Thursday, December 30, 2010

self portrait with paint

"Manchester-based artist James Birkbeck applied makeup to himself to look like one of Vincent Van Gogh's self-portraits and photographed the result."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

animal hats

and.....i'm back! for now.  not much time for a long post, but...

A late Merry Christmas, and Happy Boxing Day :)

New York for Christmas - well, obviously, I would have rather gone home, but NY was so much fun!  It's a lovely city, and I haven't been there since I was about ten!  This definitely goes on my favorite cities list.  And the most realistic choice (even if it's not realistic) of places I would love to live (definitely more realistic than Stockholm, Paris, or London, for example).  Shopping on Canal St, at the Garment District, watching the skaters at the Rockefeller Center, eating at Little Italy, exploring the Met, Christmas Eve service at St. Bart's...

I even bought an animal hat (well- it was cold outside, and the hat was sooo warm!!!).  A mouse.

I think it's one of those things that looks way cuter on babies, but I'm still obsessed with mine :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

van gogh self-portraits

did he have eye alignment issues?

self-portrait with bandaged ear and pipe, 1888

self-portrait as a bonze, 1888

i'm not going to pretend i came up with this on my own.  when i was reading the description of margaret livingstone's book, vision and art: the biology of seeing, she mentions great artists who had strabismus, and how that may have contributed to their, well, greatness.  she named a few - rembrandt and picasso included - and i may be imagining that she named van gogh as well.  well, this was from my neuroscience textbook, and i'm not likely to open that in the next month at i'm just going to have to buy livingstone's book soon, or else be forever curious :)

i found this interesting article by her, though:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

reading list

So, the holidays this year are a mess.  I don't know what's actually going to happen, but to make a long story short, England cannot clear their runways, and I am going to ring in the new year somewhere on this side of the Atlantic.

Anyway -

My reading list for this year (or rather, Christmas + the year of 2011):

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, by Oliver Sacks
Musicophilia, by Oliver Sacks (finish reading....)
Lincoln and Darwin: Shared Visions of Race, Science, and Religion, by James Lander (because it just came in from Amazon a few weeks ago)
Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing, by Margaret Livingstone

Haha, just a bit of light reading, right?!

That's because it doesn't include all the Harry Potter books I plan on re-reading...
(speaking of which, I still haven't seen the movie! MUST SEE IT!!!)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

baby it's cold outside

so i used to think this was the most annoying song ever.

and then the celtic thunder christmas cd came out...and then the glee version came out...

here are a few of my favorite versions.

Celtic Thunder (of course):

Lady Antebellum (I like country, and besides, this version isn't that country!):

the clip from Elf (just for kicks; it always makes me laugh):

so, i realized that i post a LOT of celtic thunder stuff.  i should probably stop being so obsessed.  and trying to project my interests onto other people.

Friday, December 17, 2010

so if i can't get a hold of a vera wang,

can i wear this for my hypothetical wedding?!

i'm in love with this dress.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

something about that face (or color scheme...)

I know these are different time periods and all....still, Marcus Stone's Olivia (1880) reminds me of Kate Winslet in Sense and Sensibility. Must be the colors and general bucolic atmosphere.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

on the subject of portraits....

i saw this at the bp portrait awards exhibition at the national portrait gallery a few summers ago.

captivating, in its own right.

Amelia, by Cecilia Bennett

Monday, December 13, 2010

john singer sargent, modernized.

Every once in a while I see Nicole Kidman's Madame X-style photo (from Vogue June 1999) - but I didn't realize there was a whole Sargent-themed photoshoot!

My favorites -

 after Madame X by John Singer Sargent, 1884

Mrs. Carl Meyer, 1896

Repose, 1911

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

feeling uninspired.

last day of classes today.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

melancholy introspective

another playlist, just because.

the newest additions (as of two days ago) - "This Time" and "Elgar - Something Inside," performed by Jonathan Rhys Meyers for the August Rush soundtrack.  I am officially obsessed.

Monday, December 6, 2010

eleanor antin

I was lucky enough to see an exhibition of some of Eleanor Antin's photography work in San Diego about four years back...and I still remember it!  It's too bad I can't find any more high-res pictures, because it's hard to appreciate when you can't see the details :(

The Gamblers, from "Roman Allegories"(2004)

Proserpine Welcomes Helen to Hades, from "Helen's Odyssey" (2007)

Casting Call, from "Helen's Odyssey"

Judgment of Paris (after Rubens) - Dark Helen, from "Helen's Odyssey"
Judgment of Paris (after Rubens) - Light Helen, from "Helen's Odyssey"

The Tree, from "The Last Days of Pompeii" (2001)

The Last Day, from "The Last Days of Pompeii"

Friday, December 3, 2010

i don't know how they do it

all that dancing while talking business......

i tried that at ballroom class and it completely failed.  i definitely cannot think of timely responses and not lose track of steps and counting at the same time.

(i love becoming jane.....although i think i cry without fail at the ending each time, when she sees him again and meets his daughter....)

Thursday, December 2, 2010


modernity, the social themes of modern life as painting's subject matter.
modernism, the artistic project concerned with flatness, sensation, affect.

what is the relationship in impressionist painting?

Claude Monet - Rouen Cathedral, facade 1894 (at MFA)

and a really long article -
"Impressionism, Modernism and Originality" by Charles Harrison, in Modernity and Modernism: French Painting in the Nineteenth Century

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

now here's an idea for a summer top

avoiding work (essays, essays, more essays, and some studying for neuro and bio!) - saw this lovely outfit on

It seems that I could get my hands on two coordinating silk scarves, sew them together, and come out with something pretty cool!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

tableaux vivants

just finished my essay rewrite on The House of Mirth - in particular, the scene in which Lily takes part in   the tableaux vivants, and causes a sensation.

"She had shown her artistic intelligence in selecting a type so like her own that she could embody the person represented without ceasing to be herself.  It was as though she had stepped, not out of, but into, Reynold's canvas, banishing the phantom of his dead beauty by the beams of her living grace."

so, a short post dedicated to one of the art forms that fascinates me most (if you dare to call it an art form).

came across this interesting project from a while ago - the Friends of Riverfront in Beloit, Wisconsin recreated Seurat's painting "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte - 1884."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

story of my life...

another playlist post...

I've been a non-architecture major for almost a year now...and I still have my "archi time" playlist...and listen to it often.  oh yeah.  completely random. (and this is only part of it...)

Monday, November 22, 2010

top 25 most played

after a year and a half -

i think it would have been interesting to have taken a look at this a year ago, and intervals after that, to see the evolution of my music tastes....or would it have been so very different, even?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

artists abroad

favorites -

Alvin Langdon Coburn - St. Paul's Cathedral, 1905 (photogravure)

Joseph Pennell - Charing Cross Bridge at Night, 1909 (mezzotint)

Edward Darley Boit - St. Peter's, Rome, 1912 (watercolor)
huge - 59.4 x 104.1 cm
also much better in real life, when you can actually see the watercolor brush strokes (dancing light, it seems)

and these two, just because they are so tiny!
James Wells Champney - Two Women in a Restaurant, 1866-67 (graphite and wash on paper)
6.6 x 11.7 cm!

James Wells Champney - Man In Restaurant, 1866-67 (graphite and wash on paper)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

art of the americas grand opening @ the mfa

AND now I can say I've attended a community day at the MFA.  Plus a grand opening.  Not like I particularly took part in the opening festivities, but I still witnessed it.  That counts...right?

Community day - free admission to all!  Not like it matters, because I already get free admission with my MIT student ID.  Oh well.  I got there ten minutes after opening (I walked; it was so nice! - and according to google maps, it's only 1.6 miles from campus....and tell me again WHY I have been taking the T to the MFA all this time?).  By then, the line was halfway around the block - not like it really mattered.  It moved quickly, and in the meantime I got to amuse myself watching the BU marching band play in the [relative] cold and sip warm apple cider for free (comment from guy in front of me - "If apple cider was caffeinated I bet nobody would drink coffee anymore").  Um, NOT giving up my coffee, but apple cider IS pretty amazing anyway.

I wore a red sweater just because I felt like it - and ha, I forgot that the MFA logo is basically red, and, consequently, all of the employees and volunteers were wearing red.  Yup.  Lost in a sea of red. haha.

stairs in the new wing.....

so - also saw a few new exhibitions that opened today -
Artists Abroad: London, Paris, Venice, and Rome 1825-1925
Fresh Ink: Ten Takes on Chinese Tradition

If Fresh Ink was a huge, theatrical installment, Artists Abroad was anything but.  Both were excellent all the same, in their own way.  More to come later...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

william henry fox talbot

inventor of the calotype (patented 1841) - this involved a new concept of negative, from which multiple positive images could be made (unlike the daguerreotype, which was a one-off deal).

Fox Talbot was born/lived/died at Lacock Abbey (now a National Trust property).  A lovely place (including Lacock Village) - I hope I can go back and spend more time there soon!

latticed window at Lacock Abbey, 1835


Lacock Abbey - the cloisters - now (er, a year and a half ago...).  The parts that were in Harry Potter.

Speaking of Harry Potter...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

facebook note; why not...

Have you read more than 6 of these books?  The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte 
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling 
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee 
6 The Bible
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott  
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien  
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck 
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis 
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis 
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving 
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen 
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas 
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville  
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens 
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens 
 82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell 8
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton 
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad 
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl 
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

gossip girls

So I got hooked on Gossip Girls a few weeks ago...bad idea.

Anyway, I'm still on episode 4 but just saw pictures from the latest episode, 8 - Juliet Doesn't Live Here Anymore.  The dresses are stunning!  My fave would be Serena's, by Zuhair Murad.

Monday, November 15, 2010

wheel of emotions

created by Robert Plutchik in 1980 - composed of 8 basic emotions and 8 advanced emotions.

yup, I think that would put me in the purple/blue range right now.