from the jazz age to the space age

Category Archives: inspiration

“Is that supposed to be you?”

“Why do you always draw/paint yourself?”

“Yeah, but do you KNOW it looks like you?”

Ad infinitum.

I have to admit, I’m always puzzled by this question and its variations. A man drawing his wife or girlfriend never has to answer this. No one would ever comment on it at all. As a heterosexual woman married to a man, I’m not 100% sure who the women in my paintings are supposed to look like. Sure I could paint my husband over and over again, but it’s no secret that paintings featuring men are hard to sell.

First off, I’m the only model I have. Second, models cost money. The hassle involved in finding & paying a model, as well as keeping their permission slips to use their likeness on file is something I’ve done in the past. But, I have two digital paintings that I lost both the slips to and the whereabouts of the women over a decade ago. Third, having an idea in your head and trying to get your model to pretzel into the pose is no fun- and usually that’s not how it’s done anyway.

And yes, I do portraits of other people, which I enjoy

But for my regular work, I have a streamlined, cost effective process which I’ve had for years-

I make sketches of an idea. Then I take photos of myself in that pose to use as reference. Primarily to keep from falling into drawing the exact same pose that I drew for another picture. It gives a slight difference to each drawing. I use the photos to draw from, along with whatever other photo reference I need- ie even though some wings may be stylized I’ll still used photos. Crowns, hair, dresses- and then on top of that, obviously imaginative stuff. The faces are usually from 15 years ago as I’m no longer a young woman, but the expressions are mine from now. I also print a black and white copy of the photo to aide in placing shadows. My shadows are not realistic, rather they are in the Medieval vein. I don’t do chiaroscuro at all. I like my paintings to have a flat, decorative quality, with slightly more 3 dimensional elements, like the hands and faces.

And here’s the thing- I pose for ALL of them. Those old guys eating donuts and beignets? Those are both me.
bluevsredThat crazy cat guy? That’s me too.
webCatman01My moon faced werewolf girl with the fluffy Jimmy Page hair? Me. Her sister that everyone thinks is me, she is me, but no more than any of the others. Not to mention that at the Autumnal age of 42, I haven’t looked like that in 20 years. Which is great. One day my hair will be completely silver and my wrinkles will be so deep that finally no one will ask if that’s me ever again.

Although they’ll probably say, “Is that your granddaughter?”

Most of my inspiration for my painting “Sirin” came from my general love of Russian Fairytales and Medieval painting. I spent a lot of time looking at 3 books I have on Russian Lacquer Miniatures. The art is usually on a black background with strong red and orange colors, with some lovely blue and green accents. This one in particular was very inspiring- “Sleeping Beauty.”
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But I also used a few Pinterest pictures for reference and keeping me on track. With children about, I’ve found it easier to have a board rather than my usual pile of books. I still work with books of course, but I’m able to cut down on how high the stack gets by having my board up on the computer. –I made a separate board called, “Sirin.” Screen shot 2016-01-16 at 10.23.42 AMAt the top you have the “Maiden Tsar” from the Russian animated film, “The Magic Pony.” When I was a child, they used to show this movie all the time on KTLA’s Sunday Family Film Festival. In what seemed like a sea of wide eyed blonde princesses, she was a lonely island. Between her brown hair and her long, dark eyes with heavy eyeliner, she hit every mark on my childhood “pretty” target. Everything in this film is gorgeous. Don’t even get me started on the horses! Below, the two Ivan Bilibin pictures, as well as the image between them were helpful in my process of narrowing down my colors. I briefly considered a cream background. You’ll notice the Sirin on the left is holding a flower. She is proably a Gamayun, which were more likely to be shown with arms in addition to wings. I found this picture after I’d made my final sketch, but I still feel quite indebted to it. I gave my Sirin a sunflower to tie her to the Slavic solar god, (Dazbod or Belobog) as well as possible slavic solar symbols embroidered on her headdress.
Screen shot 2016-01-10 at 1.21.33 PMUnfortunately Slavic mythology is still much of a mystery. A few beliefs which used to be taken for granted, like the Belobog/Chernobog dualism, are now questioned. (You may remember Chernobog from Fantasia’s amazing “Night on Bald mountain”.)
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The Sirin in the center, with the red sun stayed with me, because for many decades I’ve had a reoccurring dream of a world lit by a black sun, black, not red like this picture- a sun that looks like an eclipse. The last time I started having the dream again was when I first got sick in the Fall of 2015. I made a few drawings and took some reference photos, but they’re somewhat sad and make me uncomfortable. It’s still there sometimes, that world lit by a black sun.
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Russian headdresses, often called kokoshniks, vary from region to region. I have a little notebook with all the ones I’ve collected so far which I’d love, time permitting to turn into little paintings. Headdresses from the north usually feature freshwater pearls, while those from the south are more likely to have copious amounts of gold embroidery. I chose the more crown-like one on the upper right as my main inspiration. I loved the contrast of the blue ribbon and gold embroidery on the bottom left, which I incorporated, changing the blue to pale green. The totally bonkers beautiful bird woman in “Sadko” makes me want to track that movie down. The colors in the center picture made me change the background from black to a softer grey. The “Last Unicorn” has been on my perma watch list this winter. Amalthea has the best hair in animation, along with Aurora. The bottom center picture is a favorite of mine- midcentury art is the last time we saw art with small, dark eyes on a regular basis. Not soon after this, the adorable Dollybird’s with their saucer eyes began their beauty domination. And finally the amazing iridescence of raven wings. It helped me to be brave and add blue and green to the wings.

I have plans and sketches for more, but next I’d like to finish and paint my wolf girl sketches from November. Then, perhaps I’ll return to the “Land Beyond the Blue Mountains.”

Before Pinterest I used to have stacks of paper all over. I’ve written before about how Pinterest’s feed change made it useless, but it’s still very useful if you actually need a place to store images.

The idea, drawing, and color palette for Elstir came first. But afterwards I went through some of my favorite boards, like Magick and Princess Witch Palette so I would have a concise (for me) set of images to keep me on track through painting. Even though I painted her in September and October, I feel like Elstir is more of a Winter painting than and Autumn painting. Now that we are back from a ridiculously terrible family Thanksgiving trip, I can finally look through my sketches to see what to do next. Ideally I’d like to finish a couple of drawings before I start another paintings, but we’ll see ;D

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The top left image is from the Halloween Tarot by Bajema. Even though I don’t collect tarot, I fell in love with this project and ordered them. Screen shot 2015-10-03 at 10.01.10 AM The golden film stills are from Fritz Lang’s two part epic, “Die Nibelungen.” Everyone is far more familiar with Wagner’s version, but the plot here is different. It’s based on a medieval varient. I’m going to post about this some more but if you can’t wait, it’s in the public domain and on youtube. Watch the golden one instead of the silvery black and white for the full beauty effect. It’s so incredibly beautiful. The first photo is of Kriemhild, the second is Siegfried in the forest. Screen shot 2015-10-03 at 9.59.32 AM

I am so in love with that first pin. I found it here: Sweet Leigh. The whole editorial is from Italian Vogue and it is just bonkers good. Total Game of Thrones, but better. If I wrote, I’d totally write a fantasy GOT rip off with a gorgeous black princess version of Daenerys Targaryen. Not that I don’t love albino Daenerys, but this would be awesome too.
At the bottom there’s a photo of Jean Harlow and Anita Loos. If you’ve never read Loos, I highly recommend her. She’s absolutely ruthless and hilarious.
We are having the most gruesome Indian Summer here. All I want to do is wear my Fall clothes and I’m still stuck in Summer wear.
Knock on wood, my health seems to be slowly improving and I’m back to work on art! I’ve had to make more changes to my diet. I had no idea so many things contain gluten. It’s ridiculous.

I know these Pinterest posts may seem redundant, but I actually do use them for inspiration 😀
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Late August, September, and October are Indian Summer here. It’s humid with no breeze, esp at night. As much as I hate the heat I do love the pale blue sky with the golden green leaves. There’s so much to look at. I just want to paint it all.Screen shot 2015-08-30 at 10.53.34 AM Screen shot 2015-08-30 at 10.53.18 AM

All I can think about the last two days is cool weather. It’s finally shown up, at least for the moment. I’ve already had hot cocoa twice. Screen shot 2015-08-20 at 4.12.04 PM Screen shot 2015-08-20 at 4.12.19 PM

Pinterest stopped working a while ago, maybe a year ago, when they changed their algorithm. But it was one of two platforms I actually like (the other being Instagram) and I’ve hung on hoping they would change it again. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, but I recently figured out how to make it kind of work. Basically you can either bookmark your favorite follows “pins” page and visit them individually or you can do the same through Pinterest, though that’s several more steps. I haven’t looked at my Pinterest feed in ages and now that I’ve found a way around it, I can’t imagine I ever will again.
It’s a crappy fix, but it’ll do while I spend 20 minutes downing 3 cups of coffee, bleary eyed in the morning and trying to turn into a human being, while my kids play on the floor.

Along with my permanent musical inspirations- Bowie, Roxy Music, and all things late 60s/70s- there are a few more current musicians that I find inspiring.

Of Monsters and Men- My Head is an Animal- an Icelandic group with whimsical, cheery music. They’re like listening to a weird and wonderful children’s book.


Florence + the Machine- Ceremonials. Lush music that reminds me in some ways of Siouxsie and the Banshees. It’s like listening to velvet. Florence is also heavily influence by the Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic, which is also why I love her! Doesn’t she look like Ophelia here?


Arcade Fire- Neon Bible. Oh My Goodness, is there anything better than “Black Mirror”? The lyrics will float up from my subconscious at those quiet moments. A few months ago I woke up at 4:30am with this on perma play in my head-

“The black mirror knows no reflection
It knows not pride or vanity
It cares not about your dreams
It cares not for your pyramid schemes
Their names are never spoken
The curse is never broken
The curse is never broken

Un! Deux! Trois! Dis: miroir noir!
Black mirror!
Un! Deux! Trois! Dis: miroir noir!
Black mirror!”


It may have something to do with us having a black framed mirror (thanks Ikea) as well as my ambivilent attitude towards tv. I love shows and movies, but I just can’t sit and watch something without doing something else at the same time. It makes my husband a little crazy bc it’s his go-to way to relax, but I don’t find sitting to be relaxing at all. Our nighttime hour of show watching is definitely something I do bc I love him- although we have been watching a slew of shows that have captured my interest! I’ll post about them next time.


My husband brought me flowers and a gift the other day! A week or so ago, I came across this paperdoll on Pinterest which I had when I was a kid. “Star Princess and Pluta.” Seriously, were the 70s/early 80s the best or what? he tracked it down and surprised me with it!

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They are thick cardboard dolls with plastic stands.


Inside the box there are outfits for both Star Princess and her robot friend, Pluta. This set was published in 1980 and seems heavily inspired by the movie/show, “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.” She looks a lot like Wilma Deering and wears clothing similar to both Wilma and Princess Ardala.

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OMLord, all I want to do is scan these in so I have a version to play with!



Tove’s commentary on modern art ;D


And her thoughts on being an artist.


The beauteous Snorkmaiden, beloved of Moomin.


The Moomins go to The Riviera. Snorkmaiden meets “The Great Little Audrey Glamour,” (Audrey Hepburn).

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Snorkmaiden tries her first lipstick and bikini.


And meets a Riveria rake.

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The Mymble and Snorkmaiden encounter adorable pirates and promptly fall in love.


But even in the early 1950s Pirates love rum.

“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


p.p.s.~ the white paper made the rest of this photo so dark. However, you can see my Nosferatu hands rather well.
I have finally bought a print by Elsa Mora! Her work is very lovely. Whimsical without being saccharine and perfectly ageless! I became a fan of hers when I was pregnant with Karl, but money was always so tight. Then we moved and didn’t have any space. Now in our little apartment I’m slowly (omg, so sloooooooooooowly) decorating (which is also NOT my strong suit.)

Please check out her blog

And her shop

p.s.~ the print quality is magnificent.

Now where am I going to hang it?

I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, why isn’t everyone talking about how great Michelle Pfeiffer’s hair is in Dark Shadows? Because the world is populated by Philistines. So I have a confession, I love big Charlie’s Angels hair. Which is of course the opposite of what I have. But I have hope, because it’s also the opposite of what Michelle Pfeiffer has. I remember reading an interview in the 80s with her about her flat hair woes. Girl, I know your pain. But thanks to mousse, curlers, and learning how to round brush from a Texan I overcame my flat hair. Currently my hair is bobbed, but pics like these make me yearn to grow it out again.

owl macrame earrings {greatest nod to a character hobby ever}
I’ve had a girl-crush on Michelle since I saw Ladyhawke in the theater.
I wanted to make out with Rutger Hauer’s doomed lupine knight, but damn if I didn’t want to look like Michelle Pfeiffer while doing so.
And she just gets more beautiful as she ages. Her face has amazing bone structure, like Judi Dench or Katharine Hepburn.

And then there was HBC’s amazing hair color. I’ve been wearing a rather vulgar metallic avocado green eye shadow lately {blame Mad Men} so Helena’s Dr. Julia is embodying so much about how I look and want to look right now. I have an amazing Anna Sui pattern from the early 90s that’s very Biba. I ordered some crepe de chine in a suitably early 70s floral so I predict that I will be living out some fashion fantasies shortly. I’ll keep you posted!

Well, I’ve gushed enough about Dark Shadows. If you want to read more about Colleen Atwood’s brilliance, here are some interviews~

I had the pleasure of seeing Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows. And yes, it’s very current Tim Burtony with all of the good and bad that goes with that. The good is that the movie has a lovely painterly aesthetic, without the cgi blurriness of his Alice. There’s still cgi in Dark Shadows, but it’s not as overwhelming (until the end). The bad is that it needed an editor in a couple of scenes (such as the end) that wanted to be “Mars Attacks so-bad-it’s-good” but were instead, just bad. Of course there’s no coherent plot, but after all this time if you’re still watching a Tim Burton film looking for plot then you deserve to be disappointed. Visuals are where he excels, and he mostly delivers. After some opening plot- that will also be all the plot you’ll get for the next 2 hours (until? yes, the end. Not the end-end, which was good, but the almost end. Ugh.)- we have the lovely visual above: a train winding its way through autumnal New England while the Moody Blues, “Nights in White Satin” plays. And since I’m super into autumn trees, I’m pretty much set for the film. But then the real star shows up: Colleen Atwood’s costumes. Do you like 60s/70s bohemia? Troubadours? Barbara Hulaniki’s Biba? Then sit back and enjoy the clothes prOn.

click on pics to enlarge~
No joke, I thought it was, “Knights in White Satin,” and had something to do with courtly love a la, the Rolling Stones, “Lady Jane.” Nope. Totally fooled by those troubadour shirts that the band wore in my imagination. Anyway, how cute is her coat?
Close up of the adorable cloak/coat.
There will be a follow up post regarding Michelle Pfeiffer’s amazing hair. In the meantime check out that gorgeous green and plum print! She’s also wearing macrame owl earrings!
I love the keyhole neckline on Victoria’s dress.
Michelle Pfeiffer/Elizabeth Collins Stoddard killing it.
Adorable jabot. I actually have a pattern from my Grandma with a similar look.
Victoria Winters bears a striking resemblance to Elizabeth…

Helena Bonham Carter as Dr Julia Hoffman wearing vintage Biba

HBC busy being awesome.

Johnny Depp as Barnabus Collins. He was pretty funny and definitely enjoyable. Also, his cloak/coat is gorgeous (and actually dark green). His Lugosi crossed with Orlock vampire worked for me visually. He was just handsome enough to be… well, handsome, and just gross enough to be awesome. His hands in particular are delightful. He wears prosthetics and seems to enjoy using the skills he picked up on Ed Wood of hypnotic vampire fingers.


c20vintagefashion, felicelog, joblo, newsie_nympho screencaps

various patterns from Burdastyle if you’re inclined to create your own romantic 60s/70s style.

I love Fall. Love it. The air just smells better. Green and Orange, the colors of Autumn are my favorites. I was looking through the collections of some designers and Samantha Pleet’s Fall 2012 collection caught my eye. It’s wonderful. Very New England and slightly… witchy? Immediately all I wanted to do was re-read Jackson’s “The Lottery” and  Hawthorne’s “House of the Seven Gables.” I’d already been on a mid-century kick of Anne Sexton after watching the fifth season of Mad Men. Pete Campbell’s glorious summation of his and everyone else on the show’s problem- “And then he realized everything he already had was not right either. And that was why it had happened at all. And that his life with his family was some temporary bandage on a permanent wound,” rang in my head. I don’t generally like producing depressing art anymore. So instead I wanted to capture a little of the freedom and mystery of New England. Beautiful girls with witchy red heels on their sensible oxford shoes and bare legs immune to the cold… ok, obviously not me. I get cold in Southern California, but I can dream!





At first Pete Campbell was going to make a cameo as the Man in the Blue Suit who haunts Shirley Jackson’s brilliant short story collection, “The Lottery” as the “Deamon Lover.” But the layout didn’t work. I may recycle the idea in another picture.

The man was replaced by a house inspired by Hawthorne’s “The House of the Seven Gables” as well as the houses that populate Andrew Wyeth’s paintings. This is a photo of Wyeth’s studio.

I love “The Village,” I know people hate it, but I thought it was a slow, lovely movie with exquisite color and design and subtle performances by Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrian Brody, William Hurt, and Sigourney Weaver.

The talented an amazingly beautiful Bryce Dallas Howard as the blind Ivy Walker.

The image that sparked the idea, Samantha Pleet’s Fall 2012 collection.

Seven Gables

Prints for sale in store

wouldn’t it be fun if Royal Tenenbaum was related to Social Services from “Moonrise Kingdom?”

i haven’t been blogging much bc i don’t love wordpress-yet. and i’m really busy with art. i do however have loads more to say about Moonrise Kingdom, bt that’ll have to wait until next week :/

“The Fairest of the Seasons”
inspired by Nico’s rendition of “The Fairest of the Seasons”
“now that it’s time
now that the hour hand has landed at the end
now that it’s real
now that the dreams have given all they had to lend
i want to know
do i stay or do i go
and maybe try another time
and do i really have a hand in my forgetting?”
I drew this over 2 years ago when i was pregnant with Karl and have finally put some color to it. Music always inspires me, but here are some of the pictures that i kept on hand for visual inspiration:

Hans Memling

David Bowie
Utamaro {he was also the primary inspiration for my Floating World Series.}
Edward Burne-Jones “Beguiling of Merlin”
 Stylish Dress Book {a book of japanese patterns}
if you’ve never heard Nico, you’re in for a treat. Some people think she sounds like a german computer, but i like her voice… and so yes maybe she does sound like a lady version of HAL, but it’s still great!

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens may actually be some of my favorite things, but these books  definitely are! i wanted to do a quick post about some of the books i keep closest to me and frequently use for inspiration. There are boxes more still unpacked and i’ll post an update when i get a chance to unpack all my treasures!

{When i say “by” i mean illustrated by, not written by. artist bias!}

various Alice’s~ Moser, Rackham, Garcia, Tenniel
Green Porno by Rossellini
Paradox Box
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Dulac
Milk Teeth by Morstad
Van Gogh
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Moser
Language of Flowers
Little Snow White~ victorian facsimile

House of Leaves by Danielewski
Cinderella by Innocenti
Sorcerer’s Apprentice by The Dillons
Dean’s book of Fairy Tales and Dean’s Mother Goose both by Grahame Johnstone sisters
various Walter Foster drawing/painting books
Mother Goose by Fujikawa
Dragonfeathers by Dugin/Dugina
Rene Magritte
More Tales to Tremble By by Laite
Epileptic Bicycle by Gorey

Miss Fury by Tarpe Mills
Bowie Style
Those Glorious Glamour Years by Bailey
Dancer’s Body Book by Allegra Kent
The Living Sea by Cousteau
Mad Men by Dyna Moe
Fashion File by Bryant
Stylish Dress Book and Sweet Dress Recipe
Design it Yourself Clothes by Cal Patch
Twinkle Sews by Chia
Burdastyle Sewing Handbook
Sew U Home Stretch, Sew U, Built by Wendy Dresses
Mucha Playing Cards

Lots of favorites

 Tove Jansson’s Moomin series

even more favorites!

“You and the land are one… drink from the chalice and you will be reborn and the land with you.”
Ready my knights for battle. They will ride with their king once more. I have lived through others for far too long. Lancelot carried my honor, and Guenevere, my guilt. Mordred bore my sins. My knights have fought my causes. Now, my brother, I shall be… king.”
This is my favorite scene from Excalibur. It gives me chills when Arthur rides forth and the land blossoms in his wake, while Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana plays. The words were written by goliards {defrocked monks and minstrels} sometime between the 11th and 13th centuries, while the music was written by Carl Orff in 1935-1936 *cough* nazis *cough* {to be fair, I’ve read that Orff had jewish relatives who remained unmolested due to his popularity.} Many years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Orff’s Carmina Burana performed and it was breathtaking. The themes of fickle fortune, the transience of life, and the peril and pleasure of vice are as relevant today as they were when written. I often wonder if we have begun the decent into a dark age or the ascent to another renaissance.

O Fortuna (fortune)
Velut luna (like the moon)
Statu variabilis (you are changeable)
Semper crescis (ever waxing)


Aut decrescis; (and waning;)


Vita detestabilis (hateful life)


Nunc obdurat (first oppresses)


Et tunc curat (and then soothes)


Ludo mentis aciem, (as fancy takes it)


Egestatem, (poverty)


Potestatem (and power)


Dissolvit ut glaciem. (it melts them like ice.)
Since I’ve been reading the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin I’ve been obsessing on knights again. His characters are well crafted, especially for the fantasy genre, and because his world is so detailed, his books read more like the history of a hitherto undiscovered country. Below are some of my favorite pictures of dragons, knights, and ladies fair which have been dancing circles in my head since I started the series~ {all scans are from books in my library unless noted and linked. right click and open in a new window for full size}
Paolo Uccelo~ “St. George and the Dragon” 1455
Arthur Rackham~ “Stories of King Arthur” 1902
J.W. Waterhouse~ “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” {detail} 1893
 H.J. Ford~ 1917
Howard Pyle~ “The Lady Nymue beareth away Launcelot into the Lake” 1905
Howard Pyle~ “Sir Kay breaketh his sword at the tournament” 1903
 Howard Pyle~ “the Lady Guinevere” 1903
Gustav Klimt~ detail of the Beethoven frieze, “the Golden Knight” 1902

Arthur Rackham~ “Seven Ravens” 1900

Sandor Clegane and Sansa Stark~ screencap from “Game of Thrones” tv series. via coldwindsarerising

Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone~ “Arthur goes to Avalon” 1966. via joan eyles johnson


i love fall for the beautiful leaves. when i walk with karl we collect the prettiest leaves we can find. but forbidden fruit is always the sweetest. our neighbors have the loveliest tree in the loveliest setting. all gold and silver when i look out of my window. i sneaked a peak and felt a little like Rapunzel’s mother gazing longingly at forbidden foliage 😉

yellow, orange, and red next to the silvery celadon green is one of my favorite color combinations.

this silvery green tree is wonderfully melancholy. it belongs in an algernon blackwood story.

let’s see what other things are orange and blue-green…

my son’s car

pincushion from antique ribbon

my favorite self portrait of vincent.

“shiver and shake little tree- pour gold and silver over me!”
~  cinderella by the brothers grimm.

calling all yankie spirits~

i first discovered “anthropologie” in 2001. i was delighted that an entire company was dedicated to yankie secretary style. between the twin evils of expense and impossible fit {hello sewing}, i’ve never owned anything of theirs, but their catalogs still inspire my sartorial choices.
step into the way-back machine and say hello to 2001~
her sweater is great, but her hair cut is even better.
amazing at waist jeans like jane birkin would have worn in the 70s. my jealousy knows no bounds. i still haven’t summoned the moxy to make a pair of denims.

in only a few short years from this photo, every pair of pants would end 3″ above your crotch and gift all the ladies in america with a muffin top and a whale tail. yet another reason why the aughts were terrible {aside from economic and global destruction.}  

the lovely grey haired model, the elegant ladies who look like they might actually be older than 17, and sweet child models who look like children instead of hollywood actors. anthropologie, this was your high point.

and yes, i had fantasies about “camping” like this, which is how i imagine every wes anderson character camps {aside from in museums.}

autumn, like spring, is a changing season. already the long hot days of august are fading and there is a new crispness in the air. the light falls golden instead of the white, blinding light of summer. witches and fairies roam the countryside. wolves and changelings lurk behind every tree.
transformation is in the air…
“trois femmes et trois loups” ~eugene grasset

i’ve been listening to st. vincent’s “marry me” non-stop. her second album is good, but seems to suffer from song samyness, common to her genre. “marry me”, however is beautiful. i highly recommend picking it up. 

“paris is burning” in particular is very inspiring. it has a slight 1920s feel & a parisian musical motif that is especially well suited to the current set of paintings i’m working on. while not an actual period pieces, they occupy that nebulous retro/vintage zone i adore, most famously embodied in the films of wes anderson & jean-pierre juenet.  
I write to give word the war is over
Send my cinders home to mother
They gave me a medal for my valor
Leaden trumpets spit the soot of power they say

“I’m on your side when nobody is, cause nobody is
Come sit right here and sleep while I slip poison in your ear”

We are waiting on a telegram to give us news of the fall
I am sorry to report dear Paris is burning after all
We have taken to the streets in open rejoice revolting
We are dancing a black waltz fair paris is burning after all

Oh no oh no

Enclosed in this letter there’s a picture
Black and white for your refrigerator
Sticks and stones have made me smarter
it’s words that cut me under my armor they say

“I’m on your side when nobody is, cause nobody is,
come sit right here and sleep while I slip poison in your ear”

We are waiting on a telegram to give us news of the fall
I am sorry to report dear Paris is burning after all
We have taken to the streets in open rejoice revolting
We are dancing a black waltz fair paris is burning after all

Oh no oh no

Dance poor people dance and drown
Dance fair Paris to the ground
Dance poor people dance and drown
Dance fair Paris ashes now

i have to admit, i’ve always found gucci terribly gauche so lynch doing an ad for them is a little surprising. i know, i know, david lynch is not something most people would connect with good taste… but gucci? dior, yes. chanel yes. ysl, very very yes. perhaps it’s gucci’s vulgarity that made this even palatable for him.
that being said, this ad totally makes me want to be a 16 year old coke whore dancing around & listening to blondie alone bc i have no friends except the ones in my head until i get abducted by inter-dimensional beings. that’s the demographic they’re shooting for, right?
… god, i love david lynch.