Sepia Saturday

This week’s prompt is of a silhouette artist preparing to create some silhouettes. Thus I thought I’d see what silhouettes I could find.

First the Library of Congress had this one of a debutante lighting a cigarette by a window. She looks like someone out of The Great Gatsby, doesn’t she?

Debutante, 1920

Debutante, 1920

The Library of Congress also has some paper silhouettes (i.e. not photos) such as these of Gerry Mulligan’s parents. (Mulligan was a jazz musician.)

sil parents

Good Part of the Day

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Most of today was good, very good. I don’t have to teach on Thursdays, which has been delightful. I like getting a chance to catch my breath during the week.

Since my students have to visit a museum, I visited the Jinan Art Museum so I’d know about the works they may write about. The exhibits this time, weren’t stellar, or I should say there were fewer great paintings and many seemed like students’ work, but it was a nice way to spend the morning. I thought it was cool that one artist captured the Chinese astronauts with ink, a medium that I associate with older, more traditional paintings.

Child. Oil

Child. Oil

Astronaut. Chinese Ink

Astronaut. Chinese Ink

Landscape. Chinese Ink

Landscape. Chinese Ink 

I figured out how to get the buses home and along the way stopped for a quick lunch before meeting friends to check out a new café not too far from campus. We just had to walk over the big bridge that crosses the railroad tracks and we got to a very chic café, where a few students from our university work.

I was quite happy with my iced coffee drink (though I think they gave me the wrong one). In fact, all three of us got the wrong order the first time we were served, but they got things right in the end.

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Then I had to go downtown to get some art paper for a project my first class will do tomorrow and to get a shirt I had my eye on that’s on sale. (But today’s the last day of the sale so I was lucky to have the time to get to town.) Riding the bus I got to learn more of the adventures of Denise in Au Bonheurs des Dames (a.k.a The Paradise) and Ethel in His Second Wife. I’m at a shocking part of the both stories!

The pace of the day was just right. I’d gotten prepared for tomorrow’s classes, at no point did I have to rush and I had time for fun and enrichment.

All went well . . . until it didn’t.

But then things went pear-shaped . . . .

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

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1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced. 2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag. 3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other great photos:

Tim’s Vermeer

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I saw this nifty film on my flight back from China. Tim’s Vermeer is a documentary about a friend of Penn Jennett, the magician, who has always loved to tinker and invent. Tim Jenison, who has a software company and earned buckets of money creating various kinds of software, gets fascinated by Johannes Vermeer’s paintings. Vermeer made no records of how he worked and his paintings intrigued Tim because they have such an illuminated, photographic quality. As an inventor, Tim knows a lot about optics and lenses (and all sorts of engineering sorts of things). He believes that Vermeer must have used optics to paint and he goes about trying to replicate Vermeer’s technique.

The film demonstrates camera obscura’s and explains the inventions of the day. Narrated by his old school pal, Jennet, the film follows Tim through the lengthy process of recreating Vermeer’s studio and getting the lens apparatus to work. Tim is not a painter, but with this technique, which is quite cool, that’s not a hindrance. David Hockney appears in a few scenes to comment on whether Tim’s on the right track, whether this method might be right.

It’s fun to see a smart amateur take on such a project.  It’s a short film and Tim is very down to earth. I cheered him on as he explored this fascination with Vermeer.