Monday, July 7, 2014

Tim's Vermeer

Laura and I streamed a movie through Amazon Prime this weekend entitled "Tim's Vermeer."  It's the story of inventor Tim Jenison's attempt to re-create "The Music Lesson" by Johannes Vermeer by using a camera obscura optical device and strategically placed lenses and mirrors.  It's a brilliant film produced by Penn and Teller and narrated by Penn Gillette.  I immediately identified with Tim, especially since he's built his own pipe organ in his shop!  

I didn't know about the "Vermeer Controversy"  until this film.  Vermeer appears on the scene at the age of 21 with no provenance to speak of and begins producing images with photographic realism. 

Using "Vermirrors," inventions of his own, and relevant historical approaches, optical lenses, and hand-ground pigments for his paints, Tim explored how Vermeer might have created his paintings.  Tim traveled to sites around Europe to study original locations and paintings and to gain a better understanding of Vermeer's environment.  For five years Tim Jenison worked toward the goal of re-creating this masterpiece.  He's not an artist, not a painter, and approached this from an experimental

This is an excellent film and I highly recommend watching it when you feel like a brainy romp through art history.  You can find it here on Amazon

This picture shows a side-by-side comparison of Tim's Vermeer on the left and the original on the right.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Paul Harvey on Father's Day

I grew up listening to Paul Harvey and still remember his great narratives on fathers, mothers, Christmas, Easter, Farmers, Dogs, and other seasons and times. I wanted to share this one on dads again.  Enjoy Paul Harvey's tribute to fathers.  "Good day!"

Fathers, Fathers, Fathers
By Paul Harvey

A father is a thing that is forced to endure childbirth without an anesthetic.  A father is a thing that growls when it feels good and always laughs very loud when it's scared half to death.  A father is sometimes accused of giving too much time to his business when the little ones are growing up.  That's partly fear, too.  Fathers are much more easily frightened than mothers.

A father never feels entirely worthy of the worship in a child's eyes.  He's never quite the hero his daughter thinks . . . never quite the man his son believes him to be.  This worries him, sometimes.

So he works too hard to try and smooth the rough places in the road for those of his own who will follow him.

A father is a thing that gets very angry when the first school grades aren't as good as he thinks they should be. He scolds his son . . . though he knows it's the teacher's fault.

A father is a thing that goes away to war, sometimes.  He learns to swear and shoot and spit through his teeth and would run the other way except that this war is part of his only important job in life which is making the world better for his child than it has been for him.
Fathers grow old faster than other people.  Because they, in other wars have to stand at the train station and wave goodbye to the uniform that climbs aboard . .

And while mothers can cry where it shows . . . fathers have to stand there and beam outside . . . and die inside.

Fathers have very stout hearts, so they have to be broken sometimes or no one would know what's inside. 

Fathers are what give daughters away to other men who aren't nearly good enough . . . so they can have grandchildren that are smarter than anybody's.

Fathers fight dragons . . . almost daily. They hurry away from the breakfast table . . . off to the arena which is sometimes called an office or a workshop.  There, with calloused practiced hands they tackle the dragon with three heads:  Weariness, Work and Monotony.  And they never quite win the fight but they never give up. Knights in shining armor . . . fathers in shiny trousers . . . there's little difference as they march away to each workday.

Fathers make bets with insurance companies about who'll live the longest.  Though they know the odds they keep right on betting.  Even as the odds get highter and higher . . . they keep right on betting . . . more and more.

One day they lose.

But fathers enjoy an earthly immortality . . . and the bet's paid off to the part of him he leaves behind.
I don't know where fathers go when they die. But I've an idea that after a good rest . . . wherever it is ...  he won't be happy unless there's work to do.  He won't just sit on a cloud and wait for the girl he's loved and the children she bore.  He'll be busy there, too . . . repairing the stairs . . . oiling the gates . . . improving the streets . . . smoothing the way.