Saturday, July 31, 2010

Russian Satirical Journals

"On Sunday, January 9th, 1905, Tsar Nicholas II ordered troops to fire on a peaceful procession of workers demonstrating in St. Petersburg, unleashing a storm of strikes, mutinies, violent uprisings, and brutal reprisals that raged across Russia for well over a year.

Known collectively as the Revolution of 1905, these upheavals transformed the political landscape and set the stage for the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Civil War that followed. Bloody Sunday also marked an important watershed for Russian graphic artists. With the momentary collapse of censorship, over 300 different satirical magazines were published during the Revolution of 1905, more than had seen the light of day in Russia during the entire nineteenth century. Most of them survived for only a few numbers before the censors caught up. Yet the output was impressive all the same.

Rushing to fill the expressive void, artists and writers captured the events and personalities of the revolution with biting satire and aesthetic sophistication. While styles and subject matter varied, artists often chose to depict nightmarish scenes of bloodshed and repression, drawing on images of the macabre and the mystical that had already been in vogue in Symbolist circles across Europe at the turn of the century." [source]

“For a few brief months the journals spoke with a great and unprecedented rage that neither arrest nor exile could silence. At first their approach was oblique, their allusions veiled, and they often fell victim to the censor’s pencil. But people had suffered censorship for too long.Satirists constantly expanded their territory and their targets of attack, demolishing one obstacle after another as they went, thriving on censorship.

The workers’ movement grew in boldness, culminating in the birth of the St Petersburg Soviet of Workers’ Deputies, the people’s government. For fifty days the Tsar and his ministers were confronted by another power, another law. Journalists and printers seized the right to publish without submitting to the censor. The satirical journals then reached their apotheosis, until the revolution died as it had risen, bathed in blood.”
From the introduction to 'Blood and Laughter: Caricatures from the 1905 Revolution', 1983 by C Porter & D King [Thanks JM!]

Ovod 1906
Author: Gints, G. E.
Golmstrem, A. A. Iurevich, V. N.
Karpov, G. P. Kirsanov, K.
Kniazev, Vasilii Vasilevich, 1887-1937?
Lebedev, V. P. (Vladimir Petrovich), 1869-1939.
Morozov, P. Ongirskii, V. M.
Rysis, A. D. Shcheglov, A. A.
Varezhnikov, A. V. Vasilevskii, I.
Saint Petersburg, 1906
8 p. ill. 35 cm.

Voron 1906
Author N. Vasin
Saint Petersburg, 1906
8 p. col. ill. 36 cm.

Dikar' 1906
Sinitsyn, Ya. D., Editor
Sankt-Peterburg: Sinitsyn, Ya. D., 1906
1 v. : 8 p. ill. ; 35 cm.

Maski 1906
Chekonin, S. V. Chernyi, Sasha.
Deters, E. V. Geier, B. F.
Gerardov, N. N. Godin, IA. V.
Kaizerman, G. IA.
Krandievskaia-Tolstaia, N. (Natalia), 1888-1963.
Kartsov, V. S. Kudinov, A. A.
Likhachev, V. S. (Vladimir Sergieevich), 1849-1910.
Mikhailov, V. G.
Saint Petersburg, 1906
8 p.
col. ill.
32 cm.

Dikar' 1906 a
Sinitsyn, Ya. D., Editor
Sankt-Peterburg: Sinitsyn, Ya. D., 1906
1 v. : 8 p. ill. ; 35 cm.

Zritel 1905
A. K. (Aleksandr Kondratev), b. 1876.
Artsybushev, IU. K. (IUrii Konstantinovich), 1877-1952.
Bariatinskii, V. V. (Vladimir Vladimirovich), kniaz, b. 1874.
Bashkin, V. V. Biatkin, G. A.
Chapygin, Aleksei, 1870-1937.
Chekhonin, Sergei Vasilevich, 1878-1936
16 p. col. ill. 33 cm.

Gamayun 1906 b
Vakhrameyev, A. I.; Zlatovratskiy; A. N.; Zasodimskiy; P. V.; Bezpalov, I. F., Editor
Sankt-Peterburg: Zlatovratskiy; A. N., 1906
1 v. : 10 p. ; ill. ; 33 cm.
[alternative version - unripped]

Zalp 1905
Author: Bebutov, P. V.
Lazarev-Gruzinskii, A. S.
Roslavlev, Aleksandr, 1883-1920.
Seven, N. N. Svobodin, M. P.
Saint Petersburg, 1905
8 p. ill. 36 cm.

Gamayun 1906
Vakhrameyev, A. I.; Zlatovratskiy; A. N.; Zasodimskiy; P. V.; Bezpalov, I. F., Editor
Sankt-Peterburg: Zlatovratskiy; A. N., 1906
1 v. : 10 p. ; ill. ; 33 cm.

Gamayun 1906 a
Vakhrameyev, A. I.; Zlatovratskiy; A. N.; Zasodimskiy; P. V.; Bezpalov, I. F., Editor
Sankt-Peterburg: Zlatovratskiy; A. N., 1906
1 v. : 10 p. ; ill. ; 33 cm.

Yad 1905
Petrov, A. M., Editor
Sankt-Peterburg: Petrov, A. M., 1905
1 v. : 8 p. ; ill. ; 23 cm.

Nakanune  1907
Gol'dberg, Yu. V., Editor
Sankt-Peterburg: Gol'dberg, Yu. V., [1907]
1 v. : 16 p. ; ill. ; 32 cm.

Obryv 1907 (note)
Gol'dberg, Yu. V., Editor
Sankt-Peterburg: Gol'dberg, Yu. V., 1907
1 v. : 12 p. ; ill. ; 32 cm

The print title is 'Odin v pole ne voin' {Один в поле не воин}: "One man in the field is not a warrior" or "One man alone can't win a war" --- this was the Russian title of German book by Friedrich von Spielhagen (d. 1911) that featured the revolutionary character Leo and was wildly popular in Russia.

Payatsy 1906
Vyshomirskiy, V. M., Editor
Sankt-Peterburg: Vyshomirskiy, V. M., 1906
1 v. : 8 p. ; ill. ; 46 cm.

Petrushka 1905
Adamov, E. M. (Kholodnyy), Editor
Sankt-Peterburg: Adamov, E. M. (Kholodnyy), 1905
1 v. : ill. ; 33 cm.

Shrapnel' 1905
Milyayev, V. E., Editor
'Shrapnel' 1
Moskva: Milyayev, V. E., 1905
1 v. : 8 p. ; ill. ; 30 cm.

Illustration of royal family's belongings in front of ruined palace

Shrapnel' 1905 a
Milyayev, V. E., Editor
'Shrapnel' 2
Moskva: Milyayev, V. E., 1905
1 v. : 8 p. ; ill. ; 30 cm.

Shtyk 1906 - satirical russian cartoon
[Kisnemskiy, S. P.], Editor
Sankt-Peterburg: [Kisnemskiy, S. P.], [1906]
1 v. : 8 p. ; ill. ; 41 cm.

Deviatyi mag on 1905 revolution in russia
Author: Chepurnyi, S. I.
Chisliev, D. G. Dymow, Ossip, 1878-1959.
Iargin, A. I. Panov, N. A. (Nikolai Aleksandrovich), b. 1848.
Rudenko, S. I. Usas, S. M.
Publisher: S.I. Chepurnyi,
Saint Petersburg
'Deviatyi val.' 2
8 p. ill. 35 cm.

Za zhizn'! 1905
[Prokhorov, S. M.], Editor
'Za zhizn'!'
Sankt-Peterburg: [Prokhorov, S. M.], 1905
1 v. : ill. ; 35 cm.

IUmoristicheskii almanakh 1906
Author: Assaturov, P. K.
Evstafev, P. M. Iazenko, N. I.
Ivanov, D. I. (Dmitrii Ivanovich), 1891-
Kartsov, V. S. Kaufman, M. S.
Kniazev, Vasilii, 1887-1937?
Krasnitskii, A. I. (Aleksandr Ivanovich), b. 1866.
Lvovich, M. Mikhailov, K. A. (Konstantin Arsenevich)
'IUmoristicheskii almanakh'
16 p. ill. 32 cm.

As JMorrison rightly pointed out in his Nonist post from a few years ago, we westerners have to modify our concept of the word 'satire' to accommodate some of the grim subject matter examined in the early 20th century Russian satirical journals.

That's not to say they are devoid of humour, but the process of drawing and publishing some scenes must have been a catharsis itself, without the need for a comic overlay. If life for the general populace was so depressing and bleak at the best of times, it's a hard task for an editorial cartoonist or illustrator to convincingly skewer abominable crimes of the wicked oppressors (or whomever) beyond simply recording their occurrence in an underground publication.

{Edit: Thinking about this later, the opinion above is less applicable to the (biased of course!) selection of images in this entry than it is to the whole corpus of post-revolutionary graphic art journals.]

On a happier note, this post gave me the opportunity to revisit three of my all-time favourite destinations on the interweb, viz:

~~ The University of Wisconsin Digital Collections -- Russian Satirical Journals.
~~ Yale's Beinecke Rare Books & Manuscript Library -- Russian Graphic Art and the Revolution of 1905.
~~ The Nonist -- sadly dormant now, but never forgotten -- Wit Larded with Malice.

See also: The University of Southern California Libraries site: Russian Satirical Journals of the 1905 Revolution.

COMIC-CON 2010 (part 4)

At Comic-Con, artist Neal Adams defined a comic book artist as:
someone you put in a closet with a drawing table, a lamp, a radio, art supplies and you slide paper under the door and he'll keep filling it up -- just so he can get new paper to draw more.
There must have been a thousand artists at Comic-Con who fit that description. Some of them were still blinking as their eyes adjusted to being out in the light. At tables on "artist's alley," in booths and leaning up against fire hydrants, you saw them inking highly detailed backgrounds and individual strands of hair. They didn't seem to be weighing the costs and benefits of their actions, the way sensible people would. They drew unfazed by the economics or the logistics of what they were doing.

There must have been 423 of them specializing in slick, polished images of huge breasted barbarian women in leather and chain mail bodices. (Question: if there are only 360 degrees in a full circle, how is it possible that there are an infinite number of angles from which to draw barbarian women bending over?)

Most of these pictures were keyed to grab at your attention -- every muscle flexed to the max, every gun blazing, every body extended mid-leap. Walking down a corridor of such overwrought images was exhausting.

Most of these pictures were technically accomplished. The artists had clearly sacrificed huge chunks of their lives to acquire technical skills. Some of the art-- a very small percentage-- was even excellent.

I would not live my life the way these artists do, but from a safe distance I can admire their willful disregard for actuarial tables. I am reminded of Archy and Mehitabel's famous Lesson of the Moth, in which Archy asked the moths why they continued to bang their heads against an electric light bulb in an effort to fry themselves in the beautiful fire. He asks one, "have you no sense?"

plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it

As Archy returned to his rational life, he remarked,

i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself

Sir R. Baden - Powell Celebrating 100 Years - A Year of Celebration

Sir R. Baden - PowellFor 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America has created a foundation of leadership, service, and community for millions of America's youth. Through A Year of Celebration, A Century of Making a Difference, we will demonstrate the impact of a century of living the Scout Law.

A Year of Celebration takes place from September 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010. The program is open to all Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers, adult leaders, and Scouting alumni.

Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell also known as B-P or Lord Baden-Powell, was a lieutenant-general in the British Army, writer, and founder of the Scout Movement.
The first book on the Scout Movement, Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys was published in six instalments in 1908, and has sold approximately 150 million copies as the fourth bestselling book of the 20th century.

In 1910 Lieutenant-General Baden-Powell decided to retire from the Army reputedly on the advice of King Edward VII, who suggested that he could better serve his country by promoting Scouting.

In his final letter to the Scouts, Baden-Powell wrote:

...I have had a most happy life and I want each one of you to have a happy life too. I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life. Happiness does not come from being rich, nor merely being successful in your career, nor by self-indulgence. One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so you can enjoy life when you are a man. Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy. Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it. Look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one. But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. 'Be Prepared' in this way, to live happy and to die happy — stick to your Scout Promise always — even after you have ceased to be a boy — and God help you to do it

Title: Sir R. Baden - Powell. Creator(s): Bain News Service, publisher. Date Created/Published: [no date recorded on caption card] Medium: 1 negative : glass ; 5 x 7 in. or smaller. Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ggbain-39190 (digital file from original negative)

Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.

Call Number: LC-B2- 6567-2 [P&P] Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA


* Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards.
* Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).
* General information about the Bain Collection is available at
* Temp. note: Batch eight loaded.


* Glass negatives.


* Bain Collection

Studio Saturday with Shannon LeVart

 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 weeks winner is Alice with The Bliss Guild! Congratulations! 
You have won a LUV2TRVL button from the studio of Tari Sasser with Creative Impressions in Clay
Send Tari an e-mail with your address and she will get that super fun button shipped out to you.

 This week we visit the studio of Shannon LeVart at

I'm making buttons. 
Fine silver buttons that look ancient, as if they were dug up from an archeological dig or tumbled through the sea.
  I love antiqued metal; the subtle shine, the durability, the "go with anything" aspect of it. While I was wishing to be working with copper or bronze clay, I already had a pack of fine silver precious metal clay unopened for months that I settled for. Using molds that I had made by hand, I began pressing small balls of pmc into each one, delighting in a deeply textured patty of fine silver clay. I was tired of making pendants and buttons have such versatile uses so I created simple shanks with 19 gauge wire and pressed them into the backs of the molded clay. Dried, sanded, fired and tumbled; these buttons turned out beautiful!

As soon as I had the chance, I designed several pieces with them. A wrap bracelet created from sari silk and a hand forged sterling clasp features the Shiva button;

And the Sea Urchin button created a rustic bracelet being used in conjunction with patina-ted brass chain and brown suede;

 And the Wild Horse button acts as the clasp and the focal in this simple leather choker;

 So how do you use buttons in your hand crafted jewelry?

Leave a comment below sharing your button technique and next Saturday one of our editors will draw a number. You could win this fine silver shell button!

Thank you for visiting us here at Art Bead Scene!
Much Love & Respect,

Friday, July 30, 2010

COMIC-CON 2010 (part 3)

Comic-Con provides a unique vantage point on the digital future of the popular arts.

The invention of digital media had an obvious quantitative impact on art, but I always listen at Comic-Con for early evidence of a qualitative impact.

Everybody knows the quantitative benefits: computers enhance the efficiency, speed and precision of the creation and distribution of images. They permit sharper, more consistent pictures than traditional tools can. They expand the range of possible subject matters by overcoming previous limitations on scale. For example, animators today have the ability to show individual strands of hair, or flowers in a field, or faces in a crowd that once would have been economically impossible to convey.

Yet, it is not clear that any of these miracles crosses the line between quantitative and qualitative change.

Contrast digital art with the invention of oil paint, for example. Many historians believe the invention of oil paint transformed the nature of art qualitatively. It gave artists versatility and sensitivity to create rich, glowing surfaces (such as polished marble, radiant jewels and-- most importantly-- human flesh).

This is supposed to have helped inspire the transition from the medieval obsession with the afterlife...

to the Renaissance focus on the human body and our physical world.

For me, the most fascinating question about the future of digital art is whether HCI (human-computer interaction) has the potential to trigger a similar kind of change.

Can it help make our images more sensitive? Better designed? Can it lead to better compositions? More poignant or evocative or profound images? Can it help make artists visually smarter, or perhaps release some primal aspect of aesthetic communication that has been straightjacketed so long by the limitations of earlier media we're not even aware of it?

One of the more promising areas discussed at Comic-Con emerged in a presentation by USC professor Henry Jenkins on "Transmedia," which he defined as:
The systematic dispersion across multiple platforms of a unified and coordinated entertainment experience, with each platform making its own contribution.
While in many respects transmedia is a marketing concept, it can also alter our experience of creative content by mixing genres together in what seems to be a new and potentially rich way. Digitalization enables people to become part of a movie, or to experience the movie through multiple points of view; to immerse themselves in a story and to later extract parts of it to take back to their own world; to incorporate the content in their own play (think of people using youtube to adapt and perform their own versions of the songs they see on Glee); to move the content from one medium to another, the way bees cross-pollenate. Jenkins impressed me as smart and disciplined.

It's too early to tell, but this strikes me as a variation on the creative experience worth thinking about as we shape our stories and other creative content.

Friday Finds with Lorelei: Crescents

Have you noticed this new funky shape popping up on the bead scene? I have! and I love it! It's new and everybody's doin' it. Whether you call it a crescent, a smile, a moon on it's side, it's still fresh and new! These are a few that I found when scouring the web. Click the links below to shop for your own!

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

IAC Building

IAC Building

IAC Building
The IAC Building, InterActiveCorp's headquarters, is a Frank Gehry-designed building located in the Chelsea, Manhattan neighborhood of New York City. 555 West 18th Street
New York, New York 10011. Completed in 2007, it houses the offices of IAC corporation.

InterActiveCorp (legal name: IAC/InterActiveCorp) is an internet company with over 50 brands across 40 countries. The Chairman and CEO is Barry Diller, who was previously head of Paramount Pictures, Fox Broadcasting and USA Broadcasting.
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.

COMIC-CON 2010 (part 2)

John Henry said to his captain,
"Well a man ain't nothin but a man,
But before I let that steam drill beat me down,
Lawd, Lawd, I'll die with that hammer in my hand."

Tim Lewis 2000

We have had several discussions on this blog about the expanding role of software in the creation of art. I have argued that programs such as Painter and Photoshop allow people to purchase a level of talent that previous generations had to struggle for years to master. Others have responded that you can't hide bad digital painting/drawing in Corel Painter or bad character animation in Maya any more than you can hide bad oil painting.

Our discussions have ranged across a wide variety of theoretical scenarios. But in the words of the great Yogi Berra,
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.
One of the great things about Comic-Con is the opportunity to watch experts perform live demonstrations of the latest art software. After watching the current software in action, I have no question that it artificially provides a user with a remarkable level of technical skill to draw and paint.

I was particularly impressed with a demonstration of Z Brush. I watched the demonstrator use a scanned photograph to establish the topology of a face and then choose from seemingly endless options to customize the face into the image she wanted, selecting not just the skin tone, but how shiny or textured the skin would be, or even how conspicuous the pores would be. When it came to creating the hair, she pulled up a hair cap from a sphere, selected whether she wanted the "hair" or "fur" option, and then simply pulled the hair down to the desired length and cut and combed it the way she wanted. The computer placed her at a level that it would have taken a traditional artist many years to master.

I later looked at the demonstrator's drawings created without the benefit of a computer. They were not nearly as sophisticated or technically skilled.

The benefits of the computer were truly amazing, but I'll tell you something else that I found even more impressive. The demonstrator shyly revealed that she had just resigned from a plum position with the acclaimed computer animation and graphics studio Blur to take classes at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art. The audience gasped. But she said, "I go home at night and I draw and paint, and I feel so happy!"

Only a few days left to Enter ABS Monthly Challenge!

There are only a few days left to enter Art Bead Scene's Monthly Challenge!
This months challenge is inspired by Alexander Calder's mobile "Blue Feather." Your design can be inspired by the movement, color, shape etc.

If you don't enter you can't win! Check out these cool prizes. 3 lucky entrants could win this month one of the prizes below!

A toggle and bead set from Creative Impressions In Clay.

A $50 dollar gift certificate from Lyn Foley.

Rush over to the ABS flickr page to upload your entry!

 Diva Designs beautiful polymer clay beads.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The 14th Amendment

The 14th Amendment

The 14th Amendment
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States Federal Government under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.

Generally speaking, works created by U.S. Government employees are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office.

More Winners!

We have two lucky winners for two grab bags of Ephemera Wooden Tiles from More Skye Jewels, both with 4 tiles each.

The winners are Raysgirl and Chris aka CW.

Please email me your mailing address and I'll get those tiles sent right out.  Thanks for playing along everyone.

Storing Your Supplies Artistically with Lori Anderson

Part of getting ready for artistic ventures is the absolute joy of buying new supplies. Paints, pastels, vintage ephemera, yarn, tons of books, metal-working tools, glass, beads — it’s like Christmas every time the UPS man comes! But with all this largess comes the dilemma of where in the world do I STORE this stuff? Moving into a new house is just not an option, so what to do… what to do.
Something I’ve realized is all of these new supplies are really, really pretty. So I started thinking outside the (paint) box and came up with some new home decor.
I’ve started random collections throughout the house. Here, lovely jars from Pottery Barn full of yarn, waiting for a class in sock knitting….
The yarn was just too pretty to put away in a box, so for now, they’re filling up these jars.
Speaking of jars, I found a vintage fruit jar and I’m using it to hold a treasure-trove of glass rod ends that I was given by a lovely blog reader. I’m holding on to them for a bit, just waiting to mash them up and turn them into frit or pull into stringer for lampworking. In the meantime, they're pretty just as they are!

Some of my storage options are BIG, like this one -- an antique postal sorting unit. It's huge and I love it. The sorting bins slant slightly downwards, making them perfect for glass rod storage:
Storing your art supplies this way may not be practical. Don’t get me wrong — all of my stash is most certainly NOT on display. Most, in fact, is packed into boxes and unceremoniously shoved under beds or into closets. But considering the beauty we make WITH the tools of our trade, doesn’t it stand to reason that some of our tools and supplies would be beautiful, too?
So choose a few. Find an unusual way to make them an everyday part of your decor. Who knows? It might just be the gentle nudge you need to try that new project you’ve been meaning to start.

Lori Anderson’s is a full time jewelry designer in Easton, MD. Her jewelry can be seen at She also writes a blog called Pretty Things and An Artist's Year Off.

Book Winner!

Opps! Sorry for posting this late. We have a winner!!! Jama, please email me your address and I will send this out to you ASAP.

Join us tomorrow for the two winners of the More Skye Jewels wooden tiles.

COMIC-CON 2010 (part 1)

The ancient marketplace of Byzantium swarmed with traders, cutthroats, fishermen and merchants selling spices, livestock, textiles and goods from all across the known world. Its crowded stalls and narrow streets reeked with exotic smells and clamored with a dozen languages. When normal language failed, the vocabulary of commerce always prevailed.

[I just returned from the world famous San Diego Comic-Con-- always a mind-altering experience. This week I am posting a series of observations about my experiences there.]

The exhibition hall at Comic-Con is an airplane hangar sized petrie dish, where the conversion rate between artistic talent and cash is renegotiated thousands of times each minute. Art is bought and sold in every form, both as originals and in all manner of tangible and intangible reproductions. Oil paintings from the past are marketed alongside vapor ware from the future. The tools for making the next generation of art-- magic brush pens from Faber-Castell, Tombow and Prismacolor, or software from Z brush-- are marketed like the magic wands in Harry Potter.

For me, one noteworthy story about the value of art comes from these beautifully painted animation backgrounds which could be purchased by the fistful on the last day for $10 apiece.

Original paintings produced by skillful artists cost less than a printed poster.

Walking the exhibition hall, you developed an appreciation for the fact that the price of art is tied less to its quality than to its function. No matter how talented the artist, or how these images look, they were produced on an assembly line for high volume use, and the artists had already been paid once by their corporate employer.

The price of these paintings was discounted far below their inherent quality because the pictures had already served their primary function.

The same observation can sometimes be made about the price of illustration art generally. It often sells for less than its artistic quality would justify when compared to gallery art, because the primary cost of creating the art has already been covered by its initial commercial sponsor. Once an illustration has fulfilled its primary function, the secondary collector can sometimes purchase the work of a talented artist who in a rational world might be unaffordable.