Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fayum_mummy_portraits (which features an extensive catalog, with current location, of many of the portraits)
This article on MMA's site, about a single painting, is nevertheless very insightful:
And so forth! We all know how to use Google, right?
The Fayum portraits, though conceived and rendered in the prevailing Graeco-Roman style, were of the citizens of the Egyptian colonies. Thus the huge, dark eyes and semitic features that are the most arresting feature of many of them.
I have used one of these portraits in my collage for today. Forgive my audacity in co-opting a timelessly beautiful piece of art. This is one of my favorite Fayum portraits. Her style is so sleek, so au courant, that it makes me gasp. She must've been the Audrey Hepburn of her era. Which leads me to wonder, did she die this young? Is this an "animated" portrait of her corpse? An attempt on the part of the painter to see the young woman through the wrinkles and gaps of the actual corpse?
Any way you look at it, these portraits are astounding works of art, global treasures on a scale that defies space and time. We are so privileges to have them among us.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
So apparently, chyromantie is the "science" of divining a person's character based on a system of physical attributes, a belief which no doubt contributed to the worship of physical perfection still found in our culture today. Which I confess myself guilty of--I usually select an image I consider attractive to use in my work, such as Ingre's Grande Odalisque in this piece. Fortunately, we no longer assume that an unattractive woman is a witch, or that a person with a physical deformity must be an ogre. Progress!
Monday, July 19, 2010
I recently acquired a copy of 120 Great Orientalist Paintings, selected by CB Grafton, from by Dover Publications. It contains two of Ingres' sensuous odalisque paintings, which I decided to combine, just for fun.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
This was a really simple concept that proved to be a bear to execute. A primitive hot air balloon sailing over a medieval town, sprinkling gothic blackletter on the scene below. A funny anachronism, a calligraphic opportunity, what could possibly go wrong? Bad choice of background, for starters. My harlequin diamonds let me down. My first choice was marbled paper but those were proving difficult too. Then I forgot that even a little fantasy scene like this should have aerial perspective to bring it off. So I had to scrape out some lettering to knock it back into the distance--where it conflicted even more with those humongous diamonds! *sigh*/**smacks forehead** A different balloon image would be a good idea too. (This one looks like one of those bulbs you use to clean a rapidograph. Am I dating myself again?) Also, more distance between the town and the balloon would make the middle less congested. Back to the drawing board. Don't hold this against me--I'm doing it to learn! This is another designI hope to revisit next year, when I have time to play.
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." --Scott Adams
Afterthought on my yesterday's post: I was so happy when I thought up a winged elephant! Then, this morning--I remembered Dumbo. Was he subliminally flapping around in my subconscious? Anyway, my daughter said Dumbo has nothing on my Elebird, so I'll be content.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I offer my own take on the mills as icons of their era, as is the lady in the picture. I scuffed her up a bit in tribute to the hard, relentless, unimaginable lives of thousands of steel workers who created another sort of Renaissance in American industry. We can be thankful that the era of unbridled industrialization, with its accompanying pollution, exploitation, disease and early death, is behind us. Or is it? We still face its modern-day counterparts, with devastating consequences on an even greater scale than anything the steel mills ever produced. Plus ca change, plus c'est le meme chose.
For some truly remarkable urban archeology photographs of the defunct mills, please visit Sean Posey's blog, http://seanposey.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The world is so full of a number of things,
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.
With the posting of today's collage, I am happy as a Queen to state:
The day departs with weary tread
And I am delighted to be going to bed!
Monday, July 5, 2010
I believe I am actually getting faster at building my collages. It helps when a piece is as simple as this one. It's as much a mind-set as anything else. I'm learning not to obsess over every little detail. I keep reminding myself that I can always reinvent some of these pieces later, when I will have the luxury of taking time over them. I keep track of ideas that I won't bother with until I am in that position.
A coda to my 4th of July festivities: I never made it to the familial get-together, because just as I was leaving, my cousin, who had taken my mother to the picnic, called to say there was no need for me to meet them there to bring Mom home because she had gotten tired and they were on their way back. So there I was, all dressed for a picnic and nowhere to go! I quickly opted to take advantage of an invitation from a woman I was acquainted with through my job. Her home is on Pittsburgh's Southside, and the city fireworks at the Point (where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers converge to form the Ohio River) are readily visible from her roof deck. The Southside is one of Pittsburgh's historic neighborhoods, and I was hoping for a chance to view something special--in addition to the fireworks--as well as the opportunity to get to know my hostess better. I was not disappointed. Her family's home was crafted from what had been two apartments plus the former shoe-maker's shop above which they were situated. The whole house was long on charm, utility and spaciousness, with all the agreeable features of old buildings: mellow exposed brick, beautiful old wooden floors, high ceilings and comfortable nooks. It was also filled with art, books and music. She and her family are amateur folk musicians, among other interesting accomplishments, which was something I never knew. All in all, it was a delightful evening in every way, and I am grateful to her for it.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
The first time I encountered it, I felt an affinity for Steampunk. Heck, I was raised on it. Most of the family males for a couple of generations worked in Pittsburgh's various mills and factories. When I visited my cousins in North Versailles, usually on Friday evenings, we'd climb to one of the higher streets and watch the light show from the steel mill in nearby McKeesport. Hissing steam, flying sparks, thundering clamours (and, often, sulfurous fumes) from various sources were a regular feature of my girlhood. On a more intimate note, some of my favorite childhood memories come from accompanying my Grandfather into the cellar, to observe and sometimes assist when he stoked the coal-burning furnace that heated our house. It was a thrill when he opened the door to the fire chamber, a glowing maw into which I tossed newspapers and odd pieces of old wood, while my Grandfather shoveled in the coal. To me it was a domesticated version of the huge, dangerous, noisy, legendary mills that were the life blood of every town strung along the Monongahela River.
This piece was inspired by Three Muses "Steampunk" theme for this week. Thanks for the inspiration!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Another attempt, more successful, at employing empty space. I note that this piece has only 7 components, another departure from my usual visually overflowing style. If I can master "minimalist" collages, will I be able to translate that into other areas of my life? Will the congested clutter disappear from my studio and life??
Speaking of collage a day projects, I came across another awesome site (in addition to Randel Plowman's) dedicated to this activity. Peter Jacobs has been posting daily to his Collage Journal for six years, and he makes his work exclusively with material from the daily newspaper. Take a look: