Toward the end of his life, Matisse suffered from bowel cancer and was nursed back to relative health by a Dominican nun, Sr. Jacques-Marie.
Their friendship endured and a few years later, Sr. Jacques-Marie came to Matisse and asked for his help designing a chapel for the Dominican convent in Vence, France.
This year, the Vatican will put Matisse' "Stations of the Cross" drawings on display in the Vatican Museum. These drawings, difficult to size in the video (below), are approximately 50 feet high.
Alistair Sooke, the art critic for BBC One, puts on a not-very-convincing cry session as he enters the chapel. Which kind of ruins it for me but is very typical of the Beeb, so perhaps I am just a wee bit cynical. Unfortunately, it is the best way to see the work. Mute the overacting and dramatic music, if you wish.
The Goldstein Museum of Design at the University of Minnesota is currently showing Flights of Fancy: A History of Feathers in Fashion. This hat, c. 1940, was a gift to the gallery from a private donor. It is made of blue felt and has (quite obviously) a wing attached to the crown.
It would take a special woman to wear this hat.
The short list.
Sometimes, I'm jealous of the unwavering support and encouragement others receive from their parents. My parents were not those people. But looking back, I'm glad I learned how to take care of myself, and I'm glad it happened early in life. It makes me happy that I can earn money if I need to.
My cats make me happy. My mother didn't allow pets because of the "work." I swear to you that my sister and I would have grown up a lot more balanced and confident if we'd had steady pet love in our lives as kids. They are true friends. People make fun of me for this, but you know? Cat love is so much less complicated than human love. It's so worth taking care of them for what you get in return.
I love good mail. The surprise envelope - sent or received - is a rare and beautiful thing. It makes the world a little less lonely, doesn't it? You know, for sure, that someone is thinking of you. Email doesn't have that same effect for me - why is that?
The change of seasons never disappoints. I love that transition to winter - the first snow, the darkening skies, the soup. And the gentle, warm, surprising sunshine of Spring. Summer cherries. Gold leaves in the orchard and the smell of wood smoke when summer turns to fall.
I love it when my constantly hardworking husband chucks it all in and takes a day off with me. The other day we put our chairs right in the lake, sunned ourselves and swam all afternoon. In six years, we've maybe done this - three times. It was awesome!
Every once in awhile, you stumble on a good book - the kind you just can't put down. I love that feeling! Of settling in to the story and eating it like a piece of pie. This also counts for art work - the every once in awhile feeling that you're on to something, and you're getting it right.
Riding a bike around Sunriver is definitely a happy-making activity.
I'm happy I learned how to be happy, all alone. I love being with friends and family, but I am not dependent on them to make my life interesting or to feel fulfilled.
It makes me happy that some of my friends have put up with me for decades, or longer. I just had a visit from a friend who has known me for 20 years - through many stages of awkwardness into present day confusions. It makes me happy that my BFF and I have known each other for ten years this year - never underestimate the value of sharing a cabin at Haystack!
Making campsite coffee, in the old fashioned percolator makes me happy. Nothing like getting up early and having a cup under the mountains.
What's on your happy list?
Six months ago, I gave my dog away. It was extremely difficult for me but it was the right thing to do, I think. I still think about him all the time. It's hard not to miss your best friend.
I've wanted to check in with his new owner but I also wanted to give him time to settle in without "hovering" in the background. He's her dog now, not mine. Not checking in also meant I could imagine him living the life I hoped he'd find there - playing with his new cat, dog, and horse friends and getting all the love he could handle from his new owner. My fear was he wouldn't make the adjustment.
But this morning I got a note from Buddy's new Mom - and it was so nice to hear the news! I thought I'd share it:
Buddy has been with us 6 months. We hope he is as happy to be with us as we are with him. My husband says if tail wagging is an indicator, then Buddy is always happy. He gets along great with our other dog and even our cats seem to like him ( just tolerate the other dog). Buddy quickly became involved with our routines, up and out in the morning and evening to take care of horse chores.. going on walks or going in the vehicles at every opportunity. And Buddy is the only critter in this household that will hang out forsuch as vacuuming, dusting, etc. all others quickly disappear. Buddy has known a lot of love and care in his life and that made him ready to return that love in full measure. You've no doubt missed him when you could be home, but know that he is cared for and I believe living a good life.
You couldn't ask for more than that.
It's been an inspiring time in the art studio this week. (OK, I only made it up there one afternoon, but it was a productive afternoon.) I've been looking at the figurative portraits of Matisse, Derain, and others this week. I may come out as a Fauvist. If I can work up the courage to tell my Mom.
Henri Matisse, Odalisque with Red Trousers:
Rousseau's portrait of Marie Laurencin and her lover:
And Kees van Dongen:
I'm in a rush at the moment, so I'll have to come back and fill in the blanks (and links) about the artists and their work. I just wanted you to have something to look at - to get you through your Friday.
Aboubakar Fofana creates home textiles from hand-spun, hand-woven silk and cotton in his studio in Bamako, Mali. Each piece uses the traditional indigo dye process. Watch this short video of a young apprentice at work.
Every time I purchase on a pair of comfortable shoes, I throw up a little bit in my mouth. As far as I'm concerned, shoes with a rounded toe box and arch support are one credit card swipe closer to death. I'm just not that kind of woman. My kind of woman wears shoes like these:
Picking out flat shoes to wear with jeans? Baffles me. Platform heels go with jeans. Platform heels go with everything.
But, quite frankly, if you're going to wear leopard platform heels in Montana you're going to look like a fool. So, the last couple of years, I've tried to shoot for the middle with some Via Spiga platform clogs and a pair of lug sole Michael Kors high heel penny loafers for the cold months and flip flops of all varieties and prices in summer. If people are making fun of me they are doing it behind my back.
But since I ruptured my tendon everything is different. I'm supposed to wear special things in my shoes. And even though my doctor said they would fit 80 percent of my shoes, they only fit in my running shoes. The dirty pair that I brought to the fitting appointment. And if I don't wear them my foot really hurts, which I've figured out the hard way.
So, today, I bit the bullet and googled, "comfortable shoes for custom orthotic inserts." Whoa. No! I think one of the things that bothered me the most was that the comfortable shoes all have little names: "Sassy"; "Delores"; "Adele"...Note to Marketers: Naming shoes with old lady names? Is A Total Turnoff.
Several hours of searching later, I had purchased three pairs.
NAOT's platform "Admire" wedge - maybe it looks like Robert Cleregie if you get drunk enough?
And then two pairs of Privo - a little T-strap called "Walk"; and a sneaker-y type thing called "Pateo."
Please, God. Sometimes, that's the only prayer you can make, you know?
Most are in-between: I have spent many a night trying to find my high school math classroom in a long corridor of empty rooms. The other night I went to bed so hungry that I dreamed that I was eating scraps off of dirty dishes in the sink.
A precious few are so real that my heart breaks on awakening: I have to say goodbye to people who have long since passed away in real life, or realize that a friend that I love, but never get to see, isn't in the next room waiting to have breakfast together.
Carl Jung, the Swiss psychologist, captured scenes from his unconscious during a period of great transition in his life. Some say it was a period of psychosis, others call it a time of "creative illness." During this time, Jung recorded his dreams and illustrated them in the style of an illuminated manuscript, bound in red leather. The "Red Book", as it has become known, is 205 pages of text and illustration, all by the hand of Carl Jung. 53 pages are full image, 71 containt both calligraphic text and artwork, and 81 pages contain calligraphic text alone.Click on the image above to make it bigger!
For decades, The Red Book remained private. Only a handful of Jung's relatives and a very few scholars had ever seen it. Finally, Sonu Shamdasani, an adviser to the Jung family convinced the heirs to allow it to be published and shared with the public. LA's Hammer Museum recently closed an exhibit - I'm not sure where The Red Book travels next.
A .pdf excerpt of Carl Jung's The Red Book is published on Scribd. This is the best place to view clean, sharp renderings of the illuminations. You can see more of them, a little bit fuzzier, at this promotional site.
Anne Lemanski constructs her three dimensional sculpture from paper and thread.
For "Shirley", Lemanski embroidered vintage photos and stitched them together with artificial sinew.
"Fennec Fox (Dog Star)" is paper, ink, and artificial sinew.
"Deerfield, USA" is aerial imagery printed on paper, then stitched together. I love it. Very inspiring work for me.