Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Return from Calvary," Herbert Gustave Schmalz, 1890 & "Noli Me Tangere," Alexander Ivanov, 1834















This beautiful painting is by Herbert Gustave Schmalz, one of many he painted of New Testament scenes after visiting the Holy Land in 1890. During his sojourn, he kept a series of sketches which were later published in an Art Journal as "A Painter's Pilgrimage."

The title of this painting is, "Return from Calvary." It shows the disciple, John, supporting Mary the mother of Jesus with Mary Magdalene also at her side. John looks back in wonder and pain, uncertain as to what has just happened and questioning what comes next. The weeping women are following behind on the stairs; one gazes back to Golgotha where their Lord was crucified, a dark storm forming.

Earlier, at the cross, Mary the mother of Jesus, heard Him speak, referring to John the apostle, "Woman, behold your son!" And to the apostle John, "Behold, your mother!" John then took the Lord's mother as if she was his own and in this portrayal, walks her home. The thing that stands out to me the most in this moment, is that even in His intense suffering, Christ is still teaching, loving and caring. His concern is for the welfare of his mother, Mary.

Christ championed women and changed their station in the world by his actions. He first declared who he was, not to the ecclesiastical leaders of the day, but to a woman at the well. Later, He again does the unexpected. The first person to whom he appeared after His resurrection was to a woman, Mary Magdalene; He instructs her to go and tell the disciples.

John 20
But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, ...she turned around and saw Jesus standing there... Jesus said to her,“Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Master). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”

This depiction of Christ first appearing to Mary Magdalene is:

Noli Me Tangere (Do not touch me),
Alexander Ivanov, 1834-6

The exact translation is "do not cling to me" which might indicate that she indeed did embrace him in her joy.
Here is information on a wonderful art exhibit in Norfolk VA featuring the artist James Tissot:

From March 23 through June 5, 2011, the Chrysler Museum of Art unveils an exhibition devoted to one of the most artful, dramatic, and influential visualizations of the early Christian story ever created.

James Tissot (French, 1836–1902)
Jesus Goes Up Alone onto a Mountain to Pray, 1886–1894


James Tissot: The Life of Christ features more than 120 brilliantly conceived watercolors produced in preparation for his mammoth, three-volume publication of the New Testament. Also called the Tissot Bible, the richly illustrated publication appeared in Paris in 1896 and shortly after in England and America. It quickly became an international sensation.

James Tissot (French, 1836–1902)
The Sermon of the Beatitudes, 1886–1896
Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
9 5/8 x 6 7/16 in. (24.4 x 16.4 cm)
This special exhibition is organized by the Brooklyn Museum, which possesses all but a handful of the 365 watercolors that Tissot produced to illustrate his book. The selection of paintings in the exhibition embraces the whole of the New Testament narrative, moving from Jesus' birth and ministry to the culminating events of his Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension. But whatever the moment depicted, Tissot brings to his work an artistic and technical brilliance, an almost cinematic richness of detail, a sense of drama and psychological insight, and a degree of archeological exactness seldom found in earlier depictions of the theme. His own religious transformation in 1885 inspired him to make his illustrations of the Bible as authentic as possible. He traveled to the Holy Land three times in the late 1880s and early 1890s. While in the Middle East, he visited Palestine, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon and obsessively sketched the landscape and people there to get a real sense of how it and they might have looked in early Christian times.

James Tissot (French, 1836–1902)
The Lord's Prayer, 1886–1896
Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
8 1/2 x 6 7/16 in. (21.6 x 16.4 cm)
All paintings purchased by public subscription, Brooklyn Museum
When the artist first exhibited his watercolors in Paris in 1894, the effect on visitors was instantaneous and dramatic. Newspapers at the time reported that his exhibition sparked religious revivals, and that some visitors toured the show weeping and on their knees, as if on a pilgrimage. Their artistic impact would reach well into the 20th century and all the way to Hollywood, where Technicolor spectaculars like Ben Hur and even Raiders of the Lost Ark liberally quoted from Tissot’s Bible illustrations. James Tissot: The Life of Christ brilliantly captures the look and feel of an ancient era that set the stage for so much of the Western cultural and spiritual experience. Don’t miss this exhibition of compelling power, riveting narrative, and miraculous detail at the Chrysler Museum, just in time for Easter.

James Tissot: The Life of Christ is organized by The Brooklyn Museum and is made possible, in part, by a generous award by the National Endowment for the Arts. Local presentation is made possible through the generous support of anonymous friends of the Museum, Regent University, and The Christian Broadcasting Network.



Admission: $5 for adults and teens, free for children 12 and younger (applies to all special exhibitions on view on the day of your visit). Museum Members ALWAYS enjoy unlimited free admission to all special exhibitions.


A wide variety of programs and events will complement the exhibition. For information, see www.chrysler.org.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Carl Bloch - The Master's Hand


BYU's Museum of Art is featuring artist Carl Bloch's original altar pieces gathered from around the world.

The exhibit runs through May 7th 2011.

christ in gethsemane - 1879 - carl bloch

Bloch interprets the scriptural text with great sensitivity; the angel tenderly and compassionately embraces the Savior as He takes upon Himself the sins and infirmities of all mankind.

This scene is from Christ's agony in The Garden of Gethsemane, moments prior to his betrayal into the hands of the Roman soldiers.

Christ is overcome by emotion and feels the enormity of what he is about to undertake. He is veritably alone (Peter, James and John were sorrowful and unable to remain awake, Luke 22:45). Falling to the ground he cries, "Abba", which is the most intimate way to address God; the English translation is "Papa" or "Daddy." When my own children were ill or in pain, they would look imploringly for my help. I would see the pain in their eyes as they said "Mommy" and it would break my heart. I can imagine God experiencing this same emotion as his Son addresses him. Christ is in the throes of suffering, asking if it be possible that this cup pass from him, but then he submits to the will of the Father saying, not my will but thine be done. (Mark 14:32-42)

It was at this moment that an angel was sent to comfort him. (Luke 22:43-44)

I think many of us skip over this scripture, but Carl Bloch has brought it forward through his art. This is one of the most tender moments of Christ's sojourn on earth. He is in such agony that God mercifully sends an angel to strengthen him in preparation for his atonement of mankind. I can only imagine who this angel was. Indeed it must have been someone who Christ loved deeply and who could provide comfort during his tribulation in the Garden. This one event shows what great love (charity) God has for all of us.

"Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him."
~Luke 22:42-43



Sunday, January 30, 2011

Boston Snow Depth



OK I know, everyone is talking about our seemingly unending snowstorms and sometimes it does feel like that. But what else is there to talk about? Politics? So far, we've chipped ice from a couple of window sills, but the really worrisome thing are the gigantic icicles forming through the soffets outside which pushes water into the roof. We have a foot and a half of snow on the roof with about 2-3 inches of ice underneath; ice dams. There are various solutions, none of which are cheap or guarantee that another ice dam will not form. Another storm is coming Wednesday. I'll update Shaq's photo when we get there. Florida is looking really good to me right now. Or Tahiti. New Zealand. Crashing waves, warm sand, a good read and laughter will fill my dreams tonight.



This is no April Fool's joke. As of April 1st 2011 our snow depth hit 80.1 inches. Shaq still reigns supreme as taller than the snow depth. At least we didn't have a repeat of the April Fool's blizzard of 1996 where we were hit by 25 inches of snow in 24 hours! Let's hope this is it for the season. Welcome Spring!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My girls forgot their calculators for their math midterm...
I noticed about 20 other kids peering out the door waiting for their parents and as I pulled out, there was my neighbor pulling in - stony-faced, alone bringing a forgotten calculator.
There was a fender bender in front of the school - yep, another parent standing outside her car with the forgotten calculator in hand.


Ode to the Forgotten Calculator (TIMES TWO!!!)
Ode to the forgotten calculator
(on Math Midterm Day)

I forgot you.
I can only remember how you felt, cool under my fingertips,
The way you calculated in the night,
the numbers appearing so blithely on your screen.


I forgot you,
The many lost permutations
And now I, as a distracted teen,
Must endure moments
muttering...I don't remember how to do that...
without you.

Forgive me, Mom
lost morning minutes, when I cannot resist
the urge to frantically text you
back to the trenches
to rescue me from desperation.


Forgive me
the stony silence when your hand thrusts forth,
bringing salvation back to my fingertips,
I breathe a sigh of relief
and notice a clementine is also there.

I turn back
facing my fate transformed
many more peering
through the door anxiously
desperately seeking
their own redemption.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Take A Closer Look


Warning political satire ahead. If you can't laugh, you take yourself too seriously!
The thrill Chris Matthews felt going up his leg while listening to Obamessiah was misinterpreted.
It should have been the chill going down his spine as he listened to the rhetoric. Quote from "The Chairman" at a news blog I read on a daily basis:

"And the Holy One, Blessed be He, set forth on an important journey, followed by his worshippers, the Enemedia. And everywhere he went there were multitudes, and he said: "We will provide the change people can believe in. For if there is no change, things will be unchanged. And I will bring peace and harmony to the world, and the elite shall bow down to me. I shall talk to Ahmanutjob in Persia, and he shall pound his nuclear sword into harmless plow shares. And I shall bring peace to the world, and all shall love the United States, where I was almost born. And as I return to America, I shall go forth with my mighty sword and an outstreched arm, and oil shall appear as magic from the ground. And I shall perform other such miracles after I become President and Emperor of the World."

Why does the plot of "Animal Farm" come to mind every time O-BOARme begins to speak?

....His quote "We are the one we've been waiting for." reminds me of the speech the farm animals got just before they killed the farmer, and the speech writer...and then life got bad, really, really bad. Change we can believe in? Napoleon from Animal Farm has taken over! Be careful what you wish for...bwahaha!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Paschal frivolity

Marina's "Shrubbery" (back of the "NI!" egg)

Sasha's Tulips


Anelise & Sasha's HP characters

I remember the afternoon I took the kids to the squadron while Bill was sitting "alert" to have some family bonding time over dying eggs. The twins were two years old. I had asked him to help because "I'm not doing this alone with two toddlers!" Just as we got the eggs and dye cups ready to dip, the horn went off and the pilots scrambled to their F-15's. There I sat with three kids...one of the twins saw the eggs in the confusion, picked one up, yelled, "BALL!" and threw it. Just as I bent to pick it up, her sister saw the eggs, also yelled "BALL!" and lobbed it across the room as well. Eggs were going everywhere! It wasn't funny then, but it's pretty hysterical to remember it now. How far we've come...the girls' artwork is above! Hope your Easter was memorable. He is risen!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Meanwhile in Taiwan...

RoCAF F-16A block 20 #6706 Taiwanairpower.org
(This is a photo of the actual jet that is missing.)

F-16 jet reported missing
The Taiwanese Air Force said one of its Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets went missing 35 miles off the Eastern coast during a routine training mission Tuesday, March 4th. The single-seater aircraft disappeared from radar screens 28 minutes after it took off from the Hualien air base at 6:50pm for a night training exercise. At press time, two S-70C helicopters, a C-130 transport aircraft and two warships were still scouting the area where the jet was feared to have crashed. Hualien base spokesman Yang Feng-sheng (楊鳳生) said the jet's pilot, Major Ting Shih-pao (丁世寶), had not reported any technical problems or asked for help. Ting, 34, could have ejected before the jet crashed, Yang said. On Thursday, the air force ruled out mechanical trouble as the cause of the F-16's disappearance, suspecting pilot disorientation or lack of oxygen as the main reason for the crash. Spatial disorientation occurs when a pilot has false perception of the aircraft's attitude and motion. All pilots are susceptible to such sensory illusions regardless of experience or proficiency, especially at night in a demanding combat environment. Over the years Taiwan has lost five F-16's and several pilots.

A Fighter Pilot's wife's worst nightmare:
Minister of National Defense Michael Tsai, talks with the wife of F-16 fighter pilot Ting Shih-pao in Hualien

Growing missile threats from rival China, have promoted Taiwan to purchase a large fleet of US-made F-16s in 1992. The two sides split amid civil war in 1949. China has threatened to retake the island by force if the territory should ever declare independence. Chinese President Hu Jintao reiterated warnings against Taiwan's independence activities on Tuesday, saying the island's independence moves are 'doomed to fail'.

And meanwhile ... as Bill was flying to Taiwan to train these pilots (five days before this mishap), we got word that he no longer has a job. A new company - Jacobs - has assumed the project and assumed that the team members' salaries were 'out of line'. So Bill gets in line at the unemployment office unless something pans out. We are furiously networking!

Oh and the same day they lost a jet, they had an earthquake. Bill is THRILLED to be in Taiwan. Add to that a grounded fleet, no job when he returns and no steak place in Hualien. But there is the GORGE! click here