Friday, January 29, 2010

Goldberry's Song

Then another clear voice, as young and as ancient as spring, like the song of a glad water flowing down into the night from a bright morning in the hills, came falling like silver to meet them:

Now let the song begin! Let us sing together,

Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather,

Light on the budding leaf, dew on the feather,

Wind on the open hill, bells on the heather,

Reeds by the shady pool, lilies on the water:

Old Tom Bombadil and the River-daughter!

From The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

Photos : Bruno Monginoux /

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Edmund Leighton

"The Accolade" (1901)

I am most excited! Last night I discovered an artist, Edmund Leighton, he is a new favorite of mine.

Edmund Blair Leighton (21 September 1853—1 September 1922) was an English painter associated with the Pre-Raphaelite and Romantic styles. Leighton was a historical genre painter focusing mainly on Regency and medieval subjects. I adore his medieval paintings, I find them very near to perfection. "The Accolade" is, I think, my favorite one.

God Speed! (1900)

Some of my many other favorites are, Abelard and his Pupil Heloise, Faded Laurels, My Fair Lady, Pelleas and Melisande, The End of the Song, The Hostage, The Keys, and The Shadow. I like all of his medieval paintings, of course the regency ones are lovely as well, but I don't love them as I do the medieval ones.

After a bit of searching I found this great website with a biography of Edmund Leighton and all of his beautiful, beautiful, paintings

"Stitching the Standard"

I like this one very much, but, perhaps, it is more for sentimental reasons: I, in my childhood, had a certain deep fondness for knights wearing yellow and black, and I never even liked yellow that much. And even now, though that fondness has lessened a bit, there is still a place in my hart for yellow knights, so I can't help but feel that this woman is, perhaps, stitching a standard for that great knight that once was mine.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

If wishes were horses...

Horse Fair, By Rosa Bonheur
If wishes were horses then beggars would ride,
If turnips were swords I'd have one by my side.
If 'ifs' and 'ands' were pots and pans
There would be no need for tinkers hands!

~Scottish Proverb

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hatley Castle

Hatley Castle, on Hatley Park National Historic Site, is located in Colwood, British Columbia in Greater Victoria. This castle is absolutely gorgeous, but, in all seriousness, I don't have anything very interesting to say about it. In other words then, it seems to have a very peaceful history.

"James Dunsmuir commissioned Samuel Maclure, a Victorian architect, to design the "Castle", and Messrs. Brett and Hall, landscape artists of Boston, Massachusetts, to plan the gardens and surroundings. Local stone, trimmed by Valdez and Saturna Island sandstone was used in the building's construction. Its impressive exterior is matched only by the lavishness of the interior appointments; oak and rosewood paneled rooms, baronial fireplace, teak floors, and specially made lighting fixtures. James is quoted as saying: 'Money doesn't matter, just build what I want.' "

From: Hatley

I found this wonderful website with a complete history and page after page of stunningly gorgeous pictures:

The pictures are from Wikipedia.

Have fun exploring!

Monday, January 11, 2010

How many a man...

How many a man has dated
a new era in his life
from the reading of a book.

~Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Scotland's Hebrides

I love Scotland. Scotland is beautiful. But I don't think that I quite realized just how beautiful it can be until I saw the article in the January 2010 issue of National Geographic, "Edge of the World", about The Hebrides.

I think that Fingal's Cave on the island, Staffa, is utterly magnificent. It was called Uamh Binn, the "melodious cave," by the Gaelic-speaking islanders for the sound of the echo of the waves.

You can read the whole, awesome, article and see incredible pictures at

Have lots of fun exploring!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Claude Lorrain

Seaport (1674)

Claude Lorrain, traditionally just Claude in English (also Claude Gellée, his real name, or in French Claude Gellée, dit le Lorrain) (c. 1600 – 21 or 23 November 1682) was an artist of the Baroque era who was active in Italy, and is admired for his achievements in landscape painting.

Landscape with Apollo and Mercury (1645)

Claude was born in 1604 or 1605 into poverty in the town of Chamagne, Vosges in Lorraine – then the Duchy of Lorraine, an independent state until 1766 and now in northeast France. He was one of five children. His actual name was Claude Gellée, but he is better known by the province in which he was born. Orphaned by age of twelve, he went to live at Freiburg with an elder brother, Jean Gellée, a woodcarver. He afterwords went to Rome to seek a livelihood and then to Naples, where he apprenticed for two years, from 1619 to 1621, under Goffredo (Gottfried) Wals.

I found a perfect website about Claude Lorrain, it has a complete biography and all of his beautiful paintings.

I think that his paintings are simply lovely. I love how quiet they are, it may sound strange, but there is very little sound in the paintings and if there is, it is soft, quiet sounds like the lapping of the ocean water in his many paintings of harbors and sea ports (I love the buildings in those ones), or the sweet notes of Apollo's fiddle and the patter of Hermes's feet (he is actually stealing Apollo's cattle, for those that do not know the story.) in the painting Landscape with Apollo and Mercury.

The Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba (1648)

This painting, The Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba, is my favorite of Claude Lorrain's paintings and the first one I ever saw.

I agree with John Constable who described Claude as "the most perfect landscape painter the world ever saw", and declared that in Claude’s landscape "all is lovely – all amiable – all is amenity and repose; the calm sunshine of the heart".

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Greater Danger...

“The greater danger for most of us

lies not in setting our aim too high

and falling short;

but in setting our aim too low,

and achieving our mark.”


This quote by Michelangelo is about setting goals, not archery, but the only thing that I could think of to go with it was an archer aiming, with shadows behind him and light ahead. After searching in vain on the internet, I gave up and drew the picture I needed. Now this was not very difficult as I consider myself a bit of an artist, the hard part was that I draw in pencil, which does not show up very well when scanned, so I had to go over it in pen (I'd actually never done that before!) I never draw in pen, it is to risky, but this time I had to do it. I set my aim high, and achieved my mark.