Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Abstraction in felt

Although some comments on Flickr likened this image to organic subjects like blood vessels, it is actually a close-up of one of my wife's beautiful felt scarves (made from Merino wool and silk). Another example that abstract photograph subjects can be found in lots of places.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.01 sec (1/100)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.0 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

Monday, September 28, 2015

The iron giant

Art Deco has become very popular once more in recent times, and modern movie posters sometimes make excellent use of this style. Here we have one of the best examples, a poster for the 1999 Brad Bird movie The iron giant.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Shore with red house

This is one of the less well-known masterpieces by Norwegian grandmaster Edvard Munch (1863-1944): a Norwegian shore landscape that he created in 1904. More on Munch in the wikipedia article linked to below.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 13. Smalltown boy (Bronski Beat)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #13, we find Bronski Beat with Smalltown boy (#1 in 1984). The career of this band around Jimmy Sommerville was short but dramatic. Their very first single, Smalltown boy, taken from the 1983 debut album The age of consent, became a smash hit, partially because of the great clip on MTV, but mainly on its musical strength. Moreover, the story in the song, about a boy who has to run away from home when his father finds out he is gay, appealed to many in the target customers group. Jimmy later left the band to join the Communards. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dandelion seedhead

Continuing one of her specialties, my Flickr friend Peggy Reimchen (peggyhr) recently posted another awesome macro of a dandelion seedhead. Great details, and the red background adds to the special feeling. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Porcelain heart

The Swedish progressive metal band Opeth has made numerous great albums, more often than not with excellent cover designs as well. They release singles once in a while, and it is not surprising that these come with great covers too. A case in point is Porcelain heart from 2008, which blends the band's baroque logo very well with the vintage-style photograph. More about Opeth on the linked Wikipedia page.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Golden light

The famous modern interior decoration shop in the Arsenal in Naarden has been a source for fascinating shots in the past, and when we revisited the location a few months ago, I got a few more. This is one of my favourites of the bunch, a close-up of a light installation.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.01 sec (1/100)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.0 mm
ISO Speed: 160
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 14. Careless whisper (George Michael)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #14, we find George Michael with Careless whisper (#1 in 1984). This gorgeous ballad is sometimes listed as a Wham! record, and sometimes as a George Michael solo effort. It was included in the Wham! album Make it big, but released as a single under George Michael's name. Careless whisper deservedly became a smash hit world wide. The singer laments about a one night stand, with the yearning saxophone providing the most striking instrumental contribution. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The three graces

A somewhat older work of my wife, and the biggest painting I have seen her make. It is actually painted on a 3-panel canvas room screen (three times 40x180 cm). I love this graceful image, and so do many visitors of our gallery.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Top 50 Prog Albums 1990-2015

For many lovers of progressive rock ("prog"), the genre blossomed in the seventies with acts like Gensesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, ELP, and Jethro Tull, and then went downhill rapidly. I disagree completely: there is a wealth of excellent prog that has been produced since then, including the present time, This is also illustrated by the linked article in Prog Report, which presents a countdown of their choice of 50 greatest prog albums of the past 25 years. Of course, many of these choices are debatable, but the overall conclusion is clear: prog is alive and kicking. And I may just give my own opinions on the subject matter in the coming months.....

web site

Monday, September 14, 2015

Lung Molde

The American band Lung Molde has recently released their first album, imaginatively titled Lung Molde. I have no clue what they sound like (although the category sludge metal makes me fear the worst), but the album cover is a beautiful piece of art. It reminds me somehow of the atmosphere of Tolkien's works.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Jazz in Paris

Another example of my digital art, created with the free software SuperPhoto that came with my laptop. The painting-like treatment was applied to my photograph of our cocker spaniel Jazz. The link leads to the original photograph.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 15. The ballad of John and Yoko (Beatles)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #15, we find the Beatles once more, with The ballad of John and Yoko (#1 in 1969). John's autobiographical rocker is perhaps the most underrated song of the Beatles - even though it made #1 in the UK. The USA's response to this single - never included on a regular album - was lukewarm, most likely because radio stations did not like the comparison to Christ, coming only a few years after Lennon's infamous statement that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. Some stations did play the song, but with "Christ" bleeped out.... I have always liked the song, with its lyrics that seem to come straight from newspaper reports about their marriage. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

LWL Muenster

One of my latest photographs. It is a shot of the museum front in Muenster, Germany. The patterns, enhanced by the shadows, and broken up in the corner by the LWL sign, make for an interesting picture. Good reactions on Flickr, but snubbed by Explore.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.0016 sec (1/640)
Aperture: f/5.9
Focal Length: 20.0 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

Saturday, September 05, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 16. Strawberry fields forever/Penny Lane (Beatles)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #16, we find the Beatles, with the most impressive double A-side single of all time: Strawberry fields forever/Penny Lane (#1 in 1967). Both songs are as classic as they are different. Strawberry fields forever makes a strong claim to be one of the first prog rock hits. The theme of the song is that a lethargic, peaceful drugs-induced feeling is preferable to the harsh reality of the outside world. Musically, the song owes as much to producer George Martin as to Lennon itself. Lennon had composed and recorded two sections that did not fit together - so Martin slowed one portion down and sped up the other, and they miraculously fitted. To top it off, the song ends after a few seconds of silence with a stunningly original musique concrete style fragment. Less experimental than its flip side, the melodic stunner Penny Lane is one of the most beautiful songs that Paul ever composed. A little known detail is the sexual reference in the lyrics: the "fish and finger pie" segment, which is Liverpool slang for manual stimulation of as woman. It was sufficiently obscure to prevent the song from being banned from the airwaves though. Art Rock score for both: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Thursday, September 03, 2015

The basic truths of life

One of the best debut albums of the decade in my opinion. Singer/song writer Arlabecca (the artist name of Simone Lipschwitz from San Francisco) gives her comments on every day life hassles, from the banal to the profound. Always with great lyrics and haunting melodies, accompanied by her self on piano with a small jazz-style studio combo. Sample the title song on her Facebook page and you'll get a good impression of her style. Very highly recommended.

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 Arlabecca. [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 (from 2014 onward: any part of a random quotation will do). The random quote that came up was by Elizabeth Goudge: Most of the basic truths of life sound absurd at first hearing. [3] The illustration: pick a suitable one from my Flickr collection. My picture, Relaxed modelling, can be found here on Flickr. The on-line editing was done with the programme On-line image editor, the font settings selected were Algerian 30 black and Corrina 50 red, 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.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Scream 4

Earlier this week, director Wes Craven passed away. In his memory, the best movie poster from his famous Scream series, the iconic mask doubling up as a knife from this angle. Rest in peace.