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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Happy Birthday Roald Dahl

The other day was once again the birthday of the fantastic Roald Dahl. Had he not died in 1990 he would have been 96 this year. I have always loved all of his fabulous stories and can still remember my mom reading his book The Witches to me and me loving it. I remember how
deliciously scary some of the parts were and I remember enjoying myself tremendously. Here I found two photos of this great, great children's author in two opposite stages of his life in age but not in personality and heart it seems. (the first image is of Dahl at age 6).

If you haven't yet, you should take a peek at his official website and if nothing else, listen to the short interview clips of his that are posted there. They will give you quite a good insight into his work process and life. Also, and this applies specifically to the clip of him reading an excerpt from the BFG-(that's clip #11) Roald Dahl himself has the most amazing storyteller voice ever. Tell me you can listen to him reading that part of the BFG while looking at this photo of him here and not fall in love. Impossible. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Matisse and Flowers

I finally got the chance to really look at the Matisse exhibit that is in it's final weeks here at the Vancouver Art Gallery and I'm so glad I did. I went on the busiest day of course but I think that I actually prefer being in galleries when it's very crowed rather than when it's slow. It lets you be able to get lost in the crowds and really look at what's there. 

It's always great to be able to see some of your favorite artists work up and close and see how they really worked. You can never get that from a text book or looking at images online. I always bring my sketchbook with me when going to see shows by some of art history's finest and did so this time as well, hoping to be able to make a few sketches. Unfortunately security very politely let me know that I could only sketch with a pencil and not with my pen, which was a bit of a bummer since I love using my brush-pen. So I put the sketching on hold and just stuck to looking mostly. Until I discovered some of the small 19th Cent. floral patterned hangings from Uzbekistan that were also in the Cone sisters collection that was on show, of which I noted a few flower designs I loved in my sketchbook. 

© Hélène Adant
The thing about flowers is that there are so many different kinds and so many different ways to draw them. 
Of course that goes for most other things as well but I happen to be infatuated with them, and I think so was Matisse. 

A lot of Matisse's work is so perfect for young kids to look at and to have fun with. While there were a few paintings and drawings of his in this particular show that I think kids would have liked, I think most of the work was probably more enjoyable for an adult audience. Another thing I thought about, was how unfortunate it is that all the work is hung at adult hight and that there isn't a movable trolley type thing around for kids to stand on to be able to really look at the artwork head on instead of constantly having to glance up at it. I think something so simple would make it so much more  fun for kids to look at and experience art. 

All images © Succession H. Matisse, Paris