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Design Pattern with Visual Thesaurus

January 26, 2011

Did Visual Thesaurus plan this, or is it just a happy accident?

Design Pattern using Visual Thesaurus

Design Pattern using Visual Thesaurus

If you look up the word “design,” then select the connector between pattern and figure,  voila, this lovely shape fans out, just like a peacock!

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2010 in review

January 3, 2011

WordPress, getting better all the time. Thanks for doing this. I’m not exactly super-blogger, but I do appreciate this 2010 year in review!

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2010. That’s about 5 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 11 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 38 posts. There were 19 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was June 16th with 41 views. The most popular post that day was My Illustration for the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were maryyaeger.com, obama-scandal-exposed.co.cc, zzsst.co.cc, en.wordpress.com, and stumbleupon.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for harold pinter, pinter, bedford hours, old times pinter, and old times play.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

My Illustration for the American Journal of Psychiatry September 2007
4 comments

2

Harold Pinter’s play, “Old Times” March 2007

3

Lady of Light, After a Bedford Hours Miniature January 2008
1 comment

4

About Mary Yaeger, aka animary March 2007
4 comments

5

Best Picture Yet of A Hedgehog May 2007
4 comments

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“Some Implications,” by Kurt Ulrich

November 19, 2010

Some Implications

By Kurt Ulrich

1

Thirst does not believe in what
might cure and thus
destroy it. Thirst

concocts a dream of the ocean
dry as a bone, but
full as ever; and my bridges

never completely burn—thirst
prevents them from this,
gathers force with its elongated

figures of an evening
such as the talk with
El Greco inspired. Imagine

you had managed a meeting
with the utmost more
grace than you had expected:

the guests would never leave or they’d
seem to be hiding,
to have gone so quickly they would

seem either never to have gone,
never to have really arrived,
or to always have been, or

be yet to come.

2

Rafters of a type we’re less
than only a little
accustomed to, and devised

under the ice-blue
lights of an ordinarily
pale enthusiasm

for rote good humor, seem,
scaled, sturdier by
far than when, straining our

backs in order to
see them in relation to the
drapes and decorations

our usual homes entail, they
did little more than trace
the arc of the heavens; did

little more than the grass
might flow, that is; and
held no home away from

what is perhaps richer, graver,
more deliberate and thrilling
an environ, but which should

be sampled by and by, as befits
an entire neighborhood, and not
in such a manner as would

keep us from sleep, too immune
to a kingdom divided
from our fondest dream.

3

Today it’s that there’s not
really enough for us to merit
that splendid regard

of the luminous—were
there enough we’d be
probably much worse off than where

the whole thing stews today: under
something dark and crisp and
electric, cold, and heedless. I

have sanctioned these poems
exude charm, but nothing distracting,
nothing visual, expected or

cooperatively italicized. Clouds
are suggestive and familiar, and
find us at least most of the time

on our way to the building
in the rare clear city, tears
in our eyes as we continue to

expend our sway inappropriately,
toward the darling little flowers
who travel in schools, and toward

the women happily married, or so
they thought. Blush of clarity, tolerant
impossible private hue, our passions are

only and all for you, but then
you’re gone and the day turns
sunny, damn it, everything’s

easy to understand, everything
tags along after us, asking us
what to do, and paying us

a compliment full of deadlines
as good as a threat, while our children
turn pale as clouds, as you.

 

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Keith Richards ‘stab to the heart’

October 29, 2010

I read this excerpt from Life by Keith Richards, in David L. Ulin’s review in today’s LA Times:

“‘to write a song that is remembered and taken to heart,’ Richards notes, ‘is a connection, a touching of bases. A thread that runs through all of us. A stab to the heart.'”

 

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Getty Center Workshop on Drawing Drapery with Zhenya Gershman

October 27, 2010

Last week I took a 3-hour workshop with Zhenya Gershman at the Getty Center. I signed up for the class because I wanted to develop more facility with the drawing of drapery. My miniature illustrations,  such as  Media and Melancholy and Bipolar Depression and Family Support, contain figures wearing heavy robes.  I plan to continue using historical costume in my paintings, so mastering the “ins and outs” of drapery is important to me.

I expected the class to be useful but not necessarily fabulous. I didn’t bother to review the instructor’s credentials, so I was delighted to find out that  ZG is not only a master teacher, but a child prodigy, having received artistic acclaim in her native Russia from the age of 10!

Zhenya introduced herself individually to each student before the class started.  More teachers should do this; it establishes trust early and builds student confidence. Z projects tremendous energy and enthusiasm. Her lecture with images was deceptively breezy; to present so much content so clearly requires much research and preparation. The handouts were first-rate, concise yet suitable for  beginner or advanced student. A lot to take away for a 3-hour workshop!

I’m taking the “warts and all” approach and revealing my class drawings here. The first was from Z’s visual description and not from looking at the drapery:

drapery sketch first attempt

Sketch 1

I’m comfortable looking at things and sketching them, but not necessarily with drawing something from memory. So the result looks a little stereotypical, but I applied the idea of tension points that Z presented.  Note the point where the folds start to cascade.

Being more comfortable with looking and drawing at the same time, I came up with Sketch 2, based on fabric pinned to a form:

second drapery sketch

Sketch 2

While we were sketching,  Zhenya presented the idea of the “eye” of the fold, which was new to me. This is where “the fold is formed when pressure pushes material out in the center to form a more prominent point. The ‘eye’ is the starting point of all the planes.”*

This sounds technical but it’s easy to see, especially in classical drawings and paintings. You just have to look for it.

Enough with my drawing lesson. Here is the final sketch from a Flemish painting in [the location and artist into to be added later]. We had 45 minutes to work, so I got absorbed and forgot to write down the source.

Drapery Final Sketch

Final Sketch

For upcoming Getty Center short courses for adult learners, go to http://www.getty.edu/visit/calendar/events/Courses.html

*from Zhenya Gershman’s August/October 2010 handout

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Rosy Renaissance Art Cards and Prints

October 18, 2010

Earlier today I met Zlatka Paneva of Rosy Renaissance. She was exhibiting her art prints and cards at “Affaire in the Gardens,” an art show that’s been held in Beverly Hills since 1973.

I like to mix historical and contemporary themes in my own work, and admire Paneva’s designs for taking this approach. Her artful mix of 16th-century imagery and vintage graphics is clever and sophisticated.

Here’s the link to shops across the US and Canada that carry the RosyRenaissance line.

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Looking for Medieval Art Lovers in LA: Illuminated Manuscript Course

October 6, 2010

Looking for Medieval Art Lovers in LA:

Illuminated Manuscript Course
Getty Center, UCLA Extension Westwood

October 17-November 7, 2010 (six meetings)
10-1 pm

Do you have a passion for any of the following:

  • The Getty Center
  • Book illustrations, especially children’s book, fairy tales, fantasy literature and Arthurian legends
  • Medieval or early Renaissance art
  • Persian miniatures
  • Renaissance Fairs (SCA folks, this is the class for YOU)
  • Anime, manga and graphic novels
  • Old books, fairy tales, fantasy literature
  • Stuff covered with gold leaf
  • Brilliant colors
  • Exquisite miniature objects
  • Calligraphy
  • Filigree, ornament, curlicues
  • Gothic architecture
  • Painting and drawing
  • Antiques
  • ???

Kelly Williams, a Getty Center Educator, teaches a six-week course called “Illuminated Manuscripts: Patronage and Process.” I took this course a month ago, and absolutely loved it, as did the other students. You don’t really need any training in art to take this course and enjoy yourself thoroughly, but being able to sketch or at least copy a design on paper is enough. You will get to use the same materials and techniques that were used to make priceless objects now in museums all over the world. The Getty Center has one of the world’s best collections of illuminated books, and Kelly Williams will take you on a guided tour (free parking) on the first day of class. Ms. Williams is a highly sought-after teacher, having recently traveled to the White House to teach drawing to the Obama family. So we’re talking excellence here.

The class is offered through UCLA extension. Go to uclaextension.edu and navigate to the art studio section. I’m sorry to say that this site needs better navigation. Don’t you want our money, UCLA? There’s no direct link to “how to register” or anything obvious, but there is a greyed-out tab that says “Quick Enroll” but you need the course number. You will still need to register with your email, etc. and if all else fails, call them at (310) 825-9971 or (818) 784-7006. Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.

The course number is ART X 440.68 and is listed in studio art although it’s really a combination of art history and studio. You can get two units of credits for your $375. And the class meets 10-1 on Sundays, so for the five days the class meets in Westwood parking will only cost you $4-5 (not the $13.50 I shelled out today!!!). And did I mention you get free parking at the Getty?

A note about supplies: You only need to budget $25 for supplies. The majority of the very costly items, genuine gold leaf and natural pigments, are included in the course price. These are of the finest quality, hand-selected by the Getty for their historical authenticity (any toxic materials like white lead are NOT used in this class).  If you were to try to purchase these materials on your own, you would need to spend $250-300 or more. So enjoy the rare opportunity to try them out.

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Discovered Got Medieval by Craig Pyrdum

August 17, 2010

I just discovered a blog called “Got Medieval.” I had Googled “depictions of snails in the Middle Ages” to jump start my project idea for a course I’m taking, “The Art of Illuminated Manuscripts*.”

The name hooked me, because I was thinking of creating a character and then making her medieval. “Elizabeth Gearey Gets Medieval” or some such thing. If that ever comes together, well then it may appear in this blog. Or it might not.

Anyway, the fifth Google entry to come up was Got Medieval’s July 20, 2009 post,

“The Case of the Missing Snail Porn (Mmm…Marginalia)”

The site is full of witty and insightful comments relating medieval European history to contemporary themes. I’m thrilled to finally meet up with some medievalists who share my enthusiasm for 15th-century books!

*The six-week class is offered through UCLA Extension (uclaextension.edu) and begins again in October 2010. If you’re interested, look for course number X440.68, “Illuminated Manuscripts: Patronage and Process” taught by Kelly S. Williams, MA.

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Medieval Modernity Revisited Adam and Eve

June 15, 2010

Crewel Embroidery by Mary Yaeger, Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, 2008
crewel embroidery on linen
8″x17″

previous post
about the embroidery on Stabbed!

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Arlington West Memorial Santa Monica

June 1, 2010

Arlington West Memorial Santa Monica

Arlington West Santa Monica

Memorial Crosses on the beach next to Santa Monica Pier

Memorial Crosses on the beach next to Santa Monica Pier

sign "Iraqis Killed"

Iraqis Killed sign