Introduction and Welcome

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Joseph Farquharson - Egyptian Market, Ferdinando Carulli - Guitar and Pianoforte, Eugene Field - The Wanderer

If you are new to this blog, Welcome and I hope you find these posts helpful.  If you have ideas for making it better, please post comments or contact me at If you don't care for a given artist, composer or poet you could go back to older posts.  
Again this weeks painting by Joseph Farquaharson titled Egyptian Market, is so very different than the first works we looked at.  I've been wondering if these last three paintings come from a trip he took to the Middle East.  His use of warm colors and bright sunlight makes you almost feel the heat.  What do you think is the "story" behind this painting?  It might make a fun creative writing project to have your children write a story to go with this picture....

Today's piece by Ferdinando Carulli is complicated and intense - it is a duet with a guitar and Pianoforte.

Our poem is The Wanderer by Eugene Field.

The wanderer

Upon a mountain height, far from the sea,
I found a shell,
And to my listening ear the lonely thing
Ever a song of ocean seemed to sing,
Ever a tale of ocean seemed to tell.

How came the shell upon that mountain height?
Ah, who can say
Whether there dropped by some too careless hand,
Or whether there cast when Ocean swept the Land,
Ere the Eternal had ordained the Day?

Strange, was it not? Far from its native deep,
One song it sang,--
Sang of the awful mysteries of the tide,
Sang of the misty sea, profound and wide,--
Ever with echoes of the ocean rang.

And as the shell upon the mountain height
Sings of the sea,
So do I ever, leagues and leagues away,--
So do I ever, wandering where I may,--
Sing, O my home! sing, O my home! of thee. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Joseph Farquharson - Boulach, the Port of Cairo, Ferdinando Carulli - Capriccio, Eugene Field - Wynken, Blynken and Nod

This painting by Joseph Farquaharson is very different from his quiet sheep in snowy pastures pictures that we have been studying, and yet the pastel colors and water reflections are familiar.  The setting is very different, but you can still catch the flavor of the artist in his work.   Blue and orange are complementary colors, notice how the artist uses them to enhance each other. Lots of fun details to notice here.

Joseph Farquharson Boulach, the Port of Cairo

Today's piece is a complicated guitar piece with a lot of energy and obviously taking a lot of skill to play.  Capriccio by Ferdinando Carulli

One of my favorite poems by Eugene Field is Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.  I enjoy the sounds of the words and the dreamy word pictures.

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe,--
Sailed on a river of crystal light
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring-fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we,"
Said Wynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew;
The little stars were the herring-fish
That lived in the beautiful sea.
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish,--
Never afraid are we!"
So cried the stars to the fishermen three,
And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam,--
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home:
'Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed
As if it could not be;
And some folk thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea;
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed;
So shut your eyes while Mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:--
And Nod.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Joseph Farquharson - Sheep Grazing By the River - Ferdinando Carulli - Rondo Opus 241

Today's painting by Joseph Farquharson is still of sheep but is a summer scene with blues, greens and browns rather than the soft pastels of the sun on snow.  Note the sun and shadows and the reflections in the water even though it is obviously moving water.

Another beautiful piece of music by Ferdinando Carulli - Rondo Opus 241.

I am reluctant to leave my favorite poet, but I hope you've gotten a taste for her wonderful poetry and will pursue it on your own.  Today, I'd like to begin a study of poetry by Eugene Field.  Today's poem is one of his I've often shared with my children as a lesson regarding the outcome of fighting.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.  

                 The Duel
The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
'Twas half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor the other had slept a wink!
     The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
     Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.
     (I wasn't there; I simply state
     What was told me by the Chinese plate!)
The gingham dog went "bow-wow-wow!"
And the calico cat replied "mee-ow!"
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
     While the old Dutch clock in place
     Up with its hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
     (Now mind: I'm only telling you
     What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)
The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed, "Oh, dear! what shall we do?"
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
     Employing every tooth and claw
     In the awfullest way you ever saw--
And, oh! how the gingham and calico flew!
     (Don't fancy I exaggerate!
     I got my news from the Chinese plate!)
Next morning, where the two had sat,
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole that pair away!
     But the truth about the cat and pup
     Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
     (The old Dutch clock it told me so,
     And that is how I came to know.)

For a biographical sketch of Eugene Field click here: or here:

Friday, January 6, 2012

Joseph Farquharson - The Winter's Glow; Ferdinando Carulli - Overture, and Amy Carmichael, Be Thou my Vision and Show the Way

"The Winter's Glow" is the last winter sheep painting I have planned for Joseph Farquharson - next week we will view a summer scene of sheep and then move on to some very different paintings of his.  His winter sheep scenes seem to me to have a comforting peacefulness to them.  Again there are a lot of wonderful details to take in if you take time to study this picture.

Today's piece by Ferdinando Carulli is called Overture.  This looks like a challenging piece to play but this young man plays it beautifully.  I enjoy the happy sound of Carulli's music.
Click the link below to listen to it.

The poems I've been sharing with you the past few weeks by Amy Carmichael are from a collection of her poems titled, Mountain Breezes.  I highly recommend this book.  It is my favorite book of poetry and I turn to it over and over again.  Amy's spiritual insights were deep and her word pictures are beautiful and touch my heart deeply.  

               BE THOU MY VISION
O Lord, we bring Thee these for whom we pray--
Be Thou their strength, their courage and their stay;
And should their faith flag as they run the race.
Show them again the vision of Thy face.

Be Thou their vision, Lord of Calvary.
Hold them to follow; hold them fast by Thee
O Thou who art more near to us than air,
Let them not miss Thee ever, anywhere.

             SHOW THE WAY
Order his steps, O Savior, lest he stray;
For all is new--he does not know the way.
Thy word is light; no other lantern, Lord,
Need we, nor ask we, but Thine own clear word.

Lord, give him grace, that he obey his light;
Courage and faith, lest he should fail in fight.
O knit his heart to Thee, that he be found
Steadfast in Thee, and in Thy statutes sound.