Wednesday, 13 June 2007


While at work the other day, I was looking at a Saskatoon tourism booklet that had come with the paper. They had a listing of the current exhibitions at the Mendel Art Gallery. As the Mendel is just across the kinsmen park from what is still my grandma's apartment for the next month or so, I have spent many a good time hanging out there, looking at conceptual art involving cut up bodies and whatnot, and wondering who eats the bananas from the conservatory banana tree. It's always good to take some time to go there when we are in the city.

Anyway the Mendel is currently showing an exhibit of British Drawings from The National Gallery. The listing is graced by a nice Rossetti drawring, and the idea of resurrecting a drawing salon sounded kind of interesting so I figured I'd probably make a stop there when we go up in July. So I went to the website (I didn't even know the Mendel had a website) and saw that it's focused on Pre-Raphaelite work, which would be nice to see...then I saw those three special words.

You know the ones that cause heart fluttering and excessive swooning. That's right!

Charles Rennie Mackintosh.


There's a drawing by CRM in Saskatchewan!! Now knowing me, you would be aware that I would be willing to travel there to see a piece of TP that was once stuck to the shoe of one of the Four. So you know I AM SO GOING to that now.

I am betting it's one of his smaller watercolours or flower paintings, nothing spectacular, as I think the Hunterian Gallery houses all the superextracool works of the Mackintoshes. Still wouldn't it just be awesome if it was that one...which name I don't know-but it's like my FAVORITE one, and it's all green and purple and crazy detailed and it has like shieldy-things, and I have it as my desktop background, and I close everything just to look at it sometimes, yeah that one-wouldn't it be awesome if it was that one?? I feel that either that or a textile design would be most worthy of the jail time I'd get for stealing it.

Mama will not agree to be my distractor however. I don't know what her problem is. I'm sure it will just be a little drawring and if I wear a big coat to hide it in no one will notice, even though it will be July when we go, because I'm skinny to start with.

And I'll delete this entry if successful of course.

Look I found my fave piece, isn't this...uh, superwickedawesome? I've only seen it in one book (from which I scanned it so the page break is visible in the centre) and don't know the title. It is so thick with detail-I do wish I knew what the heck was going on.


gwensmom said...

I like CRM too and thought that the flower in your last entry reminded me of his work! Have fun seeing it in person!

mem said...

I'll be your distractor, no question. As long as I don't get stuck in a jail cell with "Bruno the shemale."

We studied the Pre-Raphaelites in a Victorian Poetry class I took. (Thanks to Tennyson's "Lady of Shalott." We didn't see Rossetti's wood engraving of it, but we did see a number of other pieces based on it.)

I confess utter ignorance about CRM, though. I'm sure you can spam my comments with links if you've a mind.

Enjoy the visit! It will be fun. You might actually enjoy the Philly Art Museum, too—most people go there because of Rocky, I think, not the art, but the stuff inside is pretty wicked cool.

mem said...

I'm not sure if it wasn't obvious already, but I'm not really worried about what my bunkmate's name is. :-P

The chair is unique to my experience, like so many other things. How fortunate I am to have someone like you who can introduce me to the wonders of CRM and grease bannock. (Is that anything like Fastnachts?)

July may be pushing it, as I am going to be leaving for elsewhere at the end of the month. But I will see what I can do. Do I need to bring a skiff for our escape? I can't afford a speedboat.

mem said...

Totally possible that I've seen them before, but I wouldn't recongize it as such. The high back is the first thing that stands out to me—I believe this makes me an engineer. (Next comes the design itself.)

The building is beautiful. I have a hankering to visit the UK, but I never have. I enjoy travel...for many reasons, not the least of which is coming home. Does travelling not interest you for any particular reason?

I guess grease bannock is a bit like Fastnachts, which are pre-lent doughnuts deepfried and yummy. Someone made these for my German class once, and they were so ridiculously good that I am getting hungry right now just thinking about them.

I don't mind being jailed with the Indian posse. As long as the man doesn't beat me about too much, I should be able to take care of myself in prison. Especially if it's run by that guy who owns the bar.

mem said...

So is it the processing of getting from point A to point B? Or the process of being at point B? You should do what other enlightened people do: travel, and sell your clothing to make room for souvenirs. If the issue is really getting to point B, you just need good travel companions.

Now as for the shoes, good travel companions will also fix that problem; they'll talk you out of buying the expensive heavy ones for buying more expensive but lighter ones. You need more than one pair of eyes to look for these things.

mem said...

You know, you beat your cantankerousness and WCiH drums pretty well. I am certainly persuaded about them both, but I doubt they're as bad as they look from the inside out. Pink did say that we have sin natures to glorify God's patience.

I still have to ask, how did you and your mother survive your trip to the maritimes together?

I always thought of souvenirs as, say, crown jewels, or some other sort of thing I can't get Back Home. Like a German subway ticket, or passes to a football match, or receipts from a HUGE INCREDIBLY CHEAP STEAK DINNER. That was good. Or the pictures, postcards, and other little bric-a-brac that collect in boxes until you get them out years later to dust off the memories.

But clothes? I don't know. Do they sell communist clothes in Canada? No choices, poor colors?

I guess I can understand some cultural clothing, like Chinese silks or a kimono, or (great for me) kendo armor. (Metal clothing is hard to get through security these days, though.)

It's waaaay too late for me to be rambling like this. This is Murdock, signing off.

mem said...

I'm from the Steven Wright School of Self-Deprecating Humor (well, that, and the Humor By Contradiction School), so I understand. I know it's hard to believe, but I was not all that popular in school, so I developed some of that as a defense. I have only ever met one person who took advantage, on the IntarWeb, and he resides in my kill file. (One of my very few claims to fame is that I know the guy who wrote the Jargon File.)

You are going to have to travel if you want to leave B'view. But I bet getting things like socks, toothpaste, and food will be easier.

mem said...

Actually, the guy has his own Wikipedia page. But having read it, and having read some of the things he writes, kind of makes me considerably less proud of knowing him.

He is, however, one of the guys in open source. You can call him by his initials only (an affectation I assume for my blog because it's convenient, not because I'm famous).

But his moral compass points south.

One of the nice things about my location is that I am a realtor's throw away from almost everything. History is basically chewing on my leg saying, "Come visit me." And that is pretty nice, though I am a basically a slacker and haven't visited a lot of it recently. But things are expensive here, too, and not because of monopolies.

Maybe you should rob the quickie mart instead of the art gallery.

mem said...

The picture is nice. :) It is extremely detailed, and very hard for me to work out, though it looks almost like the women are about to start a duel.

I understand totally about the background thing, too—I stare at some of the pictures I've taken all the time. And other things, too. They can be very soothing and hypnotic in a completely soothing way.

It's his neopaganism that bothers me more than anything, I guess. Meh, I will try not to think about things that bother me. I have been doing a bad job of it this morning.

gwensmom said...

Very nice piece- I've never seen that one before.

Hey did you hear about this:

Char said...

I DID see! All I can say is ahhhh! That makes me so inordinately happy! Now I know where some of my tax rebate is going, I guess.

mem said...

It is a fountain pen. :) I will post a pic when I get some time (and over this little stomach bug). I actually write "up" with the pen, almost never down, which allows me to hold my hand in such a way that I can usually avoid inking myself. Unfortunately, it can make my handwriting difficult to read. I have a Sheaffer and a Waterman—no Mont Blancs. The Waterman is finer, so I generally prefer it.

Dad has a Mont blanc, and I suppose that is how I got turned on to the concept.

I went to school with a guy who collected and sold pens. He wore suits every day. At college, I suppose this could be laughed off, but in high school it was totally different. But he was an interesting guy. You would probably be envious of his pen collection. I probably was then, or at least I am now.

And ha. I was talking to a 16-year-old about the philosophy, not the 11-year-old. The 11er was the one I told would fail if he kept being lazy. And at least part of my job is to mold them. I'm not sure into what, and my stomach is telling me that this sentence is too long. Blurgh.

And if I am indeed the only one who footnotes his blog entries, then at least I have a unique practice.

In the picture, I thought I saw some castles or gardens. I am glad that I'm not the only one who doesn't quite see exactly what's in there.

I had better go now.

mem said...

I guess I should clarify; I begin almost all letters upwards. My handwriting has never been particularly good, so I figured I would try to redo things a little bit to slow my hands down. And I think it helped—my normal handwriting is even better now.

I only own the two fountains...well, I do have another, but it never sees the light of day, mostly because it stinks. But I usually refuse to write with anything else if I have the choice.

I will picture all of the pens in my limited acquaintance for you. They aren't art pens, but they serve their purpose. I think being a leftie must give us a different appreciation for writing, because all the righties I know are like, "There really aren't that many variables to writing." When I start talking paper, fineness of point, ink types and all that jazz, they stare blankly.

I am doing better today, may go into work this afternoon after I determine how well I tolerate real food (I've only had cheezits, on which I could live forever, and a piece of toast since yesterday).

I hope you haven't had to punch any residents lately.

mem said...

Frankly, the box says that they're made out of cheese. And they are, next to manna, the world's best food. Well, okay. They aren't. But sometimes you just have to eat something small and salty. And wash it down with Sprite. I otherwise really don't care for Sprite.

My way of writing is not really that hard. It sounds that way, but I don't think I'm explaining it very well. Otherwise you'd be berating me for doing it at all. Hahaha.

But if you do come up with a course on writing for lefties, let me know.

My dad and I have gone over briefly the different variables involved in writing, which is basically for me a way to excuse my penmanship. We are all very jealous of my grandmother's, which flows and is quite readable. They didn't teach me the way they taught her, that's for sure (probably because they weren't allowed to smack our hands).

However, it does well enough, I think, for my every day needs, and I'm able to read it later, which is also a plus. It's not as uniform with less-used letters, which is unfortunate.

If it makes you feel any better, I'm going to treat a friend to dinner this evening, which will probably NOT involve any Cheezits. I owe him for last time, so we are going to do something Mexican. Hopefully the smell will be gone by then.

mem said...

Cheezits are orange crackers, and they really are made out of cheese.

They probably aren't the world's best food. I admit it. So there.

And it's not pop. It's totally soda. And as sodas go, Sprite is really not as horrible as the others. Of course, you're the one who drinks enough sugared caffeinated beverages to keep the dentist employed. I happen to mostly drink lots and lots and lots of water. Along with a picture of the pen, you'll see one of that, too.

And Sprite evidently is one of several different beverages that can help soothe nausea. (I don't think my problem was related to the web page.)

I don't know exactly how my grandmother learned to write. But she is extremely proficient at penmanship. That's one of the things I am trying to be better at (without much success). If handtying would help, maybe I would go through it. As long as the letters were pretty.

mem said...

I actually already write that way, mostly. Angled at 45 degrees, not too far away...I try not to hunch over when writing, since that is what makes my writing so small. It also distorts my perspective and makes me slant more than I usually do.

And I also practice. I write perhaps more than average, and I try to do so consistently. I've not been so good these past few days, mostly because I have a hard enough time keeping a steady hand as it is, and illness doesn't help. (I would make a bad surgeon.)

mem said...

I usually hold my pens the right way, like you would an upper chop stick or something. I have to turn the cap on the Waterman down so that the clip rests in the web between my thumb and hand, otherwise the pen turns in my hand while I write.

I hold the pen about 45 degrees above the surface of the paper with perhaps a slightly leftward tilt. If the paper is properly angled (at the 45 mentioned in the tute), the pen is usually pretty well aligned. If I'm writing without aid of a desk, the angles are usually off and my technique suffers.

The results vary depending on whether I let the first knuckle on my index finger "give" or not; with the Waterman, this is usually okay, but the Sheaffer is a little more picky.

The right thoracic shift in my back allows me to see around the pen a bit more, so I don't hold the barrel more than an inch away from the business unless the length of the nib requires it. (The Sheaffer does, the Waterman not as much.) As the back quacks correct that shift (and the one in my neck), my writing has changed a little bit, and I'm still adjusting.

TMI? Dunno. Writing is very frustrating for me. I don't adapt well to different surfaces, heights, or inks very quickly. I use Mont Blanc ink as a rule, regardless of the pen, blue, never black. Depending, I may use the ink cartridges, for which I am somewhat ashamed, but I haven't found the loading mechanism for the plunger- or bellows-style fillers to match my cleanliness / engineering standards most of the time.

The verification word is pxwkyty, which sounds like Otwatinay's Plosively Impossible-to-Pronounce Cousin.