Monday, October 25, 2010

Very Black Ferragamo Shoe

I was drifting through the V&A last week when this shoe (Salvatore Ferragamo, 1935) caught my eye in the same way a black hole might.  And I mean Black; it's like it sucked all the light in and only exists as a beautiful silhouette.  The fact that it was made 75 years ago surprised me too.  To me, it looks like it could have been made yesterday; it's avant garde and it hasn't aged at all.  So gorgeous.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Image Hoard 2: Man & the Sea

This week I'm back with another collection of images from my little treasure trove.  For these pictures there's a loose nautical theme, but it really is loose.  

1- Marie Antoinette by Jean-Etienne Liotard, 1762
Former Queen of France, and nothing to do with the sea.  I recently watched Sofia Coppola's film Marie Antoinette and thought it was a lot better than I had been led to believe.  It's visually spectacular and poignant in it's own way, with a great soundtrack (click for Spotify link).

2- Dress by Alexander McQueen
It's gorgeous and frothy, simple as that.

3- Baudelaire poem & Illustration by Pierre-Yves Tremois
Tremois is an artist with a cheeky way with lines that is quite striking and different.  You can also see his sculptures on his website.

4- Sketch by Mark Ryden
Ryden did the cover for One Hot Minute and many other magnificent paintings involving meat, girls, toys and Abe Lincoln.  He's a long-time favourite of mine.

5- The Birth of Venus by Alexandre Cabanel, 1863
It's twee, and the cherubs totally spoil the mood but I've always loved this painting; the way Venus lies unconscious and pristine on the water.

6- An illustration of Baudelaire's Man & the Sea by Shannon May
This image has given the page to man and nature in a 50/50 split.  It has tension and depth, but is so simple.  Beautiful.

7- Giant Squid, Architeuthis dux
This image is of a Giant Squid that was publicly dissected at Melbourne Museum in 2008.  The latest episode of Inside Nature's Giants is about the Giant Squid and it is one of the most gob-smacking and inspiring things I've ever watched.  See it here on 4oD.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Baby, It's You: a fashion editorial

Here are some pages from an editorial I found in LOVE magazine (A/W2010).  I thought some of the photos were ripe for illustration, and the whole piece was more about the 'in' models than the fashion; which is an interesting concept.  I wanted to work on the idea of love at first sight; how in Disney movies the woodland animals come out of hiding and woman conspires with nature to put on a show.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Image Hoard 1: Man and Other Beasts

I save images, lots of them, like a squirrel hoarding nuts. But I'm also really anal and like to categorise, classify and alphabetise. I can't help it, so I thought I might turn these two potential character flaws to some advantage and provide an outlet for foibles on my blog. This is the first Image Hoard post, where I will provide you with a selection of images, links and whatever I remember about them.  

So here goes "Man and Other Beasts"...

click for a better view

1 - "Madagascar" by Walton Ford, 2002
Watercolour, gouache, ink, and pencil on paper
Walton Fords work is just jaw dropping to me. He does Natural History in a big way: big in size, big in depth and meaning. This painting is of an Elephant Bird, native to Madagascar and extinct by the 17th century. They are believed to have been "over 3 metres tall and weighing close to half a ton". The extinction was almost certainly at the hands of colonial pilgrims.
Wikipedia page on Mr Ford here.

2 - Vintage ring, c.1960, wood and gold
I love jewellery and this lady has interesting taste and access to a lot of money. She buys and sells antique and vintage jewellery. I immediately snapped up this gorgeous ring (in my mind, of course. It's $2,200) as I have a real fancy for natural materials and thought it was most unique.  

3 & 6 - Marios Schwab 
From his Spring 2011 collection shown at London Fashion Week
I can't stand the way the models are styled and the clothes are hit and miss, but when he manages to balance soft, floaty-ness with toughness Marios really gets it right.

4 - "Mallam Mantari Lamal with Mainasara, Nigeria 2005" by Pieter Hugo
From "The Hyena & Other Men" 
When I first saw these images I assumed they had been staged for some underground fashion magazine or ad campaign; they're so cool, yet raw at the same time. Reality is truly stranger than fiction, because Pieter Hugo, SA PhotoJournalist, worked his way into a small group of street performers in Nigeria, who trap and keep Hyenas, monkeys and snakes to do shows with and earn money. Realness.

5 - Random Pic
This photo is a random find with a beauty that transcends its intended use. As I recall, someone wanted to sell a pair of Mountain Goat trophies.

7 - "Obstruct the doors.. Be dangerous" by Craig Ward, Sean Freeman & Alison Carmichael
Laser cut type
I love this retro-futuristic-looking 'calligraffiti', with its movie line brashness and disconnected meaning. It's bold and pretty and pointless.  
Craig Ward's site, Words Are Pictures, is crammed with tasty type for those who are that way inclined. You know who you are.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The long and short of life

I've recently started doing a weekly life drawing class at the Prince's Drawing School; I thought it would be good to have a bit of disciplined drawing practice. And it's an extra challenge because it's late on Monday and it's really warm in the life room!
Last week's session was two and a half hours of two minute poses, so the pace was fast a furious. You have to be brief with your marks and allude to body parts rather than describe them. It's hard not to get bogged down in the details, and of course it also helps if you think about what you're doing first.  So much to think about in such a short amount of time, it's difficult just to fit everything in in two minutes. You end up with a lot of disembodied parts.  Below are some of the most complete sketches from the session.

This week we did three longer poses and it was a real luxury to have time. I was most pleased with the last drawing I did (below), in 50 minutes, using oil based pitt pencils.