In what may have started as teenage rebellion, my youngest boy (I’ll call him “P” for purposes of this blog) has become a classical piano player. If that’s not your cup of tea, this is probably a good time to stop reading.
I’ll clarify for those that don’t know P: classical music is a hobby for him, not his career. P started playing when he was knee-high to me. He’s no longer knee-high to me by a long shot, and the pieces he plays are complex. He occasionally plays jazz too. That, however, is just a classical music addict’s way of demonstrating that he could give up classical music if he wanted to, only …
Well, you know the rest of that phrase.
Rebellion, of course, is only effective if you can get the parent to mutter, “In my day, a bit of headbanging, heavy metal was what we considered to be real music.” I may have forgotten to mutter that, or I may even have given the appearance of enjoying P’s classical playing. The inevitable rebellion escalation came last year.
“I want to try the organ.”
“Typical teenager”, I said to myself, but quietly. Aloud, I kept to the high road. I merely said, “No monkeys in the house. I have very bad experience with monkeys.”
My friend, Ria, was commissioned to paint a replica of Da Vinci’s “Last Supper”, 3 meters (9 foot) wide.
Ria’s painting, in acrylic on sanded aluminum board, took her about a year. By comparison, Da Vinci took three years. Then again, Da Vinci’s version was slightly bigger than Ria’s – 9 meters (27 feet) wide and 5 meters (15 feet) high.
Da Vinci used faces of actual people in his painting. When the monastery prior complained that the work was taking too long Da Vinci wrote back that he was struggling to find a suitably evil face for Judas, but that he’d be happy to use the face of the prior who had complained. After that, the complaints stopped.
I saw Ria’s finished painting a few weeks ago and it was impressive from all points of view – the perspective, the detail, the accuracy of the copy, the colours. An all-round great job on a difficult commission.
If you haven’t seen Da Vinci’s painting, it’s his take on the story of Jesus with the twelve apostles having a last supper before the crucifixion. The apostles are shown in various stages of anger, suspicion and dismay.
A recent reviewer said “Dropping Into Darkness” reminded them of author Terry Pratchett.
The bad news is Terry’s books aren’t for everyone. He has a readership of a mere 85 million people. I’m a fan though, so in defence of Terry (and anyone kind enough to compare me to Terry), I’ve put together some of my favourite quotes from his books.