Sunday, January 31, 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

The miraculous

My most important musical discovery of recent years: Sweden's singer, songwriter, and keyboardist Anna von Hausswolff. I have described her elsewhere as Kate Bush on acid, with a stunning choice of church organs as main accompanying instrument in her second and third albums. The album covers are excellent as well. I selected the cover of the 2015 album The miraculous for today's post. Anders Nydam is credited for the cover photography.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

IJsselmuiden sunrise

Another example of my digital art, created with the free software SuperPhoto that came with my laptop. This painting-like treatment was applied to an early morning picture I took just over a year ago near our home - it shows the village of IJsselmuiden across the river, the iconic Kampen bridge and tall ships moored at the river shore, opposite our home. The link leads to the original photograph.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Park life

This painting by my wife has graced the shop window of our studio several times already. There is some inspiration by Macke in the subject, but the result is very much her own style.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Chinese art factories

The "art factory" is a development of recent years, and the linked article gives an astonishing insight into the phenomenon. Dafen is a Chinese village where 8,000 artists are working on the art world’s version of assembly lines produce three to five million paintings a year. The mind boggles.

web site

Saturday, January 23, 2016


An experiment that I think is very successful: I shot this abstract by using an aluminium foil cooler bag to reflect colours from one of my wife's paintings. A nice spin-off of the "one shot a day" challenge in 2016 - when weather is not great you look inside for possibilities. Not my most successful shot of the year in terms of responses, but a personal favourite.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170, 20 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.03 sec (1/30)
Aperture: f/3.6
Focal Length: 4.5 mm
ISO Speed: 320
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tequila sunrise

Well, more of a Tequila sunset, as the Grim Reaper strikes again. On Monday, Eagles founding member, song writer and vocalist Glenn Frey passed away. He (co-)wrote many of their best songs, including absolute favourites like Desperado, Lyin' eyes, and my choice for today, Tequila sunrise. Rest in peace. Art Rock score: 10/10 (brilliant song, one of the 200 best of all time).


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Effect of snow at Petit-Montrouge

I was surprised to see that in almost ten years of the lifetime of this blog, I had never featured French painter Edouard Manet. Granted, many of his most famous paintings do not appeal that much to me, but this rather unknown one does. It was created in 1870 with strong hints at what was soon to become the impressionist movement. More about Manet in the Wikipedia article linked to below.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


What better way to round off this week's Bowie tribute than with one of his last songs, the aptly titled Lazarus? This song (and the video) is brutal now that we know he must have realized he was near death when he recorded it. As two commenters put it: "That beautiful SOB. He turned his own death into artistic expression. Genius to the end." and "This video is so unsettling and tragic now. Imagine being in his place, on this shoot, lying in a deathbed that's make-believe to everyone except yourself." Rest in peace. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).


Friday, January 15, 2016


In his almost 50 years as a recording artist, David Bowie has produced many fantastic albums, and also many fantastic covers. This one for the 1977 album Heroes is possibly the finest cover of them all. The photography is by Masayoshi Sukita (see also here).

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Nothing has changed

In a cruel twist of fate, I had already pre-posted this single cover before the news yesterday that David Bowie passed away. The title is still strangely appropriate: nothing has changed in our ability to enjoy his music, even though he is no longer with us. More about David Bowie on the linked Wikipedia page.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Ashes to ashes (RIP David Bowie)

Yesterday one of the legends of rock, and one of my personal musical heroes passed away. Rest in peace, David Bowie. In his honour, all remaining posts this week will be inspired by him. We start with one of his best songs. Art Rock score: 10/10 (brilliant song, one of the 200 best of all time).


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sonic Highways

The eighth studio album of the American post-grunge band Foo Fighters, Sonic Highways, comes with an amazing architectural cover by Stephan Martiniere. The cityscape includes landmarks of every town used for the production of the album, and features the number 8 prominently a number of times.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Chasing cars

I was rather shocked to read earlier this week that this Snow Patrol song turns ten in 2016. One of my favourites of the century. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).


Thursday, January 07, 2016


Having battled with lack of inspiration for many months, I decided to take the plunge and do the (in)famous "one shot a day" challenge in 2016. No matter what, I will force myself to take at least one photograph every day and post it on Flickr. This is the one that kicked it off: it is typical of the way I create abstract images, in this case, by photographing the top of an outdoors electricity cabinet and inverting the colours in the post-processing. Good reactions on Flickr, especially taking into account that it was posted on New Year's Day.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170, 20 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.01 sec (1/100)
Aperture: f/3.6
Focal Length: 4.5 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Monday, January 04, 2016

Chaos is present everywhere

The linked article, written at the occasion of the current Escher exhibition "Chaos is present everywhere", gives some rare insights into the artist who created some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. One thing that was completely new to me was that the Rolling Stones wanted to use one of his pictures as an album cover, Escher turned them down. He’d never heard of the Stones. An interesting read, recommended. [Image photographer: Hans Peters (ANEFO) - Ga het na (Nationaal Archief NL), CC BY-SA 3.0

web site

Friday, January 01, 2016

What will change in 2016?

This blog will turn 10 in August - if it is still running by then. Actually, I have been contemplating stopping a few times the past months, when I found it increasingly difficult to come up with an interesting post for the day.

That said, most subjects will continue in 2016, be it at a possibly slower rate. Partially this is a logical development: we are slowly running out of famous photographers, creative logos, unusual concertos, and stunning architectures, to name a few. Partially this is due to circumstances beyond my control: an example is the termination of Worth1000. Partially it is a personal thing: my interest for photography and Flickr has declined over the past year, although it could pick up again of course.

There may be a new special classical music based topic after the unusual concertos - I have not made up my mind about that yet. There will certainly be one new topic, a monthly overview of culture stars that have passed away, with a few words from my side where appropriate.

Let's just see how it goes, shall we?