Wednesday, June 30, 2010


John William Waterhouse

Arthur Rackham

Herbert James Draper

Victor Mottez

John William Waterhouse

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Letterpress posters

Fun posters from Yee-Haw Industries Etsy shop. What?
You didn't know about Robot Zombies?

Letterpress eye candy from Hand & Eye Letterpress.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Moon light

You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea.

--George Bailey, It's a Wonderful Life

The Moon lamp by Davide Groppi is a gorgeous sphere of Japanese paper
that radiates the soft glow of a magical evening.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


The minimalist approach to color; in paintings by Klas Ernflo...

...and the torn paper illustrations of the children's book, Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I'm your hero

I'm captivated by these photographs of lifeguard towers by Amir Zaki.

Friday, June 25, 2010


I love old educational materials. Generally, the stuff I'm able to find easily is from the 20th century. Once, I came upon a fantastic item from the 1800's: a papier-mâché torso which looked like a classical Greek sculpture, until it was opened to reveal the inner network of muscle and organs. Instead of the garish yellow, blue and brown colors typically seen in today's museums and high school classrooms, the torso had a realistic, natural palette. *SIGH* it's the 'one that got away.' The French doctor Louis Thomas Jerôme Auzoux (1797 – 1870) made a unique contribution to the field of medicine by manufacturing papier-mâché anatomical models with detachable parts. His company also produced models for biology and botany.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


A delightful new pop-up book, Popville, by Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud, displays progress and development with kaleidoscopic energy and enthusiasm. The story reminds me of Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House; there's an underlying wistfulness for the return to simpler times.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Exit Through the Gift Shop

A lot of mothers will do anything for their children, except let them be themselves.


I'm looking forward to seeing this documentary (or mockumentary).

a bit of pie humor from Banksy

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

10 List: Happy endings

Faith Ringgold

Brevity; many picture books for children have 150 words or less. Ten last sentences
from some of my favorites (in no particular order):

The next thing you know, you're flying among the stars.
--Tar Beach, Faith Ringgold

"You must do something to make the world more beautiful."
"Alright, " I say. But I do not know yet what that can be.
--Miss Rumphius, Barbara Cooney

It wasn't long before the first birds came to the new, beautiful island.
--Rotten Island, William Steig

He is very happy.
--Ferdinand, Munro Leaf

...and it was still hot.
--Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak

Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me as it does for all who truly believe.
--The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg was also the first day in her life that she walked alone, without holding
either her mother's or father's hand.
-- Umbrella, Taro Yashima

After breakfast he called to his friend from across the hall,
and they went out together into the deep, deep snow.
--The Snowy Day, Jack Ezra Keats

And the Five Chinese Brothers and their mother
all lived together happily for many years.
--The Five Chinese Brothers, Claire Huchet Bishop and Kurt Wiese

And it would murmur, good night.
--And If the Moon Could Talk, Kate Banks

Monday, June 21, 2010

Beyond words

Winston Churchill

Hermann Hesse

Victor Hugo

Henry Miller

Sylvia Plath

The author as visual artist is doubly gifted. Still, writing and visual art begin with staring at a blank sheet of paper or canvas and making one mark after the other.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kiss of anarchy

...and outcasts always mourn.

-- Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol

In Paris, Oscar Wilde's grave at Père Lachaise cemetery is covered in kisses.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Paper and ink

Le Corbusier drawings; poetry from a beautiful mind.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Claes Oldenburg

If I didn't think what I was doing had something to do with enlarging the boundaries of art,
I wouldn't go on doing it.
--Claes Oldenburg

Serious humor can be unexpectedly joyful.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Blue Note

The Blue Note label is one of the most important and influential for jazz recordings. I love the distinct look of their album covers; striking typography, a pared down palette and alluring photography are the essence of cool.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Alex Schomburg

Alex Schomberg created over 500 covers during the Golden Age of comics (1938-1949). His distinctive art, use of color and dynamic composition secure his place among the top comic artists; any original drawings are highly prized by collectors and sell for staggering prices.

The pioneers of comics invented the genre. Surprisingly, they were mostly untrained and incredibly young (some were still teenagers). With the exception of employing the occasional model, they spent long hours drawing and inking their art by hand, imagining the frontiers of outer space, the front line of war or the uninhabited jungle. Before there were photos of space, or handy computer programs to finesse the movement of a figure, or any reference materials about caped heroes, they generated dramatic stories and dazzling characters fueled by pure exuberance and unbridled imagination.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

10 List: Instant happiness

While in Chicago recently, I had long slow periods of doing very little,
which can be a good thing. Simple pleasures included:

gorgeous peonies in bloom

the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute

rain on Lake Michigan...

...adding sweetness to the heavy foliage of June.

the University of Chicago at night

driving on Lake Shore Drive all the way to Evanston

discovering the store Brimfield (in Andersonville) with S.

spending time with nieces and nephews who are nearly all grown up

reading The Book Thief and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

indescribably delicious
custard filled cupcakes made by my niece