Friday, February 22, 2013

Image of the Day

via [Colossal]

Moveable GIFs just rock.

Nancy Charak Open Studio 3/22!

Nancy Charak paintings and drawings at the Cornelia Arts Building Open Studios
1800 W. Cornelia
1 block south of Addison at Ravenswood

Friday March 22 from 6 to 10pm

We've got live music and gourmet food trucks, you should come on by.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cave Men (Women) Could Draw Yes!

 via [blogs, Discover Magazine]

. . ."We have analyzed 1000 prehistoric and modern artistic quadruped walking depictions and determined whether they are correct or not in respect of the limb attitudes presented, assuming that the other aspects of depictions used to determine the animals gait are illustrated correctly. The error rate of modern pre-Muybridgean quadruped walking illustrations was 83.5%, much more than the error rate of 73.3% of mere chance. It decreased to 57.9% after 1887, that is in the post-Muybridgean period. Most surprisingly, the prehistoric quadruped walking depictions had the lowest error rate of 46.2%. All these differences were statistically significant. Thus, cavemen were more keenly aware of the slower motion of their prey animals and illustrated quadruped walking more precisely than later artists.”"

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cornelia Arts Building Open Studios Friday March 22

Friday, March 22, 6-10pm, coming sooner than you think! There'll be art and artists. Come on by. We have a website,, we're on ArtSlant and you can find us at the Chicago Artists Resource. Seriously, I love to talk to all who visit.

Here's the total summary of what you need to know.

Friday, March 22, 2013 - 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Cornelia Arts Building March Open Studios

See Original Artwork from over 40 artists in their working artist studios with special guest artists Kass Copeland and Hyeonkyeong Yeo.

Live Music: featuring Mr Mayor and the Highballers

Gourmet Food Trucks

FREE and open to the public

Cornelia Arts Building - Where Art Works
1800 West Cornelia, Chicago
Entrance on Ravenswood. Steps from Addison Brown Line stop.
Cornelia Arts Building
1800 West Cornelia
Chicago Illinois 60657United States
Contact Email:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Meteorite over the Urals

Drivers in Russia frequently drive with dashboard cams as protection against insurance fraud; literally Russian pedestrians toss themselves into harms way by jumping onto moving vehicles in order to make a kopeck or two. Robert Krulwich explains that's why we have so many awesome videos of a meteorite streaking across the skies, shattering window glass in Western Siberia, in Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, injuring over 1,000 people on Friday, February 15 at 3:20 GMT.

And before you think it can't happen here, but that these things only land in Siberia, in places like Chelyabinsk or Tunguska [here's NASA's fix on this], think again. Parenthetically, there was no way I was going to do this post without mentioning the Tunguska Event.

On June 30, 1908, in a remote part of Russia, a fireball was seen streaking across the daytime sky. Within moments, something exploded in the atmosphere above Siberia’s Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia.

This event – now widely known as theTunguska event – is believed to have been caused by an incoming meteor or comet, which never actually struck Earth but instead exploded in the atmosphere, causing what is known as an air burst, three to six miles (5–10 kilometers) above Earth’s surface.

There's a lesson here, the earth abides, but it is not a stable platform. There's a huge meteorite crater in Winslow, Arizona.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Plato Was a Wrestler

via [Lessing Photo Archive]

Boxing and wrestling matches. Black-figured amphora, Attic, around 530 BCE Terracotta, height: 31 cm, diameter: 20.5 cm Inv. IV 3604
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Antikensammlung, Vienna, Austria

The Olympic Committee has voted wrestling off their island. The oldest of all the sports in either the ancient or the modern games is out as of 2020. Here's Forbes' condemnation of this from a business viewpoint.

Plato, the philosopher-wrestler, may not even have been his real name, it means broad-shouldered, could be like The Hulk.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Dot and the Line

Some Lines_163, Nancy Charak, artist, graphite, prismacolor on sized masonite panel, 24"x30"
Almost all of my art production has drawing in it. I define drawing as making a mark with an instrument that is held directly in the hand that mars, scars, adds or subtracts from a substrate. I see the difference between painting and drawing as a simple one, painting is almost always completely additive. When an artist decides to change something, simple, simply paint over it. This sets up a continuum at one end of which is drawing. It is frequently about interaction with the substrate, as you can see in my drawing above, black sized masonite panel. At the other end of the continuum is the completely covered canvas. In the middle at various positions on the continuum are watercolor and pastel, given their reliance on the substrate and their tendency to get muddy when over applied.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Save The Dates, CAB Open Studios 2013!

Mark your calendar for these Open Studios dates:
Friday, March 22, 6-10PM
Friday, May 10, 6-10PM
Friday, Oct 4, 6-10PM
Friday, Nov 22, 6-10PM
Saturday, Nov 23, 1-5PM

Cornelia Arts Building - Where Art Works
1800 W. Cornelia
Chicago, IL 60657

Original artwork from the studios of over 40 artists. Plus, live music, food trucks and guest artists!

FREE and open to the public. Please visit our website for more information:

Monday, February 4, 2013

From the Field of Bosworth to the Sands of Timbuktu

Richard III of England
The University of Leicester in England has announced that they have confirmed that the bones dug up from under a parking lot are indeed those of the hapless Richard III. Of course, this has brought up all kinds of delicious speculation and historical revisionism, particularly from those who think he was a much maligned king, especially via Shakespeare's history, exemplified by Laurence Olivier's almost cartoonish performance. Shakespeare clearly drew on historians who had fealty to Elizabeth I, a granddaughter of the winner at Bosworth, Henry of Lancaster. An example of how history is written by the winners, as well as by those who wish to flatter them.

Those of us who care about cultural and historical survival have been following the struggles in Mali and the ancient city of Timbuktu, where it was originally speculated that in addition to the destruction of the Sufi saints' tombs, the Ansar Dine would burn the ancient manuscripts. After all, there is much reason for concern; those who care watched in horror as the Taliban assaulted the Bamiyan Buddhas which had survived for 1,700 years. Good news, the majority of the ancient manuscripts are said to be safe.

(via: Hyperallergic dot com)

"Decentralizing the documents, which range from academic treatises to commercial contracts, law books, and medical texts, kept them safe. After Tuareg rebel fighters entered Timbuktu on April 1, curators and collectors began to remove texts from the libraries and “distributed them around,” Cape Town University professor Shamil Jeppie said. The New Yorker reports that 50,000 manuscripts are housed in 32 family libraries that remain protected."

History is cruel. Elizabeth I's father, Henry VIII had a dispute with the Catholic Church. In the process of wresting power and, it must be said, money and influence from the Church of Rome, Henry destroyed monasteries all over England. Due to this destruction the bones of the only English King with the designation "The Great," Alfred, are missing. Also missing are those of Henry I to the same cause.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Poet of the Day: Langston Hughes

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Langston Hughes, 1902.



The Negro Speaks of Rivers

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.