Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ships and Boats Coast Guard Cutter Monomoy

Coast Guard Cutter Monomoy, U.S. Navy photo by Journalist Seaman Joseph Ebalo (RELEASED) 050427-N-1825E-084 Persian Gulf (April 27, 2005) – Coast Guardsmen aboard U.S Coast Guard Cutter Monomoy (WPB 1326) wave good-bye to the guided missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 74)
after the first underway fuel replenishment (UNREP) between a U.S. Navy cruiser and a U.S. Coast Guard Cutter. Antietam completed fuel replenishment with the Monomoy in about two hours and saved the 110-foot patrol boat a four-hour trip to the nearest refueling station. Antietam and Monomoy are conducting maritime security operations (MSO) in the Persian Gulf as part of Commander, Task Force Five Eight CTF-58). U.S. Navy photo by Journalist Seaman Joseph Ebalo (RELEASED), High Resolution Image

Navy NewsStand - Eye on the Fleet, All information on this site is public domain and may be distributed or copied unless otherwise specified. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested.

Generally speaking, works created by U.S. Government employees are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" from the U.S. Copyright Office.

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Making stuff with a view

I changed the position of my desk on sunday
to get a better view of the gorgeous Moctezuma tree outside.
The leaves mobile was made from three placecards
I kept from our Thanksgiving dinner.
It's hanging from my lamp :o)
I made myself two little purses this week.
The orange one is knit & the other is just sewn wool fabric
with appliques of wool felt, inspired by the pillow I made for my friend Ana.
They both have natural color linen liners inside.
I got the idea from Martha Stewart's Holiday Handmade Gifts Special issue

Jan Balet, Pioneer Stylist

Throughout the 50's, while the public and the industry were still fully immersed in the idealized realism of the "Cooper look", one artist was forging a unique path of stylized illustration - and getting more than enough work from both advertising and editorial clients: Jan Balet. Part cartoonist, part whimsical storybook illustrator, part fine artist, Balet was the darling of many a magazine art director - especially of women's magazines. Only a handful of illustrators, people like Aurelius Battaglia, Jane Oliver and Thomas Vromann, were producing uniquely stylized work for the mainstream magazines of the 50's, and none of them had as much of a presence on the page as Jan Balet.
So its particularly maddening that there is barely a scrap of biographical information about the artist anywhere that I've searched. He was born in 1913, he did some childrens book illustration besides his advertising and editorial art. He went on to do fine art prints. Sadly, beyond that, Jan Balet remains a mystery.

More examples of the artist's work can be found in my Jan Balet Flickr set.


dog or wolf

fabulous snake dragons

boat, fisherman and fabulous 'whale'

snake and wolf fighting

peacock and chicken

griffin and person

angry griffin

person with slingshot aimed at bird in tree

fabulous bird figures

person, unicorn and 2 dogs

2 dogs or wolves, one eating a man


griffin with raised talon

person shielding against shitting bull

eccentric elephant carrying large sedan full of people

red-winged griffin

woman holding unicorn speared by man

horned quadruped speared by man

Bestiaries are part of a tradition that began in the 3rd or 4th centuries AD with the greek 'Physiologus', a collection of animal-based moral stories, widely circulated in Europe. Later, the illustrated texts were expanded and came to include not only the religious/moral elements, but also commentary drawn from other 'more scientific' sources such as Pliny the Elder and Aristotles. The artists were often copying from predecessors and were unlikely to have been familiar with many of the animals, accounting for the odd appearance at times. Fabulous animals such as mermaids, unicorns, griffins and dragons were usually included. These works from the 13th to 15th centuries were obviously the forerunners to the natural history books from the renaissance period and beyond.

The images above come from a parchment manuscript identified as 'GKS 1633 4º: Bestiarius' in the Danish Royal Library in Copenhagen. There are 117 illustrations in the 154 page book.

This is an english bestiary in a 'bastard anglicana' latin script from the beginning of the 15th century. It is otherwise known as The Bestiary of Anne Walshe because her name appears in crude practice writing in some of the margins; she was no doubt a young girl in England when she was given free reign over this book early in its life.

It is by no means a luxury production - the images are uncomplicated, no gold leaf was used and much of the pigment is in dull colour washes - but the artist shows a sense of humour and the illustrations mostly retain their original bright visual characteristics.

The Bestiary of Anne Walshe was the subject of a student paper by David Badke at the University of Victoria in Canada in 2001 which is available at The Medieval Bestiary site. The paper is well worth reading. It's not too complicated and it's interesting to read about the systematic way in which a medieval text is evaluated.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas Angel

Christmas Angel, Privacy & Security Notice The DoD Imagery Server is provided as a public service by the American Forces Information Service.Privacy & Security Notice The DoD Imagery Server is provided as a public service by the American Forces Information Service. The Defense Visual Information Directorate. Information presented on DoD Imagery Server is considered public information. (High Resolution Image).
except where noted for government and military users logged into restricted areas) and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested.

About Images on DefenseLINK, All of these files are in the public domain unless otherwise indicated.However, we request you credit the photographer/videographer as indicated or simply "Department of Defense."

Generally speaking, works created by U.S. Government employees are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" from the U.S. Copyright Office.

Luke 2:1-14

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest,and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Leave a comment, make a request, Let this small sampling be a guide to better quality, more plentiful, public domain, royalty free, copyright free, high resolution, images, stock photos, jpeg, jpg, free for commercial use, clip art, clipart, clip-art. more at and or and or and

A Gift Friends Always Use

TI list member Brian Postman has been sharing with me a wealth of rare, classic illustrations from his collection for some time now. This 1956 cover from Famous Artists Magazine by Al Dorne is only one small example. Many thanks, Brian!A gift of Al Dorne art is a gift friends can always use so today friends, I'm re-gifting you with Brian's beautiful scan. Its a perfect fit to accompany this other Xmas-themed Dorne ad I was holding back until the Countdown to Christmas.

They're both now tucked away in my Albert Dorne Flickr set for your viewing pleasure.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mayan Civilization Bas Reliefs at Palenque

"It is by no means improbable that these fantastic forms, and others equally whimsical, were the delineations of some of their deities, to whom they paid an idolatrous worship, consistent with their false belief and barbarous customs."

Mayan altar and offerings

Mayan ruler and servants

Mayan ruler with subject

Mayan subjects at cross-shaped altar

Mayan ruler on 2-headed animal receiving gift

Mayan ruler and subject on knees

Mayan mask

Mayan ruler in full regalia

Mayan ruler sitting on animal table

Mayan subjects at altar with offerings
[click to enlarge]

Palenque, in the far southern Chiapas region of Mexico [map] (formerly part of Guatemala), was a significant city-state of the Mayan civilization. Although the site was already an important centre from around 400AD, the palace-topped pyramid and nearby temple structures [Mesoweb Palenque resources] weren't built until the 7th century. The buildings were mysteriously abandoned with the decline of the Mayan culture in the 9th century. [Theories as to the cause for this range from soil exhaustion to disease to invasion to natural disaster to trade route collapse to...]

The forest had overgrown Palenque by the time the first European visited in 1567. But little interest was shown in the site again until the 1770s when the military governor of Guatemala received a report which must have piqued his interest. He sent a party to investigate further in 1784, led by Colonel Antonio Del Rio and accompanied by the artist Ricardo Almendáriz. Despite the damage they caused to some buildings (and pillaging of relics to send to Spain), the team made a reasonably thorough survey of the site and Almendáriz was able to sketch 30 ink/ink wash drawings of the temple and palace bas reliefs to accompany the report of Del Rio.

From then on things get very confused - a number of different works were published during the next few decades and Del Rio's report apparently lay dormant for some reason. But the drawings themselves (the originals have only been discovered in private hands in the recent past) were published alone in Mexico in 1787 as: 'Coleccion de Estampas Copiadas de las Figuras Originales, que de Medio, y Baxo Relieve, Se Manifiestan, en Estucos y Piedras, en Varios Edificios de la Poblacion Antigua Nuevamente Descubierta en las Immediaciones del Pueblo Del Palenque', which is online in its entirety at the Library of Congress. {64 page book, no thumbnails, giant sizes available, illustration every 2nd page mostly} [The first european publication of a Palenque drawing was in a work by Humboldt in 1810, posted previously]

We must thank the devil for this. It was while searching for information about the demonologist Martin Del Rio the other day that I happened upon this exquisite series. I spent a lot of time cleaning up the background artifact in the images above, some of which are details. If there was a 'find of the month category', I think this book would be a pretty good bet for mine.
"There is no difficulty in publishing Tom Thumb -- or any thing else -- when we are disposed; and yet all America cannot furnish sufficient encouragement to publish a work on the greatest, yes, absolutely the greatest wonder in the world, discovered within her own borders! Well indeed should we deserve the scorpion lash of foreign Trollopes, if this were so."
And with such admonishment, Dr. Pablo Felix Cabrera arranged to translate and publish the Del Rio document with third hand copies of the illustrations in London in 1822. The english text of Del Rio's report is published on this Oliver Cowdry website (it's not very long) together with a lot of Cabrera balderdash - he imagines a Phoenecian origin to the civilizations of America - but followed by a useful timeline with respect to the convoluted publishing/expedition history surrounding Palenque. Mormons figure prominently.

The Palenque Round Table Series in the Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute Journal .

Ships and Boats, USNS Hospital Ship Mercy

USNS Mercy, The third MERCY (T-AH 19) was built as an oil tanker, SS WORTH, by National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., San Diego , in 1976. Starting in July 1984, she was renamed and converted to a hospital ship by the same company.
Launched on 20 July 1985 , USNS MERCY was commissioned 8 November 1986 . High Resolution Image.

To the best of our knowledge, all images in the collection (NATIONAL WAR COLLEGE MILITARY IMAGE COLLECTION) belong to the public domain and are thus available for use without obtaining permissions.

On 27 February 1987 , MERCY began a training and humanitarian cruise to the Phillippines and the South Pacific. The staff included U.S. Navy, Army, and Air Force active duty and reserve personnel; U.S. Public Health service; medical providers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines; and MSC civilian mariners. Over 62,000 outpatients and almost 1,000 inpatients were treated at seven Philippine and South pacific ports. MERCY returned to Oakland, CA , on 13 July 1987 .

On 9 August 1990 , MERCY was activated in support of Operation Desert Shield. Departing on 15 August, she arrived in the Arabian Gulf on 15 September. For the next six months, MERCY provided support to the multinational allied forces. She admitted 690 patients and performed almost 300 surgeries. After treating the 21 American and two Italian repatriated prisoners of war, she departed for home on 16 March 1991 , arriving in Oakland on 23 April.

USNS MERCY, homeported in San Diego , CA , is currently in reduced operating status with a five day activation. SNS Mercy FULL TEXT

Generally speaking, works created by U.S. Government employees are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" from the U.S. Copyright Office.

Leave a comment, make a request, Let this small sampling be a guide to better quality, more plentiful, public domain, royalty free, copyright free, high resolution, images, stock photos, jpeg, jpg, free for commercial use, clip art, clipart, clip-art. more at and or and or and

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Postcards of this little red birdie
are available in my Cafepress shop.
The tree is up and from now on
I'm guessing it will be Christmas illustrations galore :o)

Santa: Illustrated by Anonymous

Seems like back in the 50's every art director charged with laying out an ad featuring anything from teevees to toasters arranged his square-ish product photos and type elements and then came to the conclusion that some sort of little cartoon element was needed to seal the deal.More often than not the job of providing these clever little stylized artworks was passed to that studio/ad agency/printing house's staff artist - a talented multi-tasking jack-of-all-trades who could go from pasting up an art board to rendering a happy family to fill the hole in an ad's layout.
I'll bet that sometimes it was an aspiring young illustrator who would go on to a full-time career of drawing and painting who rendered these unsigned spots. But just as often - more often, I suspect, it was probably the job of a seasoned studio vet. Somebody who preferred the security of a 9-to-5, in spite of the mostly mudane day to day tasks, over the "thrill" of full-time freelance illustration.In spite of their anonymity, these talented folks deserve a little recognition for the work they did. The multitude of stylistic variations they producedare not only a reflection of their individual personalities, but are part and parcel of "that 50's look" we all intrinsically know and love so much.You'll find today's illustrations and a whole bunch more in my most popular Flickr set: Ads with Cartoon Elements.

Furttenbach Architectura

garden coquillage designs

coquillage decoration

coquillage design for garden

palace garden, fort and moat

halintro pyrobolia

vue d'un navire de guerre

navire tirant le canon

vue d'un port fortifié et d'une canonade

vue de la proue d'un navire à trois mâts

vue de profil d'un navire à deux mâts

vue complète d'un navire à trois mâts

vue de la proue d'un navire à deux mâts

Furttenbach's intimate garden courtyard with a small grotto

coupe d'une fontaine-grotte rocaille

cinq modèles de fenêtres

architectura privata

architectura universalis frontpiece

baroque canon

architectura universalis fortress designs

furttenbach baroque canon

mini baroque canon design

harbour fortress design

miniature baroque canon and mounting

miniature baroque canon in wheeled mounting

Architectura recreationis theatre scene

Although Joseph Furttenbach (1591-1667) spent the majority of his life in Ulm in southern Germany, it was a 10 year stay in Italy in his youth that informed his later professional output as an architect and author. He studied engineering, military architecture and stage design while in Tuscany and Florence and was influential in promoting design elements of the italian and french baroque schools in Germany.

Furrtenbach was something of a polymath and held various governmental positions in Ulm (including City Architect) where his interests included: cartography, chemistry (he described numerous gunpowder experiments he did himself in his pyrotechnics treatise), bridge, ship and organ building as well as elite home garden design.
"Furttenbach describes the grotto in his garden as being filled with artifice and exotica, including shell-encrusted sculptures and waterworks, painted cosmological imagery, and mirrors. His garden is a kind of open-air museum where the plants constitute the valued, living statues. The flowers are identifiable as the most sought after and costly bulbs of the period, the narcissus, tulip, fritillary, and crown imperial, demonstrating Furttenbach's knowledge of current botanical research."
'Architectura Universalis' (the canon series of images above) remains his best remembered work - "[a] treatise on the engineering and building of fortifications, trenches, barracks, military schools, hospitals, lazarettos, bridges, moats, boats and boat-yards, guns, canons, and much more."

There have been various compilations of Furttenbach's works released and I'm reasonably confused as to which images (scattered across the internet) derive from which original book. To the best of my very limited understanding, his major works (all of which are represented above I believe) are:

--'Halintro-Pyrobolia'. 1627 (or: 'essays on guns, fireworks, sulfur, coal, and other substances used in the manufacture of explosives')
--'Architectura Civilis'. 1628
--'Architectura Martialis' 1629
--'Architectura Universalis'. 1635
--'Architectura Recreationis'. 1640 (stage and theatre design)
--'Architectura Privata' 1641
--'Mannhafter Kunst-Spiegel' 1663 (synthesis of previous architectural interests but combined with ideas about navigation, geography, astronomy and perspective)