August 2012

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play in your free time Art Throb Into the sunset By Pete Lundberg Nearly a decade ago, in the early spring of 2003, I enjoyed a combination din- ner party/photo shoot with a magazine called Anew, BRAVA's predecessor. The founder, Kristin Erickson, and I had a lively conversation, which led her ask, "Would you consider writing a monthly column about art?" The old adage "time flies when you're having fun," has cer- tainly applied, and it's hard to believe that this is my 100th column for this great magazine. I have covered a multitude of subjects, sometimes having three pages for in-depth articles and sometimes limiting my thoughts to a half-page. Regardless of the column length, it has been a great joy (and challenge!) coming up with the next month's topic. Recently it dawned on me that my 100th Book Club column might be a good time to ride off into the proverbial sunset. My friend and editor Sarah was reluctantly supportive and understanding, and it seemed only natural that my last column should be about...sunsets! Sunsets have been a prime subject for art- ists for over a thousand years. It's a time of reflection, to contemplate the day and look forward to the coming morning. It requires a different palette—oranges, reds, purples and blues. Most major artists have created well-known sunset paintings—Van Gogh's "Sowers at Sunset," Monet's "Grainstack at Sunset," and Bierstadt's "Sunset in Yo- semite Valley," to name a few. There have been some fascinating stud- ies linking sunset paintings with climate change and meteorology, especially as it relates to volcanic activity. England's most famous painter, J.M.W. Turner, known for his detailed and brilliant sunset por- trayals, painted magnificent works shortly after the eruption of Indonesia's Mount Tambora in 1815. Edvard Munch's "The Scream," was created from the artist's vivid recollection of a period of "blood red" sunsets in his native Norway follow- ing Krakatoa's big blow. But sometimes a sunset is just a sunset. A selection of brainy reads to get in the back- to-school season state of mind Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior By Leonard Mlodinow We often focus on our conscious mind—but what if it's something else guiding our experiences? Based on groundbreaking research, this author pulls back the curtain on the subliminal parts of our mind that have long been hidden from view. Published by Random House, Inc., $26 Whether spectacular or void of fanfare, it signifies a time to enjoy and reflect. It has been an enjoyable run—a decade to share what I love and meet many of my readers. I hope you keep in touch. Visit the gallery on Monroe Street, my Facebook site, or email me at My parting words as I ride off into the sunset? Enjoy art! Bring it into your fami- lies and share it with people you care about. As Thomas Merton so beautifully said, "Art enables us to find ourselves and lose our- selves at the same time." How great is that? Pete Lundberg is not only an art lover but owner of Janus Galleries in Madison. What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite By David DiSalvo Revealing a seemingly unavoidable par- adox—that what our mind often craves is exactly what does it harm—this book offers clues on how to outsmart your own brain and, ultimately, live a happier life. Published by Prometheus Books, $19 Thinking, Fast and Slow By Daniel Kahneman In this eye-opening tour of the mind, discover how the way we think can be divided into two systems (one fast and one slow) and how conquering mental glitches is all about understanding the difference. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30 Blink Above: Completed in 1884, just six years before his death, Vincent Van Gogh masterfully combined beauty, mystery and mel- ancholy in his work "Lane of Poplars at Sunset." Sometimes the simplest of color palettes are the most provocative. Left: The famous American painter Albert Bierstadt completed this magnificent scene of the Yosemite Val- ley in 1868. It is a blazing combination of realism and idealism, and almost has a sense the divine. 72 BRAVA Magazine August 2012 By Malcolm Gladwell Dive into this bestseller to discover how—and why—we make decisions in the blink of an eye. Why are some snap decisions a success and others aren't? You'll have to read to find out. Published by Little, Brown & Company, $16

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