An illusion haunts us, that a long duration, as a year, a decade, a century, is valuable. But an old French sentence says, “God works in moments.” We ask for long life, but ’tis deep life or grand moments that signify. Let the measure of Time be spiritual, not mechanical. Life is unnecessarily long. Moments of insight, of fine personal relation, a smile, a glance–what ample borrowers of eternity they are!

Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Sailor’s Return

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**Paintings by 19th century American artist Thomas Hovenden

No Taxation without Representation!

Lady Godiva by John Collier, c. 1897, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum
Lady Godiva by John Collier, c. 1897, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum

“Lady Godiva, was an 11th-century Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who, according to a legend dating back at least to the 13th century, rode naked – only covered in her long hair – through the streets of Coventry in order to gain a remission of the oppressive taxation imposed by her husband on his tenants. The name “Peeping Tom” for a voyeur originates from later versions of this legend in which a man named Tom had watched her ride and was struck blind or dead.” Wikipedia

Thank you Janice Wald at Refections for reminding me of this painting.

“Nothing Succeeds Like Excess.” Oscar Wilde

Chronic Chinamania (incurable)
Chronic Chinamania (incurable)

Everyone LOVED blue and white china!,1168679.html

“Look around you and paint what you see. Forget the Beaux-Arts and the models and render the intense life which surrounds you and be assured that the Brooklyn Bridge is worth the Colosseum of Rome and that modern America is as fine as the bric-a-brac of antiquity.”











6453_o_childe_hassam green gown







Fitz Hugh Lane: Crippled Artist

A man who happened across no romance . . . but for his art. Cape Ann Museum
A man who happened across no romance . . . but for his art.
Cape Ann Museum

It was said of Fitz Hugh Lane that he had no romantic attachments. One might wonder when viewing  his paintings if men and women were unimportant details, little nothings compared to the sea. His neighbors spoke not of a misanthropic man but of a generous, happy soul.

As a child it is believed he’d been poisoned by an Apple-of-Peru plant and forever more suffered paralysis in his legs. He lived by the sea where legless ships glided over nearly still waters with only the slightest breezes puffing sails. At least this was how he often painted the sea. How does a boy with no sails, no useful legs find his harbor? Find his movement? Paint brushes transport and canvas carries the artist home.


Maybe his stillness led to the luminous oceans of his work. Maybe being forced to sit still brought to mind the rushed, oh-so-self-important moments of others and how easily the sea of life took them all away, daily, yearly. Maybe a boy with useless legs understood the transporting power of being still.

Or maybe he just liked boats.


Pretty pictures:

Serene Art Historians Speaking:

Money Maker: