• Tag Archives Titian
  • Uh-Oh

    Beltane                                                           Sliver Bee Hiving Moon

    Bees check this morning.  Colony 1 is queenright.  Colonies 2 and 3 were not queenright because I had improperly handled the indirect release.  The queens were in the cage still, being tended to by the colony so I direct released both of them.  At the next hive inspection, I imagine they will be queenright, too.  Pollen patties were not depleted, nor even used for that matter.  There was still honey in the frames from last year’s hives, so all looks good right now.   The bees were calm.

    Had a last hurrah with the Titian show, docent colleagues who’d toured it showed up.  We discussed how we’d handled certain paintings, noticed things we hadn’t seen before, fun to rehash.  Afterward we went over to Rinata’s and had their $20 Sunday evening meal.  Tasty.

    After that, tai chi, just down Hennepin five blocks.  Was I not ready for what happened tonight.  I positioned myself on the end of the line and, being alone, totally lost my place, forgot moves I knew well.  I’d practiced and practiced this week.

    Dropping the moves out of my consciousness created a sense of panic, one I know well.  My brain tells me:  leave, leave, leave.  It’s a sort of red klaxon at work.  A tight chest.  I don’t like to fail.  At anything.  And this is for stress relief?  Well, not for me.  Not tonight.  I calmed myself down, changed positions and tried to keep my head in the class.  It was hard.

    Afterward I talked with teacher.  She reassured me.  Told me chaos often proceeds a break through.  Told me that she was totally confused in her first ten weeks.  That she’d get me confident.  I felt flushed and embarrassed when she told me I had to concentrate on keeping my hips together.  I though I had been.  Again, I don’t like to be doing something poorly.  There is of course motivation here, yes, but there’s also fear and avoidance.

    On the drive back I just drove, listening to Wolf Hall, a very good novel about Henry the VIII, Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell.

  • An Art Day

    Spring                                                             Waxing Bee Hiving Moon

    Two tours today, 2nd graders at 10:00 am and a group of seniors from Minnetonka at 1:30.  I took the kids through a mysteries of the ancient world tour.  I love 2nd graders.  They’re eager, uncensored, fun and often bright.  We learned how sculptures lose things that stick out, why the chinese used copper and tin for weapons, that folks have been fighting in Iraq for a really long time and that an artist 20,000 years ago made a small stone sculpture we could recognize today.

    With the seniors we toured Titian, going over, once again, the splendid century, filled with wealth and spices and great artists.  We wandered among these great stories, the Christ child, the Three Kings, the bella donna’s, the courtesan count, the transformation of actaeon into a stag and callisto into a bear.  The museum literally brings the world to us and allows those of who guide there to travel over it ever time we visit.  Today, for example, we went to China, Greece, Iraq, France, Mexico and Venice.  Plus Mexico and, by extension, Italy, Israel and Cyprus.  Not bad for a day’s work.

    This work is such a gift, a license to steal glances at objects made by some of the world’s great geniuses:  Goya, Rembrandt, Titian, El Greco, Bassano, Renoir, Gaugin, Monet, Van Gogh, Rodin.  The list goes on.  I visit Lucretia now as an ancestor who died tragically.  Germanicus, that brave general dying betrayed.  The sick Goya, nurtured by his doctor.  The Sufi crowd working themselves into ecstasy in Delacroix’s painting.  That wonderful brook by Thomas Moran.  Calypso mourning for her lost Ulysses.  So many, so wonderful.  Sometimes it takes my breath right away.

    Is it spiritual?  If, as I am beginning to take it, the spiritual moments are those moments that nurture our Self, that best and richest person we could be, want to be, then, yes, every visit to the museum affords a chance for the Self to grow further into its most creative and full expression, goaded on by others who tapped into the depths of their own Self and who gave us a choice to join them on their journey.

  • First Titian Tour

    Imbolc                                                                         Full Bridgit Moon

    First Titian tour today.  If I examine my own touring skills, as I try to from time to time, I find that I’m better touring old master’s of Western art and Asian art than I am art of the Americas.  The Thaw collection, which I admired, found me at my clunkiest, a bit wooden perhaps, more didactic.  In talking with Allison today it occurred to me that it might be as simple as the fact that I know far more about Asia and Europe than I do about the native peoples of this continent.  It’s much harder for me to talk about historical context with art of the Americas because I just don’t know it as well.

    When I tour Western art or Asian art, I can draw on many years of reading history, going to museums, thinking, traveling; but, when I tour either art of the Americas or Africa for that matter, the context is just not in me, literally.  In that way then those objects do become more like ethnological artifacts than art objects.  As a result, I find myself a bit more distant from them, put in a more scholarly mode, not as engaged.

    At a different point in my life I would have wanted to fix this, to dive into native peoples history and ways, stuff I studied in college, but from an anthropological perspective.  The same situation with Africa.  Today I want to deepen, not broaden my knowledge of art history, so I’m going to continue working with Asian and Western art.  In those areas I still have so much learn and my passion is there.

    The Titian show is in my sweet spot though and a lot of fun.

  • Carpe this Diem

    Imbolc                                                 Waxing Bridgit Moon

    OK.  Today is a new day.  I do not plan to torture my computers anymore today in regard to my legacy laserjet printer.  It has been a faithful companion throughout the last 19  years and I do not plan to give up on it yet.  Even so, I’ve experienced my tolerance level of geek futility since I tried to convert it from parallel processing to usb, so it will rest on the sidelines for a while as I install the new multi-function printer later in the day.  If I can find a new laserjet printer for under $300 I may just get one with a native usb connection.  Not sure I’d do with old faithful.  I might bring it in here (the study) and see if I can convince it to mate up with the Gateway in here.  I might give it to somebody with a parallel printer port.

    I know, too, that losing colonies is still common for beekeepers and that my experience is not unusual.  In fact, as I said a bit earlier, I was not surprised by the deaths of two of the colonies. Only the package colony’s demise surprised me, since it seemed to have plenty of honey and a healthy group of bees.  Another year is another year.

    With temperatures above freezing the dogs are frisky, staying outside longer, bumping, running, tails held high.  They both hunt between the honey house and the play house, noses to the ground, body alert.  Kona still finds the outdoors a bit too cool and no wonder, she no longer has any hair on her butt.  I know how it feels when there’s no hair on the head, probably a similar sensation.  And it is hard for Kona to put a hat or a scarf on that particular location.

    I’m inclining toward a Renaissance theme for the Titian tours.  This exhibit showcases the High Renaissance in Venice from its beginnings in the early 1500’s through its end in the 1580’s.  Venice held on to the Renaissance longer than the rest of Italy, though even its extension ended well before the Renaissance limped toward its end in the 1700’s in northern Europe.  The Renaissance gave shape and content to our era, actually doing what those embroiled in it thought they were doing, ushering in the modern age, shifting from the ancien regime to the days of democracy, individualism, capitalism and science, days within which we still live.

    Not often do we have the chance to experience such a clear visual record of this dramatic change in the lifeways of Western civilization, a record written not in words, but in the brushstrokes and vital imaginations of artists who distilled the time and painted it.  On canvas.  Using oils.

  • Disassembled

    Imbolc                                         Waxing Bridgit Moon

    Looks like I’ll get a chance to peek into the colonies this weekend.  Got my fingers crossed on survival.  Best guess?  Two dead, one alive.  Very glad to be wrong.

    Got my second Gateway part way disassembled and still not sure I can get at the pint sized disc I stupidly inserted into the DVD drive vertically.  It fell out of the holder, as I could have guessed it would.  Have to get this in though to make the computer recognize the cable to USB cord.  That will shift my old HP printer to the new gateway, making it accessible directly from the network rather than through my old, now terminally ill, Dell.  Once I’ve accomplished that I can bring online the new HP multi-purpose printer.  When that’s up, I can scan in my Ovid commentary and send it to Greg so we can both have the same info.  I need both of these printers working, but there are these other steps I have take.

    On to Latin.  This chapter, chapter 27, contains this section heading:  Adjectives Having Peculiar Forms in the Superlative.  Peculiar forms, eh?  Maximus peculiar.

    More Latin today, some Titian, too, in advance of the walkthrough tomorrow with Patrick Noon, the painting’s curator.  I’m looking forward to this since I haven’t seen the paintings yet.  In the evening there is a lecture on Ukiyo-e prints, another favorite genre for me.  A feast of art education, tomorrow.

  • Next Week

    Winter                                                                      Waning Moon of the Cold Month

    With the Latin tutoring session behind me and Chapter 26 coming up, I downloaded a commentary on Caesar’s Gallic Wars with Latin text.  I’m gonna have a shot at it for a while.

    Started my Titian research last week by reading the Grove entry on Titian and checking out other websites and the Met’s timelines.  Printed out some stuff.  Next I’m going to read the catalog to get an overview of the show and to get images of each object in a file so I can reference them as I work.

    Also trying to decide what to do for the Woolly retreat.  One thought is to share my work on Ovid.  Still, it’s pretty inelegant, representing as those first 60 or so verses do the earliest of my work both in learning the language and then attempting translation.  Another is to talk about Big History but that seems pedantic.  I’ve thought about reading the first pages of Missing, just to see what folks think, but it’s low brow compared to the stuff most Woollies read.  Gotta decide sometime soon since the retreat starts on February 3rd.  I head out right after the Titian lecture.

    Another possibility is to share the research process on Titian, let them see what it takes to learn enough to tour a special exhibit.

    I just had another idea as I wrote this:  do an exegetical piece on Jacob at the Jabbok Ford.  About dreams, struggling with the angel of our better selves.  Hmmm.

  • Those Italians: Titian and Rome

    Winter                                                      Waning Moon of the Cold Month

    Gosh, we’re losing our mojo here, 21 degrees now and freezing tomorrow.  This is the third week of January, the coldest week of the year.

    Don’t know whether it’s my aging brain or the difficulty of the material, but I’ve spent some prime time on infinitives and indirect statements, while still trying to get the participles straight.  It’s fun and it’s getting me where I want to go, but I feel slow, web-footed at times.  On the other hand I am on Chapter 25, only 17 more to go.  After that, hey, only a few thousand more verses to go and I’ll have one book translated.

    A bit more on the Latin tomorrow, then I’m diving into Titian material.  I’ve already finished the Grove Dictionary of Art entry on him, wandered around a few websites, but I’m looking to get medieval all over him, or Renaissance, rather.  The Renaissance and its step child, the enlightenment, are two favorite areas of study for me, so I look forward to leaning into the Titian material.

    Well, yeah.  I do have to get groceries, too.  Always some fussy thing like getting fed.