Wednesday, April 23, 2014

To Flannery and to peacocks.

 I recently completed a commission that was a lot of fun for me - a portrait of the Southern writer Flannery O'Connor. I'm ashamed to say I have never read her writing, though years ago when I worked at a bookstore there was a beautiful volume of her stories with a large graphic of a peacock feather on the cover, and I was always tempted to buy it. The brief description of the stories' contents on the back cover struck me as a little dark, and that is what kept me at bay.
While working on this piece and researching Flannery, I learned that she felt her critics sorely misinterpreted her in this way, and that she did not feel her work to be as dark as it was made out to be. Knowing what these stories are about, and knowing that Flannery did not perceive them to be as dark as most interpreted, makes me want to read them now - to see what softness they reveal and to read more deeply past their plots.
When I was asked to do this piece, I wanted to honor Flannery. There were only a few things I solidly knew about her before beginning this piece, one of them being that she loved peacocks. Now that I know her better, I know that she faced incredibly difficult times, was passionate and determined in her career as a writer, and loved and was fascinated by all kinds of feathered creatures. For me, anyone who truly loves and cares for animals is a beautiful person. I look forward to reading some of her work this summer.
I hope you are all enjoying a lovely April! After a long winter, it seems that spring has finally come to Boston. xo

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Spring Sale

Prints are buy one, get one free in my shop through April 13th! 
Purchase one print and let me know which free print you'd like in the 'message to seller' box.
Happy Spring! xo

Friday, April 4, 2014

Noye's Fludde

Last week, by chance, I saw a sign in front of Trinity Church in Copley Square announcing their performance of Benjamin Britten's Noye's Fludde this weekend. Like me, you may be familiar with Noye's Fludde due to Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom. Since Noye's Fludde is one of the most enchanting parts of that film for me, I knew that I would be going. And I knew that I must bring Julia. :)
 (Noye's Fludde performed in Moonrise Kingdom)
(Noye's Fludde performed in 1958, one year after its debut, at the fourteenth Aldeburgh Festival. Photo copyright Aldeburgh Museum).
Britten's opera is based on a 15th century play from the Chester Mystery Cycle and was written to be performed by amateurs. Britten asked that it be performed in a church or large hall as opposed to a theater.
I teared up as children walked in herds up the aisle of the church holding animal masks to their faces (which no doubt they made themselves) and sang "Noye, Noye, Take Thou Thy Company." Waves were created by fabrics in various shades of blue billowed back and forth between two young actors. The chorus was provided by the church choir and various Boston and Cambridge children's orchestras. 
The audience was asked to sing along with the hymns. The percussions and trumpets and horns and voices in this opera are impeccable. 
Photography and video was not allowed during the performance, but I felt a sense of relief at that. I enjoyed the beauty of everything without worrying about capturing it. Just as it is Moonrise Kingdom which led me to Noye's Fludde, it is by the means of Moonrise Kingdom that I will keep the beautiful experience I had tonight.

It was a beautiful evening.
I hope you are all having a lovely Spring so far!