Saturday, January 11, 2014


First, I will start by saying that I feel sort of better now than I did when Mom had to take me to the expensive emergency clinic two weeks ago.  Besides the pills I already told you about, I am now taking another one for my blood pressure.  I still get out of breath when I climb the stairs, but not quite as much as I used to.

Meanwhile, Mom keeps going to work three days a week, which makes us dogs and cats feel very lonely and neglected.  But Mom says we need the extra money to pay for all my medicine and for dog food and other such important things.

Mom poses with her knight in shining armor

We are keeping up with our art education, and every day Mom learns something new.  On Thursday, she was in the galleries where they have Pop Art and Conceptual Art and Minimalist Art.  But I am only going to talk about Minimalist Art today.  Mom copied this important information from the card on the wall beside one of the paintings:  "Minimalism is famously reflective, referring only to itself."  I think this means that minimalist art is kind of like self-centered people who only talk about themselves, which can get pretty boring.  Some minimalist art is like this, in my opinion, pretty boring.

Abstract Painting, by Ad Reinhardt

For example, here is a piece by a man named Ad Reinhardt.  It's called Abstract Painting.  There is one by this same artist in the Nelson gallery, and it's a lot like this one, except it's more rectangular instead of square.  Mr. Reinhardt liked to paint in shades of black that are so close in color to each other that you can barely tell  the difference between one shade of black and the next one.  And I personally do not find this kind of painting very interesting.

Large Stack, by Donald Judd

There are minimalist sculptures, too, like this one, which is at the Nelson.  It is like a bunch of big orange shelves going way up the wall, like maybe twelve or fifteen feet, but you can't put anything on them or climb up them or do anything except look at them.

Whitefoil, by Jack Youngerman, 2011

But guess what!  There is some minimalist art that I actually like, and that's because it has interesting colors and patterns in it.  One example is the painting Whitefoil, by Jack Youngerman.  It's pretty big -- about 3-feet square.

Another artist who makes interesting, colorful minimalist paintings is a man named Frank Stella.  Most of his artwork seems to be really big.  For example, here's one with Mr. Stella himself in front of it, so you can see exactly how big the art really is.

Firuzabad, by Frank Stella

Okay, so that's enough about Minimalists.  Here's some armor for a man and for a horse, and it's from Italy, about 1565.  When Mom was a kid, and her parents took her to the art gallery, this horse with the knight on it was one of her very favorite things to see.

Here's what Mom learned yesterday, while she was posted in the gallery where this knight was.  She learned that ostrich feathers are a symbol of steadfastness.  And the reason for this is because they don't get ruffled, even when the wind is blowing really hard.  So that's why knights wore ostrich feathers on their helmets.

Well, maybe you already have heard that the Official Color for 2014 is Radiant Orchid, according to the people at the Pantone Company, who know these things.  This means that you will start seeing lots of fashionable items such as doggy sweaters with Radiant Orchid in them.  I myself have a sweater with a few stripes of Radiant Orchid, and Dorrie has a pink camouflage fleece with some Radiant Orchid patches.  Tristan does not have any clothing with Radiant Orchid, but he doesn't care much about being fashionable.  He just likes to bark sometimes.

Anyway, Mom was shocked see a lovely Radiant Orchid teapot at the gallery yesterday, and guess when it was made -- 1760!  So I think this must mean that the official color for 1760 was also Radiant Orchid.  The Pantone people probably ran out of colors, and that is why they had to repeat one so soon.


  1. Dear Piper - I must first say I am most thankful that you are "sort of feeling better." I understand that comment because with Lupus that's how I feel a lot of the time...."sort of better." Guess I turned my first comment around to be about me didn't I? Anyway, I LOVE the Radiant Orchid teapot...I'd like to see that in person. I'm so happy you did such a great job of explaining the paintings because the one by Mr. Reinhardt I could barely see anything. No judgment on my I'm sure there's a reason Mr. Reinhardt likes to paint in black...or different shades of black. After posting this comment I'm going to see if I can find the blog you did regarding what days your mom works at the Nelson, because another friend of your mom is Nancy (Crane) and I want to see the Impressionist art-work...and I think Nancy and I should go to the gallery when your mom is working, so we can stop and say hi...but we will be very careful NOT to take any of your mom's time! :) Love, AP

    1. Dear Aunt Patty,
      I don't understand why Mr. Reinhardt would paint in all black instead of black and white, which are the colors that I am. Maybe he is a very grim and depressed person. Mom thinks he should paint in shades of yellow or orange, which would be much cheerier!
      Love, Piper