I should be asleep, but I have fallen in love with the work of an early-20th century photographer/portrait artist and felt the need to share her. There is a great chance that you've already heard of her and I am behind in only learning of her now. Her name was Madame Yevonde, and her passion for color made for incredibly striking and beautiful photographs and portraits.
Woman's Magazine, 1937. Model: Inez Masters
Self Portrait with Image of Hectate, 1937
The Hon. Mrs James Beck as Daphne, Goddesses
Nadine, Countess of Shrewsbury as Ariadne, Goddesses
Mrs Longdon as Persephone, Goddesses
Artist with Workmen in Foreground, The Queen Mary
The Black Fish, 1933
Kneeling Nude, 1933
Jaeger Window, 1938
Madame Yevonde's color philosophy resonates deeply with me, as I have such a love for one bold color in a sea of neutrals, and the magic of making somewhat dull colors appear bright. She paved the way in color photography.
Until December 15th, there is a buy one/get one sale in my shop! If you buy any print or paper doll, you get the second one free. Simply purchase one, and let me know in 'message to buyer' which print or paper doll you'd like as your second.
Another little framed original for the Voltage Allstars show, which goes up December 1st and will run through the first week of January. The show is pop-up-shop style and features the work of many artists who have shown at Voltage in the past, with the intention of selling affordable art that can be bought for the holidays.
Friends in America, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, and I hope all of you are enjoying the last days of November!
This morning I found this plastic giraffe for $1.50 at Rodney's Bookstore, which is an amazing used and rare bookshop that sells a lot of strange, miscellaneous items and makes prints of vintage ads and posters. Also, they are named after a very handsome dog named Rodney who looked just like my old dog O'Malley. It's one of my favorite places to go; I always find something, and usually not what I was expecting to find.
Anyway, I was so excited when I saw this giraffe because it was as though he had stepped out of my most recent painting. While the coincidence isn't remarkable, it is the first time I've found an object that so closely resembled something I'd just painted since 2008.
Right after I finished "The Escapist," I found this red horse with my mom at Fairground Antiques in Keene, New Hampshire. This case did seem remarkable because while painting this particular piece, I had been enamored with the idea of a toy, plastic red horse. To find one upon completion of the painting felt somewhat extraordinary. Right after finding the horse, I found the biplane.
These items, especially the horse, are special to me because that painting is very special to me - I made it in honor of Anne Frank, whose diary I read first at age 11 and have read several times since.
This painting began visually (some begin with titles, others a feeling). An image appeared in my mind of a girl in emerald green with yellow hair, covered in wild animals of the African desert and jungle. Their colors are like jewel tones.
Today is the first day of school for our community! Happy back to school to all of you, and I hope you're having a lovely September. xo
This is a place I call The Owl Room. It's the top floor of an antique barn in New Hampshire. My mom and I find ourselves there about once a year. The thing that endears this room to me so is the fact that all of these owls - hundreds and hundreds of them - belonged to one woman. She collected them her whole life. Some are made of sea shells, some are hand-painted, some are manufactured. I walk around the room and look at each owl and wonder when she got it. Did she buy it for herself? Was it a gift?
I wonder about her life. What possessed her to keep so many owls?
This piece from an essay Tennessee Williams wrote about his sister's collection of glass animals (which inspired The Glass Menagerie) always comes to mind:
"By poetic association they came to represent, in my memory, all the softest emotions that belong to recollection of things past. They stood for all the small and tender things that relieve the austere pattern of life and make it endurable to the sensitive."
I love visiting this owl room because it feels like a sacred space. There is a quiet comfort in the fact that these owls have been together for so long; they come as a unit. One by one they leave and go to new homes (I have a few), and this woman's collection lives on in the rooms of so many new people.
This week at camp, I have a group of amazing girls and we are designing the set for the play that the theater department is putting on. It's a combination of many different Brothers Grimm fairy tales.
We were told to make a magical forest.
The stage is set up in such a way that we have to make two backdrops: one for each side of the stage as the actors will be exiting through the center of the curtain.
I decided to create a limited color palette for us to work with. By using limited colors, the girls can go absolutely nuts and everything will still have a sense of consistency. I think it's going to turn out beautiful.
The forests will be painterly pine trees in varying shades of mint green with some birch trees mixed in (of course). All the accessories will be neon reds, pinks, and paler shades of the two. Today we made stars and birds that will float between the two forests and over the actors.
Throughout the week, we'll be creating the green forests and some forest animals like deer and foxes (who will also be pink). I'm literally living out one of my lifelong dreams by designing a forest set for a play, even if it is at a camp with kids. I'm pretty sure that makes it even better.
I think I mentioned a post or two ago that the camp where I am teaching art for the summer is in an older school and has a lovely history. Today, a woman who graduated in 1949 came to visit with her son, and particularly to see the art room where we have our classes.
She loved her art classes at this high school. From what I've gathered, this school placed an enormous importance on art training, which, from my knowledge, is somewhat unusual. There is a gorgeous fragment of a mural framed in the front hall of the school. It was uncovered during recent renovations. During the 1929-1930 school year, students competed and entered sketches to win the chance to paint a mural within the school. The girl who won painted two women depicting Peace and Knowledge against a backdrop of pyramids, stonehenge, and skyscrapers, which, according to the plaque on the wall, represent "the accomplishments of man" and a serpent who represents the evil man has overcome. The painting is incredible and clearly the girl who painted it had a strong background in art history and famous paintings and technical skill.
I have some really exciting news for this first day of July.
Shabby Apple asked if I would like to do a giveaway of one of their dresses for my readers! I literally got to pick a dress from their beautiful vintage clothing section, which features a number of skirts and dresses that pay perfect tribute to the 40s and 50s.
I chose this absolutely gorgeous dress, sweetly named "Heart of Me," because I know it would look beautiful on all of you.
There are three ways to enter. 1) Leave a comment below (make sure to leave your name and email so I can reach you if I draw your name!) 2) Re-post this on facebook and tell me that you did so in a comment. 3) Re-blog about this and tell me that you did so in a comment. You'll receive an entry for each one of the three things you do. :)
Happy entering!!! I will pick a winner next Monday. I'll email the winner to get their name, address, and size, which I'll promptly email to the lovely ladies at Shabby Apple.