Category Archives: Art

Art with a Sharpie

     Have you seen Justine Ashbee’s drawings that she makes with Sharpie markers?  They are astounding.  If I had a lot of money, this is the kind of art that I would buy.

This You Have to See

     There is a breathtaking post at Windows Toward the World called Kaleidoscope World, and I am not talking just about the photographs of the two lovely ladies.  The post is a collection of paintings by an artist named Miki with poetic responses from the blogger Helen Losse.

    I was flabbergasted at how beautiful both the graphic art and the poetry are.  You owe it to yourself to see it, read it, and absorb it.

An Art Lover’s Site

     One of my favortie websites is Mark Harden’s Artchive.  It has many digitized artworks by the great artists of the world.  I have enjoyed viewing them immensely, since I am far from an art museum where I live.  Isn’t the Internet a boon?

     If you have not already discovered it yourself, I highly recommend that you take a look at Harden’s excllent website.  It is amazing.

Happy Birthday, Mary Cassatt

The Boating Party, 1894

The Boating Party, 1894

Unusual Statue

     How long would it take to build a lifesized statue of Jesus with Lego blocks?  How many blocks would it take?

     A church in Sweden has found out.  It took 18 months of work by 40 people and required 30,000 of the blocks.  The statue looks surprisingly beautiful.  It must have been inspiring when it was unveiled on Easter morning.

     When I read about it, I thought about St. Paul’s metaphor of the church as the body of Christ.  In his metaphor each person who is a Christian is a part of Christ’s body.  Therefore, each Lego block in this unusual sculpture could represent a specific Christian person.

Statue of Marcus Aurelius Found

     Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor, is often quoted.  An interesting statement of his that relates to our current class struggles is this:  “A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires.”  And another:  “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”

     The remnants of a statue of Marcus Aurelius have been found.  Although the statue is not intact, the pieces are in excellent condition.  You can see pictures of them at the National Geographic website.  The head of this statue looks very much like the one on this bust in the Metropolitan Museum.

Down With the Flag!


     A young woman in Maine put flags all over the floor of the student center at her college.  Susan Crane put the flags on the floor as an art project.  I’m not sure what’s artistic about it, but what do I know?

     I know that it is disrespectful to the flag to put it on the floor.

     What do you think about this student’s “project”?

Racism Monitors See It Everywhere

     Harrison Scott Key has started an interesting discussion at World Mag Blog about the photograph on a cover of  Vogue magazine that features Lebron James and Gisele Bundchen.  He links to the photograph and to a poster that the photograph has been compared with.

     The photograph shows a very brawny James clutching Bundchen around her waist.  He appears to be growling, as he would on the basketball court.  She is simling as though she enjoys being held by James.  It is a very captivating image, shot by the famous photographer Annie Leibovitz.

     David Almasi has discussed the controversial photograph in an editorial at Town Hall.  He summarizes the matter by writing that “[t]he controversy over the photo is the creation of conspiracy theorists willing to find a racial angle in just about anything.”  He quotes James as basically shrugging the whole thing off.

     I agree.  I don’t think that any of the parties involved are racists, although I could be wrong.  It’s hard to imagine that Lebron James would submit to a pose that he thought was racist.  I’m almost certain that Vogue editors would not publish such a picture, especially on the front cover if they thought it was racist.  Whatever resemblance the image has to any other image might just be coincidental.  The purpose of the picture seems to be simply to show a sharp contrast between a massive black man and a thin white woman–in other words, the picture might be seen as celebrating the vast diversity of human beings.

      What do you think?

Student’s Beliefs Tolerated. . .Not!

     Which religions should be allowed expression in public school?  None?  All?  Or all but Christianity?  A school in Wisconsin apparently allows the expression of any religion but Christianity.  A student at Tomah High School got a “0” on an art project because it contained a picture of a cross and a Bible reference.  Meanwhile, there are Hindu and Buddhist art objects in the school.  And the lawsuit filed by the student indicates that other students had drawn pictures of Satan for the same assignment.

     Some random musings:

     What would have happened if a Muslim student had a drawn a moon and star symbol and other students complained about that?

     Is it usual to limit self-expression in an art assignment?  Isn’t self-expression one of the major aspects of art?

     How does a student’s personal expression violate the First Amendment’s prohibition of establishing a national religion?

     How does the censorship of the student relate to tolerance and diversity?

     If the teacher based her decision on the objections of other students, then would they shut down the whole school because students object to attending it?

     Why isn’t this case being reported by the mainstream press?


Good Friday

CrucifixionWas it for crimes

     that I had done

He groaned upon the tree?

Amazing pity!

     Grace unknown!

And love beyond degree.


Image from  the Church of the Holy Virgin in Studenica

Well might the sun in darkness hide

And shut his glories in,

When Christ, the mighty Maker, died

For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face

While his dear face appears,

Dissolve my face in thankfulness,

And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay

The debt of love I owe:

Here, Lord, I give myself away

‘Tis all that I can do.

          Words by Isaac Watts