Friday, November 30, 2012

Ruby Sparks

We watched Ruby Sparks last night.Lovely movie. It's the story of Calvin, a young writer, who's had one big novel 10 years ago, and nothing much since. He lives alone with his dog, Scotty, and doesn't really have many friends, apart from his brother and his therapist. It would seem the sales of his book are still enabling him to live well, in a fancy enough house overlooking LA. But he's lonely and he's having trouble writing. Until his therapist tells him to write a page about a dream he had about a beautiful girl. A few days later, he finds that the girl of his dreams is living with him. She has materialised out of the written page, and she's perfect. And she's real. Other people can see her too. She's quirky, beautiful, funny. She's got feelings. And she loves him. But is that enough for him? And for her?
He finds that if he writes about her, what he writes becomes real, so he can tweak her. Will he create a monster, or will he be generous enough to let her live her own life?
The story becomes darker than I had expected. But it's a lovely girly movie all the same.
And with a few good actors: The guy that did the older brother in Little Miss Sunshine (the brother that wouldn't talk, and who wanted to become a pilot, He looks as geeky now as he did then). Annette Benning. Antonio Banderas. And Zoe Kazan, who plays Ruby, is Elia Kazan's grand-daughter! And she wrote the screenplay for the movie! And according to Wikipedia, she's been dating Paul Dano, who plays Calvin, for 5 years.

Siobhan Ryan, black dress, 28 November

Siobhan Ryan was channeling Audrey Hepburn on Wednesday evening, in a beautiful LBD. Very festive and elegant.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Naughty or Nice

I came across this article about the 10 naughtiest dog breeds. A friend of ours was thinking of getting a new dog and was wondering what type to get, so I thought of her when I read it. We would love a dog ourselves, but we have a 12-year-old cat, whom we don't want to upset, obviously. We've read plenty of horror stories of cats disappearing after a new pet was brought into the home, and we don't want that to happen. We were thinking that a lurcher might  be a nice dog to have - they're apparently very lazy. But I read somewhere that they had a habit of running after cats - a bit like greyhounds run after rabbits? So, we're in a holding pattern at present.

And for those of you who prefer cats (though one doesn't necessarily exclude the other), there is an equally good cat website here!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Jordi Fornies exhibition at Filmbase - Olivier Cornet Gallery

Apparently, passersby were going "WOW" around Filmbase on Monday, when they were hanging Jordi Fornies's paintings for his current exhibition, Espacios, curated by the Olivier Cornet Gallery.

I was at the opening of the exhibition last night, and I was certainly wowed. I had already seen Mr. Fornies's smaller works, as they were on show at the Olivier Cornet Gallery last week, and I had seen photographs of the bigger pieces on Facebook. But you have to see them in the flesh! Even with the crowds there, blocking the view, those pieces are impressive.

But it's the textures I love about his work, the layering, the scratching, the gold leaf. And the colours, the reds, the golds, the greens, most of them rendered in encaustic (which I think is a mixing of beeswax and pigments, applied hot - it's so vibrant). I would love to have big big walls to accommodate pieces like "Enchanted Moment", "Memories of our Dawn" or "A Quiet Conversation" (pictured here, with Jordi Fornies). But the smaller pieces are equally striking - I love "The Sixteen Necessary Steps", a set of colourful squares that look to be emerging from an icy cavern or frothy water, or from the fog of time.

There are paintings for all pockets - the "Fragment" series, 9x9cm, enamel, oil, resin and gold leaf on aluminium plate, is gorgeous, and quite affordable.

We picked up an exhibition catalog - with beautiful photographs of the works on display (though note that some of the colours are not quite true to the originals), and a CD of the music especially composed by Mark Hennessy to evoke some of the paintings from this stunning collection. We listened to the CD when we got home last night, while flicking through the catalog - beautiful music to go with beautiful paintings. A fantastic idea to weave music in to enhance the experience!

Espacios is on show at Filmbase, Curved Street, Temple Bar, until the 16th of December. Don't miss it!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Made with Paper - new colours and colour mixing

FiftyThree have introduced new colour palettes and colour mixing in the Paper app - this is very exciting. While it was good to have a limited number of hues - it forced me to be imaginative with what I had and also to focus on drawing -, I love playing with paints and I can see endless possibilities.

Following on their existing business model, there is a charge for this addon - but €1.79 is a small price to get all the colours of the rainbow at your fingertip - literally.

It's got me started drawing again! Here is a lovely cardi and skirt from the Boden 2009 collection, which I drew last night. I didn't buy the skirt, too girly for me, but the cardigan was a great purchase, lovely with a dress or jeans, light but warm. Perfect for balmy summer evenings, if only we had more of those in this country!

PS: I have a tendency to draw the models fatter than they are - I've never been good at measuring!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Siobhan Ryan, black dress, low cleavage, 18 November

I'm sure the boys on the forums will be talking about this dress for weeks to come! From a girl's perspective, though, it's the perfect LBD for a young slim woman. You'll notice how Siobhan Ryan's hair is brushed forward, perhaps to tone down the effect somewhat?

The Tempest

I often know within the first ten minutes if I'm going to love an opera. With The Tempest, I knew the moment Miranda fell asleep and slipped down the prompter's hatch that I was going to love it. Of course, it's based on Shakespeare, so I knew the story would be good. But I didn't know what to expect in terms of production - though with Robert Lepage producing, I knew I would enjoy it. (How many times have I used the work "know/knew" in these few lines?)

Not that I liked the singing that much, I have to say, but the music was gorgeous and the sets (Prospero's island is a reproduction of La Scala's opera house, and we see it from various perspectives as the action unfolds), the costumes (including Prospero's tattooing), the acting, the acrobatics (Ariel is singing while hanging from a swinging chandelier - though I think there might have been a double for that part), the lighting (how the stormy sea is evoked through a moving sheet lit in blue) - it all worked beautifully - it was imaginative, fun, passionate, gripping. .

When I say that I wasn't that crazy about the singing, maybe it was the parsing of the words. Too modern for me - I like melodious arias and Mozart-like duets and trios and quartets! I think the main character that didn't work for me is Ariel, the sprite who is working for Prospero. Ariel  has high notes the whole time. Yes, maybe it does represent the character well, but it's not that pleasing to the ear. Don't get me wrong, the character was wonderfully executed by Audrey Luna, but I just don't like the sound of a high soprano!

Is it a case that the visual production is stronger than the music? Well, there was so much to take in visually, that I think I would need to listen to the music on its own to really appreciate it. Anyways, the Met's mini-site is worth a look and a listen if you have the time (though I found the video streaming was stuttering, but maybe it was my laptop?). As for me, I must check if I can find a recording on spotify (it's not an opera that I imagine myself listening to on a regular basis, so I don't think I'll be buying the CD. I would buy the DVD of this production, if it becomes available, though.).

PS: Just found it on spotify - I had to search for Thomas Adès with the accent (alt-138) - other searches didn't bring it up. Well, I'll be off listening to it now.Will report back at a later time!

Chainsaw massacre

Another "heavy inspiration" from a painting I found on Pinterest". A fantastic way to build my confidence in abstract acrylics techniques. I called this one, "Drooping Flowers", or "Chainsaw Massacre".

Again, I went for a different format from the original, and I used much darker tones, more autumnal.

I'll be going back to watercolours for my next painting. So much that inspires me!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Jean Byrne, black top with basque, gold skirt, BIG necklace, 17 November

New outfit for Jean Byrne last night! Hallelujah! Beautiful long-sleeved black top with a basque - very much in fashion this winter. Dark gold skirt - first hint of the festive season! And a showpiece pendant/necklace, which makes her knuckle duster ring look small!
Jean is back in style!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Evelyn Cusack, black skirt white top, 12 November

Another lovely outfit that shows off Evelyn Cusack's slim body - black skirt and white long-sleeved teeshirt with relief pattern.

Why is it I wonder that Evelyn Cusack and Siobhan Ryan are wearing new clothes all the time, whereas Jean Byrne has been wearing the same for a year or two (tobacco and black polka dot jacket anyone?)? Is Jean spending her budget on big rings and other striking jewellery instead?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Siobhan Ryan, 10 November, black and coloured square top

I missed the weather yesterday, but BB told me that Siobhan Ryan was wearing an interesting top, so I had to check it out. He was right - it's like two Hermès scarves sewn together. Quite striking.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Jean Byrne, black dress with side zip and BIG ring, 7 Nove

I'm not sure I've seen this black dress with a side zip before? Anyways, it's quite flattering. And what a ring! Real knuckle duster material! Not to mention the bracelet on her wrist.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Heavy inspiration

Between a trip to Belgium, a sprained ankle and a heavy cold, I haven't had much time for art lately. But I had a good day Sunday and did this abstract painting in acrylics. I worked on a re-used 40x40cm canvas, which gave me some nice subtle textures. I was "heavily inspired" by a painting I came across on Pinterest recently. I would love to be able to come up with such a lovely composition myself some day - I'm planning to do little sketches in pastels to see what might work. I will just have to keep practicing! When I finally have an abstract painting worth showing, I'll call it "Heavenly Inspiration", or maybe "Perspiration", whichever is more appropriate!

Evelyn Cusack, 5 November, black skirt, bright top

This outfit shows off Evelyn Cusack's slim figure.

Monday, November 05, 2012

One-man Star Wars Trilogy

If you're a Star Wars fan, you'll enjoy One Man Star Wars Trilogy. We saw it at the Mill Theatre last week. The show is touring Ireland at the moment.

We had seen it off Broadway a good few years ago, and we had as much fun this time - though I have to say that some of the lines were lost on me. Maybe he's saying his lines faster than he used to? After 3000 shows, I can see how that would happen. Or maybe, it's such a long time since I saw the movies that I couldn't remember all of the scenes he was depicting?

This is strictly for committed fans! But if you are a fan, you will love this show. If you are not, you'll be wondering what it's all about!

Looking forward to the one-man Lord of the Rings next spring! I will definitely need to watch the movie again before that one!

WIGS - Christine

Most of the WIGS series have a common thread of women in crisis, whether it's a poker game going badly, a decision about getting married, an old junkie boyfriend re-appearing out of the blue. So far, none of the ones I've seen are "Pretty Woman" happy-ever-after kind of stories. Some are more light-hearted than others (I found Jan quite whacky, whereas Blue was really dark). I've just finished watching Christine, with America Ferrera (Ugly Betty to you and me). It's about a beautiful young woman on an evening of speed dating. All is not what it seems, and bit by bit, we get to discover what Christine is really after, and why she seems so tense.

Siobhan Ryan, orange top, 2 November

I personally prefer this look to the previous day's skirt for Siobhan Ryan. It's young, bright and flattering.

Siobhan Ryan, purple leather skirt, 1 November

It's really more pink than purple, and you can't really see it very well in the photograph. My question is - how big is Siobhan Ryan's wardrobe?