Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Northeaster Comming

There is a northeaster brewing off the coast and expected to hit here later today. That means nasty weather here for the next day or two.   Yesterday I went down to the shore to see the effects of the coming storm.   The wind was gusting at about 30 mph, the seas were very choppy, and the skies were mostly cloudy and overcast.  Here are a few views.

Here is a quick (and I do mean quick (4 sec) view of the sky on Monday evening. I was experimenting and took 113 shots, compiled them together at a rate of 24 frames per second. Now that I know how to do it, my next one will be longer and I'll use a tripod.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Restoration Work in Progress

While I was at the Chrysler Museum, I met this fellow Mark Lewis who is a Painting Conservator. Mark is cleaning and restoring a 450 year old painting by Venetian painter Paolo Veronese. The painting is called Virgin and Child with Angels Appearing to Saints Anthony Abbot and Paul, the Hermit, 1562 This alter piece was one of three works by Veronese commissioned by the Benedictine monks at an Italian Church, San Benedetto Po.

Here's a little history on the painting for you, Napoleon's troops confiscated this and two other companion pieces, along with countless other works of art, during the French occupation of northern Italy in the late 1790s. The Virgin and Child with Angels Appearing to Saints Anthony Abbot and Paul, the Hermit eventually surfaced in France, where it was purchased by Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., in 1954. The two other paintings appeared in an English Country Manor in the nineteenth century: one was unfortunately destroyed by fire, but The Consecration of Saint Nicholas was acquired by the National Gallery in London. The abbey church and cloisters still stand today, with reproductions of the paintings placed above the original altars.

Mark, is removing the protective layer of varnish that has yellowed with age. He then applies a layer of Isolating Varnish, filling and restoring loses. I could actual see the weave of the fabric in some places. What was interesting about that was that most linens use a criss cross weave while this one was more like a tweed stitch. Mark explained to me that this helpd the painting to have more flexibility thus allowing better preservation over time. I asked Mark how long the restoration will take and he said roughly 500 hours. Mark only works on Wednesdays so the restoration process will be on display for quite a while.

I asked Mark how he got his background. After college he went to France where he apprenticed to a master restorer for a few years. He returned to the United States and secured a job at a gallery working in the restoration department. Eventually he perfected his skills and is now the Chrysler's paintings conservator. He also works as a member of various restoration teams For the Smithsonian Institute.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Art, it's all in your perspective

The age old question "What is Art?"

To answer that question, I visited the Chrysler Museum.
The answer, I found, was that it is all in your Perspective

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Prayers and hopes to our Fellow Texans

We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control. The Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant, can awake from its seeming lethargy, over step its conventional boundaries, invade our land and spread chaos and disaster. Please remember our fellow citizens in Texas who are dealing with the aftermath of hurricane IKE.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Tropical Storm Hanna

Tropical Storm Hanna passed through here today. Not very bad at all. Most of the rain was to the west of here (Norfolk, Virginia). We experienced mostly just the winds and some gusts were clocked at 59 mph. There are some pockets of power outages, light ponding on the roads, and downed limbs. All in All it could have been much worse.



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