Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Head's up - Art Podcast & Books

If you are an art lover or artist and would like to learn more about artist, and about their backgrounds and so forth, I ran across a site that has podcast on that sort of thing.  They cover just about anything from photography to different styles of fine art, and so forth.   Sorry, I didn't have time to label each artwork, and give each artist their due, I know the middle artwork is by Richard Diebenkorn, whom I like a lot.  The  yellowish art below him is by Hassel Smith, but I forget who the top artist is.

At any rate, here's the spot to go to if you want to listen to the podcast, they have an archive there too that you can browse if you are looking for something on a particular artist.  I listened off and on to one of them about the artist Willem de Kooning.   Here's where the podcast are:  The Modern Art Notes Podcast.  

Anywho, I went by Hobby Lobby one of the two art stories in town as they were having a sale, and I probably will go back this week to buy a few things.  They have a aisle devoted to stuff they are trying to get rid of, so the items are marked down.  I always look there as I'm curious about assemblage and collage, and always wonder what I might run across to perhaps use within that mishmash of things.  Those art stores are great places to get lost in at times.  (Oh, by the way, they already had their Christmas stuff up--boy talk about getting ready early...)

Over the Labor Day weekend, I did some yard work.  I guess for some that's a time to take off away from labor, but I wanted to knock that little chore out so it frees up my week.  Heck, nothing going on here anyway.  I had to go to the dentist on Tuesday anyway for a cleaning.  And, yes, I have to go back for more, as I need a crown. Sigh.  My mouth is a goldmine.  (Note to self: That should be the title to a poem.)

I read a little bit.  I read a new comic series by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.  Brubaker is my favorite comic writer these days.  The Fade Out is a crime, mystery story about 1950's Hollywood, and a writer (I believe he was a writer) who has an alcohol problems wakes up in a bathtub from  drinking binge and a party, and finds a female corpse on the premises where he's at.  He gets the heck out of there, but I'm pretty sure he'll be tracking down who the murderer was and why.  It's all set in Hollywood, and Brubaker has a knack for telling gritty tales.  There's also a short article in the back written by Devin Faraci on The Death of Peg Entwistle.  It's about the death of a Hollywood starlet, who jumped off the H of the Hollywood sign back in 1932.  Somehow Brubaker will add these little articles to his comics, which really are an extra draw for the monthlies as they aren't in the collected books.  At any rate, Devin Faraci, co-runs a site called, which covers films, comics, and pop culture stuff, if interested.

While on books, I ran across another pretty cool site about books.  It's a useful tool as they have reviews and synopsis of books by average people like you and me.  I haven't spent a lot of time on there so there may synopsis and reviews by above and below average people as well--just a joke, but there may be famous writers on there as well.  At any rate, the name of the site is:  
The above book, Swords & Sorcery, is a book I believe I found at an old Friends of the Midland Library sale that I went to long ago when I lived there, and when they had them. They changed that annual event to a full time books store now, but I had some fun times going to that book sale.

There was a story I was reading in the above book, however, by Poul Anderson called The Valor of Cappen Varra.   Poul Anderson was reared in Denmark and in various parts of the United States. He began writing as soon as he graduated from the University of Minnesota, and has published a wide variety of stories.  Some might be familiar with his fantasy, The Broken Sword, but he's also written detective stories, Perish by the Sword, , and historical novels, The Golden Slave.  The story, The Valor of Cappen Varra, is based upon a Danish legend, and appeared in Fantastic Universe Science Fiction in January 1957.  It's a pretty smashing fantasy about a crew lost at sea in a horrible sea storm.  They encounter an island, and on the island is a monster-like troll that likes eating humans.  There's also a damsel in distress, and they send the lowly crew member, Cappen Varra, onto the island for supplies.  I hope the rest of the stories are of this caliber.

Oh, I also found on Youtube, that they have a video book club of sorts.  Some of the video book reviews are pretty cool depending on who is doing them and what they are reviewing.  I ran across one from a gal that's from Glasgow, Scotland.

Let's face it, I'm a fool for an accent, so I know that's part of the draw, but she's also cute, and articulate, and she likes what I like: fantasy, science fiction, and genre fiction.  (As a side note, as an older person, I'm continually amazed by the internet.  It amazes me that I can be in semi-rural Texas and access a video made in Scotland.  I guess it's like one of those Star Trekkie things that I would never have thought would have been in my future growing up in a small town in West Texas as a teen.)   At any rate, I have posted a link to the video she made on the SF novel, Wool by Hugh Howey.  It is the first part of a trilogy.  That's one of he reasons I was searching for reviews as I thought the book might interest me.  It is set in a dystopian future, where people are living underground in a silo the size of the Empire State building or something like that.  So I might try to find a copy at the library or a used copy somewhere.  It also sounds like something I'd like to see either made into a movie or a TV series.

For whatever reason, I can't find the right video  thru this blogger thing, but if interested, you can go to this link on it will take you to YT.


At 5:32 PM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

I recommend “The Painted Word” by the always readable Tom Wolfe. If you haven’t yet encountered it you might enjoy it. He argues that for well over a century art has not been its own explanation. Art styles and individual works are now expected to have a philosophy. (Hence the title.) He is at his most insightful and incisive with the abstract expressionists.

Poul Anderson was incredibly prolific, and I’ve read only a small number of his books. I struggle to turn out a few short stories here and there, but he churned out novels at a rate that kept Isaac Asimov looking over his shoulder. I like the books of his that I have read, including “Tau Zero” and “Orion Shall Rise.” He shows an appreciation for moral complexity that is often lacking in SF/Fantasy writers. His characters with (overall) the better moral case often succeed by resorting to barbaric methods, while dastards often fail due to their moments of honorability.

At 6:19 PM, Blogger El Vox said...

I'll keep an eye peeled for your recommendation, Rich. We have several book sales here. One by the library, and two annual sales by another group, I forget who they raise funds for, but I always like going just to browse. They've moved into a nice location too, which makes it even better.

At any rate, I may run across it there. I've never, oops. I started to say, I've never read anything by Tom Wolfe, but it occurred to me he wrote, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Good book about the whole 60's group of people--Merry Pranksters, Grateful Dead, etc.

I read that book around the time I read Hunter S. Thompson's Hell's Angels. It's an interesting book to read as well.

Yes, I might have to find something else by Poul. Thanks for the recs there too. I heard his Three Heart & Three Lions was a good one too.

At 11:30 AM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is great. Wolfe's nonfiction reads like fiction and his fiction reads like nonfiction. I mean that as a compliment.


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