A world frozen white
Sun by day and stars by night
My home my refuge.
A world frozen white
Sun by day and stars by night
My home my refuge.
..is your bond, you keep your word, the word is God upon my word! There are crosswords and cross words. Lucille writes about words (or lack of them) in this post, being 'wordy' is not usually a compliment. I treasure the comment made by a student at my Drawing for Non Artists course. He said that the course in the evening was 'such a relief from the wordiness of the day'.
I've chosen a 'word for the year' for a number of years now. See here and here
This was my first one I think (2011) and here are some of yours! Remember?
I think I have decided on my word for 2018 but thought it would be fun to try Susannah Conway's free course in choosing a word before I settle on it. Join me? You can sign up here.
More snow today. I love being in this house when it is snowing. And I've got as far as 'C' in my new address book..
First snow on the tops.
Heron high in the larch tree,
there the morning moon.
Looking back over November 2010 (see sidebar and yesterday's post) I see that I did my first big book organise. Of course I had done it often in the past - every time I moved house, and that was quite often - but never so methodically. In fact organising was a theme that month and I realise that writing about it made it more fun. I was enjoying all the books about different approaches which were new to me then. I liked the concept of objects as companions to our emotional lives. A lot of the ideas I picked up then are truly second nature to me now.
There are some good snow photographs - I wonder if it will snow this November. Hope so!
There were far fewer readers of course. Eighty a week - I was so excited. Now according to Weebly it is thousands - gulp!
Not all the links are still live and some of the blogs I mention no longer exist sadly.
I wrote here about how I liked challenges and, looking for a kick-start to winter as I am, I think I shall try to write a haiku a week between now and Christmas. Am off to research that now!
Blogging is still such fun.
Thank you so much for reading.
I have reached the final words of Peter Ackroyd's Venice Pure City -
..vivacity, gaity, radiance, extravagance, energy, buoyancy, spontaneity, urgency, facility, exuberance, impetuosity. Oh! Venezia!
Who wouldn't be excited?
Here is another Fortuny garment I'd love to wear, and if you scroll down you will see the most dazzling selection of Fortuny gowns.
Have you heard of this artist and his Chandeliers Over Venice project? (This is for you Lotta!) There are lots of videos on Dale Chihuly and the full story here. Allow yourself an hour or three if you really love glass!
Hope to visit this exhibition in Venice.
I trained in Textile Design at GSA and remember coming across the revolutionary, and elegant silk 'Delphos' gowns of Mariano Fortuny. He began making them in 1907 but they are utterly timeless and now collectors items. You could wear them today and not look dated. The book highlighted today at Cornflower Books looks like a must read for textile lovers.
We leave in a month's time. After the Carnivale is over. Fun, I am sure, but not the Venice I really want to see (or the prices we can afford to pay!).
A writing month is one of the best ideas I've ever had.
What is the best idea you have ever had?
One of the fun things about a few recent lazy days has been the new websites I have come across. Maybe you will take a look at this one - The Awfully Big Blog Adventure while I am away for a few days babysitting (my little sister!)
And after all the flooding here in UK I was rather amused at this post from Venezia about there not being enough water in Venice...
..in books (and there are lots of them!) Here are some I have read...
And here is the one I think best so far...
Though a bit old fashioned (it was written in 1960) and full of generalisations about the character of the Venetian (which is one of the reasons it seems old fashioned) it is still in this 1993 revision an excellent and enjoyable read. The foreword to this edition, in which the author justifies not making many changes, is a delightful read in itself.
To be read slowly, and savoured.
Some others I have are in this post.
My Venice post this week has to be this sad and moving one from the blog of Venetian Cat Bauer.
(Venice posts come under Simply Write as writing my novel is my reason (or excuse!) for going there this winter.)
On Fridays I usually post something about Venice.
I love this little drawing of Venice from a nautical map of the 13C.
And to the city of today a link to a wonderful autumn photgraph from a blog I enjoy.
And you may enjoy this essay written by Erica Jong in 1986 in which she extols the advantages of being there in winter (as we will be..)
Have you been, in any season? And has anyone read Erica Jong's Serenissima?
PS first snow on the hills today!
I've been enjoying reading blogs by people who live in Venice and this post interested me, especially the mention of San Michele which I've visited.
ln preparation for our winter month in Venice I'm swotting up Palladio (I always was a bit of a swot, and have decided to own up!)
Getting excited about February again.
I've always enjoyed the exuberant and joyful work of Raoul Dufy, especially his works from about 1930 onwards.
I seem to remember reading, when I was first considering becoming a full-time artist, that he said something along the lines of getting the mundane things of your life sorted so that you can concentrate on the creative side. I remember thinking ruefully he meant getting a wife!
Fortunately I decided to ignore his advice (I do by the way have a very supportive husband!) and decided to Paint First and let the rest fit in somehow. I might never have got started otherwise!
Many books have been written on this very subject.
One I am enjoying now is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
But back to my topic (I'm breaking my rule for blog posts - one subject and one aspect of that subject at a time..)
I came across this brilliant little painting of Venice by Dufy.
..or should I say Venezia. I am enjoying learning Italian with my excellent teacher Luisella. She speaks a lot in Italian throughout the class - talking quickly, translating as she goes, insisting we listen, listen, listen and talk, talk, talk. She goes at a challenging pace!
A challenge I had not anticipated was being unable to read the whiteboard when Luisella uses a coloured or faded pen. I had to explain that I have an eye problem. (I have AMD, a degenerative eye condition.) Until now when out and about or meeting new people I get away with not saying anything, but we are asked to work in pairs and read to each other from the textbook. If the lighting is not good - and it isn't - I can't see the words. I am still so shocked when this happens! So of course I have to say 'I'm sorry I can't see that'. I have a tiny torch the size of a credit card (thank you Lynne, what a thoughtful gift). It helps but makes me very slow. I've never before in my life been slow in a learning situation. It is so hard! It makes me feel foolish and so self-conscious. I know I have to get over those feelings and find ways of coping.
It also makes me feel humble when I see people coping with far greater difficulties.
I enjoyed this post on a favourite blog about Venice.
(This post explains why I am learning Italian!)
It was dark and late as the old vaporetto chugged its way to the Piazza San Marco, calling in at dimly lit stops on the way, the buildings only appearing out of the hushed darkness at the last moment, and one or two people embarking or disembarking quietly as the rugged engine changed sounds. and the sounds floated over the water of the lagoon
We disembarked and walked across the empty silent Piazza in moonlight and the two unseen figures struck the bells of the clock high on the Clock Tower: midnight.
I always knew I would go back.
A little background if you are a new reader here...
I used to dislike February (see here ) and chanced upon a way to make it more fun (see here) Little did I know February would become the month I looked forward to most! (Lots more under Simply Write should you have time to browse.)
This year we spent the whole month in a friend's house in Buckinghamshire which we found wonderfully enjoyable, and although I was writing a few hours a day, we still had lots of time to explore. See posts for Fabruary 2015 on side bar..Oh I love that typo and will leave it in!
Next year in Venice.
I have quite a few books about Venice (which does make me think this idea has been simmering for some considerable time) and I am working my way through this beautifully illustrated one a page a day by leaving it open under the lamp in the sitting room..
I'm also reading Venice by Jan Morris, and Venice Pure City by Peter Ackroyd and have just re-read Miss Garnet's Angel by Salley Vickers, which is set in Venice.
If you have any recommendations I would welcome them....
..if you find yourself anywhere near Edinburgh before the end of the month!
I loved the two main exhibitions at The Scottish Gallery, and we went to look at the Venetian Old Masters in the National Gallery.
Charles Jencks Landform at the Gallery of Modern Art looked serene in the rain, although the weather was lovely except for this hour or so. (Good café in beautiful garden too.) The exhibition Heads - drawings, paintings and photographs - was so absorbing I didn't get further than the corridor they were displayed in. Wonderful. It included an Augustus John drawing that looked like a Raphael.
I've added a couple of links to yesterday's post.
I expect a lot of Edinburgh residents find the Festival disruptive, but we were with my 95 year old Edinburgh resident Uncle (I've mentioned him before. He is the one who when asked if he ever takes taxis said 'I will when I'm older'.) Uncle John attends concerts, opera, theatre and book festival talks. He is stimulating company, interested in politics, economics and philosophy as well as the arts. We try to keep up with him!
Do you have a favourite arts festival?
Or a favourite uncle?
Maybe it was the Marie Kondo clearing which made space in my head for the idle thought which popped into it one quiet evening and made me ask Barry
Will we go away for a month again this winter?
Hmmm. How can I make this happen I wonder....
I took the title for this post from a fascinating blog I just discovered via Cornflower Books - it seemed so apt!
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)