Saturday, March 31, 2007

Illustration Friday: SNAP

Astrological Signs Scorpio

Astrological Signs Scorpio, Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-USZC4-10069]TITLE: Scorpio / Sidy. Hall, sculpt. CALL NUMBER: Illus. in QB45 .A83 (Case X) [P&P], REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZC4-10069 (color film copy transparency), No known restrictions on publication.

SUMMARY: Astronomical chart showing a scorpion forming the constellation. MEDIUM: 1 print on layered paper board : etching, hand-colored. CREATED, PUBLISHED: [1825], CREATOR: Hall, Sidney, etcher.
Digital ID: cph 3g10069 Source: color film copy transparency Reproduction Number: LC-USZC4-10069 (color film copy transparency) Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Retrieve higher resolution JPEG version (196 kilobytes)

RELATED NAMES: Aspin, Jehoshaphat, 18th/19th cent. NOTES: Illus. in: A familiar treatise on astronomy ... / Jehoshaphat Aspin. London : 1825, pl. 23. Exhibited: World Treasures of the Library of Congress.

REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. DIGITAL ID: (color film copy transparency) cph 3g10069 hdl.loc.gov/cph.3g10069 , CARD #: 2002695514

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-USZC4-10069]

MARC Record Line 540 - No known restrictions on publication.

Scorpio (astrology) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Scorpio is an astrological sign, which is associated with the constellation Scorpius. Under the tropical zodiac, Scorpio is occupied by the Sun from October 23 to November 21,and under the sidereal zodiac, it is currently from November 16 to December 15. The opposite sign to Scorpio is Taurus, and both signs are commonly known as the most sexually-responsive of all zodiacal members.

Scorpio is the eighth sign of the Zodiac and associated with intensity, passion, and power. Individuals born under this sign are thought to have a complex, analytical, patient, keenly perceptive, inquisitive, focused, determined, hypnotic, and self-contained character, but one which is also prone to extremity, jealousy, envy, secretiveness, possessiveness, cruelty and cunning. In terms of anatomy, Scorpio is said to rule the pelvis, reproductive system and urinary system. In terms of geography Scorpio is linked with Egypt, Syria, Algeria and Morocco.

Medieval astrologers believed that "By virtue of its tail armed with its powerful sting, the Scorpion creates natures ardent for war and active service, which rejoices in plenteous bloodshed and in carnage more than in plunder. When warfare is in abeyance, they find themselves foes to attack, there are those who enjoy mockfights and joust in arms and devote their leisure to the study of war and every pursuit which arises."

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Scorpio (astrology)

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More journal pages...

Another month has come and gone.
I like april :o)

Friday, March 30, 2007

Astrological Signs Libra

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-USZC4-10068]TITLE: Libra / Sidy. Hall, sculpt. CALL NUMBER: Illus. in QB45 .A83 (Case X) [P&P], REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZC4-10068 (color film copy transparency), No known restrictions on publication.
Digital ID: cph 3g10068 Source: color film copy transparency Reproduction Number: LC-USZC4-10068 (color film copy transparency) Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Retrieve higher resolution JPEG version (192 kilobytes)

SUMMARY: Astronomical chart showing a balance forming the constellation. MEDIUM: 1 print on layered paper board : etching, hand-colored. CREATED, PUBLISHED: [1825], CREATOR: Hall, Sidney, etcher.

RELATED NAMES: Aspin, Jehoshaphat, 18th/19th cent. NOTES: Illus. in: A familiar treatise on astronomy ... / Jehoshaphat Aspin. London : 1825, pl. 22.
Exhibited: World Treasures of the Library of Congress, 2002.

REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. DIGITAL ID: (color film copy transparency) cph 3g10068 hdl.loc.gov/cph.3g10068, CARD #: 2002695513

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-USZC4-10068]

MARC Record Line 540 - No known restrictions on publication.

Libra (astrology) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Libra is an astrological sign, which is associated with the constellation Libra. Under the tropical zodiac, Libra is occupied by the Sun from September 23 to October 22, and under the sidereal zodiac, it ends on November 15. The opposite sign to Libra is Aries.

Libra is the seventh sign of the Zodiac and associated with justice. Individuals born under this sign are thought to have a pleasant, articulate, charming, charismatic, fair, idealistic, refined, and self-sufficient character, but one which is also prone to flirtatiousness, frivolity, indecision, selfishness, anger, envy, excessive pride, cruelty, coldness, and isolation. In terms of anatomy, Libra is said to rule the excretory functions via the kidneys, skin, lumbar region, buttocks, adrenals and vasomotor system, and lumbar vertebrae. In terms of geography Libra is linked with China, Japan, Denmark, Austria, Argentina, Tibet, Ethiopia, India, Italy, France, Egypt and South Africa.

Physically, individuals born under the sign of Libra supposedly tend to have a graceful figure; a roundish head; a tan or almost olive complexion; large and soulful eyes; small and refined features; a high forehead; a thin nose; dark, thick hair; and thin eyebrows. They are thought to usually be of above average height.

In mythology Libra is often associated with the Greek mythological figure of Atalanta. Libra is also associated with the Greco-Roman goddess Aphrodite/Venus and sometimes also the goddesses Hera/Juno, Ishtar, Freyja, and Frigg and the gods Xolotl,

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Libra (astrology)

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Little penguin for Israel


I used Hillary Lang's
wonderful Wee Bunny pattern, found here.
I just modified it a bit: I used the bunny ears as little wings.
All hand sewn and made with lotsa love for my beautiful son Israel.
They are both happy with their new softies.This week was very productive creatively
so I've decided to spend my weekend
swinging on the hammock and watch my boys play.
I'll be back monday with this week's
Illustration Friday topic: SNAP.

Hope you all have a beautiful weekend!
Thank you so much for all the comments on
the Kitty-a-Day Week :o)

Frank Soltesz - Man or Superman?


If I told you about someone who could look down on the earth from a great height, who could see through walls with x-ray vision and observe the minute details of human and machine activities therein, someone whom we know nothing about -- a mysterious stranger -- you might think I was talking about Superman.


In fact, I'm talking about Frank Soltesz. Soltesz may have been a mere mortal, but certainly many of us would consider the artwork he did to be a superhuman feat of illustration.


Since there seems to be no biographical information anywhere on the artist the only clues about his career we can look to are what we've seen so far.

So was his area of illustration expertise a comfortable niche or a pigeon hole?

We really don't know. Aside from his impressive series of cutaways for Armstrong's Industrial Insulation, I've found very few examples of work by Soltesz. And what I have found, more often than not, is similar to those cutaways in style and perspective. Soltesz either chose to do mainly huge technical subjects seen from a great distance or clients chose him for his expertise with that sort of material.

Sometimes we choose the job... sometimes the job chooses us.


The only story illustration by the artist I've come across is this cover (above) for one of (Marvel Comics publisher) Martin Goodman's "men's sweat" magazines. Its existence at least reassures us that Frank Soltesz was as accomplished at dramatic close-ups of intense action as he was at far-off views of technical complexity.

The rest, at least for now, remains a mystery.

All of these images can be found at full size in my Frank Soltesz Flickr set.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Astrological Signs Virgo

Astrological Signs Virgo, Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-USZC4-10067]TITLE: Virgo / Sidy. Hall, sculpt. CALL NUMBER: Illus. in QB45 .A83 (Case X) [P&P], REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZC4-10067 (color film copy transparency), No known restrictions on publication.
Digital ID: cph 3g10067 Source: color film copy transparency Reproduction Number: LC-USZC4-10067 (color film copy transparency) Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Retrieve higher resolution JPEG version (205 kilobytes)

SUMMARY: Astronomical chart showing a winged virgin holding wheat in her left hand and a lily(?) in her right hand forming the constellation.

MEDIUM: 1 print on layered paper board : etching, hand-colored. CREATED, PUBLISHED: [1825], CREATOR: Hall, Sidney, etcher.

RELATED NAMES: Aspin, Jehoshaphat, 18th/19th cent. NOTES: Illus. in: A familiar treatise on astronomy ... / Jehoshaphat Aspin. London : 1825, pl. 21. Exhibited: World Treasures of the Library of Congress, 2002.

REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. DIGITAL ID: (color film copy transparency) cph 3g10067 hdl.loc.gov/cph.3g10067 CARD #: 2002695512

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-USZC4-10067]

MARC Record Line 540 - No known restrictions on publication.

Virgo (astrology) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Virgo is an astrological sign, which is associated with the constellation Virgo. Under the tropical zodiac, Virgo is occupied by the Sun from August 23 to September 22, and under the sidereal zodiac, it is currently from September 17 to October 17. The opposite sign to Virgo is Pisces.

Virgo is the sixth sign of the Zodiac, a set of astrological signs, and associated with purity and service. Individuals born under this sign are thought to have a diligent, analytical, self-sufficient, controlled, orderly, and modest character but one which is also prone to fussiness, perfectionism, harsh criticism, coldness, and hypochondria. In terms of anatomy, Virgo is said to rule the abdominal region, large and small intestines, spleen, solar plexus, lower lobes of the liver, pancreas, portal veins, umbilicus, hands, nails, and carpal bones. In terms of geography Virgo is linked with Turkey, Greece, Brazil, Uruguay and the Caribbean. According to some astrologers Virgo is a barren sign.

Virgo is traditionally thought to be ruled by the planet Mercury. However, during the late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century it was speculated in certain astrological circles that the planet Vulcan, thought to be located near Mercury, was the true planetary ruler of Virgo. Today, some astrologers believe that the dwarf planets Sedna and Eris are or will be the planetary rulers/co-rulers of Virgo. Many astrologers who study the powerful asteroid Chiron, known as "the wounded healer", believe it has the best claim upon the rulership of Virgo. Currently, the vast majority of astrologers still think of Mercury as the planetary ruler of this sign.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Virgo (astrology)

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Le petit poulet

I made this for my son
Daniel's growing chicken collection.
It's made with wool felt and embroidery.
That's the chicken
waiting to be found by Daniel
on his school desk.You can see more pics of the chicken
and Daniel's collection at my Flickr site.

The Comet Book

"Necessarium est autem veteres ortus cometarum habere collectos. Deprehendi enim propter raritatem eorum cursus adhuc non potest, nec explorari an vices servent et illos ad suum diem certus ordo producat"

[It is essential that we have a record of all the appearances of comets in former times. For, on account of their infrequency, their orbit cannot yet be discovered or examined in detail, to see they observe a periodical interval and whether their reappearance on a fixed day could be the result of certain cause] {Seneca, 60AD}


comet engravings from the Theater of Comets


1664 comet path illustrations - Lubieniecki


Systema astronomicum cometae - Salsburg


1664 comet paths on star map


Uranoscopica Henricus 1665


Comet view from Holland on celestial map 1665


Comet trajectory on focal star sign map


Caspar Schott comet path on star map



historic comet trajectories on engraved star map


Ingolstadt 1664 - comet path in illustrated star field


Star map with comet paths seen from Vienna 1660s


Hamburg city sky - comet path 1665


1664 comet path on astrology star map


comet on star map


Cetus astronomical focus with comet


astronomical system with comet


fish mouth star field close-up


comparison of star field engraving styles with comets


Comet views on celestial map


Autorum Scriptis - large field astrological star map


comet seen from Britain on star map


hydra star system with comet paths seen by Caspar Schott


comet path overlaid on star map


Stanislaus Lubienietzki (1623-1675) was a Polish historian and astronomer. [variations on his name include Lubieniecki and Lubienietski] Apart from the present work, he is remembered for the posthumous publication of The History of the Polish Reformation ('Historia Reformationis Polonicae'). He is said to have been persecuted by Lutheran ministers who ultimately murdered him and his 2 daughters with poison {source}.

The vast 'Theatrum Cometicum' (The Theatre of Comets) was published in Amsterdam in 1668 and includes about 80 lavish engravings (a great many of them are double-page fold out illustrations). It provides accounts of over 400 comet sightings throughout history and in discussing their meaning, Lubienietzki essentially helps usher in a more astronomical rather than astrological approach to the study of comets.

Much of the book is devoted to recording the observations across Europe of comets that occurred in 1664/1665 by eminent scholars such as Athanasius Kircher, Caspar Schott, Otto von Guericke, Christian Huygens and Johannes Hevelius, among others. They each supplied constellation charts with their accounts so the engraved plates made for this book reflect the variety of cartographic traditions popular during the 17th century (the styles of Willem Janszoon Blaeu and Jodocus Hondius dominate). The contribution by Hevelius (also from Poland) is interesting because his own treatise, 'Cometographia', was also published in 1668.

Kitty-a-day #5

"Kitty in space"
Watercolor and ink on paper.

Fresh Frozen Frank Soltesz

We don't give such things a second thought these days but I suppose 50 or 60 years ago the concept of fresh frozen foods was still quite novel. My father-in-law was a boy during the 1940's and has told me stories of the ice man delivering blocks, cut during the winter months from nearby Hamilton Harbour, for his mother's icebox. Imagine that.


Yup, once you'd bought that bag of frozen peas you'd want to store it in the freezer compartment of your brand new electric refrigerator. "Before we tour this plant, do you know what a refrigerator really is?" asks the copy writer of the ad below. "Most people think it "manufactures cold." Of course, that's wrong. There's no such thing as "cold." It's just the absence of heat." Huh! "No such thing as cold"... who knew?


The good folks at Telstar Logistics have enjoyed this week's look at Frank Soltesz so much they were inspired to blog about him themselves. They even managed to locate a smidgeon of information about this otherwise unknown illustrator. Go take a look.

* As always, today's images need to be viewed at full size to be truly appreciated. You can do that by clicking on "All Sizes" in my Frank Soltesz Flickr set.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Astrological Signs Leo

An unidentified lady, referred to by her nom-de-plume, Jehoshaphat Aspin, designed these whimsical astronomy cards. Most of the names of the zodiacal constellations date from the early Babylonian period, possibly from the Sumerians. The zodiac itself is a mathematical concept, which does not appear to be in use prior to 400 B.C. High Resolution Image
It provides a frame of reference in which the positions of the sun, moon, and planets could be expressed by their angular distance from the beginning of the sign in which they were located.

SUMMARY: Astronomical chart showing Leo the Lion forming the constellation. CREATED, PUBLISHED: [1825].

NOTES: Illus. in: A familiar treatise on astronomy ... / Jehoshaphat Aspin. London : 1825, pl. 18.

Works published prior to 1978 were copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" from the U.S. Copyright Office. Works published before 1923 are now in the public domain.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division

MARC Record Line 540 - No known restrictions on publication.

Leo (astrology), From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Leo is an astrological sign, which is associated with the constellation Leo. Under the tropical zodiac, Leo is occupied by the Sun from July 23 to August 22, and under the sidereal zodiac, it is currently from August 17 to September 16. The opposite sign to Leo is Aquarius. Leos, like lions, are thought to be strong leaders. They are thought to generally have a regal quality to them, and possess a noble manner that is hard to miss.

The glyph for Leo represents the mane of the lion.

Leo is the fifth sign of the Zodiac and is associated with the keywords magnanimous, generous, hospitable, caring, warm, authoritative, active and open.

Leos are typically pictured as very dignified and regal. They are hard-working, ambitious and enthusiastic, however they are prone to laziness and can often take "the easy way out."

They are known to be exuberant, extroverted, generous with a natural dramatic flair and very creative.They are typically very self-assured, and love taking center-stage in whatever arena they are in.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Leo (astrology)

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Kitty-a-day #4

"Le chat bleu"
Watercolor & ink on paper.

Frank Soltesz - Storyteller

The tiny people in Frank Soltesz's factories and industrial plants seem, of necessity, like ants in a colony or worker bees in a hive -- their clothing largely indistinguishable from each other and their activities mostly unified in the process of completing some mundane task.

But when Soltesz painted cutaways of buildings like hotels and hospitals, he invested each tiny person with an individual identity. Through the unique characteristics and actities of these miniature people, Frank Soltesz truly became a storyteller.


What does the solitary man looking out the fourth floor corner window contemplate? Does he know about the poker game going on in the room below his feet? And as we peek in on room after room of people socializing, eating and working we have to wonder about the lonely fellow sitting in isolation in the basement corner boiler room.

Just as fascinating are the variety of the people and situations in the hospital. From the fathers admiring their newborn babies to the patients taking some fresh air on the rooftop patio to the dark humour of having the operating rooms located directly above the cafeteria meat locker, Soltesz gives us a god-like glimpse into the lives of a hundred unique individuals whose circumstances we can only begin to imagine.

Unfortunately, due to a torn corner, we may never know what transpired in the hospital's west wing...


If you haven't yet taken a look at my Frank Soltesz Flickr set, today is the day to spend a few minutes enjoying this wonderful artist's efforts in all its glorious detail!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

KENT WILLIAMS



I love these powerful pictures by Kent Williams, one of my favorite artists working in graphic novels today. These kinds of images have their roots all the way back in the urschleim.

Williams is also a magazine illustrator, a gallery painter and an art teacher. He teaches contemporary figurative painting in Pasadena, California.



Some of his pictures are more successful than others, but Williams is one of the very few sequential artists who I think makes effective use of the technical tools and creative choices now offered by graphic novels. For example, the following panel from the graphic novel Tell Me Dark displays far more nuanced color and shading than was possible in previous generations of comic books.



As another example, Williams used a kneaded eraser to mold a figure by lifting highlights from a background of vine charcoal. This delicate technique was not possible with the printing technology for earlier comic books.



The golden age of illustration began in the late 19th century as a result of the invention of photoengraving. Prior to that time, art could only be published in a book or magazine by painstakingly tracing the original image onto a wooden block which was then carved by hand by an engraver. The artist was at the mercy of the engraver (who often co-signed the finished block) as well as the printer. Photoengraving inspired a mini-renaissance because for the first time, books and magazines faithfully captured the artist's true talent (for better or worse).

Comics have now gone through a similar renaissance. For most of their history, comics were drawn in pencil by one artist, then traced in ink by a second artist for reproduction. Often, a third artist applied color on a separate page or guide sheet as a reference tool for the printer. Now graphic novels have overcome all these limitations of the medium. Today's artists are free to work with delicate line, or subtle gradations in color and value, or mixed media.
While many writers have taken advantage of the freedom of the graphic novel, very few artists have risen to the challenge. Most sequential artists treat the graphic novel like a super sized comic book on glossy paper. Even successful painters such as Alex Ross, who use the new image quality to convey slick, photo-realistic art, don't add much artistic integrity. Their art may be dazzling but it seems thin and lacking in humanity.

Apart from Williams, there seems to be only a handful of artists-- McKean, Miller, and perhaps half a dozen others-- who are doing artwork worthy of the medium.

Astrological Signs Cancer

Astronomical chart showing Cancer the Crab, Jehoshaphat Aspin. London : 1825SUMMARY: Astronomical chart showing Cancer the Crab forming the constellation. MEDIUM: 1 print on layered paper board : etching, hand-colored. CREATED, PUBLISHED: [1825], CREATOR: Hall, Sidney, etcher.

NOTES: Illus. in: A familiar treatise on astronomy ... / Jehoshaphat Aspin. London : 1825, pl. 18.
Works published prior to 1978 were copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" from the U.S. Copyright Office. Works published before 1923 are now in the public domain.

Cancer (astrology), From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cancer is an astrological sign, which is associated with the constellation Cancer. Under the tropical zodiac, Cancer is occupied by the Moon from June 21 to July 22 and under the sidereal zodiac, it is currently from July 21 to August 9. The sign opposite to Cancer is Capricorn.

Cancer is the fourth sign of the Zodiac and associated with family and domesticity. Individuals born under this sign are thought to have a kind, emotional, romantic, imaginative, sympathetic, nurturing, and intuitive character, but one which is also prone to changeability, moodiness, hypersensitivity, depression, and clinginess. In terms of anatomy, Cancer is said to rule the breasts, epigastric region, elbows, stomach, digestive organs, upper lobe of the liver, thoracic duct, pancreas, blood serum, and the womb. In terms of geography Cancer is linked with New Zealand, the Netherlands, Scotland, Africa, and Italy.

In the past, Cancer was considered a fortunate, fruitful sign, strongly associated with tribes, clans, and closely-knit family groups.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Cancer (astrology)

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