Thursday, April 30, 2009

Driftnet Fishing

Planetenuhr by Isaac Kiening, 1569 (MDZ)
'Horae Planetarum'

This interesting object is displayed in two images at MDZ and is otherwise known as 'Planetenuhr' or 'Horizontalsonnenuhr'. The latter term translates to -horizontal sundial-. Produced in 1569 by Isaac Kiening, this puzzling (to me) item appears to be a ?stamped parchment or leather sheet mounted in a wooden frame - the second image (an inscription on the ?back) gives more of an indication of the construction material. I'm fairly confused as to how this zodiac clock is meant to be read.

Selenarhia, or, The government of the world in the moon by Cyrano Bergerac, 1659 (Beinecke)
'Selenharia or, The Government of the World in the Moon: A Comical History. Written By that Famous Wit and Cavaleer of France, Monsieur Cyrano Bergerac: And Done into English By Tho. St Serf, Gent.' [1659]

The Early Modern blog at Yale's Beinecke Library posted an entry recently about their current exhibition, 'Starry Messenger: Observing the Heavens in the Age of Galileo'. They include a link to their wonderful collection of related digital images.

De natura rerum liber - Beda..Seneca (1490) MDZ
'De natura rerum liber. Naturales quaestiones libri VII'
from Bede Venerabilis (w) - by Lucius Annaeus Seneca. (1490)

'Epistula ad Philocratem' by Aristeas
(Latin translation of Mattia Palmieri) (1480)

These two illuminated manuscript pages belong to the Hungarian Manuscript Collection hosted for UNESCO by the Bavarian State Library.

Prismes - EA Séguy (pochoir designs) 1931 d
I'm a great fan of the Art Nouveau/Art Deco abstraction designs of EA Séguy [previously]; in this case from the 1931 series of pochoir prints, 'Prismes: 40 Planches de Dessins et Coloris Nouveaux', available from NYPL. (I saved a bunch in this set)

Höllensturz der drei Engel - Dierick Bouts - 1415 (
'Höllensturz der Drei Engel' (~Hell's overthrow of three angels or Three angels' descent into hell) by Dierick Bouts, 1415; a digitised microfilm image from the Image Index of Art and Architecture by way of the Bildarchiv Foto Marburg portal.

Shaman under water (rock art drawing) Witwatersrand-aluka
(Rock art drawing of) "Mormyrid fish, eels and turtles, these represent the "underwater" experience of the Shamans in the altered state of consciousness."

Rock art drawing (witwatersrand - aluka)

Shield - Rock art drawing (witwatersrand - aluka)
Drawings from the Rock Art Research Institute at the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa) and hosted by Aluka: "an international, collaborative initiative building a digital library of scholarly resources from and about Africa."

Annals of Creation (Naxi pictographs)

Annals of Creation (Naxi pictographs) a

Annals of Creation (detail) (Naxi pictographs)
One of the books at the World Digital Library [previously] that caught my attention was this 10th century work called the 'Annals of Creations' (contributed by the Library of Congress)*
"In this bilingual text, the Dongba text is in color and the Chinese text is in black. The Dongba glyphs are ancient characters that were used to record the dialect of the western Naxi nationality centered around the Li River in Yunnan. They were developed in approximately the seventh century. The Annals of Creation reflect the understanding of the Naxi people concerning the natural world and the origins of humankind, and depict the Naxi people's ceaseless migrations over the course of their history and the struggle of their ancestors against nature."

Vue d'un superbe treillage et des jets d'eau dans le jardin du Roy de Dannemarck, 1700s, chez Basset (Paris) (
'Vue d'un superbe treillage et des jets d'eau
dans le jardin du Roy de Dannemarck'

Printed at chez Basset (Paris) sometime in the 1700s. This baroque garden illustration is one of a series by Basset available from the Colecções Digitalizadas at the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (which appears to have been redesigned and upgraded - for the better - since my last visit).

Wunderliche und warhafftige by HM Moscherosch, 1677 (HAB)

Frontispiece from: 'Wunderliche und Warhafftige Gesichte Philanders von Sittewald' by HM Moscherosch, 1677 (HAB) The only translatable word I really understood from the catalogue was 'satire'. I don't recall there being any further illustrations.

Codex Falkensteinensis 1166 (detail)

Falkensteiner Codex 1166-1199 (detail) agriculture

Codex Falkensteinensis or the Falkensteiner Codex [click 'Startseite'] was produced between 1166 and 1199 and is a unique secular manuscript from the High Middle Ages belonging to a group of works known as Traditionsbücher. Essentially it seems to be a detailed feudal record of the holdings, output and nepotistic orders covering the lands and members of the noble Falkenstein-Neuburg family of Southern Bavaria. {see: one (trans.), two (trans.), three}
[via Archivalia]

Barber, Beer Maker, Clergy + Hattier (Jost Amman)

Blazon (Jost Amman)

Coat of Arms (Jost Amman)

Three of Books (Jost Amman)
The Three of Books

Three of Ink Pots (Jost Amman)
The Three of Ink Pots

The above five images were produced by the Swiss woodcut artist, Jost Amman. They are from three of his most significant works: on trades ('Das Ständebuch'), on playing cards ('Charta Lusoria') and a collection of suggested Coat of Arms designs (that proved to be quite influential - the designs were more in the way of templates than the blazons above suggest).

I've had these images for the best part of three years and have finally concluded that I'm not going to get a dedicated Jost Amman entry together. Partly it relates to having spent a lot of time extracting the trades images from La base Estampes de la Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon, only to find (a piece of stupidity that manifests more often than I'd care to reveal) that Wikimedia has the complete collection (slightly lesser quality to my mind), and partly because Mr H had already covered some of the ground in his entry, 'The Suit of Books'. I'm afraid I've misplaced many of the links I had stored up but the BSB Opac results are a good place to start looking for (more of) his digitised works (also).

Blue Sky Press in a balcony - letterpress printing

Blue Sky Press:'In a Balcony' (1902)

Seasons of Wood Engraving

Seasons of Wood Engraving © Paul Ritscher.

The above two images are posted with the permission of Paul Ritscher (typesticker on Flickr), a letterpress printer, bookbinder, wood engraver and educator. He has a great collection of prints, miniature books, posters and printing equipment among his sets.

Follow along at home...

Time is Running Out

Nothing like a deadline to spur on a rush of creativity, right? I know some of my best work comes from working under pressure. Here are some fast approaching deadlines, don't miss out on the fun!
Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenge - deadline Midnight tonight!
Bead Star Contest - deadline May 1st
Win $50 in free beads from Humblebeads - deadline noon tomorrow (no creativity needed, only a good memory!)
Need some breathing room to let your muse settle? Soft Flex has a new design contest using their Trio color wire sets. You have until September 1st to enter the Flex Your Creativity Beading Contest. (Thanks Andrew)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Poodle Bumper Sticker

Poodle Bumper StickerPoodle Bumper Sticker. Bumper stickers come in may flavors, commercial, religious, humorous, support of sports teams and organizations. They may promote or oppose a particular philosophical or political position. Bumper stickers are a popular way of showing support for a political candidate.
The examples in our series were found around Manhattan's upper westside.

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. action!

Stamp Carving from Geninne Zlatkis on Vimeo.
I made this 10 minute video today
to show the whole process
of making a hand carved stamp.
It might take a while to load so be patient.
The music I used is called
"Bigger Situation" by Leo Kottke,
a favorite of mine :)

Findings Worth Finding: Vintage Enamel Flowers

Hello spring, goodbye self-control:

Head on over to Sleeping Dog Studio's Etsy shop for these sets and many more! I know I couldn't resist a certain teal blue collection.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


New print set I'm making for my shop.
It's a block print deconstructed version
of my latest watercolor piece.
It will be sold as a set @ my Etsy shop
when I reopen it mid May.
It is printed onto beautiful
Fabriano Medioevalis
4.75" x 4.75" paper.
It will be signed and numbered.

***I wanted to thank all of you
who have written to let me know
you are keeping us in your prayers
during these scary times in Mexico.
We are staying away from the City,
healthy & tucked lovingly under God's wings.

Psalm 91:4 (KJV)
He shall cover thee with his feathers,
and under his wings shalt thou trust:
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Swine Influenza (swine flu) type A H1N1 virus

Swine Influenza (swine flu) type A H1N1 virusThis preliminary negative stained transmission electron micrograph (TEM) depicted some of the ultrastructural morphology of the A/CA/4/09 swine flu virus.

Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Swine flu viruses cause high levels of illness and low death rates in pigs.
Swine influenza viruses may circulate among swine throughout the year, but most outbreaks occur during the late fall and winter months similar to outbreaks in humans. The classical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) was first isolated from a pig in 1930.

Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with swine flu have occurred. Most commonly, these cases occur in persons with direct exposure to pigs (e.g. children near pigs at a fair or workers in the swine industry). In addition, there have been documented cases of one person spreading swine flu to others. For example, an outbreak of apparent swine flu infection in pigs in Wisconsin in 1988 resulted in multiple human infections, and, although no community outbreak resulted, there was antibody evidence of virus transmission from the patient to health care workers who had close contact with the patient.

Content Providers(s): CDC/ C. S. Goldsmith and A. Balish. Creation Date: 2009. Photo Credit: C. S. Goldsmith and A. Balish.

Copyright Restrictions: None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited.

Murray Tinkelman: Problem Child

If Mrs Goodheart were alive today, she would probably be surprised to hear that Murray Tinkelman grew up to become an award-winning illustrator, educator and illustration historian. In the early 1940's, when Mrs. Goodheart was assistant principal at Murray's junior high, she advised his parents to send the boy to the High School of Industrial Arts -- otherwise he might end up in jail.

"I was just a hideous student," says Murray as he recalls his childhood, "I was terrible in all my academic subjects and the only thing I had any ability in was drawing."

"I lived in a huge apartment house in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. There were a hundred and eleven families on six floors. During World War Two there were these paper drives and people would deposit their newspapers and magazines in the incinerator rooms. A maintenance man would come around and collect them for the war effort. My father was a radical progressive, so we were never allowed to see the Journal American in our home - but they had all the great comics - so I used to guiltily take out Prince Valiant and Flash Gordon from the papers left in the incinerator room and take them into my room and hide them."

"The same thing with the Saturday Evening Post, which my father thought was antisemitic. But I loved the Post, so I'd tear off the covers and some of the interiors and hide those, too."

Murray would study the drawings of Alex Raymond and Hal Foster and try to copy them in his own drawings. "Even the way Prince Valiant was lettered," he adds.

He knew about Superman and Batman, but "comic books were a dime and there was no money in my family (or very little) so comic books were a real rarity for me." Which is ironic, because Murray's first job was working in a comic book art studio.

"I had just graduated from high school," Murray explains, "and my best friend in high school was Dick Giordano. He got a job at Iger Studios. We both interviewed the same day, but Dick was so much better than I was he got the job that same day. About three months later, I got a call to show up. I started at the same lowly job that Dick had started at, making thirty dollars a week, doing 'clean-up'. I would erase the pencil lines on the finished inked pages and I would rule the lines around the panels. And then I kind of graduated after about three weeks to doing backgrounds. And then after a while I graduated to doing figures. But no heads! One guy who was the shop 'boss' (Al something-or-other) did all the heads... male, female... and they all looked alike!"

"But I was really awful... I was not very good... and I was fired. We worked from 8:30 to 4:30 and I got called down at 4:15 and I knew I was going to be fired. I had come in about 30 seconds late that morning and (Jerry) Iger was at the door, and he looked at his wristwatch. I said, "Are you checking your pulse?" But it wasn't because of that, it was because I really wasn't very good. So around 4:15 he called me down... I had already said goodbye to everybody. I cleaned my brushes and said, "I'll meet you at the bar around the corner." So he called me down and he said, "Well, we're a little slow..." and I said, "We're not slow, everybody's busy here." I just wouldn't go down quietly. My mother always said I had a big mouth."

"Iger said, "If you don't watch your mouth, we won't call you back" and I said, "Well, I'm not coming back anyway." and I left in a huff. I went down to the bar and ordered a beer and the entire staff came down to say goodbye to me. I didn't know what the future would hold, but I did know that I was going to join the Army, and get that out of the way."

"It was the Korean War and many of my friends had already been drafted. I didn't really like the idea of getting shot at, and I had heard that the Army would accept a two-year enlistee, so I figured maybe it was better to get in and get out early."

Murray spent his first year in the Army doing art work for training aids and posters. The second year he decorated cakes and painted "Welcome to Germany" signs for newly-arrived wives of officers. He even decorated cigar bands for officers whose wives had had babies.

When he returned to civilian life he attended Cooper Union in the evenings while working days at a series "dull paste-up jobs".

Murray says, "I went from the Army to Norcross Greeting Cards. I remember it was my first job out of the Army because my mouth was filthy with 'barracks talk'. I was the only male in the department and I was so embarrased because I would just say "Fuck you" - it was just automatic... even at home I would say "pass the fucking salt"... it was awful... I lasted about three months there. I got the lowest level job, called 'scaling'. Each day or so we would get a stack of finished comp art, same size as it would eventually be reproduced. And our job was to put it in a Lucie and blow it up to half-up, and then do a precise tracing of that finished art. We'd give that to the boss of the scaling group, who would give it back to the original artist, who would then do an actual piece of finished art which would be reduced by 1/3 for printing so everything would 'tighten up'. "

Murray left Norcross for American Artists Group, another greeting card company. He had managed to sell Norcross a few actual illustrations on a freelance basis and hoped to do the same at AAG. "I was making maybe $35 a week at this point," says Murray, "So I left American Artists for yet another greeting card company, Wallace Brown..."

"... and at Wallace Brown I was making $50 a week -- but I was doing very, very well selling them groups of greeting cards for boxed sets, which would involve 12 to 24 individual paintings. I would look at what was being done and think, "well, if its good enough for Hallmark, its good enough for me." So I would do boxed sets of Christmas cards or boxed sets of Valentine cards.

And I was clinically depressed by the junk I was doing!"

* My Murray Tinkelman Flickr set.

* AND be sure to check out Charlie Allen's Blog for an amazing array of Charlie's 1950's billboard art for Chevron.

Waxing Poetic

Wear your heart on your sleeve or around your neck with these poetic art beads.
"To hold infinity in the palm of your hand" - William Blake

Heather Wynn's Like a Seashell Pendant
"he held her like a seashell and listened to her heart"

Jennifer Stumpf's Lao-tzu Silver Zen Pendant
"by letting go it all gets done" - Lao-tzu
Panopoly's Poem Pendant
"That fair perished summer long ago"

Green Girl Studios Shell Pendant
"Listen to me and not to them." - G. Stein

The World Around Us

Moon map

Telescope emplacement + scaffold

Insect wing microscopy

House-fly head  + eye microscopy

Human finger microscopy

Sailing galleons

Manta ray species

Fish species

fish + seahorse

Middle Eastern costumes + whirling dervish

Fungi species


Limestone cave


Kangaroo and related species

Known as 'Bertuch's Bilderbuch für Kinder', this rather enlightened 12-volume natural history / science / enthnographic encyclopedia for children was published in instalments between 1790 and 1830. In passing, I noted* that a complete edition was sold last year for over €20,000.

Three of the volumes are available from the University of Heidelberg (after selecting a volume, click anything below 'Inhalt' and then 'Vorschau' for thumbnail pages). The majority of images above were selected from Volume Two, as I recall.

Inspired by the groundbreaking 17th century pictorial text for children, 'Orbis Sensualium Pictus' by Jan Comenius, 'Bertuch's Bilderbuch für Kinder' contains well over a thousand hand-coloured engraved plates, some apparently produced by William Blake.
  • The Wikipedia article on the publisher, Friederich Bertuch, has a few more plates from the series.
  • The last image above comes from the National Library of Australia. They have selectively digitised the local flora, fauna and indigenous people illustrations from Volume One. (click on 'selected plates and pages').
  • See also: Medusa (detail) posted in February and Greenwich Hospital from Flickr user mando maniac.
  • Update: Looks like the whole series is available at Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek (the server seemed fairly slow when I tested it)