Archive for September 2015

Why I won't be watching 'The Muppets' on TV again

Why I won't be watching 'The Muppets' on TV again
Last Tuesday, I was waiting eagerly for the premiere of “The Muppets” on ABC-TV (Chicago’s Channel 7). I was a little old for “Sesame Street,” but I loved “The Muppet Show” of later decades. I spent last Tuesday with the old show’s theme song rattling around in my mind’s ear: “It’s time to play the... Read more »

A picture by van Gogh -- a storm at sea in words

A picture by van Gogh -- a storm at sea in words
I’ll end my recent series on Vincent van Gogh’s letters and sunflowers by sharing an earlier letter on a different subject, a storm. In 1876, van Gogh wasn’t painting yet. He worked as an assistant at a boarding school in Ramsgate, a seaside town in England. On May 31, 1876, he wrote to his brother... Read more »

Sunflowers and his letters - van Gogh's masterpieces

As I’ve mentioned in several previous posts about my neighborhood and its sunflowers, I’ve been inspired to read about Vincent van Gogh and his paintings of sunflowers. (Linking doesn’t seem to be working today, but they are several of my more recent posts. The quoted letter is from p. 400 of the Penguin edition of... Read more »
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Vincent van Gogh lays claim to the sunflower

Vincent van Gogh lays claim to the sunflower
Do we ever really know what we do best? As I’ve re-read the Penguin edition of “The Letters of Vincent van Gogh,” also described here and here, I’ve marveled again at his talent with words as well as paint. (I admit that some of his paintings bother me, but others, like several “Sunflowers” and “Starry Night over the Rhone,” are among... Read more »

Flighty but Serious questions

Flighty but Serious questions
Are there any left-handed pastel artists? If so, how do they/you get around the smudges created by dragging the left hand through what’s just been drawn? (I have enough trouble with ball-point ink, thank you.) Aren’t hummingbirds a marvelous example of an animal and its food fitting together perfectly? (That’s an intended use of the... Read more »

Van Gogh and sunflowers -- 'decorations'

Van Gogh and sunflowers -- 'decorations'
As I mentioned in a previous post about my neighbors’ bed of sunflowers, I have been thinking often of Vincent van Gogh’s famous paintings of the sunflowers he knew — and of his letters about them. After re-reading some of his letters (to his brother Theo and fellow artists) in a Penguin edition of “The... Read more »
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Defending 'champion' - as a verb, not just a noun

Defending 'champion' - as a verb, not just a noun
I was delighted by Mary Schmich’s column in the Sunday, Aug. 30, Chicago Tribune, headlined “9 things to love right now.” The best, to me, was “2. The word ‘punnet.’ “ One of Schmich’s readers, Fritz Plous, called it to her attention. A punnet is “a small container or basket for berries or other fruit,”... Read more »