Windows into Our Heritage

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Don’t stumble upon your heritage. It’s there, just waiting to be discovered and explored. ~ Robbie Robertson

What a treasure the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC is. In my estimation, the building itself tells a story just as important as the paintings contained within. The Greek revival architecture is gorgeous. Walt Whitman once said “it is the noblest of Washington buildings.”  The gallery took thirty-two years to build and was one of the first public buildings in D.C. to be constructed. Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural ball was held in it in 1865.

Come along with me on a short tour. Picture taking is allowed in many parts of the building, so I captured some images with my camera for my blog readers who live too far from Washington, DC to visit this and other great American landmarks.

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Magnificent isn’t it? The three pictures above are the Kogod Courtyard -a light-filled enclosed public space within the National Portrait Gallery.

In the very near future, Experience America, an exhibit which is part of the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery, will be featured on All Things Fulfilling. A trip to our nation’s Capital is always exciting because there are so many discoveries to be made. Entering into all the museums and playing tourist in Washington, DC is like opening box after box filled with our country’s heritage. Every time I visit I discover more to explore next time.

Tomorrow, more pictures from my book signing in Towson, Maryland. This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link http://bitly.com/1rA6fdV.

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Written Through the Ages

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art and spirituality

So much has been written through the ages about the connection between art and spirituality. I came across this story about a young artist who can so well articulate where her painting talent comes from. This girl is only 12 yrs old but has the ability to paint like someone who has been trained by a master.

It isn’t as if she has picked up her ideas about her creator from her parents. She says” my mom was an atheist” and the concept of God and creativity was never discussed in their household.

Watch this short video about her art, and where she says her vision for her paintings come from. http://bit.ly/1hMnVPG.

That’s all I am saying  for today from All Things Fulfilling. Do return tomorrow, we will be continuing this week’s theme about nurturing children’s talents.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.Sue’s memoir

 

 

 

 

 

Art Depicts Culture

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“Enjoyment is an incredible energizer to the human spirit.” ~ John C Maxwell

While I walked the streets of historic Park City I took in many art galleries and retail establishments filled with chic clothing, jewelry and handbags embellished with lots of bling. But what really struck me was the contrast when I walked into the Thomas Kearns McCarthey Gallery. It featured paintings of Russian Impressionism. The artists of this period celebrate in their paintings “the common people, depicting their lives, hopes and dreams and emotions in an intimate manner.”

Most of the pieces in this premier gallery of Russian Art, the  Thomas K McCarthey Gallery, are from the 1930’s to the 1980s. The pieces are carefully selected for their depiction of the human spirit while laboring at their trade. To read more about the McCarthey Gallery, please visit this link.www.mccartheygallery.net.

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The town of Park City is rich with mining history. But the attention to the arts and the stunning natural beauty of the area is what will draw me back, yet again. Hopefully, soon!

See you tomorrow – brave hearts and dragons will be discussed on All Things Fulfilling.Sue’s memoir

 

Film Friday: Tim’s Vermeer

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Attention artists of all ages!  On January 31st, Tim’s Vermeer will be hitting theatres. Rated PG-13, this movie is even suitable for young students who have an interest in the arts, history and science.

Tim's Vermeer_The documentary is based on questions brought forth by Tim Jenison, a Texas video engineer and non-painter, regarding the famous painting The Girl with a Pearl Earring. Jenison goes on an adventure to Delft, Holland, the location of where the masterpiece was painted, in search of answers to his question. How did Dutch master painter Johannes Vermeer paint with such meticulous detail 150 years before photography was discovered? Jenison’s research project spans a decade. David Hockney, a Britishman, provides speculation and insight into the tools that Vermeer may have used. Were optical devices used to help Vermeer accomplish such an astonishing result?

There have been numerous articles published about this fascinating film. Here are a few links if you are interested in reading more about the documentary Tim’s Vermeer, and Jenison’s need to find out more about the technique used to paint The Girl with the Pearl Earring.

http://bit.ly/1dtMQ1f

http://bit.ly/1jm4UCE

http://nyti.ms/1cSySWB

Click here for info & ordering Tim’s Vermeer

I look forward to seeing this movie. Sounds like a documentary with fulfilling content for art history classes. Perhaps after it’s initial run in theatres, Sony Classic Pictures will make it  available for showing in public venues  such as in classrooms or by art councils and museums.

This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. See you on Monday. I will be featuring a woman who is a member of our We Write Steamboat group who has been making a name for herself since 1966 when she was featured on the TV show To Tell the Truth.

Gatsby Groupies

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 “Show me a hero, and I’ll write you a tragedy.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

gatsbyI feel as if I am becoming a Gatsby groupie! Today I walked into the Bud Werner Library, and saw a display case announcing the next One Book Steamboat (a community read). It is The Great Gatsby.I’m in,” I thought, as I proceeded to the DVDs and took out the 2000 production of The Great Gatsby movie by A & E Television Networks. Then I wandered over the computer and put in a reserve for a copy of the book by the same title.

I guess I haven’t had enough of the Fitzgeralds, the Jazz Age and the Long Island social elite even though last summer on my vacation, I took in the movie The Great Gatsby with my sister and I also hawked my mother’s copy of  Zelda and read it.

Truthfully, I was disappointed in the latest rendition of the movie, with Leonardo DiCaprio. The visual effects, I felt, were so over the top and frantic that it distracted me from being able to absorb the tragic tale of wealth and entitlement. The telling essence of Jay Gatsby’s character weaknesses were lost in the visual chaos of the movie, rather being told by the dialogue of the story.

The book Zelda, for me, provided much better insight into the psyche of an artist who “never wanted to give in or give up” despite failure and rejection. The narrative told an up-close and personal story of the relationship between wife and husband, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald and it gave historical perspective into their friendships with other contemporaries (filmmakers, writers and artists) from the era.

As a lead-up to the community discussion of the novel, on October 10th, the latest Leo Dicaprio version of “Gatsby” will be aired at the Bud Werner Library. I’ll probably skip it. But then again, perhaps with a second look I might have a different opinion. But I hope not to miss what will probably be a very fulfilling discussion on Monday, October 21st.  It will be led by the English teachers of SteamboatHigh School. I hope students are required to join in and read this classic novel.  For more information, please follow this link. http://www.steamboatlibrary.org/events/one-book-steamboat

Come on back tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Film Friday: Teaching Emerging Filmmakers

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new day films “One of the privileges of being a filmmaker is the opportunity to remain a kind of perpetual student.”  – Edward Zwick

Are you an educator who teaches emerging young filmmakers? The other day I came across a film distribution company that may not be known to visitors who frequent All Things Fulfilling for news about independent filmmaking.

New Day Films is a filmmaker-run distribution company providing award-winning films to educators since 1971. This on-line site “delivers over 230 titles that illuminate, challenge and inspire.”  Many of the films can be digitally streamed directly from the website or delivered in DVD or VHS format.

willard van dykeSince the genre of documentary film is particularly interesting to me, I was drawn to a film called Conversations with Willard Van Dyke. http://www.newday.com/films/Conversations_with_WVD.html. In this film, Van Dyke discusses his belief that “films have the power of film to change the world.”  The man behind his films, Willard Van Dyke,became synonymous with social documentary in the U.S.”

During his lifetime (1906 – 1986), Van Dyke painted portraitures of Americans, through the medium of film, who made their living through hard labor everyday such as steelworkers, cottonpickers and machinists. The Depression, he said, made an everlasting impression on him.Click for info & ordering Willard Van Dyke’s film

Van Dyke was director of the Department of Film at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) from 1965 to 1974. He also began the film department at the State University of New York in Purchase.  In 1978, he received the prestigious George Eastman Award, given by George Eastman House for distinguished contribution to the art of film. 

New Day Films distributes films on many social issue topics, among them:

  • Aging & Gerontology
  • Media, Art & Culture
  • Religion & Theology
  • African-American
  • Multi-Cultural
  • Children & Family issues
  • Sociology
  • Native American Studies

Film educators and film historians may find the perfect film they are looking for to use in the classroom on the website http://www.newday.com.  Check it out.

See you Monday. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Treasuring Art

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 “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”   ~ Chinese proverb 

At a thrift store recently I came across an art print of Thomas Moran – imagine my delight! It seemed like a God thing – the image was just sitting there waiting for someone who’d appreciate it to pick it up . I gave in to my desires and purchased it – a real deal. I am very grateful to have the Moran art print hanging on my wall. He was one of the greatest illustrator and colorists of all times.

Every evening the week before last, I had been watching Ken Burns’ documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.  http://bit.ly/182xh1NMoran’s name was mentioned as one of the top landscape painters of the 19th century who ventured west. I learned he traveled to YellowstoneNational Park from the Hudson RiverSchool in New York, in the summer of 1871, to document on canvas what others described as a place where “hell bubbled up.”

Many artists traveled westward in the early days of the founding of the U.S. National Parks and they continue to be favorite places for artists who are seeking inspiration. Artists still go to paint, photograph and write about the dramatic landscapes in these protected government lands which are far more unique than many other places across the United States. Ralph Waldo Emerson described the National Parks as places where “God is more easily found in nature than in the works of man.” 

Lots of people find personal fulfillment in poking around in thrift shops. You never know what treasures you might find. I scored!

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This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow!