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Thread: Paintings Of Barack And Michelle Obama Unveiled At Portrait Gallery

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celeste Chalfonte View Post
    A talented sixth-grader, but...yes. My guess would be that the artist eschewed classes that restrained her creativity, such as Figure Drawing and Anatomy. Sadly, talent without technique just doesn't cut it. First you learn the conventional forms; then, if you're really that talented, you can reject them.
    We have a winner!

    The two pictures you post are Picasso, no? I remember discovering years ago that he was a fabulous prodigy, a child who sketched beautifully. He most certainly earned his right to wander from convention.

    I don't think we can presume particulars of this artist's biography, but the reaction of people more sophisticated than I seems fairly unanimous.

  2. #32
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    My favorite Picasso story is that when he was very famous, an acknowledged genius and so on, he developed a habit of paying for restaurant meals in particular with checks, clearly signed and sometimes with an extremely simple doodle accompaniment.

    Like the old jokes about writing a big check and leaving it in the coffin, Picasso knew most of these checks would never be cashed, but framed in the restaurant.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman View Post
    We have a winner!

    The two pictures you post are Picasso, no? I remember discovering years ago that he was a fabulous prodigy, a child who sketched beautifully. He most certainly earned his right to wander from convention.

    I don't think we can presume particulars of this artist's biography, but the reaction of people more sophisticated than I seems fairly unanimous.
    Some of her portraits I'd love to own, but they all have essentially the same face. The Michelle Obama portrait is actually a step away from that pattern, but what I've seen so far, she seems like a person with a lovely full voice and a 1-octave range.
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillygirl View Post
    While I have your attention: "There are/is a small number of scholarships available". ??
    Quote Originally Posted by Celeste Chalfonte View Post
    "Number" is the subject, so technically "is" is correct. However, a good writer avoids not only errors but constructions that sound wrong.
    I disagree. The subject is "sholarships". The base sentence is "There are scholarships available." If you toss a modifier (or determiner), like a number, it doesn't change that. "There are two scholarships available." Or, if you use a word in place of the number, it still doesn't change that. "There are a few scholarships available." "There are a dozen scholarships available." The phrase "a small number of" is a determiner just like "two" or "a few".

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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norm dePlume View Post
    I disagree. The subject is "sholarships". The base sentence is "There are scholarships available." If you toss a modifier (or determiner), like a number, it doesn't change that. "There are two scholarships available." Or, if you use a word in place of the number, it still doesn't change that. "There are a few scholarships available." "There are a dozen scholarships available." The phrase "a small number of" is a determiner just like "two" or "a few".
    You're right. I read that too quickly and responded without thinking it through.
    No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. This offer VALID in 35 34 33 32 31 26 20 17 15 14 13 ALL 50 states.

    The new 13 original states to stand up for freedom: CA, CT, IA, MA, DE, MN, NH, NY, RI, VT, ME, MD, NJ (plus DC).

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillygirl View Post
    I like it. I just don't like the background. Maybe once the artist explains it I'll have an aha moment and then like it. For now, I just think it takes away, although I'm sure in person the talent of painting all that greenery will be apparent.
    I agree, the background is too busy. There is a purpose, though. The chrysanthemums are the official flower of Chicago, while the jasmine represents Hawai`i. The African blue lilies are representing Kenya where he his father was born.

    In addition to the lighting issue that Norm mentioned, I feel like there's a perspective issue with the wall of flowers. It continues down to the ground and seems to be slowly eating the chair and the former president for dinner.

    As for Michelle's portrait. I think it's hideous. Her face doesn't bother me but that arm draped over the leg must be three feet long!
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    Wow. That Trump guy has been president for over a year now, and the big news on the boards is the former presidents portrait.

    Maybe he has everybody in a concentration camp already. Or deported.

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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norm dePlume View Post
    I disagree. The subject is "sholarships". The base sentence is "There are scholarships available." If you toss a modifier (or determiner), like a number, it doesn't change that. "There are two scholarships available." Or, if you use a word in place of the number, it still doesn't change that. "There are a few scholarships available." "There are a dozen scholarships available." The phrase "a small number of" is a determiner just like "two" or "a few".
    Quote Originally Posted by Celeste Chalfonte View Post
    You're right. I read that too quickly and responded without thinking it through.
    No you didn't, Celeste. "Scholarships" is preceded by the preposition "of" and modifies the noun "number."

    "Number" here is group noun, and in practice the rule is, you write (or say) what sounds best. In theory you determine if the members of the group are acting in concert or individually. For discussion, see here,
    [S]ome nouns that look singular might be treated as plural. Words such as group, team, majority, and many others are called collective nouns or group nouns.

    Are these words singular or plural? That is, when you use them as a subject, should the verb be singular or plural? Here’s the American rule:

    If the members of the group are acting individually, then the noun is plural and requires a plural verb.

    The majority of courts have followed Roe v. Wade.

    But if the group acts as a unit, then the noun is singular and requires a singular verb.

    A small group of conservatives has decided to introduce a bill to cut taxes.

    For more on the problem of subject-verb agreement in number (singular or plural)....
    or here, for examples:
    A collective noun is a word or phrase that refers to a group of people or things as one entity. One common error that arises from using collective nouns is subject-verb disagreement: writers often become confused about whether to treat a collective noun as singular or plural. While collective nouns are mostly treated as singular, there are exceptions.

    Collective nouns represent more than one person or thing in a class. It isn’t possible to have just one lion in a pride, and a single flower does not make a bouquet. Thus, a collective noun always describes a plurality of one kind or another....
    This Grammarly blog entry includes a nod to "what sounds best," aka "tradition":
    For reasons that can only be explained by tradition, “police,” when used as a collective noun, is always plural in both American and British English.
    Also interesting:
    It is interesting to note that when a decision needs to be made about whether a collective noun is singular or plural and the answer is ambiguous, American English will almost always default to a singular verb, while British English writers will often choose a plural. At the top of the list of contentious collective nouns is family.

    My family is predominantly blond-haired.

    (American English)

    My family are predominantly blond-haired.
    (British English)
    You got it right the first time:

    Quote Originally Posted by Celeste Chalfonte View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by phillygirl View Post
    While I have your attention: "There are/is a small number of scholarships available". ??
    Awkward no matter which way you say it. The opening phrase is filler anyway. Instead say, "A small number of (or better yet, 'A few') scholarships are available."
    Edit to note: Substituting "a few" removes the preposition "of" and makes "scholarships" the subject unambiguously. "Of scholarships" is not a noun, and if I say, "A binder of scholarships," that becomes clear.

    A small number, one might say, will disagree regardless, or irregardless.
    Last edited by Newman; Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 at 7:15 AM.

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  10. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman View Post
    No you didn't, Celeste. "Scholarships" is preceded by the preposition "of" and modifies the noun "number."

    "Number" here is group noun, and in practice the rule is, you write (or say) what sounds best. In theory you determine if the members of the group are acting in concert or individually. For discussion, see here,

    or here, for examples:
    This Grammarly blog entry includes a nod to "what sounds best," aka "tradition":

    Also interesting:

    You got it right the first time:



    Edit to note: Substituting "a few" removes the preposition "of" and makes "scholarships" the subject unambiguously. "Of scholarships" is not a noun, and if I say, "A binder of scholarships," that becomes clear.

    A small number, one might say, will disagree regardless, or irregardless.
    That's a plausible argument. I didn't really reckon with the "of".

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  12. #40
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    And people think I'm a nerd because one of my favorite parts of elementary and middle school was diagramming sentences. I have definitely lost the technical side of that, however, and appreciate all the input here. It's a fun topic for word nerds.


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