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, September 25, 2014

Ivan Aivazovsky - the Shipwreck, Aaron Copeland - Hoedown, Carl Sandburg - Arithmetic

Several of you have asked for an index to artists and composers.  I'm not sure how to go about that other than suggesting that you use the search button if you are looking for a particular artist, poet or composer.  You can just type in the last name and it should list the possible posts ( You may need to enable the no-script if the search button isn't working for you.  Just right click.) Or you can look through the Blog Archive list, click by year and then by date.  Sometimes I've been good about listing them all in the title, sometimes I've forgotten, but since artists, composers and poets have all been featured for multiple weeks, you should be able to find them listed in the title for one of the weeks.  If someone knows of a better way to catalog and display them I'm open to learning how to add that.... you can contact me at

 This week another wonderful painting by Ivan Aivazovsky - The Shipwreck.  Lots to look at in this painting.  The light and shadows are wonderfully portrayed, there are people to look at on the rock as well in the lifeboat.  I like how he lights up the parts of the painting he wants you to focus on. You can see it a bit larger here at Wikiart.   I love the pastel colors in the wave!

Aaron Copeland - Hoedown from Rodeo.  This piece of music has a lot of energy in it.  I can't say I really enjoy it, but my daughter said she likes it because it's "hyper".  

Carl Sandburg's Arithmetic is a fun poem about numbers



Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in and out of your
Arithmetic tell you how many you lose or win if you know how
    many you had before you lost or won.
Arithmetic is seven eleven all good children go to heaven -- or five
    six bundle of sticks.
Arithmetic is numbers you squeeze from your head to your hand
    to your pencil to your paper till you get the answer.
Arithmetic is where the answer is right and everything is nice and
    you can look out of the window and see the blue sky -- or the
    answer is wrong and you have to start all over and try again
    and see how it comes out this time.
If you take a number and double it and double it again and then
    double it a few more times, the number gets bigger and bigger
    and goes higher and higher and only arithmetic can tell you
    what the number is when you decide to quit doubling.
Arithmetic is where you have to multiply -- and you carry the
    multiplication table in your head and hope you won't lose it.
If you have two animal crackers, one good and one bad, and you
    eat one and a striped zebra with streaks all over him eats the
    other, how many animal crackers will you have if somebody
    offers you five six seven and you say No no no and you say
    Nay nay nay and you say Nix nix nix?
If you ask your mother for one fried egg for breakfast and she
    gives you two fried eggs and you eat both of them, who is
    better in arithmetic, you or your mother?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ivan Aivasovsky - Fisherman on the Coast of the Sea, Aaron Copland - Symphony for Organ and Orchestra, Carl Sandburg - Monotone

Fisherman on the Coast of the Sea, by Ivan Aivasovsky.  I like the sun shining behind the clouds and through the waves.  You almost feel like you shouldn't look at the sun - it's too bright.  The aqua colors in the waves are so lovely!!  What story do you think this painting tells?

The following link will give you a large clear picture of this painting:Fisherman on the Coast of the Sea - Ivan Aivasovsky

Aaron Copland - Symphony for Organ and Orchestra 
I'm not very familiar with Aaron Copland's music and I'm finding myself with mixed feelings about it - it feels a bit new age and unsettling to me.  How about you - how does his music make you feel?  It almost feels like it could be out of a movie, maybe even in a bit of a spooky scene sometimes and then it turns playful.  It doesn't feel confident and resolving like Bach, Beethoven or Haydn. It makes me feel a bit edgy and unsettled - how about you?

Beautiful words by Carl Sandburg


  The monotone of the rain is beautiful,
and the sudden rise and slow relapse
Of the long multitudinous rain.

  The sun on the hills is beautiful,
Or a captured sunset sea-flung,
Bannered with fire and gold.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ivan Aivazovsk, Aaron Copland - Appalachian Spring, Carl Sandburg - Fog

A new artist this week Ivan Aivazovsky.  This artist is new to me, but his work looks lovely, lots of ships and seascapes.  I hope you enjoy our study of his works.  Following are links to biographical sketches a photograph and quotes followed by our first painting.
Ivan Aivazovsky - Wikipedia
Aivazovsky - Self-portrait 1874.jpg

The following is a quote from WikiArt.Org, "Throughout his lifetime, Aivazovsky contributed over 6,000 paintings to the art world, ranging from his early landscapes of the Crimean countryside to the seascapes and coastal scenes for which he is most famous. Aivazovsky was especially effective at developing the play of light in his paintings, sometimes applying layers of color to create a transparent quality, a technique for which they are highly admired.  

Although he produced many portraits and landscapes, over half of all of Aivazovsky’s paintings are realistic depictions of coastal scenes and seascapes. He is most remembered for his beautifully melodramatic renditions of the seascapes of which he painted the most. Many of his later works depict the painful heartbreak of soldiers at battle or lost at sea, with a soft celestial body taunting of hope from behind the clouds. His artistic technique centers on his ability to render the realistic shimmer of the water against the light of the subject in the painting, be it the full moon, the sunrise, or battleships in flames. Many of his paintings also illustrate his adeptness at filling the sky with light, be it the diffuse light of a full moon through fog, or the orange glow of the sun gleaming through the clouds. "  for more from this site WikiArt.Com - Ivan Aivazovsky

 I love the wonderful pastel colors and the light shining out behind the clouds.  I haven't gotten a web album of paintings put together yet - is that something some of you would use?  If I get a few affirmative comments I'll put one together, but if no one is using it I'll just post them week by week....  

Our new composer - Aaron Copland was an American composer who wrote a variety of music as well as teaching and conducting.
The following is from Wikipedia:  Aaron Copland (/ˌærən ˈkplənd/; November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990) was an American composer, composition teacher, writer, and later in his career a conductor of his own and other American music. Instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, in his later years he was often referred to as "the Dean of American Composers" and is best known to the public for the works he wrote in the 1930s and 1940s in a deliberately accessible style often referred to as Populist and which the composer labeled his "vernacular" style.  The open, slowly changing harmonies of many of his works are archetypical of what many people consider to be the sound of American music, evoking the vast American landscape and pioneer spirit. In addition to his ballets and orchestral works, he produced music in many other genres including chamber music, vocal works, opera and film scores.  Following is the link for the rest of the article:  Wikipedia - Aaron Copland.

PBS Aaron Copland 

Today's piece,"Appalachian Spring" is one of his well-known pieces - Aaron Copland - Appalachian Spring.

Our new poet for the Fall season is Carl Sandburg.  Following is a link to two biographical sketches:
 The Poetry Foundation: Carl Sandburg.  
Wikipedia - Carl Sandburg 

Our first poem-


Carl Sandburg

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.