Saturday, June 30, 2012

The sun is shining

The German all-girl pop quartet Boxmaya have scored nine gigantic hits in the charts over the past three years. The accompanying three albums sold well too. Surprisingly, they changed their formula with their latest release. The album The sun is shining is a themed cover album: all songs are from the sixties, seventies, and eighties, and all have to do with that summer feeling. There are predictable choices (Lovin' Spoonful's Summer in the city, Donovan's Sunshine superman), and more surprising ones, such as First Class' Beach Baby, with lyrics re-written to reflect the girl's point of view. The first single release from this album is currently climbing up the charts in spite of the rainy weather, and is quite representative for the album: their version of Cruel Summer does not surpass the original by Bananarama but is still well worth hearing. Recommended, except for purists.

The idea of this little game is to create an album cover for an imaginary artist/group, as well as an imaginary review, following these instructions:

[1] The artist/group: go to the wiki random page generator. The first random Wikipedia article obtained this way is the name of the band or performer. In this case, I ended up with Boxmaya.
[2] The title: go to the random quotations site. The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of the album. The random quote that came up was by John F. Kennedy: The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
[3] The illustration: pick a suitable one from my Flickr collection. My picture, Enjoying the sun, can be found here on Flickr. The on-line editing was done with the programme On-line image editor, the font settings selected were Poor Richard 45 Black and Onyx 70 Black, respectively.

Note: this is a variation on the "Debut album game" that has been making its rounds around bulletin boards and blogs for some time now - the original version called for a random Flickr Explore photograph to be used as the cover. I have been trying to find out who had the original idea, but so far no success.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Over 400,000 hits

Another milestone for the blog - since its early hesitating steps in August 2006, there have been over 400,000 visits. Thanks all for dropping by and regularly returning! Image sourced from here.

Galerie LuS

Photojournalism of a personal kind - we made the local newspaper with this photograph and accompanying interview with my wife on the occasion of the opening of our gallery Galerie LuS. All rights retained by the photographer/agency (Tom van Dijke/Stentor).

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Batman is perhaps not the most logical subject for this art blog, but on the other hand, would you have expected such a beautiful early Art Deco rendition of the Caped Crusader to exist? And yes, that is a gun in his hand - he used to have one in the early days.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Triangles and flowing lines

It's been far too much time between faving this shot five weeks ago and finally posting it in my blog - it may well be the most impressive photograph I have seen on Flickr this year, and perhaps even longer than that. It was created by my Flickr friend andy_57, once more with his Michele as his model. This time the focus is on her magnificent legs, in a pose that is simply out of this world, and a lighting choice that is breathtaking. Refined and sensual at the same time, words really can't do justice to this perfect masterpiece. Treat yourself, click the link and view large on black. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Unusual concertos [31]: Tar

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 - aiming for 50+ this time.

The thirty-first concerto deals with the tar, a Persian lute-like instrument that has spread all over the Caucasus region (image credit). Predictably, there is little classical music concertante repertoire for this uncommon instrument, but I have found one: the concerto by composer Khanmammadov from Azerbaijan. It is played by Ramiz Gulyev and the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra under Adigozalov from a Boonloom CD.

Go here

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cinelandia October 1928

Another marvelous cover of Cinelandia, an Argentinean movie magazine that sported plenty of great actress-based covers in the twenties and thirties. This cover shows Poland's darling Pola Negri, the first European film star to be invited to Hollywood.


Monday, June 25, 2012

When the sun goes down

Here is another act I had never heard of, but I came across the album cover and has to post it. Selena Gomez and the Scene is a teen pop band, who released their third album When the sun goes down in 2011. The album cover shows off the attractive singer, dressed in jazz age style, with an appropriate Art Deco feeling to the font and decoration. Very tasteful indeed. The album's credits mentions several names for art direction and photography, not clear who was responsible in the end.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Links [22]

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 myself.

The Architecture of the London Olympics.
Photomanipulation 1865-1976.
Red Telephone Boxes with a Twist.
Top 10 Lost Artworks.
Britains Best New Buildings.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Potpourri: Be careful with superglue

From time to time I will be highlighting some of my own favourite posts in my parallel blog, Art's Potpourri. These can be recent or from years ago. This one was posted 23 June 2010 (re-posted 7 February 2013 after the re-start).

Friday, June 22, 2012

Abstract in rope and shadow

One of my most popular shots of the year so far, even though it did not make Flickr Explore. Plenty of comments and faves. I took this one near our home at the river front. A detail of a ship's rope and its shadow.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture: f/5.9
Focal Length: 20 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Poster exhibition at Museo Picasso Malaga

Interested visitors enjoy some of the most famous posters of all time in the European Poster 1888-1938 exhibition at the Museo Picasso Malaga. Followers of this blog will know that I love the posters from these decades, and I would love to go and have a look. All rights retained by the photographer/agency (undisclosed).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Where are our paintings?

Since end 2009, three of our paintings have gone missing after an exhibition in Tours (France) organized by Lise Han. Please help us by spreading the linked complete story via the social media (twitter, facebook, blogs).

Link to English version.
Lien au version Français. UPDATE: we have found Lise Han, but our paintings are still missing.


Nightingales and bombers

I have always been intrigued by the title of the 1975 album Nightingales and Bombers by Manfred Mann's Earth Band. Recently I found out that it is based on a true story, as posted at the Retronaut site. The picture above shows Beatrice Harrison playing the cello in her Surrey garden, accompanied by nightingales. The BBC broadcasted the music of Beatrice and the birds live in May 1924 – the first ever live outdoor broadcast. Each May, the BBC returned to the garden to broadcast the nightingales, even after Beatrice moved house in 1936. In 1942, as BBC engineers were recording the birds prior to transmission, the gradually increasing sound of hundreds of RAF bombers flying overhead on their way to Germany could be heard. The linked site offers the opportunity to listen to the original recording of that day.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tragic mood

Here we have another expressionist master that I had never heard of. Marianne von Werefkin (1860-1938) was a Russian painter, who worked in Germany and Switzerland. Her style was expressionist with a healthy dash of realism. I am particularly impressed by the depicted painting from 1910, entitled Tragic mood. An artist well worth exploring more in the coming months.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Glory Road by Chiara Biancheri

Mesmerizing digital art by 3D modeler and graphic designer Chiara Biancheri. She uses three dimensional fractal software to create landscapes that resemble dream worlds more than anything else. Many of her images have a strong floral character, but I have opted for one that I have given the title Glory Road after a Heinlein fantasy novel. As always, all rights retained by the creator.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The leg rowers

My Flickr friend cormend is currently posting an extensive series of high quality photographs from his trip to Myanmar earlier this year (complete set here at Flickr). I have faved a number of them, and in particular the ones dealing with the locals interacting with the water are fascinating. For this one you really need to click the link and see it large (alternatively click here), because the extended oblong format does not go particularly well with the blog lay-out. It is a gem. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Vogue June 1929

Hopefully we can get some summer weather as well the coming weeks... a beautiful vintage Art Deco Vogue cover in summer mood, designed as so often by William Bolin.


Saturday, June 16, 2012


A painting dating back to almost 10 years ago - but selected by a local newspaper as illustration for a first publication about our gallery in Kampen (Galerie LuS). Undoubtedly because sailing ships are frequent visitors here. This one was actually based on a visit to Le Havre in Normandy, France.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Friday, June 15, 2012

Into the heart

I had not planned to post this one in my blog, but since my Flickr friend Rick (word artist) selected it for his composition blog, here it is. Flower macros is a subject I have steered away from, but I did want to check the macro function of my new point and shooter. And I must say, I was not disappointed. Rick's comment from here, verbatim: "Yes, I know. Flower macro. Been there, done that. It’s not like… well, maybe it is a little like… A flower macros shot that actually stands out, that adds something more to the pot than just prettiness of form, is rarer than one might imagine, given the obscene number of such shots taken. This one takes a different view of things floral. The tight crop is the key to this image’s success, removing the “distraction” of the outer petal shape. We go beyond the floral, into an alien world of distorted space and organic patterns: a descent into some unknown, from which some unknowable life form emerges. There is a sense of direction, as we are sucked into this funnel, and the sinuous creatures come to meet us. We are lost going over that edge. And, of course, those details of life are placed where they should be, nicely about the golden ratio intersection within this passage between worlds. Yes, floral macros could indeed become addictive."

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.02 sec (1/50)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5 mm
ISO Speed: 250
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rolling Stones Tour poster 1981

Aside from the subject and the obvious Stones tongue logo, this concert tour poster from 1981 could have come straight out of the golden days of Art Deco. Wonderful piece of retro design. I found this on the linked official Rolling Stones archive site, so it should be genuine.

Vintage Posters

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Manga Ashley Olsen

More photoshop brilliance taken from the advanced photoshop contest section of Worth1000. Here is a shot created by their member Shorra for the Reality manga summer 2012 contest - creating manga versions of celebrities. Personally I do not care at all for the Olsen twins, but I must admit that this version of Ashley makes an excellent shot, not in the least by the cold colour scheme. All rights retained by the creator.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pittsburgh 1940

Taken from a fascinating collection posted at the Retronaut site earlier this month. Pittsburgh in 1940 was a smoke-infested city, with six more years to go before new laws cleaned up the air at least a bit. It did make for wonderful haunting photography (taken from the Historic Pittsburgh Library).


Monday, June 11, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

It is not often that I see a movie poster in the streets which makes such a strong impact on me. I immediately took a picture to sort out at home which movie this is. A new release of course, Snow White and the Huntsman by director Rupert Sanders, starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron. The combination of the actress' eye and the bird's eye is simply amazing. More on this movie in the IMDB article linked to below.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

High heels

A recent addition to my short list of Flickr friends, here we have another gem by Peter Levi. The more I see of his work, the more I admire him for some of the best black and white photography around. This shot was taken in a Stockholm subway station, with excellent use of depth of field, as well as brilliant point of view. A breathtaking candid - or if it was posed, even more kudos for the natural result. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.