moth invasion Long Island had back in the early seventies. The part of Farmingdale I lived in during that time had a small wooded section of land I used to ride my bike past and I remember seeing hundreds of these nests in the trees. It was a literal invasion. Though I can't remember the last time I've seen these nests anywhere on Long Island, a quick google search revealed this Wiki map proving they are well on their way to world domination.
More searching revealed a Gypsy Moth Suppression program that has been going on since the early 1900's. It turns out these caterpillars basically like to eat trees. If you look closely at the upper mid to right side part of the nest you will notice a caterpillar on its way to breakfast.
If you happen upon these hungry little caterpillars, don't touch them since their hairs can cause a rash. You can read all about Gypsy Moth Management here.
I also spotted this Lacecap Hydrangea during my early morning trail walk too, and you all know how I feel about Hydrangeas...
Saturday, May 21, 2016
We played one early evening a couple of weeks ago over at these courts at "Heisser Lane" which is what we always called this park when I was a kid. Everyone referred to it as such only because a road by the name of Heisser Lane exists alongside it. The actual name is Allen Ellsworth Park.
Friday, May 20, 2016
I first became aware of this angel from the Wim Wenders film "Wings of Desire" and like the angels in his movie, this monumental angel bears witness to all life around it and has literally seen it all - from humanity's best inclinations as well as its worst. The black and white imagery from "Wings of Desire" is stunning. To see this angelic monument from the movie in person felt surreal. Below is me trying to fit my inspiring angel and I into a selfie as I rode my bike around the column's traffic circle - one last time before leaving Berlin.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
The petals on these Poppies look like tissue paper but they feel incredibly soft. I look forward to seeing them every year. Their orange color is so bright my eyes catch their glimmers through the fence even if I am standing very far away.