Monday, November 30, 2009

Anyone Can Play

From the Book of Knowledge 1923, Volume I.
We have all seen this Magic Kingdom, which is in nearly all our homes. We call in the Piano. Whenever I am there, I am so happy that it makes me want to show you the way, and help you to understand all the beautiful things which the Fairies whispered in the days of long ago.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Best of BoK Volume Nine

These first two plates illustrate an article titled "The Color of the Stars."

The fine print on THE LIGHT THAT EXPLAINS THE STARS TO US reads as follows:
When pure light, as from a white-hot iron, passes through a glass prism, it is broken up into seven colors, called the spectrum, as shown in the first picture. But light from the sun shows, in addition to the colors, various lines, as seen in the second picture. These lines are caused by some of the different substances that compose the sun. Although here we see only a few lines, the sun's spectrum really shows over 2,000 lines. The third picture is the spectrum of a star, Sirius, and when compared with that of the sun, it shows that the stars are made of the same materials as the sun and earth, because the lines in the spectrum for different substances always appear in the same position in relation to each other, as can be seen by comparing these spectra of the sun and Sirius. Although the spectrum color of the metal sodium is yellow, as in the fourth picture, this appears dark in the sun and star spectra, because of the intense light behind it, just as a gas-jet seen in front of the sun's disc appears black; but of course sodium is in the same position in all the spectra.

This picture shows us how the spectroscope is used to enable men to catch the light of a star, and by passing it through a glass prism to bread up the light into various colors. As different metals give off different colors, we can in this way tell of what the stars are made. Ths picture does not show the spectroscope, but illustrates the principle.

This last illustration, A WHEEL A QUARTER OF A MILE ROUND, reminds me of a postcard that was posted recently for Postcard Friendly Friday. The caption reads:
Some of you have seen this gigantic wheel which used to be at Earl's Court in London. This was not the first great wheel to be built. An American engineer, Mr. G. W. Ferris, had seen those curious little upright roundabouts that come to the country fairs, and he thought out the idea and built for the World's Fair at Chicago a big wheel of iron that carried 1,440 people at one time. Then the Earl's Court wheel was built, and this was much more wonderful that the other. It was 300 feet across, and the towers that supported it were 175 feet high. The axle, weighing 54 tons, was hollow, and people could walk through it from one side to the other while the wheel was going round with its 1,600 passengers. The great wheel was turned by a big engine that needed only one man to work it.

The Politics of Timothy Leary

The mushroom plate was a nice lead-in to this second extraordinary find: The Politics of Ecstasy by Timothy Leary (NY: Putnam, 1968).

I was a freshman in high school when it was published. The endpapers are pretty interesting.

1923 Book of Knowledge

I still haven't put the volumes in numerical order to see if the set is complete. I found a few volumes of this set before over the years and removed numerous color plates and b&w photos for my clipping files. I will save this set intact for reference, scanning and blog posting. . . more to come!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Post Holiday Postcards

These two paintings from the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago have been reproduced as part of a set of art postcards from a game called Masterpiece: The Art Auction Game. Above is Thanksgiving ( c. 1935) by Doris Lee.

And this is Peter Blume's The Rock (1948). Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and is enjoying the left-overs on this Postcard Friendship Friday!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Triangular Design

That triangle stamp from Obock really set me off in a new direction. I like the fact that a combination of six equilateral triangles will give me a hexagon. Brings me right back to my "Grandmother's Flower Garden" quilting days.

I love the patterns that can be created out of various elements. I have some portrait drawings which would make nice collages in a style similar to my second Blanche (which is in the collection of artist Charles Kartsonis). I will use the triangle patterns as backgrounds and as frames.

This technique is highly suitable for folks with obsessive tendencies. Since I don't have a punch for triangles, I trace them with a template using a black ultra-fine Sharpie. The outline is retained and when the triangles are positioned on a black lined grid, the double outline effect adds dimension.

I'm using a bead sorting tray to keep my colors separate. Each triangle measures 23/32. It fits on my thumbnail and my nails are short. This technique works best with thin paper. I'm using Thai unryu and another type called Chiri.

The technique is a quilters joy, really, with all these ready-to-apply shapes: custom colorforms applied to gridded 140# watercolor paper. Coat area with Golden's acrylic gloss medium, apply shape, and coat completely with medium.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

AnitaNH Cover Contest

There is a nice article in the December 2009 issue of Artforum on the postcards of Walker Evans. "Walker Evans and the Picture Postcard" is the title of the show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The show mixes artworks with ephemera from the artist's career, presenting walls of gridded postcards arranged by Walker Evans' own subject categories. Evans was an obsessed collector of postcards.

I was so excited by the dotted design of this month's Artforum cover that I created my own adaptation featuring collage work done during the period 2004-2009. There are 32 collage vignettes. All but numbers 18 and 21 are shown on my collage site.

Vignette number 18 is from a digital collage called Risking Absurdity (Digression No. 1) and vignette number 21 is from a collage called "Pecking Order."

The first person to correctly name the remaining 30 titles will receive their choice of either a set of six AnitaNH Art Cards, or a 90 minute one-on-one collage workshop (transportation to Wakefield, New Hampshire not included).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Invisible Playmates

As a child I had imaginary friends so I thought this first book was a pretty cool find.

This second one has a sticker obstructing a portion of the jacket art. Luckily, the cover art matches the jacket. I love the bright yellow and red diamonds, and the little black dots where they touch.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Favorite Artist From Chicago

I've never been to Chicago but I love this image of the city at night with the clock tower and the full moon.

Chicago is the stomping ground of Tony Fitzpatrick, one of my favorite contemporary collage artists. Formerly a tattoo artist and semi-professional boxer, self-instructed Chicago artist Tony Fitzpatrick is a renegade in the contemporary art scene. He includes lots of ephemera in his work which has been described as visual poetry exacto-bladed out of old matchbook covers.

Davidson Galleries offers some of his older work from 1992-2000, and this Poetry Foundation interview includes a nice slide show of thirteen of his more recent collages. I wrote about about him in an earlier blog post here.

And Tony has a blog called No. 9 - An Artist's Journey which I enjoy very much.

"Art is a kind of rebirth. It is what elevates us above darkness, tragedy and furious loss. " (T. F.)

"Art is how we cheat death: We make that which outlasts us." (T. F.)

Happy Postcard Friendship Friday to you all!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ritual Object, Perhaps

I've been playing with triangles and materials close to hand. That green feels like it should be something else.

Here's that quilt again with some red:

It's just so cool how easily colors can be changed in Photoshop!

I think I like this the best so far:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Something Cool

Many thanks to Grain Edit for introducing me to the art of Mark Weaver. Check out his portfolio and be sure not to miss Make Something Cool Every Day to see over 150 amazing works. I love Mark's mix of vintage color images, old engravings and sans serif type!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

From Scott to Obock

I'm off on a triangle tangent. It started with the Hemingway cover I found. I'm making it into a collage that is so far limited to blue, yellow, black, white and gray. I couldn't find the right map of Spain so I started looking for postage stamps.

I love the type face on this dump find:

Flipping through I began to wonder if all triangle stamps have a camel on them. I adore these fantastic ones from Obock:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Looking Out the Window

Twice today I was amazed by what I saw from my shop window. This morning at 10:00 I saw two foxes in the back yard. They were just loping around, playing with each other and with the dead stalks from the cat-o-nine tails.

Now it is a little past 4:30 and the wonderful color of the sunset sky made me grab my camera to record it. Amazing!

I could paint this last one.

Friday the 13th - Perry's Nut House

Perry's Tropical Nut House on scenic U.S. Rte. 1, Belfast Maine was one of my favorite stops along the beautiful coastal route through New England. The back of the first card reads:
The Original Perry's Nut House. Perry's Nut House founded on May 27th, 1927 by I. L. Perry. Started in one room and grew to its present size thru the idea that "If a man sells better goods than his neighbor, the world will make a beaten path to his door." Over one hundred exhibits in our museum, admission Free. Most interesting place on Maine Coast. Visitors are always "WELCOME"
Here's the text from the second card:
World Famous Nut Exhibit. Over 150 different nuts in this exhibit from the four corners of the earth. Visited and exclaimed over by thousands. Just one of the many unusual exhibits at Perry's Nut House. Admission Free. The only Nut Exhibit of its kind. Photo by Win Sommerfeild.
As a kid I didn't take much notice of the nuts, but that huge crocodile skin certainly caught my attention.

According to Perry's was closed in 1997 and the artifacts were auctioned. It is reported that some continue to be displayed in new public locations. For example, the owners of the Colonial Theater in Belfast purchased Hawthorne the elephant and Baby Hawthorne (seen in the first post card) for $1,600. Hawthorne, with his eleven-foot-tall trunk, has been placed atop their roof, while Baby Hawthorne is now in the theater's lobby.

Perry's Nut House re-opened in 1998, minus its historical artifacts. The new owners have a web site that documents its fascinating history. Their fudge looks pretty good!

Happy Postcard Friendship Friday to you all!

Little Scenic Views of N.H. - Part II.

Here's the second installment (check out the first installment here) of my little New Hampshire photos measuring 1.75 x 2.75 inches. Each one is numbered on the back in pencil.

No. 11 - Flume Cascade, White Mountains, N.H.

No. 12 - Ammonoosuc Upper Falls

No. 13 - Lower Ammonoosuc Falls, White Mountains, N.H.

No.14 - Echo Lake, Franconia Notch, N.H.

No. 15 - 42. The Flume, White Mountains, N.H.

No. 16 - Eagle Cliff, Franconia, N.H.

No. 17 - Indian Head Camping Ground, White Mountains

No. 18 -Glen Ellis Falls, White Mountains, N.H.

No. 19 - Mt. Willey, Crawford Notch, N.H.

I think my favorite from this group is the shot of the old Indian Head Camping Ground. Those tents behind the automobile remind me of the ones we used to sleep out in at Camp Paradise with the Girl Scouts. They leaked in the rain, blew down in the middle of the night, and make todays ultra-light improvements seem like nothing short of a miracle!

Another interesting detail is the appearance of the numerals 42. on what was marked No. 15. I guess this is a portion of a larger set of images. Happy to be part of this Postcard Friendship Friday!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So What If She Was An Old Maid, She Was Pretty Funny, Otherwise

There's a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words. (Dorothy Parker)
Well, I'd guess that this is calisthenics with Photoshop. With apologies to Dorothy Parker and to Jim Linderman. ( SHHHH! Check out Jim's blog, Dull Tool Dim Bulb to read about his new book.)