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!

Just a Friday Post

Helllooooo friends!  Hope you all had a stupendous week. I’m back after taking a blogging break for my birthday which was totally planned <—- not really :razz:

I have a bit of the weary model’s body after posing a long day at the New York Academy of Art. Just a little aching, throbbing and stabbing pain in the name of art. Can I get a masseur here asap? Hello? I need a masseur here!!! Before I sink in for a quiet night of rest, wine, and decompression, I’d like to introduce you all to a brand new art model’s blog. She is Ruby Magic and she’s currently living and working in the UK. Her inaugural post, a fine piece, recounts her experience modeling for a sculpture class at the Hampstead School of Art and includes a shout-out to the great Rodin. So check out her blog! Art models blogging is a good thing.

I’m off to begin my wind down and pop the cork on a bottle of pinot noir. Until we meet again, here’s Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer’s Eve from 1896, in pastel, gouache, and gold, replete with apples, snake, and glorious red tresses. Cheers everyone!

Levy-Dhurmer-Eve

Happy New Year Wishes From the Muse

So 21013 is almost here folks. Woo hoo!!!! 2012 was very good to me, and I have reason to believe 2013 will be even better :-)

What can I say about Museworthy except that we had a terrific year of blogging. Art, music, modeling tales, stories, laughs, poetry. All the usual goodies. And it’s going to continue, you can count on that. The support and enthusiasm of my readers keeps me motivated and inspired. It truly is a privilege to blog for all of you.

A New Year’s Nocturne, New York, 1892, Childe Hassam.

hassam-a-new-year-s-nocturne-new-york

And I haven’t forgotten that today is Monday. So the last day of 2012 brings the last Music Monday of the year. What song is more fitting than the classic “Auld Lang Syne”? Here is a memorable version of it :lol:

A happy, happy New Year to everyone! Be safe. Be joyous. Enjoy your evening. I’ll see you on the other side.

Happy 5th Birthday Museworthy!!

It’s been five years friends. Five years of Museworthy. I’m actually at a loss for words, which as most of you know is quite rare for me! I could repeat what I’ve said every year on these birthday posts; that I never expected this blog to have such longevity, or that it would accumulate over 150 subscribers, and receive 1,000 visitors a day from all around the globe. Or that I’d have enough topics to discuss, artwork and anecdotes to share, and spirited, illuminating discussions in the comments. All these things amaze me still, after five splendid years.

I was thinking about last year’s post and the concerns I raised about continuing to model on a full time basis. But after a fantastic, very busy year of work – and by some miracle NOT having fallen apart physically which was my fear – I look back and wonder, what the hell was I thinking? Of course I will continue art modeling! And blogging. You guys can’t get rid of me just yet ;-)

So Fred Hatt and I collaborated again in his studio and have decided on an image to share for Museworthy’s fifth. A rose-tinted photograph to match my rose-colored glasses perhaps? No. Rose-colored glasses imply unrealistic optimism. I think my optimism level is perfectly real and true and delusion-free. I am a thankful, fortunate gal.

Our music this year comes courtesy of the Beatles. Not one of their more famous songs, but a good one, recorded on the very brink of their breakup. Listen with me to “I’ve Got a Feeling”. John Lennon comes in at 2:05 and sounds adorable. Peace, love, and infinite gratitude to all of you in the Museworthy world . Thanks for reading, supporting, and sustaining this artistic little corner of the Internet.

Your muse,
Claudia  xxoo

El Jaleo from Dusk to Dawn

Hey babes! Notice anything different? We’ve got a new look here on Museworthy. I hope you all like the new design and layout. This blog was published in the same theme continuously from its inception. It was called “Dusk” and Museworthy was launched in that theme four years ago. But it felt like it was time for a change. This new theme is actually the updated version of Dusk, and is called Dusk to Dawn. I might still make some adjustments and tweak the settings, but all in all I think it’s aesthetically pleasing. I felt  a little sad letting the old theme go, but I am already comfortable with this one. Hope you are too! I welcome feedback from all readers.

To celebrate Museworthy’s new appearance, and have a Music Monday, I’d like to share a work of art I’ve kept “on reserve” for a special occasion; a masterful painting by the one and only John Singer Sargent. This is El Jaleo from 1882 which was inspired by Sargent’s travels in Spain. A gypsy dancer does her thing, theatrically and expressively, as musicians accompany her movements. This is quintessential Sargent in my opinion, with his legendary artistic strengths on full display – gesture, fabrics, and the interplay between lights and darks. Just look at that outstretched arm, and the light bouncing off her skin. Also take note of the strumming fingers of the guitar players in the background (click for closeups) and the reveling women on the right, whose red garments provide the only real “color” in the otherwise monochromatic composition. This image is a “must-enlarge”. Please do so and marvel at the details. El Jaleo is on permanent view at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

You Call That a Model?

Before my modeling gig at NYU on Thursday night, I journeyed over to Greenpoint, Brooklyn to visit my dear friend Daniel Maidman at his studio. And what a delightful visit it was! Daniel showed me his newest paintings which are marvelous, and we chatted for hours about the art community (and its limitless supply of gossip), our writing projects, and, of course, my romantic angst. Yes that’s how good a friend Daniel Maidman is. He’s willing to listen patiently to my hopeless moanings and ramblings about my current infatuation. Poor guy ;-)

But in the midst of all that, Daniel and I did compare notes about our writing and blogging, and he pointed something out to me that struck a chord. He observed that I haven’t written much on Museworthy lately about just being an art model – the day-to-day experience of it and detailed firsthand accounts of the job –  in quite a while. I have, but only sporadically. Not nearly to the extent that I used to. Daniel is right! I suppose I should steer this blog back into the “life of an artist’s model” groove. Heck, that’s how it was born.

Having said all that, I’d like to now share this utter bullshit painting by a 19th century artist named James Ferguson Weir. I should mention that the name of this ridiculousness is – get ready – His Favorite Model. Huh?? I’m sorry, but what is this horseshit?

Excuse me???? Dancing with her?? Get outta here!! :lol:

Ok. I’m being a bit of a jerk. I know all about “lay figures”. They are artificial “models” – mannequins really-  that have been used by artists for a very long time, particularly for use in displaying drapery and garments. The practice is not nearly as scandalous as I’m making it out to be. I’m just putting on a “feigned outrage” routine. My only two issues with this painting are 1) why would a painter make a painting OF the dummy model? 2) why is the dummy his “favorite”? Really? His favorite? Damn you Weir!

I actually have no background information about Weir or this particular painting. All I know is that I’m seriously offended!! <—— not really

But here’s the kicker. The dictionary definition of “lay figure” has two entries. The first reads as follows:

a jointed model of the human body, usually of wood, from which artists work in the absence of a living model

The second definition reads as follows:

a person of no importance, individuality, distinction, etc; nonentity

Exactly :-)

2011 in Review, and an Art World Rumble

Hey gang! I was just chatting on the phone with my Mom and I casually mentioned that I’m due for a new blog post. When I told her I would procrastinate and do it Friday night, she suggested I get it up now. Oh snap! My Mom doesn’t mess around. So, under extreme pressure from my momma, I’m posting now. Ok, maybe not “extreme” pressure, but enough to make me comply. She is my Mom, after all.

This has been my first week back to modeling after the holiday break. I’m happy to report that it’s off to a splendid start. Feels great to working again and to see my calendar filling up. Will post work from my modeling jobs as it comes in. Also, I thought I’d take a cue from other WordPress bloggers, namely my dear friend Doug Rogers, who shared with his readers the “year in review” stat roundup given us by our WordPress custodians at the end of every year. It’s fun to check out, so thought I’d share. And I’d like to say thank you to the United States, Great Britain, and Canada!

“The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog:”

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 200,000 times in 2011. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 9 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The next item is really cool. I love a good art world brawl, don’t you? Well, British artist David Hockney has offered up a well-deserved smackdown of notorious “conceptualist”, hack, and dead animal exploiter Damien Hirst. Hockney, who was recently honored by the Queen with the Order of Merit, criticized Hirst for his use of assistants to produce art that bears his name. The British arts press is having a field day with this story. Here’s the Daily Mail article, and here it is in The Guardian. I say we take this further. How about a WWF-style match between the two men? I put my money on Hockney, not only because I agree with him, but because he smokes and doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks about it. Very badass.

Here’s some great David Hockney:

And of course check out Hockney’s website for more images.

Alright friends. I’ll be back very soon. I have a portrait class in the morning, so I need my beauty sleep :-)  Fun stuff coming up in the new year for Museworthy. Hope you all stay along for the ride.

One More Day

Hi friends! Well, my crazy week of nonstop work has come to an end. Monday is a day off (finally!) which means I can rest up and put the finishing touches on the Museworthy Art Show post! It will be published on Tuesday :-)

That’s all for now. I would chitchat a bit more but I’m going to pour myself a glass of wine and watch “Boardwalk Empire” in a few minutes. Hope everyone has a wonderful evening! See you soon.

Link Parade

Hi everyone! This week’s music will be posted on Wednesday instead of Monday, due to a special occasion. Stop by then and check it out :-)

Today I’d just like to share some goodies with all of you, cool stuff I’ve discovered through Twitter, Tumblr, email, and around the web. Hopefully some of it will pique your interest. So here I go, riding the link parade:

My friend Emily Rapp recently had a poignant essay published in the NY Times titled Notes From a Dragon Mom. Beautifully written, as always from Emily. On Tumblr, Summer Anne Burton is doing a wonderful project of drawing every member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Terrific fun, especially for baseball fans. My dear friend Fred Hatt has posted a marvelous and informative blog post on color charts that’s definitely worth checking out. The witty and whimsical Doug Rogers has published his Cat Book of digital artworks. The new issue of Glasschord is now online, exploring the theme “Conformity” through art, photography, poetry, and prose. Visit an excellent blog entry on Berfrois and learn about a legendary dog – an Akita named Hachikō – and a review about the book Empire of Dogs: Canines, Japan, and the Making of the Modern Imperial World. Go to Ordinary Finds just because it’s one of the best Tumblrs for music, art, and photos. Also check out the fabulous ladies at Two Nerdy History Girls for a daily dose of days gone by, history, vintage, fashion, and other great stuff. My friend Sam Goodsell has finally gotten his website up and running. I guess, after all these years, my nagging finally paid off! Museworthy reader Bill sent me a cool link from Neil Gaiman’s blog on his visit to the Degas show at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Deacon Greg Kandra shares some thoughtful, spiritual, and topical issues at his fine blog The Deacon’s Bench. And last but not least, a reminder that you can always visit me at my Tumblr and my Twitter.

I have a lovely day ahead – meeting a friend for coffee and catch-up convo <— alliteration, yeah! – and then to short pose modeling session tonight. Have a great Monday everyone and I’ll see you soon! :kisses:

Happy 4th Birthday Museworthy!!

Here we are again, dearest friends. Commemorating  another Museworthy blog birthday :-) We have completed four marvelous years. Who would have thought that the life of an artist’s model could inspire enough material for steady blogging? I sure didn’t! Yet, here we are. Here I am, after all this time. It’s a minor wonder, but a wonder nonetheless.

In keeping with an awesome Museworthy tradition, we have a photo of yours truly taken by my friend Fred Hatt. Together we chose an image that reflects where I am right now personally – content, relaxed, fulfilled, breathing in life. Merci beaucoup Fred.

But will this next year – the fifth – be the last year for Museworthy? I can’t honestly say right now. What I do know is that full time art modeling is beginning to take its toll on me. I’ve been feeling it but trying to keep it to myself, until now. I want to be clear though; It’s NOT my spirit. It’s my body.

So a crossroads might be hovering on my horizon. I can either aggressively fend off the deterioration and fight for my right to remain on the art modeling platform with every fiber of my being, or maybe – possibly – think about my future and consider the necessity, the inevitability, of a new life. A different life for my “second half”.

Ah, we’ll see. Right now I can’t contemplate giving up something I absolutely love. Nope. Not today. Instead, let’s just enjoy the Museworthy milestone together as friends. I am still here. Thanks so very, very much, to each and every one of  you :-)

I’ve always liked this track from Bob Dylan. Listen with me to “New Morning”:

Museworthy Artists

Hey gang! I mentioned in a recent post that I had a neat idea for this blog, so here it is. Are you ready? :drumroll and fanfare: I would like to invite any and all Museworthy readers to submit an artwork for an “art show” blog post! I really hope this interests many of you. I have readers who are artists, others who are not. For those who draw, sketch, paint, or sculpt, seriously or casually, from life or not from life, you are cordially and warmly invited to contribute an image of your work to be published here in a “group show” on Museworthy! You may include a description of your piece and provide any details you wish. It can be anything you choose – whatever you are happy with, whatever represents you, or whatever you think represents this blog! It’s your choice and it’s all for fun :-)

I know that some of you have your own blogs where you post your work, so this blog will be just another viewing setting for your art. I will add that Museworthy has 57 subscribers and receives anywhere between 500 and 800 hits per day. So a decent audience here that I’m sure will enjoy a Museworthy art show.

I need feedback on this idea, so please make your voice heard in the comments and let me know if I can count you in. I would love so much to make this happen! I was thinking we could aim for early November? That would allow enough time for me to receive submissions and get everything organized.

The Tub, by Anders Zorn:

I’m off to bed now. The next blog post (the 500th post on Museworthy) will be published on Sunday, September 11th, at exactly 8:46 AM, Eastern Standard Time. See you then.