Art 2010 Blog

Art 2010 was a year-long 365-day blog project with a simple start-point: each day I took one artwork from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and wrote about it in (I hope) a fresh, fun and informed way.

I started Art 2010 as a way to settle in a new city when I moved to Washington from London in 2009. The pictures and sculptures at the NGA gave me focus and found me friends. Before too long Art 2010 turned into the ultimate test for art: can it be an easy, enjoyable and meaningful part of our everyday?

Slings and Arrows

Scenes of St Sebastian are two-a-penny in art history… and if that sounds flippant, let me explain. He’s a popular subject for a few stand-out reasons: since he’s often shown shot-through with arrows (according to the manner of his martyrdom) his nakedness allows artists to let loose on anatomical know-how, slipping in sinews and skin […]Read More »

Sucked In

During the year I lived in Milan, I learned a few things about Mediterranean mealtimes. Breakfast is bolted on the go, but lunches are long and dinners drawn-out. Even in an overbooked day at the office, colleagues collect up bags and blackberries at midday and march out for a repast done right. And right means […]Read More »

Sweet Success

If your house is anything like ours right now, it’ll be clattering with colored candies and shiny sweets, hordes of the things left over from Halloween. I was fretful about letting down any little knockers at our door (let’s face it, no child is happy with a healthy granola bar or vit-boosting piece of fruit […]Read More »

Seeing a Ghost

If you thought you were home and dry after harassment by ghouls, gremlins and hobgoblins on Halloween, then think again. Because November 2 is by tradition the Day of All Souls, on which (it has been believed), the unhappy souls of the dead return to their former homes. In the past, people were so superstitious […]Read More »

Right as Rain

Umbrellas. Never liked them. If they aren’t poking you in the eye with fearsome spokes, they’re buckling under pressure or flipping inside out. If they’re not sagging between seams and proving penetrable, they’re shaking soggy wetness all over your tights and tootsies when you deflate. Too big, too small, too thick, too thin. For me […]Read More »

Rocked It

The name Jerome always jettisons me back a couple of years, to a London classroom and a cheeky but charming student of mine who kept lessons lively and tempers lightly frayed. Jerome was delighted once when asked to research a painting at the National Gallery: he came back beaming, brandishing a brilliant little piece on […]Read More »

Balancing Act

Horoscopes: on the good days, love them! on bad days, leave them! I fall fickle on either side of the fence on this one: sometimes things seem insanely in-line with what I’ve read in a mag, a rag or a newspaper, while at others the life happenings and the horoscope are completely out of kilter. […]Read More »

Two's Company

“… being an only child has made me stronger in every way, except emotionally.” So says Sonia Hully, founder of lovedefinitely, a sophisticated site that takes a refreshing approach to finding ‘the one’. It might strike as an apposite career choice for someone like Hully, who has it that being an only child has made […]Read More »

Pink Frosting

Let me tell you about this painting. It’s called Cattleya Orchid and Three Hummingbirds and I’ve had my eye on it since I started this mad caper called Art 2010. What’s not to love about this painting? You want steamy, dreamy atmosphere? You got it. Partial to pretty, exotic plants? No problem. Interesting botanical growths? In spades. […]Read More »

The Art of Bart

I met my first Bart through one of my brothers, who introduced me to the spike-haired, high-voiced cartoon character that’s so ingrained on all brains. My second Bart was a bit of an oddball, a boy in another brother’s class, who I recall once rubbed a burger across his face. Neither of these crazy characters […]Read More »