Peasant Girl with a Straw Hat

Peasant Girl with a Straw Hat, Camille Pissarro, 1881

Camille Pissarro frequently engaged with Millet-like peasant subjects, as seen in this portrait of a young girl. She calls to mind Millet’s own images of resting shepherdesses. Influenced by Millet, Pissarro was born on the island of St. Thomas, now a part of the American Virgin Islands. Once grown, he left the island and eventually moved to France. There as an artist, he grew to prominence and became a leader of the Impressionist movement. On St. Thomas, he is still considered an honored native son.

It is a very rainy first day of spring today. No workmen on the street, because of that. The radar map shows a mass of green and yellow Oobleck passing over us, with flood warning boxes following in its wake. A walk in the late afternoon might be possible, but I’m just hoping that the rain lets up enough for me to go out and get the paper, which is probably just soggy pulp by now. We walked yesterday, but it took two attempts. On the first try, we only got a couple blocks, when the rain started again. I had thought that it has finished. Later, we did get our walk in together. There were not that many people out-and-about.

Yesterday, Anne went to gyro, or rather gyro came to us. They’ve closed the studio, but now offer virtual classes via the tele-conferencing app Zoom. I sat out this week’s session, but plan on participating next week, with Anne in our living room. As we adjust to the new normal, adaptation like this is necessary. In this regard, Anne is better situated than I am. She has her many crafts to occupy herself with. One of her yarn stores even offered a virtual knitting circle using Zoom. Currently, she is into quilting and after finishing a baby quilt, has started a new type of quilt. She has ordered most of her supplies for this project online for later delivery, but there were some items that she needed right away. We broke our quarantine and drove to the fabric store, where she was treated to curbside delivery. I brought the hand sanitizer. 

As we all hunker down, quarantining ourselves from one another (I hope), We are always on the lookout for new diversions. A big one will drop tomorrow on Amazon Prime. The movie that Dan worked on, will be available for streaming. Blow the Man Down is set in Maine, where it was filmed two years ago. Here is its trailer and a recent New York Times review. In the trailer, if you look closely there is a brief shot of a plywood lobsterman sign that Dan made. If you watch the movie, be sure to watch the credits too and see Dan’s name written there.

Art in Bloom

Art in Bloom, the Saint Louis Art Museum’s annual celebration of art and flowers is being held this weekend. I went to see the show this morning. The museum offers a special members only time slot, before normal hours and I took advantaged of this opportunity. Still, even though I arrived just after eight, all of the parking lots were full and I had to hike a bit to get to the door. This year there are thirty pairings on display, scattered around the museum and spread across all three of its floors. At each installation there was already gathered a crowd of appreciators of beauty and everyone had a camera. It was hard not to photo-bomb other people’s pictures and to not have mine bombed too. 

The Slammer invites the florists to compete. The Chrysanthemums arrangement took second place. The museums selects the artworks to be paired, which the florist draw for randomly. Horse trading is allowed. The selected artworks cover the gambit of the museum’s collection that is on display. On Friday, some of the florists were on hand to discuss their floral arrangements. I photographed all thirty pairings and chose these representatives, because I liked them the most. They seemed to capture a sense of the artwork the best.

I spoke with a museum representative about the show. This is the museum’s most popular event of the year. Come Saturday, the building will be filled to capacity and the staff will be forced to turn people away due to the fire code. I’m glad that I got to see the show, while it was still relatively uncrowded. I can only imagine how crowded it will be come tomorrow, on the weekend proper.