AdmiRAtion Saturday:  Richard Armitage’s Hands, February 25, 2017  Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1047)

The exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage has many qualities to admire.  But today, I am focusing upon his hands.

Richard looks so fierce as Thorin Oakenshield wielding a sword (below: gorgeous edit by RAFrance, Thanks!)—his hand is out of frame, but the strong thrust of Orcrist toward the enemy is palpable and illustrative of intent—to harm, to strike fear, to fight, etc.thorin-2013x-thorin-worcrist-wallpaper-ofrichardarmitage_feb2317byrafrance

and Richard Armitage also looks so manly wielding a pen below in his real life (Getty images viaDinny’sChild and RAC, Thanks!):

He holds each implement with firmness, gallantry, poise, and grace.  And in this image of him autographing a wall (above, October 10, 2016 at AOL Build Series), we also get a glimpse of … his muscular digits.  Sighhh!

  1. A man’s hands in action or at rest are also a telling feature to his character, or his sense of mood. And Richard’s hand movements are purposeful, complementary, and natural. Though sometimes—for a role—he can illustrate the charming innocence of a character through exhibiting unabashed glee, as shown in his role of John Standring in 2002’s Spark House, with his thumbs up gesture in the image below (via Grati):

And then again, Richard has even used this gesture in real life below (2015?, by Audible via Valentina Ancelotti Thanks!):

And whereas the character John Standring’s thumbs up glee seems tempered and reserved by the close nature of his hands.  And by contrast, Richard Armitage’s far apart thumbs up hands during the Audible interview seem more open.  Though notice, the character John Standring is looking up, whereas Richard Armitage is not looking up.  So there seems to be a counterbalance for displaying the emotion of glee/joy via gesture, size of gesture, and whether or not eye contact is involved.

  1. As a contrast to the above open handed gestures, the closed hand gestures below by Richard Armitage with his hands clasped tightly while covering his mouth as Sir Guy in Robin Hood (2009), conveys the character’s brooding and desperation to me:

Though I also rather like Richard’s hands reaching for his cheeks because he is laughing quite mirthfully and joyfully in the image below (from Audible again, viaTerri):

His face is only partially covered and he is clearly laughing in the above image.  So that subtle shift from his hands hiding his mouth in the Sir Guy image to him lightly cupping his cheeks in mirth are worlds apart in conveying mood and emotions.

I could go on and on with examples of his hands—such as when Richard Armitage touches or caresses another.  But that is a post for another day.  And I’ll stop myself here—at one page, 470 words, 8pt font.  Ha!

What are your favorite Richard Armitage hand gestures?


Posted in Audible, Beauty, Fangurling, Gratiana Lovelace, Laughter, Portraits, RA Artwork, Richard Armitage, Robin Hood, Sexy, Sir Guy of Gisborne, Smiles, Something About Love, Thorin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Stirring my senses and calming my soul, February 21, 2017  Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1046)

I am drawn to the color blue—as I mentioned in a previous post.  Mostly a dark indigo blue, but also lighter blues and in blues combination feel soothing to me.

And the other day, I ran across a beautiful Van Gogh painting shared on twitter by History of Art (Thanks!) called Starry Night over the Rhone (1888) that really moved me with its interplay of blues and yellows simulating a brightly twinkling night sky.
vangogh-starry-night-over-therhone-1888-c4-ujb7wcai6mre_feb1917musay-dorsay_viahistoryofartShared by HISTORY OF ART‏@AHistoryOfArt

“Vincent Willem Van Gogh (Dutch: 30 March 1853 –29 July 1890) Starry Night over the Rhone, September 1888. Musée d’Orsay, Paris.”

Initially, I was so captivated by the representation of the yellow gold twinkling stars and city lights reflected in the blue water, that it was only belatedly–as I wrote this post–that I also noticed the strolling couple in the lower right hand corner, as well as the small boats just above and to the left of them.  It looks like a lovely night, clear and calm, with a light cool breeze.  Soothing.

So as I do a countdown of sorts to my upcoming leg tendon repair surgery—which, as you might imagine, has me a bit unsettled—I am seeking calming and soothing atmospheres.  Sight and sound.

Music often soothes me, too.  And though I love the Josh Groban version of the Don McLean song Starry Starry Night with Groban’s rich baritone, the lyrics toward the end can be a bit of a downer.  Ha!  And I actually have a small gilt framed print of the Van Gogh 1889 painting The Starry Night (below):


So instead, I chose to include a more uplifting ballad sung by Josh Groban, You Raise Me Up:

My other senses also engage in soothing and comfort with fruity or chocolate tastes, light flowery scents, and softness like our beagle’s fur as she lies beside me and sleeps.

So if you’re like me, and want a little calming and soothing, then surround yourself with a comfort zone of sight, sound, taste, touch, and scents, then rest and relax.   Peace, love, & hugs!  Grati  ;->

Posted in Gratiana Lovelace, Health, Music, My Life, Peace, Something About Love, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Richard Armitage’s Sexy Over the Shoulder Smoulder in his “newer” IMDB profile pix, February 18, 2017 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1045)

I love the staying power of some images and looks that the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage has—as evidenced by the recent newer portrait accompanying Mr. Armitage’s IMDB profile portrait.raportrait-2011-richardarmitage-inblshearling-coat-over-theshoulder-smoulder_feb1717imdb_grati-szdsmlr-blur

This 2011 portrait of Richard Armitage from the 2011 Project Magazine photoshoot (right; edited for higher resolution at a smaller size, and with some gaussian blurring) and its feature article was part of The Hobbit early press—and is fabulous!
However the original portrait image saved from the IMDB site was rather large, but not high resolution—and rather pixelated.  So though one could discern the distinct detail of the seams stitching on the gorgeous midnight blue coat, it left his face looked rather dappled. And I like sharp images. Ha!

A while back, I had dubbed this pose of Richard Armitage’s the “over the shoulder smoulder”—which contributed to my whimsical spelling of the word smolder as smoulder, which means to burn slowly–with the assonance and alliteration of those two words.


To me, this portrait pose does not look posed—a tribute to Richard Armitage’s ability to immerse himself in the moment, and for him to create a curiosity in me of what might have interested him as he turned to look back.

Because to me, he certainly looks interested, bored, or perhaps critical?  Was it something that he saw in the studio that annoyed him?  Someone in the background who walked into his eyeline?  Was he thinking about something and his thoughts were transferred to his focused and brooding look?  Or since he was being wrapped in heavy and hot winter coats, had they cooled the studio down—thus making him merely chilled?

Yet Richard Armitage also looks fierce, him having a don’t mess with me gaze.  At the time these 2011 Project Magazine portraits of Richard Armitage were released (see more examples at RAnet), I felt that he was channeling his role of Thorin Oakenshield in this photo shoot–fierce, determined, warrior like, regal.  I still do.

And when many of Richard Armitage’s past (most familiarly, right in 2009) and later portrait promos had him looking directly at the camera lens—as if he was looking out to 2009-richardarmitage-in-blue-shirt-open-collar-headshotcolour-byclairenewmanwilliams_feb1817ranethis fans—the averted gazes in some of the 2011 portraits leant both a departure and a mystery for me.  Because his later portraits have a smattering of both straight on and averted gazes.

First, in 2011, he was engaging the camera lens in a different way, by not engaging with it.  His averted gaze with a scowl/frown does not let you in, as if he is being wary, suspicious, uncommunicative (below again).

2011-projectmag-07-richardarmitage-indigo-blue-shearling-coat-gazing-over-theshoulder-smoulder_feb1717              raportrait-2011-richardarmitage-inblshearling-coat-over-theshoulder-smoulder_feb1717imdb_grati-szdsmlr-blur

uncropped image           IMDB cropped image, edit for resolution

I know that sounds like a conundrum.  But it seems to fit the King Under the Mountain persona.  Thorin was reserved, a man of few words—more a man of action.  Again, Richard Armitage might have been channeling that studied aloofness to preserve a sense of privacy that as a people’s King might get lost.

So the scowl or frown on his face was different than his prior portraits which mostly had smiles or half smiles—or at least, no frowns.  And for whatever reason, the stern 2011 portrait images above seemed more in control of his image than the smiling faced or come hither look (below from 2008)  Richard Armitage portraits were of the past.



And second, in the full image we see his arms and hands folded over himself, hugging himself—seemingly keeping his jacket closed—perhaps in protection, or even as a self comforting gesture.

They say it is lonely at the top, and a King without a Queen might be quite lonely.  While thorin-2013x-richardarmitage-asthorincls-flowing-hair_feb1717vialeewhitley-fiumanoThorin helped his people rebuild their lives and families, he was not able to do that for himself.  So I also return to a theme again of isolation for Thorin—the unrelenting loneliness (right via LeeW-F) that his purpose driven life forged.


So, yes, Richard Armitage with his over the shoulder smoulder looks sexy as hell in these 2011 images—full size or cropped.  And he could gaze in my direction—or not– with his smolder any time. Ha!  So though there are yet still underlying questions that I have regarding his portrait photo shoots in general—and the 2011 ones in specific—pertaining to context and temperament and intention of Richard Armitage as elucidated above, I think that I will just enjoy the smoulder for now..  ;->

P.S.  And just for fun, below is a more teasingly smiling over the shoulder smoulder from Richard Armitage at the 2015 Comic Con that I had written about previously.  Ooh!  Now that’s a sexy over the shoulder smoulder!  Ha!

Posted in Gratiana Lovelace, Portraits, Richard Armitage, Sexy, smoulder, Something About Love, Thorin | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Audible shares an extended interview with Richard Armitage about his new audiobook performance “Romeo and Juliet: A Novel”, February 15, 2017 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1044)

Next to having the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage portray an
impassioned lover, I would have to say listening to him perform a love story—in this case, “Romeo and Juliet: A Novel” by David Hewson—ranks right up there.

I haven’t had the chance to listen to the “Romeo and Juliet: A Novel” audiobook yet—romeo-andjuliet-a-novel-bydavidhewson-performed-byrichardarmitage_feb1417viaamazon_300x300because I only just now realized that I had pre-ordered it last September (good for me!), when I tried to order it Tuesday night.

But I am eager to immerse myself in the timeless love story of “Romeo and Juliet: A Novel” when I read/listen to Audible’s Richard Armitage interview below:

“A Heart-To-Heart With Richard Armitage | Audible Range
We sat down with the actor and narrator of “Romeo and Juliet: A Novel” to talk about this bold new take on Shakespeare’s classic tale, the darker side of love,…”


Click here for the twitter link that pointed me to the Audible interview. Thanks!

P.S.  And though the actual “Romeo and Juliet: A Novel” audiobook cover art is compelling–as shown at top right in red and black–I still prefer my crack at the audiobook cover with a more romantic bent to it (below:





Posted in "Romeo and Julier: A Novel" by David Hewson and audiobook performed by Richard Armitage, "Romeo and Juliet: A Novel" by David Hewson and audiobook performed by Richard Armitage, audio books, Drama, Fiction, Gratiana Lovelace, Historical Fiction, Interview, Love and Relationships, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Romance, Romeo and Juliet: A Novel (audiobook), Storytelling, Video, Voice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

#CelebRAteLove and Friendship among our Richard Armitage Fan Friends on Valentine’s Day 2017! February 14, 2017  Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1043)

Valentine’s Day this year is an opportunity to #CelebRAte Love among RA Fan Friends—with a little encouRAging inspiRAtion and logistics from Guylty.  Thanks!   And for me, a very big positive is the RA Fan Friends sisterhood of the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage, whom I have gained around the world in these past seven years since I found him when I watched him portray John Thornton in the 2004 BBC miniseries North & South in 2010.  Sighhhh!

“North & South – The Tears of an Angel” by Angela Smith

How could you not fall in love with Richard when his portrayal of John Thornton was so poignantly heart breakingly beautiful?  And Angela’s North & South video was beautiful and moving!

So what follows is a stream of consciousness walk down memory lane Valentine for all of us to enjoy—mostly about Richard Armitage and his character portrayals, but not only about Richard.  And let’s start our Valentine’s Day tribute to us out right with an apt video about sisters:

“White Christmas – Sisters” in a video by Allacra

And keeping in the video mode—a departure for me, since lately, I seem to be very wallpaper and portrait focused, Ha!–I instantly thought back to more of the first ever Richard Armitage fan made videos that I ever saw and loved:

“Radar – Richard Armitage video” by Angela Smith


“IN HD—”Truly a Thing of Beauty” (republished) Richard Armitage (Guy of Gisborne)” by elvirasweeneyvids


“Poker Face ~ Guy & Marian fan video ~ Richard Armitage” by Delicate Blossom


“”Beautiful Stranger” – Gratuitous Guy of Gisborne fanvid (Richard Armitage)” by Vogon Fan Vids


“Guy of Gisborne – Confession” by OlerySt

“Spooks: Lucas North – Snake Charmer” byRomanna55 Productions

“[SPOOKS] Lucas North – Lift Me Up” by GizTheGunslinger

“Ooh La La – Lucas North (Richard Armitage)” by angieklong


“Strike back & Spooks (John/Lucas) “My Body….Put some pressure on it”” by JulietD001


“”24″ — John Porter ( Richard Armitage ) Strike Back” by campcurry123


“Hurricane – John Porter” by PhoenixLupin


“Richard Armitage – Filmstar” by GizTheGunslinger


I could keep going on and on listing the videos I love.  I think I literally had a ten page index of them on my old computer a few years ago—that I have to find again.  Ha!  But the videos above are a nice selection.  And there are images and wallpapers and icons and signatures galore that our very creative RA Fan Friends create!  Too numerous to mention here.


And getting back to the notion of all of us being in the wonderful sisterhood of RA Fan Friends, I always recall how much fun we had with Bcc Mee and her RA Fan activities, inviting us to play along to create new Richard Armitage videos, gifs, etc.  And she graciously showed us and gave us instructions on how to create gifs and such ourselves.  Now that I finally have a 64 bit computer, I am itching to try to make a gif one of these days.  And one of the most fun of BccMee’s activities was the RA dictionary she created from our various word/phrase contributions.  Can you spot your contributions?

“Richard Armitage Dictionary” by bccmee


And just for fun:

“White Christmas Sisters Reprise” in a video by Hosh


To close, below are a few RA Fan Friend Valentine’s Day Messages–currently and in years past–for us to enjoy, with the first entry a quote wallpaper that I liked (whether or not it was said by Marilyn Monroe):


MarilynMonroe-quote_Apr0216pinterestwords to live by, from Pinterest

zholiday-valentines2016-big-fans1-collage_feb1516bycrystalchandlyre by CrystalChandlyre


zholiday-valentines2016-richardarmitagewallpaper-feb1516vialauraday by Laura Day


2016--HappyValentinesDay-RichardArmitage-wallpaper_Feb1416byGratianaLovelaceRev by Grati, 2016

zholiday-valentines2016-nskissingontrain-wframe_feb1516rafinland by RA Finland

raportrait-2012-2014valentineschallengeheartpix_feb1414byguylty by Guylty

raporatrait-2016-audible-signature-quote-wrichardarmitage_nov2916viacyn by Audible

zholiday-valentines2016-2012nycrichardarmitage-inleather-portraits_wallpaper_feb1416byinstmag-viacynby Cyn

2017-valentine-richardarmitage-2016-all-you-need-is-love_feb1217bycyndainty  by CynDainty


2017-valentine-richardarmitage-love-im-counting-on-it-vers1_feb1417bygratianalovelace <- by Grati

2017-valentine-richardarmitage-love-im-counting-on-it-vers2_feb1417bygratianalovelace  <- by Grati


May we each feel love and friendship today–individually and collectively—as we #CelebRAteLove!  Hugs!

zholiday-happyv-valentinesdayfeb1412grati-copy by Grati


Posted in Creativity, Fangurling, Friends, Friendship, Graphic, Gratiana Lovelace, Holiday, Love, Love and Relationships, Portraits, Positivity, Quotes, Richard Armitage, Romance, Sexy, social media, Society, Something About Love, Valentine's day, Video, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

“Brain on Fire”: Richard Armitage’s credible American accent and a new movie poster, February 13, 2017 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1042)

In the  official movie  trailer for  the film “Brain on Fire”, the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage (below in a scene with his daughter portrayed by Chloe Grace Moretz) shares a very credible American accent–different than other American characters that he played—as the divorced Dad Tom Cahalan advocating for his daughter’s medical care during a health crisis.


And since this movie was filmed before Richard Armitage’s starring role of Daniel Miller in the tv show “Berlin Station”, I would have to say that his American accent in “Brain on Fire” seems very Midwestern to me—not nasally, as some actors gratingly portray it—but instead, with him using the upper registers of that lovely baritone of his. Sighhh!

Have a listen to Richard Armitage’s accent in the official movie trailer for “Brain on Fire” (starting at 1:18, “We’ve had so many doctors, so many opinions …”:

The “Reel Advice” article by Jed Chua also contains a new movie poster (see below) for “Brain on Fire” and starring Chloe Grace Moretz who portrays a young woman whose life spirals out of control when she develops seizures that the doctors can’t explain:



brain_on_fire_susannah_cahalan-book-cover_feb1217viawikiThis film “Brain on Fire”, is based on the real life story of rising New York journalist Susan Cahalan, and based on her best selling book of the same name (left).



Finally, for two other essays I wrote about “Brain on Fire”, with additional links, please visit:


Richard Armitage’s New Film Project “Brain on Fire”: Will the Medical Plot Sizzle or Fizzle?, July 17, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #785)


Variety trumpets that the film “Brain on Fire” casts Armitage and Moss as parents, July 21, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #787)




Posted in "Brain on Fire" filming 2015, Compassion, Drama, Fathers, Gratiana Lovelace, Health, Medical, movies, Richard Armitage, Society, Something About Love, Video, Voice, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

$1 Million Deal for Richard Armitage’s film Pilgrimage to be released in U.S., February 12, 2017 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1041)

I cannot contain my excitement at the news that the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage’s film “Pilgrimage” is to be released in the U.S. via a $1 million distribution deal as announced by The Sunday Times (Thanks to Julie K for the link!) and as reported earlier by The Hollywood Reporter   (image below via the Irish Film preview).   That is real money.  So hopefully, it will have a wide release!


The “Pilgrimage” film is about 13th century monks traveling from Ireland to Rome to deliver their most prized religious relic.  What could go wrong?  Right?

But there are forces conspiring against them–with Richard Armitage being one of those forces in portraying a nobleman character named Raymond de Merville (in the above image at right).

More than those snippets of a plot has not yet been revealed.  The film is directed by Brendan Muldowney and also stars Tom Holland and Jon Bernthal.


Below are listed some of my other blog essays about Richard Armitage starring in “Pilgrimage”!

Film Day Sunday: Richard Armitage’s Yet to be Released Film Pilgrimage Reviewed by Irish Scannain Critics, January 31, 2016 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #867)


New Richard Armitage “Pilgrimage” PortRAit Pleases, June 9, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #763)New Richard Armitage “Pilgrimage” PortRAit Pleases, June 9, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #763)

Wherein I also investigate the coat of arms on Raymond de Merville’s breastplate.


WCW: Relics, as in Richard Armitage’s Film Pilgrimage–Are they Myth or Magic? April 29, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #738)


Wild Card Wednesday: Up Next, RA Monking Around in Pilgrimage, March 25, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #723)


So might we see “Pilgrimage” slated for release during the early or mid Summer blockbusters?  Or, perhaps, “Pilgrimage” will be released in the Fall/Autumn, hoping to garner late Oscar buzz?  We shall see.

In the meantime, let me share again  Fernanda Matias’ lovely “Pilgrimage” wallpaper that she made a few years ago:


P.S. Hope you have a lovely Sunday!  And be sure to check back here on Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, February 14th for a special essay.


Posted in "Pilgrimage" film, Drama, Faith, Fangurling, Fiction, Gratiana Lovelace, Historical Fiction, Middle Ages, movies, Period Drama, Raymond de Merville, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, Society, Something About Love, Thriller | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments