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Collage and Sketching: A Look inside a Recent Journal—Part Three of Three

The post provides links and discussion of the third part of this three-part video peek into a recent journal. And a discussion of “bingo, bango.”

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Films for the Holidays

  Note: This page originally appeared as a post on December 25, 2008. I added it as a page because the holidays are here again (November 25, 2009) and I’m sticking to my list. Left: actor James Stewart in a still from “The Naked Spur” which is an Anthony Mann western and NOT a holiday […]

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Films for the Holidays

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Left: actor James Stewart in a still from “The Naked Spur” which is an Anthony Mann western and NOT a holiday film. But Stewart is in one of the most beloved holiday films ever made: “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I can’t bring myself to put that movie on my list. I alternate between thinking it is overly sentimental to deciding that Capra rode right down the line between emotion and message. I’ve seen the movie so many times that I don’t need to watch it again to recall the pain I feel when George Bailey gets wrung through the wringer again and again. My cynical self prefers Mann’s take on the human drama and what it means to be busted and lose everything you ever wanted, and how it will warp you if you don’t watch out. It's a feel good movie. Jimmy Stewart does something amazing in Mann’s film too, something big Hollywood stars wouldn’t dream of doing these days: he’s totally vulnerable. Heck, watch both movies this holiday season—bookends on a career and bookends on families which is really what holiday films are all about.

In the U.S. the predominant end of year holiday vibe is Christmas and the celebration of giving, self-sacrifice, and family. This is all pretty much a hard sell to someone like me who looks around and sees consumerism run amok. To make my holiday list a movie has to speak to a transformation in the main character from someone self-centered or otherwise damaged, into someone with hope (or someone who sacrifices so others can have hope; that’s pretty much the tradition as written). Also an important component of holiday movies for me is the dysfunctional family. Here transformation manifests as acceptance, in whatever flowered form it might take. And I prefer sentiment glazed with humor.

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Waterborne: An Art Show Not a Disease or Parasite!

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Right: Chicago, November, by John Salminen, is just one of the large (22 x 30 inches or more) detailed and stunning watercolors by this artist in the current show. You will want to see this image in person to check out the delightful blend of colors Salminen uses to create a patina of rust on the large El-train support in the left third of this painting.

OK, "Waterborne" isn't what I would have called a watercolor show, but then I tend to spend altogether too much time reading about parasites and tropical diseases. As I stood outside the Katherine E. Nash Gallery on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Main Campus I couldn't help think of the double meanings in that title. But since parasites and such don't put me off I walked right in; and so should you!

Members of the Minnesota Watercolor Society will recognize the work of many of the included artists here (several past presidents of the society, and other office holders). Other regional artists are also included. In addition to the regional watercolorists there are watercolors from the Weisman's collection (including some really cool pre-1800 stuff and a couple George Grosz hand colored lithographs!).

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