Friday, February 29, 2008

Winter Child's Play sledding and snowy playground

children snow sledding

winter snow on the playground
Children at Winter play in Riverside Park on the upper westside of Manhattan, NYC. Sledding while parents look on and a hardy monkey bar enthusiast on a snowy playground..

I, (sookietex) the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible, I grant any entity the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

If This image is subject to copyright in your jurisdiction, i (sookietex) the copyright holder have irrevocably released all rights to it, allowing it to be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited in any way by anyone for any purpose,
commercial or non-commercial, with or without attribution of the author, as if in the public domain.


Find the Perfect Fine Art and Image Gifts

Tags: and or and or and

Illustration Friday: LEAP

Prepared pages for my daily journaling.
Watercolor, ink, hand carved stamps
and collage on paper.
I usually decorate a couple of weeks in advance
of my journal & then just write what I do every day.
You can see more of my journaling here
Click on the image above to see it BIGGER

Fourteen times in 400 years

Did you know Leap Day can occur more often on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday? Statistically speaking, Leap Day can happen 14 times every 400 years. 2008's Leap Day falls on a Friday so today must be one of the 14 in 400! That's a rare and fascinating occurrence - so to celebrate the day, ABS is "leaping" through posts from the past year to showcase some fascinating art beads!

Monday, October 15th lovely painted glass beads by Pat Wilde


Friday, September 7, 2007 Ginkgo Leaves by Lisa Kan Designs




Raku Ginkgo Leaves by Dreamweaver




September 6, 2007Found Object Beads Glass Onion



Wednesday, May 16, 2007: Chrysanthemum Spiral Flower Bead by Ann Drewing



Also on May 16, 2007 Raku Vineyard Beads by Sorta Flowering Designs


Monday, April 2, 2007 Tari Sasser's Realistic Branch buttons


Tari Sasser of Clay Buttons is the featured artist tomorrow on Studio Saturdays at "the 'Scene" . Remember to stop by to take a peek inside of Tari's studio! In the meantime, enjoy Leap Day - an extra day in the year to create with art beads!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Republican Elephant by Thomas Nast

Republican Elephant by Thomas Nast1874 Nast cartoon depicted GOP as an elephant demolishing the flimsy planks of the Democrats.

The "Third-Term Panic", by Thomas Nast, originally published in Harper's Magazine 7 November 1874.
This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where 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 and also in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris) in this case 1902, and that most commonly run for a period of 50 to 70 years from that date.

February 28, 1854 - The Republican Party of the United States is organized in Ripon, Wisconsin.

History of the United States Republican Party From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Republican Party was created in 1854 in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act that would have allowed the expansion of slavery into Kansas. The Republican activists denounced the act as proof of the power of the Slave Power—the powerful class of southern slaveholders who were conspiring to control the federal government and to spread slavery nationwide. The name "Republican" gained such favor in 1854 because "republicanism" was the paramount political value the new party meant to uphold. The party founders adopted the name "Republican" to indicate it was the carrier of "republican" beliefs about civic virtue, and opposition to aristocracy and corruption. The name had been in previous use by Jeffersonians, Jacksonians, and nationalists.

Besides opposition to slavery, the new party put forward a progressive vision of modernizing the United States—emphasizing higher education, banking, railroads, industry and cities, while promising free homesteads to farmers. They vigorously argued that free-market labor was superior to slavery and the very foundation of civic virtue and true American values—this is the "Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men" ideology explored by historian Eric Foner.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, History of the United States Republican Party SEE FULL License, Credit and Disclaimer

Find the Perfect Fine Art and Image Gifts

Tags: and or and or and

The Incursion of the Avant-garde: A Philosophical Rift Begins

Some truly thought-provoking comments this week. If you haven't already done so, I encourage you to go back to the previous posts and read them. The discussion going on there reminded me of an incident from early on in my career...


My friend and fellow in-house storyboard artist at O&M Toronto, Dan Milligan, had been asked by one of the AD's at the agency who also taught at OCAD to substitute teach her interpretive illustration class for a few weeks while she was out of the country. Because it was a large group, the AD had also asked her friend, Anita Kunz, to co-teach the class with Dan.

But when Dan and Anita presented themselves to the students for the first time, and it was suggested that half the group go with Dan and the other half go with Anita, what should have been a simple arrangement turned into a huge conflict.


Apart from a tiny handful of students, almost everyone began stampeding towards Anita.

Now you could rationalize that given the choice between a (then) unknown storyboard artist or an award winning 'celebrity' illustrator you would have rushed Anita with the rest of the group. But personally, I think something else was going on (and the comments Dan endured from the students who grudgingly joined his group in the end confirm my suspicions):

Nobody could imagine enjoying an advertising assignment. They all wanted to express their unfettered creativity - and presumed that Anita's group, doing an editorial assignment, would allow for limitless personal expression.


I believe you can trace the origin of this philosophical rift to the work of the first generation of 'Avant-gardes'... and the early adopter art directors who hired them.

Yesterday David Apatoff commented that Robert Weaver was tormented by the fact that he had had to "compromise" his creative vision by working as a an illustrator - in essence, as a 'hired gun' - and that there were some fellow illustrators who were sympathetic to that perspective.


This way of looking at the profession seems to me to have been entirely alien to the previous generation of illustrators. From what I've read and from the conversations I've had with those who were there, the goal of just about every art student was to get paid to draw (not a bad prospect) and exert as much creative influence as was possible, considering the collaborative nature of the commercial art business.

Looking at the editorial - or 'story' - art of the 50's, there is a general sense of traditional, acceptable, well-crafted restraint to the work - even when the subject matter is volatile. Even the most forward thinking illustrators like Al Parker seemed to have set certain parameters... certain boundaries that simply could not be crossed.


But beginning with the Avant-gardes - and I would say continuing to this very day, the idea of having total creative freedom (and I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest, even freedom from the constraints of craft) has been seen by a faction within the illustration business as a more acceptable - and even nobler - attitude than the traditional approach to commercial art.


I'm hardly in a position to judge. Like I said at the beginning of the week, I like a lot of the work we're looking at in these posts, even though I have to admit that I don't neccessarily understand it. But in regards to the broader public (and ultimately, we are talking about work produced for consumtion by the general public), no doubt some would say, "why would I want to pay somebody all that money for something my 5-year-old could draw?"

Is this were unfettered creativity leads? And if so, how does it make for viable commercial art?


This post will be continued... tomorrow.

Ornament Thursday February 28, 2008 - Lucky!





It's Ornament Thursday at Art Bead Scene. February's theme is Lucky. Yesterday ABS editor Cindy Gimbrone posted her Lucky Knots and Lampwork tutorial Part one on her blog and Part two here on ABS.

What have the Ornament Thursday gals been up to this month? With a theme like "Lucky" it's bound to be good!

Art Bead Scene
Lucky ABS! We're part 2 of Lucky Knots!

Cindy Gimbrone
Luck is knotted up in Part 1 of this tutorial!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie is inspired by a lucky Leprechaun to make a fairy tale, treasure filled necklace

Jennifer Heynen of Jangles
Lucky Charms Bracelet...The name says it all. This bracelet has everything to bring you good luck.

Joolz by Lisa
As Luck Would Have It...Lucky Earrings

Katie's Beading Blog
Make your own luck with these fun, swingy earrings!

Labyrinth O' Luck
Hali has created a finger labyrinth journal designed after a 4-leaf clover.

Linda Augsburg at Make It Mine magazine
Lucky doesn't begin to describe the adventure I had making this T-shirt...

Lucky
Lucky to be... based on a coin holder a friend made for me...

http://art-interrupted.blogspot.com"/>Lucky to be Me
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? Well, YOU, of course. No matter who you are when you look into this magical mirror, you'll be reminded you're lucky to be you!

Lynn Kvigne - Beading Help Web
Irish Proverb Window Ornament - step by step instructions for making this year-round ornament that may bring luck right through your window!

Melissa J. Lee - Strands of Beads
Good fortune is yours with this cookie-inspired necklace.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
You'll "make Jean's day " if you check out her lucky Pendant with a Clint Eastwood eighties twist

Swell Designer
Swelldesigner gets lucky this month with some super colorful, sparkly painted bangles

The Impatient Blogger
Luck starts with a wish...Margot shares an project she created for Simply Beads last August.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New daily journal format

I started a new journal this week.
My sister in law from San Diego brought me
a really nice 5 1/2 inch square
olive green cloth covered journal
filled with watercolor paper from Dick Blick.
I love the new square format
and size of the journal.
Very practical.

Sparrows in the family Passeridae

Sparrows in the family Passeridae

Sparrows in the family Passeridae
Wintering over sparrows at the Collegiate School garden located on the upper west side of Manhattan at 77th and West End Ace.. The school traces is history back to 1628.

I, (sookietex) the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible, I grant any entity the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

If This image is subject to copyright in your jurisdiction, i (sookietex) the copyright holder have irrevocably released all rights to it, allowing it to be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted,
used, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited in any way by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, with or without attribution of the author, as if in the public domain.

Sparrow From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The "true sparrows", the Old World sparrows in the family Passeridae, are small passerine birds. Generally, sparrows tend to be small, plump brown-grey birds with short tails and stubby yet powerful beaks. The differences between sparrow species can be subtle. They are primarily seed-eaters, though they also consume small insects. A few species scavenge for food around cities and, like gulls or pigeons, will happily eat virtually anything in small quantities. This family ranges in size from the Chestnut Sparrow (Passer eminibey), at 11.4 cm (4.5 inches) and 13.4 g., to the Parrot-billed Sparrow (Passer gongonensis), at 18 cm (7 inches) and 42 g. (1.5 oz).

The Old World true sparrows are found indigenously in Europe, Africa and Asia. In Australia and the Americas, early settlers imported some species which quickly naturalised, particularly in urban and degraded areas. House Sparrows, for example, are now found throughout North America, in every state of Australia except Western Australia, and over much of the heavily populated parts of South America.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Sparrow. SEE FULL License, Credit and Disclaimer
Tags: and or and or and

The Incursion of the Avant-garde: Marvin Friedman

Perhaps by the time Marvin Friedman produced these pieces for Boys' Life magazine in 1969 the actual incursion of the avant-garde illustration movement had ended, and the idea of combining both commercial and fine art sensibilities in mainstream illustration was simply an accepted approach in any illustrator's repetoire.


Still, its a little surprising that artwork like this had penetrated far enough into the popular culture that it was considered entirely appropriate for an audience quite a bit less sophisticated than that of , say, Fortune magazine or Esquire.


Marvin Friedman, born in 1930, had studied under Henry C. Pitz at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art before beginning a career in illustration that found him working for most of the major magazines in what Walt Reed, in his book, "The Illustrator in America", calls "a direct, reportorial manner."


I would go one further and add, "with a heavy dose of vigorous, expressionistic influence".


To me, Friedman's work is a good example of the middle ground between the radical fringe of Robert Weaver and the commercial acceptability of Bernie Fuchs or Bob Peak.


Not to put too fine a point on it but there is enough literal interpretation in Friedman's work here to make it more palatable to a general audience than there is in Weaver's art. But it still isn't as pretty or idealized as the work that Fuchs and many others from this period were producing.


The thing all of these artist had in common was that they were exploring ways to differentiate their work from that of the photographers who were capturing an ever growing share of the assignments. With that in mind a piece like the one below, which might initially be dismissed as looking like nothing more than the early stages of an underpainting, takes on a new light.


And this is the great contribution of the avant-garde movement: this first wave set illustrators free to explore their potential, to create the most honest work they could make and, hopefully, to enlighten and inspire art directors to see the merit in illustration as a still viable communications tool.


There is a wonderful collection of Marvin Friedman's later work at Marvin Friedman.net
The images can be viewed at a nice large size so you can better appreciate their complexity and detail.

My Marvin Friedman Flickr set.

Lucky Knots



Ornament Thursday's February Theme is Lucky. ABS Editor, Cindy Gimbrone has posted her Lucky Knots and Lampwork tutorial in two parts. Part one is on her blog, part two - making the clasp and finishing is here.

Part Two: Making the Clasp and Finishing

Tip: If you have done seed bead work, finishing the bracelet is the same technique as finishing off-loom seed beadwork. The ends of the cord are worked back through the knotting with one side of the cord made into the loop for the button clasp.

18. Thread one side of the cording through the tapestry or child’s needle. This cord will be needle-threaded down one side of the knotting 2 knots at a time for at least 2 inches (See figure with needle below). After about 2 inches, the cording will be needle threaded up the opposite side for at least 2 inches.




19. After you have threaded the cording down one side of the the knotting and up the opposite side, cut any left over cording. You can add a dab of glue inside the knotting on the cord if you are worried it may come loose. I have never used glue on any of the Lucky Knots. Work the end back into the knots.

20. The remaining left over cording will be made into a loop. Check your loop to be sure that it will fit snugly over the lampwork bead. Make sure the loop remains the correct size as you complete the next steps (See figure below).




21. Repeat steps 18-19.


You have completed your bracelet! (See Finished Bracelet picture) Put on your bracelet and enjoy the Ornament Thursday Girls Fabulous Link List below!



Art Bead Scene
Lucky ABS! We're part 2 of Lucky Knots!

Cindy Gimbrone
Luck is knotted up in Part 1 of this tutorial!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie is inspired by a lucky Leprechaun to make a fairy tale, treasure filled necklace

Jennifer Heynen of Jangles
Lucky Charms Bracelet...The name says it all. This bracelet has everything to bring you good luck.

Joolz by Lisa
As Luck Would Have It...Lucky Earrings

Katie's Beading Blog
Make your own luck with these fun, swingy earrings!

Labyrinth O' Luck
Hali has created a finger labyrinth journal designed after a 4-leaf clover.

Linda Augsburg at Make It Mine magazine
Lucky doesn't begin to describe the adventure I had making this T-shirt...

Lucky
Lucky to be... based on a coin holder a friend made for me...

http://art-interrupted.blogspot.com"/>Lucky to be Me
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? Well, YOU, of course. No matter who you are when you look into this magical mirror, you'll be reminded you're lucky to be you!

Lynn Kvigne - Beading Help Web
Irish Proverb Window Ornament - step by step instructions for making this year-round ornament that may bring luck right through your window!

Melissa J. Lee - Strands of Beads
Good fortune is yours with this cookie-inspired necklace.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
You'll "make Jean's day " if you check out her lucky Pendant with a Clint Eastwood eighties twist

Swell Designer
Swelldesigner gets lucky this month with some super colorful, sparkly painted bangles

The Impatient Blogger
Luck starts with a wish...Margot shares an project she created for Simply Beads last August.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

HAROLD GRAY: AN APPRECIATION



No one bothers to think too much about Little Orphan Annie anymore. Decades ago, Harold Gray's classic comic strip was analyzed, categorized and handed over to the domain of the archivists and historians.

Yet, judged by today's artistic standards, LOA is fresher, more powerful, and visually stronger than many current graphic novels and underground comix. Gray's epic saga of America during the Depression, World War II and the cold war is downright fashionable:

1. Today, slick artistic skill isn't valued as much as a distinctive personal voice. Gray's art was about as distinctive and personal as you can get. He drew human beings that looked like tree trunks (and what's with those eyeballs??) His art appeared freakish compared with other strips of his day, yet today it seems perfectly at home next to the art of R. Crumb or even Gary Larson's Far Side:



2. Today's readers adore Frank Miller's noir style, with his dark view of human nature and his anti-establishment rhetoric. Gray used similar ingredients (minus the garter belts) to make equally gritty, noir pictures. Note how beautifully Gray depicts Death at the door:



I love the hoodlums in this depression-era train yard:



And here is Gray's equivalent of Sin City, circa 1944:



3. Today's readers favor stories by opinionated writer/artists who spin out personally meaningful sagas. Gray probably invested more of his personal philosophy in his strip than any other comic artist of the 20th century. An endearing combination of Ayn Rand, John Bunyan and Charles Dickens, Gray hardly let a week go by without sermonizing about the virtues of self-reliance or the hypocrisy of society.



He also never stopped banging the drum for his own crackpot version of anti-communism:



Some readers complained bitterly about his politics but Gray would not be deterred. Al Capp, creator of Li'l Abner, recalls that Gray took him aside when Capp was just getting started:

I know your stuff, Capp. You're going to be around a long time. Take my advice and buy a house in the country. Build a wall around it. And get ready to protect yourself. The way things are going, people who earn their living someday are going to have to fight off the bums.
No matter where he is categorized, I will always view Gray as an extremely talented and insightful artist. In the following panel, I love how the word balloons curl around the corner, how the cluster of eavesdropping hoodlums form a parabola, and how two random alley cats occupy center stage:



Another typical Gray panel: a surrealistic discussion between an eight foot mystic and a war profiteer, while (a rather freakish looking) Annie listens:



Gray's work may seem crude at first, but it has many nice and subtle touches. Note how Gray conveys the spinelessness of the two lackeys in the following panel:



Little Orphan Annie is an epic American achievement by a vivid storyteller and a genuine eccentric. It might be a good choice for a modern reader of graphic novels looking to upgrade to something better.



After Gray died in 1968, the strip was continued (sometimes under the name Annie ) by a series of different artists (including the great Leonard Starr) but talent can only go so far to compensate for natural born weirdness.

Thinking of Ending it All?

I mean your jewelry design. Do you really think about how to end it? Or are you stuck in a rut with the same old spring ring clasp? Let's inspire you with a few exciting claspossibilities! ABS inspired inspiration comes from Elaine Ray's clay and wood clasps or from Tari Sasser's sassy purple leaf clasps above. Making the clasp the center of your design? What about a Carl Clasmeyer handmade clasp? Maybe a Humblebeads petal clasp below? Here's a quick antidote - surf on Etsy and ogle some creative clasps. Can't show a picture here, you'll have to go over to Etsy and see. It's cool! If you're going to end it all, do so creatively! What's YOUR favorite clasp?