FREE great stuff online! (FREE!)

Georgia O’Keeffe It Was Blue and Green

I just discovered a very comprehensive, interesting and best of all FREE online resource:  

Open Culture — The best free cultural and educational media on the web.

Free Art & Images

Leonard Bernstein at the piano, wikipedia image
Leonard Bernstein at the piano, wikipedia image

Great Lectures

Image by Indi Samarajiva via Flickr CC license
Image by Indi Samarajiva via Flickr CC license

Syllabi

Book Lists By

Book Lists By

  • There is no excuse for boredom from now on.  You’re welcome.  

    (I apologize for the odd formatting quirks in this post.  I did my best, but with the copying and pasting from the Open Culture webpage there seemed to be a lot of phantom issues I could not solve).

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Ogling Google Doodles

I use Google every day at least once or more accurately, usually several times a day.

Sometimes, when I need a short mental break, I look through the Google Doodle archives.

Today, I noticed some pretty incredible Google Doodles as I perused the archives.

What are your favorite Google Doodles?  Do you prefer the stills or the videos?

Wassily Kandinsky’s 148th Birthday
126th Anniversary of the public opening of the Eiffel Tower
St. David’s Day 2015
Ofra Haza’s 57th Birthday
Shoen Uemura’s 140th Birthday
Victor Horta’s 154th Birthday
Keith Haring’s 54th Birthday
Brasilia’s Anniversary
Wisława Szymborska’s 90th Birthday
Tanabata (Star Festival)
Niki de Saint Phalle’s 84th Birthday

SEASONS:

First Day of Spring 2015

First Day of Summer 2013

First Day of Autumn 2014

First Day of Winter 2013

First Day of Fall 2012

Zlatko Grgić’s 82nd Birthday

Looking at these wonderfully creative doodles is quite inspiring!

I’m going to make an effort to look at the Google Doodle of the day more often!

Stained Glass: Columbus, Ohio — Broad St. Presbyterian

Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH
Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH
Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH
Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH
Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH
Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH
Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH
Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
church in NJ
church in NJ

I Am in Need of Music

I Am in Need of Music (Sonnet)

poem by Elizabeth Bishop, photos via Flickr Creative Commons
Adam Henning, CC license via Flickr
Adam Henning

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.

Abstract by Art G. CC license via Flickr
Abstract by Art G.

Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!

Victoria Falls in Zambia at sunset, by Ryan.  CC license via Flickr
Victoria Falls in Zambia at sunset, by Ryan.

There is a magic made by melody:

Rhythm of Fire by Seth Rader

A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,

Reflection on Johnny's Pond by Sathish JHeld in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.

"The pond" by Mikael Tigerström
“The pond” by Mikael Tigerström

 

sonnet by Elizabeth Bishop
I believe I understand what Elizabeth is describing with her words.  Early in my teen years, I discovered that music was a calming force for me.  Not that I always felt or feel calm when I play, but that the act of playing (of creating music) brings me to a calmer state of being.
Is it because my mind stops turning inward or spinning in worried circles?  I focus on the notes and the feel of the keys, the pattern of the chords and melodies — and there is only music.  Is it the physicality of the hand/eye coordination or the wavelengths of sound going through my eardrums into my brain that does it?  Or is it the “Zen”ness of the playing, the feeling of letting myself slip away until I only see and hear and feel the music?
There is healing, of rest, of flow (hence the imagery of water), of stillness, of floating.  Quiet Breath.
I don’t know why it works this way for me, but it truly does.
These are but a few of the many reasons why I will always be in need of music.

Who knew? Famous Friendship Series: Cassatt and Degas

Cassatt stated that her first encounter with Degas’s art “changed my life,” while Degas, upon seeing Cassatt’s art for the first time, reputedly remarked, “there is someone who feels as I do.”

NPR recently featured a story about the friendship, mutual admiration, art  — passion? — between Edward Degas and Mary Cassatt.

Read it here.

I am a fan of both painters.  I love the movement, the color, the subjects they chose, and their individual voices.

Knowing of their connection makes me feel that I know them both a little bit better.

Little Girl in a Blue Chair by Mary Cassatt

 

Little Girl in a Blue Armchair is full of Degas’ influence. First of all, he brought the girl to Cassatt — she was the child of his friends. In a pretty dress, she sits slumped in a chair, hand behind her head and legs spread apart. She looks bored, exhausted and not at all dainty or proper. Other big blue chairs and a sofa are in the room — “like bumper cars,” Jones says. A window in the corner may show Degas’ direct influence. 

 

There is an exhibit at the National Gallery featuring the work of both these artists:  It runs May 11 to October 5, 2014.

Quotes from the NPR story and from the exhibit home page.

Art in Bloom, part 2

image by Jill, The Tromp Queen (Creative Commons license: attribution-noderivatives-noncommercial 4.0)  Milwaukee Art in Bloom exhibit 2014
image by Jill, The Tromp Queen (Creative Commons license: attribution-noderivatives-noncommercial 4.0) Milwaukee Art in Bloom exhibit 2014

More photos from the Milwaukee Art Museum’s special exhibit Art in Bloom.

 

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First Week of April: Beautiful Blooms

Beautiful Blooms!

The Milwaukee Art Museum recently hosted an exhibit of floral arrangements displayed side by side with the art works that inspired the florists.  Here are a few of the displays for your enjoyment.

Image by The Tromp Queen, taken at Milwaukee Art Museum during 2014 Art in Bloom exhibit.
Image by The Tromp Queen, taken at Milwaukee Art Museum during 2014 Art in Bloom exhibit.
Image by The Tromp Queen, taken at Milwaukee Art Museum during 2014 Art in Bloom exhibit.
Image by The Tromp Queen, taken at Milwaukee Art Museum during 2014 Art in Bloom exhibit.
Image by The Tromp Queen, taken at Milwaukee Art Museum during 2014 Art in Bloom exhibit.
Image by The Tromp Queen, taken at Milwaukee Art Museum during 2014 Art in Bloom exhibit.
Image by The Tromp Queen, taken at Milwaukee Art Museum during 2014 Art in Bloom exhibit.
Image by The Tromp Queen, taken at Milwaukee Art Museum during 2014 Art in Bloom exhibit.
Image by The Tromp Queen, taken at Milwaukee Art Museum during 2014 Art in Bloom exhibit.
Image by The Tromp Queen, taken at Milwaukee Art Museum during 2014 Art in Bloom exhibit.
Image by The Tromp Queen, taken at Milwaukee Art Museum during 2014 Art in Bloom exhibit.
Image by The Tromp Queen, taken at Milwaukee Art Museum during 2014 Art in Bloom exhibit.
Image by The Tromp Queen, taken at Milwaukee Art Museum during 2014 Art in Bloom exhibit.
Image by The Tromp Queen, taken at Milwaukee Art Museum during 2014 Art in Bloom exhibit.
Image by The Tromp Queen, taken at Milwaukee Art Museum during 2014 Art in Bloom exhibit.
Image by The Tromp Queen, taken at Milwaukee Art Museum during 2014 Art in Bloom exhibit.

Quilt Class at MAM: March Inspiration 8

Embed from Getty Images

I took a quilting class in this wonderful space today!

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This afternoon I took a quilt class in the gorgeous lobby of the Milwaukee Art Museum.  The group was divided into four sections:  improvisational quilting (inspired by Gee’s Bend style quiltmaking); hand applique (inspired by the floral quilt); hand quilting (inspired by the star quilt); and crazy quilting stitches (inspired by the crazy quilt in the exhibit).  The groups rotated through each of the four areas spending about 45 min. or so at each station.

I had fun meeting fellow fiber enthusiasts, and it was especially wonderful to spend time being creative in that amazing space.  The teachers were excellent and I picked up several good tips and ideas.

As I was driving home north along the shore of Lake Michigan, I stopped to take a few photos.  The ice has finally begun to break up, so there is some open water peeking through here and there.  The shards of ice that are strewn about and piled up in various configurations created a decidedly other-worldly scene. Is there an ice planet?  This is what I would expect it to look like.

Lake Michigan ice; March 8, 2014.  Image by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Lake Michigan ice; March 8, 2014. Image by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Lake Michigan ice; March 8, 2014.  Image by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Lake Michigan ice; March 8, 2014. Image by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Lake Michigan ice; March 8, 2014.  Image by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Lake Michigan ice; March 8, 2014. Image by The Tromp Queen, CC license

Hold Fast: March Inspirations 4

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescastle/9537465539/sizes/h/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescastle/9537465539/sizes/h/
Image by Jeremy Seto (JamesCastle)
 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/
 via Flickr CC license

February Haiku Project Continued: 19 to 24

February Haiku Project Continued:  19 to 24

image by Conrad Kuiper via Flickr CC
image by Conrad Kuiper via Flickr CC

Stark shadows on snow.
Branches cast graphic shapes:
Nature’s modern art

Fragile bunny tracks
Trail the length of my sidewalk.
Snow too deep for hops?

image by Nedra via Flickr CC
image by Nedra via Flickr CC
image by The Tromp Queen, all rights protected (please don't copy)
image by The Tromp Queen, all rights protected (please don’t copy)

Anything better
than a roomful of girl teens
laughing and talking?

(Answer:  No! life is good)

 

image by Bob Haines GSFC Photo Club via Flickr CC, stained glass Library of Congress in DC
image by Bob Haines GSFC Photo Club via Flickr CC, stained glass Library of Congress in DC

Late afternoon sun —
Long winter shadows on snow —
Golden light shimmers

Ebony sketches
As ink on pastel batiks —
Twigs, branches, sky glow.

(I wrote this thinking about tree branches silhouetted against the sunset, but this stained glass window captures the look, color, texture, and the feeling so I’m going with the “non-literal” illustration this time.)

Absolutely Amazing SUSHI Art

Absolutely Amazing SUSHI Art

All images by 生活童話 via Flickr Creative Commons Attrubution/ShareAlike license.

Click here to see this person’s photostream.

I just happened to find these photographs of mind-boggling incredibly creative sushi.  ENJoY!

After looking around more, I suspect this person did not actually take these photos.  I will try to track down the source.  If anyone knows the source, please share.

I found this article as I was googling around:  http://mentalfloss.com/article/52830/art-sushi

It shows more incredible examples of this type of detailed sushi art.

February 4: Happiness Haiku

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nexus_6/3017902989/sizes/l/
image via Flickr CC by nexus6

Girls’ choir spins pure tones
Words of comfort, peace and grace:
No tears in heaven.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there will be no more death
or sorrow or crying or pain.
All these things are gone forever.
Rev. 21:4
(New Living Translation)

I got a call on Sunday from the Artistic Director of the Milwaukee Children’s Choirs.  Suddenly, they were in need of a replacement (permanent!) pianist.  Thanks to a friend and fellow accompanist, I was recommended and asked to play.

I went to the first rehearsal this evening.  The group of young 3rd to 5th grade girls meets once a week in an absolutely fabulous downtown Youth Arts center.

The room was filled with red t-shirts, snazzy boots and wiggly, smiling girls.  When they sang it was angelic and the room was transformed into a huge gothic cathedral!

The first song they sang with piano accompaniment was a setting of Rev. 21:4.  My heart lurched when I opened the music. Tears sprang into my eyes as I quickly scanned the piece. This verse was one that I held onto two years on this very day — the day my Dad died — the day he fell asleep on the couch in Indiana and woke up in heaven!

He had been sick for so long and had been so miserable. It was a great comfort to me to read these words and to keep them in my mind and heart that week — through the funeral planning, all the visitation hours, through the sorrow, laughter and tears.

So as I sat there in that room with all the that young vibrant musical energy, I was filled with gratitude and joy.

God brought me through. I believe I was sitting in the exact place I was meant to be at that moment.
Thanks be to God!

February 2 Haiku: Folk Art and Pink Ice

Quick trip to peruse
Folk Art special exhibit
Quilts, carvings, uniques

Lunging bird building
glimpse of pink reflected light
wings glide smoothly closed

Evening sky’s palette
creates pretty pink Lake ice
Mind’s eye:  capture.  click.

Lake Michigan pastel sunset, pink ice image by TTQ cc
Lake Michigan pastel sunset, pink ice image by TTQ cc

We went to the Milwaukee Museum of Art this afternoon for a brief but very enjoyable visit. We saw the new Uncommon Folk exhibit.

As we were leaving, I looked back at the beautiful museum building. The evening sun was being reflected on the lovely wings. I tried to capture a quick photograph, but as always, light is nearly impossible to reproduce.

image by TTQ cc; Milwaukee Art Museum at twilight
image by TTQ cc; Milwaukee Art Museum at twilight

We drove north along the frozen shore of Lake Michigan. The sky was an Impressionist’s dream of pale violets, pinks, blues, peaches, and tinted white. The frozen ice reflected the pink light most of all. Here and there bare black branches of trees cast stark silhouettes against the pastel beauty. A few chunks of ice sparkled on the icy surface, like gems strewn about. There was no opportunity to stop safely for a photo, so the image will stay in my mind and as clumsily conveyed in my words here and haiku above.

Top Ten: Interesting and Inspiring Finds

I want to share some of my
very favorite websites and pages with you!

1.  That Tree: This project started in the area of my old hometown! Mark Hirsch took a photograph of an old oak tree every day for a year and posted the photos on his Facebook page.  The beauty and artistry (and his perseverance) attracted a wider and wider audience as the year progressed.  The project is now internationally famous.  He has published a beautiful book and has done many national interviews.  He continues to post photos of That Tree frequently, but not every day now.

People gather for the group pic.  photo by quirkyjazz aka Jill
People gather for the group pic. photo by quirkyjazz aka Jill

(Note:  I am actually IN the book!  I was one of the people who gathered in the field on that cold, snowy day last March to celebrate the final day of the year of photographs.  We are all in the book with That Tree.)

2.  Historical Pics:  This site has off-beat photographs of historic events, people, and random things galore.  For instance:

Louis Armstrong plays for his wife in Giza, 1961.

3.  Holstee: “Holstee exists to encourage mindful living. We hope to change the way people look at life by designing unique products and sharing meaningful experiences.”  This is the blurb from their website.  The company is cooler than this blurb sounds.  They have some great free inspirational downloads.

This is your LIFE. Holstee Manisfesto. A longer version of this is printed as a poster and notecards.

4.  Brain Pickings:  This site has a continual stream of quirky, artistic, off-the-beaten-path, intelligent, and inspiring articles and illustrations.  One of my recent favorites is a list of New Year’s resolutions from people like Woody Guthrie and Marilyn Monroe! Read it here.  Take some time to browse their archives, though, if you can.  Enjoy!

5.  Do you know about Humans of New York?  This link takes you to the Facebook page, where a photo is posted every day with a short quote or conversation.  I find it incredibly moving.  I got the book as a Christmas gift and just love it!

6.  Colossal: The tag line says “art and visual culture.”  Their blurb says this:  Each week you’ll find 15-25 posts on photography, design, animation, painting, installation art, architecture, drawing, and street art. Colossal is also a great place to learn about the intersection of art and science as well as the beauty of the natural world. There are frequently posts about things far out in left field, but generally Colossal is a reminder that in this digital age there are still countless people making incredible work with their bare hands.

You’ll see things like this:

Pierre Javelle and Akiko Ida: Minimiam, via Colossal

and this:

Martin Hill and Philippa Jones: via Colossal

GORGEOUS and so beautiful!

7.  Another site I can spend quite a while browsing in is:
Laughing Squid. Their website “about” blurb:  Based in New York City, Laughing Squid is a blog featuring compelling art, culture & technology as well as a cloud-based web hosting company with a focus on WordPress hosting. For more info see our FAQ and Wikipedia.

Here are a few very memorable examples of the odd-ball kind of things you’ll find at Laughing Squid.

8. Letters of Note:  This site publishes letters written by various famous and not-so-famous people.  It is intriguing, amazing, engaging, humorous, and full of information.

“In our age of email and texts, letter-writing seems set for extinction. But millions have been flocking to a website to pore over the correspondence collected by blogger Sean Usher.”

Click here for a wonderful example of historic correspondence Letters of Note highlights. (This links to a series of letters between Ford Motor Company and poet Marianne Moore as they discuss various car names).  Here is a link to the Letters of Note “best of 2013” list.  This one is from a Dallas hospital administrator in 1963.  Letters of Note recently published a book as well.

9.  Noisetrade: This site has gobs of free music.  Tag line:  Free music from thousands of artists who would like to meet you. You can sample, listen online and request a download code.  If you like what you hear, you have several opportunities to leave tips for the artists. I have found this a great avenue for discovering new music to get me out of my listening ruts. There is a limit to the number of downloads per day (something like 8 or 10? not very limiting really).

You can get this album free (and choose from thousands more!) at Noisetrade.com

10.  Word Porn:  I love obscure and interesting words.  This site has many that I never heard of or even imagined existed!

I’d love to hear about some of YOUR favorite places to browse around on the web.  Please share!

Silence is a booming emptiness

Sunset Swim image by familymwr via Flickr CC

 

Do They Know?
By Jill Hasker

Silence is a booming emptiness –
stillness’ sheer weight and presence imposes and expands —
squeezing thoughts as words clang and clamor to be free

Words circle –
unwilling to coalesce
to relay heart depths, currents, soul swells
Words evade – bobbing in choppy waves

How can I convey?
music surrounds me,
reaches in with tendrils and slivers and shivers
‘til – finally home again – a single tear emerges

Do they know?
music’s magic melds and heals…
Joy enfolds sorrow –
both continue to exist –
but the golden glow fills edges, surrounds, gently embraces
and eventually peacefully subdues
the shiny, hard grey remnant

Dregs of dread drop as ashes swept away by shimmering moments of utter beauty.
New shoots emerge, freshly green
fragile durable
resilient unyielding
fleeting eternal

(They/it/we) are not
(gone/lost/empty) but
(replaced/sated/covered) with
(love/joy/beauty).

What was done, shared, said, created is not void –
It endures.
And remembering – still holding it heart close –
our fingers brush this edge of eternity.

I wrote this poem in the wee hours this morning.  On Sunday afternoon, I got to hear the two choirs I used to accompany (for the last 6 or 7 years!) sing their fall concert.  I admit I had been dreading this first time just a little bit — hesitant to hear them sing without me.  I thought I would be swept back into the sadness and sorrow I felt when I said goodbye.  I worried for no reason, though.  Instead of sorrow — I was swept away by the sheer JOY of watching them sing and of listening to the soul stirring music they were making.

I shed one small tear near the very end, when the men’s choir started to sing “Bring Him Home” from Les Miz.

I felt a wave of healing and of gratitude for all that I had shared and experienced with these groups, with these people, in that very place (and in many others).  As I walked away from the hall, the words of a song we had performed ran through my head “Though much is taken, much abides.” (quote from Alfred Lord Tennyson)

I am left with the certainty that what we had and created still exists and that it WILL endure in my heart (and hopefully in theirs as well!).

17 Playful Doodles that Incorporate Everyday Objects

Creative. Fun. Inspiring. Doodles from Javier Pérez. Reblogged from Freshly Pressed.

TwistedSifter

 

Javier Pérez aka cintascotch, is an artist and illustrator from Guayaquil, Ecuador. A few times a week, Pérez shares a new doodle with his 20,000 Instagram followers. Each doodle incorporates everyday objects like paper clips, coins and scissors. The doodles transform the objects into something completely new and different.

It’s a fun and creative way to look at an object, even seemingly mundane ones, and reimagine them as something else. To see more playful diversions, be sure to check out Javier’s work at the links below.

 

Javier Pérez (cintascotch)
Website | Facebook | Behance | Twitter | Instagram

 

1.

doodles with everyday objects javier perez (10)

Artwork by Javier Pérez (cintascotch)
Website | Facebook | Behance | Twitter | Instagram

 

2.

doodles with everyday objects javier perez (3)

Artwork by Javier Pérez (cintascotch)
Website | Facebook | Behance | Twitter | Instagram

 

3.

doodles with everyday objects javier perez (7)

Artwork by Javier Pérez (cintascotch)
Website | Facebook | Behance | Twitter | Instagram

 

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