Wednesday 29 September 2010

Art for discerning minds, circa 1950

Above: Adrian Allinson, Cotswold Cross Roads.
Above: Charles Atamian, Shrimping.
Above: Harold Harvey, The Blue Door, Newlyn.
Above: J.B. Souter, Nerine Lily.

Above: Alan Beeton, Goings On.
Above: Jan Kagie, The Pines on the Dunes.
Above: R. Ward Binks, River Swans.
Above: Ellen Jowett, Mrs. Urquhart.

I love the colour and kitsch beauty of these pictures. Images from The Homelovers Book: Colour Facsimiles, Mezzotint Engravings for Home Decoration, edited by Warren E. Cox, Bristol. (No date is given but I would say it's around 1950.)

From the introduction:
Art and the display of it in our dwellings is more than the mere decoration of a barren wall....It is the appreciation of the aesthetic values in life which offsets the insistent forces of materialism and enables us to retain our sense of fitness in all things and gives us poise and serenity in a difficult world. Our children with their quick sympathies and discerning minds will respond to such surroundings ...and reward us in our latter years by the testimony of their conduct.

Lofty ideals considering that what we are dealing with here is really a mid century verson of

Saturday 25 September 2010

Orange mirrors

I have made some new mirrors for the shop. I am clearly having an orange week (see post below). I have also scanned the mirrors this time rather than photographing them. Even though unfortunately there is no model to show the effect, the painting job itself is clearer. Might have to add a model shot or two......if I can find someone who wants to volunteer!
Ah, the trials and tribulations of selling online.

Wednesday 22 September 2010

A new clock hand and its lucky older cousin

A new clock hand in the shop, ths one sporting an orange sweater. When I put its red sweater wearing cousin in there I was taken aback when it sold about half an hour later! (It may not be a record for etsy but it certainly was for me.) It was bought by the lovely and talented JenMeister, who made my day again when she sent this very cute picture of herself with her new friend a few days later:
What a stunning model -- and such lovely hands! Thanks again JenMeister -- I very much appreciate your patronage and thank you SO MUCH for the gorgeous photo.

Saturday 18 September 2010

A new sweater for a bruised i-pod

Yesterday on the train I knitted a sweater for my bruised and battered i-pod.

Thousands of tiny people and their instruments live in my i-pod, so it makes sense to keep them warm and safe.
Among them are Mandy Moore's husband, a face painting lady from Adelaide, Golden oldies Bernie 'n' Pete, unkempt Belgians, hirsute blondes with deep voices, a crazy genius from the mother country and lads as sweet as crannachan.

Actually, after a bit of discussion around here, I have decided to put this i-pod sweater into the shop. Next time I am on the train I will entertain my fellow passengers by making another one.


Over and out.

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Russian Children's Book Illustration, III

Above: more pictures from one of my favourite books. Click here for parts I and II of this post.

Thanks so much to the lovely Lucy for featuring my work in The Design Files yesterday. Wow!

Sunday 12 September 2010

Weekend at home = a new beanie

Above: a gathering of men. Mr Worcester has been telling Signor Rossi ad nauseum about his adventures in Sydney at the Inside Out office, having his photograph taken and meeting lots of nice ladies.
Above and below: knitting in progress. My house is starting to look like a shop!
Above and below: a beanie for my friend Bridget. (I am under the impression that she doesn't frequent this blog but I might find out otherwise shortly.) I have never knitted a beanie before, and other than the boring rib, this project was incredibly fast and fun. Friends, from now on you will all be receiving beanies on your birthdays!

Or tea cosies.

Thursday 9 September 2010

Looking through old magazines

I love looking through old magazines. There's always the genuine horror of seeing something you once loved suddenly looking ridiculous, a phenomenon which fascinates me no end. And then there are the rarer things that still look beautiful years later: well to this beholder, anyway. I'd love to know what you think...
Above: truant school girls in checked Loretta di Lorenzo pantaloni and Di Micheli caps. Photographs by Arthur Elgort. Vogue Italia, October 1982. Below: a photograph by Peter Lindbergh from the same magazine. I would like that entire outfit -- especially the fine Scapa of Scotland fair isle vest -- right now!

Above: Follow Me Gentlemen, March/ May 1984. Photograph by Graham Shearer. (OK, I admit it's not just about the fair isle pattern on the sweater. )
Above and below: English Elle, April 1987. I could never resist a bit of Liberty, and I think these colours and combinations are just beautiful.
Below: Lei Italia, August 1990. Apron by Fendissime, L40.000 circa. I love wearing aprons. I think they should always be the height of fashion.

Sunday 5 September 2010

9 x 5 entry: Nona Elvira

This is my entry for the Illustrators Australia Annual 9 x 5 Exhibition. The theme this year is "Untold Stories". I wanted to tell the world about my paternal grandmother, whom I think of often when I consider how different my life is from that of a woman just a few generations ago who had eight children and lived such a difficult life both physically and emotionally. As I was one of over twenty five grandchildren and saw her rarely as I lived on the other side of the world, my grandmother does admittedly largely exist to me as a symbol. I am very sorry that I did not get to spend more time getting to know her as an adult, having long conversations as I managed to do with my maternal grandfather before he died.
The idea of a book-like object popped into my head straight away too, although the quality of wood that I used for the top section was quite inferior to the wood that Illustrators Australia sent me for the main part (that can be seen on the top right). I think that the work suffers a bit as a result, although perhaps it also makes it appear suitably rustic. The window scene is based on a story that my father told me about a cat that stole the family dinner one night. Not so amusing in the middle of a war when food is hard to come by, and not just for stray animals. The burning house in the background symbolises the havoc wreaked on the town by the German invasion during World War II.

Lastly, there is my Nona Elvira. This picture was taken when she was already in her early 90's. I think that her face is quite beautiful and calm for a woman who went through so much. It may not be obvious from this photo, but the palette that I used for the illustration comes from her: black because she always wore black, pink because she had pink translucent cheeks, and lastly, grey-blue because that was the colour of her hair and eyes. (My eyes too.)
Some other 9x5 entries can be seen here, here and here, with more of an explanation of what the 9x5 is actually about too.

Thursday 2 September 2010

New Paumes title: Bureaux a la Maison

My brother and sister-in-law brought me back a copy of the recently released Paumes title Bureaux a la Maison from Tokyo. Nicely wrapped in the Japanese way, and full of gorgeous things, as those little Paumes titles always are. Above: beautiful floral fabric and painted eggs from the home of the botanically inclined stylist Clarisse Demory.
Above: a dark and mysterious corner in the home of Marielle Dhuicque-Henon. (Paumes titles often concentrate on interiors full of bright -- often vintage -- objects against white backgrounds. So in that context a dark corner seems especially exotic.)
Above: a clever hanging vase in the home of stylist Nathalie Redard. Next to the guitar is an Ikea lamp not unlike one that I own. In fact there's alot of Ikea in this book, which probably says just as much about me as it does about the women in it.
Above: gorgeous (possibly Mexican) creatures in the home of Stephanie de Saint-Simon.
Above: a little homage to Hockney -- maybe -- by the brilliant illustrator Marina Vandel (there's always a great discovery to be made in these books).
Above: another exotic grouping of objects on a dark background: what a lamp! And I love those masks. In the home of designer Leslie David.
Above and below: Lili Scratchy, whose work I shamefully didn't know before I saw it in this other Paumes title earlier this year. Above: ceramics in progress. Below: clearly the woman has great taste: the combination of Misako Mimoko dolls and Marge Simpson is an inspired one.