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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Blue Skies...Sepia Days

It’s cold season here in West Michigan. I escaped for a couple weeks but got ambushed over the weekend. I spent the day finishing some demographic reports for our re-accreditation process. I should add two words to that “I spent the day…” at home. Believe me, it’s for the best. My youngest daughter is also home with a bad cold (along with 34 of her school mates according to one of the calls from my office). Julie made homemade chicken and noodles—they really hit the spot. What a woman!

I’ve said all this to say that late this afternoon, I put my work away and watched a movie with my daughter. It’s called Dear Frankie and is set in a foggy seaport village in Scotland, which evoked images of the unseen shore in “The Herring Net” (see post below). In fact, much of the film is drenched in the muted sepia tones of that painting. I won’t spoil the film by talking more about it. You can watch the trailer here, and read a review here.

What I wanted to point out is that the video cover (above) chooses to depict a bright and beautiful day like the one in Winslow Homer’s "Sailing the Catboat” (at right, a water-color painted in 1875) even though when you see the waterfront scenes of the film they are nothing like that picture.

The film's visual tones are much more like “A Fair Wind” (Homer's 1876 "oil" version of a very similar subject with a very different mood). The film maker used the somber sepia to tell the Dear Frankie story, but the graphic artist evidently thought a mood change would help get the video rental off a shelf at Blockbuster. You can't tell a video from its cover. In this case, the excellent story needs no artificial backdrop.

I don't think I would have noticed this blue sky manipulation before writing the post below. And that post came only after I saw a small etching of “The Herring Net” in an antique store in Whitehall last week. Seeing the etching, I remembered my paint-by-number disaster from nearly forty years ago. That’s what I love about writing and art and memory—they find strange times to come knocking. The older I get the more I’m glad to be home when they call—especially when I'm down with a cold.


Blogger Jody said...

I love the fact that blogging 'connects' people through shared memories- even if it's as simple as movies or paint-by-numbers. I have been getting 'hit' with consistent emails of readers asking for insights or prayers for tragedies and issues in their lives of those of their friends. SO, in the event I don't write a book, maybe we could set up a sort of blog prayer-chain or website where we simply let people share their burdens. Seems there is a real need out there. I'm not sure Nitty.Gritty. is big enough for the needs of the world. Fortunately God IS. Thanks for your kind words in my comments, and your thoughtful memories laced with current ones here at Patterns. I enjoy them so much.

24/1/07 2:26 PM  
Blogger L_B said...

I have used a few Winslow Homer's paintings over at my blog you probably won't find them though. I had a catastrophe over at my blog back when blogger beta first came out. I tried to switch over to beta and I lost over two years of posts and another blog I had for doing research on minerals and gemstones. I've been on bloger since November 2004 and I was terribly upset when beta blogger ate my blog.

In my "links" you will find art galleries I have spent many hours perusing and reading about the artists and their particular works. Pierre-Auguste Renoir is without a doubt my favorite but it's the subject matter along with his skill of projecting a lighthearted and carefree atmosphere that was his world and his time.

One of my favorite Winslow Homer paintings is called "Left and Right", ducks are big with me and he portrays the nature of the "Scaup" in painting perfectly

I hope you are doing better and are getting over your cold.

24/1/07 9:21 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

You're certainly right about blogs connecting people... random threads of interest out there in cyberspace.
As you've no doubt deduced, men are notably less effective at networking than women. It's one of those Venus/Mars things. Guys are just less social and I suspect vastly outnumbered in the blogosphere.)
I just wanted to plant that seed about a book because your story seems right for hard copy and your readership reflects a market. In the meantime, you're doing great keeping up with Nitty Gritty. (BTW, have you noticed that spell check thinks "Nitty" should be Nitti"? I agree with your spelling.)

Pleased to make your acquaintance. My interest in Winslow Homer was dormant for decades but recently awakened. Sorry to hear about your beta fiasco. I've been reluctant to switch for that very reason. Thanks for stopping by.

26/1/07 4:59 PM  

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