Poem of the Week

Candle Hat

By Billy Collins

In most self-portraits it is the face that dominates:
Cezanne is a pair of eyes swimming in brushstrokes,
Van Gogh stares out of a halo of swirling darkness,
Rembrant looks relieved as if he were taking a breather
from painting The Blinding of Sampson.

But in this one Goya stands well back from the mirror
and is seen posed in the clutter of his studio
addressing a canvas tilted back on a tall easel.

He appears to be smiling out at us as if he knew
we would be amused by the extraordinary hat on his head
which is fitted around the brim with candle holders,
a device that allowed him to work into the night.

You can only wonder what it would be like
to be wearing such a chandelier on your head
as if you were a walking dining room or concert hall.

But once you see this hat there is no need to read
any biography of Goya or to memorize his dates.

To understand Goya you only have to imagine him
lighting the candles one by one, then placing
the hat on his head, ready for a night of work.

Imagine him surprising his wife with his new invention,
the laughing like a birthday cake when she saw the glow.

Imagine him flickering through the rooms of his house
with all the shadows flying across the walls.

Imagine a lost traveler knocking on his door
one dark night in the hill country of Spain.

“Come in, ” he would say, “I was just painting myself,”
as he stood in the doorway holding up the wand of a brush,
illuminated in the blaze of his famous candle hat.

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Sepia Saturday

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I went in search of plein air painting, but there wasn’t all that much online. I couldn’t find many photos.  So I used one from a John Singer Sargent exhibit I recently saw at the Art Institute and the only photo I found on Flickr Commons. For more, Sepia Saturday responses, click here.

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By John Singer Sargent

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Smithsonian, ca 1920 via Flickr Commons

Tell Me Something Good

monday-morning-inspiration-quotes-e1442491467149Tell Me Something Good is a simple challenge that prompts bloggers to share a nugget of positive news or wisdom and it’s started by the creator of A Momma’s View.

So for all of you who would like to play along and stick to the rules, here they are:

  • I enjoyed the neighborhood Monday cocktail (or wine), appetizers and conversation. I love that the neighbors or a few of them gather regularly in the summer months. Everyone brings their own drink and an appetizer to share.
  • I’m getting excited and planning my short trip to New York in a few weeks. I’ll be going to my sister’s wedding on the 26th and will be there till the 30th.
  • I’ve been enjoying volunteering at two different libraries. In Northbrook, I get to help out in the maker space and at Skokie I’m helping in Readers’ Service and A/V. In both areas I am learning a lot.
  • I savored the elegance of Gilded Age portraits like these at the Drieshaus Museum’s member’s preview of their newly opened exhibit.

It’s easy:

Mention something that you consider being good in the comments

• Or write a post about it on your blog (please don’t forget the pingback if you do so I don’t miss out and also share the link to it in the comments below). Something good that happened to you recently, or something good you will experience in a little while, or something good you know will happen soon. Something that makes you feel good.

• Share this post and invite your followers as well.

 

What I’m Learning

I’m becoming more and more of a fan of online learning. I really want to dig into Adobe Illustrator and PhotoShop yet since it’s so pricey, I have to go to the library to use it. I’m going back to the library tomorrow to try these styles.

What are you learning? It doesn’t have to be a software program.

WPC: All Time Favorites

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Kyoto, Japan

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Indonesia

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Chicago, IL, USA

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Street art, Melbourne

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Chicago, IL

So WordPress is ending this fun, community-building, delightful challenge. They haven’t given a reason why, which is disappointing. I loved getting a new theme to inspire me and to get a chance to see how others had responded. I connected with other bloggers and I’ll sorely missed that.

It makes sense if an individual’s life changes and they must end a weekly challenge, but WordPress is a viable, successful company. If they want to hire me to handle this, I’m game. It wouldn’t be pricey.

Perhaps an individual with loads of followers will fill the gap, but it’s a commitment. I’ll follow if someone does.

I’ll be in shock for quite a while. What a shame WP. You didn’t have to go this route.
How sad.

I hope that this is like the “New Coke” fiasco and that they do resume this challenge. Again, I’d be happy to freelance as their new WPC Creator.

1. Each week, WordPress will 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 Wednesday 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 posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Just a few wonderful posts:

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