Posts Tagged ‘Josie Iselin’

Artful Progress

Thursday, 24 January 2008

I do believe I’m halfway through the FrouFrou! I can’t be exactly sure how long the edgings or sewing up will take of course, but I got lots done at the knitting group tonight, which is good, as I’m in the ‘boring bit’ (32 long rows with no increases or decreases or anything) so distraction and encouragement are all beneficial. (It would be far worse if my housemate were larger – more longer rows! I’d probably do it anyway, though.)

I’m just under halfway through the yarn I’ve got, so it looks like it will be enough after all. I may have to unravel some of the swatches for their yarn, but that would be okay. The Amelie doesn’t much like being frogged, but seems to cope with it fine. I’ll try to post another picture tomorrow, since there has been an appreciable difference since the last one.

I read three different art books at work today, which were all pretty good, and very different from each other.

27. The Art Book for Children: Book 2 by Amanda Renshaw

This volume follows the layout of the first Art Book for Children, with the same quality as the rest of the Art Book series. My one qualm is that I found at least one interpretation, or at least the argument given for it, rather unconvincing. No-one would deny that Amanda Renshaw and her team know far more about art than I ever will, so I’ll presume there are more pertinent details I don’t know how to interpret, but I’d hate to think that the readership of this book are being given sloppy reasoning.

The painting was Jan Steen‘s The Christening Feast and the question, which of the many women in the painting is meant to be the mother of the infant? The father is assumed to be the only man in the picture, who is holding up the baby.

The book says the woman on the right gesturing expansively from the cooking pot must be the hostess and therefore the mother.

However, considering this woman seems to me to be dressed more like one of the servants on the far right, I personally wouldn’t have thought that. I might have taken her for a wet-nurse. The father and the women seated around the table all look rather better dressed. My own assumption on studying the picture would be that the mother is one of the two women to the left who are being cosseted, although the seated one does still look pregnant. It could be the one in bed.

One of my colleagues at work thought it might be the standing unbonneted woman with her back to the viewer, because she is dressed in the same red as the baby.

28. Seashells by Josie Iselin (photographs) and Sandy Carlson (text)

This is a beautiful book in both its photographs and layout. It’s concise-but-very-clear descriptions of the shells were most interesting.

29. Artists in Their World: Salvador Dali by Robert Anderson

It’s very descriptive of the artist and his influences, without mud-raking.