Introduction and Welcome

Welcome to All Things Bright and Beautiful. If you are new to this site, I would recommend that you read my very first entry - which is an introduction and welcome to this blog. You can view it here

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Hans Heysen, Camille Saint Saens - Carnival of the Animals, John Donne - Death, Be Not Proud

This is a bit early, but we're going to be camping for a few days, so I won't be home to post this Thursday....  I liked these Fall leaves, though we don't have this type of tree around here, perhaps it's native in Austraillia where Hans Heysen lived and painted.

Today's music is from the Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint Saens.  Here's a link to a playlist Carnival of the Animals.  I haven't viewed the whole thing so I'm not sure how the pictures will be, but a playlist may give you a chance to choose your favorite animals or favorite pieces.  We'll spend a couple of weeks on this fun music. 

Here's a link with a recommendation for a book and CD that looks good.

And a poem by John Donne

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those, whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy picture[s] be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou'rt slave to Fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke;  why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more;  Death, thou shalt die.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hans Heysen - Sewing, Prokofiev - Peter and the Wolf, John Donne - Nativity

I really like today's painting by Hans Heysen!  I like the bits of light and shadow, the simple setting and the woman sewing, the window bringing all the greens into the picture....  What do you see to remember?

I feel satisfied with what we've listened to by Engelbert Humperdinck and I'm not inclined to pursue more of his works, so I think we'll go back to some of the fun elementary children's works we covered some years ago, like Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf.  If you and your children have never listened to this piece before I think you will enjoy it.  Different instruments and parts of the tune represent different characters in the story.  This is about a half hour long so if you don't want to listen to the whole thing at once you can break it up into several sittings.  

Today's poem by John Donne is about the wonder of the nativity. 


Immensity, cloister’d in thy dear womb,
Now leaves His well-beloved imprisonment.
There he hath made himself to his intent
Weak enough, now into our world to come.
But O! for thee, for Him, hath th’ inn no room?        5
Yet lay Him in this stall,  and from th’ orient,
Stars, and wise men will travel to prevent
The effects  of Herod’s jealous general doom.
See’st thou, my soul, with thy faith’s eye,  how He
Which fills all place, yet none holds Him, doth lie?        10
Was not His pity towards thee wondrous high,
That would have need to be pitied by thee?
Kiss Him, and with Him into Egypt go,
With His kind mother, who partakes thy woe.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hans Heysen, Engelbert Humperdinck - overture for Konigkinder, John Donne - A Hymn to God Our Father

Another beautiful landscape by our artist Hans Heysen this week, a lovely watercolor painting.  Notice how he left flecks of white paper near the sailboats as the sparkle on the waves.  If you've worked at all with watercolors this would be a fun painting to try to copy.

This weeks music by Engelbert Humperdinck is the overture for Konigkinder (German for the King's Children).  Here's a link for Wikipedia's article on Konigskinder.

John Donne had a keen sense of his own sinfulness and tendency to return to sin.  But he also counted on the mercy of God. This poem is typical of his work in that way.

       A Hymn to God the Father

Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.

Wilt thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallow'd in, a score?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
But swear by thyself, that at my death thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
And, having done that, thou hast done;
I fear no more.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Hans Heysen - A Bowl of Roses, Engelbert Humperdinck - Hansel and Gretel: Evening Song, John Donne - Death Be Not Proud

This week we're looking at another lovely still life by Hans Heysen - A Bowl  of Roses.
A Bowl of Roses - Hans Heysen
You might try drawing or painting one of these roses with your children (colored pencils might work, too) - they are a light color with darker shades marking the shadowed areas between petals.  Notice what colors are used to make the shadows in these flowers. There isn't a lot of color in this painting - mostly subtle neutral shades making it restful.  Still - the contrast is green against red which is complementary (across the color wheel) and each heightens its opposite.  Also the artist has used the dark green (almost black in places) leaves behind the light blooms to highlight them.

 Today's piece from Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert HumperdinckDream Pantomime, is more dramatic than last week's piece.  Do your children like it?  I like to listen to these pieces repeatedly through the week because I've found that as music becomes familiar we get more enjoyment out of it.  

Death Be Not Proud is the third poem by John Donne that we plan to memorize this term.  It's here in its old English spelling. 

 Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Hans Heysen-Droving into the Light, Engelbert Humperdinck-Hansel and Gretel:Evening Prayer, John Donne - Daybreak

This painting by Hans Heysen is a typical landscape.  Seeing his trees and the mountains in the distance makes me want to visit Australlia.  The drover on the horse gives you a feeling of motion while the light and the scenery give a feeling of standing in awe.

File:Heysen Droving.jpg
Droving into the Light - Hans Heysen
I need to apologize for not previewing the whole opera of Hansel and Gretel before choosing it.  Listening to the next section I decided that though the music is beautiful, the scenes and content aren't something I want to show my children or can recommend to you.  If you have time to preview, you may want to continue with the whole opera - it's not worse than many Disney movies, so it may depend on your family's taste and exposure to movies.  But I did find this lovely piece from the opera that we can all enjoy this week, Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel: Evening Prayer

I got the title wrong on the second poem by John Donne that I am memorizing with my children - it is Daybreak rather than Break of Day which is a more adult love poem.  So here is Daybreak by John Donne...

Stay, O sweet, and do not rise;
The light that shines comes from thine eyes;
The day breaks not, it is my heart,
Because that you and I  must part.
Stay, or else my joys will die
And perish in their infancy.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Hans Heysen - Still Life With Onions and Pumpkins, Engelbert Humperdinck - Hansel and Gretel, John Donne - No Man is an Island

Hi!  I'm glad to be back, we're ready to start school next week and it feels good to be getting ready again.  It was a very busy summer and I'm hoping for some quieter days to enjoy studying with the children.
Hans Heysen is an australian artist.  Many of his paintings were landscapes, but like his still life paintings as well. I fell in love with this "Still life with Onions and  Pumpkins"!   Notice all the reflected light in this painting (see the white spots on pumpkins and onions and the lights and darks and reflected colors in the brass pot).  One of my favorite parts of Fall is the evening our family heads out to our garden to gather in the squashes and pumpkins - usually right before the first frost.  We take a wagon and wheel barrow and all head out to the garden together.  It's usually dark by the time we're done but it's a fun frolic and has become a tradition.  I've tried to choose a variety of his paintings to study this term. Hope you enjoy them with us.  If you want to view the paintings chosen for this term or copy them here is the link to my Picasa Web Album of Hans Heysen Paintings.

Hans HEYSEN | Still life with pumpkins and onions

You can watch a slide show of Hans Heysen's paintings as well as view a gallery of his paintings here.

Our composer this term is Engelbert Humperdinck who was a German composer (not to be confused with the performer of the same name...).  We are going to be studying his best known work, an opera titled Hansel and Gretel.  I'd like to take this in small pieces rather than study many different works this term, So just listen to the first 22 minutes this week. We haven't done much with opera to this point, so this is an introduction to that musical form. Here is Wikipedia's entry for Opera. The Opera starts out with a lovely instrumental piece by the orchestra.  The singing parts are not in English but this version has English subtitles you can read aloud for your children or they can read themselves if they are capable readers.  I'm looking into a couple of English versions that I may be able to recommend later.  

Wikipedia has an entry for Engelbert Humperdinck.

Here is an article explaining John Donne and his poetry.  John Donne and his poetry.

And a list of quotes by John Donne 

As well as a short biographical synopsis of the life and poetry of John Donne.

My children and I plan to memorize the following three poems by John Donne this term:

No Man is an Island, Break of Day, and Death-Be not Proud.

This week's featured poem follows:

                No Man is an Island

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Preview for Fall Term

Thank you for your patience, I hope you've had a good summer.  Our daughter's wedding was beautiful and meaningful.  I'm getting ready for school again, so we're ready for a new artist, composer and poet to study.  This is notice so you can make prints or purchase a DVD.

I'll be back next week with our new poet - John Donne and since he's a rather advanced poet, I'll perhaps feature some for young children by various authors as well.  Our Artist will be Australian, Hans Heysen.   You can see his paintings I'll be featuring over the next three months at my Picasa Web Album of Hans Heysen Paintings.  You can print them if you'd like to for your family's educational use.  Our music this term will be Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel opera.  You can preview it here.  It's not in English, but has English subtitles.  We'll be listening to it a bit each week.  I'm also previewing some other versions that you could purchase, or if you and your children aren't interested in opera, you can choose from a composer already featured on this blog or look for one you'd like to study on your own. Until next week - blessings as you serve our King by serving your families.