So, it looks like in 2017 I finished a few big projects, which is good, but neglected to share much regular doodlin, which is bad. Here’s the gist of my 2017:
Richard Dadd was in a psychiatric institution when he painted the Fairy Fellers Master Stroke over the course of nine years. The painting is remarkable for the layering technique that lends the figures a type of bas relief. In 1865, after stopping work on, what he considered, the unfinished painting, he wrote a poem that accompanies it called “Elimination of a Picture & its Subject – called The Fellers’ Master Stroke.”
The poem, and the painting really, give me the impression that there is a secret communicated within that is yet to be uncovered. Perhaps it does this to a lot of people, since it does hold a secret in The Witches of Chiswick by Robert Rankin – one of many pieces of literature that refer to it.
I recently got an Alphonse Mucha art book and while I was looking through it, in front of some horror movie, with a sketchbook on my lap and a notebook with ideas on visualizing copyright, I got this idea. Those of you that know Mucha are familiar with his many personifications of the seasons as beautiful women, and then the stars as beautiful women. Here are copyright concepts as beautiful women….compliments of me.
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Years ago I made a case to our media librarian to acquire The CREMASTER cycle by Matthew Barney. I had seen the visually stunning, mysterious, and grotesque preview online and I knew there was no way I was ever going to see it unless some forward thinking library bought the movie for the collection. There was only one then. There are more now.
I was just wondering what happened to artist Justine Lai’s series on her paintings of the presidents. She has moved on, as evidenced by her online gallery, but the i09 post on her work is a great sampling of of her previous concentration.
I may not have had enough completed artwork to do an end of year roundup at the New Year, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have enough to update the website in May.
It all started with a print called “Spirited Horses” on my dining room wall. I had inherited it from my grandmother. I remember sleeplessly looking up at it on the wall of her den during ‘nap time.’ A notation on the bottom says it was copyright in 1900 by Jos. Hoover & Sons. The signature reads ‘LeRoy’ with a circular flourish around it.
Then I saw the same picture in a magazine spread of an interior designer’s home and I was so captured by coincidence that I found out all I could on the artist and wrote a short post on my blog: Vintage Prints and Small Worlds.
At that point in time, I found that the print was attributed to a Henri LeRoy (1851-), still life painter in France. I have since found that the true artistry of Spirited Horses is much more convoluted.
A dealer on an auction site had a 1904 edition of Spirited Horses that lists it as a no. 2 in a series of images. While researching his find, he found from a discussion list (no longer active) that Spirited Horses no. 2 was part of 4 companion images. No. 4 in this series apparently shows the horses dead. These images were attributed to Anita LeRoy, signing simply as LeRoy. On yet another auction site, a dealer with a 1908 edition of Spirited Horses #2, spots it in the movie A Christmas Story in the scene where the leg lamp breaks.
I hate to say it, but all my researching didn’t turn up any definitive answer on whether Henri or Anita was the author Spirited Horses, or the many other prints that came out of Jos. Hoover & Sons printing with signatures like:
I have a blank wooden matryshka in my craft cupboard. This is the plan I came up with long ago…