Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Happy Birthday Kathe Kollwitz and Atemisia Gentileschi (revisited)

Posted in Uncategorized on July 8, 2020 by echostains

artemisia_gentileschi_selfportrait_martyrWe celebrate two artists birthdays today.  Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 – 1656) and German painter, printmaker and sculptor Kathe Kollwitz (1867 -1945).  I have already written about Gentileschi in my post ‘Behind the Paint – Susannah and the Elders by Artemisia Gentileschi’  There is a good website which is dedicated to this artist  here

Kollowitz had great empathy towards the less fortunate of society and this strongly underlines her work.

Kathe Kollwitz ‘Weavers Uprising’

Although her work started of Naturalistically,  Expressionist qualities found their way into her later work.  Kathe married doctor Karl Kollwitz who worked in the poorer areas of Berlin.  She taught art at a school for women artists and began exhibiting her work in Dresden.  A Weavers uprising (1893 -97) proved very popular and this was followed up by Peasants’ War’ (1902 – 1908).

Hunger by Kathe Kollwitz

Kollwitz was a Socialist and  contributed a lot of drawings which depict the poverty of the working class of Germany in this period.  She also contributed work to Simplicissimus a journal.  When her soldier son Peter was killed in 1914, the artist began a series of works that showed the effect war has upon women.

kollwitz widows and orphans

‘Killed in Action’,  Widows and Orphans and The Survivors were all worked between 1919 and 1923.  Kollwitz also illustrated political posters for organisations, for example IAH (International Workers Aid).

Sadly history repeated itself and Kollwitz’s  grandson (also called Peter) was killed in the second World War.  The artist herself died in 1945.  A good biography about Kollwitz can be found here

Kollwitz woman with dead child 1903 etching

Woman with dead child etching from hereWidows and Orphans image from here.  Several good images from hereWeavers uprising image from here  Susanna and the elders Gentileschi image from here




Like a Beer Tray in the Bar

Posted in Collections, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 3, 2020 by echostains

I have always been interested in metal. All things made of metal, enamelled metal, iron, tins, heavy metal.

I started out collecting tins – and this is where my other collecting interest (old advertising) converged. I started out with advertising tins like ‘Oxo’ and progressed onto biscuit tins.


From biscuit tins, came enamelled advertising signs. I collected a few of these until they became too popular and the prices shot up.


Then in an oasis of calm, came a new passion – old beer advertising trays! These again combine the best of both worlds – metal and advertising. Some of these trays have fascinating history. I am particularly enamoured with the small water trays at the moment.

We now have so many trays we have had to put some on the ceiling of our home bar. I just love the idea of these trays in bustling pubs, some long gone along with the waiters who used them and the people they served.

A natural progression has now been made to Beermats (notice how the advertising medium is getting smaller and less expensive…).

I shall be doing a series about these old beer/bar trays and brief histories of their breweries.

Thanks for images Stevello57


Picture this Poetry Challenge: Haiku ‘The Bedroom at Arles’ Vincent Van Gogh

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART QUOTES, haiku, Picture this Haiku Poetry Challenge, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 25, 2020 by echostains

Vincent Van Gogh painted three versions of this painting ‘The Bedroom at Arles’.  This is the third  version he painted in 1889.  He painted it whilst waiting for his mother to visit him in a Lunatic Asylum in  St Remy.  He was to commit suicide 10 months after this painting.  He called his chair ‘The Seat of happiness because the  colours symbolise sunshine, warmth and happiness.

the bedroom

” When I see my canvasses again, after my illness, The one that seemed the best was ‘The Bedroom’


The idea is to write a haiku about the painting and link to Echostains and Bookstains and  it shall appear here.  Here’s  mine;

Yellow sunlit chair

light up my starry night of rest

your colours soothe me.

L M Roberts 2020

Image from here


Happy Birthday Dante Gabriel Rossetti !part one

Posted in Uncategorized on May 12, 2020 by echostains



Today is the birthday of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (b. London 1828- d. 1882). His real name was Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti but he preferred the former adaptation.


Rossetti was the son of an Italian Scholar called Gabriele Pasquale Giuseppe and member of an Italian noble family. His mother was Frances Mary Lavinia Polidori, born in London to an Italian exile Gaetanno.  His sister was the poetess Christina Rossetti.



Rossetti attended Kings College School and then went on to study at Henry Sass’s Drawing Academy 1841-1845.  He enrolled in the Royal Academy, left in 1848 and studied under the tutorage of Ford Maddox Brown.

  In 1848, along with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, Rossetti  founded the Pre- Raphaelite Brotherhood. He was a poet, illustrator and painter and later became an inspiration for William Morris and Edward Burns Jones. The Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood’s intention was to reform British Art by returning to the formal training techniques and regimes introduced by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Detail, complex compositions in bright colours were to be key elements.  Perhaps their biggest champion was the Art critic John Ruskin:

Every Pre-Raphaelite landscape background is painted to the last touch, in the open air, from the thing itself. Every Pre-Raphaelite figure, however studied in expression, is a true portrait of some living person.[10]

John Ruskin.

The early Pre-Raphaelite paintings show  the realist qualities of the movement, for example, Rossetti’s ‘Girlhood of Mary Virgin’ (1849) and Ecce Ancilla Domini (1850) which portrayed Mary as a young girl.  William Bell Scott saw the Girlhood painting in progress and observed Rossetti’s technique:



He was painting in oils with water-colour brushes, as thinly as in water-colour, on canvas which he had primed with white till the surface was a smooth as cardboard, and every tint remained transparent. I saw at once that he was not an orthodox boy, but acting purely from the aesthetic motive. The mixture of genius and dilettantism of both men shut me up for the moment, and whetted my curiosity.[13]  


Rossetti’s  poetry was inspired by Keats , his art  said to be medieval revivalism in style. He often wrote poetry to accompany his paintings, and also created art that inspired other poets. His sister Christina’s poem Goblin Market published in 1862 (Goblin Market and other poems) was illustrated by her brother and received critical praise.

Goblin Market poem and animation is over on my Bookstains


To be continued

Thanks to:

Images from here

Goblin Market illustration by Rossetti

The Girlhood of Mary Virgin image

Happy Eccentric Birthday Salvador Dali!

Posted in ART, ART VIDEOS, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 11, 2020 by echostains


Today is the birthday of the Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali (1904 – 1989)  As I have already written a post about the artist (here) I thought it might be fun to take a look at the personality of Dali the man – the fun bits.   This video I think shows the artist’s very individuality.  Dali illustrates that he is all things to all people (and especially to himself) as he struggles slightly to understand the English language    There is also a childishness, a naivity which I find very charming about the artist.  I suspect that under all the bluster there may have been a rather shy, quiet person.

Dali is one of those people who can be unintentionally funny – though sometimes you are not quite sure what he intends (he was after all a surrealist so strange behaviour is almost compulsory)  The advertisers certainly got their money’s worth from the dramatic Dali in this short advertisement.  Who knew eating chocolate could be such a surreal experience 😀

The last video shows some of the prolific Dali’s paintings. Where did all the eccentric artists go?  There doesn’t seem to be any to measure up to Dali the man, for his sense of humour, his talent and his bizarre way of looking at things.  What a great artist and character he was!


Thanks to  and   and  for the videos!

Peggy Bacon –

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1, 2020 by echostains

Margaret Frances (Peggy) Bacon


American print maker Margaret Frances Bacon aka Peggy Bacon b. 1895 Connecticut USA was known for her humorous drawings. Writings, illustrations and print making.

Her caricatures of famous people were both humorous and satirical.


peggy bacon self portrait 1934Both her parents were artists. They met at The Art Students league, went on to marry and had three children. Peggy was to survive her two younger brothers who died in infancy.

Bacons parents travelled and were always on the move. The family lived in New York, Paris and the Bahamas. Bacon had and unconventional childhood and was allowed to study only subjects she was interested in: subjects like Latin, the Ancient world, mythology.

Tired eyes 1935 drypoint on paper

In 1913 Bacon attended boarding school in New Jersey at the age of 14. Her father who suffered depression, killed himself in his studio the same year. She moved with her mother to New York and began formal art training after graduation from Kent Place School, New Jersey.  

She became interested printmaking and taught herself drypoint  etching  around 1917 her first drypoint caricatures were published in a satirical magazine called Bad News the following year. Although Bacon trained as a painter, she became  more known for her drawings and satirical prints.  Drypoint was to be her favourite media until 1945, when she switched to pastels.



Bacon was a prolific artist.  She had over 30 solo exhibitions, including Alfred Stieglitz Intimate Gallery.

frenzied effor 1925 drypoint on woven paper

‘The aim of a caricature is to heighten and intensify to the point of absurdity all the subject’s most striking attributes; a caricature should not necessarily stop at ridiculing the features but should include in its extravagant appraisal whatever of the figure may be needed to explain the personality, the whole drawing imparting a spicy and clairvoyant comment upon the subject’s peculiarities’.— Peggy Bacon[2]

Bacon illustrated more than 60 books, as well as contributing to The New Yorker and Vanity Fair.  Her satirical sketches of the 1920s -1930s New York art world are both witty and humourous.  She also wrote novels and was awarded the Edgar Allen Poe Award for best novel of the year for her 1953 mystery novel The Inward Eye


Thanks to

The Smithsonian American Art Museum

More works here

More about Stieglitz and The Intimate Gallery here

Weep not for me

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2020 by echostains

Pablo Picasso b.(1881-1973 Spain) famous iconic painting ‘Weeping Woman’  is the artist’s protest about the bombing of Guernica.  It was completed in 1937 and  depicts the horror , pain, fear, grief and emotion women were experiencing though the tragic loss of their loved ones in the war.  This is a poem I wrote for a completion that I was running  at the time.  I have plans to bring this feature  back  on Bookstains as they were great fun!

Weeping Woman 1937 by Pablo Picasso 1881-1973

A Weepy Conversation


Weeping woman why do you cry?
Muse to genius such as I!
Your tears spill down and spoil my paint!
Too much emotion!  No restraint!

I give you fame – yet still you weep!
A bottomless well that runs too deep!
No gratitude – just endless tears
For sharing my creative years!

(Weeping woman)

My precious tears are not for you!
Do not suppose that they’re YOUR due!
Your latest muse usurps my place
These tears are JOY upon MY face!

Lynda M Roberts 2010


PS There’s a new poem over on Bookstains



My earlier posts about Picasso Picasso Pops up

Happy Birthday Dear Pablo Picasso

Happy Belated Birthday Picasso



Happy Birthday Grant Wood – a slice of American Pie

Posted in ART, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2020 by echostains


American Regionalist artist Grant Wood (1891-1942) is known for his paintings of the rural midwest.  He is one of the Regionalists Triumvirate  along With John Stueart Currie and Thomas Hart Benson.   Wood worked in many other media besides paint, including stained glass, wood and metal,  but he is most famous for his 1930 iconic painting known as American Gothic.  This painting is thought to be something of an enigma.  Some critics saw and still see  it as a depiction of small town narrow mindedness.  Wood himself rejected this and maintained that  the painting depicted the pioneer steadfastness of the American spirit – read my other posts about this and the other Regionalists and decide for yourself.


PS There’s a poem I wrote about American Gothic. entitled American Gothic and the Hot Meat Pie over on my other blog Bookstains


Plus There’s a poem about an old chair over on Bookstains here

Thanks to;

American Gothic image here
More on Grant Wood  here