Friday, June 22, 2007

The Serpent was a Woman

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
" Temptation" by Hugo van der Goes 1470 Vienna
"Temptation of Adam and Eve"by Masolino 1425, fresco in Florence
Click on images to enlarge
"Medieval Christian art often depicted the Edenic Serpent as a woman, thus both emphasizing the Serpent's seductiveness as well as its relationship to Eve." quote- about Adam and Eve (Notre Dame sculpture) from Wikipedia
Christopher Witcombe writes more about Eve:
I like the placement of a blue iris (instead of a fig leaf) in the Hugo van der Goes painting. He paints Eve as a very beautiful, but spindly woman with a twisted arm. She looks pregnant, too. His serpent is less of a snake and more of a big lizard, looking like she could be Eve's little sister. All of the images above are compelling and surreal.

Nuns, Madonnas, Pierrots

"Icon" 1990, 18"x22", oil on linen by Amy Crehore
"Tree of Life" 22"x26" oil on linen,1990,Amy Crehore (private collection Santa Barbara, CA)
"Italian Landscape",oil on linen, 16"x34" 1990 by Amy Crehore

I actually painted my first "little pierrot" back in 1990, a year or two after my trip to Italy. The inspiration for the painting, "Icon", was Giotto's Madonna and Child (year 1320). My madonna is holding a little version of my "Tree of Life" painting and a baby pierrot adapted from one of my earlier works called, "Banquet Days". There are definitely recurring motifs in my art over the years. Sometimes it's unconscious. I painted a monkey, a snake, palm trees, and Titian's odalisque in these earlier works. I also painted nuns. These 3 paintings were exhibited at the Portland Art Museum in the early 90's.

The Art of Amy Crehore

Thursday, June 21, 2007

"Black Cat Tease" by Amy Crehore

Louise Brooks Black Cat Tease copyright 2005 Amy Crehore "Little Pierrot" series
I had mentioned in an earlier blogpost that I used pictures of Louise Brooks as references for just a couple of my "Little Pierrot" paintings. Here is one of the paintings I did. This painting is a tribute to Louise, her sense of humor and her sex appeal. The rest of the paintings in my pierrot series were done without using any references. My girls are all imaginary.
Little Pierrot Series

More Chinese Beauties

Pre-communist Chinese advertising 1930's (Xie Xing Long #18). I like the floral motifs, patterns, colors, and compositions. Postcards from

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ukulele at the North Pole

Richard Konter with his famous 1K Martin ukulele.

During the 1920's the Martin Company actually produced twice as many ukuleles as guitars. The Hawaiian uke craze was in full swing at the time. Here's an interesting tidbit - in 1926, a seaman named Dick Konter was a volunteer for Robert Byrd's first exposition to the North Pole. He smuggled his Martin uke onto the plane hoping to play it for some eskimos. However, there were no eskimos at the North Pole when he got there. But, the uke did become the first musical instrument to travel to the North Pole. Link

If all goes well, I should be unveiling my first hand-painted "fine art" uke (Tickler Brand) soon. It's a Martin copy that was lovingly hand-crafted by Lou Reimuller (Teenar's creator) from a Stew Mac kit. The second uke is already in production. It will be made from scratch by Reimuller and designed by me. I am painting them with original motifs from my "Monkey Love" and "Little Pierrot" series.
The Art of Amy Crehore

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Magical Films of Joseph Cornell

Construction: “Tilly Losch,” circa 1935, by Joseph Cornell, artist, 10 x 9¤ x 2⁄ inches
Film: Jack's Dream, late 1930's
Film: Rose Hobart 1936
Film: Nymphlight 1957
Did you know that artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) who made beautiful constructions also made surrealistic, short films? Here are some stills from a few of his creations.
The Voyager Foundation is a place where you can order the collection of films on DVD/video: Joseph Cornell Films
Cornell lived in in a wooden frame house on Utopia Parkway in a working-class area of Queens, NY for most of his life with his mother and his brother, Robert, who was disabled by cerebral palsy. One of the best biographies of an artist that I have ever read is about Joseph Cornell. It is called "Utopia Parkway" by Deborah Solomon. You will be very moved by this book. Unforgettable and poignant.

Giotto is My Man

Giotto's Bell Tower in Florence, Italy (Piazza del Duomo)

I have derived a lot of inspiration from Giotto (1267-1337) over the years. My trip to Florence in the late 80's was a high point of my life as an artist. The gothic-style of the Piazza del Duomo with Giotto's beautifully constructed Bell Tower is my ideal as far as architectural design goes. And Giotto as a painter is unequaled in my estimation. His narrative frescos in Assisi (above) show his architectural leanings, his unlimited creative imagination, a gift for depicting emotion in his figures, a strong sense of color and design. He created some very surreal masterworks. A true innovator. I will never tire of looking at Giotto's art.
'"He converted the art of painting from Greek to Latin and brought in the modern era" - this is Cennino Cennini's synthesis fifty years after Giotto's death, underscoring the revolutionary character of Giotto's painting'- see more images and read more here: