• Upcoming trips

    Feb 3 - Feb 13 Caribbean cruise May 1 to May 14 London vacation. (Hotels and details later). Hope to see you all then.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    December 7. Went to the Met to see the abridged version of “The Magic Flute”. We have seen this production before and still the charm of the great puppet characters keeps the children in awe and their parents happy with their parenting. An amusing interlude.

    December 9. Saw the Manhattan School of Music’s production of “Cendrillon” by Nicolo Isouard at the Florence Gould Hall. The MSM is having both its concert halls renovated and is using outside premises like the Alliance Francaise’s hall. The School and its talented young students put everything they have into this production; Scenery, lighting, costumes and acting was superb. As was the directing and conducting. Refreshing also, was that the cast was of the age to be convincing in their parts.

    December 10. The first of the “Peoples Symphony Concerts” this season (Their 118th year!). “The Variation String Trio” did the honours accompanied by guest pianist: Orion Weiss. Their programme included a new work by Nina Young (b.1984) Very interesting, but not, I think, a world-beater.

    December 31 Went to the Kaye theatre at Hunter College  to see the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players’ production of “H.M.S. Pinafore”. Cast and orchestra captured the high spirits of the musical romp and the sets were surprisingly professional. Reminded me of the old Sadlers’ Wells days,

    January 2, 2018. Saw the Met’s “The Merry Widow”. During the first act, the acoustics left a lot to be desired and words were difficult to hear, even in English. But all went well in the second and third acts; the Russian style dancing was rousing and the sets were spectacular. There are usually only six ‘Grisettes’ (Can-can girls) on a regular stage, but the Met’s vast space seemed to be full of them; three, even, descending from the top of the proscenium arch! All with their frilly knickers a-shaking

     

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Artwork – ‘The Pomegranate Years’

I painted this piece in remembrance of the seventeen complicated, sweet, and, sometimes, turbulent years Ethel and I spent together. I have depicted her flamboyantly dressed as usual, reading her beloved ‘Times’, wearing a typical Ethel expression–An expression lit with the innocent pleasure of new discovery. It is an expression I will never forget.

 

I intended to surround the main theme with a frieze of vignettes of the institutions which gave us so much of our common joy of living but I began to be afraid that the design was getting cluttered and was detracting from the central subject. Below are pictures of two treatments, click twice on each and let me know what you think:

 

"The Pomegranate Years'  12" x 17" on Arches paper.

“The Pomegranate Years’ –  12″ x 17” on Arches paper.

 

. . . . with frieze added

. . . . with frieze added

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4 Responses

  1. I like it with the frieze….it’s awesome and very Ethel

  2. Love it Ben.

  3. I feel the Frieze is a great reminiscence, but feel it is too cluttered.

  4. Thank you all for your interest (including those who left Facebook or e-mail messages). The preferences were about evenly matched–with the frieze or without it. I retrieved my carving tools from Susan’s house and am now in the process of carving a frame for the painting. It will take some time but when it is finished I will post the final result. Ben

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