Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Taxi ride

Tori Amos is one of those artists who tend to give extra attention to the packaging of their creations. This single from her beautiful Scarlet's Walk album from 2002 is no exception - echoing the album's mock polaroid cover in its overall design. More about Tori Amos on the linked Wikipedia page.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Purple yellow

A seasonal shot by my Flickr friend Alex V. Fitting because today we plan our own tulip fields shoot. I can only hope to encounter such a beautiful coincidence as he did - that colour combination is stunning indeed! As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Chinese Rembrandt

A portrait of my wife taken during last year's  Christmas celebrations in Kampen. As part of the two-day festivities, in which the atmosphere of centuries gone by is recreated, she dressed up like this and painted in the window of our gallery. The title is based on remarks from passers-by that I overheard.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, tripod
Exposure: 0.125 sec (1/8)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 78 mm
ISO Speed: 1600
Post-processing: Lu Schaper


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Blute nur, du liebes Herz!

Easter Sunday and Bach's St. Matthew's Passion are for me a must-have combination every year. For today's post, I have selected one of the many highlights of this masterpiece, the aria Blute nur, du liebes Herz!, sung by Helen Donath with the Muenchener Bach-Orchester under Karl Richter.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

The mysterious lady

A beautiful poster of a classic 1928 Garbo movie, directed by Fred Niblo. As usual for movies of that time, several quite different movie posters can be found on the web, but this one really stood out for me.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Silent days at the sea

Today marks the start of the fifth edition of Sail Kampen, which is billed as this year's largest Easter weekend event in the Netherlands - and it is happening in front of our house. For the occasion, a beautiful cubist expressionist sailing ships painting from 1929 by German-American Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956). More on Feininger in the linked Wikipedia article.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mobile lovers by Banksy

The jury (well, my opinion at least) is still out on whether master graffiti artist Banksy's crestions are fine art or not. One of his latest creations is one of his best though, in terms of location, concept and execution. This one popped up in Gloucester recently. I made the gif myself to include the surrounding, which enhances the work considerably.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Buddy Bravo's Inspirational Posters

It may not be fine art, but these posters by Buddy Bravo are fun and well made, so good Anything goes material. His beautiful illustrations, clearly inspired by the Jazz Age, are combined with motivational quotes that encourage viewers to really appreciate the world around us.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Links [41]

Once more an overview of interesting links on topics related to the blog, that I encountered recently, but that will probably not make the blog as separate entries. The picture above is by my Flickr friend knirps2007.

Sony World Photography Awards 2014.
Kate Bush: Her Career in Pictures.
The Portrait in the 21st Century.
The World's Most Spectacular Organs.
The World's 30 Ugliest Buildings.
Proposed Designs for London's Tower Bridge (1893).
The World's Most Viewed Photograph (XP).

Monday, April 14, 2014

The weight of your love

I have my long-time friend Paul to thank for this one. I had never heard of the Editors (a British band from Birmingham), until his recommendation. Well, the music is indeed excellent, but the cover of their latest album (The weight of your love, from 2013) is great as well. The photography is credited to Charles Emerson.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Electric sunset

Once more one of my attempts at digital art based on my own photographs, created with the free software SuperPhoto that came with my new laptop. This is a shot I took a few years ago near our home (at that time). The local artificial lake had frozen over, rendering a special array of colours when the sun set - enhanced by the software's post-treatment. The link leads to the original photograph.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Babylon - Made in Italy

This stunning piece of photo art was a deserved finalist for the Altered Images section of the Smithsonian Magazine's 11th Annual Photo Contest. The artist is Dina Bova from Israel. Her work was inspired by the legendary Babylon tower, as painted by Pieter Bruegel, and a trip to the beautiful Cinque Terre region in Italy. All rights retained by the artist, as usual.


Friday, April 11, 2014


More photoshop brilliance taken from the advanced photoshop contest section of Worth1000. Here is a shot created by their member spudnick for the Make this realistic 4 contest - starting from scratch with just a simple sketch as a model image. Impressive how natural everything looks in this effort, the deserved winner of the contest.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nomad Patterns by Livia Marin

The sculptures in the series Nomad patterns by Livia Marin are absolutely amazing. She creates ceramic cups, tea pots and vases that melt into puddles of porcelain while maintaining the original oriental inspired patterns. As always, all rights retained by the creator.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Jawlensky and Werefkin

Three expressionist masters for the price of one: this relaxed portrait from 1909 by Gabriele Muenter (at the time the partner of Kandinsky) depicts her colleagues Marianne von Werefkin and Alexej von Jawlensky. More on Muenter in the linked Wikipedia article.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Knoxville: Summer of 1915

As it is my birthday today, I decided to treat myself to one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written: Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915, in the perfect version by soprano Dawn Upshaw and the Orchestra of St. Luke's under David Zinman.


Monday, April 07, 2014

Vogue April 1919

A beautiful Vogue cover from the days before Art Deco. This spring beauty was created by one of its most famous illustrators, Helen Dryden.


Sunday, April 06, 2014


One of the most stunning vintage posters I have come across in recent months. The Swiss branch of Chrysler produced this beauty in the 1930s. The contrast between the natural shape of the car and the stylized contours of the alps, enhanced by the colours chosen, is simply amazing.

Vintage Posters

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Unusual concertos [68]: Ney

Before the purge of end 2008, one of the most popular topics of this blog was "Unusual concertos", classical concertos for all kinds of instruments and orchestra. I have decided to revive this, aiming for less familiar composers in general. In its original incarnation, I came to 40 different concertante instruments - realizing 60+ this time.

The sixty-eighth concerto deals with the ney (image source). This is the end-blown flute that has been popular in the Middle East for about 5000 years - making it one of the oldest instruments in the world. Not surprisingly, it did not find use in western classical music until fairly recently. The one concerto I know for this instrument was composed by Fazil Say, a Turkish pianist and composer. On the one existing (live) recording, it is played by Burcu Karadag and the Orchestra of National Theater Mannheim under Dan Ettinger, available on a Naive CD.

Go here

Friday, April 04, 2014

Paul Wittgenstein: The man with the golden arm

Many classical music lovers will have heard of Paul Wittgenstein, the man who commissioned such famous works for piano left hand only as Ravel's second piano concerto and Prokofiev's fourth. He had lost his right arm on the Russian front in 1914 - which did not stop him pursuing a career as pianist. The linked article gives a lot of information on this character, who was not always pleasant - for instance, he disallowed others to play pieces he commissioned even if he disliked them so much that he would never play them himself. A famous case is the aforementioned Prokofiev concerto, of which he said: “Thank you for the concerto, but I do not understand a single note in it, and I will not play it.” Recommended reading if you are into classical music.

web site