Here’s something to go along with the daily APOD, if you like. WikiArt Visual Encyclopedia has an Artwork of the Day. If the day’s offering is lovely, I set it as my desktop picture, maybe read up a little, and moon about during the ensuing hours about how the thing looks, who the person was who created it and how he lived, how blind I am generally to what is about me (on account of mooning about,) and what poor consolation I can dredge up in the form of such paltry skills as I do have.
I am spared this exercise if the daily offering is some specimen of Bug-Ugly Post-Modernism or the like. In such case the thing to do is snort derisively and look around elsewhere on the site for the day’s esthetic inspiration.
Recently it was Winslow Homer, a favorite and kind of a homeboy. Many of his works are of the Adirondack wilds; others feature New Hampshire, or State of Maine fishermen. The one above was new to me: Sunset Fires, 1880 watercolor.
Like it? It blows me away; multiple strains of thought start out immediately in multiple directions. It will be days before I settle properly to my leaf-raking again.
Here is The Bridal Path, 1868, set in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Canoe in the Rapids, 1897, looks to me like an Adirondack river scene.
This time of year the neighbors are gearing up for the deer hunt; happily a couple of them aim to hunt our woods and pastureland, which is all to the good, of course. I know nothing of limits and do not inquire. Winslow Homer’s painting of an Adirondack hunting shanty from a century and a half ago catches for us the way it was, in terms of camping style and the way it all looked in the big woods at night.
Then don’t skip the fishermen paintings. Nebelwarnung (“Fog Warning”) from 1885 always gives me the shivers. Boston MFA has it. Does anybody there appreciate it? But check out the codfish in the man’s dory. Will he make it back to the mother ship before the fog closes around him? Did you know that cod fishermen, for centuries, went out in their dories in the morning, fished with long hand-lines all day, filled their dories to the swamping point with big codfish, heard the horn blast from the mother ship, rowed back, and were hauled up alongside – the dory fully laden? It was a horrifically dangerous operation to play out every evening after the day’s work. Sometimes they swamped; sometimes they were lost, just during that.
Princeton has Eastern Point Light, of 1880. Good thing for the internet, as I am not driving to Princeton or dropping any money in that town.
Then there’s – oh, I’ll just have to stop. Homer seemingly turned out thousands of pictures.
If you see something you like on Art of the Day, I hope you will post about it so we will not miss it.