There are at least 125, and still counting, damn good reasons to go see Impressionist France at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

“Fields in the Month of June” by Charles-Francois Daubigny is one excellent reason to visit France via an art exhibition at a museum in the American midwestern state of Missouri, the Nelson-Atkins. Who knew there was great art in and flowing through Kansas City, the home of a basically defunct public school district? Ouch, irony’s knife-edge is getting a tad sharp these days. No matter, the point of this missive is the wonderful art that has come to visit from October 19, 2013  to February 9, 2014.  The sheer size of “Fields in the Month of June” surprised me, as did the dimensions of a number of the other pieces you often view in print and sometimes online.  There are the LARGE Daubigny and Dore pieces to a small round photograph of a local regional girl in this exhibition. This serves as a certain metaphor for the entire show–large scope rendered with precise attention paid to small details in the same way painters used photographs to enhance their depictions of whatever was catching their image loving eyes. It’s all absolutely delicious eye feasting as far as I’m concerned.

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http://www.charles-francois-daubigny.org/145033/Fields-in-the-Month-of-June-normal.jpg

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The number one reason, in my opinion: Gustave Dore’s “Deer In a Pine Forest” (Vosges) 1865.  Which seems to have disappeared from cyberspace since I first found a version of it to serve as a tempting main course.  In lieu of that incredible image itself, just toss the red figure out of the image below, darken the light, heighten the trees, give the huge painting a wall to own all by itself and you’ll have some notion of why Dore’s painting alone is worth paying the price of admission to the current exhibition at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: Impressionist France, Visions of Nation From Le Gray to Monet. Note: “Figures by a Woodland Stream,” shown below, is not on display. But it gives a decent notion of the painting that you can almost walk right into-though I wouldn’t turn my toes out of this one either. No way.

The exhibition concentrates on mid 19th century France’s city-scapes, forests, rural areas, trains, water-scapes, artists and the people they painted–no, not the wealthy upper classes wanting their fashionable personages preserved for posterity, but such as “Washerwomen of the Breton Coast,” 1870 by Jules Breton. Oh, yes, the washerwomen are another major reason to catch this exhibition. There’s also Breton’s “The Wounded Seagull,” 1878 and his wonderful take on his wife, “Elodie With a Sunshade”; Bay of Dourarnenez (Woman with Parasol), 1870-71.  Hmm, yes, I took a fancy to Breton’s paintings.  He has a way with the ladies’ eyes and how they engage the viewer.  The Mona Lisa smirks. So what. She’s getting her face done by a painter while she sits around doing nothing except, possibly considering the recent gossip regarding sexual scandals. Breton’s women are not passive objects of affectation. They’re engaged in the landscapes in which they’re consciously inhabiting. They’re magnificent in their own right.  Men make war. Women wash clothes. Which one really keeps the world in some state worth living in? So, got it, Jules Breton’s Women are another major reason to see this art show.

Here’s another major reason to go to the art show: a Wet-plate Field Camera w/ Dallinger lens, tripod and equipment from France circa 1870s. For all you digital camera junkies, this huge field camera is a sight to behold. Imagine hauling around over one hundred pounds of wood, glass, metal and what all else in order to take a few pictures. It’s a magnificent specimen of artistic creation you can walk around–no touching allowed–and imagine getting yourself up close to “click” this huge beast’s “buttons.” Yeah, dream on. The products of such burdensome camera beasts are also in evidence in this exhibition–and they are dazzlers in their own rights. Gustave  Le Grey’s “Factory,” Terre-Noire, 1851-55, Joseph Vigier’s “Saint Sauveur, Port de Sia, Gavarnie Route,” 1853, along with the photos of Charles Nigre and the unknown photographer Giraudons Artist offer much for the eye and the intellect to consider of times and people long gone, yet glimpsed because these men turned their huge cameras’ lens towards them and pulled the imaging trigger.

Oh and there’s Berthe Morisot’s “The Harbor at Lorient,” 1869. It’s a wonderful study in light, water, white, blues and browns all rendered in the bright light of day with her sister dressed in white. It’s a gorgeous work displayed with some seascapes depicting some seaside people notions modern bikini bathers may find incomprehensible. Those are by the usual Impressionist guys.

Of course you’ll get your fix of Monet and Manet–with more of each in the permanent collection on display for nada all the time.  But you will also get to meet and greet some artists you might not think of when wanting to wade into the famous “Waterlilies.” Discover Frederic Bazille, represented by his “Porte de la Reine at Aigues-Mortes,” 1867–a depiction of a 13th century gate to the city. There’s Paul Huet’s beautifully rendered lighting in “The Ruins of the Chataeu of Pierrefonds,” 1867-68. Yes, there are more than a few castles in temporary residence and they’re wonderfully depicted, complete with splashes of red and white to draw attention to the local people en route to other places beyond the paintings’ scopes.

This is a show about context of place and the place is France from her seashores to her Alps–and what a showing it is in the darkened exhibition area with plenty of something for everyone’s taste palette, in my view. There are bright lights, muted atmospheres, and quiet farm scenes complete with bovines.  There are even some digitalized art books of glaciers and river scenes. The large and weighty originals rest under glass while your oily human fingers get to flip the their contemporary counterparts by running your fingertips across the glass. What a wonderful statement about the evolution of the photographic art form this is all by itself.

A very nice feature of this show is that once your ticket is bought you can enter and linger as long as you like, go forage for food, and return for another go around the exhibition as often as you care to –on the same day, of course. This isn’t set up to be a line of pushers and shovers roped off from the offerings. You can wander and loiter through the thoughtfully walled spaces with whatever engages your heart and mind–including the pieces on the prehistoric forests which no longer exist as they once did. Theodore Rousseau’s “The Rock Oak” (Forest at Forentainbleus), 1860-67.

One other very lovely surprise for me was a delightfully refreshing street scene of blues, greens and whites by Renoir, “The Grand Boulevard,” 1875. It is simply gorgeous. Go see the exhibition paths for yourself. What are you waiting for? France to come to you? This is about as close to that as you’ll get. But don’t forget, most of these images are long gone. If not for the artists, they wouldn’t exist.

Oops, I almost forgot, in this exhibit there are 125 pieces to view. That’s 125 reasons to go, at the very least.  Every reason thereafter is icing on the French Impressionist Cake Walk.

Impressionist France at the Nelson-Atkins

http://www.nelson-atkins.org/art/exhibitions/impressionist-france.cfm

Spencer Art Library Guide
Impressionist France: Visions of Nation from Le Gray to Monet

http://www.nelson-atkins.org/images/PDF/Education/Library/2013_Impressionist%20France.pdf

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Impressionist France: Visions of Nation from Le Gray to Monet

Fun with a Watercolor Landscape

My friend Leslie White plays with watercolor paints a lot.
Between her art and her students, she’s forever connecting beautiful dots.
This is one of her latest better-than-Kodack-clickers-ever-dreamed shots.

Leslie White

hills

I have been feeling like I have been painting rather tight, lately. The above image was taken from a really abstract photo reference I found on wet canvas. I cropped the image to create a panoramic scene. I like how the light fell on the distant hills and the moisture came up from the surface of the ground in steamy looking fog. The whole scene, in the photo, was darker and cooler throughout and I added my own choices of color to this. I wanted the ground to cool in the foreground and the hills and middle ground to be warmed by the light coming through the clouds.

I am working with a new paper called Huile or Arches Oil Paper and I am really liking that I can paint and lift on the surface of this paper. It allows for me to play with the water and my brush…

View original post 8 more words

These are a few of our favorite art things!

 

Am I a shameless beggar or what? I can be. Though I suspect I need to work on my tech savvy, string pulling and emotional manipulation in order to increase effectiveness and reach. Apologies to anyone feeling put upon. But I swear that I will write a poem, topic of their choice, for anyone who swallows this hook. Really I will. Just be forewarned that you only pick the topic–not how I might treat it poetically.  On the odd chance that someone out there in the cyberswamplands might take the bait I’m on another fishing trip.  A quick gander at the photo subjects and no doubt everyone knows what’s on this shopping list. Yes, ART supplies.  Remember those third graders without any winter coats? Well, their teacher would very much like to have them do a little art. Just the usual child’s play with pencils, crayons, markers, and maybe some watercolor paints. Nothing elaborate. They are third graders after all–not oil painting Picasso hopefuls. They probably haven’t heard of Picasso–much less dreamt of following his artistic path.  At least not yet. No, don’t expect them to get any notions about Picasso or Monet from their school library or some computer the rest of us here take for granted.  That is highly unlikely all real life things considered on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The bottom line here is that Cheryl’s third graders do not create any of the usual child art in school because they have no colored pencils, markers, crayons, construction paper (primary colors), glue sticks, pencils (no.2), tissue paper, or poster board. Clearly no one can supply 18 children with all these supplies. But if each person who visits this blogcasa were to send just one box of Crayola crayons or one package of construction paper or one pan of watercolors. Just a single item, one by one would do the trick. If you’re inclined to yank my poetic strings send Cheryl Locke’s third grade students an art supply– and then state your item choice and poem topic request in the comments. So, who wants a poem?

Mailing address:

Cheryl Locke

P.O. Box 264

Porcupine, SD   57772

“bleed”

“Bleed” @ eva wojcik
 
Original 6″ x 18″  140 lb cold press watercolor paper
Yasutomo Sumi-E watercolors
 
 

Stone Spirit Lodge hosts “energy-scapes” through March. ~Rock Inn fields “Spring Rain.”~

If you find yourself wandering down Westport Road in Kansas City, Missouri in search of a great grinder at Mario’s or The Best, bar none, cafe mocha at the Broadway Cafe, please do wander into Stone Spirit Lodge for some “Wild Joy” and a sighting of my energy-scapes.  From yoga to rain-sticks, Paul and Dawn have got whatever it takes to trip your joystick, including a Gratitude Open Mic night for poets and musicians every second Friday.

Hummingbird Kisses @ eva wojcik

 

Click to visit Stone Spirit Lodge

 

~~~Second half of this double header~~~

Also, “Spring Rain,”  a collective work of nine watercolors with accompanying haiku has been fielded at the Rock Inn, Kearney, Missouri.

Spring Rain @ eva wojcik

 

“satisfying”

soaking deep soil sigh

comingling moist haze flows

water blurs all bounds

 

Rock Inn, Kearney, Missouri

Click the Inn to visit its cafe, rooms for rent and deli.

If cyberspace is your main mode of gallery travel, then please feel free to check out energy-scapes via the link on the sidebar to an online portfolio.

Peace all.

Free to Dance? NOT!

We Will Dance! @evawojcik

In 1890 a religious concept called the “Ghost Dance” travelled from one Indian reservation to another to another.  I have no intention of discussing the merits of this religious exercise. Rather my focus is on the RIGHT to practice one’s religious beliefs in this place called “America.” In 189o this right was denied, and continued to be denied long thereafter, to Native Americans. First the right to freedom of religion was denied to Native Americans by every representative of  every white european religious doctrine that made its way onto the reservations in order to get a slice of the Native American population pie for conversion to its congregation.  This religious invasion was not about the saving of souls but the procurement of government school contracts–in other words, money.  Oh yes the all-powerful motivating force of money.  This is not to say that there were not some well-meaning compassionate people amidst these religious invaders. The point is the fact that the Indigenous First Peoples already had their own religious beliefs and those were not only not respected but were denied them. Hence, I find it no stretch of the imagination to comprehend why some would engage in a practice of “faith” in order to find some hope of relief from the ongoing destruction of their culture on all fronts.  So, “We Will Dance!” is a small effort at representing the will to defy overwhelming oppression via a view of  the Ghost Dance as defiance on the most fundamental spiritual level.

Energy-scapes showing at Aquarius

Touch

Eva’s energy-scapes

exploring interconnectedness

Show opens November 28, 2010

On display into January 2011.

Midtown Gallery upstairs at Aquarius & Vulcan’s Forge, a store for conscious living.

3936 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri 64111

Click on the banner below to visit Aquarius’ site for hours and more information.

 

 Time for some singing and dancing!

Eva’s Energy-scapes at the Locust

Eva’s

Energy-scapes

http://evaenergyscapes.wordpress.com/

 

Locust Gallery

504 E. 18th St.

18th & Locust, KCMO 64108

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kansas-City-MO/Locust-Studio/77688907765

June 4-30, 2010

Also featurning Mallory’s ceramic cats, wearable textile designs like buffalo skeleton shirts by Owl + Mouse, Garnett’s jewelry art, The Shop Girl Amy’s collectible clothing, Emily’s arches from Weird Antiques, and vegan burritos and brownies served by the delightful little blonde flaunting funky black frame glasses.

Ley Lines

@eva.wojcik

Can Leslie Paint? You bet she can!

Five on Corner by Leslie White

Ahh now that the Ladies have snagged your full attention, I invite you to catch a cyber cab over to Leslie White’s online artist gallery/studio/instructional blog casa.  There are even works posted by Leslie’s students as proof that she can teach everyone something about ART. Leslie also has created a customized blog banner or two for other bloggers. Her art has accompanied a few poems on other sites also. Yes, everything is connected in the creative flow of energy in a our world where ART may be the only sane human manifestation.

Featured Blog Awared to Leslie of Leslie Paints–and boy does she ever! 

                                          http://lesliepaints.wordpress.com/

art marketing research

Greetings to all you yapping visitors who comment and converse, those of you who roam in and out every so often, and the silent lurkers too. I appreciate all of you making the effort to surf into mi casa whenever you take a fancy to do so.  I have a favor to ask those of you who enjoy my efforts at visual arts.  Need to make some choices and decisions about pieces for printing. Am hoping a few of you will provide some information regarding what really engages you–what you really like enough that you might seriously consider one for yourself or as a gift for someone else.  So–if you explore the links to my energy-scapes or to shutterbug junkie and see something you consider appealing, please leave a comment here referencing the title.   It’s easy for me to pick what I like best–but that does not mean others will also like it. So–I’m trying to get some sense of what appeals to a random sampling of folks.  If anyone has a better notion about how to do a little market research of this sort, please don’t hesitate to educate moi.  Wish I could really serve everyone Kokot’s Spicey Chocolate Soup in return. Merci, gracias, thank you.

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