from the jazz age to the space age

Monthly Archives: October 2013

Coppola and Eiko on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, part 1.

This movie introduced me to the work of Eiko Ishioka, costume designer extraordinaire. Coppola’s Dracula has problems, mostly stemming from the stilted acting of Reeves and Ryder (I still remember the horror of realizing that Ryder had limited range. Up till then, she was my favorite actress), and the intentional hamminess of the rest of the cast. It also introduced me to Gary Oldman. Although I had seen “Sid and Nancy,” Oldman’s submersion into Vicious’s persona was so complete I overlooked him (I was a Johnny Rotten fan anyway). But with Dracula, I sat in the theater spellbound. A quarter of the way through the film I looked at my sort of boyfriend sitting next to me and realized that our relationship wasn’t going to be long term. He was a total Harker and I wanted Dracula. I wanted a consuming love that would cross oceans of time for me. That level of craziness would characterize all of my subsequent relationships. I’m an emotionally reserved person and it takes serious devotion to lure me into expending any actual emotion.
“The luckiest man who walks on this earth is the one who finds true love.”
Coppola wanted Eiko’s costumes to be the scenery. Her artistry tells more about the characters than script.

photo (4)“What devil or witch was ever so great as Attila whose blood flows through these veins?”

photo (5)“I was betrayed. Look what your God has done to me!”

photo (6)“I shall rise from my own death, to avenge hers with all the powers of darkness.”

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“The basic color scheme for Dracula is red, white, black, and gold. I wanted to depict him in his armor as a cross between man and a beast.” -Eiko

photo (8)“For the dead travel fast.”

photo (9) “Listen to them- the children of the night. What sweet music they make.”

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“The enormous train… was designed to undulate like a sea of blood.”- Eiko

“I never drink… wine.”

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calling Gustav Klimt.

“Do you think you can destroy me with your idols? I who served the cross, I who commanded nations, hundreds of years before you were born?”

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Crazy Cat Man and Crazy Cat Lady were commissioned by Lone Wolf Magazine and appear in Issue 7, available HERE.

And they are also available as iphone, ipad, and teeshirts in my shop.


A few years ago I decided to make some jointed paper dolls. Unfortunately, after they were finished my printer decided to die, so I never posted them. But, gearing up for some painting has made me realize that, since I usually post digital work, no one is familiar with what my paintings look like. I use a stippling/ small dash method. Not a big surprise, but I like Wyeth’s beautiful tempuras combined with the flatness of medieval manuscripts. So here they are:

I LOVED doing this project. I LOVE Agatha Christie and became quite infatuated with the archetypes peppering her work (that’s a kind way to say that complex characterization was not considered her strong point). I read nothing but Christie for almost two years. HERE is the link to  some of my Christie books. I’m particularly attracted to their lurid covers. I love mysteries and since it’s Autumn, it’s the perfect weather for magic, mystery, and beautiful colors. These were, not surprisingly originally painted in the Fall. They are all gouache on Acrylic paper.

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The Spinsterly Sleuth (obviously Ms. Marple) with her gardening gloves, spade, birdwatching glasses, embroidered knitting bag, a book to track clues, a cup of (hopefully poisonless) tea, and a scrap of burned paper (most likely a clue). In case you’re wondering, I have a very similar skirt and the exact same shoes.

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The Clever Vicar is genial and well liked. He’s known to take an active interest in his parishioners and always has time for a hard luck case and a shoulder to cry on. So who was that letter written by and how did his letter opener get so… bloody?

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The Dark Horse is the Vicar’s wife. She loves venturing into the forest alone to collect flower specimens and store them in her vasculum. However, her bloody pruning shears and burned envelopes seem more than a little suspicious. HERE I am working on the “Dark Horse.”

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The Good Sport is the envy of every man for both his talent at tennis and his beautiful wife. He never loses his cool, on the court or off, but then, what are those stains on his sleeve and racket? With so many questions to answer, no wonder he needs a scotch on the rocks. HERE I’m working on the “Good Sport.”

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The It Girl- that chimeric creature both sporty and a bombshell (The lovechild of Katherine Hepburn and Gene Tierney). Highly competitive, with a wicked temper (usually where he husband is concerned), she longs to be taken seriously at golf and escape the shadow of her more famous husband. No wonder she claims to have had one too many martinis and can’t remember how her golf club could have possibly gotten so bloody.

I have sketches for more, but I’ll probably convert them into illustrations. The next set will be “English Seaside Murder.”


Now that Karl is in preschool I can finally dig into my piles of sketchbooks and flesh out some of my sketches into paintings. The “Four Forests” is part of my “Imps” story, which has slowly fermented over the course of the last 7 years, beginning with Kid Krowley and ending with the Ladies of the Four Forests.

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Brooksie

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Zelda

“Most writers agree upon the general influence of Egypt, especially upon magical practices. Pennethorne Hughes thought the famed Thessalonian sorceresses in classical times to be unlicensed devotees of the moon goddess- Isis or Nut.”
-Ronald Curran,
The Weird Gathering & Other Tales


“I am an artisan. I work with my hands. My model is from the Renaissance. The bodega. The artist workshop. Giotto. Rapheal. Michelangelo. These are my inspirations.”

I just finished Bill Buford’s, “Heat.” He gets a wild hair and asks to work in Mario Batali’s restaurant, Babbo. From there he goes to Italy and eventually ends up in Tuscany, apprenticed to a famous butcher, Dario Cecchini. Dario’s scenes are by far my favorite and his approach to his work is beautiful in its passion. Yes, he’s cutting meat, but the care, work, and intention he devotes to it is more thoughtful than most modern art I encounter.

“What I saw now was what Dario called, ‘my works’ (le mie opere), which I’d been reluctant to acknowledge because it sounded so pretentious. But that was what you got: a butcher and his works… And yet as I stood there, suddenly taking in the display case, I had to admit that the food had something of an artist’s purposefulness. Every item there made a point… But every item really was a “work,” even the ones that seemed very simple.”

“I wondered if I was glimpsing Dario’s secret. Fundamentally, he didn’t want to be a butcher, and therefore if he had no choice- then he would be unlike any butcher you’d ever met. His was a calling, not a trade- he was an artisan, not a laborer- and his “works” were about history and self and being Tuscan and only indirectly about dinner. They amounted, ultimately, to a tortured response to grief, and the “works” had become Dario’s way of remaining in touch, physically… with those who are no longer with him. When you came to his shop, he didn’t want to see a butcher- and wouldn’t be able to say why- but he knew what you should see instead: an artist, whose subject was loss.”

I feel strangely reinvigorated.


I have two modes dictated by the seasons: Magic (or Magick if that’s your thing) and Space.

Every Autumn and Winter I gravitate towards everything supernatural and every Spring I switch over to technology. Everything from the clothes I want to wear, the shows I want to watch, and the music I listen to. I even have two playlists on my ipod with these themes that I put on while working.
Ah Autumn! All I want to do is eat baked goods and watch shows about murder. All. Day. Long.

Here are some of my current Autumn inspirations~

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Myrna Loy

Myrna Loy

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