Friday, October 31, 2008

New York City Marathon Preview

New York City Marathon Preview

New York City Marathon Preview

New York City Marathon Preview
New York City Marathon Preview, Friday October 31, 2008. Two days until Marathon Sunday. On the park drive west between 66th and 70th streets on and around the finish line.

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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TALENT WHICH IS DEATH TO HIDE

In 1655, the great English poet John Milton wrote in despair how, halfway through life, his blindness prevented him from fulfilling his god given talent:
When I consider how my light is spent
E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide,
Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account...
If he couldn't make maximum use of his gift, Milton felt he would not be able to present a "true acount" of himself to his maker.

The artist Noel Sickles was not able to use his own talent when he worked as a ghost artist for the comic strip Scorchy Smith. He had to conceal his ability in order to earn a steady living imitating the awful drawings of cartoonist John Terry.



Sickles recalled the pain of deliberately doing bad work in order to make money:
Have you ever seen John Terry's work?.... I had to forget everything I learned about drawing -- absolutely everything -- because it was the worst drawing I had ever seen by anybody. Your children do better drawings than John Terry.... But it took time to copy that horrible style, you know.
After Sickles escaped from the shadow of John Terry, he was able to flex his own muscles, develop his own talent and begin doing great work like this:



Artist Frank Frazetta had a similar experience. He earned a steady living as the ghost artist for Al Capp's comic strip, Li'l Abner:



Frazetta later recalled the the soul-numbing effect of drawing under the weight of Capp's mediocre formula:
"I shouldn't have done it, " Frank confesses, "but I was lazy.... Al Capp came along and made me an offer I couldn't refuse. The pay was wonderful and it took me only a day to pencil his Sunday page and I had the rest of the week off! What more could I ask for? On a couple of occasions I went up to his Boston studio and he paid me $100 a day, which was really big money back then." Frazetta worked for Capp for the better part of eight years, burying his own style under that of his employer.... Frank devoted his full attention to Li 'l Abner.... "Because of Capp's strong style of drawing, I had all but lost all the things I had learned and developed on my own," states Frank. " I had to get away." (Even after a year away from Capp, his own work looked awkward).
After he cast off the straightjacket of Li'l Abner, Frazetta developed astonishing artistic gifts that dwarfed those of Capp:



Time and again, gifted artists have subordinated their true talent in exchange for a regular paycheck.

Illustrator Bernie Fuchs was commercially successful working on car brochures in Detroit, where he painted happy couples standing next to fancy cars. Fuchs worked in a large studio for a boss who promised, " if you stay with me, I guarantee I will make you the richest illustrator in all of Detroit." The work was safe and lucrative, but Fuchs knew he was capable of more. A friend recalls,
All the local art directors kept calling up saying, I want Bernie! I want Bernie! But Bernie got tired of doing pictures of people holding drinks and just said, "shove it."
He gambled everything and broke away to work independently in New York. There, he encountered a wider range of challenges and was able to make use of his talents to their fullest.



His gamble paid off. Within just a few years, Fuchs was at the White House meeting with President Kennedy to paint his portrait. He had a long, exciting career filled with experiences he would never have encountered in Detroit.

Not every story had such a happy ending. Artist Don Trachte worked for years behind the scenes on Carl Anderson's mediocre comic strip, Henry. When Anderson died in 1948, Trachte stepped into Anderson's shoes and continued to make identical drawings following the same mindless formula for another 40 years.


As Shakespeare wrote,

There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which taken at the flood leads on to fortune
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and miseries

.

Willard Mullin's Advertising Art

When Norman Kent interviewed Willard Mullin for the Summer 1957 issue of American Artist magazine, he asked if some sports are easier to cartoon than others.

"Yes," responded Mullin. "Take boxing... that's a natural; its full of action and, as such, practically draws itself."


"This is true of baseball, hockey, basketball, and football."


"Rowing, auto and harness racing are more difficult."


Mind you, looking at the auto-related ads Mullin drew (below), its clear he had no trouble investing even the most rigid and mechanical of objects with that special Willard Mullin sense of plasticity and motion.


Kent describes Mullin as having done "the occasional advertising drawing" and its true that he did not seem to have produced the volume of ad work some other 50's cartoonists did. Thanks to Pau Medrano, of Barcelona, Spain, who contributed the Fisk Tire ad above and the Shell Oil ads below, we have more than just my small collection of Pal Injector Blades ads to enjoy today.


Pau, who who has been researching American historical tire advertising for his Master's Degree in Graphic Design, writes:

"Did you know that Mullin is included into my Thesis? Yes! He illustrate a few ads for Fisk Tires in the “Fisk Facts” 1950 campaign. Another nice coincidence.

The art of Mullin always reminded me in the master Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling (who, as a secret discovery in my Thesis, illustrated extenses campaigns in 1916 for Michelin Tires drawing an amazing Michelin-man).

Mullin was also very active on advertising (my field of interest), as you can see in the attached images. I’m interested if someone has more information about the campaign for Fisk Tires, also if someone has other different Fisk ads images from the same campaign.

Also if you or other of your contributors have more advertising commercial art by Mullin."



My thanks to Pau for contributing his scans and information! If anyone reading this post can help Pau with his research, you can contact me and I'll forward any info to him.

* My Willard Mullin Flickr set.

* Also, Harry Borgman has begun a second blog! Drop by Hairy Blogman to see what else harry Borgman's been up to lately.

The Trendy Bead - Ribbon


I've seen an influx of ribbon related clothing and accessories this month. I like the versatility of ribbon, you can use them in alter art/mixed media jewelry pieces, vintage, steampunk or Victorian inspired designs, or you can use ribbons for a modern twist.
You can entwine ribbon in metal chains, use as a cord with a focal bead, embellish a ribbon choker with a pendant, use a ribbon as a closure or tie little bits of ribbon in between beads for some added texture.
A very modern design by Lorelei Eurto combining a Humblebeads spacer bead with wood, glass, stone, brass and a rich chocolate ribbon closure.

Smoky gray seam binding from WistfulSupplies.


A cuff bracelet by MJM Jewelry Designs using another Humblebeads spacer with silk ribbons.

Hand dyed silk ribbon from Jamnglass.


Raku pendant with silk ribbon by MAKUstudio.


Hand dyed ribbon from JodyPoesy.

Here are some more art bead and ribbon designs that have been entered in the Art Bead Scene Flickr group for various challenges.

Ribbon ideas from Beading Daily

And a few designers who offer inspiring creations with ribbons in their jewelry:

Nina Bagley - Narrative/altered art jewelry

Raven Eve Jewelry - Victorian inspired designs

Gilded Cage Design - Ribbon and button jewelry

I'd love to see your designs using art beads and ribbon. Leave a link in the comments if you'd like to share.


The October ones

Ups! Should have posted this
before yesterday's post.
Click on the image to see it BIGGER.
It's collage, watercolor and ink
on my square olive green journal

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vector Masks Collection

A pack of 11 free ancient culture masks illustrations in vector format by vrocker. Inside you will also find an illustration of two Rapa Nui Statues...

The pack is fully customizable with Adobe Illustrator. Scroll down for a detailed preview 

Note: To use, decompress the *.rar file with WinRar or StuffIt (Mac Os). Download RAR

Fencing School

Joachim Meyer - Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens 1570j


Joachim Meyer - Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens 1570i


Joachim Meyer - Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens 1570h


Joachim Meyer - Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens 1570g


Joachim Meyer - Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens 1570f


Joachim Meyer - Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens 1570e


Joachim Meyer - Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens 1570c


Joachim Meyer - Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens 1570b


Joachim Meyer - Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens 1570a


Joachim Meyer - Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens 1570


'Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens' (approx: Background description of fencing) by Joachim Meyer was published in 1570 and is available from the Bavarian State Library. (click 'Minaturansicht' for thumbnail images) A second edition version from 1600 is also available.
"Meyer was a professional master-at-arms of the Strasburg Marxbrueder fighting guild whose important work, 'Kunst der fechtens' ("Art of Fighting") was produced in 1570. His stunning work (illustrated by Tobias Stimmer), "A Thorough Description of the Free Knightly and Noble Art of Fencing", focused on the entire arsenal of weapons: langenschwert, shorte-sword & dagger, Dusack*, long & short staffs, pole-arms, dagger, Pflegel (flail), and wrestling. While the architecture and backgrounds of the woodcuts are fictional, the figures are literal. Meyer also included a section on the new rapier & dagger largely compiled from Italian works such as Viggiani and Di Grassi."
*the peculiar, machete-like training weapon imported from Bohemia

----------------

(below) 'Fecht-kunst' by Nicoletto Giganti, 1622 is available from Wolfenbüttel Digital Library. {this is the German translation of the original 1606 rapier manual called 'Scola overo Teatro'}

Best known for fully describing the lunge, Giganti was a fencing master from Venice. He is thought to have also plaigiarised a rapier manual by Savlator Fabris (I don't think it's this one below) in 1606. There's not too much around online.


Fecht-kunst - Nicoletto Giganti, 1622 f



Fecht-kunst - Nicoletto Giganti, 1622 e


Fecht-kunst - Nicoletto Giganti, 1622 d



Fecht-kunst - Nicoletto Giganti, 1622


Fecht-kunst - Nicoletto Giganti, 1622 a


Fecht-kunst - Nicoletto Giganti, 1622 b


Fecht-kunst - Nicoletto Giganti, 1622 c

Halloween House Fall Harvest

Halloween House Fall Harvest

Halloween House Fall Harvest
Halloween House Fall Harvest, NYC Upperwest Siders' brownstones display their Samhain aka Halloween spirit.

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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The November Pages

Click on the image to see it BIGGER.
Mixed media on my oct/nov journal pages.

Vector Ink Splatters

A set of vector 20 splatter shapes for Adobe Illustrator from Flamart. You can use them for creating a grungy atmosphere in your digital artwork, quickly draw ink drops or design a background texture...

The pack contains an EPS file format version so you can use this resource with other vector editors. Download

Willard Mullin's Editorial Art

Willard Mullin might have been best known for his sports cartooning, but he did some editorial/political cartoons as well. I'm not familiar enough with the entire body of his work to say for sure how much, but he was a frequent contributor to American magazine in the late 40's and early 50's.






Its kind of fun to look at these old political commentaries from half a century ago. If nothing else, they certainly confirm that the more things change, the more they stay the same!

But to truly appreciate Mullin's engaging artwork, you'll want to see the full size versions in my Willard Mullin Flickr set.