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John Ruskin: The Father of Modern Sketchbook Practice

Tuesday in a Facebook group I belong to someone asked: “Which country originated the practice of the sketchbook?” Group members, myself included, got sidestepped into discussionsof what was a sketchbook, and the history of bookmaking, and I even looked into the Oxford English Dictionary and an online dictionary to see when the word “sketchbook” went […]

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Sin and Salvation: William Holman Hunt at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

422px-William_Holman_Hunt_-_Selfportrait Left: William Holman Hunt, self portrait, oil on canvas, 103.5 cm x 73 cm, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence (found on Wikipedia Commons). Click on the image to view an enlargement.

If you haven't already seen Sin and Salvation: William Holman Hunt and the Pre-Raphaelite Vision at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, you have until September 6 to see this ticketed exhibit (free to members).

My attachment to the Pre-Raphaelites is a complex one, beginning in childhood (John Ruskin was a supporter of the Pre-Raphaelites; Charles Dickens—does he really need a link?—went on record to call one of his depictions of the Virgin Mary ugly).

I won't try to unravel my attachment here for you, and don't expect the show signage to present a coherent view either! What you want to do is visit the show, look at the images, and purchase the catalog: Holman Hunt and the Pre-Raphaelite Vision, edited by Katharine Lochnan and Carol Jacobi. It's 221 pages of essays and color illustrations of his paintings, drawings, engravings, and some textiles and photographs of the artist and related items. The sad thing is the reproductions are very DARK and also a tad fuzzy so they don't, even when bled full-page give you the exact sense of obsessive observation and attention to detail that seeing the paintings in life will do—but they are better than nothing, and the essays are far superior to the garbled and incoherent signage presented in the gallery.

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Help Roz Help You

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Left: A 3-1/4 x 4-3/8 inch journal made with Gutenberg paper. This journal is perfect for putting in your pocket, ready for mixed media visual journaling (Gutenberg is great for wet and dry media). Read on to learn how to acquire this tiny gem made by Roz.

Today marks eight months of daily posting on my blog. I want to write about Ruskin today. Trouble is my memory isn’t want it used to be (steel trap to sieve). I remember mentioning Ruskin in another post. I look in my blog notebook topics list and see that he wasn’t a topic over the 272 posts I’ve done so far. But he was mentioned, I know it. I even remember someone writing in and saying she bought one of his books on my recommendation. Sigh, probably mentioned him in a post on books on art.

Still, I want to write about Ruskin and I don’t want to repeat myself. Sure would be nice if I had one of those little search gizmos that could search my posts. That’s where you come in. I’ve looked and looked and the only search widgets I’ve been able to find are ones which not only search my blog posts but ALSO the web. I don’t want that. People can search the web using Google, or whatever, whenever. But when they come to my blog I want them to be able to search just my blog, find out what I have to say about what they searched for, and then get going to their next destination. That’s it.

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Productivity: J. M. W. Turner

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Above: John Mallord William Turner's 1840 oil painting: Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon Coming On).

Today "my shoes feel funny" (read on to understand that) and I am going to be running around all day, so I have pulled up a small piece I wrote for my students in February 2007 on my now defunct update list and made some additions. Any time is a good time to think about our own productivity, but I find it particularly helpful to do so when it is cold outside and as a year draws to an end. What are my goals for next year? What is my assessment of this year's goals and my productivity? How can I tweak my process?

I've been reading about Turner (British painter born in 1775, loose watercolors, man Ruskin turned into a household word, that Turner, Joseph Mallord William Turner, who died in 1851).

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