Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Fisch Wappenbuch

Wappenbuch des Hans Ulrich Fisch b


Wappenbuch des Hans Ulrich Fisch a


Wappenbuch des Hans Ulrich Fisch c


Wappenbuch des Hans Ulrich Fisch e


Wappenbuch des Hans Ulrich Fisch i


Wappenbuch des Hans Ulrich Fisch f


Wappenbuch des Hans Ulrich Fisch g


Wappenbuch des Hans Ulrich Fisch d


Wappenbuch des Hans Ulrich Fisch h


Wappenbuch des Hans Ulrich Fisch


Wappenbuch des Hans Ulrich Fisch j


Wappenbuch des Hans Ulrich Fisch l


Wappenbuch des Hans Ulrich Fisch k

Hans Ulrich Fisch (1583-1647) was a stained glass painter, book illustrator and local politician in the northern Swiss town of Aarau in the canton of Aargau.

Aargau is significant because the 11th century castle in the small town of Habsburg gave rise to the name (and original family seat) of the mighty Habsburg royal dynasty which ruled significant portions of Europe for more than five hundred years.

The eccentric album seen here, produced by Fisch in 1622, is an abbreviated family tree and record of the coat of arms of the Habsburg (Hapsburg) dynasty rulers. No doubt they claimed an impeccable pedigree, with the inclusion of Julius Caesar in their ranks (third picture from top). [Having said that, I think it might be something of a tradition in Wappenbuch (Coat of Arms books)].

2008 is the commemorative year with regards to both the first written mention of the Habsburgs (1108) and also the murder of King Albrecht I of Habsburg Germany in 1308, who was regarded as the founder of the Habsburg empire. {The abbey church of Königsfelden was built 700 years ago in remembrance of the murdered king Albrecht I}

Yellow Rose and Roses

Yellow Roses

Yellow Roses
Yellow Roses Found on Broadway, New York City at the west 72d street subway station, May 31st.

Rose From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rose shrubs are often used by homeowners and landscape architects for home security purposes. The sharp thorns of many rose species deter unauthorized persons from entering private properties, and may prevent break-ins if planted under windows and near drainpipes.
The aesthetic characteristics of rose shrubs, in conjunction with their home security qualities, makes them a considerable alternative to artificial fences and walls.

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

Image License: 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.

Michigan Bulb Logo

Studio Saturday

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner. This week's winner of Heather's Urchin bead is Cindy Leitz!
Please use the suggestion box on the sidebar to send us your address.

I have always loved the imagery of the Sun and Moon. Above are two new buttons. Both are in bisque form and haven't been glazed yet. They will have dual personalities. They will be buttons and a new item I am releasing at my show next week, a Needleminder. They will have magnets in them so they attract your needles (and each other, one on top of the canvas and one on bottom) as you are stitching and don't end up on the floor.
I will be on hiatus for a while. 2 shows in a row and medical issue. I should be back some time in July/August.

My Question is:
Do you have a bead/button or other item that has a dual purpose?

This weeks prize is a mystery button! It's a mystery because I have to run take a shower! We have a child graduating today! 3 down, 3 to go.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Color Mixed Brushes

Brush set for Adobe Illustrator by celithralia . "The colors shown are the base colors for the brushes. You can change the line color at any time to experiment with different color hues. Bolder color choices seem to work best. You can always drag the brush icon out onto the main board and edit the colors, then create a new brush if you want a specific color combination." Download

Lion's Head Gargoyles

Lion's Head Gargoyles

Lion's Head Gargoyles
Lion's Head Gargoyles (chimera) guard the front of a brownstone rowhouse on the eastside of Manhatten. Found in the east 70s between Lexington and Park Avenues.

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.

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Business masterclasses for illustrators

The Association of Illustrators (AOI) has announced a business management course aimed at illustrators setting up on their own. The 11-session course starts on September 3; the AOI is offering a discount on the course cost for those who book by July 31.
Through a series of practical workshops, the courses aims to equip illustrators for self-employed life. Workshop themes include self-promotion; bigger markets for profit; copyright, licensing and contracts; pricing your work; persuasion and negotiation; portfolios and agents; money management; keeping abreast of technology; and tax and bookkeeping.
Read more Digital Arts Online

Report from the Reubens: Marcus Hamilton

NCS members who attended The Reubens last weekend in New Orleans were treated to the first issue of a new publication... Stay Tooned magazine.

I saved my copy for the plane trip home - and read it cover to cover. One article in particular caught my attention: a profile of Marcus Hamilton, the artist who took over the daily Dennis the Menace newspaper panel when Hank Ketcham decided in 1993 that he would like to retire.


While today's images are all by Hank Ketcham, today's story is really about Marcus Hamilton. I was fascinated to read about his career, because he always intended to be an illustrator - and talks in the article about achieving that goal beginning in the early 70's with assignments from Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping, and continuing for the next 21 years with, "a steady stream of illustration assignments."

Hamilton writes, "I thought I had finally arrived when I had the opportunity to do the cover art for the Christmas issue of the Saturday Evening Post in 1978."


Sadly, things began to fall apart for Hamilton in the late 80's and early 90's when the computer made its debut in the graphic arts. "Art directors wanted the cutting-edge computer graphics that were getting more attention from readers," writes Hamilton. "They didn't want the 'old-fashioned' acrylic paintings and watercolors anymore."

Hamilton's assignments - and income - dropped so drastically that he was forced to take a job in a photo booth at a local Wal-Mart. Then one day in 1993, while flipping through the channels on tv, he happened upon an interview with Hank Ketcham. The Dennis the Menace creator was saying that he wished he could find someone to take over the daily panel of his long-running strip so that he might have some time to travel and paint. For Marcus Hamilton this was opportunity knocking.


What follows is an inspiring story of a career (and a love of drawing) revived - at age 50, no less. Its a moving read filled with great, personal anecdotes about the artist's relationship with Ketcham after he became the master cartoonist's apprentice and, in fairly short order, his replacement.

"Mr. Ketcham trained me to re-think my drawing style to look more like his," writes Hamilton, "its almost like that style has taken over my thinking."

"Dennis... rejuvenated my love for drawing, a love I had lost over a few years time because, during the end of my freelance career, I found myself doing jobs just to make enough money to pay my bills."


There's more - much more. Hamilton even shares a terrific step-by-step demonstration of how he composes and executes a Dennis panel - great stuff for the reader, whether you are a student, professional or simply interested in the cartoon business. Go to staytoonedmagazine.com for more details on this first issue of what looks to be a great new publication.

My Hank Ketcham Flickr set.

Fit to Print Book Review - Bead One, Pray Too

Bead One, Pray Too
A Guide to Making and Using Prayer Beads
Written by Kimberly Winston

Before I read this book, beads had meaning to me. I make my living from beads, they are all encompassing in my house and daily life. But I had rarely attributed any personal or spiritual meaning to beads and more importantly to my jewelry. When I create jewelry it's often for the visual impact alone. One thing I did take away from this book is looking at beads as symbols to remind me of important lessons I've learned along the way or ones I need daily reminding of! Even with my inspiration from nature, I would design from the physical/visual connection. After reading Bead One, Pray too, that inspiration is a way for me to connect to my faith and creation. Books like this are rare. Bringing meaning to your creativity is a powerful and fulfilling way to approach the bead table.

"Feel free to experiment with the beading techniques described here to create your own unique set of prayer beads on which you pray any prayers in any way you like. Select beads that say something about your own spiritual quest. The choice is yours and the possibilities, like faith, are endless." -Kimberley Wilson

Whether you are of a particular religious belief or not, I think that quote sums up the tone of this book. It's informational, historical, helpful, but never preachy. Something you may be concerned about since rosaries are the main focus of Bead One, Pray Too.

Covered topics include the history of praying with beads, traditional rosaries and how to pray with beads. That includes traditional prayers, praying with songs or poems or doing your own thing, as the quote suggested. I loved the chapter on choosing beads and adding meaning to your jewelry through the thought process of what beads can symbolize. The book covers traditional and non-traditional rosary construction. There is a wonderful chapter on giving rosaries and the book ends with resources for beading and praying to help you further your journey.

The how-to part of the book is basic and meant as a guideline. I would love to see a companion book with more how-to projects and examples of the different types of prayers beads that can be created.

One of the most appealing parts of the book is that prayer beads can be created using your favorite art beads as the start of the rosaries and for the larger beads used in the construction. I have two examples on my blog today.

You can read more about prayer beads on Kimberly's blog.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Perspectiva

Perspectiva (Lautensack) 1564 e


Perspectiva (Lautensack) 1564 j


Perspectiva (Lautensack) 1564 f


Perspectiva (Lautensack) 1564 g


Perspectiva (Lautensack) 1564 h


Perspectiva (Lautensack) 1564


Perspectiva (Lautensack) 1564 a


Perspectiva (Lautensack) 1564 b


Perspectiva (Lautensack) 1564 c


Perspectiva (Lautensack) 1564 d


Perspectiva (Lautensack) 1564 i


Perspectiva (Lautensack) 1564 k


"First edition of this rare treatise on perspective and draughtsmanship, important for its use by artists, architects, and goldsmiths. The woodcuts are all the author's original work, though he was clearly influenced by Leonardo and Dürer.

The text begins with elements of linear geometry, and moves towards more detailed presentations of two-dimensional figures and the construction of stereometrical bodies. The third part, on human proportion, owes much to Dürer's 'Vier Bucher von Menschlicher Proportion' (1525); this section also includes woodcuts illustrating the proper proportions of a horse.

Lautensack's discussion of perspective is accompanied by illustrations of basic geometrical forms, ending with a fine folding plate depicting the Emperor's Hall in the Römer, Frankfurt's city hall and the site of the coronation of the Holy Roman Emperors. An early imprint from the famous Feyerabend publishing dynasty, the author's preface indicates that the printing of this work began on July 26, 1563.

[Heinrich] Lautensack (1522-68), an artist, goldsmith, and woodblock-cutter, lived in Frankfurt am Main. He was influenced by his father, Paul, and by his brother, Hans Sebald Beham*, both skilled painters and engravers. This book is extremely scarce; few copies have survived the constant use by the artists who utilized this work for their profession." [source]


This bookseller quote (repeated at various sites) in relation to Lautensack's 1564 treatise on artistic perspective, 'Des Circkels und Richtscheyts, auch der Perspectiva und Proportion der Menscher', constitutes - as best I can tell - the major online commentary with regards Lautensack's life and career.

I have obviously lifted the above illustrations - relating to biological perspective - from the latter section of this (164pp) book. My attention was primarily drawn to the style of representation seen for example in the first image above in which the geometric shapes are substituted for the figure's body parts.

Much of Dürer's voluminous works on perspective are online (see links below) and I think I've skimmed through the bulk of the illustrations. As the quote above suggests, Lautensack had relied on Dürer as a source and indeed, quite a few of the illustration styles in Lautensack's work are very very similar, although not actually copied as far as I can tell.

But what I didn't see in Dürer's work - and this is the part that intrigues me - is this removal of the underlying body parts and their replacement with block shapes. Schematics are overlaid on bodies frequently - the perspective lines - and occasionally geometric shapes are illustrated alone or in combination, but not really in a way as to suggest an underlying bodily form. They are just piles of blocks to a viewer's first glance although, no doubt, the detailed accompanying text would assign them greater meaning.

The reason I find this intriguing, which may turn out to be just another of my random musings with no basis in reality, is that when I see a woodcut like the first image above, I'm reminded of the brilliant proto-surrealist work of Braccelli who took this body part-as-shape design to the extreme, substituting real world objects, like screws and plates and bandages, in addition to simple geometric shapes, for his 1624 album of paired fanciful figures, 'Bizzarie di Varie Figure' (linked below).

Did Lautensack's 'Perspectiva' from 1564 make it as far as Florence prior to 1624? Who knows? But it amuses me to think of Braccelli doodling at his kitchen table in a standard artistic reference book from his age and ultimately producing one of the most uniquely innovative suite of prints in the last five hundred years.

I'm not sure I want to know if I'm wrong. It's these kinds of imagined connections that make the continued quest for esoteric imagery that much more enjoyable. So, let me down gently, if at all.


Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

Virginia Bluebell

Virginia Bluebell
Central Park, New York City.

Flower Season & Date: Early Spring April 26, Flower Latin Name: Mertensia virginica, Flower Common Name: Virginia Bluebells.

Virginia Bluebell From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Virginia Bluebell, Mertensia virginica, has many different common names, including "Virginia Cowslip", "Lungwort Oysterleaf", and "Roanoke Bells"
It is a species of plant belonging to the family Boraginaceae. This bluebell ranges in height from 12~24 inches. The most distinguishing feature of the plant is the noticeable bell-shaped flower, which is usually blue or violet in color.

The Latin name, Mertensia, was given to this plant by Carolus Linnaeus in honor of the German botanist Franz Mertens. The specific epithet refers to the colony of Virginia.

These herbaceous plants grow best in moist, rich, and loamy soils. They can be found in upland forests, floodplain forests, wetlands and bluffs. These plants prefer slight to full shade. The single stem begins curled in shape and extends as it grows into an elegant arch to hold to blossom cluster. The leaves are alternately located around a thin, smooth stem attached by petioles near the base, but as you move upward towards the flower cluster, the leaves are simply attached straight to the stem. The leaves are oval-shaped with pinnately-simple venation. The blossom cluster is located above the simple leaves. Flowering occurs in spring from March to May.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Virginia Bluebell SEE FULL License, Credit and Disclaimer

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.

Report from the Reubens: Henry R. Martin

Crescent City Books, located in a typically beautiful ancient brick building on Chartres St. in the French Quarter, is a place so jam-packed with used books that the narrow front door barely opens wide enough to allow one person to pass in or out. Books stand piled in tall columns because there is no more room on the bursting shelves, and one must often navigate the stacks by shuffling sideways along the narrow strip of floor that isn't occupied by the store's inventory.

This place was heaven to me!

It was here that I located Rendering in Pen and Ink by Arthur L. Guptill - a book I've been searching for for years - and Crescent City had it for only 10 bucks - a steal.


I was almost on my way out the door with my new acquisition when a narrow little hardcover near the cash caught my eye. A quick flip through its pages revealed a series of really wonderful cartoon illustrations by an artist I'd never heard of: Henry R. Martin. I gladly plunked down an extra three dollars for Comic Epitaphs so I could share it with you today.


Martin's work reminds me a little of some contemporary cartoonists, like Seth or Chris Ware - modern day cartoonists who have been heavily influenced by the mid-century styles.


But I'm also reminded of work done by Martin's contemporaries. I see a hint of Roy Doty here...




... a touch of Jim Flora there...



... even a little Jan Balet on some of Martin's pieces.


But as this is the only example I've ever found of Martin's work, its hard to say whether this was typical of his style or what else he produced during his career. The Internet turned up a cartoonist named Henry R. Martin who was associated with Princeton University. Based on this Henry Martin's style, however, I have my doubts that he is the same artist who illustrated Comic Epitaphs.

Still, could there have been two cartoonists named Henry R. Martin working during the 1950's? Remember what I said yesterday about coincidences?

My Henry R. Martin Flickr set.