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These remarkably contemporary-looking portraits, taken more than a century ago, are the work of F. Holland Day, the son of a wealthy Boston merchant. Day cofounded the publishing firm of Copeland and Day in 1893, and was a significant patron of artists and collector of…

Source: 24 arrestingly beautiful portraits from the turn of the 20th century

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Originally posted on The Muscleheaded Blog.

Of all the famous pin-up artists of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, Rolf Armstrong has few equals, and remains a favorite with today’s audiences for several very good reasons –

—including his mastery of symbolic color, the fine detail of his work, the bright flashes of fashion and style, and a distinct masculine perspective, which he expresses on all of his canvasses–and which tends the amplify the femininity of his beautiful models.

Born in Bay City, Michigan on Easter, 1889, Rolf was the son of a shipping magnate whose declining fortunes eventually forced him and his family to move to Detroit.

After the death of his father in 1903, Rolf and his mother found themselves in Seattle, and at 15, he dropped out of school and took a job as a Steamship Agent.

Rolf’s two passions, sports  (he was an avid boxer and a skilled sailor) and art, began to mesh as he developed his painting skills drawing for local publications, and his mother encouraged him to…

via The Pin Up Art of Rolf Armstrong | The Muscleheaded Blog.


Another captivating post from my childhood friend, Pippa Rathborne, which tells me much that I didn’t know about Gainsborough’s family.

Originally posted on LAST POST.

The Painter’s Daughters Chasing a Butterfly, one of Gainsborough’s intimate studies of his daughters made in the late 1750s, which took 18th century sensibility forward into a Romantic awareness of individual development through the senses. Image © copyright The National Gallery London

He sees beyond the fragile innocence of two little girls, in the glancing light of a fashionably Rousseauian childhood idyll, to a more profound understanding. He is not just a portraitist exploiting vulnerability and shimmering fabric; he is their father who loves them. He dared to paint the anxiety showing in their faces as they move rapidly through the sinister half-darkness of a wood, that is both catalyst and externalization of their unconscious minds.

Happiness as represented by the decoratively winged insect is always out of their reach; they experience, as Keats described, “the feel of not to feel it”.

Love and madness disturb a summer’s day two hundred and fifty years after two little girls chased a butterfly.

I try to imagine again my first…

via Summer disturbed « LAST POST.


It was an original painting of a ‘cabinet of curiosities’  on Wikimedia that inspired me to create this image. These ‘cabinets’ contained collections of objects around a theme whether it be art, theatre or archaeology, antiquities, religious icons or geology, or anything else for that matter.

One might even refer to them as miniature museums. If you have ever gathered objects of a certain type, as I have done, on a small table or in a room, for instance, then you have created a ‘cabinet of curiosities’.  I should point out that ‘cabinet’ in this case refers to a room and not, as Wikipedia tells us, a piece of furniture.

I used the following image from Wikimedia as my starting point.

A corner of a cabinet, painted by Frans II Francken in 1636 reveals the range of connoisseurship a Baroque-era virtuoso might evince

A corner of a cabinet, painted by Frans II Francken in 1636 reveals the range of connoisseurship a Baroque-era virtuoso might evince [Wikimedia]

I continued by making small versions of some of my own images and placing them on top and within the frames of paintings before blending and merging. Look carefully and you can see The Lynx has Landed in the bottom left corner and Earthly Delights top left. Scrutinise the next to last image bottom right and you might see that I have merged a part of Romantic Meeting with the original Tudor-looking man to create what looks — to me — like Danny La Rue in his glad rags drag!

The finishing touches were done with a texture from 2 Lil’ Owls, a layer of yellow in Photoshop’s Overlay mode, and a black & white photograph by Len dela Cruz from Unsplash.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US tba
Zazzle UK tba
Fine Art America
Fine Art England
Saatchi Art tba

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Pen and Ink Love Greeting Card
Pen and Ink Love Greeting Card

Although she won’t know this until it’s published, I have combined a delightful article from Pippa Rathborne’s Last Post blog about love and the Brownings with some of my Pen and Ink products from Zazzle, which include Elizabeth Browning’s famous sonnet.

Pen and Ink Love Bag
Pen and Ink Love Bag

Pippa writes:


Feeling weary, stale and unprofitable, I’d vowed to give up blogging for a while, but the always happy thought of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning has spawned this self-indulgence.

As I mentioned before, I was named after Browning’s Pippa Passes, and immersed by my mother in the love story of Robert and Elizabeth while I was growing up, Flush the spaniel and all. For a long time, as happens with history’s celebrities, their romantic personae overshadowed the value of their individual work.

If ever there was one, theirs appeared to be a marriage of true minds. It is painful to consider the possibility that in reality he had a restricting effect on her writing, specifically on her social and political freedom of thought. Robert had trouble stopping Elizabeth from dressing their only child, their son Pen, as a girl. Ignore, ignore, forget, forget, facts are only the dreary letter, not the spirit of truth.

And, anyway, Pen grew up filial, amiable and cheerful, a lover of Italy, a restorer of a palazzo, a painter and a bon vivant. He did not inherit his parents’ intellectual genius or determination, but he did not…

Continue reading“How do I love thee?” collateral « LAST POST.


Pen and Ink Love Round Sticker
Pen and Ink Love Round Sticker

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnet 43, Sonnets from the Portuguese, pub. 1850

Pen and Ink Love 3 Ring Binder
Pen and Ink Love 3 Ring Binder

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Design available at the following galleries:
Zazzle (UK)
Zazzle (US)

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Pippa Rathborne's SCRATCH POST

sunsetBonington, Sunset in the Pays de Caux, 1828, watercolour. Wallace Collection, London. Image source: WGA
Delacroix praised his long dead friend Bonington’s “astonishing ability”, “that  lightness of touch which, especially in watercolors, makes his works a type of diamond which flatters and ravishes the eye, independently of any subject and any imitation.” [1]

Richard Parkes Bonington has been called “the Keats of painting” – if only it were that simple, we could wrap this up now in relief. Yet another marvellous boy, his vivid output and early, painful death of tuberculosis aged 25 resemble Keats’ own art and life. There’s poetry in Bonington’s brushwork, the liquid freshness of colours, the delight in shadow and light. His technical genius was in hiding technique, so that with him all the spontaneity for which other Romantics strove looks effortless. His pictures are more than just pretty; he was a painter’s painter, loved…

View original post 1,776 more words


Pippa Rathborne's SCRATCH POST

The first thing you notice is the astonishing blue. It is a woman’s dress, with a luminous life of its own, a bright heart bursting out of a pale pink shell, made of the same colours as the blue sky, flushed pale carmine by the setting sun. Darkling, she “cannot see what flowers are at her feet, /Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs”. She has a woman’s head, but her body looks more like an exotic blue flower, a lady elf transforming from gordian to woman’s shape. Her dark curling hair might be part of a tree’s foliage.

gainsborough ladybate-dudley1787Lady Bate-Dudley, oil on canvas c.1787. © Tate. Her husband, Sir Henry, known as the Fighting Parson, was a loyal friend and supporter of Gainsborough; he also wrote comic operas. The Bate-Dudleys seem to have inhabited a surprisingly passionate landscape of their own.

Viewed as late 18th century society portraiture…

View original post 577 more words


Culture and Anarchy

20140411-111845 pm.jpg

One of the many commemorations of the start of the Great War is the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition ‘The Great War in Portraits’. I am reluctant to comment too much as I found that to wander around the rooms and look at the paintings on display was a slightly surreal experience (and consequently I didn’t take as many notes as usual!) but the exhibition shows us what is literally the changing face of war. From individuals involved in the start of the war – military and political figures, as well as a press portrait of the assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand – to images intended as propaganda, displaying military might and dignity, the stages of the war are reflected in the work of the artists. Most moving, perhaps, are the faces of the soldiers affected by the conflict20140411-111858 pm.jpg, especially those damaged by shells, which were drawn for hospital…

View original post 93 more words

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