Tuesday, April 29, 2008

He Was Only 27 When He Died

Asa Ames died young and left behind a dozen or so sculptures that he made in the mid-1800's.
They are lovely.
You can see them here:
Or go see them in person if you happen to live near 45 West 53rd Street, NYC.
The New York Times features a slide show as well:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Felice Casorati Video

Internet Weekly posted a link to this beautiful video found on a website about Felice Casorati. I really need to get a book about this important Italian painter. There are so many amazing paintings on this video that I had never seen. He went through some odd stylistic changes - his work looked a lot like Gustav Klimt at one point. I prefer the less decorative works such as the ones I blogged earlier - the metaphysical works. His work never lacked mystery or soul, no matter which style he chose. His name translates as "Happy" in English. Happy Casorati. His art makes me happy, although it often depicts somewhat melancholy figures.

The Art of Amy Crehore

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Orville Gibson's Aesthetic

Photo of Orville Gibson in a funny costume from "The Gibson Story" (out of print?), 1973 by Julius Bellson, photo courtesy of Mrs. Seguine (Orville's niece)
Gibson Guitar Style 03 from 1902

Page from Gibson catalogue 1902

Detail of a sketch by Amy Crehore 2008
I really like the look of the early Gibson guitars. Here is a detail from a sketch that I made off the top of my head and you can see that I drew the bridge in the wrong place. It should be placed higher. I wasn't trying to draw a Gibson or anything, but later I realized that there were some early Gibson models with oval sound holes. Now that I am working on the painting, I am using a reprint of an old Gibson catalogue as a reference to make sure I get some of the features right. I am adding my own decorative inlay on the bottom of the guitar, keeping the dark finish and adjusting the bridge to the right position. And I'm sticking with the oval sound hole. I don't want to show you the whole sketch just yet. My painting keeps changing and when I'm done, I will blog it and compare the sketch to the finished piece.
Check out both of these websites for more photos of actual Gibson guitars from the past:

Friday, April 25, 2008

Nice Compositions

Felice Casorati, "Concerto"
Las Mellizas by George Owen Wynne Apperley
Conversazione Platonica by Felice Casorati
I love these two mysterious paintings of nudes by Felice Casorati. I have blogged about him before, but Femme Femme Femme found some examples of his work that I hadn't seen before. Also, here is a nice composition by George Apperley who painted quite a few flamenco dancers (more examples on Femme). I prefer the simple, surreal and classic forms of the Casorati paintings, but Apperley did some very nice portraits of women. Flamenco dancers make colorful subjects.

The Art of Amy Crehore

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Painter of Women: Julio Romero de Torres

'"Venus de la Poesía" was painted in Madrid in 1913 by Romero de Torres. It is among his best nudes. As on other occasions, the artist used several models, each one for a different part of the body. Thus, the face belongs to the famous singer of light lyrics, Francisca Márques López, known as Raquel Meller. The composition was inspired by a Titian painting'...Museo Bilbao
Read more about Julio Romero de Torres (1870 - 1940) and see dozens of gorgeous paintings here:
(Click on the British flag for English version)

Dancing Around the Pole

Oops. These beauties got all tangled up. Maybe they need to practice again before May Day.
View some lovely vintage postcards of Maypole dancers here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Memphis Jug Band Song by the Hokum Scorchers

Memphis Jug Band
National mandolin style one 1930
National plectrum style one 1928
"You May Go, but This Will Bring You Back", was originally done by the Memphis Jug Band in 1930. The Hokum Scorchers' version has Lou playing a vintage National mandolin. I am playing a National plectrum guitar. The actual instruments we used are shown in these photos. We recorded this song in 1995 for our Yanna's Donut tape.
Listen to "You May Go" here:

Also, my website has couple more tunes (scroll down):
MUSIC of The Hokum Scorchers Band
The Art of Amy Crehore

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Vintage Vogue Covers

There is an exquisite collection of vintage Vogue Magazine covers on flickr. It makes me yearn for the days when fashion magazines had illustrated covers and spreads. They were not afraid of a little bit of stylized female nudity in print, right on the cover. I guess I'm just an art deco girl at heart. I love the designs of that era. (Thanks, Thombeau59)

Vintage Vogue

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sour Harvest Blog

There's a nice post about my upcoming solo show at Thinkspace Gallery on their blog:
You might want to subscribe to their newsletter. You can see a photo of the main gallery space in the lower righthand corner.
It's really nice- I stopped in there on my last trip to Los Angeles.
They are showing some wonderful artists, so be sure to check out their website, too.
I am really looking forward to my show which will take place Feb. 2009.
Thanks, Thinkspace!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Eric Gill, Master Printmaker (1882-1940)

Venus Modestly Holding Spray/Cupid Playing Football with the World, 1929, Wood Engraving by Eric Gill
Clothes as Workshops, 1930, wood engraving by Eric Gill

The Purchaser, 1929, wood engraving by Eric Gill

Eric Gill, a British illustrator, printmaker, typographer and sculptor, did some of the most beautiful woodcuts and engravings of the art deco period. I could look at these all day. His imagination and his design-sense were both simply amazing. "Gill never strayed far from the religious roots which inform his work. Eroticism also forms an important part of it. Gill was not afraid to combine these two elements. Among his many and varied achievements are the numerous books he designed, both type and illustration, The Canterbury Tales and The Four Gospels being among the greatest book productions between the Wars."

Many more of his prints are available to look at (and buy) on this website:
Eric Gill Prints

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Interviews with Artists

A couple of images from the "Beasts" book- Johnny Ryan(top) and Esther Pearl Watson

Johnny Ryan, Jaime Hernandez, Carol Lay, Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd are featured on the kcet website in video interviews about underground comics in Los Angeles. The last time I was in L.A., I met Johnny Ryan at the Felt Club/Maker Faire and I have been in art shows with Mark Todd and Esther Pearl Watson (the Blab! Show and the Green Show). Check out these interviews. They are very well-done. I dabbled in self-published comics myself in the early 80's. Anyway, here's the link to the interviews:
There is also an interview with Alex Gross on Juxtapoz, where you can see a photo of Alex with his wife standing in front of the Mandolin painting.
(Thanks to boingboing for the kcet link.)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Recent Drawing by Amy Crehore

Drawing of girl holding banjo uke copyright Amy Crehore 2008

I've been working on an oil on stretched linen version of one of my pierrots, "Bubble Gum Encore". I changed some things and here is a new sketch. The painting itself is larger and I have revised it even more since I did the sketch. The format is vertical now, which I like. The girl is holding a banjo uke.
I'm excited about some upcoming shows- Palm Springs (in May), where I can show some monkey paintings in beautiful frames, NYC (in July/Aug) where I will be showing 6 paintings (along with with 4 talented women - hey, back to my east coast roots!), and early next year - a full solo show in L.A.- where will have some nice surprises including an installation (Feb 2009). More and more my life "story" will unfold, as I reveal the music behind the art.
The Art of Amy Crehore

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mirka Lugosi

(All images copyright Mirka Lugosi)
I just came across this wacky French illustrator/artist named
Mirka Lugosi.
I like her retro-style drawings and fearless imagination. Here are two links to some works: airdeparis and lasuperette (click on "okay" and then "suivant"). She is also the muse of Gilles Berquet , a fine art photographer who has captured Mirka Lugosi prancing around outdoors in nothing but a Louise Brook's bob (follow link). Both have books available at Last Gasp.

Creative Tips by Picasso

1. You have to believe to be able to do.
“He can who thinks he can, and he can’t who thinks he can’t. This is an inexorable, indisputable law.”
2. Push your limits.
“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
3. Don’t wait for inspiration or the right moment.
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.”
4. Act.
“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”
“Action is the foundational key to all success.”
5. Ask the right questions.
“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.”
6. See the hidden beauty by not judging.
“If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes.”
7. It’s not too late.
“Youth has no age.”

Paintalicious blogged these quotes/tips by Picasso about creativity and elaborated on them (follow link). I like them...especially the first and last. I also like the mandolins hanging on the wall of this 1956 photo of Picasso drawing in his studio.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fashions of the 1920s on film

Fashions of the 1920s (Thanks, Aaron 1912, YouTube)

Here we have 1920s' fashions, crazy socks, getting a bob and girls tumbling on stage. I found this film on a wonderful blog called "The Paris Apartment". Thanks, Claudia. Little Hokum Rag loves the 1920s, too.

The Art of Amy Crehore

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ukulele in the Limelight

Jason Castro (America Idol) won them over with his uke version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".

I think he needs one of my Tickler Ukulele T-shirts.

The Art of Amy Crehore

Fine Linen Oil-primed

It's time for me to get back to blogging about my own art and my art process. For my larger paintings, I order linen canvas from Daniel Smith in Seattle. It comes pre-primed in a roll. There is a product description on their website: "Claessens' preprimed Belgian linen canvases are among the finest produced..." Link
I have been using this product since around 1990. It's amazing and completely archival. I stretch this linen on Daniel Smith stretcher bars (which come in medium or heavy-duty). Daniel Smith bars have a much nicer lip on them than most stretcher bars you'll run across and they fit together well. I use stretching pliers and tacks. Then, I staple the canvas around the back.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Springtime - Time for Tees

"Springtime" Painting by Pierre Auguste Cot 1873
All looks happy in this scene of Springtime... however, I think since the weather is getting warmer, they could really use a couple of my Tickler T-shirts and some free art postcards that come with them. They are so cute and so are my tees. :)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Naked Ukulele Lady of 1890 & Guitar Woman of 1910

Somethin' for Everyone on:

Lee Moyer's New Website

My friend Lee Moyer in Portland, OR has a new website. He's a fantastic illustrator who hosts an illustrators' group up there. Lee can draw just about anything. I found this image in his poster section. I really love it! I'll get up there one of these days, Lee.
Have a look:
The Art of Amy Crehore
Please click on "vote for me" if you like my blog. Thanks.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Alex Gross Show Opens 4/5 at Jonathan Levine

The Mandolin, painting by Alex Gross
The Tragedy, painting by Alex Gross
Alex Gross has an art show opening in NYC on April 5 (through May 3, 2008) called "Mysteries and Manners". He has created some mysterious, surreal and complex new paintings.
Here's the link: Jonathan Levine Gallery
Alex Gross derives a lot of inspiration from the Shanghai advertising posters of the 1930's. I have blogged about these kinds of images many times before. His new show has some ambitious large-scale work in it. Here, I have selected a couple of the simpler pieces: a straight portrait of a woman with a mandolin and an absurd, yet wonderful, portrait of a floating woman with a tennis racket and four legs, getting ready to smack her ice cream out of it's cone. He is really using a beautiful selection of colors in these works and his technique is completely honed in. The faces of the people in his paintings are serious, yet there is an underlying humor to each narrative situation. I was lucky enough to see some Alex Gross paintings in person at Earl McGrath in L.A. back in 2004.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Mellart Blog

Mini-monkey by Amy Crehore

Mellart blog is written by Marco Milone of Italy. He's a comics journalist and poet. He blogged my Mini-Monkeys this week. (Thanks, Marco!) Check out his blog about art.
I am thinking about having prints made of these little monkeys which
were in the Blab show of 2006.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Charm of Richard Doyle's Art

Moonlight Rider
Butterfly Chariot
Asleep in the Moonlight (click image for larger view)
The Fairy Tree (click image for larger view)
Richard Doyle designed the the famous cover of Punch Magazine that was used between 1849 to 1956. He started working for Punch in 1842 when he was only 19 years old. In 1851, he illustrated Ruskin's The King of the Golden River. Art Magick has a slide show of Doyle's illustrations (mostly fairies) and an explanation of each picture. I think they are beautifully rendered, completely charming and highly imaginative. Follow the link:
Art Magick

The Art of Amy Crehore
Click on "vote for me" if you like my blog! Thanks!