Thursday, February 28, 2013


Here is a recent work by my wife - and one I like very much personally. Great colour scheme, and an elegant female figure as main subject.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Great Photographers on the Internet

This contribution to The Online Photographer dates back to 2006, but it is still spot-on. Mike Johnston imagined what responses some of the greatest photographers of all time (Irving Penn, Sam Abell, Garry Winogrand, Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Keith Carter, William Eggleston, Ralph Gibson, Edward Steichen, and Alex Webb) would have received had they been posting their work on the internet for criticism. Hilarious, but sadly very close to the truth as well.

web site

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Unusual concertos [45]: Musical saw

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 forty-fifth concerto deals with the musical saw (or singing saw) (image source). While used occasionally by amateurs in folk music, its use in serious classical music is extremely rare. In fact, this is the first instrument in the ongoing series, where I found information about a concerto without ever having heard it - it is not in my extensive CD collection, and I cannot find it on YouTube. As the linked wikipedia article states: Divination By Mirrors for Saw and Strings (1998) by Michael A. Levine is a concerto scored for two string groups tuned a quarter-step apart and placed on opposite sides of the stage with a musical saw soloist playing in both pitch universes. I would love to hear it one day.....

Go here

Monday, February 25, 2013

Morgen (RIP Wolfgang Sawallisch)

A few days ago, German conductor and pianist Wolfgang Sawallisch passed away at age 89. To remember him, here he is in his role as accompanying pianist, with the late Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in one of my favourite songs in the classical repertoire: Richard Strauss' Morgen. RIP meastro.


Links [30]

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 10 Most Expensive Artworks.
How Photography Changed Painting (and Vice Versa).
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unrealized Skyscraper Dreams.
2013 World Press Photo Contest Winners.
Marvelously Modern Libraries.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Galatea of the squares

More photoshop brilliance taken from the advanced photoshop contest section of Worth1000. Here is a shot created by their member gaby1776 for the Counterfeit art 15 contest - How to tell your fine art is a forgery. This is a brilliant take on Dali's famous painting Galatea of the spheres. The mind boggles at the amount of work to convert all those circles into squares, but the end result is excellent and makes a quite believable piece of art by itself. All rights retained by the creator.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Best movie Oscar awards poster

Tomorrow the yearly Oscars (Academy Awards) ceremony is scheduled. For the occasion, the organization has commissioned designer Olly Moss to make a poster commemorating all 85 winners of the Oscar for best picture over the years. And what a beauty it is, with the well-known statues slightly altered to reflect the winning movie (seen on Buzzfeed, large version here). Above I show just a small selection as an appetizer, 1970-1973 and 1980-1983, including e.g. The Godfather, Chariots of Fire and Gandhi.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Seward Trunk and Bag Co.

I came across this beauty yesterday morning in the excellent Art Deco blog. A late Art Deco poster (1937) for the Virginia-based Seward company that was once America's largest manufacturer of steamers, trunks and luggage. The flying boat inclusion clinches it - I am a sucker for vintage aircraft.

Vintage Posters

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mozart's clarinet concerto (in loving memory of my mother)

It is a sobering thought that today it is already 21 years ago that my mother succumbed to a brain tumor. In her memory, one of her favourite pieces of music (and one of mine as well), Mozart's clarinet concerto.


The Rubens

Last year, The Rubens from Australia released their eponymous debut album to positive reviews. As so often with contemporary pop/rock acts, I am clueless about the actual music, but the album cover immediately clicked with me. Unfortunately, I could find no further information about it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Vogue March 1926

Here's hoping for a quick start of spring... This vintage Vogue cover sports a fashion illustration by Georges Lepape, combining the elegance of the female subject with the classic lines of the contemporary car. Beautiful.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

One in the eye

My Flickr friend Rick (word artist) spent some time in the beautiful country of South Africa recently, and predictably that lead to a rich harvest of great photographs. Just as predictably, no typical tourist shots, but excellent photographs with top notch composition. This is my personal favourite, a great close-up of a redbilled oxpecker feeding off the blood of a buffalo. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Bad translator

At first sight, the linked web site that demonstrates the incompetence of on-line translation programmes is more Potpourri material - and indeed, before the purge of my parallel blog, I featured something similar a few times in recurring posts. However, by using song lyrics as starting point, and given the surreal almost artistic results after 35 random translations to different languages and back to English, I think it fits here as well. A few examples:

Form Don McLean's Vincent: "Starry starry night, flaming flowers that brightly blaze, swirling clouds in violet haze reflect in Vincent's eyes of china blue." becomes "Burning a CD is a short list of constellations in the sky, the stars, Vincent Chin, a blue haze and purple at night."

From Porcupine Tree's Fear of a blank planet: "I'm stoned in the mall again, terminally bored. Shuffling round the stores, and shoplifting is getting so last year's thing. X-Box is a god to me, a finger on the switch, my mother is a bitch. my father gave up ever trying to talk to me." becomes "The last chapter of the hole of this man of the night. Inclusion of parents (DeWitt) Xbox God Hama that bright as I stream."

From 10CC's I'm Mandy, fly me: "I've often heard her jingle, it's never struck a chord. With a smile as bright as sunshine, she called me through the poster and welcomed me aboard." becomes "He didn't know who for most of the time, with a smile, is heard in the background. Japan logo sticker. Ackoil car phone."

Try it for yourself, but be warned: it is addictive!

web site

Monday, February 18, 2013

Star Trek

The Star Trek movies series is not one where you would expect a very artistic design - but then again, there is this episode from 2009 that can compete with the best of them. Simply love it, the accelerating space ship just discernible in the almost abstract shape.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Winter in Kampen

A typical winter scene in the old city of Kampen, our new home. As usual with these spur-of-the-moment shots (taken while walking the dog in the evening) the main challenge is to keep the hand still enough given the relatively long exposure time. This one got a lot of positive reactions on Flickr.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.05 sec (1/20)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5 mm
ISO Speed: 1000
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Guangzhou Tower

The elegant hourglass-shaped Guangzhou Tower, also known as the Canton Tower, was completed in 2010 (image credit). At a total height of 600 m, it is currently the tallest structure in China and the fourth-tallest in the world. Its design is by Dutch architects Hemel and Kuit of Information Based Architecture, together with Arup London. More on this building can be found in the wikipedia link below.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Woman with blue hat

Well-known albeit a far cry from being one of the most famous Dutch painters - yet, a personal favourite of mine. Kees van Dongen (1877-1968) was one of the few foreign elements in the predominantly French Fauves movement. In particular his portraits of women, often with special hats, stand out. This is one of the best, dating back to 1912. More on van Dongen in the wikipedia article linked to below.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Red lips kiss my blues away

Staying with today's Valentine theme, this beautiful sheet music cover from the roaring twenties is very appropriate for sure. It is a 1927 song by Alfred Bryan, James V. Monaco and Pete Wendling.


For my Valentine

Our 13th Valentine's Day - how time flies. I was glad to find a Valentine card with a cocker spaniel on it, for obvious reasons. Image sourced from here.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Vogue perfume

No, this is not a vintage Vogue cover, but a vintage poster for the German perfume of the same name, manufactured by F. Wolff & Sohn, presumably around 1930. I picked it because of the winter association in the poster's heading - with the freezing cold having returned to our country.

Vintage Posters

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Just one more!

I came across this book cover some months ago, and it is high time I'd share it in the blog. This annual overview of Los Angeles photographers dates back to 1965, with cover art by Karl Hubenthal. Excellent visual play with the camera lens and flash substituting for the eyes of the photographer.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Sunlit reflections in gentle waves

It's been a while since she last featured in my blog, but here we have another one of those colourful abstract water reflections that my Flickr friend peggyhr excels in. To give it the full title, and a description of what we are seeing as well: "Water Art: Colourful, sunlit reflections in gentle waves rushing over rocks". The distorted red reflections are of the red steel viewing tower at Losdale Quay (Canada). As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Unusual concertos [44]: Bayan

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 forty-fourth concerto deals with the bayan (image source), the Russian accordion, which differs in subtle ways from the Western accordion, and the Argentinean bandoneon. Not surprisingly, its use in classical music is largely limited to composers from the (former) Soviet Union. The best example of a bayan concerto is by the leading contemporary female composer Sofia Gubaidulina, titled Fachwerk. The version I selected is played by Geir Draugsvoll and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra under Gimse, available on a Naxos CD.

Go here

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Billion dollar babies

Today's afternoon post had to be a snake theme to match the first day of Chinese New Year - and for my generation if you say "snake and rock" you get Alice Cooper. The excellent 1973 album Billion dollar babies came with a photographed snake skin cover that really made it stand out in the shops. It was shot by David P. Bailey, under art design by Greg Allen.

Best wishes for the Year of the Snake!

After yesterday's post about the year of the snake, I wanted to share the beautiful electronic greeting card that my wife made for the occasion - based on one of her own paintings of course! She actually started to paint this one on the first day of the Western new year a few weeks ago, making it doubly appropriate.

The Art of Lu Schaper