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Picturing a World

Shadows

Blog post alert: Somehow in these troubled times, a study of light and shadow seems more fitting for the weekend of Passover and Easter than any explicitly religious imagery. Thank you, James Gurney, for Unifying Shadow Shapes.

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Mapping the story

Kathleen Jennings' recent post on Mapping movements in stories sent me surfing the 'net. Eventually, I landed on Misty Beee's map, winner of a 2021 Atlas Award at the Cartographer's Guild. Oh, to be able to create something like it or like Jennings' whimsical communicative sketches! Actually, I do sometimes make rough maps and house plans to help me with my stories, and I highly recommend non-verbal exercises as a way to broaden a writer's experience of her worlds. Here's one adaped from Jennings' post:

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Laundry drying

I first became aware of Helene Schjerfbeck at the exhibition Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900, but this painting is new to me. I love its combination of garden imagery and a mundane task. Just look at those delphiniums behind the beautifully rendered curves of netting!

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Eye candy

Blog post alert: Don't these beads look like hard candies? They are from a 6th C grave of a little girl in Basel, and I'm sure the archeological and historical implications are worth pursuing. For now, though, I'm just getting a kick out of the visual treat—and, of course, the idea that they could be put to some use in a story!

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Bascove

One of the first jacket illustrators that I became aware of was Carol Bascove—though I didn't know she was a she. The attribution was always simply to Bascove. What I knew was that Robertson Davies' new novels were always immediately identifiable because of the jackets. The Lyre of Orpheus is on my shelf. And now, just as I've become interested in illustrative jacket design, the Norman Rockwell Museum is devoting an entire show to her work. You can catch BASCOVE: The Time We Spend with Words any time between now and June 5, 2022. Yea!

 

CORRECTION: The artist's name is ANNE (not Carol) BASCOVE!!!!!!!!!!

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Hutsuls in art

Blog post alert: Paintings of the Hutsuls in the Carpathians has artwork by several 19th and early-20th C artists depicting the life of the Hutsul people in what is now Ukraine. It reports that of twenty-five thousand remaining Hutsuls, twenty thousand live in Ukraine—may they be safe. Many of the pictures in the post could suggest stories; and it interests me that at least one of the artists, Teodor Axentowicz, studied with Carolus-Duran. I've chosen this Madonna by Kazimierz Sichulski, however, just because it is gorgeous (well, and because of its 1909 date, so close to my magic year, 1908).

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Sybilla von Bondorff

Seeking diversion from the sorrows of war, I clicked on a British Library blog post on Medieval and Renaissance Women. What did it include? a medieval woman artist whose name is known! Sybilla von Bondorf. The post has a link to a manuscript she illustrated, and the British Library holds another from which this image of St. John composing the Book of Revelation comes.

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Wolstenholme book battle

Website alert: A set of witty pictures by British artist Jonathan Wolstenholme are diverting. Would that all battles were bibliomachias!

Via Beautiful Life

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Ivan Pokhitonov

Here the Berkshires, we had a snowstorm last Saturday; but under the strong sun of late winter, bare ground was already showing through the next day. In the Garden by the Ukrainian artist, Ivan Pokhitonov, is a reminder that spring will come soon and bring the first gardening chores. If only his fellow natives of Kherson could be looking forward to the same! For this and more of Pokhitonov's paintings, click here.
Via Lines and Colors

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Zinaida Serebriakova

Website alert: Zinaida Serebriakova (1884–1967) was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine; studied art in St. Petersburg; and was active in France. Oh, that we all could be international in our outlook! Wikiart has a gallery of 415 of her works, including one I love for its subject and tonalities, In the Studio Braz.France (1906).

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