Monday, December 19, 2011

For those who like the "old" internet better....

For "vintage" internet ads like this old facebook ad - here's a link:
 retronaut (ads by moma). There is a ton of cool stuff on this website, by the way.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Comfort and Joy at the Local Drugstore

Whistling Mitch played a trombone kazoo in the local drugstore yesterday. I took a grainy video with my ipod. I blogged about him last year and took a ton of photos.LINK  (He told me he doesn't use the internet. He's old-fashioned to the max.) He also played a green (vintage) stenciled Harmony ukulele.

Monday, December 12, 2011

My "Peekaboo" is a SammoS Banjo Ukulele, 1919

SammoS banjo ukulele
SammO soprano ukulele
When I painted my "Peekaboo" design on an antique banjo ukulele (shown above) for my solo art show in Los Angeles a couple of years ago ("Dreamgirls and Ukes"), the brand of ukulele was a mystery to me. I loved the unique construction (walnut and maple marquetry), but I had no idea who manufactured these or exactly how old they were. Thanks to Google Books, I found some information in the "Music Trades" publication of 1919. I now know that these particular banjo ukuleles are at least 92 years old, making them older than I thought. An old advertisement (top image) shows one like it and tells us that the The Samuel C. Osborn Manufacturing Company, located in a Masonic Temple in Chicago, made these instruments. Osborn claimed to be the largest manufacturer of stringed instruments at the time. A little more digging and I found out that this company was around since 1897, but went bankrupt in 1921 (after moving to a new building). Mr. Osborn died in 1922 at the age of 50. They also made a soprano ukulele called the SammO, a really nice koa uke (shown above, the one I have at home). It's design seems to have been based on the older Hawaiian ukuleles. Osborn also made mandolins, guitars, taro patch fiddles and something called the Pianoette
The Art of Amy Crehore
P.S. All we can really do is guess at some of these when the label is missing or the brand is not indicated on the headstock.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Two Charming Nudes Together

 Lucas Cranach, "Venus and Cupid" 1537
"Nude Girl on a Fur" by Otto Dix 1932
Click image to enlarge
In the summer of 2010, The National Gallery of Scotland hung these two paintings in a mini face-off show called "Confrontation". The Dix is possibly my favorite painting he's ever done. It's so weird and beautiful all at the same time. I love the tones of yellow and the textures in this painting. The girl's crooked, curled toe completes a great composition. Her eyes and expression (of longing?) are uniquely Dix. The Cranach is one of many (see link) that he did using the exact same theme, but it's a charming one. I love that the "drape" the girl is wearing is so transparent as to be almost invisible (she is holding it up with her hand). 

Friday, December 09, 2011

Picture of the Day

"Chalk Cliffs on Rugen", 1818, by Caspar David Freidrich, 
painted as a celebration of his marriage to his wife. LINK 
I found this painting recently online and it reminds me a little bit of the art that I am currently doing, so I must get back to work. 

Salesman 1968

Mark at boingboing posted this trailer to a documentary about 4 salesmen selling bibles.
More info about the movie  LINK