Vermeer Revisited

Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) was an astounding Dutch painter who specialized in fairly mundane scenes of 17th century domesticity around his home town of Delft.

I don’t know what possessed me really, but I have recently seen his famous painting from 1665, “Girl with a Pearl Earring” so many times that this image has lodged itself in my brain rather in a similar way to a musical earworm. As a result I spent several hours over the last couple of days revisiting this classic work and adding my own interpretations.

170222_vermeer2
Girl with No Earring
170222_vermeer3
Girl with a Razor Blade
170222_vermeer1
Girl in a Space Helmet

~Richard

A stitchin’ time

We have an art show tomorrow so, as is usual, I spent some time this evening rushing around trying to get the entries framed, backed and wired. Of course this was after I had scanned the works so that we can keep copies and upload to our websites. This time around I am not entering anything but the “family studio” was represented through one of my daughter’s photographs and two of my wife’s acrylic paintings.

I still need to sort out my office, to make things easier, but my trusty Epson V600 scanner does a grand job, and for the larger paintings I take multiple scans and then stitch them together using the fabulously free Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor). This may involve 6 or more images on some of the larger works (like the chickens, below) as the scan bed is about 12” x  9” (30cm x 22.5cm).

Then I run the resulting image through GIMP to color correct as I still haven’t made the leap to Lightroom or Photoshop even though my daughter has these (I’m a creature of habit, I guess),  and we have the final saved images. It can be a bit of hard work for my old ASUS Pentium laptop, but it still manages it.

161117_eddie

161117_wildflowers

161117_hens

So, after a few hours of preparation everything is framed up and ready to be submitted to the show tomorrow.

What do you think?

161117_pix

~Richard

Pastel painting and Dogs

A hot and very humid day today, with thunderstorms that set off the dogs. Why is it that they think that barking at the sky can have any effect on the noise? Then again there seems to be plenty of barking mad people around these days so maybe they’re not so different from many others…

Anyway, it was not a great day to be outside so, thanks to the wonders of modern air conditioning and our portable dehumidifier, we were able to finish some painting inside. Pastel colors which should brighten up the place and, I have since found out, represent the tricolor flag of Newfoundland and Labrador – two Canadian provinces which also happen to be breeds of dog. How’s that for a hastily put together circular ramble…?

160716_Painting
Pink, White and Green stirrers with the “church door key” to open the cans

~Richard

Makes you think – Coincidence, fate, serendipity or just plain weird?

I will try to live up to my blog subheading “Philosophical Photography & More,” at least in part today, by recounting the events of this morning…
My wife, Michelle, is an artist who was finishing a watercolor for entry into a local art exhibition today, along the theme of “clean slate.” For this she produced an image of a Monarch butterfly emerging from its cocoon, entitled “Rebirthwhich she asked me to frame.

160109-Rebirth

I asked her for details of the work and uploaded it to her online gallery but, in doing so, I noticed that today’s Google Doodle also featured a butterfly design.160109-Google

That’s odd, I thought, and clicked the link to find that today is the 41st anniversary of the discovery by Ken Brugger and Catalina Trail of the Mountain of Butterflies, and more specifically Monarch butterflies. After many years of searching and tracking Monarch butterflies this spectacular site in Mexico was finally discovered on January 9th 1975 (although it was well known by locals for hundreds of years). The site has now been made a World Heritage site where over one billion of these lepidopteran beauties spend the winter.

So, back to the main point of this post: a close friend of mine who is considerably more spiritually inclined than I would ever admit to being, would probably say this is fate, the gods, or the universe sending a message to either me or my wife, or perhaps to us both. Maybe this is a sign that heralds a metamorphic change for us. Who knows, only time will tell…

Personally, I just say “wow, that’s weird” and let it pass, but it certainly makes for a mildly interesting story. What do you think?

~Richard

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