Archive | November, 2013

Dr. Joe Schwarcz speaks about ART & HEALTH

 

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Dr. Joe Schwarcz, Director of McGill University’s Office for Science & Society kept us engaged in a very spirited and entertaining session on Tuesday, November 26th at the McCord providing magic tricks (in the style of Houdini !) to boot.

Some of the tidbits I learned:  that when Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, the shape of God as it appears turns out to be the shape of the human brain.

: that the Pieta has Christ with bulging veins which does not happen when a person is dead, reaching the conclusion that Michelangelo was in fact projecting the resurrection.

: that Da Vinci’s Last Supper is questionable because of the condition in which it was found and later restored, leading us to wonder how accurate the restorations actually are.

: El Greco.  It was surmised that his elongated faces and animals were due to his having severe astigmatism.  In fact, this was not the case.  Sketches and drawings show that his faces were realistic and that he deliberately extended them upwards, symbolizing the union between man and heaven !

: Goya’s Reclining Maya and Reclining Nude were the same woman, his wife, but the clothed figure was for public display while the nude stayed safely in the confines of his bedroom.  As Goya aged, it seemed that the use of lead carbonate in the white he used was so toxic that it affected his later paintings, which took on a troubled stance.

: Van Gogh was a smoker, drinker, womanizer.  His early paintings were sombre (The Potato Eaters) but strangely when he moved to France, the colors lightened and changed to yellows.   We have learned that this was due to his intake of digitalis, an extract of the foxglove flower, which can cause serious side-effects, one of them being seeing yellow haloes.  Van Gogh sold only one sunflower painting in his lifetime leaving the conclusion “that if you are an artist, it pays to die”.  A recent sunflower painting sold for 95 million dollars.   Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin also ingested the green beverage absinthe,  obtained from the  wormwood tree, which they would enjoy with the sugar ritual.  It also contains thujone which causes hallucinations.   One of their quotes was “Absinthe makes the tart grow fonder ……”

: Edvard Munsch was apparently cured of mental illness and his paintings changed greatly in style as he got older.

: De Kooning too changed his style towards the end of his life  He had Alzeimers disease but continued to paint until he died.

Dr. Schwarz stressed that there is inherent toxicity in the art world and that reasonable precautions must be taken.   Seems that the colors that are the prettiest are the ones that are the most dangerous,  lead white,  cobalt and cadmium.  Care must be especially taken with solvent vapours.

He concluded with a story about Houdini’s last lecture given at the McCord while it was still the McGill Student’s Union and he served up some magical tricks with ropes, a deck of giant cards and some colored CDs.

All in all, a very enjoyable afternoon.

- Cheryl Braganza

 

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WASM IS AT THE MUSÉE DE BEAUX-ARTS

A sampling of the some of the templates created by our members for  the Christmas tree at the MMFA. Setup is scheduled for November 28. Our WASM tree along with many others from organizations all over the city will be on display from early December until January 5, 2014 following a long-standing tradition at the Museum.

We hope that you will make a special trip to visit and admire the art-work of our members during this holiday season.

Here are some of the artists who contributed:  Judith Blin, Merlyn Bobbitt, Cheryl Braganza, Carol Bulow, Diane Cannuli, Matilda Cheung, Shirley Cohen, Linda Denis, Bonnie Frankel, Sharron Gallagher, Janet Goldstein, Diane Habeeb, Ines uguarte, Mary Lennon, Ann Mallette, Catherine Maclaren, Meta MacLean, Donna McGee, Maura McKeon, Nazik Zaroukian,  Sylvia Ruby,  Joan Salter Kirton, Carol Saykaly, Pauline Shapiro, Barbara Silverman, Michel Tougas, Hohn Vasalinskas, Stan Wasilenski, Josette Wecsu, Annette Wolfstein-Joseph and Jackie Wloski.

MMFA templates 2013

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Decorating the Tree at the MMFA

Decorating the Tree at the MMFA

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The finished product !

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November 12 – Doreen Lindsay – J’existe – my life in images

Doreen Lindsay’s talk was very well received and we had enthusiastic questions later . Many people lingered to talk to her afterwards. She was a very interesting speaker who made her career of photography sound like it was so simple. She had some stunning pictures; the one with wind blowing grass in California was particularly memorable. Her mother daughter pictures were also lovely.

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WASM IS GOING TO THE OPERA ON JAN. 28th !

L’Opéra de Montréal is bringing PORGY & BESS, the musical to the stage and we will be there.     You will go home humming “Summertime”, “I loves you Porgy” and “Bess, you is my woman now”……….guaranteed.

Here are the details:

TUESDAY, JANUARY 28TH, 2014

TIME:  7.30 PM         Meet between 6.30 and 6.45 pm in the main lobby.   RED SCARVES !

PLACE DES ARTS:  SALLE WILFRED   PELLETIER

DURATION:  3 HOURS  - 2 INTERMISSIONS

TICKETS:  $24  ( $20 PLUS SERVICE FEES of $4 ),  WASM  WILL  BOOK ON DECEMBER 1, 2013 WHEN THE DISCOUNTED TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE.

SEATS:      BALCONY – YOU WILL NEED TO BORROW,  BRING OR STEAL OPERA GLASSES/ BINOCULARS

INDOOR PARKING AVAILABLE TO BOOK IN ADVANCE:  $13   Call 514-985-2222 to book this directly.

CO-ORDINATOR:  CHERYL BRAGANZA   email:  cheryl@cherylbraganza.com

Make your $24 cheque  (no cash please) payable to Cheryl Braganza.  Hand over or mail  to Cheryl Braganza, 1070 St. Mathieu, Suite 1101, Montreal H3H-2S8 as soon as possible.

36 people have signed up as listed below.   

GOING:  Maria Roussakis,  Sylvia Ruby,  Diane Cannuli,  Birte Paul,  Chantal Beauregard,  Matilda Cheung,  Heather Dubreuil,  Karen Kennedy, Reine Goodrow, Mr. Goodrow,   Joy MacKay,  Judith Blin,   Pauline Shapiro,  Teri Druick,   Josette Wecsu,  Sharron Gallagher,  Deanne Habeeb,  Jane Barlow,  Martha Barrington,   Cheryl Braganza,  Moira Edwards,   Jocelyn Watson,   Linda Miller Eubank,  Huston Eubank, Jackie Rae Wloski, Brenda Parsons, Susan Mott, Celestine Segers, Maura McKeon, Francine Jutras, Lorie Jutras, Michel Martel, Odrie Coté, Chantal Coté, René Coté, Nicole Leconte

TICKETS HAVE BEEN RESERVED,  BOUGHT AND RECEIVED .

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Check the website:  PORGY & BESS AT PDA.

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West Island Sweet Adelines – October 29, 2013

On October 29, 30 singers from the West Island Sweet Adelines came out in full force to entertain us, barbershop style, with beautiful melodies and harmonies, some even arranged by their director Tracy Larder.  We learned that the “Sweet Adelines” were born in Oklahoma and branched out into Canada in the 50′s and 60′s.  They go through rigorous training, every Thursday in the West Island, and enter competitions all over the US, this year going to Honolulu in the middle of our winter!  They sang haunting renditions of La Vie en Rose, Autumn Leaves, Climb every Mountain, There goes my Heart,  etc. and even taught us “a tag”.   Their oldest singer at 82 years old had been in the choir for 35 years.  For everyone’s information, they are recruiting so check their website if you would like to join.

“It was an afternoon spent wonderfully. I had never even heard of the barbershop style of singing much less hear it in person. It was an eye opener. ”  “Took me back to lovely memories”  “Some of those songs brought tears to my eyes”  “I just opened up my heart and let them fill it”  “Why can’t I sing like that ?”   are some of the remarks from those present.

Thank you again Sweet Adelines !

After, Sanaya and Dan from Davids Teas (pictured here) were there to serve free cups of their Buddha’s Delight  Tea to everyone.

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