This year I’ve gone through my books and sold quite a few that I realized I was never going to use, mostly sewing related. As I did, I noticed some holes in my collection. I asked Mikael for a few and he ended up getting me everything, including a surprise James Jean book. We have a $50 limit on gifts which we both went over a little this year. We had a little extra bc this was the first year in 3 years that we didn’t have to pay for Karl’s pre-school. I kept wondering why I wasn’t as stressed out about money this year when I realized, oh right, we don’t have to cough up a pile of money right before and after Christmas.
“Wives and Stunners” is about the women who inspired the Pre-Raphaelites. Many of these women were painters and poets in their own right, but women were discouraged (to say the least) from a career in the arts. While I know quite a bit about Lizzie Siddel and Jane Morris, I’m very excited to read more about the others who I know only from their modeling.
“Surrealist Art” is a wonderful book I’ve read a few times through the library, but sadly never owned. It has a wealth of information, but the only downside is the pictures are mostly in black and white.
“Surrealism” remedies that. It has very little information beyond the title and artist, but each page has a beautiful, fairly large color reproduction of a painting.
“The First Fossil Hunters” proposes that fossils were the basis for many fantastic creatures in Greek myth, such as griffins and the Cyclopes. I saw a tv program on this a few years ago and have wanted to read the book ever since.
“Japanese Tales” is just that, and while I already have a book of Japanese ghost stories and two books on Asian myths, I do not have one dedicated to Japanese tales across the board. After I saw this in a store I put it on my wish list. I suppose I’m getting lazy in my old age bc it’s not always fun for me to have 5 books stacked next to me, bookmarked with the Japanese stories- that my baby promptly yanks the bookmarks out of. Sisyphean, I tell you.
And finally, “James Jean: Pareidolia” I have Jean’s “Memu:100 postcards” but I greatly wanted a large book so I could pour over his beautiful work. Like most people I was introduced to him through his exquisite covers for the comic book, “Fables.” And while I found the stories in “Fables” often lacking, the covers were worth the price of the books. Jean is an inspiration. There are times when I’m trying desperately to solve an art problem and he’s done it so neatly and beautifully that I can only sigh in admiration.
And case you were wondering what “Pareidolia” was:
“Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you’re at!
Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea tray in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you’re at!”
As I mentioned before, Elstir is supposedly an Irish version of Esther, which means “star”. I like that she’s my dark star. I finally scanned her in and tried to color correct her so that she’s close to her real colors, at least on my mac. And to wrap this painting up, here is a collection of my Elstir wips that were originally on Instagram~