25 Nov 2023

American Gothic

Q. It’s one of the world’s most recognizable paintings. From the moment that the Art Institute of Chicago put Grant Wood’s ‘American Gothic’ on display, visitors were intrigued. What on earth was the story here? What indeed. . . A. The story starts with an Iowa-born artist’s sugar problem… Grant

06 Nov 2023

Nosing Around The Louvre

Q. We know it as the home of Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’, but what other notable artworks can be found at The Louvre? . A. Not surprisingly, The Louvre is home to some of the most remarkable paintings in the world. Eugene Delacroix’s ‘Liberty Leading The People. ‘Raphael’s ‘La Belle

26 Oct 2023

The Dreaded Audition

Q. Even those of us whose actorly aspirations ended in middle school can remember the stomach-seizing stress of the audition. Nightmares about forgetting you even had an audition, then  being thrust on stage in a spotlit theatre stuffed with professional theatre critics. Finally, the real day comes, they call out

20 Oct 2023

Don’t Eat None Of The Plum Pudding

Q. Your fictional hosts are serving you pudding. Should you eat it? . A. Many a literary table has been bedecked with showstopper pudding. ‘Pudding,’ the Oxford Dictionary tells us, is ‘a cooked sweet dish served after the main course of a meal.’ Get ready for ‘a good helping of

09 Oct 2023

An Artful Thanksgiving

Q. Happy Thanksgiving from Canada! What are some examples of Thanksgiving-relevant art from renowned artists? . A. Here are some paintings that are either overtly focused on Thanksgiving or seem to evoke its spirit.   March Avery. Thanksgiving. 1967 . Andries van Bochoven. Portrait of the artist and his family.

02 Oct 2023

Controversial Royal Portraits

Q. What have been some of the most controversial royal portraits over the years? A. This whole business of painting portraits – let alone royal portraits – is not for the faint-hearted. What if your all-powerful subject hates what you create? What if the royal trusts you, likes the portrait,

19 Sep 2023

Great Hands Painting What?

Q. Those of us who can’t art for beans are most strategic when forced invited to draw or paint. ‘Hmm. What will it be this time? A swirly ‘abstract’ or a circle flower with five petals?’ But what of those gifted visual artists who can create all manner of delights? How

11 Sep 2023

Movie Music Hall Of Fame 2023

Q. Speaking of broad music polls, how did movie music scores stack up in 2023? . A. In August of 2023, Classic FM reported out on their poll of 10,000 listeners around their favourite movie scores. Coming in at #1? Let’s just say: ‘Please, Mr. Gandalf, sir, don’t hurt me.

11 Sep 2023

Rachmaninov’s Hard-Earned Wins

Q. Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) is one of our favourite composers. And, as you’ll see below, his music often features in ‘most loved composer and classical music’ charts. But, was this Semyonovo-born composer always so beloved? . A. In April of 2023, Classic FM reported out on their annual ‘Classic FM

19 Aug 2023

Kandinsky’s Circles

Q. Why did the remarkable Kandinsky so favour circles? . A. Well, Vasiliy Vasilyevich Kandinskiy (1866-1944) was also a prolific writer, so he serves up his own answers. In a 1930 letter to art critic and historian Will Grohmann, Kandinsky wrote: ‘Why does the circle fascinate me? It is (1)