Winslow Homer, American painter

Winslow Homer, American, 1836-1910, “best known for his marine subjects. He is considered one of the foremost painters in 19th-century America and a preeminent figure in American art.”

I saw a painting from Homer in le Musée d’Orsay, in Paris, a long time ago (it’s the first of the works I chose for you). The last one (the reader, at the bottom of this page) was my choice for my Journal, years and years ago…

I’m not a critic, I can’t talk about this guy. I just keep amazed by his… poise, his ease. It’s perfect, elegant, gorgeous, and sometimes even risky (see what he does with silhouettes, with the light, or weird angles…).

Is he well known? If you like him, you’ll find plenty more on Google Images.

In all these, I can… see the Wyeth family coming. The grand-father with his almost mythological America, the father with some dark moods, and the son : the sea, the sense of wind in the seashore… I’ll blog about them very soon.

Thanks for reading!

 

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Release tension / Increase tension

Repetitive music is interesting to study, though you… rapidly understand what’s “going on”, right?

Propellers (Philip Glass) or Pulsations (Steve Reich), all have a way to repeat (obviously) patterns until you CRAVE something different. In Music for 18 Musicians, it’s wonderfully weaved. YouTube it if you want!

Modern dance often use repetitive music. They can use the same structure : repeat-repeat, making the audience wait for something. It’s one knack, after all, to… catch attention. And it’s rhythmic, thus energetic. It works! The risk is to lose everybody in the process, héhé…

OK. A friend of mine told me about a modern dance ballet he saw recently. It was about, if I remember well, naked men and woman queuing and repetitively walking in line. Yikes!

The beginning of this piece was long and… interestingly boring. The fact that dancers were naked was implying an erotic tension in the audience, this kind of electricity (made of “blushing with pleasure”) we call in France “Le Trouble” (how come you don’t have this word in English??). Understandable…

But it was long, repetitive… (sigh).

So a strange weaving was weaving its weave in my friend’s mind :

  1. Decrease the “blushing tension” because you get “used to” these naked bodies walking in lines.
  2. Increase the waiting, the “crave for something new” in the ballet.

…which eventually happened. Of course! It was all the engine of it, obviously, and, well, he LOVED it!

 

Here, I grab a pattern, it could be a tool : Increase A while Decrease B.

What would you do with that in Marketing? In a poem? In a music? In therapy? Elsewhere?

Tell me.

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : itspeteski

La Grande Vadrouille / The Great Stroll

Hi, my American readers! From San Francisco to New York City by way of Wellington, Fayetteville and Wichita, it’s SUNDAY, a special day, right? Time for a barbecue and Rosé wine, or maybe a good old French comedy classic?

La Grande Vadrouille is one of the best. It means literally “The Great Stroll”; originally released in the United States as Don’t Look Now… We’re Being Shot At!

It’s a big production, made in 1966 (a good year : I was born this year). Wikipedia says :

“For over forty years La Grande Vadrouille was the most successful French film in France, topping the box office with over 17,200,000 cinema admissions. It remains today the third most successful film ever in France, of any nationality”.

I copied pasted the plot from wikipedia too :

Summer 1941. Over German-occupied France, a Royal Air Force bomber becomes lost after a mission and is shot down over Paris by German flak. Three of the crew, parachute out over the city, where they run into and are hidden by a house painter, Augustin Bouvet, a puppet show operator, Juliette, and the grumbling conductor of the Opéra National de Paris, Stanislas Lefort. Involuntarily, Lefort, Juliette and Bouvet get themselves tangled up in the manhunt against the aviators led by Wehrmacht Major Achbach as they help the airmen to escape to the free zone with the help of Resistance fighters and sympathisers.

You’ll hear French good persons trying to speak English, fighting with a huge sense of… Frenchiness against the German occupiers… If you like The Great Race and other big budget sunny happy crazy movies, it’s for you.

Is it or Netflix or something? No idea. But if it is, give it a try!

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Feeling the air of Waterloo & other oblique explorations…

Hey, explorer…

Choose a knowledge-field you don’t know at all, and begin to dig to find your gold. This is what you like to do, right?

Japanese cinema, French classical music, British painters of 19th Century, US Civil War – what else?

Voilà : you have your unknown territory ready. Your hungriness will do the rest. Yum!

You need help, right? A compass, a guide, a book, a web site, friends, a lecture… It’s easy to find some. Find a map. Draw your map.

What we often do is to see what’s essential. Kurosawa and Ozu for Japanese cinema. Ravel and Debussy for French musicians, etc. You read the most important books, and that’s OK. An afternoon on the web will help to find the list…

Here I propose some more oblique ways to do that.

  • Find documents against. People who dislike, or say the contrary of what it’s commonly said. I once read about the French Revolution : next to the great books I piled on my table, I put a book written by a Royalist, an historian whose motto was “Revolution : a wrong mess!”. He was a good writer, though, and I learned a lot from him – though it’s pretty rare to find this “music” in our times.
  • Explore little branches of the tree. After decades of exploration, I knew the great composers and their important works : Brahms, Bartok, Prokofiev and more. Then I spent years to explore the same field, but under the stars : Roussel, Martinu, Walton and Sibelius. And thanks to the previous “normal” exploration, I had so much pleasure!
  • Find other ways to explore :
  • Instead of reading history books about an era, try to read books written by witnesses. Instead of trying to find the big picture, choose one person, a detail. One painter’s life. Instead of reading, go to lectures, watch them on YouTube. Find the minor things, what’s considered failures, and study hows and whys…

  • Explore what’s difficult : Mahler instead of Beethoven. Avant-garde photography.
  • Explore what’s hard because documents are rare, or the field very small.
  • Explore what you think you dislike : Consider other doors. Baroque music. Swedish movies. History of Prussia. Try to see if you find surprise-gold.
  • Go on site. This is totally different. Feeling the air of Waterloo. Find Vermeer’s city. Watch the sky…
  • In between two fields. Instead of studying Portugal or the new America, study the boats, the travels, the movements, agreements, trades. Learn what happened between two territories : producers and movie makers, Napoleo and United Kingdom…

 

What territory will you find? Butterflies? African masks? Dante? Religions in India? Story of the city of Philadelphia? Bridges of Budapest?

Do you have other ideas to find doors, bridges, territories and maps?

Then, what vein of gold will you find? What doors, what ways? Will you wake up in the morning with this delicious urge : dig more, know more, learn more?

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : genevievealicegarner

 

 

 

Haunted Cute Trash & Vicariously in Rome : Chronicle 15

Yesterday, in the movie Body Heat, I heard

“I vicariously…”

– the proof that people really use this word in English. We have it (“vicariant”) in France, but it’s a very rare one, used by scientists or in pedagogy. I was fascinated by this range-difference for a word’s usage and I also wrote an article about it, because it’s a tool : “Vicarious” : How to learn by watching others

 

When your students feedback your teacherness, it’s an obsession to me, a good conversation subject, and a great pattern to use elsewhere. It’s also true in therapy, in many other fields. Students can “climb in metacommunication” and tell you about your Art. It’s a feedback, it teaches you! It’s a great structure to explore, and I will probably do it.

 

Does your style come from your work, or do you think about it “out of action”?

 

Parents are exhausting in a bookstore. They need books for their child, who is œuf corse absolutely the greatest, the best, and is – like all the other ones – “really in advance for his age”. Come on!…

 

On WordPress, Categories & Tags mustn’t exceed 15 in total, or else your article won’t be included in the reader. Beware!

 

What surprises me the most, in someone I know, is the clear “will to be nasty”. When someone speaks and wants to hurt me…
One antidote is to notice it. Instead of being hurt by this unkindness, meanness, your brain is building an instant shield with reason, an assessment : “This person is trying to hurt me with words”. Like a submarine, your heart goes underwater, for protection. In an awe.

 

One day I met a trash which… opened electrically alone when your hand was about to reach it. BZZZRT! It was absolutely a mess. Non opening when you needed it to. Surprising you and killing you with quirky heart-attacks in the middle of the night (when you had to trash this saving life orange-juice bottle). Staying opened for no reason (and resisting to close down). Closing the lid too fast when you were trying to debag it to add a new trashbag. Oh bloody cute thing! And, well, I liked it a little too…

 

 

« when in Rome, do as the Romans do »
What does it mean? You have to obey the laws and rules or the society you visit? You have to adapt? But also… should you live a little of other people’s lives? If one day I visit Portland or Kansas City, do I seek French food, or do I taste local meals? Do I watch French TV series in my hotel, or do I go watch a theater play? Do I read my French books, or do I visit museums? Do I move in the tourists cattle, or do I rent a car to go 20 miles out of the city to sit on a bench and watch how people walk?

 

This function of friendship : listen and question.

 

“Manifestement Friand : Manifestly Fond Of” : write 3 short stories on this seed.

 

My father’s father was a soldier in France in 1940. He’s been made a prisoner by the Germans, sent in Germany and had to work there in a factory… bombed by a British or an American attack. He died, and, well, my father didn’t know his father, his childhood was a sad mess. This made him the man he was, and of course I’m now a part of that. I found this part of an interview on the web, and I copy-paste it to tell the readers about the resonance…

You witnessed aerial bombings in Nantes…
The bombings were a very complex and perverted phenomenon. You can’t understand the French collaboration and resistance movements if you don’t understand the occupation period. Being occupied is being in a situation of absolute perversity. You live next to your enemy, and your allies kill you. I was ten years old in 1942. I had to understand that the people who lived close by were my enemies, and the ones bombing me were my friends.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Some absences are impossible to accept.