September 2023 Mailbag

Post Office on Fair Isle, Shetland, Scotland (Photo: Anne Newman)

I do hope you enjoy the image above of the Post Office on Fair Isle in the Shetland Islands (part of Scotland). I was so privileged to be able to visit these remote islands and if you missed the first posts on my cruise please check out the bookmark links below.

Beginning the cruise: Fair Isle and Noss Head
Our beautiful ship - “Island Sky” - is small enough to be able to get into the remote indented coastline to see amazing natural beauty and wildlife and to reach places which date back in time thousands of years to the Iron Age. Today - Fair Isle, Shetland, Scotland.
The Treasures of Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland: Part One
Visiting Lerwick in the Shetlands, Scotland was a magical experience from seeing 5000 year old buildings to witnessing a “fleet” of tall ships sailing by.
The Treasures of Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland: Part Two
After clambering all over the ancient ruins of Jarlshof I decided to have the afternoon on board our beautiful cruise liner “Island Sky”. I was rewarded with a sail past of tall ships .
Westray and Papa Westray, Orkney Islands
A visit to Westray and Papa Westray, Orkney was again a journey back in time as we saw the remains of a Norse longhouse and spent the afternoon enjoying the natural beauty and culture of the tiny island of Papa Westray (known as Papay).

And from northern Scotland to Tanzania where Monica Broom has sent in a recommendation to read the book Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay.

In this vivid and captivating journey through the colors of an artist’s palette, Victoria Finlay takes us on an enthralling adventure around the world and through the ages, illuminating how the colors we choose to value have determined the history of culture itself.1</sup.

How did the most precious color blue travel all the way from remote lapis mines in Afghanistan to Michelangelo’s brush? What is the connection between brown paint and ancient Egyptian mummies? Why did Robin Hood wear Lincoln green? In Color, Finlay explores the physical materials that color our world, such as precious minerals and insect blood, as well as the social and political meanings that color has carried through time.1

Roman emperors used to wear togas dyed with a purple color that was made from an odorous Lebanese shellfish–which probably meant their scent preceded them. In the eighteenth century, black dye was called logwood and grew along the Spanish Main. Some of the first indigo plantations were started in America, amazingly enough, by a seventeen-year-old girl named Eliza. And the popular van Gogh painting White Roses at Washington’s National Gallery had to be renamed after a researcher discovered that the flowers were originally done in a pink paint that had faded nearly a century ago. Color is full of extraordinary people, events, and anecdotes–painted all the more dazzling by Finlay’s engaging style.1

Embark upon a thrilling adventure with this intrepid journalist as she travels on a donkey along ancient silk trade routes; with the Phoenicians sailing the Mediterranean in search of a special purple shell that garners wealth, sustenance, and prestige; with modern Chilean farmers breeding and bleeding insects for their viscous red blood. The colors that craft our world have never looked so bright.1

From D the Roving reporter in Central Victoria, Australia comes the news that Mandurang sculptor Andre Sardone is experimenting with the sheet roller to create these new pieces using 1.6mm steel. Andre states on his Facebook Page that: I find these shapes very intriguing, and like the idea of upscaling them to monumental sizes. I will try some different finishes on these.

This is the process so far...

Preliminary work on new sculptures by Andre Sardone, Mandurang, Victoria, Australia (Credit: (Andre Sardone)

As regular readers of the AnArt4Life blog know I am always going on about how art is all around us! Mother Nature will always remain in my opinion the greatest artist as illustrated below with this beautiful Chestnut tree in Regent's Park, London...

Chestnut Tree in Regent's Park, London (Photo: Anne Newman)

Last year when I was in London this tree was looking very stressed, maybe from the effect of the drought and extreme heat which England experienced in the Summer of 2022. I am pleased to be able to report that this year the tree is looking much healthier.

And in terms of art being all around I found myself noting the pattern made by animal and human footprints with the added dramatic effect of bicycle tyre tracks in a muddy path... Perhaps a new art form for one of you to experiment with?

Patterns of People also form interesting art...

Patterns of People (Photo: Anne Newman)

...especially when you can take the photos from different perspectives...

But let us conclude today with another amazing miracle of paper creation by Willie Takatosi Cox who shows you how to make the Transformer Wheeljack from paper!! Thanks Willie for sharing you creations and skills with us.

Late Mail from the Editor in Charge

I must say that the best mail is when we see in the AnArt4Life email inbox that we have new subscribers. A very warm welcome to all our new subscribers over the past couple of months. And of course a huge hug goes out to our loyal subscribers and followers especially those of you who have been there from our very early days. We are about to celebrate our 6th birthday and so an even bigger hug and thank you to the AnArt4Life team who have come along on this journey. I love you all for the tremendous effort you put in to make this blog one of the best on the web.

And on my return from the UK I learnt that some of you have not been receiving all the posts. I have put Matt Cameron, the Interwebs Wizard, onto rectifying the problem (which was to do with particular email addresses) and we believe all is well once more. Our apologies for this.