Crate of Curios part 67

It is cold-cold-cold this week and the heating hours are the true highlights of the day. My hope for the Halcyon Days last week was obviously premature as ‘Elpida’ as the phenomenon is ironically called is descending upon us with snow instead. Meaning that it’s time to dig deep under the warm blankets, arm oneself with a cup of hot tea and open this week’s Crate without further ado.

  1. According to art critic Roberta Smith “One day Traylor picked up a stub of pencil and a scrap of cardboard and began to draw…. He produced hundreds of drawings and paintings that rank among the greatest works of the twentieth century.” Bill Traylor, born into slavery in about 1853, began his life as an artist in his late 80s when, homeless on the streets of Montgomery Alabama, he produced over 1200 (surviving) drawings and paintings.

2. How fast do we forget? Ebbinghaus forgetting curve says… quite fast.

3. Colors had considerably more colourful name at the times of the Tudors.

4. Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska’s wise words from “Literary Life” advice column. It’s never too late to take up writing.

5. How to get your way according to Mel Brooks – say yes, then do whatever you want.

6. And to finish off for this week – a little comic on contemporary fairy tales by J.A.K.

And that’s it for this time. Happy reading and until next week!
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If you want to receive the Crate to your mailbox, you can subscribe here at Substack.

Crate of Curios part 66

January is moving along and yesterday the wind was warm, almost promising the arrival of the Halcyon days; but alas, today the freezing feeling is back with a vengeance and the hope needs to be postponed. Sitting in the park yesterday with a freshly-taxed cup of coffee reminded me of the spring of the first lockdown, when walks were more or less the only entertainment possible and the neighbourhood parks had never been busier. Nostalgia born from the strangest epochs. Nevertheless, now it’s time to open this week’s Crate.

  1. Occasionally art seeps into life through our everyday language and Jan Steen‘s paintings are a wonderful example of it. I figured it was just a piece of internet lore when I read that “a chaotic household, where everyone does just as he or she pleases, is still called a ‘Jan Steen household’ in Dutch”, but apparently the expression ‘een huishouden van Jan Steen‘ really does exist.

2. There was a time in 1970’s and 1980’s when… the former Yugoslavia was one of the most popular nudist destinations in the world.

3. Many musicians find their inspiration in nature, but David Rotherberg gets even more specific – his music is inspired by the sounds of bugs.

4. Just how probable is ‘probably’? At least in the U.S. it’s pretty likely.

5. This weeks’ book recommendation takes us to the occupied France during WW2 and plunges us right into the civilian spy network. And just to make it extra appetizing – although not a documentary, the book is based on a real story.

6. And to finish off for this week, a little introspective comic by False Knees.

And that’s it for this time. Happy reading and until next week!
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If you want to receive the Crate to your mailbox, you can subscribe here at Substack.

Crate of Curios part 65

And just like this, 2022 is here. The weather veers from being as bleak as in Copenhagen to lovely spring-day-in-March kind and the week ahead promises to be both freezing and wet. Covid case numbers are through the roof and it feels as if we should just opt for blow-up protection spacesuits right away and get the in-between stages over with once and for all. Anyhow, people adapt to everything and surely this too shall pass. Until then, let’s get to opening this year’s first Crate.

  1. Pliny the Elder wrote in his “Chapters on the History of Art” – “She was in love with a youth, and when he was leaving the country, she traced the outline of the shadow which his face cast on the wall by lamplight. Her father filled in the outline with clay and made a model; this he dried and baked with the rest of his pottery, and we hear that it was preserved in the temple of the Nymphs until Mummius overthrew Corinth.” – The lady is question here is of course the mythical inventress of painting, the Maid of Corinth, Dibutades.

2. What’s at the bottom of the sea? Keep scrolling and find out…

3. Planning to go to Australia? Prepare yourself with this tongue-in-cheek guide.

4. We hear pretty often how successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople start their days. Let’s see for a change how 10 artists start theirs.

5. The book recommendation for this week “Art & Fear” is absolutely worth your time.

6. And to finish off for this week, a cartoon about drums by Tommy Siegel.

And that’s it for this time. Happy reading and until next week!
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If you want to receive the Crate to your mailbox, you can subscribe here at Substack.

Crate of Curios part 64

2022 has arrived, it’s cold, case numbers are through the roof, so we’re getting used to frequent self-testing again, stretching our nostrils to escape the unpleasant sensation. Everything comes and goes in waves – the hope that finally everything is getting better, that the coastline of stability is within reach alternates with the chilly realization that the uncertainty of everyday life might just be the normality now. The only stability it seems, is change. However, the only steadiness we can create lies in our own rituals – which brings us to opening this week’s Crate of Curios.

  1. “One of the reasons I paint is to catch life as it goes by, hot off the griddle.” “Painting,” Neel said, “keeps me alive.” Alice Neel’s nudes are difficult to pin down and their stories more than skin deep.

2. How long does chocolate keep? As it shows, up to 120 years.

3. We usually map habitation. What if we turned it around and mapped emptiness instead?

4. Van Gogh rarely had money to pay a model. However, he had a mirror.

5. Mason Currey has spent several years collecting the habits and routines of famous creative people. His first book “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work” is a great read. His second book “Daily Rituals: Women At Work” is a great AND relatable read. I do recommend both.

6. And to finish off for this week, a little task management comic by Worry Lines.

And that’s it for this time. Happy reading and until next week!
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If you want to receive the Crate to your mailbox, you can subscribe here at Substack.