Sunday, December 02, 2007

Little Sammy Sneeze by Windsor McCay

"Little Sammy Sneeze" comics by Windsor McCay 1904-1906, New York Herald
I've been looking for a new art book to buy for Xmas. This might be the one. Lloyd just reviewed it on Mardecortesbaja . It's a collection of Winsor McCay's comic strips that appeared before "Little Nemo in Slumberland". The book is called "Little Sammy Sneeze". It also includes an intriguing sister-strip called "Hungry Henrietta". The "Little Sammy Sneeze" strip is about a boy who ends up sneezing violently in a variety of settings. He ultimately gets kicked out or punished by the people who are unfortunate enough to get caught in his explosion. “He Just Simply Couldn’t Stop It” and “He Never Knew When It Was Coming.”

Buy the book here: Sunday Press Books
View beautiful sample pages here.
The Art of Amy Crehore

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Mexican Retablos

"Mexican Folk Retablos", book by Gloria Fraser Giffords
Santa Rita
Red Cross Saint
I can't believe that I haven't blogged Mexican Retablos and Ex Votos before. I've always been in love with them. They are religious miniatures painted on tin, originating in the mid-1800's. Here are two fine examples - click images for larger view. I found them on a site called Mexican Retablos where they have descriptions and lots more images. The frames are often as interesting as the paintings. The more worn-down the piece, the better. These little paintings are very personal pieces of folk art. I have owned a copy of Gloria Gifford's book for many, many years.
"Santa Rita de Casia, patroness saint of desperate cases, is almost always portrayed as she is here, with a spot of blood and a thorn deeply imbedded in her forehead. As the story goes, in the year of 1441, during a sermon on the crown of thorns, Santa Rita prayed so intently that a thorn detached itself from her crucifix and lodged itself in her forehead." link
This is the website of a lovely-looking store in San Francisco called Colonial Arts, located at 463 Union St. in the heart of North Beach, San Francisco.
The Art of Amy Crehore

Friday, November 30, 2007

Where Did My Monkeys Come From?

Squirrel monkey
This is the kind of monkey that I use in my art. Isn't he cute? It's the squirrel monkey from South America. I first painted this monkey back in 2002 in my "Organ Grinder"oil painting. I used a photo from an old, musty book as reference for the monkey on top of the organ. I put a sailor hat on another monkey (that I made up) to add some humor to the painting. Little did I know that I would be painting this monkey over and over again in 2005-2007
as a recurring character in my art.
My native girls (I made all of the girls and their poses up) are supposed to be from Devil's Island ,but alot of people think they are Hawaiian. However, they do not have this type of monkey in Hawaii! And my girls are often seen playing around in inappropriate ways with these creatures.
Or are they? No, everything is fine. :)
The sailor hat is my little addition, but it gives people a sense of deja vu and they think they have seen this monkey before somewhere. My monkey has now become more of a character, drawn from memory. It's half human/half cartoon. But, it's still undeniably a squirrel monkey. From South America. It's the "monkey with the largest brain in relation to it's body size".
My art is painted and drawn from my head, the landscape is made up, but it has a vintage feeling about it. It flows from my intuition, instincts and memory of everything in the world that I have ever seen in a lifetime. It is all about design, composition and making an entertaining picture. The narrative is about ambiguous relationships and what will happen next. It's all a mystery.
Squirrel Monkey
The Art of Amy Crehore

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Banjo History

Twin Minstrels playing banjos behind their heads
S S Stewart's Sons Professional by Rettberg and Lange 1902
Click to Enlarge
S.S. Stewart factory illustrations 1883
Banjos are important American instruments. Banjos descended from gourd instruments brought to the New World by enslaved Africans as early as the 17th century. By the 1840's white musicians were playing them in minstrel shows. Later on they were heard in the Victorian parlor. Later still, banjos were used in hokum, ragtime, jazz and bluegrass music.
Primitive Banjos, Guitar Banjos, Mandolin Banjos, Banjo Ukes, Tenor Banjos, 5-string Banjos.
I always loved the details on the S.S. Stewart banjos. There are many wonderful vintage images of banjo players.
I found these pictures by following the links at
Read up on the history of the banjo. A great American instrument. I have used them in my artwork because I love them.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tickler Ukes

Tickler Brand Uke 2007 -Back design by Amy Crehore
Tickler Brand Uke 2007- Front design by Amy Crehore
It looks like the very first Tickler Brand Ukulele (built by Lou Reimuller, designed and painted by Amy Crehore) has now sold. There will never be another one like it. It's one-of-a-kind. The number two Tickler Uke is slowly being built and should be finished around the first of the new year. It has completely different features- a different shape, an exciting mother-of-toilet-seat fingerboard and a carved headstock. It won't be fully painted on all sides like the first one. Instead, it will have more wood showing and some other details. I hope to be finishing up the Tickler T-shirt design this week. I have to upgrade my website before Jan 1, also. Lots to do!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Vegetarian Museum

I had tofu turkey this year at Govinda's restaurant in Eugene, OR. I often eat regular turkey for Thanksgiving, but sometimes I don't. I was vegetarian for a couple of years after I got out of college. "Diet for a Small Planet" was my guide book and I had a macrobiotic cookbook. My pure vegetarianism didn't last long, but I never went back to eating red meat.
is a website founded by Karen Iacobbo and Michael Iacobbo, authors of "Vegetarian America: A History" (Praeger, 2004- book shown above which you can order right on the website). In the "museum" you can find all kinds of tidbits, articles and images about the history of vegetarianism from the 18th century on in America. That is where I found the holiday postcard and the vegetarian muscleman. Interesting!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Honeybee" Painting by Amy Crehore- Finished!

"Honeybee" copyright 2007 Amy Crehore 8"x8"
Here is my little "Honeybee" painting all finished. I just shipped it off to Mark Murphy who will take it to Art Basel Miami and exhibit it in the "KNOW" exhibition where he will be selling his art books, plus original art from over 40 artists.
F E A T U R I N G: Robert Bellm + Cathie Bleck + Marc Burckhardt + Cynthia von Buhler + William Buzzell + Luke Chueh + David Chung + Amy Crehore + Warren Dykeman + P-Jay Fidler + AJ Fosik + Keith Greiman + Matt Haber + Brent Harada + Ryan Heshka + Jordin Isip + James Kirkpatrick + Pamela Jaeger + Travis Lampe + Lola + Daniel Lim + Tommii Lim + Anthony Lister + Jen Lobo + Jason Murphy + Mark Murphy + Joel Nakamura + Kathie Olivas + Brandt Peters + Chris Pyle + Jermain Rogers + Chris Ryniak + Erik Sandberg + Greg Simkins/Craola + Kim Scott + Keith Shore + Jeff Soto + Matt Stallings + Peter Taylor + Mark Todd + Jonathan Viner + Amanda Wachob + Esther Pearl Watson + Damien Weinkrantz + Gord Wiebe + John YanokI
KNOW: Art Exhibition Curated by Mark Murphy : Art Now Fair : Art Basel Miami : Murphy Design : Booth No. 215 December 6 – 9 : 2007 Thursday – Saturday : 10 am - 8 pm : Sunday : 10 am – 6 pm
Claremont Hotel, 1700 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FLA
If you are interested in acquiring this small painting please contact Mark Murphy:
See more art and a blurb about each artist in this exhibition on: Scribble
This is the final version of the painting that boingboing posted about earlier ("Amy Crehore Paintblogging"), for those who were following my progress.