Monday, June 30, 2008

Fireworks Iwo Jima Memorial

Fireworks Iwo Jima Memorial051106-N-0239L-510 Fall River, Mass. (Nov. 6, 2005) – Fireworks light up the Fall River Iwo Jima Memorial during the dedication ceremony. The memorial is an original work of Felix W. de Weldon, one of the 20th century's most prolific and respected sculptors. U.S. Navy photo by Mr. Thomas J. Lowney (RELEASED)
Image License: The purpose of this website is to provide information and news about the United States Navy to the general public. All information on this site is considered public information and may be distributed or copied unless otherwise specified. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested.

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New inspiration wire

I set up a new inspiration wire
in the studio this weekend
and "borrowed" that flat file drawer chest
from Manuel.
I put little notes over these photos
at my Flickr page
where you can get more info on all the prints
I have on my wire.
More notes on this little wall display here.

Featured Designer of the Week - Jes *Junque Revival*

Each Monday we feature the Designer of the Week. One of our editors pick their favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries.

This week Cindy picked Jes Junque Revival's Peace necklace. Cindy noted, "It reminds me of the ephemera my mother would keep in her jewelry box. They were of Forget-me-nots in blue and green on a postcard or birthday card given to her from her grandmother when she was small. She treasured them as if they were precious jewelry. Forget-me-nots were always her favorite flowers."

Our theme for June is Pearls of Wisdom. Peace is a very wise wish for all of us!

You can view more work from Jes Junque Revival's work by visiting her website.

Today is the deadline to enter June's monthly challenge.

Scatter and Painterly Art brushes for Adobe Illustrator

A set of six abstract vector brushes for Adobe Illustrator by Celithralia. The pack contains three art and three scatter brushes...

You can get a variety of effects by experimenting with different stroke color, size an layer opacity.

To use the resource first, you need to expand the .zip file, load it in Illustrator and open the brushes palette (Window>Brushes). Download

Beached Whale

Beached Whale - Jan Saenredam 1602 (1618 Ed.)

shot angel falling from sky

Father Time


The Artist



[There's no little irony attached to finding out that my access to the web was throttled back by the ISP to 64kb/s (!) at exactly the same time as I'm piecing together beached whale images (from screencaps). A further bittersweet edge involves the transfer speeds and monthly broadband allowance for the service having actually increased in the previous month. One leads to the other of course: greater access begats an itchy trigger finger, more prone to click on video links that would ordinarily be avoided. My own 'beached' status is set to continue for the next ten days, so some truncated posts - as this one essentially is - may appear. At least I have a store of locally saved material from which to sample, so it's just the uploading pain that will be the limiting factor. In any event...]

While looking around the new North Holland Archive site, I happened upon the above beached whale engraving, made by Jan Saenredam in 1602 (this particular print was published in 1618). Here is the direct link to the zooming page. The title is recorded as: 'Illustri generoso Ernesti Comiti de Nassau. fortissimo Horoi, et Belgicae vindici acersimo D. suo clementissimo hoc monstrum [...] monstro so ho faculo D.D.D. J. Saenredam'.

This elaborate illustration conveys a profile of allusions beyond the mere narrative of the whale's beach landing. It belongs to a narrow genre of disaster allegories - of which Saenredam's print is perhaps the finest example - that found a receptive audience, chiefly in the 17th century.

Beached whales were regarded as significant phenomena, not because Early Modern proto-environmentalists galvanised a populist empathy for so striking and unusal a loss of life, but because beachings were a part of the folklore, seen as bad omens and associated with disasters and tragedies. Of course, hindsight offers both the superstitious and artist alike an opportunity to indulge in historical revisionism, so that a causal link back from a series of tragedies could be established to the rare appearance of such a great sea 'monster' on land.

Saenredam presents the dominating scene with a journalist's eye for reporting. The main character, our sperm whale, did actually wash ashore in December 1600 in the vicinity of the towns of Beverwijk and Wijk aan Zee* and Saenredam did definitely visit the location. Ernst Casimir, Count of Nassau-Dietz and hero of the war against Spain, appears centre stage with plumed hat in front of the whale, his back to us, armed with a handkerchief to protect his refined sensitivies against the beast's odour (he visited the scene two weeks after the whale became stranded). He is accompanied by an entourage who are recorded in fine detail (the single finger 'hand-hold' between one of the couples is a delicate touch: the last image detail above).

People are inspecting the carcass and the blow hole as the townsfolk understandably stream down to the shoreline from surrounding hills and a large crowd gathers to revel in the momentous occasion. In the foreground, men stride to work carrying whale axes on poles. The artist himself appears in the scene, just below the whale's jaw, where he draws the spectacle behind a cloak windbreak, using a barrel for support. Perhaps the scene has been a little embellished to give prominence to the dignitaries, but otherwise it all appears fairly natural and not out of keeping with what one would expect to see.

The upper third of the print is a different story entirely. In a series of slightly obscure vignettes, Saenredam alludes to other circumstances that are associated with or thought to be attributable to the whale's appearance on the coast. In the far background we have both solar and lunar eclipses which occurred shortly after the whale's appearance and, like comets and other irregularly occurring natural phenomena, were seen by contemporary observers as harbingers of doom. An unhappy face has been caricatured onto the moon(s).

An angel bearing the coat of arms of Amsterdam, watched over by the ominous looking father time, is shot by death and falls from the sky, and may represent the epidemic of plague fatalities in the capital in the first couple of years of the 17th century. In the cartouche below the lion, the cartographic wind symbol can be seen blowing the land away in reference to an earthquake that occurred at the beginning of 1602. The latin verse at foot of the print is by the humanist poet, Dirk Schrevel, and although I can't read it, phrases like 'mortalibus omen' and 'monstro portenditur' appear in keeping with the overall gloom of the imagery.

The print holds a further dimension of interest because Saenredam was a student of the great Haarlem engraver, Hendrick Goltzius, whose 1598 depiction of a beached whale established the form as a legitimate artistic subject. Goltzius misinterpreted the animal's appearance however, believing that the lateral fin was actually an ear, which he sketched as more stunted and closer to the head than is true. That same stylised approach appears in the image immediately below by Jacob Matham, the stepson of Goltzius. Although Saenredam would have seen the Goltzius/Matham engravings, his own original version turned out to be an improvement over his master's approach.

Spaightwood Galleries have a biography and selection of prints by Jan Saenredam.
Otherwise, information for this entry was gleaned from the North Holland Archive, Rijksmuseum, MoMA and British Museum Prints database (origin of the Matham print).

I had hoped to retrieve a few more disaster prints - relating specifically to the omen-like genre - from around the traps but the current bandwidth problem has dampened my enthusiasm. Instead, I've included a few related images from NYPL, who thankfully allow hotlinking to their smaller images these days - click through on those to get to larger versions at the host site. The final print below is particularly odd: a whale entombed in an iceberg!! I looked high and low using all permutations of search terms I could muster without finding any information. I conclude that this is a pre-photoshop hoax or shaggy sea tale.

Beached Whale - Jacob Matham 1602

"The beached sperm whale on the shore near Beverwijk; the whale is surrounded by diminuative figures and there is an encampment near the dunes; a dog stands on the back of the whale and a boy crawls into the gaping mouth; in the foreground a food seller approaches a finely attired couple. 1601." {by Jacob Matham}
[In other words, although this print is meant to be the same beached whale as Saenredam's, it was actually modelled after the inaccurate version by Hendrick Goltzius from 1598.]

Cagelot of Potwalvis - Cornelis van Noorde, 1764

'Cagelot of Potwalvis'
by Cornelis van Noorde, 1764.
[direct link to zooming page]

The spermacæti whale to Greenl... Digital ID: 823818. New York Public Library

'The Spermacæti Whale to Greenland dock 1762'
IN: London Magazine

Whale. Digital ID: 479933. New York Public Library

'Balæna Mysticetus'
IN: 'Interesting Selections from Animated Nature', 1807-1809.

A scene in Greenland - Pot-wha... Digital ID: 823816. New York Public Library

'A scene in Greenland - Pot-whale stranded, and ice-foxes'
IN: 'The Picture Magazine', 1893-1896.
"The pot-whale differs from the ordinary whale inasmuch as it defends itself with much vigour against its assailants, and sometimes succeeds in dangerously damaging and occasionally sinking the boats containing its pursuers. This is not astonishing when we consider that these whales measure from 25 to 35 yards in length, and some 13 to 14 yards around the body. The above illustration shows one of these pot-whales stranded by a storm. Very soon ice-foxes assemble in great numbers and fight for the most delicate portions of the body, until whole monster is totally devoured. These foxes have the peculiarity of being quite brown in summer, whilst they turn grey or white in winter."

Whale stranded at Longniddry, ... Digital ID: 823843. New York Public Library

'Whale stranded at Longniddry, first of forth.'
IN: Illustrated London News, 1842.

Ein Wallfisch in der Schelde. Digital ID: 823820. New York Public Library

'Ein Wallfisch in der Schelde'
"Whale caught by 1603 at Dutch coast" (written in margin)
IN: 'Museum des Wundervollen..' by J Bergk, published 1869.

Sperm Whale. Digital ID: 411894. New York Public Library

Arents Cigarette Card, 1920s

The whale within the iceberg. Digital ID: 834489. New York Public Library

Caption: 'The whale within the iceberg'
by Geo. R Halm, 1884.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Jewelry Designer Interviews

We've had the pleasure of interviewing both well-known and up-and-coming jewelry designers who incorporate art beads in their handmade creations. Here is a handy index:

Melanie Brooks Lukacs

Margot Potter

Shari Bonnin

Jean Yates

Patty Woodland

Melissa Lee

Katie Hacker

Lori Anderson

AJ Reardon

Mango Tango Designs

Lorelei Eurto

Kelly Angeley

Timothy Adam

Ishita Ghosh


More to come!

Travel and Business Icons

A pack of 26 vector icons for Adobe Illustrator thanks to sizer92. Download
To open the archive you'll need WinRar or another archiver application that supports .rar files.

July 4th Celebration Fireworks

July 4th Celebration FireworksYongsan gears up for July 4th celebration - YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - A fireworks display will culminate a day-long July 4th celebration at Yongsan Garrison.
The day's activities start at noon and include music performances, children's activities, and contests. Photo by David McNally, USAG-Yongsan, June 23, 2008

Images on the Army Web site are cleared for release and are considered in the public domain. Request credit be given as "Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army" and credit to individual photographer whenever possible.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hydrangea arborescens 'Grandiflora' (Hills of Snow)

Hydrangea arborescens 'Grandiflora' (Hills of Snow)

Hydrangea arborescens 'Grandiflora' (Hills of Snow)
Hydrangea arborescens 'Grandiflora' (Hills of Snow). Found in Riverside Park, near the 79th street boat basin on Manhatten's westside, New York City. Taken on an early summer morning just after a rain shower. June 23d 2008.

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.

Hydrangea From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hydrangea (pronounced /haɪˈdreɪndʒ(i)ə/, common names Hydrangea and Hortensia) is a genus of about 70-75 species of flowering plants native to southern and eastern Asia (from Japan to China, the Himalaya and Indonesia) and North and South America. The flowers are extremely common in the Azores Islands of Portugal, particularly on Faial Island, which is known as the "blue island" due to the vast number of hydrangeas present on the island. By far the greatest species diversity is in eastern Asia, notably China and Japan. Most are shrubs 1-3 m tall, but some are small trees, and others lianas reaching up to 30 m by climbing up trees. They can be either deciduous or evergreen, though the widely cultivated temperate species are all deciduous.

Hydrangea flowers are produced from early spring to late autumn; they grow in flowerheads (corymbs or panicles) at the ends of the stems. In many species, the flowerheads contain two types of flowers, small fertile flowers in the middle of the flowerhead, and large, sterile bract-like flowers in a ring around the edge of each flowerhead. Other species have all the flowers fertile and of the same size.

In most species the flowers are white, but in some species (notably H. macrophylla), can be blue, red, pink, or purple. In these species the exact colour often depends on the pH of the soil; acidic soils produce blue flowers, neutral soils produce very pale cream petals, and alkaline soils results in pink or purple. Hydrangeas are one of very few plants that accumulate aluminium. Aluminium is released from acidic soils, and in some species, forms complexes in the hydrangea flower giving them their blue colour.

Species in the related genus Schizophragma, also in Hydrangeaceae, are also often known as hydrangeas. Schizophragma hydrangeoides and Hydrangea petiolaris are both commonly known as climbing hydrangeas.

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

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Owls and Something New for The Desperate ABS Neighborhood

Have you seen what's going on in the Desperate Artbeadscene Neighborhood? There's an owl flying over The Neighborhood while The Desperate ABS Editor tries something new.

The Neighbors think the barn owl is called Little Hoot - and as he flies over the neighborhood he makes his way out into the Bead Blogging World to see what else is going on..... Jewelry Making
Think outside the jewelry box and consider other crafting techniques for making jewelry! Crochet is just one example.

Art Bead Scene
Polyester Makes a Comeback in a surprising new way!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie reflects and gives thanks to everyone who helped her out at the Bead & Button Show

Jennifer Jangles Blog
Eye Candy, a few new designs from Jennifer Jangles

Jewelry & Beading
Just having returned from Italy, Cyndi was inspired by all the suppliers of beautiful Murano beads.

Katie's Beading Blog
Multiple strand necklaces are always in style. Read Katie's blog for tips.

Linda at Bead Style Magazine
Linda created a necklace for the Ornament Thursday blog group and wanted to share it with everyone!

Savvy Crafter
Rockin' Riveted Ring over on Candie's blog!

Snap out of it , Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean interviews the fabulous Margot Potter for Art Bead Scene!

Strands of Beads
Melissa discusses beautiful presentation boxes made from origami.

Did you know the Desperate ABS Neighbors open up their studios on Saturdays? Stop by and read Studio Saturdays to find out more about the Desperate Neighbors of the Art Bead Scene!

Did you read or write any good dirt on a bead blog this week?
Leave us a comment and a link and tell us the latest scoop!

(Photo credits: Seeing Stars photo of Desperate Housewives set.)

Trying Something New at 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 is Soochal! Congratulations, Soochal! You're the winner of Melissa's word charm! Please send your postal address to the ABS Suggestion Box and Melissa will send your charm bead!

Today's Studio Tour is with Cindy Gimbrone, glass beadmaker. Let's see what's going on in her studio....

Hello from my studio! Before I get started, I want to say "Happy Birthday" to my nephew, Shane who I used to babysit when he was a baby. What an adorable baby he was and he's grown up to be a fine young man. Have some cake on me, Shane!

Now, on to today's studio tour. If you're a regular reader, you've been in my studio several times. So to mix things up a bit, I've decided, it's time to try something new! I took a class with Sally Prasch awhile ago on blowing glass at the torch and working with glass tubing. I've written about borosilicate glass on the Cindy Gimbrone blog. I bought a larger torch and ordered glass tubing.

In the class with Sally, I pulled a few points - "points" are glass tubes with the ends heated and pulled to a thing blow tube. You decorate the middle of the tube, heat it and blow through the small ends. It's time to make more points and practice, practice, practice.

So, that's what I'm doing today - setting up the bigger torch that I need to melt the tubing and cutting the 4 feet tubing to shorter lengths to make points.

That leads me to today's question. What new thing have you tried lately?

One random comment will win a two-chain glass link. I look forward to reading what you've tried that's new!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bee Pollenating Pink Flowers

Bee Pollenating Pink Flowers

Bee Pollenating Pink Flowers
Large Bee Pollenating Pink Flowers after a early summer rain shower June 23, 2008.

Taken in Riverside Park, New York City near the 79th street boat basin.

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

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Floating shelf designed
by Manolo for some of our books...
Took this photo early morning,
the light was so warm and beautiful.
It's cloudy now and about to rain...

Edwin Georgi: The Man Who Loved Colour

Who was Edwin Georgi? Really, we know very little about him... but this much is clear: he was a man who loved colour.

Where others might have seen a tree trunk as a strip of brown bark, Georgi saw an opportunity to sprinkle down a swath of candy-coloured paint daubs.

No grey tones for Georgi -- he filled shadows with deep purples to counterbalance the rich yellows of his sunlit spaces.

Like Seurat, Edwin Georgi shunned the easy solution of using literal colour, preferring the challenge of conducting an orchestra of coloured points to play a symphony of dazzling luminosity.

That lack of literal color gives Georgi's illustrations a magical quality.

Sometimes their intensity is almost too much to bear.

Georgi, perhaps more than any other illustrator, was capable of creating such ferocity of colour that the art fairly glows white-hot.

But when he wanted to, Georgi could tame that fire. More startling than his riotous colour schemes are those that radiate a quiet intensity.

Georgi's masterful command of colour allowed him to temper his work to the mood of any particular assignment.

I found this wonderful quote attributed to the artist Paul Klee that I think Edwin Georgi would easily have related to:

"Color possesses me. I don’t have to pursue it. It will possess me always, I know it. That is the meaning of this happy hour: Color and I are one."

Edwin Georgi, the man who loved colour, died in 1964.

My Edwin Georgi Flickr set.

The Paint Brush Tool in Adobe Illustrator

The most popular category in is Brushes. There you can find many free vector brush sets for Adobe Illustrator and some custom vector shapes for Photoshop. Probabably, there are some newbie visitors who are not familiar with the paint brush tool or how vector brushes work. The video tutorial below explains the usage of those features in Adobe Illustrator CS3. Тake a quick look at the brushes collection too, surely you'll come up with some interesting ideas.


In a different country, in another era, Boris Chaliapin (1904-1979) would have been a "fine" artist and portrait painter, selling his paintings in art galleries. The son of Feodor Chaliapin, the great Russian opera singer, Boris was raised in a highly cultured environment. He received classical art training in Russia and Paris. He painted a series of portraits of his father and other luminaries from the world of classical music.

By the 1920s Chaliapin already had a considerable reputation as a portrait artist in Russia. But the market for classical painting was dwindling, and Chaliapin ended up exhibiting his work in the foyer of the London Covent Garden Theatre.

Like most born painters, Chaliapin learned to adapt to reality so that he could continue to create art. Making his way to the United States, he earned a living in New York City following the path of many 20th century artists with technical skill: he became an illustrator, painting more than 400 cover portraits for Time magazine.

Chaliapin is probably my favorite of all the Time Magazine cover illustrators, a sensitive and talented artist. I hope you enjoy his work.