I got an email from my darling publisher a few mornings ago:
“Hi, Donna – ICYMI (that’s editor talk for “in case you missed it”) “Flaming June” and Frederic Leighton were the topic of an article in the WSJ Review written by Barrymore Laurence Sherer.
Title of article is “A Victorian Vision of Beautiful Youth.” Such a treat to learn more about the artist and painting, now on loan to the Met in NYC. Happy Spring, Cynthia.”
I looked it up, and the article was very eloquent, and equally verbose… but, the main points were that this is Sir Frederic Leighton’s (1830-1896) most famous painting for its vivid color, and his technique that both conceals and reveals, appearing almost weightless. Scholars have called Flaming June “his most uninhibited hymn to human beauty and life itself.” It is currently on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art from Puerto Rico’s Museo de Arte de Ponce along with five others through 2024. I’d love to see it.
I remember being enthralled the first time I saw the painting in an art class, and 50 years later, I am thrilled to be able to use it for my book cover.
In other news, I think I told you that I began studying Spanish using the DuoLingo app during the pandemic. I have managed to practice daily for 635 days now, usually spending between 4 – 5 hours a week. I’ve decided that when I hit the two-year mark in a few months that I may switch to Babble, unless some of you have other suggestions for online learning that worked for you? Please drop me a note in Comments.
My reading and writing comprehension are both good, but I get a little “tongue-tied” when I speak. And I can’t roll my Rrrrrrr anymore! But I do speak to everyone who will speak with me and I have had lots of opportunity. I’ve found that native speakers are always very kind, patient, and complimentary and it keeps me encouraged.
I don’t know if this is a good habit, or a bad one, but I’ve developed the habit of eating “at my desk.” Having never had a desk job, it’s a new experience for me, and it feels fun. I make myself a latte in the morning, having treated myself to a milk frother since I’ve had to give up my cream. (I’m limited to lactose-free milk right now – but it warms up and froths beautifully!)
Next I warm-up one of this week’s batch of gluten-free muffins, then carry them to my desk where I read Apple news. It is an extravagance having the time to do this with no demands at all as the sun comes up. Maybe I should think of it as more of a ritual?
What ever we call it, we all deserve an extravagant moment every day. Time to recharge our body, mind, and spirit so that we can be present to ourselves and for others.