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Ivan Shishkin, Woodland. 1889. Oil on canvas. 39 1-2 x 29 in. Date 1889
Although he was a devoted and prolific outdoor painter, Russian landscape painter Ivan Shishkin was also a big fan of photography, according to an article in the Russian archives.
He encouraged his students to work from photos, especially in the depths of winter, for example, when painting outdoors was impractical. Shishkin wrote in one of his letters:
"... Let me give you one major piece of advice, that underlies all of my painting secrets and techniques, and that advice is — photography. It is a mediator between the artist and nature and one of the most strict mentors you'll ever have. And if you understand the intelligent way of using it, you'll learn much faster and improve your weak points. You'll learn how to paint clouds, water, trees — everything. You'll better understand atmospheric effects and linear perspective and so on..."
Shishkin enlarged details with a magnifying glass, and he also used a projector. When he came to teach at the Academy of Fine Arts in 1897, he specifically mentioned the need for a "magic lantern" type projection device to aid in student learning, not only for enlarging photos, but for presenting drawings at a larger scale.
Shishkin's enthusiasm for modern tools like photography is not surprising during an era of technological innovation, and in an age of positivism, which placed a value on verifiable facts.
Portrait of Shishkin by Ivan Kramskoi
But he never regarded photography as a substitute for direct observation. Shishkin was known as a devoted and prolific outdoor painter. His friend and traveling companion Ivan Kramskoi marveled at his productivity: "He paints two or three studies a day and completely finishes each of them."
Shishkin wrote: "In the case of art - be it art, architecture, such practice is of the greatest importance. It alone allows the artist to appreciate the substance of the raw material which nature presents. Therefore, the study of nature is necessary for any artist, but especially for the landscape."
In observing nature, he was able to overcome the dead accuracy of the details. Although photographs were used widely by artists during his time, Shishkin was conscious of not mindlessly copying. He told his students that the way an artist uses a photo will reveal the artist with talent, because "a mediocre artist will slavishly copy all the unnecessary detail from photos, but a man with a flair will take only what he needs."
Shishkin knew as much about individual plant forms as did the professional botanists of his day. He said, "I love the original character of every tree, every bush, and every blade of grass, and as a loving son who values each wrinkle on the face of his mother."
Shishkin said, "Work every day as if it is your daily duty. There's no need to wait for inspiration! Inspiration is the work itself!"
बिहार इलेक्शन आए और गहमागहमी बढ गई… आरोप प्रत्यारोप बढ गया. सभी पार्टियां एक दूसरे पर दोषारोपण कर रही हैं जनता से किसी को कोई लेना देना नही!! आम आदमी को बस इलेकक्शन का ही आसरा है क्योकि उसके अच्छे दिन तो आते ही चुनावों में हैं कभी किसी पार्टी के पाले में तो कभी किसी पार्टी के पाले में ….
The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall (Knopf, September 8, 2015, for ages 8 to 12)
Source: Penguin Random House
Synopsis (from the publisher): It was a bitterly cold day when Arthur T. Owens grabbed a brick and hurled it at the trash picker. Arthur had his reasons, and the brick hit the Junk Man in the arm, not the head. But none of that matters to the judge—he is ready to send Arthur to juvie for the foreseeable future. Amazingly, it’s the Junk Man himself who offers an alternative: 120 hours of community service . . . working for him.
Arthur is given a rickety shopping cart and a list of the Seven Most Important Things: glass bottles, foil, cardboard, pieces of wood, lightbulbs, coffee cans, and mirrors. He can’t believe it—is he really supposed to rummage through people’s trash? But it isn’t long before Arthur realizes there’s more to the Junk Man than meets the eye, and the “trash” he’s collecting is being transformed into something more precious than anyone could imagine. . . .
Why I recommend it: This book has everything you want in an inspiring MG novel:
-- A strong main character, who is flawed but grows and changes. Your heart will ache for Arthur, who is having trouble dealing with the death of his father. There's no excuse for Arthur's violent action, but Pearsall does give us an explanation, which I won't mention here in case it's considered a spoiler.
-- An unusual situation. I don't think I've ever read another MG where the protagonist has to go to juvenile court and then carry out a punishment like this. It was also fascinating discovering exactly what the Junk Man was doing with the seven most important things.
-- A setting you can easily picture and a realistic depiction of life in Washington, DC in 1963. While Arthur is in Juvie, JFK is assassinated. So while the story isn't about that, the events of 1963/64 provide the backdrop for this historical novel.
And yes, there's a spiritual nature to the Junk Man and his project, but Pearsall never preaches. This is based on the true story of folk artist James Hampton and his amazing project that now sits in the Smithsonian.
Favorite line: But whenever he thought about quitting he'd hear Judge Warner saying, The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. And it would make him mad enough to stay. (p. 60)
Where and when did the history of international law begin? Many scholars have argued about the definitive date and periodisation of certain dynamic developments, let alone which treaties, institutions, and figures have shaped the field's core doctrines.
Europe is currently scrambling to cope with the arrival of over one million asylum seekers. Responses have ranged from building walls to opening doors. European Union countries have varied widely in their offers to resettle refugees.
Not only are we living in a Golden Age of television, it also feels in many ways like we are living in a Golden Age of diverse television. While TV may still be more segregated than we’d like it to be, both in front of and behind the camera, 2014-2015 saw the emergence of several critically and commercially successful shows with lead characters of color.
A few years ago, we published an infographic and study exploring the diversity gap in the Emmys and on television. Today we’ve updated that infographic and tried to answer the question: Has the Diversity Gap in Television decreased?
Last night Viola Davis made Emmys history by becoming the first woman of color to win an Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Drama Series!
In the most moving moment of the night, she directly addressed the discrimination that people of color face in Hollywood, saying:
The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.
The 2015 Emmy nominees were an exceptionally diverse crowd by Hollywood standards and happily Viola Davis was not the only talented person of color to go home with an Emmy in hand. Actors Regina King (Supporting Actress, Limited Series or Movie), Reg E. Cathey (Guest Actor, Drama), and Uzo Aduba (Best Supporting Actress, Drama) all went home with Emmys in hand. This also makes 2015 the first year that women of color won Emmys in the Drama category for both Best Lead Actress and Best Supporting Actress.
Last night also saw several women honored in the directing category, an area usually dominated by men. Jill Soloway took home the Emmy for Best Director for a Comedy Series for Transparent, making her the third woman in a row to win this category. Lisa Cholodenko also took home a Directing Emmy for her work on the Limited Series Olive Kitteridge. In other words, two out of four Best Directing Emmys this year went to women.
The Bad While last night saw some groundbreaking firsts, it’s not time for Hollywood to pat itself on the back just yet. Despite this year’s big win for Viola Davis, it’s important to remember that in the last 25 years, only one person of color has ever won in each of the four Lead Acting categories. There were no people of color nominated this year in the categories of Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Lead Actress in a Comedy Series or Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
In addition, it’s worth noting that all of the people of color nominated in Acting categories this year were African American, with the exception of Louis C.K. (who is half Mexican). Asian, Latino, Middle Eastern, and Native actors still don’t have enough roles, leading or supporting, to be represented in any meaningful way at the Emmys. When Hollywood’s definition of “diversity” is reduced to Black or White, everyone still loses.
When it comes to gender representation, things are improving but some categories haven’t budged. 96% of winners in the Best Director of a Drama Series are still men, although one woman (Lesli Linka Glatter, Homeland) was at least nominated this year.
What Remains to Be Seen
It was clear this year that diversity was on people’s minds, and some big wins proved that it was on people’s ballots, too. But a good year, or even a few good years, are just a drop in the bucket when it comes to boosting opportunities and visibility of people of color and women in Hollywood. It may feel like progress is being made, but looking at our 2012 and 2015 infographics back to back, we can track whether that’s actually the case:
In some categories we do see improvement, but in most categories the percentage of winners who are people of color has actually decreased as the total number of years we track increases. While some people may dismiss this as a numbers game, it demonstrates an important point about diversity: it requires a conscious effort to change the status quo. If you do nothing, the numbers actually get worse.
Host Andy Samberg hit on this point in his opening monologue by congratulating Hollywood on such a diverse list of nominees:
The big story this year, of course, is diversity. This is the most diverse group of nominees in Emmy history, so congratulations Hollywood. You did it. Yeah, racism is over. Don’t fact check that.
Racism isn’t over and neither is sexism, but let’s hope that we’re moving into an age where both issues are treated by Hollywood as more than just a punchline.
For all young readers who relished the reading of “The Day the Crayons Quit” and realized that crayons, like humans, have rich interior lives – and feelings, here is the follow up picture book called, “The Day the Crayons Came Home.”
Those put upon colors are at it again, and as the special seal on the cover conveys, this companion edition to the original crayon complainers, “contains a special Glow in the Dark drawing.” Fun!
Well, a plethora of postcards are heading young Duncan’s way from each of the ill treated crayons that are either flung here or there or left in the lurch.
Maroon is a great fall color featured in fashion mags everywhere, so even Maroon Crayon whose mournful story, of being lost beneath the cushions of the couch, and taped and paper clipped together, should be assuaged from high dudgeon – for a bit! Adding insult to injury, Maroon was even sat upon and broken – hence the tape and paper clip.
And it goes on from there, in a cacophony of crayon calamity, written on a series of post cards mailed to young Duncan, the owner of the crayon cavilers in “The Day the Crayons Quit.”
Woe-be-tide the unsympathetic soul who is not in sync with Turquoise, (another very popular color this summer), whose head is stuck in a less than sweet-smelling sock, and unceremoniously tossed in a dryer. Crayon crisis upon crisis is the order of the day. The crayons feel much wronged and it is up to readers to listen and perhaps, help Duncan find a remedy.
It’s a hoot and a half for kids that may never treat crayons in a cavalier way again. They have lives and feelings as their users do and they are not mere implements at the end of someone’s finger tips to fill inside the lines of a picture or create color at their owner’s whim.
It’s funny, but the more that I think about it, it’s not too much of a stretch from kindness to an inanimate object to kindness to an animate one.
Lesson 1 Crayons have feelings that are to be respected, and not to be taken for granted.
Lesson 2 So do people.
Good learning arc here!
Young readers and adults will sympathize, and even chuckle, at this host of harried happenings that befall a crayon left behind at a resort. Neon Red is here ignominiously cast aside after being used to color Dad a lobster red after contacting a sunburn.
Orange and Yellow are “melting, melting” akin to that Wicked Witch in “The Wizard of Oz”, but it’s not water that melts them, but a prolonged dose of being left out in the sun.
Burnt Umber! Ah, the very name conjures memories from my own childhood of coloring. And I found myself as worked up as the crayon as he details his being scarfed as a snack – and then upchucked. Kids love the yucky in case you’ve forgotten.
Will this litany of low treatment end with no resolve? Will appreciation of crayons reign again? Might they again be resigned to a mere crayon box? Or is something grander in the works?
For any Baby Boomer parent or grandparent that recalls whiling away an afternoon building a fort from a conglomeration of cardboard shoe boxes, the conclusion of mending hurts by constructing crayon comfort in condo fashion is very satisfying.
Side deck and rooftop viewing station are included.
This sequel to “The Day the Crayons Quit” makes nice with put upon crayons, and readers of all ages will love it!
There's a wonderful set of new releases this week, and we have a whopping total of twelve books to give away, including three copies each of UNGODLY and THE MURDSTONE TRILOGY! Which of this week's new releases are you most looking forward to?
One of my favourite Neil Gaiman quotes: "Just write. Many writers have a vague hope that elves will come in the night and finish any stories for you for you. They won’t." You can see the original video in which he offers advice for young writers:
September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and so I'd like to feature some YA Fiction books that have suicide as a major theme. These books can be used by librarians and teachers in a display, or as bibliotherapy for teens they know. While each of these books might not be for everyone, they provide a good sample of contemporary YA fiction dealing with suicide, and making these books available to teens is so important.
Finch and Violet discover each other at just the right time. It isn't clear who saves who, but it's obvious that they can affect each other deeply. Violet is living for the future, while Find is fascinated with ways to die. This deeply emotional book will appeal to fans of Jay Asher, John Green, and Rainbow Rowell.
Ultimately a story of strong, bright *hope*, MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES by Jasmine Warga is one of my favorite books of the year. It deals with suicide and depression in a very honest, straightforward way. There is no cutting corners or talking around the issues. I highly recommend this book for teens struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts. They will be strengthened by following Aysel's journey and finding hope at the end of the story.
Sam's best friend Hayden left him nothing but a playlist and a note - Listen and you'll understand. Sam has to remember everything he can about Hayden, but he realizes his memory isn't always reliable - sometimes you have to open your eyes and take in what's really happening all around you to really understand yourself and others. A heart-wrenching story that's ultimately a strong quest for hope, when hope seems like the last thing you can find.
Why did Liz Emerson give up and decide the world would be a better place without her? A beautifully written novel told in a unique point of view, FALLING INTO PLACE shows how one person affects the rest of the world around her, and how she is in turn affected by it. Dark, poetic, emotional, this isn't a story for everyone, but when that one person finds it they'll be changed forever.
A thrilling romance set in a boarding school on the Pacific coast, ESCAPE THEORY tells the story of the suicide of the school's most popular student and the affect it has on his friends, and the girl who has fallen in love with him. Secrets and hidden emotions are revealed to tell the true story of a boy who shouldn't have died, and a girl who shouldn't love him.
Eden Grey is the Young Adult Programming Librarian at the Erlanger branch of the Kenton County Public Library system, the busiest branch library in the state of Kentucky. Eden is a contributor to Teen Services Underground, and reviews books for YABC and School Library Journal. When she is not herding cats -ahem, teens- at the library, Eden can be found reading, knitting, sewing, cosplaying, and playing Pokemon. You can always find her on Twitter (@edyngrey), and Blogging Between the Lines.
The author of the book featured in Face Lift 1374 has submitted a revision and seeks your feedback. Dear Mr. Evil Editor, Ana is a monster. She doesn’t have claws, fangs, or even a tail-and that’s the problem. One by one everyone else around her has changedand taken on physical traits of an animal which matches their personality, just like they’re supposed to. Everyone that is, except her. [I think you made that point in the previous paragraph.] Abandoned and feared Ana has raised herself in the woods just outside of town for eight years. Then, one day, the forest is suddenly on fire. Before she escapes Ana rescues a coyote girl named Arella and her dog brother Rae from the blaze. The woods she called home are suddenly gone and now she must find a new place to hide. [Does Rae have the personality of Santa's Little Helper or of Cujo?
I mean, dogs have so many different personalities (unlike cats, which are all sneaky, stand-offish, disloyal, annoying, demanding, neurotic and stubborn) that it seems everyone could take on the physical traits of a dog.] Rather than fear her, Rae and Arella sympathize with her and even offer to have her travel [take her]with them to see King Nalvero so that he might help her. [So Ana is Dorothy and King Nalvero is the wizard.] Though they seem kind something about their story doesn’t make sense. For one thing, Ana knows from whispers in the village that Nalvero and his army are invading other kingdoms and on the verge of declaring war. [It's always best to invade other kingdoms before declaring war. It catches them off guard.] For another, there’s the matter of what they were doing in the forest in the first place. [Is it so outlandish that someone who physically is a coyote would be in a forest?] She can’t trust these two-but if there’s a chance that she can end her nightmare, she’ll take it. The three have less than a week to travel to Nalvero’s castle while avoiding his soldiers, a panther bounty hunter, curses, prophecies, [a wicked witch, flying monkeys,] and Rae and Ana’s constant arguing. [What happens if they aren't there in less than a week? If their goal is to reach the king, why avoid his soldiers? Aren't the king and his soldiers on the same side?] [Try to keep lists to three items. Curses and prophesies don't strike me as things you can avoid.] They’ll have to rely on each other to make it, but the closer they become[get] to their destination, the closer they become [grow] to each other. [I don't see what point that sentence is making. The "but" suggests that it's harder to rely on someone you're close to. Isn't the opposite true?] With each passing day it becomes more and more difficult to keep up the ruse [What ruse?] and their schemes could unravel. [What schemes?] In the end Ana must choose who to trust in order to fulfill a destiny far beyond her choice. [Does she or anyone know what her destiny is?] Keeper of the Woods is a 56,000 word middle grade fantasy novel. I look forward to hearing from you. Notes If Ana, Rae and Arella all have human intelligence, I would think the ones with dog and coyote bodies would have the easier time getting out of a burning forest. Were they trapped under a fallen tree? If you don't change into an animal, that's a shame, but I don't see how the king can help. They should be off to see a wizard (preferably Harry Potter or Gandalf, not Oz). Good that you're focusing on the plot this time, but more work is needed. Try limiting yourself to nine sentences. It might help you decide what's important and what can be left out.
I would add a few commas, after Abandoned and feared, Before she escapes, Though they seem kind. And get rid of the commas in Then, one day,
A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.
As a school librarian, I cannot resist the opportunity to feature a "snapshot" of school libraries across the country in the midst of the opening weeks of the 2015/16 school year. I remain hopeful that this will be an exciting year for school libraries. This week's storify montage features makerspaces, exciting academic tech, and various types of literacies (research, reading, digital, media, etc.). Exploring what other school librarians are up to can help inform your own 2015/16 school year goals. Do you want to take your makerspace to the next level? Establish more collaborative relationships with teachers? Incorporate yourself into an oft elusive discipline? Up fiction reading? Amp up your book club? Revitalize research literacy instruction? Establish self-checkout? Create a lego wall?
Sometimes it's hard to see the opportunities available in the school library because of budget and staffing issues; however, I challenge all school librarians (including myself) to choose a small innovation that can be achieved regardless of available money, time, or man power. If you need ideas, check out some of these resources to get started: AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning and Maker Ed Tools & Materials. Please leave your ideas, goals, and questions in the comments. And of course, good luck this year!
Last month, Ryan from Invaluable contacted me to see if I'd be interested in coming up with a post about what rare and collectible books would be in my dream collection. And of course, I've got quite a list.
Obviously, my first choice would be a first edition hardback of Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis. I was shocked to find that this one is actually within my price range - it would only set me back $150 or so. In terms of collecting books that's much closer to doable than my other dream choices.
Like this first edition, signed copy of It by Stephen King, which is going for $735.
Or this signed first edition of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, for close to $2000.
If I was REALLY going to go all out, I could drop $237,000 for this inscribed copy of The Little Prince.
But my ultimate collection would have to include Lewis's Narnia series in its' entirety. At approximately $39,000 it would only cost me a little bit more than my new car, so it's totally doable, right?
What about you, Reader Friends? What would you put in your dream collection? Thanks again to Ryan and Invaluable for the inspiration behind the post (which is not sponsored and did not provide me with any kickbacks other than the great idea)!
In a piece for the Atlantic on the debut of Stephen Colbert’s new late night gig, Megan Garber leverages some scholarship from Pablo Boczkowski’s News at Work: Imitation in an Age of Information Abundance, which positions the thriving competition and rampant imitation prominent among journalists as impetus for our desires to instantly consume—and then avoid acrimonious public conversations about—breaking news (especially that of the political kind). Garber sees Colbert as a song-and-dance Charlie Rose, rather than a David Letterman, and goes on to frame his debut as part of the slow creep of politics into entertainment and entertainment into politics, ultimately noting Boczkowski’s discussion of chatting about politics with our peers.
[P]olitics and late-night comedy have long been happy, if occasionally awkward, bedfellows. Clinton, saxophoning with Arsenio. Bush, chatting with Leno. Obama, chatting with ferns. But Colbert was, in subtle but significant ways, different. He wasn’t treating Jeb as a celebrity, giving him an easy opportunity for free, and content-free, media; he was treating him as a person who is running for political office. He was actually interviewing him. He was trying to have a conversation with him about things that directly affect people’s lives. (Same, to some extent, with George Clooney, Colbert’s first guest: The two talked about acting and movie-making, but they also talked about Darfur.)
You could think of all that as a kind of mission creep, politics seeping into entertainment; you could also, though, think of it as entertainment making its way into politics. Productively. Part of Donald Trump’s popularity has to be explained by his refusal to acknowledge a distinction between the two. And part of why politics has become so polarized, while we’re at it, is likely that we’ve come to see the workings of government as things that exist separately from the rest of our lives. The sociologist Pablo Boczkowski talks about the reluctance many people have to talk about politics in a work environment, where such discussions can create unnecessary acrimony; instead, we silo ourselves, discussing the issues of the day, for the most part, with people we know will pretty much agree with us.
That’s not a good thing, for people or for democracy. And Colbert’s latest debut suggested that late-night comedy might actually play a role in fixing it.