photo credit: aaron.knox via photopin cc



This is a writing community with a core membership of 20 ‘Toads’. We extend an open invitation to Followers and Visitors in all our prompts and challenges, asking only that you enter into the spirit of our Mission Statement.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Artistic Interpretations - Still Life with Fruit - Severin Roesen

"Still Life with Fruit 1852 - Severin Roesen  iPhone image by M. Bednar
Welcome to the 19th Artistic Interpretations.  Today I present "Still Life with Fruit" oil on canvas by Severin Roesen in 1852.  He was born in Cologne, Germany in 1815 and died after 1872.

Roesen's still life celebrates an American harvest and the promise of future abundance.   The split pomegranate and half-eaten melon carry the seeds of next year's planting, while the glass of champagne invites a quiet moment of appreciation.  Roesen was among many Germans who fled their country's political troubles of 1848.  They brought with them a level of craftsmanship that found a ready market among Americans whose prosperity matched the natural abundance the artist captured here.  These "new Americans," whose dreams of democratic reform in Europe had been crushed, also brought to this country a liberal social conscience that played a significant role in the drive to abolish slavery.

Roesen is recognized as one of America's preeminent still-life painters, and several of his meticulously detailed paintings are also included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's American Wing.  One hundred years after his death, his work was introduced to a wider audience when First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, hung several of his pairings in the White House.

Roesen adopted creative liberties with arrangements of fruits and flowers that betray their life cycle; many of his subjects in fact bloom and ripen at opposing seasons.  These impossible curations reflect a prevailing sentiment:  In an age of American prosperity and hope, anything was possible.

This painting is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  I was quite awed by the beauty of it - found myself entranced by the rich details.   This is what I offer today - the details.  Please select a photo below (I took them with my iPhone) or the whole image, above, and prepare either a new poem or one re-worked.  By all means, feel free to venture far from the above explanation of the painting.

If these particular images do not inspire you, I give you leeway to google and seek an image of Roesen's that does.  HERE is a link from the New Britain Museum of Art featuring "Fruit and Wine Glass" - 1870.

As always, please link up with Mr. Linky below.  Friday is often a hectic day, so feel free to submit late and remember that Monday is "Open Link" here in the Garden.

I am looking for your artistic interpretation.

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mid-Week Challenge ~ Youth & Age

Hi Toads and friends! Kerry here, stepping in for Izy at the last moment.

Source: Bored Panda
Photographer Qozop



In his new “Spring-Autumn” series, Asian photographer Qozop addresses the role of clothing in our society through a clever and playful juxtaposition of two generations. Participating youths and elders (parents and children or grandparents and grandchildren) are photographed in their attire and then asked to swap clothing and pose again. Read more and view other examples of Qozop HERE. Please click on the photos to enlarge them.


Source: Bored Panda
Photographer Qozop

Below are some interesting facts about the achievements of several historical people, who have defied the strictures of age in their pursuit of success:


  • Mozart was already competent on keyboard and violin; he composed from the age of 5.
  • Shirley Temple was 6 when she became a movie star on “Bright Eyes.”
  • Anne Frank was 12 when she wrote the diary of Anne Frank.
  • Nadia Comăneci was a gymnast from Romania that scored seven perfect 10.0 and won three gold medals at the Olympics at age 14.
  • Tenzin Gyatso was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama in November 1950, at the age of 15.
  • Pele, a soccer superstar, was 17 years old when he won the world cup in 1958 with Brazil.
  • Elvis was a superstar by age 19.
  • John Lennon was 20 years and Paul Mcartney was 18 when the Beatles had their first concert in 1961.
  • Jesse Owens was 22 when he won 4 gold medals in Berlin 1936.
  • Alexander the Great, by age 29, had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world
  • J.K. Rowling was 30 years old when she finished the first manuscript of Harry Potter
  • Amelia Earhart was 31 years old when she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean
  • Oprah was 32 when she started her talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind
  • Edmund Hillary was 33 when he became the first man to reach Mount Everest
  • Martin Luther King Jr. was 34 when he wrote the speech “I Have a Dream."
  • Marie Curie was 35 years old when she got nominated for a Nobel Prize in Physics 
  • Leonardo Da Vinci was 51 years old when he painted the Mona Lisa.
  • Abraham Lincoln was 52 when he became president.
  • Dr. Seuss was 54 when he wrote "The Cat in the Hat".
  • Colonel Harland Sanders was 61 when he started the KFC Franchise
  • J.R.R Tolkien was 62 when the Lord of the Ring books came out
  • Nelson Mandela was 76 when he became President” 

Let us challenge the stereotypes of youth and old age in our poetry today.