Monday, October 27, 2008

The 12 Dancing Princesses

One of my very favorite fairy tales. It has all the elements -fairy tales always include numbers - 3 - 7 12, etc. They usually involve a task in which the hero - the youngest, stupidest, handsomest, etc. seeks to free or discover or bring back some thing or other at great peril to himself or his mother or siblings. In this case a king is exasperated to find his 12 daughters wear their shoes out each and every night. They are under a spell in which they must dance the night away. Our hero is given a magic cloak (another old stand by) by which he is able to follow the girls and eventually free them of their tiring task. As reward he is given the choice of one as his bride. Naturally, he chooses the youngest (another favorite element). Please read the story - it is wonderful and I have forgotten much of it. I just love the image of 12 little princesses curtseying and spinning all night long.

Friday, October 17, 2008

to fail is my destiny

i just had a week that seems to be repeated over and over in my life. I am invited to participate in a forum in which my wares are for sale. What are my wares - well they are my ideas and the illustration of my ideas. What has occured to contravene any succcess and monetary renumeration for the sale of my ideas? My computer has gone haywire - my husband's father has suffered and will continue to suffer health issues that require visitations ( and rightfully so).

My concepts may take the form of paper ephemera or cloth ephemera. I am to be paired with a lady who sells a line of rubber stamps and the attendant paraphenalia necessary to record the progress of a beloved family star - cheerleader, football player, fat assed bar be que afficionado and the hilarious stamps and labels necessary to record his culinary triumphs. To say that these stamps are trendy and slick sounds sour grapey doesn't it. but lets reflect. I am doomed from the outset. The commercial stamps and paraphenalia support a very real and concrete need to express the creativity of the purchaser of the stamp. My stuff is more a niche oriented appeal. You have to doubt the biblical Adam, Eve, Apple, Snake thing. You have to question the whole wife in a pumpkin shell thingie with Peter. Too often - I do not appeal. Much better to buy the wee wittle birdie you can place all over the page as often as you like. Why do i even pour time and money into repeated failure. What's a monke to do.

Friday, October 10, 2008

recipe - use caution

I have written this many times - always different - I like this the best so far. maybe i need to make the type bigger - huh?


Back in the day - when i painted all the time and strove (if that's the word I want) to be a great painter, this was one of my favorite models. Very dramatic person- wonderfully picturesque - tortured looking even. Full of brooding far aways. That is the thing about using a model. Unless you are quick like zee bunny - which I'm not - you are apt to get all kinds of unintended expression and mood. Who knows what the hell they are thinking. Maybe lovers, loss, regret 0r maybe they are trying to remember what they need to pick up at the store. An entrepenurial model once invited artists to her home to sketch her. She had an exquisite body and a lovely face but she had Chopin playing throughout the session and very soon large tears were running down her face. I heard she moved to New Orleans and died there. Maybe just a rumor - I hope-it was quite off putting. i didn't have the skill of Eakins but needed it. His portrait of Mrs. Mahon makes me cry. Models must have oodles of time for reflection - the rest of us live our loves avoiding it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Musings on Wiener Werkstratte

As a graphic artist, i am constantly searching for inspiration. While at WSU I lurked around the library and hit upon the wonderful crew that made up Wiener Werkstratte - among their number were Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and Oskar Kokoschka. I fell in love with a stylized monkey by Josef von Diveky and made a wood cut based on the design. I have always thought it would make an excellent wallpaper border and i printed it on my press in black on saffron japanese paper. My poor plate is pretty degraded because i used it so often - but here is where the handy dandy computer comes in. I was able to scan my image and embellish to my heart's content.
It would have been heaven to be part of Wiener Werkstratte or even of William Morris et al. Both, had tentacles in book making, commercial art - post cards wallpaper, bookmarks, as well as textiles and fashion and ceramics. WW was a bit grittier and provocatively sexual, whereas WM was all virginal - Knights, dragons - but those very sexual floral thingies (hmmmm). Anyway - check out the work of both of these design power houses - you will love them.

5th avenue

I watched a show on the evolution of dogs and learned some things - like, for instance, they are descended from wolves but not created over millenia. They apparently just came poof - from being selected for tameness. Then it was the work of the moment to turn them into dogs. That part hung together because they had the study of a Russian scientist working with foxes. Within three generations, selecting only the docile ones to breed, he came up with perfectly tame and multicolored foxes. Pretty fascinating stuff. But part two was disappointing. They really never could explain the Pekingese. Short poem (by anonymous)-
The Pekingese enjoy their ease,
And slumber like the dead,
In comfort curled, they view the world
As one unending bed.
We had a great one named Jaga - I've always had cairns and when it was time for everyone to go out in the morning, he would station himself at the door and count heads. If there was a lagger he would dash around to nip the offending dog. He did the same when it was time to come in - he would wait outside the door and count the dogs. When every one had come in, he would come in with all the pomp and signifigance of the Imperial Palace gatekeeper. i miss him everday.