It’s ok, it’s non-partisan, totally safe to read…..
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Politicians and policies may delineate (and re-delineate) borders and jurisdictions, but it is culture that defines a country, likely more than anything else.  And art, in its many forms, is a major component that culture.
Recently a couple of friends of mine went on a four-month trip to various places in Europe.  They visited, Scotland, England, France, Portugal and Italy.  For each place they visited they posted copiously on Facebook, so we could all vicariously enjoy the trip too.  They did not go to countries to experience the on-goings of the political process, view the economic policies or take photographs of the military hardware.  They went to experience the culture and scenery – the natural and man-made physical beauty, visual, performance and culinary arts.  They tested whisky at a distillery, ate a ‘full English Breakfast’, all sorts of other actual gourmet food ( ;-) ), went to museums, gazed at architectural icons and strolled through nature reserves and sculpture parks, took in a cabaret.
Here’s an interesting question.  You’ve heard of VanGogh, right?  Mozart? Kandinsky?  You can probably identify a few of their most famous works.  Most of those works of art are still in existence and much beloved.  So, for each of these artists, who was the leader of their respective countries at the most productive time of the artists’ lives, and what were those leaders known for?  Unless you’re a historian, you’re probably drawing a blank, it’s ok, I had to look these things up too. (Answers at the bottom.)

I have lots of distractions from politics this month. And a suggestion to consider ordering unique Holiday Cards

Fairs/Open House
Nov 5th: 10-3pm Trilogy Art Faire, Trilogy, 60th Ave, La Quinta, CA.
Nov 12th: 10-4pm Art on Main St, Old Town La Quinta, CA.
Nov 16th: sm'Art Gallery Open House, La Quinta, CA. 4-7pm .
Nov 19-20th: Scottsdale Artfest, Scottsdale, AZ.
Nov 25th-27th: Frances Stevens Park, Palm Springs, CA
Nov 1st: 3-5:30. Holiday Cards Collage workshop. 849 Restaurant, Palm Springs.
Nov 4th: 12-3: Watercolor Collage workshop, Incredible Art Center, Palm Springs.
Nov 9th: 6-9pm Paint the Night, Paint and sip evening, Vanguard Gallery, Moreno Valley.
Nov 10th: 5-7pm . Holiday Cards Collage workshop, Incredible Art Center, Palm Springs.
Nov 14th: 5-7pm. Watercolor Collage workshop, Incredible Art Center, Palm Springs.
Nov 15th: 9-4:30pm. Painting for Absolute beginners one-day workshop, Borrego Art Institute.
Nov 28th: 10am-1pm. Watercolor Collage workshop, sm’Art Studio, La Quinta.
Nov 28th: 4-7pm. Oh Paint This! Paint and sip evening, sm’Art Studio, La Quinta.

(Correct answers: van Gogh: William III of Holland, unpopular, unhappy and unenthusiastic about being king.
Mozart: Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II. His desired reforms generated much opposition.
Kandinsky: Russian born, moved to Germany until WW1, then back to Moscow until 1921, back to Germany until 1933 then to France, in each case moving away from a regime unsupportive of art.)
Copyright © 2016 Jeni Bate, All rights reserved.

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