Roman Mosaic Discovered

Recently archeologists in Rome found a buried mosaic in a large banquet room from the first or second century B.C. Amazing!!
The article is found
Estimated to be around 2,300 years old, the work is part of a larger aristocratic mansion, located near the Roman Forum, that has been under excavation since 2018.
Almost five meters long (16.4 ft) and featuring depictions of vines, lotus leaves, tridents, trumpets, helmets and mythological marine creatures, the mosaic scene was painstakingly created using mother of pearl, shells, corals, shards of precious glass and flecks of marble. The piece is framed by polychrome crystals, spongy travertine, and exotic, ancient Egyptian blue tiles.
Rome mosaic credit
Credit for photo in article

Shell Grotto in Margate

Some one built a spectacular shell grotto in one part of England. There are secrets here. See how it looks and learn more about it here.

The Art at Petra

This was just posted but actually was written for 2010. An interesting summary of how English scholars have restored some ancient wall paintings at the World Heritage site of Petra in Jordan. One much hope that ISIS will not wreak havoc not this country since they are determined much as the Taliban was in destroying evidence of ancient cultures. These cultures are heretical to them and must be gone. Only the Caliphate is to remain. Back to Petra and the Hellenistic art found there.

William Blake

Bob and I have visited the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England. It was a fascinating trip through the museum and they had really good food there as I remember. I came across this article about William Blake, a well-known writer/artist. His exhibit is considered different. So if you wish to enter that world and find out why, look here.


I love to be able to travel and there are a number of places I would like to visit in this world. Traveling to Poland is one. Visiting Warsaw and Cracow would be top of the list. Due to their rich history and culture. Culture that that was deeply damaged and changed within the last 75 years. The first Jews arrived in the 10th century to the area that is Poland. They made up a large percentage of the population until nearly exterminated during World War II. Their story is the story of Poland too even though there are not large numbers there now. Poland has recently opened a new museum that looks at the History of Polish Jews over time since their arrival there. From reading this article and others, there is now additional reasons to visit the area. The museum is built in the heart of the Warsaw ghetto where so much loss of life and significance from World War II.

World War I Artists

I previously had a blog piece about the poets of World War I. Now it is on the artists of that time.

“When the firing ceased in 1918, the belligerents of World War I counted their dead, missing and wounded. They numbered not in the thousands or hundreds of thousands, as in previous wars, but in the millions.

A century after the carnage, the British artists whom art historians deem most consequential are those who reacted most aggressively against the heroic tradition of war painting, both in style and in content. We now automatically associate the Modernist works of Christopher R.W. Nevinson, David Bomberg and Paul Nash with the Great War just as much as we do the bitter and disenchanted poetry written by Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. But seeing the conflict exclusively through their eyes leads us to neglect other talented artists who pictured the war in more conventional ways that the general public could readily understand. And so it is that many admirable artists who depicted the conflict, such as Henry Tonks, William Orpen and even John Singer Sargent (in his wartime paintings), are often undeservedly neglected.”


Bob and I have visited art museums in a number of locations. We both have seen the work of Caravaggio. I can’t remember if it was in London or if in San Francisco. The painting was stunning and had so much emotional impact. I came across this piece about a Caravaggio painting that had been lost for many years. It had been long in the dining hall of a Jesuit location in Dublin. Quite a strange mystery surrounding this. The painting is called “The Taking of Christ”.

Some pictures depict mysteries; others have mysteries attached to them. Caravaggio's "The Taking of Christ," a painting that now hangs proudly on a wall in the National Gallery of Ireland, fits into both categories. For almost two centuries it had gone missing.

Ghosts Inspire Books

Do ghosts inspire books? According to Esther Freud, an author, the cottage she bought in a Suffolk England village did. The famous Scottish artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh has lived in the home at one time. His presence seemed to infuse the home with other spirits, such as a boy of 10 or 12. Macintosh’s work is everywhere in Scotland or at least its influence and replication of look. His style is esthetically pleasing too many, including me. I’d love to have many items that have that look but cannot afford them. Nice to read a bit about him.

Art Walkin'

No matter how many times we have driven by Cottage Grove while traveling I-5, we have never visited the downtown area. This evening we drove to Cottage Grove to the Crafty Mercantile shop to participate in our friend’s, Dr. Patricia Shea, showing of her art in the store. Each month Cottage Grove has an Art Walk and people come out to visit the downtown and see the “wares” on display. It looks like Cottage Grove has done some revitalization and it seems to be helping. Patricia’s friends and clients came to see her work and visit. She has done a great job in her painting. Here is one example of a print she donated to AAFP for their silent auction years ago.


Cat Animations

Some people are way too clever for me. There is a fellow on the internet who has done one of these clever things. He is posting animations of him and his cat, Ella, into different scenarios with the technique and look of different artists. It states that he has done this for 100 different cartoonists’ styles. Such artists such as Gary Larson, Berkeley Breathed, etc. He terms his animation scenarios as Mikenesses since he is Mike. I hope Ella does not mind being put into such awkward and interesting positions. Check it out!

What Kind of Ending?

I saw an interesting discussion yesterday about whether a person might prefer stories, shows, or movies that have happy endings or crave reaching that ultimate “downer” of a bad ending. I probably tend to lean toward the happy ending side. What I really like is a good, well-written, clever story. Something that makes you think or surprises you. The article under discussion did go further and covered 4 different examples of how different predictable patterns occur to destroy dramatic tension. Certainly, we all go to a thriller or drama and wonder who will be killed off or which character(s) will be left at the end. I would often speculate with our friend, Stephen, on who will be left standing. We often came close to getting it right. It can be a fun guessing game and you try to determine the pattern or profile they will want to have at the end. What sort of story ending do you like? Can you tell how a story will end or who will “not be there” for the next season? Happy

Shakespeare Uncovered

PBS has been showing different TV programs on some of Shakespeare’s plays using different actors to moderate the program. Tomorrow night should have Hamlet with David Tennant describing the play. The Tempest is the other one on the same evening. Information about PBS’ series is found here.

All That Glitters

Today is the last day of November. Best to get this month past with all its gloomy political news and move on to more positive things. Time to consider getting down Christmas decorations and see if we can join the holiday cheer. One picture of trying to get in the mood from last Saturday and make it glow. Here is a photo that shows “All that Glitters………is not Gold!”


Holiday Greenery

Yesterday was the annual local group gathering of Christmas wreath makers. All in good spirit of getting ready for the holiday and making the outdoors festive with greenery. How about a little of the cedar? Where is the rosemary? Watch the holly, it is prickly! Boy, do I need some of the glittery stuff or who is the best ribbon maker (not me)? Throw in some cocoa and tea (Annapolis Royal Ice Wine tea) and it is festive. It is fun to see and chat with friends and neighbors. It is also cool to see what beautiful wreaths, swags, and table decorations can come from a big pile of cut trees and bushes mixed with pine cones, ribbon, ornaments, and other oddities (my black and white spotted cow that Noel Storms gave me in a swag).
Here is my friend and neighbor Diane Winterboer getting the festivities and her wreath off to a “silly” start.

This is my table arrangement. Arlene Jantzi was kind to share the base since I showed up with little to start with.

My laughing cow swag from Noel. It has a cute black hair fringe. We did have a good time. Let’s do it again next year.



River Sculptures

Women can have an uncanny knack of driving the men in their lives a little bit crazy. One tool we can use if the desire for men to get “somewhere” and not stop the car for anything except an emergency (one they would deem an emergency). “Pedal to the metal” is Bob’s mantra and he will do it. I have learned over the years I need to stop, not that I want to or I might want to. Too wishy-washy for “driven” men. Happy
I did make Bob and Scott a bit perturbed on our trip back from Quincy WA last Sunday when I asked to stop to take a photo of an interesting art sculpture on the Columbia River at a park next to Vantage WA. “Really, you have to stop to do this?” Sarcasm really ups the ante and makes one dig in their heels. So, off I went to get my photo before the sun set in the West shortly after. I think the photo was worth it on multiple levels.

Quiet Day

Taking a quiet day today. I am definitely feeling the effects of the cold I have been trying to fight off. I think it would be a good day to again highlight the work of Laura Seeley. Karen and Tim have left behind the art Bob and I purchased from Art for Cat’s Sake. I will have to get it all framed and up on the walls.




Laura's Art

I took some close ups of Laura Seeley’s pendants for her to use on her website. She sent me a link to the site to show that she had used two of the photos (the two on the left). Check out Best Friend’s Gallery. Here is an example of Laura’s pendants and how they glow. The eyes certainly do here. Wouldn’t they look nice around your neck?


Home With Guests

Back home again last night. We brought my dear friend, Marybeth Rymer, back with us to stay a few days. Karen and Tim showed up around noon to have a nice houseful of guests to share our home with. This was a very special time since it is infrequent that we have friends who can take time out to come visit this way. It is all the better when they are special friends.

The fall has been dry and overall, sunny. There are forest fires in the central part of the state. The smoke particulate in the air helps create a haze in the daytime and adds to color at sunrise and sunset. The sun was freaking amazing this morning as a red globe rising over the Peters. I have never seen anything like it living here. Usually it is a beautiful sunrise yet not a big globe. What a sight!


Art For Cat's Sake

Karen has her booth set up and is selling the cat art in a mad fashion. Bob has turned into super assistant and salesman. He is upselling and writing up tickets as fast as he can write. A true business person.

One of the artists is Laura Seeley from Orange County, CA. She has a lot of lovely pendants, tiles, posters, etc. She is a great and gung ho artist and super find for Karen to have at the booth. Here is Laura with Karen and I at Lola’s Restaurant.


Art From Waste

I am not overall artistic though I can certainly appreciate art and those who live it. There was an article recently that some individuals have been able to salvage the solar tubes from Solyndra, the bankrupt solar energy company in N. California. They have been able to use them in a way that does make them strikingly beautiful art.

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