Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Art Movie #2- Seraphine

  This week's artist movie is the French film "Seraphine".  Yolande Moreau plays the tragic French painter Seraphine; a cleaning woman and laundress who secretly paints in the evenings after she is done cleaning the homes of her clients.  A sad movie about lonely and disturbed woman who is a great natural painter.  She secretly paints in her attic apartment in a small village during the German occupation of France, during WWII, while living hand to mouth doing whatever she could to earn money.  The actress, whom some might remember from her role as the landlady in the film "Amelie", does a fantastic job playing this powerful and disturbed woman.  All of Seraphine's paintings are based on  nature and are really quite fantastical.  She makes her paints from various things that she can find; pigs blood, crushed herbs, melted wax from the church altars.  She is poor and often goes hungry in order to buy art supplies.  Her art is energetic and bold in color and natural composition.  This woman, like Vincent Van Gogh, was driven and obsessed by her work, while the community around her scoffed at her vision and, at best ignored her obvious talent.  She was religiously obsessed from her upbringing by catholic nuns, but she had a very sweet demeanor.  Seraphine is discovered by a famous German art dealer near the end of her life and begins to gather notice from the art world.  By the time she is finally recognized for her work, she is suffering religious delusions and is put into a sanitorium.
  It is an inspirational tale and really quite sad.  This is a very quiet and emotional movie; I highly recommend it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Dear All,
  I am off to the relatives for the Holidays.  I will return on December 29th.  Happy Holidays all!


Here are 4 of my favorite quotes:

"I'm nobody, who are you?"  -Emily Dickenson-

"He would make a lovely corpse."  -Charles Dickens-

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all."  -Oscar Wilde-

"I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity."  -Edgar Allen Poe-

What are some of your favorite quotes?


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Flower Geishas

  Here's a treat!  These are two images I made several years ago.  I sold a few prints of these two lovelies (at art shows), and then I filed them away and forgot about them.  I "re-discovered" these while going through some old files in my computer the other day, and I thought I would share them here on my blog.  I invented a series of flower-headed Victorian photos and that I called the "Vicflorians", and these were part of that series.
  The original images are taken from two old Japanese postcards depicting Geishas in hand-colored old sepia photos.  I added more colors and placed the flowers into the photos (instead of heads), and then I added lots of distressing and age marks.  I always felt that these were very sweet.
  These images are NOT for sale in my Etsy site now.   I am not sure if anyone would like these or if I should offer them for sale.  What do people think?
  They are now for sell in my Etsy shop;   Please enjoy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Vampire silhouettes

  I have always liked creepy, dark images (can you tell?).  So what would be better than a set of Vampire silhouettes?  Since Vampires cannot be photographed, they are natural candidates for silhouette portraits.  I decided that each silhouette should incorporate some Vampire elements (i.e.; wings and drops of blood) to better reveal their true natures.  Each one has a short history as well.
  I am thinking of maybe having these images printed onto linen pillows with their stories also printed on backsides.  Does anyone think this is a good idea? 

   This first in my Vampire series is an icy beauty called "Svetlana". She was an 18th century Russian noblewoman, distantly related to the Romanov Czars. She was turned to the dark side while attending a masked ball in St. Petersburg one chilly winter's night. Her haughty manner and cruel streak made her a terror to her serfs during the long winter nights of Russia.   
This next silhouette in my Vampire series is a gentleman known as "Vincent". He was a French adventurer who traveled to Egypt in the 19th century. One night, while exploring some of the darker alley ways of Alexandria, he was turned to the dark side. Later, he returned to Paris to prowl the night time streets of the Latin quarter. It was said that he could mesmerize a victim with a single glance of his burning eyes.
This next silhouette in my Vampire series is a gentleman named "Armonde". He was an early 19th century Venetian merchant who was turned to the dark side while on a trading mission to Constantinople. He returned home to haunt the night time canals and candle lit salons of Venice.

   This last silhouette (my favorite) in my Vampire series is an English woman called "Emmeline". She was one of Henry VIII early mistresses (in 16th century England). After her beauty began to fade, the King tired of her, and she returned to her home in the north to find a way to support herself (or to find an understanding husband). Instead, she was turned to the dark side while out walking one night through the country, in the fog. She was more beautiful in death than she had ever been in life, and lured many a traveler crossing the moors to their doom.
   As usual, all these are available for sale at my Etsy shop:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Two Eyed Cyclops

How can a cyclops still have two eyes?  Easy, he's got two heads!  This idea seemed to just leap out of my head fully formed.  I had a lot of fun making this guy.  He may be a monster, but he is still a snappy dresser!  I think that its the mustaches that make it so good.
This is available at my Etsy shop:

Twisted Silhouettes-Victorian Mermaids

Why can't mermaids be more proper and ladylike?  Here are my two mermaids in silhouette, each with a companion.  I owe some inspiration to Rob Ryan for the backgrounds.  One is "Topsy Turvy" and the other is "Lovey Dovey."  I like the idea of a mermaid with a parasol (to keep the sun off her skin, of course!).

both of these are available at my Etsy site:

Twisted silhouettes- Fairy Ombres

These distinctive silhouettes are made from original ink drawings I did one day on some old manila cardboard I had lying around. The old manila had a faded, vintage patina to it, so I cut out a nice decorative boarder around the silhouettes.  I decided to call them "Ombres", which means shadow in French.  Originally, silhouettes were called ombres until a famous M. de Silhouette made them more popular in France.

both of these silhouettes are for sale at my etsy site:

More Steampunk silhouettes

Here are some of the other steampunk silhouettes I made.  I started this project while I was stuck in a Chinese hotel room for a week.  I had nothing to do, so I sketched out all these crazy ideas for steampunk machines, and then I turned them into silhouettes.  It took me a while, after I got back from my trip, to figure out how to use these.

  This first one is my idea for how a Victorian scientist might approach the idea of listening to music while driving his vehicle.  It is called "Fluxions".
  This one has a more classical bent to the idea of mechanical flight.  It is called "Icarus, Steampunk".  I love the little wings on his ankles.
  This is called the "Perambulator", which means to walk.  I like the idea of some kind of orthopedic machinery for older people.  It walks for them.  It also has a huge listening trumpet attached to it for the hard of hearing as well.

All of these are available for sale at my Etsy site:

Steampunk silhouettes

Here are some steampunk themed silhouettes that were inspired by the movie "The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello" (

                     This first one is called "Calculations".  I created the silhouette and then layered it over a page from an antique Encyclopedia Britannica (19th century).  I added some calligraphic embellishments and an antique stamp.
                          This one followed a similar technique. It is called "A Theorem of Flight".
                         This one is called the "Rollerfan".  I love the little lanterns on his heels.
All these are for sale at my Etsy store:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Art Movie #1- Basquiat

Nearly every week, my wife and I have been watching a different movie that relates to art or artists.  We have scoured Netflix and created a huge queue of movies to feed our arty farty habit.  It is sometimes sad, sometimes shocking, sometimes outrageous, but always a great inspiration to us.  So I am posting every week (or so) our "Art Movie of the week".
  Our first movie is Basquiat.  A really good movie about an important artist; Jean Michel Basquiat, made by another artist (Julian Schnable).  Made in 1996.  For anyone who loves (NY) 80's pop art and "graffiti/street" art, this is a great way to see it captured by people who were there.  Jeffrey Wright plays Jean Michel Basquiat beautifully.  See if you can catch all the celebrities playing famous (or infamous) personages; David Bowie as Andy Warhol, Dennis Hopper as Bruno Bischofberger, Parker Posey as Mary Boone.  Not to mention great little walk on parts by Gary Oldman, Courtney Love, Christopher Walken, and Benicio Del Toro.
  I can't recommend it enough.

Victorian Whimsy images

Here are some more images from the "Victorian Whimsy" series.

                       This one is called, "I'm Late!"  I used an old victorian photo and parts of rabbits and bears to make this classic gentleman from a famous book.
This one is the "Old Minotaur".  I love the details of the hands; very huge and "monstrous".  He certainly is a snappy dresser.

Both are for sale at my etsy site;

Victorian Whimsy images

Here are some photo manipulations that are part of my "Victorian Whimsy" series.  I use old "cabinet cards" and scan them into the computer to manipulate.  I have added lots of various steampunk kind of details; watch parts and a couple of clock keys, and some cogs and gaskets I photographed.  The backgrounds are antique wall papers that have been computer colored.

                                                   This first one is the "Clockwork Boy".
 This second one is the "Clockwork Girl".
Both are for sale in my etsy shop;

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ex-Girlfriend silhouettes

Not all silhouettes are straight portraits.  Some show the inner character of their subjects.  Here are a few that I like to refer to as my "ex-girlfriends".  I'm not naming any names, but they know who they are... 

This first one is called the "Backstabber."

 This next one is called the "Bloodsucker".

This one is called "Clingy". 

                                                 And this last one is called the "Web of lies."

All of these (and more) are available at my Etsy site:

Tea lovers silhouettes

As a great lover of tea, I couldn't resist making these little silhouettes of some of my favorite teas.  Which one is your favorite?
All of these (and more) are for sale at my Etsy site: