Category Archives: claude monet

Like a bridge . . .


We all need our bridges over troubled water from time to time in our lives. Right now, this song seems to particularly touch my heart. And Art Garfunkel–what an angelic voice! What a talent.

Again, thank you to everyone for your words of encouragement and support. Here are some lovely images of Mr. A’s characters serving as and discovering their own bridges  over troubled water. It’s my thank you to you all.

More Monet for Monday


It’s been a dreary-looking day here, cooler and wet. There is a definite taste of fall in the air–which is just fine with me.  However, I do feel the need for a little more of that sunshine that a certain Impressionist artist filled with joie de vivre brings to the table.

One of Monet’s paintings of his beautiful garden at Giverny. A sight to brighten a gloomy day. Not unlike Richard.

As Linda60 pointed out in a comment on the previous Monet post, Richard really manages to capture the essence and spirit of an artist with a true passion for his work. It’s likely that’s true at least in part to the fact RA himself is so full of passion for his own art.  The infectious energy and enthusiasm, the intensity and sensitivity Richard brings to the role captivates us, just as he captivates us in real life when discussing his craft and his roles.  And we get those sweet smiles and glorious grins with Monet that the “real” Richard also shares with us.  It’s all good.

This is not only one of my favorite photos of Monet, it’s also one of my favorites of Richard. I love that three-quarter view. His bone structure is displayed so beautifully; those luminous eyes and and the cupid’s-bow of his upper lip so well defined, the mouth hinting at a smile. It just draws me in.

Camille and their little one together in the garden.

Monet for Monday


Because I love the sensitive, passionate artist with the infectious smile and the incandescent eyes given to us by Richard as Claude Monet in The Impressionists–and I love the “real” Monet’s work.  The paintings showcase his beautiful garden at Giverny and at Argentuil. Imagine birdsong, the sweet scent of the blossoms,  the reflections of azure sky and the verdant leafy trees in the water, and Monet standing on the arch bridge at Giverny, drinking in all the sights and sounds.  And working feverishly to capture them on his canvas . . .

Sunday Smorgasbord


Because there’s just too much ChaRActer goodness to stick with just one today.  So here’s some Guy (and Marian), Lucas, Portah, Monet, Thorin and Mulligan!









T’was a dark & stormy night . . . and day


It’s just after noon here and I have to have my bedside lamp switched on or else I’d be sitting in the dark. I should be grateful we’ve got electricity. It’s been one storm after another since shortly after I put up my final post last night, some bringing high winds, torrential downpours and fierce lightning. Not restful weather.

Thankfully, no tornadoes in our immediate vicinity or lightning strikes on our house. The storms are likely not over, but for the time being the internet is working and I am going to try to get something accomplished. 

After that kind of night, it hasn’t exactly been a productive day.  Poor Benny had to go to work after an equally sleepless night. I know he’ll be exhausted by the time he gets home. 

With flash flood watches out, I had to call him and make sure he thought he’d be able to get back safely as Highway 50 often floods in low-lying areas. I am my mother’s daughter, and Mama was a worrywart.  He assured me he was certain the Jeep would be able to make it fine if he goes “the long way ’round.” I feel better now.

It’s a grey day, but I am in a blue mood–at least in terms of artwork.









Armitage’s Chameleon Eyes


Blue-eyed Armitage’s peepers turn camo green here in a scene from Strike Back.


Guy’s eyes here appear to be a light and very chilling grey here to me.
They are looking pretty blue here at the 2010 BAFTAs.

OK, I think we all agree Richard’s eyes are blue. Sometimes they look bluer than others, depending on his wardrobe, lighting (natural and artificial) set colors, makeup and photo editing tools for publicity stills. But they do have an amazing ability to pick up other colors in his environment, with subtle changes of hue. Like the man himself, his eyes are rather chameleon-like.  Blue, grey, green, even a sort of tan–what color are Mr. A’s eyes today? All of these are taken from RichardArmitageNet’s gallery.

Clearly, baby’s got blue eyes. Unretouched photo of RA at autograph table at Comic-Con. Courtesy of RAnet

If I had only ever seen Richard as John Porter in certain scenes in Strike Back, I would assume he had crystalline green eyes.

Monet’s eyes were an incandescent blue reflecting the colors of the sea and sky Monet loved capturing on canvas.

Thornton’s eyes appear to be a sober bluish-grey here.

Cool blue Spooks lighting create Lucas Blue eyes.

Blue Eyes on a Lazy Sunday Afternoon


Update from Chez Long.  A lazy Sunday afternoon, slightly cooler than of late.  Slept fitfully, dreamed of Christmas programs with cute little kids. Have no earthly idea why. Haven’t watched that adorable movie with Martin Freeman, Nativity, in a while. Have that hungover feeling of not being all awake and it’s 5:30 p.m. Haven’t accomplished much today.

Hubby is killing baddies on the PlayStation.  The dogs are napping, Callie is cuddled against her mom, Thumper is dreaming and, no doubt, plotting world domination (our three-legged tuxedo cat with the Hitler mustache is secretly an evil genius).

Puddie is–well, Puddie is doing pretty much the same, still hanging out in the kitchen.  We ply her with Fancy Feast  and “people” tuna and extra cooking oil (seems to make things go down more easily for her) and a little Blue Bell.  One day at a time.

Speaking of “blue,” I have also been thinking of blue eyes. A particular set of beautiful, expressive, intelligent, smouldering, sweet, sad, kind, amazing blue eyes.  You may be familiar with them . . . 

The devil, the details, and my muse


3,600 words. That’s what I’ve completed in the last couple of days.

Actually, I have written more than that, but I move things around, I take out a sentence here, a word there–it’s like a puzzle and you’re trying to get the pieces in just the right places. It’s a good thing I am not writing with a quill pen and ink, for the manuscript would be littered with blots and crossed-out patches, notes scrawled along the sides.  Hooray for modern technology.

English: Quill pen

English: Quill pen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s work and it’s a game all at the same time.  Sometimes it’s a frustrating game and you want to hit your head against something hard. But when it flows, it’s good.   When you get into that zone–whether it’s writing, or painting, or playing music or some other creative activity–you lose track of time. It’s pleasurable and exciting.

This is a period story that I’m writing, so the dialogue needs to have the flavor of 18th century England without being so archaic it sounds stiff and artificial to a modern reader.  And then there are the details you must check–the sort of windows one would likely find in a newly constructed London townhouse in 1750, the way a lady’s dress and undergarments would be constructed and embellished, cosmetics and hairstyles of the period, the role of a thief-taker in the criminal underworld–well, you get the idea.  The devil is in the details.

But then again, I know a very talented gentleman who does a great job getting the details right. You may be familiar with him and his roles.

And some of those details are just heavenly.

Ah, Richard Armitage. Endlessly inspiring.

I’m in the Mood for Monet . . .


Claude Monet-Madame Monet en costume japonais

Madame Monet in Japanese costume

c. 1920

c. 1920 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Richard Armitage‘s luminous performance as Claude Monet in The Impressionists popped into my head this morning. And so I share some of Monet’s work and my fan art of this talented actor. What a wonderful portrayal of the sensitive artist with a passion for light and color . . .

Water Lilies

Water Lilies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Baby’s got blue eyes


The storms have passed. Lots of rain in Greenville, Benny said, but here it was mostly thunder with a little of the wet stuff. Miss  Callie is semi-reclining on my chest, her pristine white paws crossed very daintily. She is warm–very warm–her little sides rapidly heaving up and down; I am always telling her to slow down that breathing. I want her to live a nice long life so she mustn’t wear herself out.

The pain has eased up, but I feel more than a bit fuzzy around the edges due to the meds. Not going to attempt writing anything of real substance, just share some lovely images of our blue-eyed boy.

There is an artist in each of us . . .


I have no sympathy with the belief that art is the restricted province of those who paint, sculpt, make music and verse. I hope we will come to an understanding that the material used is only incidental, that there is an artist in every man; and to him the possibility of development and expression and the happiness of creativity is as much a right and as much a duty to himself, as to any of those who work in the specially ticketed ways.

In every human being there is the artist, and whatever his activity, he has an equal chance with any to express the result of his growth and his contact with life . . . the object is intense living, fulfillment; the great happiness in creation. People sometimes phrase about the joy of work. It is only in creative work that joy may be found.

                                                                                                                      Robert Henri, “The Art Spirit

 The Art Spirit  was a book my high school art teacher referred to frequently in our classes. Later, I got a copy of my mine, which I eventually replaced. It’s been a while since I read it, but I took it off the shelf earlier tonight and revisited some of the wisdom this American artist (who passed away in 1929) and art teacher had to share.

Reading the above words, I thought of  how many people who do not think of themselves as artistic (my husband being a prime example) really have a lot of creativity to share.  I also thought of Monsieur Monet, the personal quotes I have read and the performance Richard gave in The Impressionists.   We saw the portrait of a man who pursued his life’s work with a passion, with intensity; one who, in spite of struggles, obstacles and disappointments,  surely found happiness in creation. Funny. Sounds a lot like Richard Armitage himself, doesn’t it?

You’re baroque when you’re out of Monet . . .


A little play on words. You’re broke when you’re out of money. Like many artists throughout the centuries, Monet had his years of struggle to establish himself as a painter. “Starving” is a word that has often preceded “artist” for a reason. At least in Monet’s case, he found both critical and financial success whilst he was still alive and was able to reap the fruits of his labor at his home and gardens in Giverny.

I find myself thinking of Richard and his struggles, that fallow decade when the auditions were unsuccessful, when the parts didn’t materialize, when he had to work the front of the house and watch actors on stage that he knew deep in his gut were no more talented than he, when he spent more hours laying floors and building bookcases than rehearsing his lines. Careers in the arts can be very precarious.

He must have faced so much disappointment and frustration, just as Monet did when the critics rejected his work and the paintings didn’t sell.  I am sure there were times, in spite of his being careful with money,  when Richard was close to being “baroque.”

Richard and Sophia Myles rehearse for their roles in the stage play The Four Alice Bakers. Myles and Richard would later work together in Spooks.

We’ve speculated that Richard’s early experiences with being teased, with feeling like an outsider looking in, have worked to make him a better actor and a stronger human being.  I wonder, too, if he’d be the man he appears to be today if it all had fallen into place early for him. If he’d come fresh out of drama school and fallen into roles that made him a star.

Richard has a great deal of talent and that’s always been there, waiting to be honed and polished. And I believe his parents and mentors helped instill strong values in him from an early age. By all accounts, he’s always been a pretty decent guy.

But I do believe all he’s gone through has made him even stronger; more empathetic, more insightful, more willing to help other actors, ready to defend others who are being teased and bullied.

I believe he is a good man who also happens to be a fine actor.  Like the brilliant and dedicated artist he portrayed in The Impressionists, he has so much to offer to the world. Above and beyond his breathtaking physical beauty and charisma, he has talent, versatility, dedication, determination and a marvelous sense of humor.

And I am truly, truly glad he did not give up.

Richard in one of the interviews pre Captain America, being his usual articulate, thoughtful self.