February 28, 2015

Friday Finds

...which, I confess, is rarely posted on Friday. Saturday is good!

From my newest treasure, I LOVE Go find it, and think about a small donation to this ad-free wonder site. Letters from Frida Kahlo to  Georgie O'Keefe

"...contrary to the toxic myth of the solitary genius, creative culture is propelled by the power of scenius, by the goodwill and generosity of kindred spirits, by tangible reminders that we belong to a human enterprise larger than we are.
One of the most touching such exchanges was between two of the greatest artists and most remarkable women the world has ever known — Frida Kahloand Georgia O’Keeffe. Both were prolific letter writers — Kahlo in her passionate illustrated love letters to Diego Rivera, and O’Keeffe in her equally passionate love letters to Alfred Stieglitz, her lifelong correspondence with her best friend, and her emboldening missives to Sherwood Anderson. But what Kahlo wrote to O’Keeffe in 1933 was a wholly different kind of epistolary and human magic..."
...And that, perhaps, is the point — a palpable reminder that the history of arts and letters is strewn with these barely visible threads of mutuality, generosity, and goodwill, which stand as the most steadfast support structure for the creative spirit...
Note:  I looked up scenius, a word I'm not familiar with and could not find it. A typo, perhaps? Or a new cultural word? Anybody know ?

Jennifer Carland

Those of us who love maps will appreciate Jennifer Carland's cool abstract paintings of ....maps!   Find her here.  I learned about her from Mary Nassar's blog.  Mary at least shares the title of Map Queen, if not owning it solely.  Jill Berry might share that throne. 


Not this week, but recently I discovered an online course I am really enjoying."Studying Under the Masters" is a course organized by Jeanne Oliver. It's so much fun and very informative. Each guest, among them, Jane Davenport, Alisa Burke, Jenny Doh, Katie Kendrick, and nearly two dozen others presents a week-long course with ample videos, PDFs, and challenges. The first two 9- and 6-week courses were originally live, as the upcoming third course will be.  Each gues picks an artist to research, get to the core of the artist's style and techniques, and works several different pieces trying to apply that style. We students follow along with our own interpretation. Each new segment is video-heavy and very rich in content. Reasonable cost, very worthwhile. We become "apprentices" under some of my favorite artists...Hopper, O'Keefe, Kahlo, Matisse...   and I've learned so much about artists I never knew, such as the amazing Antonio Gaudi. Now I have to go to Barcelona...

4 and 5
I put some interesting things from recent Sunday  papers on the Sunday Papers page. Go there to find details and pictures: 

Oliver Sacks, My Own Life, written as he faces terminal cancer.

Climate Haiku: Fun, creative, scary, sad, visual. I discovered this 2013 clipping  cleaning out my files this week!


February 21, 2015

Friday Five

Here are this week's Friday five from this week include three artists, one magazine, and a great resource. I should begin with a quote I found this week from Hunter Thompson.  
One life is too short for doing everything. 
Amen and Hallelujah.


I am enticed by Natalie Ratovski's sketches, drawings, travel journals, projects and other extensive work. I first found her through a Paris journal page that was posted, I suspect, on Pinterest.  Lovely journal.  The Pinterest post led me to her Flickr page where I see that she is a prolific artist! I will take my time perusing and appreciating her artwork.

One of her several projects is called An Endless Book....

a section of An Endless Book
Artwork by Natalie Ratkovski
This and the following two are pages from the Paris journal.

She and I share a similar love of extending photos with sketches and travel ephemera.
Artwork by Natalie Ratkovski

And a hand-drawn map is always quite fine. 
Artwork by Natalie Ratkovski

Lee.  Defining Me. Pretty darn fun.

She has a collection of women with personality and sputz.

This is Angel Eyes. Check her out.  

This is Angel Eyes. Artist: Lee

You'll like Ivy, described by Lee, "she was known as a perpetual bridesmaid, 
and had the butt ugly dresses to prove it."

Love the art, love the humor.
I found her  on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's Linky List Feb. 20. 


 Teil Duncan. I love the soft, almost abstract paintings from this artist, especially the beaches series. Hardly affordable art for the likes of moi, but lovely to behold anyway, yes?

Artwork by Teil Duncan


Lucky Peach Magazine.  What's not to love about its name, for one thing?  As self-described, Lucky Peach is a quarterly journal of food and writing. Each issue focuses on a single theme, and explores that theme through essays, art, photography, and recipes.

guilty pleasure confession:
I love visual collections of things. Sometimes I buy
Cook's magazine just for the back cover. This ploy obviously hooked me.

Obsession is this issue's theme. Seems relevant. I was specifically drawn to "The Lucky Peach Atlas," little watercolor sketches of food places in Paris. The issue has short stories done textually and graphically, interviews, some chocolate history, and a tale of McDonald's and the Monopoly promotion  I found quite enlightening.   Unlike Sweet Paul and Kinfolk, other food and lifestyle favorites, there is a lot more text, fewer photos, and is truly more like a journal. It's not the visual treat of the other two, relying instead on a variety of topics and approaches.

Read about my other favorite magazines here and here.


A black carbon fountain pen and Adam from Goulet Pens did this. From Goulet Pen blog. 
Folks who have been enrolled in Sketchbook Skool talk among themselves a lot about the tools of sketching and drawing. (Speaking of obsession, most artists love talking about their tools.) Lots of questions and suggestions about fountain pens. I have always loved using fountain pens, so why haven't I, I wonder?  I discovered a great series of You Tube videos from Goulet Pen Company, which specializes in pens, papers, and inks. Everything from beginning fountain pen users to fancy stuff, a 101 on using fountain pens, and regular Q & A videos. I have already learned so much from viewing just a few. 

A sample Q & A video.


February 20, 2015

a backyard surprise

A house with daffodils in it is a house lit up,
whether or no the sun be shining outside. 
~ A.A. Milne
Even the daffodils think it's spring here in the Pacific Northwest. 

Sharing my Friday Find here, too. 
Kim Klassen dot com

February 19, 2015

A spot of tea perhaps?

I have had lots of the British and Australian in my life most recently and feel the need for tea or warm beer.

"While WWII rages across the Channel, police detective Christopher Foyle reluctantly remains on duty in his quiet English coastal town. The battle comes to Foyle in its own way as he probes war-related cases of murder, espionage, and treason. Mystery blends with history, moral complexity, and period atmosphere in this splendid British series."

I discovered and fell in LOVE with Foyle's War, the BBC series. Go find it. On Netflix, unless Acorn TV has captured all the rights to it in the past few days. While each 90 minute episode completes a mystery, it is valuable to watch the story in succession as the character relationships develop.

I also discovered and watched in marathon, The Fall, with Gillian Anderson. Another fine mystery. this one should be watched from start to end. I watched it on Amazon streaming.

I am taking online courses from Jane Davenport and Liz Steel, Australian delights, both of them.

And there's always, Downton Abbey, isn't there?

February 16, 2015

Colleen McCullough

Wow. Lots of news last week. The first that I wanted to respond to is here….but by the time I was done, lots of others faces in the news.

When first I read Colleen McCullough's obituary, I was offended about the reference to her looks, even before the reaction from others made the news.  To further irritate, was the skimming over of her lifelong talents and skills (she was a neuroscientist, for Pete's sake, and wrote 25 (!) novels).  Also the apparent surprise that she could be witty and warm, despite being "plain" and overweight. Huh???

So glad to see the reaction this obituary by Australia's national newspaper received.  Neil Gaiman said it well: "Although his beard looked like he had glued it on and his hair would have been convincing as a wig, he married a rock star #myobituary.

Meanwhile, I further insulted her by having to write the headline right across her face to cover up an error I couldn't fix. Terrible, unforgiving paper to do watercolor on. Sorry, Colleen.
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