Monday, October 31, 2011

Cactus ♥
My cactus grew a heart!
Thank you from the bottom of my ♥ to all of you who bought my art this year!
As I announced earlier I will be closing both my shops
tomorrow until early January 2012.
Last year I had too many issues with the unbelievably slow postal service.
I really need to take a break from selling & concentrate on creating
during what is left of the year.
Blog and other social media will continue as usual :)

Demonology and Witchcraft

Demonology and Witchcraft, Drawn by J. Skeno of Rubislaw, Engraved by William Home Lizars (1788-1859). The Bow Edinburgh. House of Major Weir.


Origin of the general Opinions respecting Demonotogy among Mankind— The Belief in the Immortality of the Soul is the main inducement to credit its occasional reappearance— The Philosophical Objections to the Apparition of an Abstract Spirit little understood by the Vulgar and Ignorant— The situations of excited Passion incident to Humanity, which teach men to wish or apprehend Supernatural Apparitions-— They are often presented by the Sleeping Sense—Story of Somnambulism—The Influence of Credulity contagious, so that Individuals will trust the Evidence of others in despite of their own Senses—Examples from the Historia Verdadera of Bernal Dias del Castillo, and from the Works of Patrick Walker— The apparent Evidence of Intercourse with the Supernatural World is sometimes owing to a depraved State of the bodily Organs—-Difference between this Disorder and Insanity, in which the Organs retain their tone, though that of the Mind is lost—Rebellion of the Senses of a Lunatic against the: A

current of his Reveries—Narratives of a contrary Nature, in which the Evidence of the Eyes overbore the Conviction of the Understanding—Example of a London Man of Pleasure— Of Nicolai, the German Bookseller and Philosopher— Of a Patient of Dr Gregory—Of an Eminent Scottish Lawyer deceased— Of this same fallacious Disorder are other instances, which have but sudden and momentary endurance—Apparition ofMaupertuis—Of a late illustrious modern Poet— The Cases quoted chiefly relating to false Impressions on the Visual Nerve, those upon the -Ear next considered—Delusions of the Touch chiefly ex'perienced in Sleep—Delusions of the Taste—and of the Smelling—Sum of the Argument.

Demonology and Witchcraft

This Image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1923 are copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office. Works published before 1923 (in this case 1830) are now in the public domain.

This file is also in the public domain in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris) in this case William Home Lizars (1788-1859), and that most commonly runs for a period of 50 to 70 years from December 31 of that year.

IMAGE and TEXT CREDIT: Letters on demonology and witchcraft: Addressed to J. G. Lockhart. Author: Walter Scott. Publisher: Murray, 1830. Original from: the Bavarian State Library. Digitized: Jan 12, 2009. Length: 402 pages. Subjects: Demonology, Witchcraft.

Medical Caricatures

Sampling from :::Medical Caricatures, 1736-1932:::
{Lowcountry Digital Library}*

engraving of old person sitting in chair
The Prevailing Epidemic
"Ah! you may laugh, my boy; but it's no joke being funny with the influenza!"

This print is recorded as anonymous at the source site, but I think the "JL" bottom left of the sketch (as well as the general illustration style) matches up well to the English caricaturist, John Leech, from the mid-1850s.

woodcut of portly sunglassed 18th c. gent holding pillbox
The Quack Doctor
Anonymous, date unknown (?late 18th, early 19th c.)

tooth pulling on medieval stage in front of crowd
Toothpuller Entertaining in Public
Artist unknown, 1767

collection of wigged dozing men, all with sticks, looking like barristers
The Company of Undertakers

::: Beareth Sable, an Urinal proper, between 12 Quack-Heads of the second & 12 Cane Heads Or, Consultant. On a Chief Nebuloe, Ermine One Compleat Doctor issuant, checkie sustaining in his Right Hand a Baton of the second. On his Dexter and sinister sides two Demi-Doctors, issuant of the second, & two Cane-Heads issuant of the third; The first having One Eye conchant, towards the Dexter Side of the Esocheon; the Second Faced per pale proper & Gules, Guardent.
With this Motto - Et Plurima Mortis Imargo :::

Designed/engraved by William Hogarth, 1736
"[This is] Hogarth's delightful commentary upon the medical profession. Represented within a satirical coat-of-arms the engraving is bordered in black, like a mourning card. Beneath it are a pair of ominous crossbones and the motto, "Et Plurima mortis imago" -- 'And many an image of death'.

The three major doctors inhabiting the upper portion of the coat-of-arms were based upon actual practitioners. In the centre of this trio is a figure dressed in a clown's suit which Hogarth refers to as "One Compleat Doctor". This figure was actually a woman named Sarah Mapp, a well known bone-setter. To her left is a feminine faced physician meant to portray Joshua Ward ('Spot Ward'), a doctor who had a birth-mark covering one side of his face. To her right, resides John Taylor, a well known oculist of the day. Taylor, it is reported, had only one eye. These physicians apparently lack the skills to heal themselves.

The lower portion of the coat-of-arms contains twelve more quack doctors. Most are occupied in sniffing the heads of their canes, which, in the eighteenth century, contained disinfectant. Three doctors, however, are absorbed by the contents of a urinal. Their expressions range from sour to unintelligent." [source]
Incidentally, a (much crisper/clearer) copy of this print was reissued later minus the text below the illustration, but bearing the title, 'Consultation of Physicians'.

domestic room engraving with bassinet, short fellow with fire in his wig and lady holding nose
The Battle of the Cataplasm
Artist: JW Bunbury (pub'd by J Bretherton, 1773)
"One of a series of illustrations to Laurence Sterne's 'The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman' showing Dr. Slop and Susannah exchanging abuse. Dr. Slop stands, with his wig burning, about to throw cataplasm* in Susannah's face. Susannah stands behind the cradle in which lies the infant Tristram, a plaster across his nose, as she holds her nose and a candle."*

smiling seated skeleton wearing suite and hat plays banjo
An Old Negro Melody
IN: The Antikamnia Chemical Company Calendar, April-June, 1901

seated skeleton in striped robed pyjamas contemplates his wine | calendar
After the Holidays - Cooling Off
IN: The Antikamnia Chemical Company Calendar, Jan-March, 1901

***See: The Antikamnia Chemical Company post on BibliOdyssey for many more related images and background.

seated, obviously angrily distressed, old woman with head scarf holds glass
La Potion Draught

A man is taking a draft of Copaiba medicine for his cough.

IN: 'Le Charivari', November 1836 ('Galerie Physionomique') by Honoré Daumier

The 'Galerie Physionomique' was a series of 25 lithographs that appeared in 'Le Charivari' between Nov. 1836 and Dec. 1837.

crowd in apothecary's shop and skeleton from death's dance admires self in corner mirror
I Have a Secret Art to Cure [Each malady, which men endure]

Thomas Rowlandson's illustration from 1815 first appeared in the classic 2-vol. publication, 'The English Dance of Death'.

distressed seated patient endures application of forehead poultice by physic
Gentle Emetic (by James Gillray, 1804)
"An emetic is a medicine that produces nausea and vomiting. “Puking” was considered to be another way to restore balance to the body. In this etching, a man and his physician [..] patiently wait for the effects of an emetic. The physician solicitously holds the man's head in his hands while the patient looks extremely uncomfortable. A bowl on the table awaits the contents of his stomach. The use of “gentle” in the title is definitely tongue-in-cheek." [source]

donkey and cow pulls cart with spotted half-human bearing dragon tail
Gare la Vaccine
Triomphe de la Petite Verole
(Mind the Vaccine, Triumph of Smallpox)

Vaccination had become quite widespread in France and England by the beginning of the 19th century and was energetically attacked by fearmongers in satirical pamphlets showing victims acquiring vaccine-host-animal qualities, for instance.

physician catches blood in bowl spurting from seated man's decubital fossa
Breathing a Vein

Etched engraving by James Gillray 1804, published by H Humphrey, St James St. London
"Bloodletting, or phlebotomy, had been a standard medical practice since antiquity. It entailed withdrawing a considerable amount of blood from a person in order to cure disease. Blood was thought to build up in excess and then stagnate in certain areas of the body. Removing the extra blood would restore the natural balance of the body.

In this etching Gillray demonstrates venesection, which he calls “breathing a vein.” The title suggests that the procedure was a pleasant way to allow the vein a little air. The reality of the procedure was something else, as the cartoon suggests. A tourniquet was placed above the elbow, the artery in the forearm was punctured by a lancet, and the blood, gushing like a geyser, was captured in a bowl." [source]

crude engraving of distressed, seated, fat man with snuff box in hand
A Curse for Drowsiness -or- A Pinch of Cephalic

Engraving by George Cruikshank after a sketch by (the late) James Gillray and published by H Humphrey, St James St. London, 1822. [in colour]

A gouty old John Bull, seated with his brandy, water and pipe, takes a pinch of snuff.

modern cartoonish etching of businessman sketch with stylised winged angel above him
A Great Doctor is Accompanied by a Great Angel
[Mit a groissen roifeh gait a groisser malech]

Undated etching by Mel Fowler (d. 1987)*

Waring Historical Library at the Medical University of South Carolina offers up a collection of medical caricatures through the collaborative Lowcountry Digital Library.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with Betty Boop (1933)

The dwarfs, when they came home in the evening, found Snow White lying upon the ground; she breathed no longer and was dead. They lifted her up, looked to see whether they could find anything poisonous, unlaced her, combed her hair, washed her with water and wine, but it was all of no use; the poor child was dead, and remained dead. They laid her upon a bier, and all seven of them sat round it and wept for her, and wept three days long.

Then they were going to bury her, but she still looked as if she were living, and still had her pretty red cheeks. They said, "We could not bury her in the dark ground," and they had a transparent coffin of glass made, so that she could be seen from all sides, and they laid her in it, and wrote her name upon it in golden letters, and that she was a king's daughter. Then they put the coffin out upon the mountain, and one of them always stayed by it and watched it. And birds came too, and wept for Snow-white; first an owl, then a raven, and last a dove.

And now Snow-white lay a long, long time in the coffin, and she did not change, but looked as if she were asleep; for she was as white as snow, as red as blood, and her hair was as black as ebony.

It happened, however, that a king's son came into the forest, and went to the dwarfs' house to spend the night. He saw the coffin on the mountain, and the beautiful Snow-white within it, and read what was written upon it in golden letters. Then he said to the dwarfs, "Let me have the coffin, I will give you whatever you want for it." But the dwarfs answered, "We will not part with it for all the gold in the world." Then he said, "Let me have it as a gift, for I cannot live without seeing Snow-white. I will honour and prize her as my dearest possession." As he spoke in this way the good dwarfs took pity upon him, and gave him the coffin.

And now the King's son had it carried away by his servants on their shoulders. And it happened that they stumbled over a tree stump, and with the shock the poisonous piece of apple which Snow white had bitten off came out of her throat. And before long she opened her eyes, lifted up the lid of the coffin, sat up, and was once more alive. "Oh, heavens, where am I?" she cried. The King's son, full of joy, said, "You are with me," and told her what had happened, and said, "I love you more than everything in the world; come with me to my father's palace, you shall be my wife."

And Snow-white was willing, and went with him, and their wedding was held with great show and splendour.

Snow White with Betty Boop (1933)

This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 and although there may or may not have had a copyright notice, the copyright was not renewed. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office.

This file however MAY NOT be in the public domain in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris), in this case Max Fleischer (July 19,

1883 – September 11, 1972) It may be copyrighted in jurisdictions that do not apply the rule of the shorter term for US works, If your use will be outside the United States please check your local law.

IMAGE CREDIT: >Snow White with Betty Boop (1933) Directed by: Dave Fleischer. Produced by: Max Fleischer. Voices by: Mae Questel. Cab Calloway (vocal chorus), Animation by: Roland Crandall (as Roland C. Crandall). Distributed by: Paramount Pictures. Release date(s): March 31, 1933. Color process: Black-and-white. Running time: 7 mins. Language: English.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The War of the Worlds Martian fighting machine battling with the warship Thunder Child

October 30, 1938, Orson Welles broadcasts his radio play of H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds.

The War of the Worlds Martian fighting machine battling with the warship Thunder Child.

To their intelligence, it may be, the giant was even such another as themselves. The Thunder Child fired no gun, but simply drove full speed towards them. It was probably her not firing that enabled her to get so near the enemy as she did. They did not know what to make of her. One shell, and they would have sent her to the bottom forthwith with the Heat-Ray.

She was steaming at such a pace that in a minute she seemed halfway between the steamboat and the Martians—a diminishing black bulk against the receding horizontal expanse of the Essex coast .

Suddenly the foremost Martian lowered his tube, and discharged a canister of the black gas at the ironclad. It hit her larboard side, and glanced off in an inky jet, that rolled away to seaward, an unfolding torrent of black smoke, from which the ironclad drove clear. To the watchers from the steamer, low in the water and with the sun in their eyes, it seemed as though she was already among the Martians.

They saw the gaunt figures separating and rising out of the water as they retreated shoreward, and one of them raised the camera-like generator of the Heat-Ray. He held it pointing obliquely downward, and a bank of steam sprang from the water at its touch. It must have driven through the iron of the ship's side like a white-hot iron rod through paper.

A flicker of flame went up through the rising steam, and then the Martian reeled and staggered. In another moment he was cut down, and a great body of water and steam shot high in the air. The guns of the Thunder Child sounded through the reek, going off one after the other, and one shot splashed the water high close by the steamer, ricocheted towards the other flying ships to the north, and smashed a smack to matchwood.

But no one heeded that very much. At the sight of the Martian's collapse, the captain on the bridge yelled inarticulately, and all the crowding passengers on the steamers's stern shouted together. And then they yelled again. For, surging out beyond the white tumult drove something long and black, the flames streaming from its middle parts, its ventilators and funnels spouting fire.

She was alive still; the steering gear, it seems, was intact and her engines working. She headed straight for a second Martian, and was within a hundred yards of him when the Heat-Ray came to bear. Then with a violent thud, a blinding flash, her decks, her funnels, leapt upward. The Martian staggered with the violence of her explosion, and in another moment the flaming wreckage, still driving forward with the impetus of its pace, had struck him and crumpled him up like a thing of cardboard. My brother shouted involuntarily. A boiling tumult of steam hid everything again.

The War of the Worlds Martian fighting machine battling with the warship Thunder Child

Drawing by the Brazilian artist Henrique Alvim Corrêa. Henrique Alvim Correia. Description: Brazilian painter, draughtsman and illustrator. Date of birth / death: January 30, 1876 - July 7, 1910. Location of birth / death: Rio de Janeiro - Brussels. Work location: Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Brussels, Lisboa.

This Image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1923 are copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office. Works published before 1923 are now in the public domain.

Henrique Alvim Correa [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This file is also in the public domain in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris) in this case Henrique Alvim Corrêa (January 30, 1876 - July 7, 1910), and that most commonly runs for a period of 50 to 70 years from December 31 of that year.

TEXT CREDIT: The War of the Worlds Volume 3274 of Collection of British Authors: Tauchnitz Edition. Author: Herbert George Wells. Publisher: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1898. Original from: the University of Virginia. Digitized: Sep 4, 2009. Length: 288 pages. Subjects: Fiction › Science Fiction › General, Fiction / Science Fiction / General Fiction / Science Fiction / Space Opera.

Cactus Wrens

Cactus Wrens
Cactus wren
Micron pen drawing inspired by a recent visit to the Charco del Ingenio Natural Reserve in San Miguel de Allende where I spotted that beautiful cactus wren
& got savagely devoured by a hungry mob of mosquitoes.
*Note to self: remember to put on repellent the next time!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wicked Witch of the East

"You are welcome, most noble Sorceress, to the land of the Munchkins. We are so grateful to you for having killed the Wicked Witch of the East, and for setting our people free from bondage."

Dorothy listened to this speech with wonder. What could the little woman possibly mean by calling her a sorceress, and saying she had killed the wicked Witch of the East? Dorothy was an innocent, harmless little girl, who had been carried by a cyclone many miles from home; and she had never killed anything in all her life.

But the little woman evidently expected her to answer; so Dorothy said, with hesitation,

"You are very kind; but there must be some mistake. I have not killed anything."

"Your house did, anyway," replied the little old woman, with a laugh; "and that is the same thing. See!" she continued, pointing to the corner of the house; "there are her two toes, still sticking out from under a block of wood."

Dorothy looked, and gave a little cry of fright. There, indeed, just under the corner of the great beam the house rested on, two feet were sticking out, shod in silver shoes with pointed toes.

"Oh, dear! oh, dear!" cried Dorothy, clasping her hands together in dismay; "the house must have fallen on her. What ever shall we do?"

"There is nothing to be done," said the little woman, calmly.

"But who was she?" asked Dorothy.

"She was the Wicked Witch of the East, as I said," answered the little woman. "She has held all the Munchkins in bondage for many years, making them slave for her night and day. Now they are all set free, and are grateful to you for the favor."

Wicked Witch of the East

IMAGE CREDIT: Title: The Tin Woodman of Oz, A Faithful Story of the Astonishing Adventure Undertaken by the Tin Woodman, assisted by Woot the Wanderer, the Scarecrow of Oz, and Polychrome, the Rainbow's Daughter.

This Image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1923 are copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office. Works published before 1923, in this case 1918, are now in the public domain.

By Jonathan R. Neill (The Tin Woodman of Oz) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Author: L. Frank Baum, This Book is dedicated to the son of my son Frank Alden Baum. Illustrator: John R. Neill. The Reilly & Britton Co. Chicago. Copyright 1918 by L. Frank Baum. All rights reserved. Made in U. S. A.

TEXT CREDIT: The new Wizard of Oz Author: Lyman Frank Baum. Illustrated by: William Wallace Denslow. Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill, 1903. Length: 208 pages. Subjects: Courage. Determination (Personality trait) Dogs, Friendship, Gale, Dorothy (Fictitious character) Kansas, Love, Magic, Orphans, Oz (Imaginary place) Scarecrow (Fictitious character : Baum) Thought and thinking, Tin Woodman (Fictitious character) Witches, Wizard of Oz (Fictitious character) Wizards

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Police pour liquor into sewer following a raid during prohibition

Congress passed the "Volstead Act" on October 28, 1919.

Title: [New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach, right, watching agents pour liquor into sewer following a raid during the height of prohibition]

Date Created/Published: [1921?] Medium: 1 photographic print. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-123257 (b&w film copy neg.)

Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.

Call Number: NYWTS - SUBJ/GEOG--Prohibition--General [P&P] [P&P] Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Notes: New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection (Library of Congress). Title devised by Library staff using information from photo slug.

Subjects: Prohibition--New York (State)--New York--1920-1930. Format: Alcoholic beverages--1920-1930. Photographic prints--1920-1930. Collections: Miscellaneous Items in High Demand.

"Tom, Jack and Harry" - or - Three Freds and a Len Beats a "Royal Flush"

I wish I had a button I could hand out to every artist who feels helpless about the relentless erosion of our profession. It would say

"Adapt or Die"

Half a century ago, a lot of illustrators found themselves in the same situation. It must have felt a bit like watching a slow-motion train wreck.


The problem being, you're on the train. The train is your career.


This is the story of three artists who didn't need a button to remind them of the law of survival. I'll call them...

"Tom, Jack and Harry"

(because those are their names)

Tom Sawyer had come to New York in the '50s. Tom dreamed of becoming the next Milton Caniff (Below: Tom with his idol, Milton Caniff).


Instead he quickly found himself ensconced in a room full of kindred spirits; eager young men (teenagers actually) like himself, churning out comic book pages assembly-line style for what would one day become the Marvel Comics empire.


The page rates were at the bottom of the illustration industry barrel. But in a few short years Tom's talent and ambition carried him to the top of the pay scale. At the preeminent comic strip advertising studio of the day, Johnstone and Cushing, Tom made ten times the page rate his early comic art efforts had brought in.


From there Tom moved into what was clearly emerging as a lucrative and growing market for illustrators in the 1960s: storyboarding for tv commercials.

Tom told me, "that was around 1968, just before I began shooting (directing/producing) commercials, and while I'm not certain about what the others were getting, I believe it was about $50 - $60 per frame. I'd started around there, but I just kept raising my prices (mostly at first because they were almost invariably all-nighters), and since my boards usually sold the concept to the clients, I met little resistance." In short order, Tom was the highest paid storyboard artist in New York at $100 a frame.


(To put things in perspective, 20 years later, when I began storyboarding professionally in the late 1980s, I was getting $65 a frame.)

Other artists who had previous made it big in "finished art" illustration also migrated to storyboard and layout art. Jack Hearne, for instance...


... whose son, John, told me, "I remember J. Walter Thompson being a main contributor to his portfolio... he did a whole bunch of storyboards for Chrysler in the 70's and 80's, with the introduction of the "K-Car." I actually remember those, and have a few under my bed in an old portfolio."

And Harry Borgman, one of the most adaptive illustrators I've ever met so embraced the new opportunities in creating concept art for television production that he actually wrote books on the subject and travelled to exotic locales to both draw and teach storyboarding.


"Around the late 70's," Harry told me, "Illustration assignments were becoming scarce. I found myself doing more and more storyboard assignments.""

"Doing storyboards enabled me to start working almost the day I arrived in Paris. The French like the "American Style" of storyboards. We do them fast and loose, the French artists always had a tendency to overwork their stuff. Also the French artists did not want to work nights or weekends, so I had it made over there."


"Many illustrators did not want to dirty their hands doing storyboards, but it sure was a great way to make a living. I've done thousands of frames... and I never really tired of doing them. Its a lot like painting watercolors."


But wait -- the story of adaptation to changing market conditions has a "Part 2." Let's look at...

How Three Freds and a Len Beat a "Royal Flush"

Rather than allow their careers to get 'royally flushed' down the toilet because technological change was causing a lack of illustration assignments, these three Freds (and one Len) all embraced change, discovering lucrative and creatively rewarding outlets to sustain the quality of life they'd grown accustomed to.

Fred Ludekens was both a renowned mid-century illustrator and a founding faculty member of the Famous Artists School.


But after the market for illustration became dramatically diminished, Ludekens became co-creative director of one of the most prestigious advertising agencies in the world, Foote, Cone and Belding (FCB).


Asked during an interview what essential training must the illustrator bring to the job, Ludekens replied:

"Assuming he has talent, likes to draw and paint, the most important thing for him to have is a knowledge of the business he is in. Most illustrators know very little about business or writing. They just like to make pictures. This isn't enough. They should know what the picture is specifically required to do and why. They must be interested in the why and make an all-out effort to make the picture work. This is what they are being paid to do."

Ludekens was speaking about a different time and place, but I find it sage advice for any illustrator contemplating his role in today's changing graphic art landscape. Food for thought.

Fred ("Fritz") Siebel had a very successful career as an illustrator during the '40s and '50s... ... but he too fell victim to the decline in illustration assignments.


Siebel's widow, Gretchen, wrote to me and described what happened next:

"As photography began to replace illustration in editorial and advertising art, Fritz expanded to other design mediums. In 1960, he founded a graphic and package design company, Frederick Siebel Associates. He applied his talents to package design for products ranging from Captain Morgan Rum to Canada Dry Ginger Ale. His company was later known as Siebel Marketing Company. The firm had a large studio and design staff, as well as copywriters and event marketers, and received many awards and distinctions in the product design field."

Siebel, incidentally, didn't give up illustrating. In addition to his new role as the head of a design and marketing company, Fritz Siebel illustrated quite a few children's books, including one of my childhood favourites, "A Fly went By" and the popular "Amelia Bedelia" series.


J. Frederick Smith was a very prominent illustrator during the '50s but by 1956 he found his interest turning to the photography that preceded his execution of an illustration. Smith would set up elaborate shoots with models in costumes and surrounded by props. In an article in Illustration magazine #31, Smith is quoted as saying, "My work did not have a photographic look but I was approaching my work more like a photographer."


Smith continues, "In 1956, changes were being made. TV was much in evidence, and within a short time people were watching soap operas and sit-coms, and the magazines were printing less and less fiction. The handwriting was on the wall, TV was here to stay. Also, I was changing. I realized that after taking my preliminary photos, doing the illustration was sometimes anti-climactic. I was enjoying the new medium of the camera."

Finally, Len Steckler; who was another of the prestigious Charles Cooper studio artists we talk about so often. Steckler's illustrations appeared in all the leading magazines of the day such as Collier’s, Good Housekeeping, The Ladies’ Home Journal, and The Saturday Evening Post. He was a member of the Society of Illustrators in New York.


While painting, he often relied on his photograph of the model for further reference, and magazine editors started to buy these photographs. Over time Steckler phased out illustration, and in the 60’s and 70’s, he became famous for his fashion and beauty photography.

(Below, Len Steckler, who formerly illustrated stories for The Post, ensured his continued employment by switching to photography and shot this 1965 cover for the magazine)

Today we illustrators once again find ourselves at a juncture where our profession is being marginalized by changing technology. Its impossible to predict how things will pan out in the years ahead... but its becoming increasingly clear that there's no going back. The stories presented here today of Tom, Jack and Harry and of the three Freds and one Len - illustrators who adapted to the technological change of their time - may not provide the answer you're looking for... but these are stories worth some serious consideration. Confronted by the inevitability of change, will you adapt or... ?

* Last night I spoke for two hours plus at The Nook. We had a full house - wow! - I was humbled that so many wonderful, attentive people would come out to hear stories of the artists of the "Last Golden Age of Illustration". To those people - many thanks and thanks to Julia and all the other great folks at The Nook for hosting my lecture! For those of you who missed it, we managed to record the whole thing ( even though we didn't realize we were doing so - haha! ) If you'd like to have a look at me talking and talking and talking ... here's the link our ustream video recording.

Twitter Giveaway!

Twitter Giveaway
Tin framed art
I've done Blog & Facebook giveaways before so now it's Twitter's turn.
Follow me on Twitter for a chance to win this beautiful painted tin frame
from San Miguel de Allende with one of my original watercolors inside :)
I'll choose a random winner from my followers this Sunday.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New for Galison!

Book of Stickers
Perpetual Calendar
New collaboration with Galison for Spring 2012!
Available December 1st. at Galison.
I'll show you more pics as soon as they're available :)

Thank you so much to everyone that stopped by my Geninne's Originals shop!
I am overwhelmed by the kindness & generosity towards my work.
There are still a few originals that will be available until the 31st of October.

Pushkin Silhouettes

reverse silhouette of profile of man with quill pen

close-up profile silhouette of 2 seated men facing each other, one smoking

silhouette in profile of man reading to woman in forest

silhouette of male playing chess

Art Nouveau silhouette of cloudy sky and lake and man on shore

reverse silhouette of a man in profile, reading

profile silhouette of 2 seated men at a table

silhouette of 2 women and man around table in home

silhouette profile of woman seated and man standing at table

silhouette view across lake to obelisk in forest or park

profile silhouette of man walking in windy rain with umbrella

A collection of silhouette illustrations relating to Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin, was published in 1949. The images above were cropped from the full page layouts posted to the da_zdra_per_m LJ site. {if you click through on an image and then "В другом размере", you can view enlarged versions}.

The Russian Silhouette Museum advises that the book includes illustration works by a number of artists, including "V.Gel'mersen, N.Il'in, B.Kustodiev".

Previously: The Silhouette Book || van Geldorp || literature || Russia.