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TEXT & TONIC - G H I May 28 2020, 0 Comments

I enjoy blogging about my design series because I’m learning about the lives of some fascinating women. And I've found that many of the textile patterns that we live with today were created in ancient times.

 

"Instant gratification is not soon enough." Meryl Streep

The worldwide popularity of the gingham pattern was originally developed in India and Indonesia, exported to Europe and into the American colonies in early 17th century. Now we find gingham everywhere; we wear it, sit on it, eat on it. It's on cars, on Easter eggs, and on statues. It's not just for cowgirls. 

 

 

 Dior car                                                           vintage gingham                             Into The Woods 
Meryl Streep, actor extraordinaire, has played many characters including a prime minister, a holocaust survivor, and a whistle blower. Her talents have been acknowledged by fans and peers alike, and she's seen as one of the best actors of her generation. With this kind of adoration, I think I can learn a lot from Meryl when I sit down with a bag of popcorn and explore her creativity in the world of cinema.

 

 

"If there's no chocolate in heaven, I'm not going."  Jane Seabrook

The use of the herringbone pattern dates back to the Roman Empire where it was used in roadway construction. Filippo Brunellechi's creation of the breathtaking cupola of Santa Maria del Fiore was made possible by using the herringbone brick pattern. 

   
Roman Road                                          Santa Maria del Fiore                      Furry Logic

Jane Seabrook is an illustrator and designer known for her detailed paintings of wildlife. Her watercolours of animals, which she pairs with quotes, speak to the human condition. We are encouraged to laugh and feel good, and get on with it.

 

 

"Nature is commonplace. Imitation is more interesting."  Gertrude Stein

The Ikat pattern employs the resist dyeing technique. Ikat textiles are created in many traditional textiles centres around the world. The characteristic fuzzy patterning is prized by many textile collectors.

   
Woven ikat fabric                               Gertrude Stein 1980 Andy Warhol          Checkerboard 1915 Juan Gris

Gertrude Stein was a modernist literary pioneer and an enthusiastic patron of avant-garde art. She was a leading figure of the pre-World War I art circles in Paris. Along with many others, the Cubist artist Juan Gris and Pablo Picasso, frequented Gertrude's Parisienne salon.

 

               

Here are a few of the many fun items now available on my website. I think you'll find something there to brighten your home.

 

I'm looking forward to sharing more about some fascinating women with you in the next blog: Text & Tonic J  K  L.

Until then.

Hasta luego amigos.

Val

 

 

 


ANOTHER CHANGE April 25 2019, 0 Comments

 

I've always been intrigued with shape shifters, in nature and at cocktail parties. The natural world has given us some remarkable creatures who can disappear and emerge as 'an other' right in front of our eyes.

 

     
                CHAMALEONIDAE                        Truman Capote          black Australian harlequin opal

CHAMELEONS    This quick change artist has reasons other than camouflage to change colour:  to reflect their moods. These changes not only send social signals to other chameleons, they also to indicate temperature, health, communication, and light. Entirely like like our need to send signals

If a chameleon wore a black Australian harlequin opal ring, we wouldn't know it.

 

 

    

acraga coa                            Cendrillon                              Cerura vinual                            

BUTTERFLY     The Cinderella story is a loved fairytale about transformation and is a dream for many. But we can marvel at the exquisite pre-transformation-beauty of the acraga coa catepillar and the cerura vinula catepillar before they put on their ball gowns.

 

 

  

                                 TURRITOPSIS DOHRNII                              DRACULA - Andy Warhol 

JELLY FISH     The Earth's only immortal species is a tiny transparent jellyfish. It's the only known animal capable of reverting completely to a sexually immature stage after having reached maturity. Theoretically, this process can go on indefinitely, effectively rendering the jellyfish biologically immortal.

The obsessive quest for immortality has followed us through time. It expresses itself in literature and in the movies. Immortality might be achieved, but there's a price to be paid--ask Dracula.

 

   

      THAUMOCTOPUS MIMICUS                        Alec Baldwin                    HYMENOPUS CORONATUS

MIMIC OCTOPUS  and the ORCHID MANTIS  are two of my favourite shape shifters.

The mimic octopus is considered the most intelligent octopus in the world and the ultimate master of disguise because it can imitate many other species. The genius mimicry of the orchid mantis is so complete it is sometimes impossible to distinguish the mantis them its orchid perch.

Many of the best stand-up comics have perfected the art of mimicry. Mimicry expresses itself not only at a party to make'm laugh, but also as a powerful political tool thrown at the White House, where they aren't laughing.

Inspired by these shape shifters, I've used a butterfly as a starting point for a new series of four images, utilizing my own shape shifting tools. They are available as prints and home decor on Society 6.  

Hasta luego amigos,

Val

 


ANDY WARHOL - ANDY WARHOL September 12 2018, 0 Comments

Andy Warhol was a legend in his own lifetime. He mastered the art of repetition, mass production, irony and overuse colour for his artistic creations of the Double, the Other.

   
 Andy Warhol Double Self Portrait                            Mickey Mouse Double

Andy's World

Pop Art, which began in the 1950s, replaced Abstract Expressionism as the new vital face of art in the New York art world.


Andy brought imagery into his work. He became a Pop icon who envisioned Pop Art images that would glorify and criticize consumption.

Double Torso

The technique of silk screening allowed Andy to create double and multiple images of movie stars, soup cans, flowers, Brillo boxes. The visual shift from one image to its double creates appealing visuals of movement and excitement.

 

                

Rachel Small article on Edvard Munch and Andy Warhl highlights the similarities that that the artists shared in their understanding of the value multiple image in the art market.

 

In Elvis Presley we see the never ending glorification of imitation, freedom, the thrill of becoming an Other, any time.

        

Double Elvis  and more Elvis

 

Duality and Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol portrait

It’s impossible  to know the truth about the life of Andy Warhol. As his fame grew, and demands made on his time, Andy was represented by a double: Allen Midget, and hardly anyone noticed. A robot was created in Andy’s likeness for a Broadway show, but limited technology could not complete the vision. He wanted the robot to go on the road and make public appearances in his place.

Andy skillfully used contradictions and veils to create mystery around his public persona. The private Andy was a shy, religious man who went to church on Sundays, and lived with his mother in New York. In contrast to the chaotic atmosphere of the Factory, the front parlor of his home was tidy and tastefully decorated--but the other rooms were packed to capacity. Andy was a hoarder of epic proportions.

If you'd like to know more about Andy Warhol's life, let me suggest the biography, Holy Terror, by Bob Colacello. The Andy Warhol Diaries is always an entertaining, yet semi-fictitious read. Andy Warhol: A Documentary is a good primer available on YouTube

A dual image, the Other image, allows one of us to hide and be anonymous. You can go anywhere when you’re somebody else.

All of this research about Andy Warhol has inspired me to create some graphic images which I'll share in my next post.

Until then,

Hasta luego amigos

Val