Stag and doe

This is one of my favourite prints: two dappled deer. It seems to me that the artist used all the colours of a tabby cat.

A stag stands by while a doe rets on the ground. Both are dappled with white

Koson — Stag and Recumbent Doe


Canadian art and the Group of Seven

This article, “White Feathers and Tangled Gardens,” is an expert from Ross King’s new book, Modern Spirits.

As we all know, their approach was novel:

…one critic cautioned that to paint a Canadian landscape under snow was “unpatriotic, untactful, and unwise.” But Snow I and Snow II unapologetically showed fir boughs weighed down by fresh snow that Harris depicted with luminous strokes of azure, mauve, salmon pink and cornflower blue.

"Snow" by Lawren Harris

Their colours were shocking:

As a connoisseur once admonished John Constable: “A good picture, like a good fiddle, should be brown.” …Would Torontonians, nourished on fiddle-brown landscapes, be ready for works like The Tangled Garden or Autumn’s Garland?

Apparently not:

“that rough, splashy, meaningless, blatant, plastering and massing of unpleasant colours which seems to be a necessary evil in all Canadian art exhibitions these days…”

"Tangled Garden" by J. E. H. MacDonald

They were even accused of being limp-wristed “hermaphrodites” in spite of their canoeing, camping, and manly paintings.

"The Jack Pine" by Tom Thomson

As these paintings were being shown during the first world war, there was some discussion of why these apparently hale artists didn’t volunteer for the armed forces and of Thomson’s retreat into the forests of Algonquin Park. There, in the midst of a dangerous storm, he sketched one of his most famous paintings.

Thomson would turn this small sketch into one of his most famous paintings, The West Wind, in which the potent energies of nature are distilled into the whiplashing curves of the Jack pines. The painting is a scene of struggle, of an elemental tug-of-war between the dynamic and destructive forces that nearly killed him. If Canadians believed that what made them unique was their engagement with this hostile and unforgiving land that dictated the terms of human existence, then Thomson’s painting is an elegant image of this life-and-death encounter..

"The West Wind" by Tom Thomson

All in all, this book is more than a re-hashing of the usual biographical details. I’d like to read it.

Music of Elliott Carter

At age 103, Elliott Carter is still composing new works of Serious Modern Music—in other words, music without a tune but with some consideration for timing and rhythm. Each player marches to a different drummer:

The individuality of tempo and rhythm can make his music difficult to perform as each player unconsciously responds physically to the different rhythms he or she hears and yet tries to preserve his or her own system intact.

You can hear clips from a concert in New York at the article.

Strange snow globes

The artists Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz produced a series of snow globes entitled “Travellers,” then photographed them.

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Beautiful photos of horses

Check these out! “Amazing horse photos” by Wojtek Kwiatkowski.

Photography Month on TVO

This is Photography Month and TVO is showing lots of fascinating retrospectives of famous photographers, including some newly discovered ones–Mike Disfarmer of Heber Springs, anybody? Disowned his family, changed his name, lifelong bachelor, atheist, and photographer.

elderly, careworn man and woman with solemn young girl, possibly their granddaugher. All are clean and well dressed

His pictures of Americans from the early 1900s to World War II seem to speak of those perilous times: the adults look grim or uneasy while the children look sullen or frightened. In fact, he was probably just an unnerving guy, but the pictures are very evocative.

Doodlebean—cute art

This site is for the author’s whimsical art: Doodlebean.

The artist has her main site at Jill Kolva.