Art

Vicar Book


MASTER PAINTINGS OF THE WORLD:
Page through 350 pages of academic nudes

This book has traveled with me all my life. It was an essential part of my childhood - a glimpse into a world of so much beauty. I spent hours paging through the images, with not a notion how they actually looked in color. And even though I chose to go into the sciences, rather than the arts as mother urged, I always had these incredible images of double stars locked in my brain to stand for all the beauty that I found in astronomy.

The book was passed from grandmother, to mother, and on to me. But the pages were made of a terrible quality of paper, and the only way I can pass it on is by digitizing it for you here.

Watercolors


STAINED GLASS:
In 1997 I was putting together my original website, and was frustrated by the emphasis in HTML books on textual, rather than image loaded pages. Yes, people were almost always using dialup lines, but there were some lovely add-ons to Photoshop that made it possible to create much cheaper loading images than most people bothered to get. So I experimented with a subsite that went the other direction (mother DID call me Mary Contrary), and was filled with images and almost no words.

Watercolors


MOTHER'S ART:
Mother was a hard role model to follow. She took abilities she had for granted, and truly belived that I could do anything she could do. She was wrong, but her faith in me came from love, so I can't really complain. No matter how many times she showed me how to sketch with simple and quick lines, I just couldn't do it. Her hand was always steady and her pencil went where she wanted it to.

There was nothing she ever used her art for after she left school except, perhaps, to inspire me with a love of beauty, too. But she kept her artwork and sketch book from college, and they're extremely precious to me now. I look at the images and I can still hear her voice just behind my shoulder. I won't turn around. That way, maybe she'll always be there when I need to talk to her.

Balzac


MY VERY POOR ART:
Museums were playgrounds when I was a child
Hanging my heart on jungle gym bars
Of Renoirs and Rodins and even Matisse
While mother explained the curve of the hip
Of the Buddahs and odalesques playing with me
As we swung from 12th century tapestry
Into the sky of Georgia O'Keefe
And back again laughing in such fine company.

It was here that she studied, my mother explained,
Your grandmother, long before grandpa appeared,
At the Institute's classes of art and design,
Of the lion and the curve and the stroke of the pen.
She studied with Taft, mother said with some pride,
Though the master was gone long before I arrived in my turn,
Now it's yours, to take up the brush
For genetics will conquer in gentle ambush.

This wasn't at all what I wanted to hear
Because I was a scientist, cool-eyed and clear,
From the tips of my fingers that typed at the keys of computers
To firm-planted feet that walked near eyes of heaven
That gazed at Albireo's eyes blinking back blue and gold
    In a canvas of black, crying
"I am no artist and I know no verse."

Then I listened to silence that laughed in reverse.

Balzac


MUSIC VIDEO POSTERS:
In the last twenty years, I've made over 650 literary music videos. When I presented them at the MIT Media Lab, the conclusion was that the videos were, indeed, art, in and of themselves. After relentless prodding from the people at our local cable channel, I finally agreed to show them in our tiny town, and put up a half hour of them every week for about a year. To advertise them, I built small posters and the storekeepers let me tape them up in store windows. And every week I'd go back and take down the old one and put up a new one. But I always came home with less than I brought, since a number of people had taken to collecting the posters, as they did the music videos.

Gerrit G. lansing


MULTIMEDIA FAMILY FORMS:
For all my lack of artistic talent, I'm still primarily a visual person. So genealogy was a hard row to hoe for me, with its emphasis on names, dates and multitudinous facts. The solution I came up with was a new genealogy form, which I called MultiMedia Family Forms, so that I could abbreviate it as "mmff." The acronym slips so beautifully off the tongue. These use a graphic layout style to help me remember key information about particular people, and brings them to life for me as individuals, and not just as entries in a computer file.

Bathroom

Bathroom


BATHROOM and LIBRARY
Designing is my passion, and it really doesn't matter what the medium is. Paul was kind enough to give me full freedom to design the smallest room in the house, the bathroom near the master bedroom. To me, it's an inverted sculpture. You stand inside the art, instead of looking in at it.

The walls are tumbled and polished white marble. The shower is light green/blue iridescent glass, with a ceiling of white and green tumbled marble. The cupboard is a high relief carved cabinet from around 1800, and the vanity was created to match the fireplace mantle in which it's contained. The sink, itself, glows as a nightlight, and there's carved pieces embedded in many of the walls.

The library was next. I fine-finished incredible boards of poplar and had the workmen put them together like a jigsaw puzzle. Library shelves of oak and bathroom of cherry. It's where we work and spend most of our time. No curtains anywhere. I designed it so that staggered folding screens block visibility into the main library.

Bathroom

Wreaths


WREATHS:
I tend to be just a trifle extreme when I get excited about something. This was my dried flower stage. Thank goodness for friends like Lyn, who glued along beside me. The Annie Oakley wreath and the Victorian Valentine wreaths are hers.

Woodlawn


ARCHITECTURE:
I've always loved architecture (blame mother), but it was especially exciting to discover that some of the homes of my ancestors still exist. The Niagara-on-the-Lake summer home of my 2nd great grandparents eluded me for the longest time, because the next owners changed its name. I knew it through their will as Woodlawn, but it's now known as Randwood.

Flowers


PAUL'S PHOTOGRAPHS:
My husband Paul has always loved photography. It was a hobby he shared with his father. While I was building the Locust Grove part of the website, Paul took a series of pictures of flowers on the property, and of various views.

Another place we extensively used his photographs were to record the three month motorhome trip we took in 2005. While I made music videos, Paul took photographs. It was a wonderful time.

There's more of Paul's pictures linked off the page I made for him.

Flowers


PAUL'S PHOTO MANIPULATIONS:
Still photographs or video, the moment Paul got his hands on something lovely, he would play with it until you lost all reference to his starting point. He's always said he developed his artistic sense, along with his PhD, at MIT.

Fandom Faces


PAUL'S IMAGINATION:
Star Trek was our passion, and one of the first things Paul learned to do with Photoshop was turn people into Vulcans and Klingons. Bless that imagination of his!

Arleen Geller's Art


ARLEEN GELLER'S SPOCKS:
We've been so lucky to know so many fine artists. Arleen is a very dear friend whose talent is immeasureable. Since she didn't have a website, I was ecstatic to be able to put up these amazing images for her.

Watercolors


THE ART OF HENRY LIVINGSTON:
Henry Livingston lived on the banks of the Hudson River from 1748 to 1828, on a farm which he bought from his father, adjoining the land on which he was born. Although known mainly as the other claimant to the authorship of 'Night Before Christmas," Henry had an interest beyond literature - in art, and in music. A surveyor, among his many occupations, Henry indulged himself with the occasional watercolor on his maps, as well as with small pieces for his family. This looser medium was more suitable for Henry's style than the engravings that were published in the New-York Magazine.

Illustrated Poetry


ILLUSTRATED POETRY OF HENRY LIVINGSTON:
In order to encourage people to read through Henry's wonderful poetry, I created illustrated versions, and then linked them together into books that let people read just the type of poems that appealed to them - love poetry, moral fable poetry, funny poetry, poetry about family, inspirational poetry.

And if you really prefer comic books, there's a lot of Henry's poetry that's heavily illustrated by vintage postcards.

By the way, do stop by to see what's new with Henry this year. Mac won't be out with the writeup of his statistical analysis of Henry and Moore this Christmas. He's had so many deadline obligations on Shakespeare books - his own and with other academics. But he swears next year. The results stay good for Henry even after including Moore's handwritten manuscript! Mac just has to finish explaining his results.

Postcards


ANTIQUE POSTCARDS OF SANTA:
Antique Christmas postcards are a favorite collectible. They are inexpensive, easy to store, and provide access to a wide range of artists from many countries. This collection includes photographic cards, Santas with non-red clothing, and some pretty crotchety Santas thrown in for good measure.

Editions


ANTIQUE EDITIONS OF NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS:
While Christmas has always been a favorite subject of artists, A Visit From St. Nicholas has been absolutely inspirational. Early magazines published the poem with an engraving by Nash. Later Nash art appeared in publications devoted to only that Christmas poem. Page through antique editions of this famous poem, by illustrators such as Thomas Nast, Margaret Evans Price, Hugo von Hofsten, and John R. Neill,

Ancestral Portraits


ANCESTRAL PORTRAITS:
A set of portraits, which link to larger images, and which were attributed as portraits of Henry ancestors by the portraits' owner. Attributions, of course, can be wrong, but they're still lovely portraits. We tried photographing them on three separate occasions, and were always limited by the darkness of the rooms, and the reflecting glass.

Slideshow


A SLIDE SHOW PRESENTATION OF HENRY:
Not having mother's skill with free line, I tend to play with layout. I've always said that lectures should be done with pictures rather than with words, because it's important that your audience not have their attention divided between reading the words that are projected, and hearing what you have to say. Of course, you could always just read the words, but boring them purposely seems a trifle unkind. So I like to build slides that visually entertain, while still reminding me of the topic I need to discuss. Which means that it would be pretty useless to put my slides up on the web, as is. So I've added a smoother version of the crib notes I keep between my lecture slides.

Favorite Artists


FAVORITE ART AND ARTISTS:
Other artists I enjoy are on my Favorite Artists page. 'Favorites' is such a lovely concept. It means you get to look back and remember the happiness of loving something deeply, then you can put away the memory in a place where you won't ever forget it again.

There's a special place in my heart for the sculptor Lorado Taft because both mother and I studied in his studio. The family story was that grandmother studied with Taft at the Art Institute when she came to Chicago as a young woman. Be that as it may, Taft was an artist whose work mother talked about frequently. Whenever we went to the Art Institute, we'd stop for a time to enjoy various pieces, such as the 5 sisters representing the lakes pouring into one another. Studying at University of Chicago meant I could spend time at the nearby immense fountain illustrating the Progression of Time. Figures rise from a crawling babe to an erect center figure, then gradually bow again when weighted down with the load of their years. And I don't know what your 'must see' place in St. Louis is but, for me, it's the Taft sculpture in the large pool out in front of the train station.

Indeed, favorites are memories.

Art Links


ART LINKS:
There is so much beautiful art on the web. To remember my favorites from the Daily Mail (UK) site, I've captured images to remind me of pages to which I want to return.

There are also some glorious pages of links to landscape art and astronomical art, that I keep, as well.

Some of my favorites:
  Waves
  Star Trails
  Colorado Night Skies
  Exotic Landscapes
  Under a Frozen River
  Paint Drops Art
  Human Body Art
  Salt Fountains
  Old Master Illusions
  Solar Storms
  Night Skies




Writing Map
Music Map
SOME OF THE THOUSANDS OF PAGES IN THIS SITE

TV Shows and Movies             Music Videos
Alias       Blake's 7       Cadfael       Forever Knight       Get Smart
Gettysburg       Hiram Holliday       Lord of the Rings       Sandbaggers

History
Revolutionary Era and after - NY        Early Railroads       Valley Forge Order Book
Medical Electricity - 1802        Lincoln Assassination       NJ Grape Cultivation

Genealogy
  Livingston Descendencies       Livingston Family Connections       Butridge/Watson/Coleman Ancestry
Father       Mother

Henry Livingston
  Arguments for his Authorship       A Smoking Gun? You Decide       Games  

Random
  Recipes       Father's Love Letters       John Cocke Video Transcript   Turn of 20th C Art  

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