Still More Rousseau


Bald Cypress – UCF Arboretum – April 2015

“Nothing makes me so happy than to observe nature and paint what I see” – Henri Rousseau

Finished my last available book on Rousseau Portrait of a Primitive by  Ronald Alley excellent biography and a good chronology of his works.

I continue my quest to capture greenery and portray it in Rousseau’s style. I’ve said this before, I need to develop some contrast somehow. I’ll continue to work on it.

Quote found at

Something Different


Love Park – Philadelphia – April 2015


Art Museum – Philadelphia – April 2015

Spent last week in Philadelphia, only had my point and shoot with me, so the birds were elusive. But thought I’d share some random shots over the next couple of days.

This is the art museum, first shot from Love Park – then closer, which is more famous for having been in the movie Rocky, than for the fabulous works of art it contains. Including Carnival Evening by Henri Rousseau – my favorite artist.

Appreciation for Appolinaire

Snowy Egret at the Waters Edge - taken January 2015 Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge

Snowy Egret at the Waters Edge – taken January 2015 Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge

A little known (at least to me) artistic figure from early in the 20th century and patron of Henri Rousseau. As one of Rousseau’s early supporters I felt the need to explore his life and works. Briefly, when he lived in Paris he was part of the artistic group that included Picasso, Chagall, Stein, and others. Rousseau’s painting “Muse Inspiring the Poet” is a portrait of Appolinaire and his love.

He is said to have coined the word surrealism. Here are a couple of quotes borrowed from the goodreads site (link follows). The first quote I’ve seen translated many ways, I find it quite inspirational.

“Come to the edge,” he said.
They said, “We are afraid.”
Come to the edge,” he said.
They came.
He pushed them…and they flew.”
Guillaume Apollinaire

“I sing the joy of wandering and the pleasure of the wanderer’s death”
Guillaume Apollinaire

More on Henri Rousseau


Jungle 1. Taken predawn at UCF arboretum – February 2015

Just finished Masters of World Painting Henri Rousseau by N. Brodskaya. This book was published in the Soviet Union in 1977. A very nice brief bio of Rousseau is followed by several plates of pictures. As expected the book highlights the 7 Rousseau’s that were on display in the Soviet Union at that time.
Written on the back of the painting “War”. From the French “She sweeps past, striking terror in the hearts of all and leaving ruin, tears and despair in her wake”. Well put!
Here’s a link to the painting I found on the web –
My pic is the beginning of my attempts to recreate some of the feel of Rousseau’s jungle pictures. Forgive my early endeavor, I need to find a spot without as many sticks interfering with the green. So far I am philosophically opposed to “cleaning” up a scene for a picture – that could change.
This picture was taken pre-dawn last Sunday at the UCF arboretum at 1.3 second exposure. So I believe I have found the the light I want, now to identify the proper spot.

More on Henri Rousseau


Dawn Light at Orlando Wetlands Park in November – anxiously awaiting the February reopening.

Just finished a quick read on Rousseau called Interpreting Henri Rousseau by Nancy Ireson. Lovely little softback book laden with pics of Rousseau’s best works.

Ms. Ireson gives us the picture of a rather complex man who would feign naivete to promote his pictures or escape jail time, when in reality he was quite a worldly individual savvy in the ways of modern(1890’s) Paris. Sadly his fame came after his death.

I know that whatever the circumstances of his life and death, he has given me much joy gazing at his pictures and influenced many of my life’s choices. I still have a print of The Sleeping Gypsy hanging in my house as it has in every place I have lived for the past 40+ years.

I am actively looking about for a way to photographically capture the spirit of his jungle scenes. Obviously they will be without lions and tigers as I will have to concentrate on the foliage. Here in the sub-tropical zone the jungle like foliage is landscaped so careful framing will be necessary.