Anything … else … but

I have noticed that many of the bloggers whose writing I’ve come to enjoy over the past seven years are either paralyzed by the social turmoil all around them or are trying to focus on anything … else … but. Fires in the streets, virus in the air, the seas rising (the Native Americans were right: the devil has blue eyes) … the crap just doesn’t want to stop rolling in, does it? The Armageddon was supposed to be the quick and final punishment of mankind. Not years on life support hoping for some miracle drug.

But since there’s nothing I can do, I will focus on anything … else … but. My current AEB are the illustrations in a bible that literally crumbles when handled. Who were the artists? What did the original artwork look like before the book got into the hands of my less than pious mother?

Some artists perhaps felt it blasphemous to advertise their work in the Holy book. The illustration above simply reads Rebecca. I would guess the artist was a Pre-Raphaelite but I can’t find any matches.

I am not an expert on the Bible by any stretch but I identified this scene right away, did you? The artist was identified as Briton Riviere who was well-known in the 1850s for his animal studies. (This image reminds me of Duke Miller’s poem on Tinhats) Again, cannot find copies of the original.

According to a quote on the back, this illustration portrays Naomi imploring her mother-in-law “whither thou goest; I shall go.” Looks to me like she’s attempting to seduce Ruth. However, because the artist, identified as “Calderon,” was also well known in the 1850s (and the onetime Keeper of the Royal Academy) I was able to find a copy of the original. That’s Boas she’s rubbing up against while Ruth waits off to the side.

The only other illustration in the Old Testament not damaged beyond repair is this one.

The inscription on the back reads The Frieze of Prophets by J.S. Sargent. I googled and sure enough John Singer Sargent did create a frieze by that name, however this must have been an early study as the completed piece looks like a bit different.

Frieze of Prophets, by JS Singer

The New Testament seemed more inspirational to artists of the time:

I particularly like this one: “Christ and the Fisherman” by E. Zimmerman, a German artist. You can see the rough hands of the fisherman and feel the bond between the men.

And this one:

“The Arrival of the Shepherds” by Henri Li’rolle. The original probably had more color but I like the rawness that age and abuse have given the image.

I was able to find the original for this scene:

“The Lost Sheep” by Alf. U. Soard.

The Lost Sheep

The illustration in Mother’s bible was probably a study for the completed work. I have to say, the study is more powerful.

I will close with this image “Laborers in the Plain of Esdraelon.” Looks like an ominous place for the final battle between good and evil, doesn’t it? Half in this world and half in another.

#ThursdayDoors: Brave

Sadly, I have no interesting doors for Norm Frampton’s ThursdayDoors challenge. Obviously I just don’t get out enough!

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This open door leads to a small art gallery which also serves as a studio. The artist sits at her easel all day long as people walk past on their way to near-by restaurants.  If the weather is nice, she leans her paintings against the plate glass window in front.  She is good, really good.  If I had the money, I’d buy as many as I could.  To paint out in public where people can wander by and remark is one of the bravest things an artist can do.

You probably won’t catch me doing that anytime soon.  However, today I’m honored to be featured on Colleen M. Story’s Wellness and Writing blog. Please check it out if you have the time.  Colleen is a gifted writer whose focus is on helping writers stay mentally and physically healthy.  I’m hoping she’ll drop by the Twissel blog and give us some tips and maybe talk about her book Loreena’s Gift (sci-fi, fantasy) which is coming out on April 12!  Here’s the beginning of the synopsis: Loreena Picket is a blind young woman who lives with her uncle, a reverend at a small-town church. Loreena has a strange gift, which she’s not really sure is a gift at all.

ddduke.128.625110On another note: I’ve decided that my blog is pretty blah so, one of the bravest writers I know, Duke Miller and I are experimenting with new ideas on a blog we call Tin Hats. If you’re a fan of Duke’s, there are a few powerful often controversial posts there.  I may even get brave and let loose my subversive side!   Here’s a video that explains the theme of Tin Hats pretty well: