Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Results Day #5 - King Richard Armitage Fan-Art - GizTheGunslinger

The King Richard Armitage Website (KRA) is highlighting the artwork and the artists who contributed to the Fan-Art Event in October.

Today the KRA artist in the spotlight is:


Below is just a small detail of her amazing creation for KRA:

To see the entire work and read a very interesting interview with the artist go to the King Richard Armitage website at the links below:

To see more of GizTheGunslinger's artwork and videos you can visit her two sites below:

For links to all the KRA participating blogs go to the link below:

Taking our inspiration from GizTheGunslinger's KRA artwork we wonder what the best dressed king or knight was wearing for battle or ceremony in the days of Richard III?

Below are a few examples of the armour fashion of the day:

It wouldn't be very difficult for us to imagine how well Richard Armitage would look in his medieval armour as Richard III.

Please support Richard Armitage’s effort by signing the petition and encouraging potential financiers and production investors to support the “Richard III” project.

(Medieval Armour pics from and, R3 from, screencap from updated list)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Day at the Mall: Andy Warhol and the Pastrana Tapestries

I spent part of my Thanksgiving Holiday here in the US at the Mall. No, not a shopping mall in unarmed combat with fellow shoppers on Black Friday, but this Mall:

The Mall in Washington DC

Most of it I spent at the National Gallery of Art visiting two temporary exhibits separated by centuries. If you are in the Washington DC area, or visiting any time between now and January both exhibits are worth a visit.

Warhol: Headlines

Photo from

Andy Warhol is one of the best known artists in the 20th Century and continues to fascinate lovers of contemporary art. Known by most of the public for his Campbell Soup Cans and for his own otherworldly appearance and personality, Warhol was very interested in celebrity and the tabloid press. From the 1960's until his untimely death in 1987 he worked to incorporate newspaper tabloid headlines from around the world into his art. The current exhibit at the National Gallery explores this interest and his work including prints, videos, sculpture, drawings, and his source materials. 

I found his collaborations with artists Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and his stitched photographs to be the most interesting. His videos are always thought provoking if sometimes puzzling. For those of us that were around in the 70's and 80's it is interesting to see some celebrities of the day in these videos that have now gone from the scene or are no longer as famous (and I don't mean Madonna). 

 Work by Keith Haring and Andy Warhol

There is also a Warhol exhibit at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden that is part of the Warhol on the Mall celebration this fall in Washington DC.  I hope to see it during my Christmas break :) 

The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries


Now lets go from the 20th Century to the 15th Century and to another wonderful exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. The exhibit has brought together these four recently restored Belgian tapestries commissioned in the 1400's to commemorate the conquest of two cities in Morocco by the king of Portugal Afonso V.  The detail in these monumental tapestries is amazing from the elaborate armor and faces of the warriors on both sides, to the ships masts on the harbor and the city walls teeming with people. This is epic warfare long before CGI.

(Disclaimer: I am an art lover and eternal student of art history, but I am not an expert and have no more than general knowledge of art.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Results Day #4 - King Richard Armitage Fan-Art: RIIKKA

The King Richard Armitage Website (KRA) is highlighting the artwork and the artists who contributed to the Fan-Art Event in October.

Today the KRA artist in the spotlight is:


To read a wonderful interview with the artist and really see her beautiful work plus a lovely video of Riikka's art and stories by CDoart go to the King Richard Armitage site at the links below:

Riikka's inspiration is the historical King Richard III of England, but her artwork and stories have a definite fantasy element. King Richard rides again after the Battle of Bosworth as a ghost.  

Below are only a few examples of Riikka's work, you can see much more by going to the KRA website.

Riikka was inspired by the historical king, but I can see a resemblance with Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne not only physically but in the aura of the character as well.

Maybe Riikka's work, and the work of all the KRA fan artists will inspire the look of a future Richard III series with RA. 

Richard Armitage screencaps thanks to

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Age of Heroes -Movie (DVD) Review-Ian Fleming and World War II

Though I bought the DVD of Age of Heroes (2011) a while back, it was only recently that I finally got around to seeing this movie.  Full disclosure, I bought the DVD because Sean Bean is one of the stars of the film, and I really enjoyed seeing him in another true story, Bravo Two Zero (1999).  There was also the extra bonus of being the true story about the real Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels, and Sean Bean’s connection with Bond having played Agent 006 in GoldenEye (1995).

The basic storyline takes place during World War II.  Ian Fleming, played by James D’Arcy, was then a real life British Naval Intelligence Officer who commanded and helped create an elite squad known as the 30 Commando Unit.  It was Fleming's task to train them to recognize sensitive enemy intelligence materials and plan strikes to obtain them.  Sean Bean plays Major Jones, who I believe is also based on a real person, and he is tasked with identifying and training the men who will be part of this elite force.  In this story their mission, Operation Grendel(?) is to go into a Nazi occupied part of Norway and retrieve sensitive Radar equipment, not only to disable it, but to bring back the new technology.

The film starts with the story of misfit soldier, Corporal Rains played by Danny Dyer, being insubordinate to a superior and landing in military prison.  Through a series of unbelievable coincidences he ends up being given another chance by Major Jones (Sean Bean) and joins the elite corps. We meet the soldiers as they train for their mission, but the script gives us very little about them as individuals except for Bean and Dyer’s characters. I wish there would have been more character development so we would care more about the men and what happens to them. Once they parachute behind enemy lines in snow covered Norway nothing goes as planned and they struggle to survive and accomplish their mission. The film is action all the way at this point but surprisingly there is something dated and unexciting about the action sequences.

Major Jones is the “tough as nails outside but fair and caring inside” character that Bean has played before. He does a good job with what he’s given and is always a presence on screen. There is an interesting but small scene in the film with Bean’s then wife Georgina Sutcliffe playing Major Jones’ wife.  Danny Dyer is also the star of the film and plays the troubled but heroic Major Rains well, but is not enough of a personality to carry the film. William Houston, who played Boucher in BBC’s North & South is fun to watch as the squad’s tough sergeant. James D’Arcy is wasted as Ian Fleming with what seems an extended cameo. We get little of Fleming’s story here which would have added much needed interest to the film.

It is clear at the inconclusive end of the film that this is just chapter one of the story.  I believe they are or were going to be three or four films in total in the series.  Actually this would have made a better television series than a series of limited release films.  Worth watching mostly if you’re a fan of Sean Bean, Danny Dyer, James D’Arcy or James Bond.

There are several extras that come with the DVD and more interesting than the film is a documentary that includes interviews with several of the real veterans of 30 Commando Unit.   


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

King Richard Armitage Fan-Art - Results Day #3 - Alfie

The King Richard Armitage website is highlighting the artwork and the artists who contributed to the Fan-Art Event in October.

Today the KRA artist in the spotlight is:


Her beautiful scrapbook submission is a treat for all who love Guy of Gisborne and King Richard: 

To really see Alfie’s beautiful work and read a wonderful interview with her go to the King Richard Armitage site at the link below:

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Bit More Armitage Humor - Part Deux

There are many things I admire about Richard Armitage but I adore his sense of humor.  

So, I made another one of my videos, this one a follow-up to "A Bit of Armitage Humor" with more clips about the funny and adorable side of Armitage:

Part Deux: A Bit of Armitage Humor

Hope it brings everyone a smile on a  cold late autumn day.

As a bonus, I'm also posting one of my favorite RA interviews. OK, true confessions, I love all of RA's interviews, but this is one of my favorites, from the audiobook "Sheriff Got Your Tongue?" from 2006: 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fifteen Books that Will Always Stick with You?

I was looking through my "old" FB page and found this from a few years back. If I was doing this today, November 12, I would definitely add a particular audio book to the list. But these were my choices then when this was going around FB(see rules below):

1) To Kill a Mockingbird –Harper Lee

2.) Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

3.) Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

4.)Five Families – Oscar Lewis

5.) Animal Farm – George Orwell
6.)Sharpe’s Sword – Bernard Cornwell
7.) A Fine Disregard: What Makes Modern Art Modern – Kirk Varnedoe

8.) A Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

9.)A Great Deliverance – Elizabeth George

10.) Versos Sencillos - Jose Marti

11). A Separate Peace – John Knowles

12.) Lady Chatterley’s Lover (2nd version)- DH Lawrence

13.)Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

14.)Future Shock – Alvin Toffler

15.)Possession – A.S. Byatt

Looking back several of my choices are books I read when I was a student. Funny they still stick in my mind.

What are some of the books that will always stick with you?

Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

King Richard Armitage Fan-Art - Results Day #2 - Bccmee Gif and More

The King Richard Armitage website is highlighting the artwork and the artists who contributed to the Fan-Art Event. 

Today the KRA site and participating bloggers are highlighting an artist who needs no introduction among Richard Armitage fans: 


Her submission is a whimsical gif inspired by Richard Armitage and Richard III.  

Go to the KRA website to see Bccmee's gif, a beautiful video, interview, and much more by clicking on the link below:

Bccmee is a masterful vidder and an amazing graphic artist. But what is more amazing to me is that she is a talented teacher.  Right now on her blog we can  truly see the artist and the teacher at work:

This is the perfect opportunity to also thank her for her encouragement of  fan art and videos created by fellow RA fans. I know from personal experience that her comments are always insightful, encouraging, and fun. 

So in the unlikely case that you're reading this post and are not familiar with her work, below are some of my favorite Bccmee videos. Oh, make sure you watch the videos past the credits:

So what are some of your favorite Bccmee videos? 

To read more about the King Richard Armitage project click on the link below:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Old Skills - New Adventures: Latest Hobbit Video Blog

I've watched Peter Jackson's latest Hobbit Video Blog a few times now and, as in the previous videos, there is much to absorb and much to love.  There was the thrill of seeing an old friend, Frodo (Elijah Wood) with 3D glasses and glimpses of new friends to come in Dwarves and Hobbit.

Watching Richard Armitage as Thorin in this video I feel he must be having a great time using and improving old skills in this amazing new adventure:

Thorin (Richard Armitage) with Orcrist

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

King Richard Armitage Fan - Art Results Day 1: Sartorial Splendor

Welcome to King Richard Armitage Results Day #1!  If you don't know the background and how the King Richard Armitage Project (KRA) got here, click on the link below:

Starting November 2 the King Richard Armitage website is highlighting the artwork and the artists who contributed to the Fan-Art Event.

I'm very happy to be one of the participating KRA blogs and the plan is that I and my fellow bloggers will also feature the artwork every week for the next few weeks.

The first work is from a wonderful artist who wishes to remain anonymous:


To find out more about her and her art, and to really get a good view of the work above, go to the King Richard Armitage site to read an interview with the artist:

So CDoart asked us to look at the wonderful artwork and to use our imaginations and consider for this post  what would have happened if Richard III of England had won the Battle of Bosworth Field. 

If we look at portraits of the real Richard III, he really was a nice looking man and not the Shakespeare caricature we are familiar with.  

But lets say that he had an amazing resemblance to Richard Armitage and was always dressed with the sartorial splendor we see above exclusively in rich fabrics of black and red. I think Richard III would have become the fashion and style icon of the age. 

Famous artists would flock to England to paint his portrait.  There would be paintings of him mounted on his horse ("my kingdom for a horse"), or standing in some heroic pose, or as imagined by our featured artist, with an intense and brooding look. The portrait of handsome and splendid King Richard would travel around the royal houses of Europe and noble ladies and their daughters would swoon at the thought of him. Marriageable royal ladies throughout Europe would have their portraits painted and delivered to King Richard III for his consideration. 

Noble men would copy his hairstyle and that elegant hat.  Many and varied rings to adorn long aristocratic fingers would be much coveted by both men and women. All men, regardless of their place in society, would try to copy some of his style. The White Rose of York would be seen everywhere as the ‘it” symbol of the age. 

(disclaimer: all this speculation is just for fun you know)

Please make sure to visit my fellow participating KRA bloggers this week:

What do you think would have happened if Richard III had won the Battle of Bosworth

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