Monday, October 30, 2006

Morris Hirshfield's "Overnight" Success

"Dog and Pups"
"Girl and Dog"
Morris Hirshfield1872-1946
"Four Cats"
"Morris Hirshfield came to the United States from eastern Europe at the age of 18. Like many other Jewish immigrants of this period, he found work in the garment industry, at first in a women's coat factory. Hirshfield soon opened his own coat factory with his brother, but after 12 years, they started a new company, the EZ Walk Manufacturing Company, which made women's "boudoir slippers," as Hirshfield called them. This business operated with great success until Hirshfield became ill and then retired.
In 1937, at the age of 65, Hirshfield began to paint, much to the bewilderment of his wife and family. The subjects he was immediately drawn to were women, animals, and occasionally themes from his Jewish heritage.
A record of Hirshfield's life and career as an artist was written by Hirshfield himself for Sidney Janis's 1942 book They Taught Themselves. Janis had come upon Hirshfield's paintings a few years earlier while organizing an exhibition called "Contemporary Unknown American Painters" for the Museum of Modern Art. Upon seeing Hirshfield's Angora Cat, he immediately included work from the new artist in the exhibition.
In 1941 Hirshfield was given a one-man exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art that included 30 paintings."
I love Morris Hirshfield. To think it only took him 4 years to have the show of a lifetime at MOMA with the 30 paintings he had done up until that point. He completed only 77 works of art before his death- 9 years after he started painting.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ray Caesar

Here's Ray Caesar's art on the cover of the upcoming issue of Hi-Fructose magazine. He creates his art on the computer with a 3-d modelling program and scans in the fabric. Simply amazing how much soul he gets in his faces and the old-fashioned feel to his tableaus. They are every bit "paintings", but he uses the computer instead of a brush. Check out his unique sense of fashion design, too. Ray Caesar is a truly inspiring and creative modern-day Victorian surrealist. He's got the WOW factor.
P.S. If you like myspace and it doesn't crash your computer, check out Ray's fascinating page: Ray on myspace
(Thanks to VinylPulse and Wurzeltod , two cool blogs featuring Ray Caesar's art)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hungarian Nudes

Paintings by Molnar C., Pal
"Began his studies on the art teacher training faculty of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in 1915, later travelling to Geneva, where he trained himself autodidactically. He lived in Paris between 1921 and 1922. He participated on the exhibitions of KUT regularly from 1924 on. He switched to illustrating works of literature and in parallel to the techniques of wood engraving in 1930. Though next to illustration work he also designed posters through the thirties, his work as a painter came in to the foreground. He became a scholarship holder of the Collegium Hungaricum in Rome as early as 1928, later to become an individual creative voice of the Rome School. He received a number of significant commissions from the Church between 1933 and 1970. He summed up his technical knowledge in specialised textbooks, while his autobiography was published in 1994. His flat has now become a memorial museum." Text from the Kieselbach Gallery website
(Thanks to Internet Weekly for turning me on to this great Hungarian painter!)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Art Spirit

This book is a bible for painters like me: "The Art Spirit" by Robert Henri, written in 1923. I have read it at least ten times and I am reading it again. Robert Henri was a great teacher and a great painter. The more I read it, the more I can relate to it and the more I get out of it.
I am recommending it to any painter who has not read it!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Mark Lowrie: Photomontage

Photomontage of Abandoned House Copyright 2006 Mark Lowrie (LA AMISH)
Want to see something cool?
Check out my friend Mark Lowrie's
These are amazing hand-crafted sculpture-photos. I like the one of Burning Man especially.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Gibson Mando-Bass

Blues Gal#5 sketch w/ Mandobass copyright 2006 Amy Crehore

We have one of these at home. You can play the Gibson Mando-bass upright or sitting... like this woman in the picture. It's a beautiful piece of furniture. I might have to work on my drawing of the bear - not quite there yet.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Music and stuff

Robert Armstrong with his creations (

Here's a picture of Big Bill Broonzy with the Gibson guitar that I mentioned in my previous post - on an album cover from Yazoo Records. Yazoo always had a great selection of hokum music with wonderfully illustrated album covers by R. Crumb and Robert Armstrong (two of my favorite underground comic artists who also had a great band called Cheap Suit Serenaders).

Check out talented Robert Armstrong's

page at to see close ups of his painted instruments!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Blues Gal # 4

Blues Gal #4 Sketch Copyright 2006 Amy Crehore
Here's another new Blues Gal drawing. This one has a Gibson Style O Guitar from 1920 in it. We don't have one of these guitars at home, but we have others in the Gibson guitar family such as the teardrop-shaped Mando Bass and the cubist-looking Harp Guitar. All are classic beauties just like this girl who is feeding an acorn to her pet squirrel. I'm listening to The Essential Nino Rota Film Music Collection as I draw.
Check out Elderly Music

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Mini-Monkey # 3 copyright 2006 Amy Crehore courtesy of Blab Show website

Drawn! The Illustration and Cartooning Blog is such a great blog. It is well-read across the world. That's because they continually post about wonderful artists day-after-day-after-day.
Anyone who enjoys the history of the graphic arts, comics, contemporary illustration, painting, and drawing will love this blog. Thanks to Johnny for posting about the Blab! Show today:
Blab! Art Show - 4 days left
"You have four days to catch the Blab! Art Show at Copro Nason Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. The show features 18 fantastic artists and illustrators including Drawn! favourites Amy Crehore (shown here), Gary Baseman, Ryan Heshka, and Tim Biskup. The show closes this Saturday, October 21. " (Johnny, Drawn!)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Blues Gal Drawings

Sketch for Blues Gal #3 Copyright Amy Crehore 2006

I have been working away on some new drawings. I'm trying to expand my new blues gal series. It's interesting how some of my motifs overlap. Early blues and hokum stringed instruments are often the same as the Hawaiian ones: National guitars and ukes (banjo-ukes and koa wood ukes). Cats in the woods, why not? Waterfalls in the woods. Ditto.
This drawing probably needs more's just one of my new ones.
By the way, there is only one week left to go see the Blab! Show.
Copro Nason Gallery in Santa Monica, CA is open from Wed-Sat, Oct 18-21st.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Shunya Yamashita

Sera Art of Shunya Yamashita
This is a nice figure. I might have to buy this for someone I know who collects them. I like these anime figures much better than some of the designer toys. They seem to have a lot more going for them.

Metaphysical Mamie

 I did a painting for the Women With Issues Show at M Modern Gallery in Palm Springs, CA. It opened on Sept. 23, 2006 (same day as Blab show). The show was a Valley of the Dolls theme show and I think they also had vintage photos for sale of Patty Duke and Sharon Tate.

Here is a photo of Mamie Van Doren from the Blond Bombshell show at the same gallery last January. I got to go to that one and it was fun. Mamie certainly does not look her age!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Charm of Range Murata

I picked up a couple of Anime Figures from Just Be Design while I was in Portland. That is where Compound Gallery is located. I like this series of mini-figures by artist Range Murata. See more on here:

Lovely Hula Graphics

I bought this book at Powell's Bookstore while I was visiting Portland last week. It's full of great sepia-toned images of uke playing hula gals, sailors, album cover art, matchbook covers, vintage Hawaiian postcards and old advertising graphics, Trader Vic stuff, you name it. I don't know how I did without it for so long. It's by Taschen, edited by Jim Heimann. Only $9.99.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Check out this website, it's crazy (from boingboing):
Animated haunted furniture
By Cory Doctorow
Scarefactory's Haunted Furniture page is chock-a-bloc with amazing haunted props for your haunted house. Makes me want to redecorate.
Reposed possessed girl flails up to begin violently thrashing front to back side to side to swirl & contortatop the bed. Includes steel queen sized mattress frame, character, mech & pneumatic pkg.
Link (via Cribcandy)
3 References

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Max Ernst & Erling Wold

My bookcase is filled with inspiring art books. I have three of Max Ernst's surrealistic collage novels. One of them is "Une Semaine De Bonte" which is a Dover book on Amazon for only $12. The other two must be harder to find because Amazon doesn't even have pictures of the covers and they are now in the $55.-$140. range - used. I love these books!
(See images above)

ErlingWold is a composer in San Francisco. He ordered a couple of my Little Pierrot prints recently which prompted me to go look up his website. Very intriguing!
By the way, he was also the winner of my blog guessing I sent him an additional print. He, in turn, sent me a CD of soundtrack music that he composed for the film, "The Bed You Sleep In" (director, Jon Jost). It's darkly moody and also enchantingly spirited.

Apparently, he has done some surreal theater pieces including this chamber opera (as described in his extensive bio):
"His critically acclaimed work A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil, based on the Max Ernst collage novel, was presented by the Paul Dresher Ensemble and ODC in 2000. It was given its European premiere in a German version by the Klagenfurter Ensemble in July of 2001 and toured to Max Ernst's hometown of Brühl. "
I may have to order the CD which looks quite wonderful.
Check out:
Website: Erling Wold

Historic Kennedy School

I am taking a little trip up to Portland, OR this week where I will check out the new galleries and art museum. The photo above is historic Kennedy School where I always stay when I go to Portland. The old 1910 building has been converted into a "lodge" in the city with restaurant, bars, brew pub, suites that used to be old classrooms (complete with chalkboards), a movie theater in the old auditorium, a gym for concerts and a hot pool. The walls are chock full of folk art done by alumni and Portland residents: murals, mosaics and sculptures. There is even a "Detention Room" bar to smoke cigars in. It is always a lot of fun to stay there. (P.S. I don't smoke cigars.)
This is only one of the many McMeniman Brother's group of vintage buildings (lodges and pubs) in OR and WA that they have restored and decorated. Each one is unique and each one is full of artwork. I have not stayed in all of them, but I hope to some day.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Interview with Fred Stonehouse

Little Bug, 20" x 16", Copyright 2006 Fred Stonehouse
courtesy of Blab Show
Go read Marshall Sponder's fabulous new interview with Fred Stonehouse:
Great American Artist
See nine of Fred's paintings on the Blab Show website or go see them in person at Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CA. Show closes on Oct 21.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Walter Minus..."Darling Cheri"

Lenka, Alone At Home 39 1/2" x 39 1/2" Copyright 2006 Walter Minus (from the Blab show website- to be published in "Blab 18")
Walter Minus is one of the artists in the Blab Show this year. His paintings are very large and striking. Hanging next to each other, they seemed to have some sort of magnetic power.
Walter wrote me a nice note from Paris the other day telling me that he appreciated seeing the photos on my blog of the art show because he could not be there in person. He has a new Blab Storybook out now called "Darling Cheri". It's nice. You can order it from Amazon or Fantagraphics.

Go see Walter's paintings in the Blab Show before it closes Oct. 21st!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Picasso's "Parade" in Shopping Mall

Costume for "Parade"by Picasso
I came across this story online recently. About two years ago, last October, Picasso's huge curtain masterpiece, which he painted for the 1918 ballet, "Parade", was hung for 10 days in a glitzy shopping mall in Hong Kong. It was to celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations between France and China. I love this period of Picasso's art. I love this curtain.

Jean Cocteau wrote the script for "Parade". Erik Satie was the composer. Picasso designed the sets and costumes. Some of his cubist-style costumes were made of cardboard! The painted sketches for the costumes are inspiring pieces of art in their own right. Great designs full of color and mischief. Jean Cocteau added crazy things to make noise such as a typewriter and a foghorn. Satie and Cocteau were labled "Cultural Anarchists" and Satie went to prison for 8 days.
It all took place in Rome.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Contest Over

Someone just guessed the right answer.
That's me in the middle of the photo in my previous post.
I will send that person a Little Pierrot Print.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Guessing Game

Guess which one is me? I'll send the first person who guesses the right answer a signed, limited edition "Little Pierrot Print".

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Fred Stonehouse in Blab! Show

Title: Dream of Babylon Size: 48 "w x 24" h (Copyright 2006 Fred Stonehone- Blab show)

This past year, I got to see Fred Stonehouse paintings in person at his solo show in L.A. in April (Koplin Del Rio). He also came down to see my art at the Applegate Gallery in Santa Monica right after his opening. I was exhibiting 4 of my "little pierrots" and some "monkey love" paintings (6 in all).

For people in the California area, don't miss going to see the 2nd

before it closes on October 21, 2006. I have eight paintings in this show and Fred also has a bunch. The new issue of "Blab! 17" should be available in November, 2006 with my art in it!