Monday, November 30, 2009

Fake Snow Portraits from the Past

My flickr friend, Steve Chasmar, posted these photos in his
and it got me thinking- could I find anymore cabinet cards portraits from the late 1800's of winter tableaux with fake snow? Sure enough
The American Photography Museum
has a page of them. I think these are quite dreamlike and fascinating! A lot of them were staged and shot in the summer months. Steve's photo shown here (bottom) looks to be touched up with white paint to get a snowy effect.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Surreal Bubble Woman #2

Sally Rand 1934
Alice Daquet (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
A couple years ago, I blogged about an American surreal bubble woman, Sally Rand. Here we have a modern French version, Alice Daquet (a.k.a. Sir Alice) who performed on November 25, 2009 at the opening ceremony of 'No Man's Land'- an art's festival located at the former office building of the French embassy in Tokyo. Hey, it looks like Sir Alice gets around. Here's a youTube of her that was made in Taiwan.
Photo/story via

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Kay Nielsen, Beautiful and Sad

Little Mermaid Sketch
Little Mermaid Sketch
Rapunzel illustration
In Powder and Crinolin illustration
Kay Nielsen (1886-1957) was an amazingly talented Danish illustrator in the first part of the 20th century. The book shown above was his first commission -completed in 1913. The next year, he did artwork for East of The Sun West of The Moon, old tales from the North. In 1924-25 he illustrated Hans Andersen's fairy tales and stories by the Brothers Grimm. In the years between these books, he designed stage scenery for Copenhagen theater. In 1930, another illustrated book called Red Magic was published.
Kay Nielsen travelled to California to work on a stage production of Everyman at the Hollywood Bowl in 1936. He decided to stay in California and he applied for a job in the Walt Disney animation department. He worked on designs for Fantasia and they were lucky to have him. He also did designs for future projects, The Little Mermaid (above) and a sequel to Fantasia, but, unfortunately, he was laid off in 1940. He was 54.
Kay Nielsen died in poverty in 1957, at age 71, in a house donated to him by friends. He executed four murals in Los Angeles schools and churches during the last couple of decades of his life. This is kind of a sad ending for someone who was truly one of the great, important artists of fairy tale picture books and who's designs for animations were equally remarkable and innovative. In 1975, a book was published that included his work and people began to appreciate him again. In 1977, some of his friends came forward with 42 paintings- never before seen- held in trust, for a book called, A Thousand and One Nights.
The Scepter : see more of Kay Nielsen's beautiful pastel/watercolor sketches for The Little Mermaid 1941
Golden Age Comic Book Stories Blog : lots of illustrations in color and B&W from Kay Nielsen's picture books.
Thanks, finsbry at flickr (set of KN images)

Friday, November 27, 2009

"The Believer" Art Issue 2009

I bought a copy of "The Believer" magazine's 2009 art issue the other day. First of all, the cover has very funny Charles Burns version of an Edward Hopper painting. Inside, there is a huge Jerry Moriarty poster and an interview (by Chris Ware) of the eccentric artist, illustrated by examples of his paintings. I always liked Moriarty's work, "Jack Survives", back in the days of RAW Magazine. (RAW was a large-format comics anthology edited by Art Spiegelman and Fran├žoise Mouly from 1980 to 1991.) Buenaventura Press recently published The Complete Jack Survives as a hardcover book.
In this same issue of "The Believer", there is another cool interview with one of my favorite comic artists, Aline Kominsky-Crumb (creator of Love That Bunch, The Complete Dirty Laundry Comics and editor of Weirdo). This is a great ART issue with much, much more, but
if I told you everything my blog post would be way too long and gushing, so here's a link to see for yourself:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

1920's Board Game Art

My friend Janet alerted me to this vintage shop on Etsy called
Above are two games from the 1920s available in their shop (follow link). The cover graphics on old games are really interesting...especially this one called "Hokum" which I had never seen before!
Hokum is "The Game for a Roomful", not just a style of blues music.
(Thanks, Janet.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Free, Signed Pencil Drawing with Purchase 11/25-12/7/09

Glimpse of Amy Crehore's Studio
Happy Thanksgiving! I did this special offer last year and I'm doing it again: I will include a small pencil drawing of a little pierrot, a cat or a monkey (your choice)- inscribed with your name and signed by me (Amy Crehore)- with any purchase of limited edition print(s), t-shirt or fine art (includes fine art ukes) from Nov 25- Dec 7, 2009 (limited to one drawing per person). Some of my signed, limited edition prints have special sale prices, although some do not (due to limited quantities). All items have free shipping in the USA! All items have been printed and produced by skilled professionals. Postcards are usually included, too, as well as certificates of authenticity.
Here is the link to my website
(click on the bar at the top of the home page to view different items):

Email to inquire about pricing on my original fine art pieces.
When ordering a print or t-shirt using paypal, please include a note to me with a name (for the inscription) and your image preference for the free pencil drawing.

Pigs and a Clown- Map of the States 1884

Click image to enlarge
"Puke, Sucker, Bug Eater or Fly Up the Creek" are all nicknames of the states on this fancy, illustrated map. It's brought to you by H.W. Hill & Co. Decatur Illinois, sole manufacturer of Hill's hog ringers, Hill's triangular rings, calf & cow weaners, stock rings, &c. Copy of this map mailed for 5 one cent stamps. Map of the United States showing the state nicknames as hogs. Lithograph by Mackwitz, St. Louis, 1884.
Thanks, trialsanderrors at flickr

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Andrew Warhola said....

Andy Warhol, famous artist, said some really choice things. He was such a comedian. I never tire of reading Warhola quotes (even if I do get tired of looking at his art):
"I've decided something: Commercial things really do stink. As soon as it becomes commercial for a mass market it really stinks."
"If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There's nothing behind it.
"Since people are going to be living longer and getting older, they'll just have to learn how to be babies longer."
"Fantasy love is much better than reality love. Never doing it is very exciting. The most exciting attractions are between two opposites that never meet."
Maybe this is why Andy is so lovable. It's his personality.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm a New Gigi Fan

(All images above by Josh Gosfield)
Who is Gigi Gaston? A mysterious French pop star from the 60's who disappeared without a trace. She is also the subject of a gallery show in NYC which closes in a couple of days. I just got wind of Gigi yesterday. Her creator is none other than the wonderful artist Josh Gosfield who somehow managed to invent and "nail" this female character from the 60's by producing a collection of bogus, yet authentically-vintage-looking, tabloid newspaper clippings, magazine covers, paper dolls, rock posters, album covers, music video and even a film trailer. There is a review of the show by Ben Davis ("Lost in Time") on ArtNet .
GIGI, THE BLACK FLOWER, an exhibit by Josh Gosfield at Steven Kasher Gallery, October 22 to November 25, 2009. 521 W. 23rd St., New York, NY 10011.
Je Suis Perdue :watch the music video with Gigi's hit song ("I Am Lost")
Gigi Trailer is the key to understanding the life of Gigi Gaston (it brings to mind that clever and crafty Woody Allen film, "Zelig")
Gigi Exhibit images at Steven Kasher Gallery, NYC
I may be a new Gigi fan, but I have been a long-time fan of Josh Gosfield's art. What could be more fun or more hokum than this gallery show? I'm just sorry that I can't see it in person. But, at least we have the internet.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Dark Side

I am currently painting a dark painting for a show, so I thought I would return to my blog archives and re-blog one of my most popular posts (June 2007): Demons Like You Have Never Seen Before. Above, are a couple of images of monsters from Cornell University Library 's collection of fantastic images.
The Art of Amy Crehore

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Burton's Vincent

To celebrate Tim Burton's new show at MOMA, here is an early animation called "Vincent" (not Van Gogh, but Price.) Splendid.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Clever Money Art

Origami money hats via MAKE and Boingboing
I like these better than the Warhol money painting, "200 One Dollar Bills" (actually a silk screen), that recently sold for 43.8 million. These should be worth a fortune.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What am I up to?

Cropped detail of pencil sketch for new letterpress design by Amy Crehore 2009
I've been working hard on the preliminary sketch for a multi-colored letterpress design. Shown here, is a cropped detail of my pencil drawing. I still have to ink it and figure out the colors. There have been numerous tracings and eracings to get it to this stage. This is fairly large design and I have only shown you a portion of it: girls, monkeys and a ukulele (everything is drawn from my head). I am also working on a "dark" painting for a show in NYC in Jan. and, of course, Tickler Ukulele #3 which is evolving bit by bit in collaboration with the luthier.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Paul Jacoulet Prints

Wow. The prints shown here are all by artist Paul Jacoulet. They were made between 1934 and 1960 (the year of his death). "Following in the collaborative tradition of ukiyo-e printmaking, Jacoulet recruited talented carvers and printers who could duplicate the delicate lines of his drawings and watercolors." His designs and colors are astoundingly beautiful. Jacoulet was born in Paris in 1896, but was raised in Tokyo. He self-published most of his 160 woodblock prints. Hanga Gallery website has five reference pages of images with about 40 images per page. Have a look:
HANGA GALLERY- Paul Jacoulet

The Art of Amy Crehore

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Good Party (1950)

Before my time, darn it! This is a funny little film that was meant to be seriously educational from Coronet films. Thanks to stantonz

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lulu in Bed

This is how Louise Brooks spent her final days - captured by Guido Crepax, cartoonist (based on her letters to him). The truth is she probably didn't look this good at the time she wrote those letters, but there is a lot of room for fantasy in art. Louise was always depicted as the perfect specimen in art and film. These images have never lost their appeal. She was thoroughly modern in the 1920's and her look is still "in" because it's classic. (via the dead can dance ). To see some great photos of Ms. Brooks go here: link

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Parasols Make Nice Images

Henri-Cartier Bresson, Dieppe, 1926
I found this interesting photo by Henri-Cartier Bresson (one of my favorite photographers) and it reminded me of this:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fantastic Collection of Tintypes

Crehore/Forde Family Tintype Photo
I've just returned from a trip to the mountains of Virginia to visit family members. The weather was sunny and beautiful; it reached 75 degrees over the weekend!
Now I am back to work and back to blogging: here is old tintype that I found in my box of family photos. I also have one of an ancestor in a pierrot costume, but I seem to have misplaced it. I love tintypes. I enlarged and lightened this one in photoshop. You can see that their cheeks are tinted pink (click photo for detail).

By the way, I recently discovered a truly fantastic collection of tintypes. Just follow this link to Eliza's flickr:

Monday, November 02, 2009

Tickler Ukulele #3...

Tickler Ukulele #2 Front
Tickler Ukulele #1 Back
Tickler Ukulele #1 Front
Tickler Ukulele #3 is currently being constructed by luthier Lou Reimuller. It is a concert model, larger than the two ukes shown above. I came up with a unique headstock design for it and I'll be painting the front of the uke. Tickler #3 will have some fine details and some rich exotic woods. As usual, it will be a playable one-of-a-kind fine art object. I can't wait to show you when it is finally finished.
Previous posts:
Tickler Number One
Tickler Number Two
P.S. I will not be blogging from November 3- November 9. I'm taking a small break. Stay tuned! I'll be back in a week. Please have a look at my archives while I am gone.