Monday, November 8, 2010

Things I Think You'll Like

Lately I've come across some very cool things I wanted to share with you.  Some are useful, and some are just fun, but I think you may like them.  Or not.  But anyway, here they are.  (What a riveting introduction, right?)

My new favorite singer/songwriter is a young British woman named Thea Gilmore.  I hadn't heard of her until recently, when I happened to see this on Public Television (where else?).

I don't understand why she's not more popular in the U.S.  Her songs are sensitive and original, and run the gamut from folk to blues to rock, while remaining unmistakably hers.  Her lyrics can stand alone as poetry; here are a few lines from "The List": "And some folks are drawn to the fire; And some just want to hide; But the lonely are the prettiest of all; They burn from the inside...."

I think her voice is amazing.  As a songwriter, she has been compared to Dylan, Lucinda Williams, and Joni Mitchell, among others, and I think those are all valid comparisons.  She happens to be a favorite of Bruce Springsteen's.  Sometimes her songs give me goosebumps- what more can I say?

As a collage and mixed media artist /printmaker, I'm into paper, as you may already know.  I blogged about my love affair with paper and some really great books about paper here, if you're interested.  I recently bought this DVD called Between the Folds, which I believe I first read about on Dryadart's Weblog.

 I don't know how to describe this DVD except to say that it's mesmerizing, and from PBS, of course!  (I love PBS, but I'll go an about that another time.)  While it's supposedly about origami, and it kind of is, it's really about the intersection of art and science.  I don't make origami, and am not all that interested in it, but this movie is truly inspiring.  It contains no instructions for making origami, but what you will see is breathtaking beauty in the form of paper, as well as some pretty surprising applications to science.  I highly recommend it.

 Speaking of the marriage of art and science, another of my favorite DVD's is Proteus, the story of the life and work of biologist and artist Ernst Haeckel.  From Amazon's editorial review:

The central figure of PROTEUS is biologist and artist Ernst Haeckel. As a young man, Haeckel found himself torn between science and art, materialism and religion, rationality and passion, outer and inner worlds. Through his discoveries beneath the sea, Haeckel eventually reconciled these dualities, bringing science and art together in a unitary, almost mystical vision. His work profoundly influenced not only biology but also movements, thinkers and authors as disparate as Art Nouveau and Surrealism, Sigmund Freud and D.H. Lawrence, Vladimir Lenin and Thomas Edison.

Knowing nothing about him, I bought the book Art Forms in Nature when I was a teenager, simply because I was a science geek and an artist, and was captivated by the images.  Until now, I had no idea he was such an influential scientist and researcher in the field of biology; I thought he was an artist who loved to portray the intricate forms of nature.  I mean, this is the guy who discovered that "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny"!  Okay, maybe not everyone is as excited by that as I am, but the movie is great, and his drawings are exquisite.

 And last, but certainly not least (speaking of being a science geek), it's CARL SAGAN DAY!  He's kind of a hero of mine, and when I saw this story on DIGG, I knew it was another opportunity to share this!

I hope you enjoy!


  1. Well you had me at the get-go but when you got to "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" I was swooning...oneof my favorite phrases for decades.
    AND THEN...Carl and Stephen and their synthized duet...I actually weep when I listen to it it strikes so deep into my imagination and my soul...
    So Thank You darlin!!!
    you have scored once things indeed...oh and I will definitely be ordering 'Art Forms in Nature' could I not.

  2. Wonderful post always...first...yes, we listen to Thea Gilmore here...what a voice is right and true..the lyrics are showstoppers too. Then you show me a book that has been sitting on my shelves for ages,,,thanks for the tips on the other interesting items...always full of interesting info to inspire us all....thanks!!

  3. Can't wait to find out more about Thea Gilmore. I do most of my work to singing and guitar playing women and I'm always on the lookout for someone "new".

    As far as the other mentions in your post -- I'll be checking into them also.

    I wonder what I'll find here in the future!!!

  4. I was just over of Cynnie's blog looking at her older posts. I saw one of your nice comments and beautiful image next to your name. So glad I clicked over. I now have a new favorite musical artist and a new blog on my list. Thea Gilmore is wonderful!

  5. Earnest Haeckel and Carl Sagan- you are talking my language here. Sagan- what can you say about such an inspiring person.

  6. Talent, unfortunately, has little to do with popularity when it comes to US music... just listen to some of what's out there. I appreciated both of her songs and will definitely be looking her up!
    Thanks for the book info; it looks really interesting!
    Didn't know Carl Sagan had a day - I'll have to share with my dh:)

  7. You make a good point, Patti, about the pop music being produced right now. Glad to know you enjoyed Thea Gilmore!


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