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mothermary1

When I moved into my current house a badly painted statue of Our Lady of Fatima was already residing there. You can’t really tell from the picture above, but her eyes were terrifyingly black and had the strange quality of following you where ever you might be in the room. Kinda like those old portraits that always seem to be hanging in dark dusty hallways.

I had a little free time last Saturday and I decided to give Our Lady a makeover.  I can’t think of a mother that wouldn’t be pleased with a makeover, so I bought some acrylic paint and set to work. I painted the entire statue with three coats of this paint in 515 Vintage White:

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I dabbed the last coat on with a foam makeup applicator so that there wouldn’t be any streaks from the paintbrush and to give the statue a nice matte finish. Finally I gave her crown a good polish and put it back on her head.

The result is lovely! Now “Scary Mary” looks serene and quite lovely! Having her all one color really calls attention to the drapery of her garments and the sweetness of her face. What do you think?

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If you happen to live in the DC area I urge you to hie yourself down to the National Gallery of Art and see the exhibit on Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. It’s an amazing exhibit on scenery and costume design for the Ballets Russes, it’s brilliant! There are scenes and costumes by Picasso, Chanel, Matisse. I loved it! I was in heaven since it was the perfect combination of my two favorite things, art and ballet!

One of the things I found particularly striking about the exhibit is that the designers made it feel like your waiting in the wings of a theater. It really brought back a lot of memories for me, I could stand just behind a “wing” and enjoy the videos that were playing as part of the exhibit, just as when I was dancing we used to stand and watch the scene/performance before ours. It was wonderful!

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sybil

I purchased this poster of Michelangelo’s Delphic Sibyl while I was living in Rome. I finally had a chance to frame it and hang it up! Such an amazing combination of feminine strength, beauty, and colours!

Some will point out that Michelangelo didn’t use female models, and this isn’t what women look like, and if he discriminated against women by not using them as figure models. For starters, Michelangelo didn’t use women as figure models because it wasn’t the thing to do at the time, no one used female models. True, women don’t look exactly like the Delphic Sibyl, I’ve never seen forearms like that on any woman of my acquaintance. But I have seen women hold their arms they way the Sibyl holds her’s, and I have seen that graceful turn of the neck, and the foot in demi-pointe while seated. Maybe Michelangelo didn’t use female models, but he certainly paid homage to the powerful motion and grace of the female figure. Her body alone, from way up high on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, communicates the wisdom, intellegence, and wonder women may exude.

midsummer

The longest day of the year deserves a quote from Shakespeare:

The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve:
Lovers, to bed; ’tis almost fairy time.
I fear we shall out-sleep the coming morn
As much as we this night have overwatch’d.
This palpable-gross play hath well beguiled
The heavy gait of night. Sweet friends, to bed.
A fortnight hold we this solemnity,
In nightly revels and new jollity.

Theseus – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare

I randomly wanted to see this routine, so I thought I’d share!

dorothy l sayers

Today Dorothy L. Sayers would have been 120.

If you don’t know who Dorothy L. Sayers is I want you to drop everything your doing right now and 1) pick up any one of her mystery novels (my favorite is Gaudy Night, but please don’t start with that one, it would be unjust, start with Whoose Body or The Nine Tailors. Guady Night needs to be surrounded by a sense of anticipation in my opinion.), 2) get both volumes of her letters and start reading. And when you’ve read those pick up Creed or Chaos.

This woman was phenomenally brilliant. To say she was just a good mystery writer would be unfair. She wrote everything! Plays, prose, poetry, novels, philosophy. You name it. She even completed a translation of the Divine Comedy.

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Okay, now that I have typed the phrase busy bee, all I can think of is that scene in Gladiator where Commodus has reached a-place-that-is-beyond-creepy and he calls Lucillia a busy bee. I always want to scream at Lucillia to just grab her kid and leave the palace.

But I wanted to pop in for a minute to once again apologize for not posting and to assure you that I am still alive and well! I’ve been in over my head in events, planning and projects. The picture above shows the sewing project I’ve been working on – 20+ Shakespearean shirts for a middle school production of Taming of the Shrew. Ooo, ooo, that Shakespearean rag. . .

And to add to the randomness of this post, here is a poem for you:

MORNING AT THE WINDOW

by: T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

THEY are rattling breakfast plates in basement kitchens,

And along the trampled edges of the street

I am aware of the damp souls of housemaids

Sprouting despondently at area gates.

The brown waves of fog toss up to me

Twisted faces from the bottom of the street,

And tear from a passer-by with muddy skirts

An aimless smile that hovers in the air

And vanishes along the level of the roofs.

My roommate found this video produced by BBC. Apparently they have a whole series of Horrible Histories – I thought this one was particularly funny!

Two items of note: 1) Film above is the story of Dick Turpin which is romanticized by William Harrison Ainsworth in his novel Black Bess, of The Knight of the Road. 2) In case you were wondering, from what I can tell the poem The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes is based in Scotland, not England, on a generic highwayman character, not Dick Turpin, but I could be wrong.

P.S. Did you know that Alfred Noyes converted to Catholicism?

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It’s a beautiful day! I think I see some wine tasting in my future, a little art, and perhaps a comet? Who knows!

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Sunday I took a trip to the National Gallery of Art to see Michelangelo’s David-Apollo , It’s called the DavidApollo because they aren’t sure who it is exactly. I think it is a David, he doesn’t seem Apollo-esque enough to me.

This statue was on loan from the Bargello in Florence. I have seen the statue in Florence before, but I figured I’d go see it again. It’s like when a good friend comes to town you make sure you stop by and say hello during their visit.

To top the visit off, there was an amazing piano trio playing later that evening for which I was able to stay! (FYI: a piano trio means that there is a piano and two other instruments, usually a cello and violin, all playing together. It doesn’t mean a trio of pianos.)

 

Update: Just found this article by Simcha Fisher on children and and their take on art. Loved it!

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