Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Michael Sowa

"Pompeii" by Michael Sowa

Michael Sowa is a contemporary German artist (born 1945) with a style that may remind you of the Gary Larson cartoon, "The Far Side". Such comparisons are frequently made, but Sowa's work seems to be sweeter somehow, more poignant and more detailed. It is all at once quiet and whimsical and expectant, like you just walked in on someone happy who thought he was acting in secret. When I look at his work, I just feel better. You may have seen Sowa's art on display in the French film, "Amelie", the perfect showcase. The pictures copied here all have German names that I won't begin to translate.

Friday, October 26, 2007


While often identified as "Vampire",
this painting by Edvard Munch is properly titled
"Love and Pain" (1893-1894).

Does she love and comfort as she takes his life? Does he hope to die in her arms? Mr. Munch certainly believes that there is pain in love.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Steve Russell

One of the truly exceptional human beings on this planet is Steve Russell. When performing with his wonderful wife Kobi Shaw, they form the juggling team In Capable Hands. This former Clown College professor has performed on The Tonight Show, and most recently, in the New York City Opera's production of Pagliacci. You can see Steve and Kobi in action by looking at these YouTube postings. There's also a great video on Steve's booking agent's pages. You never knew how badly you needed a juggler around until you've met Steve.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

More hope

After my original post "hope", I was reminded that Gustav Klimt had the same idea, twice:

"Hope, I" (1903) by Gustav Klimt

"Hope, II" (1907 - 1908) by Gustav Klimt

Monday, October 15, 2007


"Baby in Repose"

You have to look carefully, but the moment before this photo was taken, the baby put its hands behind its head, and crossed its legs. That's a footprint you see...

December 3, 2007: Click for an update to this post.

Pavarotti and Brown

Yes, really. On the all-time top five list of most unlikely duets, this one has got to be near the top. I have no idea who came up with the idea, nor what they had in mind, but what's shocking is how extremely well it works. James' wide, toothy grin and constant genuflecting show that he is clearly touched both by the presence of Luciano and the beauty of his voice. From looking at his face, it's less clear that Luciano knew what singing with The Godfather of Soul (The Hardest Working Man in Show Business) really meant, but still puts a powerful energy into his performance.


All Cleaned Up

The Truslow Family, April 14, 2007

Mepkin Abbey

The Gardens of Mepkin Abbey
Moncks Corner, South Carolina


"Automat" (1927), by Edward Hopper

This is my favorite Edward Hopper image, and as you may know, I have a large version of it in my study. It was used by TIME magazine for a cover story on depression (August 28, 1995), but I don't associate Hopper's work with being sad or melancholy (as he said, "The loneliness thing is overdone"). In much of his art, Hopper seems to convey that human solitude can also be necessary, liberating, and even tranquil.

I fondly remember a conversation I had with Allan Jones, the painter. We were trying to figure out why Hopper's work often seemed to express a void or a vacuum. Allan pointed out that what many of these paintings are missing is the viewer himself. For example, here Hopper gives you an empty chair to sit in, if you want. Wouldn't you like to come in and be quiet for a while?

Two Women at a Window

"Two Women at a Window" (1670), by Bartolome Esteban Murillo
Currently at the National Gallery of Art (U.S.A.)

If I come with you, will we have wonderful adventures together?
Will you be alive with me?

Theodore Roosevelt

Peace is normally a great good, and normally
it coincides with righteousness,
but it is righteousness
and not peace
which should bind the conscience of a nation
as it should bind the conscience of an individual;
and neither a nation
nor an individual
can surrender conscience
to another's keeping.


"Calvin and Hobbes", written and drawn by Bill Watterson
(click on image for larger version)

Der Kuss

"Der Kuss" (1907/1908), by Gustav Klimt

Sonnet XLIII

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Where insanity meets genius

These are two of my favorite images of all time. The intensity of these self portraits serves as evidence of the fine line between genius and insanity.

"Self portrait", 1887

"Self-portrait", dedicated to Paul Gauguin (1888)

Flannery Evelyn and Percy Katherine

Flannery Evelyn and Percy Katherine (2004)

The Great Flydini


"Madonna" (1894-1895), by Edvard Munch


Have you forgotten what we were like then
when we were still first rate
and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth

it's no use worrying about Time
but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
and turned some sharp corners

the whole pasture looked like our meal
we didn't need speedometers
we could manage cocktails out of ice and water

I wouldn't want to be faster
or greener than now if you were with me O you
were the best of all my days

by Frank O'Hara

Djimon with Octopus

"Djimon with Octopus, Hollywood, 1989"
by Herb Ritts

Old Friends

Terance Fowler, John Truslow, and Jennifer Lantz
April 13, 2007
32 years of friendship, and counting

Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley

Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley (December 21, 1970)

Robin (early on)

My lovely, talented, brilliant niece.


"Stars" (1926), by Maxfield Parrish

Truslow Gothic

John Jr. and Patti Truslow, July 2006