Trompe l’Oeil Painting: More Than Meets The Eye

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Have you ever seen those amazing paintings where it looks like a person or an object is about to step right out of it? If so, then you’ve admired a trompe l’oeil painting.

If you’re not an artist yourself, you may not be familiar with the term “trompe l’oeil” (pronounced ‘tromp-loi’ or ‘tromp lo-ay’).

Trompe l’oeil is French for “to deceive the eye”, and is a type of painting which creates the illusion that what the viewer is looking at is real. And it goes a little beyond simple hyper- or photo-realism.

Trompe l’oeil paintings create an incredible sense of depth and dimension, despite the fact that all of the painting’s elements are painted on a single plane. Even though all the objects are painted on the same plane, the artist’s skill makes it appear as if there are different planes in the picture. Continue reading

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Stand Firm in One Spirit

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“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God. Continue reading

Mary Pratt: Canada’s Brush With Greatness

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The first thing I did learn very early on was [that] I wasn’t going to go looking for something to paint. The world had to come to me.

Mary Pratt
March 15, 1935 – August 14, 2018

Last Tuesday, Canada mourned the loss of one of its most talented fine artists, when New Brunswick-born Mary Pratt passed away at the age of 83.

Mary Pratt, “Eviscerated Chickens”, 1971

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The Frailty of Human Life: Labor Vita, Necesse Mori

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Salvator Rosa, “The Frailty of Human Life”, 1656

On June 20, 1615, Italian Baroque artist Salvator Rosa was born.

The above painting, “The Frailty of Human Life” (1656), was painted soon after the death of his son, Rosalvo.

In the painting, Death (the skeleton) is directing the child to write on a scroll. The scroll reads “Conceptio Culpa, Nasci Pena, Labor Vita, Necesse Mori”, which means “Conception is a sin, Birth is pain, Life is toil, Death a necessity.” Continue reading

The Art of Horror II: A Sci-Fi Twist

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They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but we all know that it’s the cover art which initially draws our attention to a book in the first place.

Movies are no different. A lot of time, effort, talent and money goes into designing a movie poster, because it’s that first impression which often translates into big bucks or big flops.

I’ve sung the praises of movie posters before. First in the post “The Art of Horror“, and then again in “Hammer’s Glamour: The Art of Hammer Films“. Illustrated movie posters have sadly fallen out of fashion in Hollywood. But that’s all the more reason to keep highlighting a few classic examples here!

My love of cheesy, eccentric, down-right bad B-movies is no secret. Currently on my “to-watch” list are gems like “The Two-Headed Transplant”, “Drive-In Massacre”, and “Track of the Moon Beast”. (This is a real list, btw, I’m not just making it up for effect.)

A few things in particular come to mind when I think of the 1950-60’s era: 1) Classic family life and glamourous everyday fashions, and 2) crazy, campy, colourful science fiction films. Films about brains that won’t die, aliens and space ships, women from Mars, and babes in gold bikinis. So today, we’re going to be focusing on film posters of the psychedelic sci-fi persuasion. Now, not all of these are from the ’50-60’s era, but every poster has something in common: Each is a work of art; a vibrant illustration of the fantastical, soaked to the core with rich imagination and a mastery of colour and composition.

One of my favourites from today’s selections is, to me, the embodiment of kooky 1950’s science fiction: “The Brain Eaters” (1958). Continue reading

Ctrl-Alt-Customize: Wearisome Web Browser Woes

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A few nights ago while I was playing around on Pinterest, I was assaulted by the following pop-up message:

“Pinterest works much better on modern browsers. Internet Explorer is getting pretty old. You may want to consider switching to something newer.”

Wow, Pinterest, you have a lotta nerve smack-talking Internet Explorer when the whole reason I was using Pinterest in IE instead of Chrome was to check and see if a bug I recently reported to Pinterest was affecting other browsers.

Yeah, ANOTHER Pinterest bug, one that’s making it impossible to pin from the web. You know what they say about people in glass houses…

Bristled at their smarmy, condescending nag, I immediately took a screen grab of the message and tweeted out:

Call me old-fashioned, call me out of touch, but I’m telling you, what I said is true. I DO still need Internet Explorer for some of the things I do, and IE DOES do a number of things that other browsers simply don’t (and they SHOULD).

So I started thinking: I wish there was a way to design your own custom web browser, where you could incorporate any functions and features from any existing browsers. You know, take the best that each has to offer and make one good browser.

Currently, no browser is perfect. Or even close to it, in my opinion, which is why I’m forced to run THREE browsers simultaneously.

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