Friday, May 12, 2017

Zen circle intaglio

 It's spring..... but here in Nice we have been having rain for at least a few minutes most everyday.  So when it is sunny I am basking outside part of the day.... but otherwise I have been spring cleaning my studio and posting on my art blog:

And as you can see I finally found a way to watermark my photos.  Of course, that doesn't show up on the piece itself although red does look kind of cool with the red Chinese chop. 

If you are in mind for some of my brand of art for your house I am giving my friends and family some smaller pieces that I have created. 

 Send a message if you see something you like and we can meet up and go through my big box of stuff.   Failing that tell me what you like that you have seen on the blog and I will see whether it is daunting or easy to mail art from France.  

One of the last intaglio copper plates that I created was of the zen circle. Take a look.

Chine collie with Japanese fiber paper, Chinese chop

Chine collie with Japanese fiber paper, Chinese characters

plain paper, with Chinese chop and  Chinese character for beauty

Graduated ink rolled on for background and then printed after.

Rolled out ink gradation with Chinese chop and character for Beauty

Chinese chop and background of graduated printers ink

Chinese fiber paper and Chinese chop in red

My Chinese seals or chops were carved by Feng Zhuo onto soapstone.  One says my name in Chinese characters the other says: "pervasive moonlight".  It refers to "home, hearth, the place of one's childhood".  I found this engraver on Etsy site for handmade items....under Chinese seal.   I really enjoy using them. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Why did the chicken cross the road....

We got a nice present last night, carefully and charmingly packaged.   

 I can't think of a gift more welcome than what is left for us by the workers of the building across the street....unless its hearing those barnyard sounds of 9 boasting hens every morning. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

National Theatre of Nice: Fugue

  After trying out two seasons of plays and musical offerings at our National theatre here in Nice,  I withdrew membership.  But this was 15 years ago and things change.  

Friday night I returned to the National Theatre of Nice ready to give it another try.  A good friend had offered me tickets and this was to be our first outing for this season.

Fugue: Photo Avignon Festival

The play we saw was called "Fugue" by Samuel Achache. ...  a fugue being a form of music in which a short melody or musical phrase is introduced by one voice and then is taken up by the others and developed and tossed around to weave new cloth. ... (just to mix my metaphors).  

In this case the playwright,  Samuel Achache places the piece at the South Pole at an explorers station.  The main set is the interior of the station and the surrounding stage is covered with powdery "snow".    Five actors command the stage and alternately sing contrapuntal music, play instruments (cello, trumpet, keyboard, guitar, drums, clarinet) ,  engage in burlesque gags, interact, or deliver impressively long monologues on love, death and the meaning or meaninglessness of it all.   

 What is interesting is that Achache started with musicians as actors and let them look at the relationships of counterpoint, let them ramble and discuss the subject and see how these musical connections would relate to human relationships and then develop the play from improvisation.   This from the Avignon festival where the play previewed in May 2015:     
"The Story is intrinsically musical, maybe even operatic, but the point of departure is none other than Pythagorus’ theories of harmony and temper. Its paradox: the cycle
of fifths it is based on cannot be closed, as a comma is missing from the last one. The mathematical relationship is perfect in theory, and yet in practice the cycle it produces is a spiral. To embody this question, have fun with it, and maybe solve its impossible harmony, the musician-actor-singers brought
together by Samuel Achache combine their voices, like the subjects and countersubjects of a fugue, and delve into the ideas of being in tune and of misunderstanding."

 The research and background for this play is intellectually impressive and was a labor of love by the whole cast.   Achache's new way of working is unusual and seems to have resulted in a solid team of actors comfortable with the material and with each other.   The cast seems to include international muscians judging by these names and includes: Vladislav Galard, Anne-Lise Heimburger, Florent Hubert, Leo- Antonin Luthier, and Thilbault Perriard.   The instruments they play all existed in the middle ages, from birth of the fugue up to Bach's time.

Fugue:  Photo by Avignon Festival

 I have the feeling the play held together quite successfully but I only understood about 50% of it.  What a disappointment to see that my French isn't as solid as I had imagined.    I was still impressed, however with the levels of the performance and the ability of the actors to engage the audience.

The most successful passage was played by Leo Antonin Luthier, the performer who does an outrageous naked mime of fashioning a  bathing costume and cap made of duct tape ( lest the audience behold his nakedness), preparing himself to take a warming bath after a spell of being frozen and lost.   He is mostly being ignored by the sole actress in the cast who is near him in the hut but with whom he seems to have lost favor.

 Luthier in Fugue: Photo Avignon Festival

  Just as astonishing is Monsieur Luthier's voice....above a tenor, like a woman's.  I would say castrato ( a soprano or mezzo soprano?) but I am doubly sure after the brief nude scene last night that Mr Luthier is anything but a castrato.  They must be using a different term these days.  

Luthier from Fugue,  Photo by Avignon festival 

  After a series of delightful acrobatic displays in the snow Luthier lands in the bathtub and begins to sing a Bach melody with touching sweetness.   In the midst of this,  he cleverly interjects sound effects of tea drinking and smoking , copying the actions of the actress in the room.    This sequence was an audience favorite. 

Anne-Lise Hamburger and Leo Antonin Luthier in Fugue: photo by Avignon Festival

  Although I can't judge the piece itself, I was pleased to see some fine performers, comfortable with their craft and delivering sure performances....actors/musicians/comedians and singers ... what a package deal. 


Monday, May 1, 2017

Journal Pages: Picasso quote

So in my art diary yesterday,

I warned that some of my pages of my first art journals are "hokey" and definitely personal but I want to share some with you anyway.   There may be an inspiration in there for you too.   I will post some on here and some on my art blog.  

The girl is taken from a drawing I did after a live model and then I tried an image transfer which wasn't that successful so I then outlined it in pen.  The letters are a child's set that I found in Seattle.