Meet The Artist: Victor Nizovtsev

Виктор Низовцев 1965 | Russian Fantasy painterVictor Nizovtsev is a Russian painter, a master of whimsical and narrative art.

His favorite subjects include fantasy landscapes, russian folklore, theatre and mermaids. Fashion designer, decorative painter, fine artist – these are the occupations of one person whom we are going to talk about in the following post. Victor Nizovtsev  exhibits his wonderful artworks all over the world. For today he lives in the United States where he continues his successful career. This talented Russian-American artist is known for his unique and imaginative paintings that are highly symbolic and leave the lasting impression on the viewers.

Виктор Низовцев 1965 | Russian Fantasy painter

Виктор Низовцев 1965 | Russian Fantasy painter

Виктор Низовцев 1965 | Russian Fantasy painter

Виктор Низовцев 1965 | Russian Fantasy painter
His works impress with the fantastic magic tone, vibrant colors, the amazing glaze and ever wonderful characters. One can talk for a long time about his art, but it’s better to see it one time and you are welcome to do it.

Виктор Низовцев 1965 | Russian Fantasy painter

Feline Feelings in Arts

mt wife's loversCarl Kahler (1855-1906) AUSTRIAN. MY WIFE’S LOVERS, signed C. Kahler (lower left),  oil on canvas, 70 by 101 3/4 in (177.8 by 258.4 cm.)

The massive artwork, which sits more than 8 feet wide and almost 6 feet tall, was commissioned by a cat lover Kate Birdsall Johnson in 1891 and painted by Austrian artist Carl Kahler. Named My Wife’s Lovers, completed in about three years, the painting features 42 cats — not a whole lot, considering that of Kate Birdsall Johnson owned some 350 cats, give and take a few. A number Birdsall’s cats that might not get into his main canvas were featured on Kahler’s other feline-themed paintings.

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Louis-Léopold Boilly. Gabrielle Arnault as a Child. 1815

Louis-Léopold Boilly. Gabrielle Arnault as a Child. 1815

 

The cat came into the French painting in the early 17th century in the wake of the artists’ interest in everyday scenes, the mundane life of peasants and petty bourgeoisie. The cat came in quietly, gingerly and modestly settled on the edge of multi-figure paintings.

Louis Le Nain (c.1593-1648)

Louis Le Nain (c.1593-1648)

There she sits under a chair in Louis Le Nain’s “Visiting grandmother.” You hardly can see her, while the dog is depicted right in the center of the picture. And in the “peasant families” of the same Lenena its position is not the best – the cat was barely enough space in the lower corner of the picture.

Louis Le Nain. 1614

Louis Le Nain. 1614

And in the “Peasant Family” Le Nain lets the cat occupy barely enough space in the lower corner of the painting.

Alexandre-François Desportes (1661-1743)

Alexandre-François Desportes (1661-1743)

In the genre scenes of Francois Desportes the cat fights with the dog, both in the spotlight of the artist.
Feline subjects attracted the attention of an outstanding master of genre painting — Jean-Baptiste Chardin. Chardin saw poetry and intimacy in the daily life of the ordinary folks. Every object in his genre scenes depicted respectfully and thoughtfully. Kitchen utensils and an abundance of food was one of the favorite subjects of the artist, and what is kitchen without cats? Since cats draw attention of the best French artist of the time, cats, too, took their prominent place in the history of art:

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“Natural man” of the Enlightenment era is not afraid of nature — he lives peacefully in harmony with the dogs, cats and sheep. Unpretentious pictures glorifying this simple life and bourgeois values becomes a kind of artistic manifesto.

Jean-Francois Millet (1814 - 1875)

Jean-Francois Millet (1814 – 1875)

The tradition of portraying “cats at the farm,” continued in the 19th century. One of the founders of the Barbizon school, Jean Francois Millet (1814 – 1875). .

In the second half of the 18th – 19th centuries cats moved from farms and kitchens to the living rooms or the boudoirs of affluent homes. One of the most prominent artists of the Rococo François Boucher (1703 – 1770) and Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732 – 1806), as well as master of pastel portraiture of Jean-Baptiste Perronneau (c. 1715 – 1783), were captivated by feline grace and elegance and duly captured it on their respective canvases. Portraits of lovely ladies with pedigreed cats, genre scenes featuring elegant women and cats we find in abundance in French painting of this period.

Francois Boucher

Francois Boucher

Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Jean-Honoré Fragonard

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Émile Munier (2 June 1840 – 29 June 1895) was a French academic artist and student of William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

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Now, I’ll skip through a number of periods in the history of arts, straight to the  Musical Cats of the famous French cartoonist and illustrator Claude-Henri Saunier. His kitties are known throughout the world: they adorn postcards, posters, books and magazines, invariably causing a smile and good humor.

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Meet My Smoked Grandpa!

Dani tribe chief Eli Mabel is pictured holding the remains of Agat Mamete Mabel in the village of Wogi in Wamena in West Papua, an island in the centre of Papua New Guinea.

Dani tribe chief Eli Mabel is pictured holding the remains of Agat Mamete Mabel in the village of Wogi in Wamena in West Papua, an island in the centre of Papua New Guinea.

Art In The Mail

конверт96Russian blogger Barmoshka had a chance to visit an exhibition of postal enveloped.  Not your ordinary envelopes but unique, hand-painted ones, covered with original artwork. конверт82
Most of the designs are quite ingenious.  Postal stamps, for instance, often incorporated  into the design thus becoming an integral  part of the picture.

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Over 60%  of the exhibited items belong to the Japanese authors/artist, while the rest were produced by the European senders.
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An Alien Construction Project?

kic.PNGWhat in the name of the Holy Universe are they building over there?

Where? 

On KIC 8462852

Who are THEY? 

Aliens.

You are seriously kidding, right?

No. It’s all over the media…

Over the course of days, this star [KIC 8462852] can dim by more than 20%, something that ordinary stars never do. Then it will brighten, followed by a relapse of darkening weeks or months later. The amount of dimming is variable, and doesn’t occur with the regular cadence that would mark the presence of an orbiting planet.

When this odd behavior was first recognized, several possible explanations were offered by Boyajian’s team. The most favored was the presence of large clouds of dust from disintegrated comets around Tabby’s star. The orbiting detritus would occasionally mask its light.

But a more intriguing explanation was also proffered: perhaps this star shelters a planet boasting a civilization older and more technically adept than our own. And perhaps these advanced beings have embarked on a massive engineering project, building phalanxes of orbiting solar panels to supply the energy needs of their society. This space-borne construction could cause the dimming.

Meet The Photographer: Ruud Van Empel

ruud4Photographer Ruud Van Empel was born in 1958 in the city of Breda, Netherladns. He lives and works in Amsterdam.ruud

He studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts, Saint Joost, Breda, Netherlands from 1976 to 1981. ruud1 ruud2Ruud van Empel is a remarkably multifaceted artist. Before becoming famous for his works in the photographic medium, he has already made a fine career as a decorator and stage designer, graphic designer and film director. ruud3He worked in several TV companies as art director, and in 1993 won Charlotte Kohler Prize for his achievements in television and other media. (Charlotte Köhler Prize is a Dutch incentive award given to young talent (under the age of 35) in visual arts and theatre.  The prizes, €30.000 each, were established in 1988 in honor of the actress Charlotte Köhler and is annually awarded by the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.)ruud2

Ruud van Empel exhibited his art work — digital photography mostly — to the wide audience, for the first time, in the early 90s.ruud8

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Read To Live

knigaSurvey of more than 3,500 people finds that reading books -– markedly more than periodicals –- appears to deliver a noticeable ‘survival advantage.’ I suppose, internet browsing and reading text messages don’t count as well.  Novel finding, indeed.

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The study, which is published in the September issue of the journal Social Science & Medicine, looked at the reading patterns of 3,635 people who were 50 or older. On average, book readers were found to live for almost two years longer than non-readers.

Respondents were separated into those who read for 3.5 hours or more a week, those who read for up to 3.5 hours a week, and those who didn’t read at all, controlling for factors such as gender, race and education. The researchers discovered that up to 12 years on, those who read for more than 3.5 hours a week were 23% less likely to die, while those who read for up to 3.5 hours a week were 17% less likely to die.

Overall, during follow-up, 33% of non-book readers died, compared to 27% of book readers, write the academics Avni Bavishi, Martin Slade and Becca Levy from the Yale University School of Public Health, in their paper A Chapter a Day: Association of Book Reading With Longevity.alexej ravski1

“When readers were compared to non-readers at 80% mortality (the time it takes 20% of a group to die), non-book readers lived 85 months (7.08 years), whereas book readers lived 108 months (9.00 years) after baseline,” write the researchers. “Thus, reading books provided a 23-month survival advantage.”

It seems that the more that respondents read, the longer they lived, but — get this! —  “as little as 30 minutes a day was still beneficial in terms of survival”.

Some 3 years back, yet another study concluded that Reading Literary Fiction Improves Empathy.

Well, then. Read a novel. Read and live longer.

 

Meet The Sculptor: Igor Mitoraj

Igor Mitoraj, born in 1944, studied painting at the Krakow Academy of Art under Tadeusz Kantor. In 1968 he left Poland and devoted his life to sculpture. His first solo exhibition at the Parisian Galerie La Hune in 1976 was a great success.mitoraj.1 No less successful were the next exhibitions — in New York (New York Academy of Art, 1989), Florence (the Bobola Gardens, 1999),  Lausanne (The Olympic Museum, 2001). mitoraj.4The works by the distinguished sculptor belong to prestigious museums or public and private art collections in such places as the United States, Japan, France or Tokyo. They can also be admired in some extraordinary locations: surrounded by historical architecture or in modern city districts.

mitoraj.2Igor Mitoraj’s sculpture – Eros Bendato – has been raised at the Market Square next to the Krakow’s Town Hall Tower. The nearly two-ton bronze casting is the artist’s gift for the City of Krakow.

mitoraj.5Until his death in Paris in October 2014, Igor Mitoraj lived and worked in Tuscany, Italy, in the town of Pietrasanta, a picturesque town in the province of Lukka, near the City of Carrara and close to the quarry which once supplied Michelangelo with beautiful marble for his magnificent masterpieces.mitoraj.3 In recognition of his talent and artistic merit the town awarded Mitoraj the honorary city citizenship. Following Mitoraj’s death his ashes were brought to their final resting place in Pietrasanta, where he had made his home.mitorajBefore his death, Mitoraj had chosen the exact locations for the 30 sculptures that will go on display in a traveling exhibition at Pompeii, starting May 14.mitoraj.jpgFollowing the artist’s wishes and under the artistic direction of Luca Pizza from the Atelier Mitoraj, the 30 large-scale sculptures depicting imposing mythological characters face off with the most well-known architecture of the ancient city after being placed in key locations in the archeological site of Pompeii — from the Forum to the Basilica, from the Gladiators’ Barracks to the Via dell’Abbondanza.mitoraj.jpg

Under Every Gravestone…

graveyard.jpgMan is the World that is born and dies with him. Under each gravestone there is history.

If you are in a melancholy mood right now, watch the video. Put your melancholy into prospective. The prospective of History. Of life. Of death. Of eternity. And, while at it, get an eyeful of a remarkable masterpiece  of Victorian architecture.

However, if your melancholy mood persists, or if you want to know more about the Highgate cemetery, Victorian ‘cemetery art’ and such, then there is yet another, longer, narrated in perfect Oxbridge video Epitaph For An Age :

Canadian Cranberry Bogs

Оригинал взят у в Сбор урожая клюквы в Ричмонде

Сбор урожая клюквы в Ричмонде (Richmond, BC)

If you feel like a bit of color in the National Geographic style, move briefly to the New India. New India in the east of Richmond, the suburbs of Vancouver, on the opposite bank of the Fraser River, that is. Here you’ll find  cranberry fields — the red berry sea spilled right under your feet.

Richmond is cranberry central, supplying some 38 per cent of B.C.’s total output to grower co-op Ocean Spray. The province’s 6,500 acres of cranberry bogs put B.C. fourth in Ocean Spray’s North American production, after Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Quebec.

Сбор урожая клюквы в Ричмонде

Cranberry is a bog plant, grown on a dry soil in the lowlands, along irrigation canals. There are two ways to harvest cranberries. The dry method is to pluck berries off the bushes, and a much smarter method — to flood the bushes.Сбор урожая клюквы в Ричмонде

Cranberries have one important feature: they are hollow inside. When put in water, they float rather than drown.Сбор урожая клюквы в Ричмонде: ягоды клюквы имеют одно важное свойство — они не тонут.

In mid-October the cranberry harvesting in the Fraser River Valley begins with flooding the field  up to a depth of about half a meter — the water level just above the height of the bushes.Сбор урожая клюквы в Ричмонде: В середине октября клюквенные поля в долине реки Фрейзер затапливают на глубину около полуметра — чуть выше уровня кустов.

Next show up the harvesters, up to their waists in the water, equipped  with the threshers. These wheeled machines, called beaters,  work their way around a flooded Richmond cranberry bog.Сбор урожая клюквы в Ричмонде: отряды наемной силы проходят по пояс в воде с молотилками и оббивают кусты, чтобы сбить с них ягоды.

Сбор урожай клюквы в Ричмонде: отряды наемной силы проходят по пояс в воде с молотилками и оббивают кусты чтобы сбить с них яходы.

Richmond cranberry harvesters look very colorful. Here’s New India for you.Сбор урожая клюквы в Ричмонде: отряды наемной силы проходят по пояс в воде с молотилками и оббивают кусты, чтобы сбить с них ягоды.

Note that workers wear life jackets. Well, as we all know, one can drown even in a glass of water.Обратите внимание, что рабочие одеты в спасательные жилеты — как известно, утонуть можно и в стакане воды — в прошлом году на сборе клюквы в Ричмонде утонул один рабочий.

Last year, one of the Richmond cranberry harvesters actually drowned. It is unknown whether or not he had a life jacket on.Сбор урожая клюквы в Ричмонде: сбитые с кустов ягоды лежат сплошным слоем на поверхности воды.

Knocked off the bushes berries float in a thick layer on the surface of the water.Сбор урожая клюквы в Ричмонде: сбитые с кустов ягоды лежат сплошным слоем на поверхности воды.

After the beating, more water is pumped in to float the cranberries. Wading workers use plastic booms to gather the fruit, the way fishermen use nets to gather fish.Сбор урожая клюквы в Ричмонде: сбитые с кустов ягоды лежат сплошным слоем на поверхности воды. Осталось только их собрать.

Сбор урожая клюквы в Ричмонде: рабочие при помощи бонов — плавучих заграждений — отсекают часть ягод и буксируют их наиболее удобному для их подъема берегу.

Сбор урожая клюквы в Ричмонде: рабочие при помощи бонов — плавучих заграждений — отсекают часть ягод. По частям они перетягивают все больше и больше ягод к месту погрузки.

Сбор урожая клюквы в Ричмонде: Рабочие по частям они добавляют больше и больше ягод в месте погрузки, также ограниченном боном чтобы ягоды не расплывались.

Mechanical berry pumps are used to fire the fruit into waiting semi-trailer trucks.Грузовик с урожаем клюквы

Unlike the berries harvested using the dry method, cranberries harvested in the bogs are not suitable for long-term storage and should be immediately processed or frozen.Более 90% клюквы в Северной Америке собирается именно таким способом и, в отличие от сухого сбора, ягоды, собранные в болоте, не пригодны к длительному хранению и должны быть сразу обработаны или заморожены.

Over 90% of Northern American cranberries harvested using this method.

And from all the Canadian harvest cranberries 95% falls on the Fraser River Valley in British Columbia – about 17 million kilograms per square 1150 hectares (11.5 km2).

The total area of all the cranberry bogs in North America is only 12 thousand hectares (120 km2)

The plant received its name for the shape of its flowers reminiscent of the long crane necks with long beaks.95% всего канадского урожая клюквы — это около 17 миллионов килограммов — приходится на долину реки Фрейзер в Британской Колумбии.

If not crane than a  heron is seen en flight against a red background.

В английском языке название cranberry растение получило за форму цветов, напоминающую длинную журавлиную шею с длинным же клювом.

Клюква на вкус — кисловата и чем-то напоминает яблоки (я выловил пару жмень из болота). Вообще, это — одна из самых питательных ягод, богатая витамином С, калием и железом, органическими кислотами и антиоксидантами.

When America became independent, US Navy ships carried stashes of cranberries as a source of vitamin C to maintain healthy immune system of ships’ crew. The British, at the time, carried lime fruits aboard.

Одно из специфических свойств клюквы – способность усиливать действие антибиотиков в несколько раз. Она также обладает бактерицидными и противомикробными свойствами. Эти ягоды являются природным аналогом аспирина.

One of the specific properties of cranberries is the ability to enhance manyfold the effect of antibiotics on human bodies.Одно из специфических свойств клюквы – способность усиливать действие антибиотиков в несколько раз. Она также обладает бактерицидными и противомикробными свойствами. Эти ягоды являются природным аналогом аспирина.

Одно из специфических свойств клюквы – способность усиливать действие антибиотиков в несколько раз. Она также обладает бактерицидными и противомикробными свойствами. Эти ягоды являются природным аналогом аспирина.

These berries are a natural analogue of aspirin.

Одно из специфических свойств клюквы – способность усиливать действие антибиотиков в несколько раз. Она также обладает бактерицидными и противомикробными свойствами. Эти ягоды являются природным аналогом аспирина.

The bogs of Richmond yield anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 pounds of cranberries per acre.Некоторые города Британкой Колумбии отмечают урожай клюквы как, например, Форт Лэнгли где каждый год в выходные Дня Благодарения проходит жрачный фестиваль клюквы.

If you want to see the cranberry harvest in Vancouver, you may do so from mid-October to early November. Times may vary slightly from year to year.  Here are the addresses of several cranberry farms in the area:

  1. 3362 No 7 Rd Richmond, BC V6V 1T3
  2. Maybog Farm, 15411 Cambie Rd Richmond, BC V6V 1T3
  3. Jagbar Farms Ltd, 3011 Nelson Rd Richmond, BC V6W 1G3
  4. B K Ranch Ltd, 21551 Westminster Hwy Richmond, BC V6V 1B3

Most of the material and all the pictures are courtesy of the article  Сбор урожая клюквы в Ричмонде (in Russian.)

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