Archive for drawings

The art of Alice through the looking glass

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, DESIGN, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA with tags , , , , , , on February 7, 2010 by echostains

Sir John Tenniel

 

I love the illustrations of Alice in Wonderland and Alice’s adventures through the looking Glass.  The original Tenniel ones have a charm all of their own and are the ones I remember the most from childhood.  There is  such a lot of information contained in these small drawings and Sir John Tenniel’s style once seen, is unmistakable.

Alice entering the looking glass world by Sir John Tenniel

Tenniel also illustrated for Punch magazine for a  while and did some political sketches like the example below. Amazingly this fine illustrator was blind in one eye. 

Punch magazine william gladstone and the irish land question

But another illustrator that I quite like is Ralph Steadman.  Of course these two  are from different era’s, but I quite like the clear lines of Steadman’s work, it’s so very stylish.   He has tried to add something new to these well-loved characters – yet make them still recognisable.

Ralph Steadman 1972

But there is another Alice illustrator that I like – one of my favorite authors and who I am re reading at the moment, and that’s Mervyn Peake.  It’s interesting to see the different styles of these artists, each done in a different era but with totally original approaches towards the same subject

Mervyn Peake 1954

Ralph Steadman’s website HERE

Other Alice illustrator’s HERE

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Art and the Subconscious: Sleight of mind

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2009 by echostains

 

dali persistence of time

 

Being fascinated with the subconscious and the art associated with it, starting with the Surrealists (see Max Ernst) and earlier post: ‘Altered book page 10 Freefalling Snake in the Grass’ and  ‘Altered art book page 4 A Qustion of Life and Death’   you will see what I mean.  Artist have used many different means to tap the subconscious.  Methods of producing paintings and drawings, writings and other works where the artist supresses conscious control over the movement of the hand, allowing the subconscious mind to take over is called automatism.

gisele-prassinos-reading-her-poems-to-the-surrealists

 

Automatism in its fully developed form is a 20th Century phenomenon.  The Dadaists made use of the basic idea, though they were more interested in chance effects than automatism as such.  For example, Dali after working in a variety of styles influenced by Cubism, Futurism and Metaphysical painting, turned to Surrealsm in 1929 and never looked back.  He transformed automatism into a more positive method which he called ‘Critical Paranoia’, eleaborating on images in his dreams and fantasies and merging them with the natural world.

salvador-dali-metamorphosis-of-narcissus-

salvador-dali-metamorphosis-of-narcissus-

 There are many paths into the subconscious though…….

To be continued

 

 

 

A Bohemian at heart? or an Ass in Bohemia?

Posted in LONDON (JAUNTS) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2008 by echostains

French House pub and restaurant

Boho’s that we are (at heart) we were Pottering round Soho and popped into the French Bar, Dean Street. Packed out of course. The smokey atmosphere may be gone, thanks to the ban, but the pub still a kind of ‘aura’ lingering over it. This bar has a great history and some very interesting photo’s and art on the wall of bygone customers: all characters, nearly all dead.

The pub itself is lively enough though, full of all different ‘types’. Lol! Wonder what ‘type’ people would call us? (hence the title). Not keen on stereotyping myself: do not wish to join. However, one of the barmen was NOT very pleased about us taking pictures at all, he told us so in no uncertain terms-

‘Do you know, there are actors in here who don’t want to be recognised or photographed’ he said (in a very loud stage whisper lol!)

Actors who don’t want to be photographed or recognised! A novel concept eh …… The beggers should take their chances the same as everyone else! After all it’s a pub, not an exclusive club (like the Colony Rooms, which we tried to gatecrash once… and failed). You’d have to be EXTREMELY ‘recognised’ by the owner to get in there: disguises must NOT be worn

colony-rooms-soho

colony-rooms-soho

The offended man himself was sporting a large handle bar ginger moustache, glasses and curly hair: a cross between Mr Pastry and Billy Childish (and yes, we have got a pic of him, it would be rude of me to put it on this blog though.. … oh OK then, if you insist: it’s not like anyone is going to see it..)

mysterious-man-but-could-be-acting3

We did ask him if he WAS Billy, he said he wished he was. So did we. We like Billy, both as an artist (Stuckist) and a songwriter. In fact I must write about Childish later. But I digress as usual.

 

billy-childish3

http://www.billychildish.com/home.html

Earlier on we had gone to Fitzrovia. Now we ADORE Fitzrovia! I prefer it to Soho. All the interesting characters that used to hang round there. So many to write about, so many talented and interesting lives. Favorites include Bacon of course (got to write about the exhibition yet), John Deakin, FANTASTIC photographer and a well, not a nice character, but a character. John Minton, tragic artist. Nina Hamnett: artist in her own right and Queen of Bohemia, Jeffrey Bernard, the journalist.

nina_hamnett-1918-by-roger-fry

We went in the Wheatchief which was one of Dylan Thomas’s haunts, though you wouldn’t know it as they don’t exactly draw attention to the fact. I’m sure there used to be a plaque or something over the seats called ‘Poets Corner’ , but that’s gone now. Him and Caitlin had many a Ding Dong in this pub. But then they had rows any time, anywhere.

Back at the French House, before we were interupted by the barman, this is what we were trying to taking photos of.

past customers

Amongst all the memorabilia on the walls, I was rather quite taken with these. Now I don’t know if they are actual little watercolour sketches, pen and ink drawings or just pieces of wall paper, but I just LOVE them and had to snap em! I can recognise a few of the artists in the drawings/paintings.  And I am sure that a lot of them would be really pleased to be remembered…….. and recognised.

gone but not forgotten



 


 

Buy one; get another, then another until eventually you get the Sir John Soane’s Museum

Posted in LONDON (JAUNTS), Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2008 by echostains
Facade of Sir John Soane's museum London

Facade of Sir John Soane’s museum London

What a remarkable place!   What a remarkable man, son of a Bricklayer (b. 1753) Sir John Soane, Architect turned out to be!

 

A Rakes Progress The Rake taking possession of his estate 1734

A Rakes Progress The Rake taking possession of his estate 1734

There are also drawings, prints, furniture, clocks and of course books … the list is endless!  What a great time Soane must have had collecting them all.  He was continually building on and altering  his house in order to accommodate this collection.  The place must have been in a perpetual flux, forever changing.

 

 

 

Sir John Soane's Museum and Library

Sir John Soane’s Museum and Library

Soane wanted to preserve his collection to inform and educate students and amateurs.  He negotiated an Act of Parliament in 1833 to preserve his house and collection to benefit others.  This Act came into being when Soane died in 1837.  The public were encouraged to ‘consult, inspect and benefit’ from these collections and they do.

  Minimal changes have been made to the collections layout.  Each Curator has tried to maintain Soane’s wishes regarding Soane’s arrangements.

Amongst the truly impressive is the giant sarcophagus of Seti 1  c. 1370BC

 

John Soane Sarcophagus room in 1864

John Soane Sarcophagus room in 1864

 

 

and one my Favourite Goddess incarnations: Diana of Ephesus Turkey.

 

Diana of Ephesus

Diana of Ephesus

 I went to Ephesus in Turkey last year: an amazing place: like stepping back into biblical times.

 

Ephesus Turkey

Ephesus Turkey

 

 An exhibition of the Adam Brothers drawings of the Grand Tour (Rome).  These drawings are exquisite, showing meticulous draughtsmanship.  The exhibition runs until 14 February 2009.

 

Adam  brothers Grand  Tour

Adam brothers Grand Tour

The paintings, including the ‘Soane’s Hogarth’s’ read like a National Gallery Guidebook.  Turner, Canaletto, Reynolds, Fuseli, amongst many. 

 

John Soane's Dining Room with portrait

John Soane’s Dining Room with portrait

The actual atmosphere in the house is very tangent In some rooms, almost as if a past inhabitant has just left the room.  Perhaps life goes on as before and Sir John flits about stroking and arranging his collection when the house has been cleared of visitors and shut up for the night.  All those antique influences vibrating as one invisible breath, calling through time ‘Please Visit us!’