Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Classes offered next term!

Field trip: Matisse’s Cutouts at MoMA [feedly]

Field trip: Matisse's Cutouts at MoMA
// aesthetics of joy


I took off a few days last week for a writing holiday, but I couldn't go back to work without taking a little inspiration jaunt to this exhibit of Henri Matisse's cutouts at MoMA. Has there ever been a more exuberantly joyful artist than Matisse? I find my whole energy seems to change when I walk into a gallery of his vibrant, animated work.


The cutouts are especially joyful because they pare back the elements involved. With paintings, there's perspective and light, texture and narrative. But with the cutouts, it's a pure, liberating experience of just form and color. They are bold and immediate, as if because they are simpler, they take a more direct route to the unconscious. In fact, they seem to be the culmination of a lifelong quest to bring together color and contour. From the curators:

Throughout his career, Matisse searched for a way to unite the formal elements of color and line. On the one hand, he was known as a master colorist: from the non-realistic palette that earned him the designation of a fauve or "wild beast" in the first decade of the twentieth century, to the light-infused interiors of his so-called "Nice period" of the 1920s, he followed a course of what he described as "construction by means of color." On the other hand, he was a master draftsman, celebrated for drawings and prints that describe a figure in fluid arabesque lines; "my line drawing is the purest and most direct translation of my emotion," he once said. Through the cut-outs, he was finally able to unite these two branches of his practice.

I resonate to this: sometimes a simple line, which emerges as an extension of the whole body, can have more feeling than a complete composition.

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Sometimes when I visit an exhibit, I find myself zooming in on one feature. I become almost obsessed—I tune out many gorgeous works because I'm captivated by one particular element. Last week, my fixation landed on this wonderful leaf form that recurs over and over in Matisse's cutouts. The shape has a few different variations. There is a pinnate form that looks like an exaggerated white oak leaf, and a more palmate shape that resembles a stag horn fern. Others look looser, like the wavy blades of sea kelp.

All of them are wonderful because of their curved surfaces and the interaction they create between the forms and the white space around them. They corrugate the space, aerating it and giving it movement and energy. This effect is even more dramatic when the color contrasts are so pronounced, as with this Violet Leaf on an Orange Background, below.

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Matisse produced the cutouts late in life, and I love this image of him with all of the clippings at his feet. He often worked on compositions large-scale across the walls of his studio, literally surrounding himself with these vibrant forms. As his mobility was decreasing, it seemed to give him a way to stretch out. He built The Swimming Pool after a day spent watching divers at a nearby pool, to bring the water into his studio. He said, "I will make myself my own pool," and ringed an entire room at the Hotel Regina in Nice with splashing, paddling forms. When building The Parakeet and The Mermaid, he worked across two walls of his Nice studio. The curators note:

Spreading from left to right, without regard for the presence of a radiator, the vibrantly colored forms created an immersive environment. "I have made a little garden all around me where I can walk," Matisse noted, "There are leaves, fruits, a bird."

What I love most about the story of this work is that as he neared death, Matisse reached out and brought the joys of life closer to him. And in such a beautiful way. If you'll be in New York before February 8th, I highly recommend a field trip to see it in person. If not, definitely check out the well-done microsite for the exhibit, and let me know what you think about the cutouts in the comments!

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Link: "Henri Matisse: The Cutouts" at MoMA until February 8th, 2015.
Images (top to bottom): The Parakeet and the Mermaid, 1952, via. A view of the exhibit when it showed at the Tate Modern, via the MoMA exhibit microsite. Composition Green Background (Composition fond vert), 1947, via.Violet Leaf on an Orange Background (Palmette) 1947. Two Masks (The Tomato), 1947, via. The Sheaf, 1953, via. Henri Matisse in his studio, photographed by Lydia Delectorskaya, via. The development of the Parakeet and the Mermaid in Matisse's Nice studio, via the MoMA exhibit microsite.

All images credit Succession Henri Matisse / Artist's Rights Society, New York, except those sourced from MoMA.


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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cast Shadow in the Foreground [feedly]

Cast Shadow in the Foreground
// Gurney Journey

I painted a watercolor demo during a daylong visit to Favilli Studio, a multidisciplinary design group in South Pasadena. 

I walked down to the Arroyo with a group of designers and chose this view toward the York Avenue Bridge. I wanted to paint the forms—arch bridge, trees, and embankment—as realistically as I could.

But the light was overcast the whole time, so I decided to invent some light and shadow effects. 

I figured that I could make the planes of the retaining wall much more clear if I cast a foliage shadow across it, with the dappled spots of light following the vertical, horizontal, and diagonal planes.

The cast shadow serves two purposes. It invites the viewer to move from the dappled foreground shadow, where they seem to be standing, into the brightly lit middle ground, where Jeanette is standing.

The foliage shadow also helps to define the plane changes as the ground slants up and over the embankment wall.

Shadows can be a powerful tool for expressing plane changes, as Arthur Guptill demonstrates in this plate from Color in Sketching and Rendering (1935).
Previous posts:
Learn more methods in my video  Watercolor in the Wild


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Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Day Dostoyevsky Discovered the Meaning of Life in a Dream [feedly]

The Day Dostoyevsky Discovered the Meaning of Life in a Dream
// Brain Pickings

"And it is so simple… You will instantly find how to live."

One November night in the 1870s, legendary Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky (November 11, 1821–February 9, 1881) discovered the meaning of life in a dream — or, at least, the protagonist in his final short story did. The piece, which first appeared in the altogether revelatory A Writer's Diary (public library) under the title "The Dream of a Queer Fellow" and was later published separately as The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, explores themes similar to those in Dostoyevsky's 1864 novel Notes from the Underground, considered the first true existential novel. True to Stephen King's assertion that "good fiction is the truth inside the lie," the story sheds light on Dostoyevsky's personal spiritual and philosophical bents with extraordinary clarity — perhaps more so than any of his other published works. The contemplation at its heart falls somewhere between Tolstoy's tussle with the meaning of life and Philip K. Dick's hallucinatory exegesis.

Portrait of Fyodor Dostoyevsky by Vasily Perov, 1871

The story begins with the narrator wandering the streets of St. Petersburg on "a gloomy night, the gloomiest night you can conceive," dwelling on how others have ridiculed him all his life and slipping into nihilism with the "terrible anguish" of believing that nothing matters. He peers into the glum sky, gazes at a lone little star, and contemplates suicide; two months earlier, despite his destitution, he had bought an "excellent revolver" with the same intention, but the gun had remained in his drawer since. Suddenly, as he is staring at the star, a little girl of about eight, wearing ragged clothes and clearly in distress, grabs him by the arm and inarticulately begs his help. But the protagonist, disenchanted with life, shoos her away and returns to the squalid room he shares with a drunken old captain, furnished with "a sofa covered in American cloth, a table with some books, two chairs and an easy-chair, old, incredibly old, but still an easy-chair."

As he sinks into the easy-chair to think about ending his life, he finds himself haunted by the image of the little girl, leading him to question his nihilistic disposition. Dostoyevsky writes:

I knew for certain that I would shoot myself that night, but how long I would sit by the table — that I did not know. I should certainly have shot myself, but for that little girl.

You see: though it was all the same to me, I felt pain, for instance. If any one were to strike me, I should feel pain. Exactly the same in the moral sense: if anything very pitiful happened, I would feel pity, just as I did before everything in life became all the same to me. I had felt pity just before: surely, I would have helped a child without fail. Why did I not help the little girl, then? It was because of an idea that came into my mind then. When she was pulling at me and calling to me, suddenly a question arose before me, which I could not answer. The question was an idle one; but it made me angry. I was angry because of my conclusion, that if I had already made up my mind that I would put an end to myself to-night, then now more than ever before everything in the world should be all the same to me. Why was it that I felt it was not all the same to me, and pitied the little girl? I remember I pitied her very much: so much that I felt a pain that was even strange and incredible in my situation…

It seemed clear that if I was a man and not a cipher yet, and until I was changed into a cipher, then I was alive and therefore could suffer, be angry and feel shame for my actions. Very well. But if I were to kill myself, for instance, in two hours from now, what is the girl to me, and what have I to do with shame or with anything on earth? I am going to be a cipher, an absolute zero. Could my consciousness that I would soon absolutely cease to exist, and that therefore nothing would exist, have not the least influence on my feeling of pity for the girl or on my sense of shame for the vileness I had committed?

From the moral, he veers into the existential:

It became clear to me that life and the world, as it were, depended upon me. I might even say that the world had existed for me alone. I should shoot myself, and then there would be no world at all, for me at least. Not to mention that perhaps there will really be nothing for any one after me, and the whole world, as soon as my consciousness is extinguished, will also be extinguished like a phantom, as part of my consciousness only, and be utterly abolished, since perhaps all this world and all these men are myself alone.

Beholding "these new, thronging questions," he plunges into a contemplation of what free will really means. In a passage that calls to mind John Cage's famous aphorism on the meaning of life — "No why. Just here." — and George Lucas's assertion that "life is beyond reason," Dostoyevsky suggests through his protagonist that what gives meaning to life is life itself:

One strange consideration suddenly presented itself to me. If I had previously lived on the moon or in Mars, and I had there been dishonored and disgraced so utterly that one can only imagine it sometimes in a dream or a nightmare, and if I afterwards found myself on earth and still preserved a consciousness of what I had done on the other planet, and if I knew besides that I would never by any chance return, then, if I were to look at the moon from the earth — would it be all the same to me or not? Would I feel any shame for my action or not? The questions were idle and useless, for the revolver was already lying before me, and I knew with all my being that this thing would happen for certain: but the questions excited me to rage. I could not die now, without having solved this first. In a word, that little girl saved me, for my questions made me postpone pulling the trigger.

Just as he ponders this, the protagonist slips into sleep in the easy-chair, but it's a sleep that has the quality of wakeful dreaming. In one of many wonderful semi-asides, Dostoyevsky peers at the eternal question of why we have dreams:

Dreams are extraordinarily strange. One thing appears with terrifying clarity, with the details finely set like jewels, while you leap over another, as though you did not notice it at all — space and time, for instance. It seems that dreams are the work not of mind but of desire, not of the head but of the heart… In a dream things quite incomprehensible come to pass. For instance, my brother died five years ago. Sometimes I see him in a dream: he takes part in my affairs, and we are very excited, while I, all the time my dream goes on, know and remember perfectly that my brother is dead and buried. Why am I not surprised that he, though dead, is still near me and busied about me? Why does my mind allow all that?

In this strange state, the protagonist dreams that he takes his revolver and points it at his heart — not his head, where he had originally intended to shoot himself. After waiting a second or two, his dream-self pulls the trigger quickly. Then something remarkable happens:

I felt no pain, but it seemed to me that with the report, everything in me was convulsed, and everything suddenly extinguished. It was terribly black all about me. I became as though blind and numb, and I lay on my back on something hard. I could see nothing, neither could I make any sound. People were walking and making a noise about me: the captain's bass voice, the landlady's screams… Suddenly there was a break. I am being carried in a closed coffin. I feel the coffin swinging and I think about that, and suddenly for the first time the idea strikes me that I am dead, quite dead. I know it and do not doubt it; I cannot see nor move, yet at the same time I feel and think. But I am soon reconciled to that, and as usual in a dream I accept the reality without a question.

Now I am being buried in the earth. Every one leaves me and I am alone, quite alone. I do not stir… I lay there and — strange to say — I expected nothing, accepting without question that a dead man has nothing to expect. But it was damp. I do not know how long passed — an hour, a few days, or many days. Suddenly, on my left eye which was closed, a drop of water fell, which had leaked through the top of the grave. In a minute fell another, then a third, and so on, every minute. Suddenly, deep indignation kindled in my heart and suddenly in my heart I felt physical pain. 'It's my wound,' I thought. 'It's where I shot myself. The bullet is there.' And all the while the water dripped straight on to my closed eye. Suddenly, I cried out, not with a voice, for I was motionless, but with all my being, to the arbiter of all that was being done to me.

"Whosoever thou art, if thou art, and if there exists a purpose more intelligent than the things which are now taking place, let it be present here also. But if thou dost take vengeance upon me for my foolish suicide, then know, by the indecency and absurdity of further existence, that no torture whatever that may befall me, can ever be compared to the contempt which I will silently feel, even through millions of years of martyrdom."

I cried out and was silent. Deep silence lasted a whole minute. One more drop even fell. But I knew and believed, infinitely and steadfastly, that in a moment everything would infallibly change. Suddenly, my grave opened. I do not know whether it had been uncovered and opened, but I was taken by some dark being unknown to me, and we found ourselves in space. Suddenly, I saw. It was deep night; never, never had such darkness been! We were borne through space and were already far from the earth. I asked nothing of him who led me. I was proud and waited. I assured myself that I was not afraid, and my heart melted with rapture at the thought that I was not afraid. I do not remember how long we rushed through space, and I cannot imagine it. It happened as always in a dream when you leap over space and time and the laws of life and mind, and you stop only there where your heart delights.

The 1845 depiction of a galaxy that inspired Van Gogh's 'The Starry Night,' from Michael Benson's 'Cosmigraphics.' Click image for more.

Through the thick darkness, he sees a star — the same little star he had seen before shooing the girl away. As the dream continues, the protagonist describes a sort of transcendence akin to what is experienced during psychedelic drug trips or in deep meditation states:

Suddenly a familiar yet most overwhelming emotion shook me through. I saw our sun. I knew that it could not be our sun, which had begotten our earth, and that we were an infinite distance away, but somehow all through me I recognized that it was exactly the same sun as ours, its copy and double. A sweet and moving delight echoed rapturously through my soul. The dear power of light, of that same light which had given me birth, touched my heart and revived it, and I felt life, the old life, for the first time since my death.

He finds himself in another world, Earthlike in every respect, except "everything seemed to be bright with holiday, with a great and sacred triumph, finally achieved" — a world populated by "children of the sun," happy people whose eyes "shone with a bright radiance" and whose faces "gleamed with wisdom, and with a certain consciousness, consummated in tranquility." The protagonist exclaims:

Oh, instantly, at the first glimpse of their faces I understood everything, everything!

Conceding that "it was only a dream," he nonetheless asserts that "the sensation of the love of those beautiful and innocent people" was very much real and something he carried into wakeful life on Earth. Awaking in his easy-chair at dawn, he exclaims anew with rekindled gratitude for life:

Oh, now — life, life! I lifted my hands and called upon the eternal truth, not called, but wept. Rapture, ineffable rapture exalted all my being. Yes, to live…

Dostoyevsky concludes with his protagonist's reflection on the shared essence of life, our common conquest of happiness and kindness:

All are tending to one and the same goal, at least all aspire to the same goal, from the wise man to the lowest murderer, but only by different ways. It is an old truth, but there is this new in it: I cannot go far astray. I saw the truth. I saw and know that men could be beautiful and happy, without losing the capacity to live upon the earth. I will not, I cannot believe that evil is the normal condition of men… I saw the truth, I did not invent it with my mind. I saw, saw, and her living image filled my soul for ever. I saw her in such consummate perfection that I cannot possibly believe that she was not among men. How can I then go astray? … The living image of what I saw will be with me always, and will correct and guide me always. Oh, I am strong and fresh, I can go on, go on, even for a thousand years.


And it is so simple… The one thing is — love thy neighbor as thyself — that is the one thing. That is all, nothing else is needed. You will instantly find how to live.

A century later, Jack Kerouac would echo this in his own magnificent meditation on kindness and the "Golden Eternity."

A Writer's Diary is a beautiful read in its entirety. Complement it with Tolstoy on finding meaning in a meaningless world and Margaret Mead's dreamed epiphany about why life is like blue jelly.

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Arts Integration: Using Art and Technology to Enhance StudentUnderstanding of Common Core Concepts [feedly]

Arts Integration: Using Art and Technology to Enhance StudentUnderstanding of Common Core Concepts
// The Helpful Art Teacher

Illustration courtesy the Kennedy Center for the Arts

Notice how similar the artistic design process above is to the engineering design process pictured below:

This article is about how all teachers can integrate the arts into the subject matter they teach and how the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) can inspire the creative and academic growth of all students in all subjects.

Creating art brings children joy and a sense of accomplishment. Studio art time in school allows children to tap into their creativity. Learning drawing skill increases a child's power of observation. It also gives students the power to express their ideas visually by giving them new tools for creative problem solving. Discussing artwork increases a child's vocabulary and expressive language ability. Through the arts children learn to create and tell stories. 

There is great value in learning how to draw, paint, sculpt and create films. The performing arts; dance, music and theater teach students confidence and public speaking skills. They also give students the tools to be able to tell stories and make their message heard. Studying music increases students IQ and mathematical skills.

 By carefully aligning Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies lessons with art standards all teachers can reach and inspire more students. The arts can reinforce learning in every core subject taught in school. Conversely, arts teachers can reinforce knowledge in other core disciplines by finding and reinforcing the naturally existing connections between all areas of study.

Teachers and students in all content disciplines can benefit from using arts integration.


Myth #1: The arts and subject areas such as math, social studies, science and language arts are completely separate subject areas and should remain so.

Fact: Throughout history the arts have been an integral part of all disciplines. The separation is artificial. Teachers in all disciplines have reinforced learning through the arts for generations and we need to get back to doing interdisciplinary projects because it worked! Kids loved doing interdisciplinary projects and because they were having fun they learned more and retained more of what they learned. 

Myth #2: Integrating the arts into a common core lesson will waste a lot of time and decrease the rigor of the lesson.

Fact: By involving students in art production teachers are encouraging whole brain learning, higher order thinking skills, creative problem solving, teamwork, active learning and student engagement. Kids learn best when they are having fun. Teachers who use project based learning report that students retain more information and engage in more higher order problem solving. Greater student engagement means fewer discipline problems.

Myth #3: Incorporating the common core standards into my art room will mean my students are stuck writing about art instead of creating art.

Fact: State and national art standards still place an emphasis on art production as a key element in whole brain learning. Any art teacher that doesn't spend a significant amount of time on studio production is likely not following these required standards. Incorporating the common core into your classroom does not mean your students will be doing less art. It is possible to incorporate language, math, science and social studies skills into studio art production.

Myth #4: Incorporating common core standards into my art classes will mean that reading and writing assignments will replace studio art production time. Instead of grading artwork, I'll be stuck correcting papers.

Fact: Reading and writing are tools students should be naturally employing in all classes, just as adults employ these tools every day without even realizing it. When you ask a student to take notes, read directions or learn art terminology you are reinforcing language arts skills. Galleries require professional artists to write artist statements explaining their body of work. Art schools require that students submit an essay along with their portfolios. To graduate from college with an art degree, all students must complete art history courses,which involve extensive analysis and writing. In short, any integration of language arts into a fine arts curriculum that is taught by an art teacher should compliment studio art production. It should never replace it. Furthermore, it is not necessary to require students to write in order to reinforce language skill. Having students present and discuss art will reinforce both language and public speaking skills.

Myth #5: Incorporating common core concepts in art class will interfere with a choice based curriculum (one in which students are creating art projects based on personal interest).

Fact: You can continue to have a choice based curriculum and art centers in your classroom while reinforcing core literacy skills. Older students can present written art proposals to their teachers. Younger students can present and describe their artwork. Centers in the art room are ideal for reinforcing student literacy since the use of centers usually incorporates independent reading of directions and the use of written resources.

For more myths vs. facts information and ideas for how to inspire creative thinking in your students please visit the website Classroom Choreography


Below is an list of links on the subject of arts integration. This blog post is a work in progress. I will be adding more arts integration links and resources to this article throughout the school year.

Harvard's Project Zero researchers have identified eight Studio Habits of Mind that the arts help students develop. Check them out here:

The da Vinci Science Center has also identified the traits that need to be taught in the classroom in order to help students develop into creative thinkers:

Susan Riley of education closet has gathered 50 resources to help teachers of all subjects start integrating the arts into her classroom. Check out her latest article here:

More resources:

Smithsonian: Online research tool for students

Reconnecting arts and science: Education went astray when it separated them:

How learning origami helped scientists solve a problem:

How learning art can make you smarter:

The maker movement in classrooms:

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) resources for children:

High resolution art images (public domain ):

STEAM art lessons:

Article on how art is crucial to understanding the human mind: 

STEM vs. STEAM a look at half brain teaching. 

Another article on how creating art makes you smarter:

Presidential remarks on the arts

How art can help you analyze information:

Stem to Steam, what is STEAM?

How to turn your school into a maker haven:

How to make kids smarter ( #1 on the list is music lessons):

More links to STEAM art lesson:

Free online arts integration resources and lesson plans from the Kennedy Center:

More arts integration research:

Arts advocacy: 

Longitudinal study on arts integration in Missouri schools:

Art Ed Guru arts advocacy page:

Master's thesis on STEAM:

Bates Middle school on Maryland arts integration lesson plans and ideas:

Walters Art Museum Lesson plans:

Middle school Science arts integration lessons

NEA middle school integration ideas all subjects:

Integrating art and science:
Now students, with a few keystrokes on their computer can try their own hand at mixing science with art by controlling small telescopes that take pictures of planets, stars, galaxies, asteroids, nebulas and other astronomical objects. They can then use those images to create their own artistic renditions of the cosmos through the MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network, a group of five automated telescopes controlled online.

Article about the Harvard Micro Observatory Robotic Telescope Network and how this project integrates visual art and science:

Math Art Tools:

Page of links linking math to the arts

The math and Magic of origami

Math by design educator resources

Social Studies

World History Project:

Map Making:

Language Arts:

Comic Creator:

50 ways to integrate art into any lesson


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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Arthur Wardle - The Attack. [feedly]

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Scott Conary [feedly]

Scott Conary
// lines and colors

Scott Conary, still life, landscape, figureative
Portland, Oregon based painter Scott Conary paints landscapes, animals, figurative works and still life. His website portfolio offers work in several sections.

Conary's still life subjects include common subjects like fruit, but also less commonly explored items like wrenches, spark plugs and cuts of meat. All are handled with brusque, painterly textures and subtle variations in color.

Conary also has a fascination with the shapes and colors of older motorcycles and their components, which he essentially treats as a form of still life. For these, he has created separate dedicated website, called Oil & Piston, on which offers prints.

His main websites also includes a FAQ page, in which he discusses his painting materials in addition to other topics.


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The Re-Cover Project [feedly]

The Re-Cover Project
// Muddy Colors

David Palumbo

I'm a big believer in the value of personal projects.  Though not every experiment or personal series which I've explored has lead to a lightbulb moment, every lightbulb moment I've experienced owed a great debt to the time which I had invested in personal projects.  I know for certain that I would not be the painter that I am without having set aside time for experimental work.

My most recent series that I'm particularly excited about is the Re-Cover Project.  Basically, I have been finding old hardcover copies of some of my favorite books and creating new cover images for them directly on the book itself.

The series started in an almost accidental way.  Some years back, a fellow artist (hey Bill!) was generous enough to send me a couple drawings of apes which I really liked but he refused to take any payment for them.  The best I could get in the way of reciprocating was he said, if I really felt like sending him something in return, I could send some books to read.  For the next two or three years I tried my best to collect a good group of books but really didn't know what he had already read or what his taste might be, so the books went unsent.  Finally, earlier this year, I knew we'd be seeing each other at SFAL and wanted to finally bring something after all of this time.  Looking back through the box, one of the books I'd set aside was a 1963 first American edition of Planet of the Apes.  Tying this to the ape drawings I'd been given, I thought it might be fun to paint an ape onto the book as a new cover.

It was one of those moments where I wasn't sure if this idea was good or terrible, but figured it might be a fun experiment so I ditched the dust jacket, gessoed up the front board, and jumped right in.

Like any experiment which turns itself into a series, I really enjoyed myself on that first one.  I had the end papers of N.C. Wyeth's treasure island in my mind as I worked and so ended up limiting myself to a similar palette of black and white with one "spot color".  The thing that I really enjoy about this limitation is how much it focuses my attention on design.

I began thinking up other books which might be fun to re-imagine.  I started reading books I'd always meant to read but had never found the time for, which meant I started making more time to read in general.

One of the wonderful things in a personal series is exploring processes or visual solutions which you would not turn to on a job.  It seems that is the sacrifice needed when appeasing the angry volcano gods called deadlines and client expectations.  Without those pressures, however, I've had fun pushing graphic ideas into places I normally might shy from.  It's too early to tell how this might filter in to my illustration work, but I'm certain that it is already having some effect.

Another thing about this series which has been really enjoyable for me is the conversations which it sparks with people when they see them.  People who know the stories will talk about the choice of cover image while people unfamiliar with the stories might be interested to finally pick it up.  Of course, that is besides the number of recommendations which I've been given for books I've yet to read (and so they are added to the ever growing list...)

The books are all vintage copies when I can manage it.  Some have been too rare for me to be able to use an actual first edition, but finding re-printings and book club editions from decades ago are just as good to me.

I think of each cover as a puzzle in a way, which is why these are shown mostly head on and without titles.  If you are curious to know what each book is, I'm listing the spoiler sheet at the end ;)

Books shown, from the top:

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick (1962 book club edition)
Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle (1963 1st American edition)
The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe (1979 1st edition, 2nd printing)
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester (2003, SFBC 50th Anniversary edition)
The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe (1980 book club edition)
The Call of the Wild by Jack London (1931 reprint)
Casino Royale by Ian Flemming (1953 1st [?] edition)
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein (recent printing)
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (1927 reprint)
The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill (1950 1st [?] edition)
The Shining by Stephen King (1977 1st edition)
Neuromancer by William Gibson (2004, 20th anniversary edition)

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Eye Candy for Today: Roslin’s Lady with the Veil [feedly]

Eye Candy for Today: Roslin's Lady with the Veil
// lines and colors

The Lady with the Veil (The artist's wife), Alexander Roslin
The Lady with the Veil, Alexander Roslin

Zoomable image on Google Art Project, downloadable high resolution file on Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Nationalmuseum Sweden.

Roslin, a Swedish Rococo portrait painter who spent much of his career in France, used his wife, pastel painter Marie-Suzanne Giroust, as his model for this enigmatic and alluringly provocative portrait. It is his best known work, recognized by many who don't know the name of the artist himself.

You can see another portrayal of her, along with a self portrait by Roslin, here.


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Friedrich Schroder-Sonnenstern [feedly]

Friedrich Schroder-Sonnenstern



FRIEDRICH SCHRÖDER-SONNENSTERN - Bat Demon of All Spiritualistic Transformation, 1953





 FRIEDRICH SCHRÖDER-SONNENSTERN - Schwanenpuppentanz, 1971

"Born in Prussia in 1892, Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern lived a peripatetic life marked in large part by ineptitude, indecency and insanity. He was a dairy farmer, a circus performer, a cigar seller, a horse thief, a blackmailer, a cult leader, a penal camp prisoner and a habitual asylum internee. Yet it was only after World War II, when Schröder-Sonnenstern was in his 50s and living amidst the hardships and deprivations of a splintered Germany, that he finally sank to his lowest level and became an artist.

In the drawings that suddenly poured out of him, exhibited recently at Michael Werner in a show titled 'From Barefoot Prophet to Avant-Garde Artist', Schröder-Sonnenstern finally seemed to chime with the chaos of his times. Depicting scenes of torture, grotesquery, scatology and deformity, all drawn in sickly crayon and coloured pencil, Schröder-Sonnenstern's pictures speak of a world gone to hell." - quote taken from article on the artist at Frieze Magazine.

FRIEDRICH SCHRÖDER-SONNENSTERN - Mondelinchen, fortschrittliche Rekordleisterin zu Lande, Luft und Meer ,1957

FRIEDRICH SCHRÖDER-SONNENSTERN - The Moon-Moralistic Veneration of the Artist's Bones ,1957


FRIEDRICH SCHRÖDER-SONNENSTERN - Surrealistisk komposition 2, 1965

FRIEDRICH SCHRÖDER-SONNENSTERN - Doublizität der täglichen Gefahrenzone, oder der Moralismusirrtum der Schwankelinchen, 1958

FRIEDRICH SCHRÖDER-SONNENSTERN - Surrealistisk komposition, 1965










FRIEDRICH SCHRÖDER-SONNENSTERN - The Diplomatic Courtship ,1955

FRIEDRICH SCHRÖDER-SONNENSTERN - Metaphysik mit dem Hahn ,1952

FRIEDRICH SCHRÖDER-SONNENSTERN - Meta-(Physic) with Rooster, 1952

FRIEDRICH SCHRÖDER-SONNENSTERN - The State Magic Ship To The Moon Spirit Driving, 1956

FRIEDRICH SCHRÖDER-SONNENSTERN - The Moralistic Moon Ballet Culture ,1955

FRIEDRICH SCHRÖDER-SONNENSTERN - Prof Dr Publiebkümmer oder der Mondkritiker aller geistigen beschränkheits, 1960jpg



FRIEDRICH SCHRÖDER-SONNENSTERN - Spuckelinchen With Their Miracle Oxen Juckelche ,1953





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