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

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hans Heysen - Onions, The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky and Father We Thank Thee, by Daniel J. Batchellor

I'm not sure if it's the costumes, the ship masts, or the building, but this painting makes me think of Holland.
This picture is not a quality reproduction and loses something if you blow it up so I'm also going to feature another painting by Hans Heysen today.  Last week we talked about painting fruit or vegetables - here is one of onions!  Simple but beautiful.  The colors are mostly golds, browns and blacks, yet the colors sing and are lovely!  I love how he manages to make that skin off to the left look almost transparent and the light shines off each onion as well as the bowl brim and the glass bottle.This would be a great time to see what fruits or vegetables you have on hand and try your hand at reproducing it, using whatever medium you enjoy most - or better yet, try a couple different mediums!  

 We continue this week with The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky.  You can start wherever you left off.  

For our poem this week - a lovely hymn sung here by children, Father We Thank Thee by Daniel J. Batchellor.

        Father, We Thank Thee

Father, we thank Thee for the night,
And for the pleasant morning light;
For rest and food and loving care,
And all that makes the world so fair.

Help us to do the things we should,
To be to others kind and good;
In all we do, in work or play,
To love Thee better day by day.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hans Heysen - Pears and Grapes, Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker Ballet, Lydia Maria Child - Thanksgiving Day

The yellow of these pears against the dark purple and green of the grapes is so wonderful!  You might try coloring or painting a couple of grapes with your children.  It's fun to try to make them look round and shiny by shading and highlights..  Somehow Hans Heysen has managed to give them that frosted or powdery look that grapes often have.  Fruit and vegetables make good subjects for trying your hand at painting.  You can paint them live or take a picture and paint from that.  Sometimes it's easier to paint from a picture as it's already flat like your painting.

Our music for the next couple weeks is the The Nutcracker Ballet by Tchaikovsky.  It's almost an hour and a half long so perhaps you would like to listen to about a half hour a week.

We are still enjoying the poems we are memorizing by John Donne, but I  thought we'd take a break from challenging new poems by him to enjoy something for Thanksgiving - this  familiar poem celebrating gathering with family for the holiday is by Lydia Maria Child:

               Thanksgiving Day
Over the river and through the wood,
  To grandfather's house we go
    The horse knows the way
    To carry the sleigh
  Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood--
  Oh, how the wind does blow!
    It stings the toes
    And bites the nose,
  As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood,
  To have a first-rate play.
    Hear the bells ring,
  Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the wood
  Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
    Spring over the ground,
    Like a hunting-hound!
  For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood,
  And straight through the barnyard gate.
    We seem to go
    Extremely slow,--
  It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood--
  Now grandmother's cap I spy!
    Hurrah for the fun!
    Is the pudding done?
  Hurrah for the pumpkin-pie!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Hans Heysen - The South Coast, Tubby the Tuba, John Donne - A Lame Beggar

Another lovely landscape painting by Hans Heysen.  I love the blues and turquoise in the water and the contrasting lights and darks in the sharp rocks in the foreground of this painting titled, "The South Coast".  This scene appears to be viewed from a lofty height because of the size of the animals grazing on the nearest plateau.  The painting is  69.7 x 90 cm which is just over 27x35 inches or about 2 feet by 3 feet.  I'd love to see the original!  There are so many details I want to look at more closely.

The South Coast (Oil on Canvas by Hans Heysen)

This weeks piece of music Tubby the Tuba, is a fun cartoon that introduces several instruments from the orchestra focusing on a Tuba named Tubby. You can watch a really old version of it here.

Today's poem by John Donne is just two lines long - a play on words....

      A Lame Beggar

I am unable, yonder beggar cries,
To stand, or move; if he say true, he lies.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hans Heysen, Benjamin Britten: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra - Henry Purcell, John Donne -

I found this house by Hans Heysen interesting and the depth created in the backround is lovely.  

We'll listen to the second half of Britten: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (Part 2) this week.  Music by Henry Purcel.

Our poet, John Donne, is quite advanced and challenging, so if you have young children or children new to poetry appreciation, I recommend you find a good poetry anthology and just read poems your young children enjoy.  Favorite Poems Old and New by Helen Farris is a good choice. You might also enjoy A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. Or you could look back through this blog and choose a different poet, that is more readable and understandable for your children.  Christina Rosetti would be a good choice, or Amy Carmichael, or William Blake to name a few, if you haven't already studied their work.  You can use the search button on this blog if you like or just go back to older posts and browse.

          The Good-Morrow
I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?
’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love, all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown,
Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres,
Without sharp north, without declining west?
Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Hans Heysen - Landscape, Benjamin Britton: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra - Britten, John Donne - The Legacy

This watercolor landscape by Hans Heysen has wonderful contrasts and shadows.  It is mostly blue and peach or brown.  I like the shadow shapes on the rock wall, but the sky has the same colors in it as do the trees and the foreground though your eye is drawn to the foreground as the details are sharper and the blues are darkest and brightest there.  He has skillfully painted his cattle from different angles.  I like the bit of turquoise against the periwinkle (almost purple) blue in the water the cattle are drinking.

I'd like to introduce you to the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra if you haven't already shared it with your children. (If you've already listened to it, you may be interested in the Kid's Orchestra Movie below instead.)
Britten: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. Part 1

I found this introduction to the orchestra put together by a father for his 4-year old son.

Kids Orchestra Movie

John Donne poem this week
     The Legacy

 When I died last, and, Dear, I die
 As often as from thee I go,
 Though it be but an hour ago,
And Lovers' hours be full eternity,
I can remember yet, that I
 Something did say, and something did bestow;
Though I be dead, which sent me, I should be
Mine own executor and legacy.

I heard me say, "Tell her anon,
 That myself, that is you, not I,
 Did kill me," and when I felt me die,
I bid me send my heart, when I was gone,
But alas could there find none,
 When I had ripp'd me, and search'd where hearts should lie;
It kill'd me again, that I who still was true,
In life, in my last will should cozen you.

Yet I found something like a heart,
 But colors it, and corners had,
 It was not good, it was not bad,
It was intire to none, and few had part.

As good as could be made by art
 It seem'd, and therefore for our losses sad,
I meant to send this heart in stead of mine,
But oh, no man could hold it, for 'twas thine.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Hans Heysen, Camille Saint-Saens - Carnival of the animals, John Donne - Temple

Another lovely still life by Hans Heysen this week.  So many bright colors against that dark background.  Do you grow zinnias?  I like how they have so many colors and they stay nice for a long time after you cut them....  Lots of different colors and kinds of fruit here, too.  A bunch of grapes makes a fun painting project.  Colored pencils or pastels would work as well as paint.  Notice how each grape has different colors in it and that wonderful white spot for a reflective highlight.  Good practice at looking for what color a thing really is, not what it looks like....

Continuing this week with Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens, Here is the playlist you can start wherever you left off last week, or listen to your favorites again.  Can your children start to pick out some of the animals by hearing the piece of music?  

I'm finding John Donne's poetry a bit difficult, but thought provoking.  The pieces we're memorizing take on the most meaning as we recite and think them through.  Today's poem is based on the Biblical account of Jesus in the Temple with the teachers of the law when he was 12.  

With His kind mother, who partakes thy woe,
Joseph, turn back ; see where your child doth sit,
Blowing, yea blowing out those sparks of wit,
Which Himself on the doctors did bestow.
The Word but lately could not speak, and lo !
It suddenly speaks wonders ; whence comes it,
That all which was, and all which should be writ,
A shallow seeming child should deeply know ?
His Godhead was not soul to His manhood,
Nor had time mellow'd Him to this ripeness ;
But as for one which hath a long task, 'tis good,
With the sun to begin His business,
He in His age's morning thus began,
By miracles exceeding power of man.

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.