Friday, June 15, 2007

Edward Gorey and Surrealism

Edward Gorey, a prolific and wonderful artist/illustrator, died in the year 2000 and this is an excerpt from his obituary: "Gorey's fascination with surrealism came to the fore in The Object-Lesson (1958), whose story tumbles through artful non-sequiturs while the artwork shows increased mastery of balance and design. This led to Edmund Wilson's 1959 New Yorker appreciation of the early books - Gorey's first major critical notice. Later the Doubtful Guest was developed into a more disturbing, eyeless being with long rubbery arms, known as Figbash and partly echoing Max Ernst's protean figure Loplop. Other recurring Gorey icons are cats and the armless, featureless Black Doll; other acknowledged influences include Chinese, Japanese and Symbolist art." read more here: Guardian Obituary April 20,2000
It looks like there will be a documentary film about Edward Gorey coming out in the near future. Here is the myspace page where you can view some previews:
Christopher Seufert, director
You can also follow the progress of the film here: Edward Gorey Film
I own a copy of "The Willowdale Handcar or the Return of the Black Doll" which is charmingly surreal and I also have a book of interviews with Gorey (shown above). He is very inspiring, plus he loved cats. I can't wait to see this documentary film. I also heard that the Jim Henson Company is developing a feature length live-action film of "The Doubtful Guest".

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Madame Talbot's Victorian Lowbrow

Let me introduce you to the most amazing and wacky website of an artist that happens to live in Oregon. Here's a description from her myspace page:
"Madame Talbot's Victorian Lowbrow™features the hand-illustrated pen-and-ink artwork of Ashleigh Talbot,who lives in a haunted house on the very edge of the Oregon Coast.Her many talents include her hand-drawn offset printed dark art posters, exquisite one-of-a-kind framed curio exhibits, old school sideshow items, limited edition hand-sewn and hand-painted mourning dolls, tombstone art, t-shirts, her own original pen-and-ink illustrations for sale, her handmade limited edition books as well as a strange collection of macabre collectibles."
Be sure to check it out. It's beautiful work! You will not be bored. And, you can't get much more hokum than this:
Yes, I am now on myspace, too, but I can never get the link to work, so you will just have to find my page by searching "people". I invite you to come and be my friend. There you can make comments.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Crehore Piano

Square piano about 1800 by Benjamin Crehore, American, 1765–1831 Milton, Massachusetts Museum of Fine Arts Boston
" Dangerous Curves- The Art of the Guitar" book by Darcy Kuronen
Apparently, a "Crehore" made the first pianos and bass-viols in America. In 1992, Darcy Kuronen wrote an award-winning article called "The Musical Instruments of Benjamin Crehore" which was published in the Journal of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Crehore piano (above) is in the museum collection and Darcy is curator of musical instruments there.
I dug up this information on Benjamin Crehore:
"In 1798 Benjamin Crehore, who was born in Milton, MA, was assisting in getting up machinery and appliances of the stage for the play of "Forty Thieves," which was soon to be introduced in Boston. His inventive skill was so admired by the leader of the orchestra that he applied to him to repair his broken bass-viol. Mr. Crehore undertook the job, and is said to have improved the tone of the instrument. This resulted in his beginning the manufacture of bass-viols, the first ever made in this country, and said to rival those imported..... Mr. Crehore's reputation in the musical world of that day caused all sorts of disabled musical instruments to flow into his shop for repairs. Among these was a piano. After analyzing it and mastering its movements, he entered upon the manufacture of pianos. The first piano in this country was made by Benjamin Crehore, in Milton." Dorchester Atheneum
Darcy Kuronen of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston also put together an exhibit and wrote a book called "Dangerous Curves" which presents 400 years of guitar design and history, from ornamental models of the 17th century to modern electric guitars. It's a beautiful book which we picked up some years ago.
"Dangerous Curves" can be purchased here:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston shop

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Marie-Guillemine Benoist's Beautiful Portrait

" Portrait of a Negress" 1800 by Marie-Guillemine Benoist, Louvre
"The Cat's Passenger" 1992 oil painting by Amy Crehore
Marie-Guillemine Benoist, born Marie-Guillemine de Laville-Leroux (1768-1826), was a French neoclassical painter. In 1800, she exhibited "Portrait of a Negress" in the Salon de Paris. Six years previously, slavery had been abolished, and this image became a symbol for women's emancipation and black people's rights. This picture was acquired by Louis XVIII for France in 1818. The bottom painting I did back in 1992 and I used the "Portrait of a Negress" as a reference for my little women perched on the back of a large house cat. Don't ask me what it means. It's surreal...or maybe it's folk art. Just a mood I was in at the time. But, I do love Marie's painting. It's a masterpiece!
Read more here: Marie-Guillemine Benoist
(thanks to for reminding me of Marie)

Friday, June 08, 2007

Edward Lear was a Nut

Edward Lear (1812-1888) is hard to beat for humor and pure imagination. I like him almost as much as Heinrich Hoffmann, the creator of the "Slovenly Peter" book (which came out in 1845). In 1846, the first edition of Lear's "A Book of Nonsense" (pictures and funny limericks) was published under the name of Derry Down Derry. That same year, Lear gave 10 drawing lessons to Queen Victoria. He travelled all over the world in his lifetime and he sketched and painted as he went along. What I am showing here is just the tip of the iceberg of Edward Lear's works. He also painted in a very naturalistic style, mostly landscapes and birds.
Follow the link to read the limericks and to find out more about the incredible

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Works in Progress by Finkbuilt

Light Bulb Painting by Steve Lodefink at Finkbuilt
Finkbuilt blog is a fun and funny blog written and designed by Steve Lodefink. He painted this beautiful light bulb a while back. Right now, Steve is creating an oil painting of his kids in tones of blue. He lets us see his progress on his blog as he goes along. (Scroll down to June 2, 2007 for the beginning of the process.)
I also like his "mini-blog" that runs along the right side of the page. There you can find some lunch meat with a face on it (clown meat).
The Art of Amy Crehore

Yoko's Blog and some others

"Sleeping Gamblers" copyright Amy Crehore oil on linen, 24" x 20" 1995
At the moment, this painting ("Sleeping Gamblers") is hanging above my fireplace.
(here is the English version) from Toledo, Spain has picked up on some of my larger, earlier works.
Perhaps they saw my profile in June's Monovita Magazine.
Also, here are some recent posts about my newest painting, "Wild Cat Fever" : Celebrity at Work, ArtNYC , Syntagma and Boingboing .
Don't forget to check out the Venus Show at Roq la Rue opening June 8, 2007!