Archive for June, 2010

Art I LOVE – Arthur Rackham

Posted in ALICE IN WONDERLAND, ART, ART HISTORY, DESIGN, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE with tags , , on June 23, 2010 by echostains

The Three Bears

I was first captivated by the illustrations of Arthur Rackham by reading the Ingoldsby Legends.  As children we weren’t really allowed to read this book because of the dark subject matter (mostly horror poems and stories).   Some of the illustrations were enough to induce nightmares – but all that made it all the more exciting!

Hey up the chimney Lass…Ingoldsby Legends

London born Rackham  (1867 – 1939) illustrated  a great many journals and books.  His style is easily recognised, because he uses muted water colours, his style is imaginative and whimsical and there are always tiny details in the picture which gradually reveal themselves to the viewer, making the work even more enjoyable.

Norns weaving destiny by Rackham for Seigfried’s The ring

Rackham crops up everywhere.  I even came across his illustrations when I was researching the story of ‘The Ring’ by Wagner.  He was a prolific illustrator.  His Victorian style was in keeping with his imaginative readers, full of fun yet exciting too.  He illustrated poems too –   Goblin Market by Christina Rosetti among many.  Rip Van Winkle, Peter Pan – even Alice in Wonderland. When I look back at his illustrations, he recaptures my childhood and fills it with  carefree days of hiding away with  books (forbidden and allowed)  and transports me back to a magical land where the sun always shone and the corners were filled with the darkest shadows.   What a wonderful contribution to childhood!

Hey up the Chimney Lass image from here

The Three Bears the illustration for English fairytales by Flora Annie Steel here

Wonderful images and info here

Rackham gallery here

Uncovered and discovered – Kathy Waggoner

Posted in ART, ART DISCOVERED AND UNCOVERED with tags , , on June 22, 2010 by echostains

The Taster by Kathy Waggoner

It seems an age since I last put any teapots on my blog.  It’s getting more and more difficult to find unusual ones that I like.  However, I have lately come across ceramicsist artist Kathy Waggoner and I find her work intriguing.  Her works explores identity, in myth, form and stereotypes.  Why do I like these – probably because they ARE stereotypical – but they have an indefinable edge to them.

every woman?

You can also see the artist’s interest in native cultures and her patronage to third world women.  Highly decorative and very tactile looking.  She is not really a teapot maker, more a ceramicsist.  A lot of her work can be seen here

the jar of mysteries waggoner

The Taster image from here

Vase from here

Lots of her work here

Welcome the Solstice!

Posted in ART, TEAPOTS - A HOMAGE TO UNUSUAL TEAPOTS with tags , , on June 21, 2010 by echostains

Stonehenge Summer Solstice

It’s the Summer Solstice today – Midsummers day, the longest day of the year.  The word solstice comes from the Latin sol sistere, which means ‘sun stand still’ which it does when the sun reaches its furthermost point away from the equator.    It should be a day filled with light, celebrations and joy as the ancients celebrated it, and pagans will light bonfires at night in homage to the sun.  I couldn’t let this pass without a piece of appropriate poetry, so here’s  ‘There is a zone whose even years’ by Emily Dickinson;-

There is a Zone whose even Years

No Solstice interrupt

Whose sun constructs perpetual noon

Whose perfect Seasons wait –

Whose Summer set in Summer, till

The Centuries of June

And Centuries of August cease

And Consciousness — is Noon

Emily Dickinson

Poem from here
Image from here

Here’s 36,500 people greeting the sun last year at Stonehenge.  It seems as soon as we get near those enigmatic stones our ancient collective nature takes over:)  Unfortunately the sun couldn’t quite get through the cloud, but it didn’t stop people enjoying themselves.  Lets hope the sun gets to star in todays Summer Solstice!

video by nachojase

Taking the air – Balloons

Posted in DESIGN, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , , on June 20, 2010 by echostains

Ronald MacDonald

I posted some colourful air balloons on here a while ago which seemed quite popular, so here’s some more.  I have never been lucky enough to see any of these.  The only ones I have seen have always had advertising on.  It must be quite surreal to look up into the sky and see a cow floating by!

the cow jumped over the ...sun

I think the Ronald McDonald balloon is rather scary!  I’m not keen on clowns anyway.    But I think some children could be quite frightened seeing this huge fellow looming over them!  I really like the dragonfly balloon though – very graceful and colourful.  It’s from the  11th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2007.

spectacular dragonfly

Cow and Mcdonald from here

Dragonfly image from here

Art I LOVE: Michael Landy

Posted in ART, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE with tags , , on June 19, 2010 by echostains


Michael Landy breakdown

I have always had a  soft spot for the artist Michael Landy (b. uk 1963)  ever since I saw his ‘Breakdown’ l which was a sort of living installation.  This is the famous piece he did when he systematically got rid of all his possessions bit by it, breaking them down into tiny bits and disposing of them.   Even art work by his famous artist friends, like Damian Hirst, Tracy Emin went into the shredder – everything went.  His credit cards went, his car, everything he possessed, all went the same way.

Landy is one of the original YBA (Young British Artists) to emerge from Goldsmiths College in 1988 and featured in the famous Freeze exhibition.  Breakdown 2001 consisted of Landy taking over and old C and A store in Oxford Street London and turned into a kind of deconstruction factory.


He took all his possessions including art work, catalogued all the 7,227 items then along with his workers set about destroying everything.  he reduced everything to its basic components and shredded it in public.

Landy attracted a lot of visitors who watched this.  he received no money for it and was left with just bags of rubbish, which he didn’t make any money from and was left for a while afterwards without even a credit a credit card.

His latest project is called Art Bin and the artist calls it a ‘monument to creative  failure.‘  Artists and collectors are encouraged to dump their art in a huge bin….  In case you’ve not guessed, Landy’s  work is about consumerism and waste.  there’s a good article about Breakdown here

Find out why he did it and what the consequences where by watching this short video

Images from here

Video from illuminationstv

Cheesy Art

Posted in ART, ART VIDEOS, SCULPTURE with tags , , , on June 18, 2010 by echostains

Theres quite a few artists that work with dairy products like butter and cheese.  this piece of art was created for the Great British Cheese Festival in Cardiff.  The sculpture is of Cardiff Castle and this time-lapse video shows how it was done.  I suppose the cheese must have to be kept at a certain temperature to make it workable.

The sculpture by the way is made of Welsh cheese of course and I should imagine the cows in the background are Welsh also….. though it’s hard to make it out 🙂

Video by BritishCheeseFest

Modigliani sculpture – fetches a fortune

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, POETRY with tags , , , on June 17, 2010 by echostains

Tete by Modigliani

Amedeo Modigliani is primarily known as a  painter. He is known to have produced about 27 pieces of sculpture though.  The latest piece to be sold is a 65cm sculpture, made of Limestone and called ‘Tete’ has snapped up at a Paris auction for a mere 43.2 Million!

The sculpture was from the GastonLevy collection.  He acquired it in 1927.   The artist took up sculpture due to ill health apparently, though I would think sculpture was more hazardous to the lungs and health than paint, due to the dust involved. The sculpture was first seen at the Salon d’Automne exhibition in Paris in 1912. 

The auction

It’s always useful to see the scale of these types of sculptures for me as I am hopeless at metric measurements:) imperial yes, I can understand – but not metric for some reason – probably too much conditioning.

I would say that his sculptures follow in the elongated style of his paintings and also have the Picasso mask like  influences of Les Demoiselles d’Avignon .

going going gone

Modigliani had a short (1884 -1920) and turbulent life.  His life as an artist is stereotypical of the romantic misunderstood, starving in a garret and railing against the world kind of artist we love, like Van Gogh.   Sadly Modigliani  only lived until he was  35  and died of Tuberculosis.

Tete image from here and here

Modigliani short biography here