Matisse in Town

Hey, hey, hey … what’s going on here?? Is this blog awake?? Has the muse been MIA? She has! Bad blogger! Sorry for the stagnancy, dear readers. The only excuses I have are a brief Internet outage last week, followed by home heating issues that were only temporarily resolved. Still have problems there, and it keeps getting colder! Hopefully it will be fixed before I freeze my heinie off :lol:

The first item on the agenda is a bittersweet one. After 5 1/2 years my good friend Fred Hatt has decided to discontinue his superb art and photography blog Drawing Life. He explains his reasons – good ones – in his final post. As much as Fred’s blogging will be missed, his new gainful employment at the Museum of Modern Art is a positive development, and I wish him all the best in the shifting patterns of his life and fresh directions. Good luck Fred!

And MoMA also brings us to the next item which is the highly-anticipated Matisse Cut-Outs exhibition that has now opened and will be on view until February 8th. The excitement surrounding this show has been intense and it’s the most talked about subject lately at all my art modeling jobs. The New York Times review calls it “a Victory Lap”. And the New York Observer calls it “Vibrant, Shocking, Life-Affirming”. Some of Museworthy’s British readers may have seen this spectacular show at the Tate over the summer, where it was a huge smash. Matisse draws crowds, that’s for sure. And it’s understandable. Color, imagination, experimentation … Matisse tested his creative vision to his last day. I won’t miss this show!

Here is Matisse with his cat :-)

MatisseCat

Happy 7th Birthday Museworthy!!

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your … eyes …
I come not to bury anyone, but to praise … my readers …

Here we are again, my darlings. Another mini milestone on the blogging odyssey. Forgive me for the grandiose word but I do see it as an “odyssey” of sorts. Maybe it doesn’t rise to the level of epic Greek poetry, but in my heart and soul this blog is a place of discovery and warmth, discourse and revelation. What do we do here at Museworthy? We laugh, we wonder, we question and often challenge, we relish beauty, poetry and music, we examine and study, share, reminisce, and admire. I “know” all of you. Some better than others of course. But even those of you whose email addresses have held steady in my subscribers list for years, choose to lurk quietly, and read my new posts as they pop into your mailboxes, yes you too. I see you, and appreciate you. And to everyone, keep sticking with me I’ll keep sticking with you. We have much more to explore. And it will be a blast, that’s a promise ;-)

The annual Museworthy “blogaversary” wouldn’t mean a damn without the tradition of a Fred Hatt photo of yours truly. We’ve done it since year one. We hit it this year with a variation of a standing contrapposto, which the artists among you know is a timeless art modeling classic. Thank you, Fred. You rock, my dear friend …

fredhatt-claudia2014-D7K_2513RR

Our music for this year’s party is the Southern rock stylings of Little Feat. This is “Two Trains” from their 1973 album Dixie Chicken, so get your feet tappin’ and spirits groovin’. As for year eight of Museworthy? I’m ready if you guys are. Let’s do it! Hugs and smooches to you all, and a most sincere and grateful THANK YOU for your readership. It absolutely means the world. Bless you all for your generosity …

Love, your muse, Claudia xoxo

 

The Angels Sing

On this Christmas Eve, I want to take a moment to again express my sincere thanks to Museworthy readers who participated in the Art Show and shared it on social media, emailed me with warm correspondence, and all who consistently support this blog. My appreciation never wanes. If anything, it grows stronger. I hope you’ve all been well these past several days since we last met up here.

After attending the Christmas Pageant at my church, where the angels sang, I am home to cut up acorn squash for Christmas dinner tomorrow at Mom’s house, and also prepare a whipped creamy cauliflower thing that I hope I don’t make a mess of :lol:

A video for this Christmas Eve that guarantees to make you smile. I came across it on Twitter and it charmed me to no end. From the adorable 5th graders of Quinhagak, Alaska, along with town residents, this is their special version of the “Hallelujah” chorus, in which they proclaim joy amid the snow, trucks, and dogs of their unique corner of America. I wish all of you a most blessed Christmas. May the spirit of the season fill your hearts with love, peace, promises, and reawakening . . .

Hasan Niyazi – A Remembrance

The art history blogging community received an incomprehensible shock this week. Hasan Niyazi, blogger of the splendid 3PipeProblem, died suddenly of an epileptic seizure. He was only 37 years old. I learned of the tragic news via a tweet I saw on Twitter just after I finished my modeling job. Ten minutes later I was sitting on a bus in Jersey, staring out the window, wiping tears from my eyes. A tireless advocate of digital archiving, use of the Internet as an essential tool for art historians, and commitment to excellence in scholarship, Hasan possessed an extraordinary ability to connect people all around the globe. He supported the endeavors of fellow art bloggers, even an artist’s model in NYC. He posted this tweet to me just a few weeks ago and it meant so much.

Hasan made himself known to me by posting a wonderful comment on Museworthy a long time ago, a comment that was both amiable and intelligent. That original comment was the beginning of our online friendship. How he managed to find me amid the countless art blogs on the Web I have no idea, but that was Hasan! And I’m very glad he did. Hasan had great admiration for my work as a model and he expressed it often, something I very much appreciated. While his core group of colleagues were fellow art historians, he still included me in his circle and enjoyed my quirky tales of life on the other side of the canvas and model’s take on art. I was incredibly honored, and pleasantly surprised, to receive an email from him last spring requesting my input for a discussion on art blogging that he was participating in at Melbourne University. It was so very thoughtful of him, and that gesture of respect for my feedback was emblematic of Hasan Niyazi’s appreciation of all voices in the art blogging community.

Unfortunately I never had the chance to meet Hasan in person. But I will forever cherish our warm, enjoyable interactions, not just about art but everything from the effect of wine on a sore throat to Blackie the one-eyed cat who I feed every day on my doorstep. Hasan Niyazi was a gifted art historian, passionate about the Italian Renaissance, a period of art that arguably has no rival and never ceases to elevate the human spirit. Hasan was also an extremely kind, genuine, benevolent, and hospitable human being who expressed himself with intellect, wit, eloquence, and joyful enthusiasm. He will be sorely missed by many, many people.

My art selection to honor Hasan Niyazi is this fresco detail, Cupid and the Three Graces, by his idol the great Raphael:

RaphaelCupidThreeGraces

A lovely tribute to Hasan was posted by Monica Bowen at Alberti’s Window, also Frank at Giorgione blog, Dr. Ben Harvey, and Sedef’s Corner. These tributes and the comments posted speak volumes about how many people were touched by Hasan Niyazi and how deeply his tragic, unexpected passing is felt, even by folks like me who only knew him online.

I want to express my profound condolences to Hasan’s family in their grief. Deaths of loved ones are difficult enough. Sudden deaths are even more shattering. I know this firsthand from my father who died within hours of us speaking on the phone. RIP Hasan. Peaceful journey, beautiful friend.

Happy 6th Birthday Museworthy!!

Babe Ruth’s years with the Red Sox. The Sound of Music‘s run on Broadway. Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. The time Michelangelo spent completing the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. My marriage. Those are just some of the things Museworthy has outlasted. Not bad, eh?

Friends, artists, fellow models and bloggers, and readers all around the globe, I’ve said it before on these birthday posts and I will gladly say it again; this blog is written by me but sustained by you. Always has been, always will be. I often wonder if my work as an artist’s model and my attendant experiences, ideas, discoveries, and exploits would hold the same sense of purpose without the existence of Museworthy. The answer is decidedly no. If I didn’t have Museworthy as an outlet for discussion and interaction, I’m fairly certain that my life would feel smaller and less meaningful. A 40-something model from New York City blogs every week about art, music, life in the city, various thoughts and expressions, and you good folks come by on a regular basis to read them, absorb them, contribute to them, offer kindness, and occasionally set me straight. What did I ever do to deserve such a fabulous crew of readers? A heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you :-)

Our annual tradition brings us once again a photo by my dear friend Fred Hatt, one of the best people I know. Back lighting, soft rumpled fabric, me in a relaxed, mellow state after a tumultuous several months on the personal front. So here we are . .  after six years.

Picture 6

With the exception of Michael Jackson and Bob Dylan, the Museworthy birthday music has been contributed by British men. We’ll keep that going this year with the Rolling Stones. From my favorite album of theirs, Exile on Main Street, this is “Happy”. With much love from a grateful blogger, enjoy . . . and rock and roll :-)

New Blog

Greetings on a beautiful Sunday in New York! Hope this post finds you all well. I’m here to make an announcement of sorts, nothing that will alter the course of history or send shock waves into the universe! But something I’d like to share with my readers. I’ve started a second blog. Yay! It’s called The Salt Marsh. For those of you who are interested (and I hope many of you are) I suggest reading  the “About” page first.  And I might as well inform everyone now that there won’t be any nudity on The Salt Marsh. Stick with Museworthy for that ;-)

There are probably thousands upon thousands of nature photoblogs out there. I enjoy many of them myself. I’ll try to make The Salt Marsh unique somehow. Mostly it’s an opportunity for me to hone my photography skills, find a bit of peace from time to time, and deepen my connection to the natural habitats that exist right in my own neighborhood. I doubt I will post there as frequently as I do on Museworthy, as blogging can be quite time consuming. There are people who maintain multiple blogs – four, five, etc – and I don’t how they do it! Either way, if  some Museworthy readers choose to follow me there also that would lovely. And perhaps I’ll earn a new crop of readers as well.

Speaking of Museworthy, I will be posting the submission information for the Art Show very soon. We’ll have a new photo to commemorate Museworthy’s blog birthday on September 24th, in keeping with tradition. So Fred and I figured we’d wait until that picture is taken, as it may be one of the choices if it turns out to be a great one.

I actually have two modeling gigs this week, can you believe it? And before Labor Day, wow. It’s a miracle! :lol: Work is slowly coming back, and the summer is winding down. New blog, new season, fresh new discoveries on the horizon. I hope you all continue to share these experiences with me. Cheers friends! See you soon.

Museworthy Art Show Redux

With all due respect to the other bloggers out there, this blog – sweet ol’ Museworthy – has the best readers. THE BEST. That’s a fact, Jack! ;-) It’s been too long since I acknowledged this, but you guys really and truly keep me going in the blogosphere. I owe you all a debt of gratitude, and I try to demonstrate it every week, with every post, with every word typed and every image uploaded. Each time I hit the “publish” button on a post draft I hope, in my heart, that you all take even a little something from my humble offering. In return, I receive much from my readers; smiles, laughs, thought-provoking insights, intelligent comments and conversation, emails, useful links, and even personal support during my moody, unraveled episodes. What did I do to deserve such a cool gang of followers? I’m so very grateful.

I’m sure many of you remember the Museworthy Art Show from 2011. It was a great success if you recall. I definitely enjoyed it! Since then I’ve been made aware of interest in a second Museworthy Art Show, something I should have done last fall. A reader emailed me recently with a splendid idea for another Art Show, but with an interesting twist. Todd Fife, a Museworthy reader from the great state of Kentucky, suggested that this time readers submit their artwork based on a life modeling photograph of me, the muse and blogarista! For a reference photo we would choose from two, maybe three, of the professional photos of me which have appeared on the blog over the years. Just a reminder; all the nude pictures of me which have been published on Museworthy since its inception have been taken by the only person who ever photographs me, and that is my dear friend Fred Hatt. So what do we think of this idea? My livelihood is devoted to serving as model for artists in studios and schools, so why not for my blog readers? If everyone likes this concept then I will figure out the specifics and set a submission date. Please share your thoughts in the comments! And like last time, I too will submit a piece, because one need not be an “artist” to participate in a Museworthy Art Show. All are welcome to take part!

This is me doing the chair thing, photographed by Fred Hatt:

Picture 3

By the way, since I was just singing the praises of my readers and their feedback, I’m wondering why no one has said a word about the new blog theme background. Does it totally suck? :lol: My mother doesn’t like it! I suspect it’s too girlie and silly. But “customization” can drive you absolutely mad. I was up until four in the morning testing different backgrounds. If pink circles and swirls aren’t working for you guys then I may have to experiment again and choose something else. Stay tuned!