Tuesday 17 March 2015

And We're Off To Barbados . . .

Woohoo!!! As from Friday, I'll officially be on holiday (and officially unemployed until Monday 6th).  What a way to leave a job?!  My last day is on Thursday, and then to celebrate, I'll be jetting off to Barbados and then lounging around on this!

For two whole weeks I'll be sunning myself in Barbados, St Lucia, St Maarten (seeing the planes hopefullies) Antigua and the Azores, and doing my Titanic impression yelling "I'm the King of the World!!" - or Queen, but that doesn't have the same ring to it, somehow...  Bliss.

So if I don't post between now and then, I'll be seeing you all after Easter.  Have a good one and may the Easter Bunny bring chocolate pressies :)

Friday 13 March 2015

Pic of the Week . . . 'At Last, Sir Terry, We Must Walk Together...'

The Literary World suffered a major blow yesterday following the death of the great Terry Pratchett.

I've only ever read one of his books (shocking, I know) but I know people who absolutely adore him, and rightfully so.  He was brilliant at what he did.

I remember my first run-in with Pratchett - well, not him in person, but his work.  I was still at school and we were celebrating some kind of book week (I can't remember what) but they had a poster of Soul Music by Terry Pratchett on their wall.  I fell in love with this poster and asked if I could have it after, which they let me, and it sat on my bedroom wall for years.  It depicts Death on his bike.

If there's one thing you can say about Pratchett, it's that you could tell one of his books a mile away.  Their covers and illustrations by Paul Kidby are so unique.  They're busy, colourful, and manages to capture the style of his work to a T.  Even those who don't read Pratchett can recognise his work by the style of the covers.  They're so imaginative.

With the sad news of Pratchett's recent departure, I thought I'd dedicate this week's Pic of the Week to him, and I've chosen piece by Kidby himself.

So, in memory of Sir Terry Pratchett.  Rest in Piece.

'Check Mort' by Paul Kidby


Wednesday 11 March 2015

Just A Little More Paper Mache . . .


Just a quickie today.  Something I thought worthy of a share.  Now I've said this before, but I'll say it again.  I LOVE this guy...

Check Dan Reeder out at Papermacheblog.com

Friday 6 March 2015

Pic of the Week . . . On This Day

A bit of Renaissance for you...

On this day in 1475, one of the greatest artists in history was born.  Michelangelo. Talented in many fields, including architecture, poetry and engineering, he is better recognised for his contributions as an artist and sculptor.  When reminded of the greats, my favourite has to Da Vinci, but you can't deny the brilliance of Michelangelo.  You only have to look at the Sistine Chapel in Rome to be reminded of that.

'The Last Judgement'
by Michelangelo
The ceiling alone took Michelangelo four years to complete, from 1508 to 1512, and stretches some 500 meters with over 300 figures.  But it's not the ceiling I've chosen for this week's Pic of the Week. Instead it's a section on the alter wall that contains a piece called 'The Last Judgement', which he worked on between 1536 to 1541.  It depicts the Second Coming of Christ and the rising of the dead as they are judged and consigned to either Heaven or Hell.

Apparently after its completion, the naked impressions of Christ and Mary were said to be sacrilegious and a campaign rose to either strip the whole piece from the wall or at least censor it.  This time round the plea was denied by the Pope, but soon after Michelangelo's death, nudity in religious art was condemned by the Council of Trent, and artist Daniele da Volterra was hired to cover-up the indecencies.  He even went as far as chiseling away and repainting part of Saint Catherine and Saint Blaise after it was observed their bodies were engaged in sexual intercourse.

I've not seen the Sistine Chapel in person but would love to one day pay it a visit, and not just to see the Sistine Chapel, but the other pieces that make Rome what it is today.

Anyway, there's a lot going on in the 'The Last Judgement' but there was one section that caught my eye.  The effigy of Christ is surrounded by saints, including that of Saint Bartholomew holding a drooping skin.  The likeness of this skin is said to be that of Michelangelo himself.  Whoever originally thought that, I don't know (and judging by this, I dread to think what the man actually looked like) but if it were true, it would be interesting to know why he decided to depict himself as a hollow, empty shell, so to speak...

Saint Bartholomew, 'The Last Judgement'
by Michelangelo

Monday 2 March 2015

Trick of the Light . . .

White & Gold? Or Blue &
Last week a certain dress took the Internet by storm.  It was an innocent dress captured in an innocent photo that soon went viral.  Why?  It offered the perfect optical illusion.

People from all over the globe were debating what colour the actual dress was.  Was it Blue & Black or was it White & Gold?  Many took to Twitter, joining in with the great colour debate, including Kanye West, who saw White & Gold, and Kim Kardashian, who saw Blue.  All were adamant with what they saw.  We were even having debates in our office as just over half were seeing white & gold and the other half blue & black.  Read the full article here:  

Certain stats revealed that around 75% of people saw White & Gold while the other 25% saw Blue & Black.  This was all put down to the the level of brightness behind the dress in the image and how our individual minds are wired to see certain colours.

It's all a trick of the light.

And it amazes me how easily it can deceive you.  The day before this dress went viral, I was driving home and had a similar experience.  I live in a village and at a certain point on my route I turn off the main road and am faced with fields and a mass of trees in the distance.  Among those trees sits a peaceful water tower.  It's been there for years and you can just make out the top of it between the leafy layers.

However, on this one particular day the setting sun was quite strong and coming in from roughly behind me.  This transformed the landscape in front of me and suddenly I was faced with a castle peeking from the tree lines.  I almost stopped the car and to stare in amazement.  When did this castle appear?  And only half a mile away from my house?

Then I twigged.

It was the way the sun was shining on it, casting shadows and completely changing the way the water tower looked from a distance - or rather the way I perceived it in a quick glance.  It was all a trick of the light.  But it amazes me how a little bit of light can transform this...

...into this.

As for the dress??? I see Blue and Black (or lilac and olive to be precise).  What about you??