ISIS Militants Destroying Antiquities in Iraq

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We learned last week that ISIS militants were destroying ancient historical artifacts on display at the Mosul Museum in Iraq. With so much murder and war going on in the area, this is just one more horror to add to the long list.

As modern human beings, we understand the ancient past through the images, sculptures, architecture, jewelry, pottery and other art objects that were left behind. There is really nothing else we have to understand ancient people. And what was destroyed were among the most ancient of known relics. What was destroyed was not just regional history, but also our shared human history, and we’ve already lost too much of our history. Its been rewritten, slaughtered, burned, and swept under the dirty rug. We can’t afford to lose any more.

You can watch the destruction here: youtube.com

Democracy Now! ran an interesting story as well, and you can listen to that here: democracynow.org

The image shown above was not the actual piece destroyed but, from what I understand, there was a similar gigantic sculpture that was destroyed. I’ve written about other similar sculptures before, and you can read that blog post here. I just can’t believe anyone would topple and take a hammer to these.

Sickening!

Elegy to the Spanish Republic

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It occurs to me that I haven’t posted any Robert Motherwell here on ArtDuh, so I thought I’d change that. He is best known for his images/series, called “Elegy to the Spanish Republic”. It used to make me so happy to come across one of those paintings. They are enormous, start, messy and there is something about them that is very beautiful to me!

Figurative Jackson Pollock

"Portrait and a Dream" by Jackson Pollock, 1953

“Portrait and a Dream” by Jackson Pollock, 1953

I really enjoy the work of Jackson Pollock. I’ve spoken to quite a few people over the years who are kind of dismissive of it, but whatever… That’s okay, whatever floats your boat. But I like his work. The large fields of color drips, patterns and shimmering textures, I do enjoy pure abstraction.

But Pollock’s somewhat figurative work does remain among my favorites. Like these primarily black and white images that are included in this post. So beautiful!

"Number 27" by Jackson Pollock, 1951

“Number 27″ by Jackson Pollock, 1951

"Number 7" by Jackson Pollock, 1951

“Number 7″ by Jackson Pollock, 1951

"Number 5" by Jackson Pollock, 1952

“Number 5″ by Jackson Pollock, 1952

The Third World

"The Third World" by Todd Powelson

“The Third World” by Todd Powelson

“The Third World” is another new diptych that I just finished, a pair of digital paintings to be added to the series I’ve been working on called “Songs from the Earth“.

This piece started off completely different, with a number of sketches, and a few false starts. Initially, I imagined a crowd of people going about their business through a city-scape. But as the work progressed, that just didn’t feel quite right to me. It didn’t ring true somehow.

Instead, I decided to zoom in on these two individuals above. They are not really paying attention to what might be going on in the larger world around them, their bodies hunched over and focused on the task at hand. They might be building with the blocks or nurturing plants and their feet, which is good, but still only focused on themselves and their work.

“The Third World” is the human world.

These two digital paintings can also be purchased as high-quality canvas prints through my personal website at www.toddpowelson.com

Designa

 

Designa

I like to spend time wandering through bookstores, just to see what I can find. Last week I realized that I hadn’t visited with any new bookshelves for too long, so I changed that. While I was at the bookstore, I came across a book called Designa: Technical Secrets of the Traditional Visual Arts and I knew I needed to own it! It goes through a number of different artistic principles, traditions, and theories. The individual subjects are at a pretty high level, dedicating only a page or two, but it covers a whole lot of different things. I suppose that I have better books addressing those separate and individual subjects, but seeing so many different subjects put together in one book, and put together so well, made me very happy.

So happy in fact that I got two additional books by the same publisher, Wooden Books. One of those books is called Sciencia: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Astronomy for All, and the other being Quadrivium: Number, Geometry, Music, Heaven. Again, these are both pretty high level, but between these three books there are hundreds of different subjects that are addressed.

Wooden Books has also published quite a number of other books too. I was kind of under the impression that the three books I did buy compiled their smaller books into one collection, but I appear to be wrong. At least, I think I am. I see they have a book called The Miracle of Trees, and that isn’t represented in any of the three books I did buy. But I will be very happy to get The Miracle of Trees too.

I’d recommend my new books to anybody. They help remind my how beautiful and complex this Earth we we live on, and the Universe we occupy, truly are.

www.woodenbooks.com

Quad

Sci