Friday, March 30, 2012

The ABCs of Art

A sign of the times.
Hand-Pulled Limited Edition American Sign Language Screen Print 
18"x 24", $19.95 from billycraven on Etsy

Thinking about investing in an alphabet poster for the future education of my future children who will hopefully one day exist in the future. Here are some I gathered on Etsy (big surprise!) that may not necessarily make that immediate alphabetical impact you'd normally want in a teaching aid for kids, but they'll sure look pretty while trying. 

Something modern for the traditional. 
Modern Alphabet GiclĂ©e Print
13"x 19", $20 from wondercloud on Etsy

Warning: May Contain Graphic Content
Image Alphabet Screen Print, Navy Ink on Gray Paper
19"x 25", $30 from Mira Elwell on Etsy

Pique the interest of even the pickiest eaters. 
Produce Abecedary Digital Print 
11"x 17", $18 from One Art Please on Etsy

Snowflakes made from Helvetica letters! And how!
Snowflake Typographic Art Poster
8"x 10", $16.50 from Stray Squirrels on Etsy

A flock, organized alphabetically
Bird Alphabet Poster
36"x 48", $50 from Smallwoods Studios on Etsy

 Which one do you like best?

- Cathleen 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Currently Reading

I'm currently reading American Fancy: Exuberance in the Decorative Arts 1790-1840

I'll let you know what I think when I'm done. 

Little FYI: Author Sumpter Priddy runs his antique business in Alexandria VA found here. Another reason DC is awesome! 

- Grace

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Artwork of the Week: Red and Yellow Oyster Shells

Red and Yellow Oyster Shells is an original 5"x 7" watercolor painting by
 "Meghan" of "ArtGoods" on "Etsy" for $40. 
I don't know much about this painter, but I do know I like this piece. 
A lot. 

- Cathleen 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Gift of a Lifetime

When the young Marie Antoinette entered France for the first time, the country pulled out all the stops to welcome her. 

Upon her arrival at the Strasbourg Catherdral, she was met with a grand ceremony that included thirty-six young shepherds and shepherdesses picked for their good looks and quintessential rustic costumes.
Twenty-four maidens from the most important families of Strasbourgh scattered flower petals at her feet. In gratitude Marie-Antoinette bestowed each with a posy as a memento and one lucky girl received the intricately carved, gem-encrusted ivory fan with a Rocaille scene painted on it that the Archduchess carried with her that afternoon. 

Amazingly the fan survived the French Revolution and is now housed at the Musse Carnavalet. Here is the *best* picture I could find of the fan online. 

Image Courtesy of blog: Too Much Stuff
Information Courtesy of the Book: Queen of Fashion, What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution

- Grace

Monday, March 26, 2012

Look What I Made!

You know that jewelry class I told you I was taking? Well, allow me to present my very first completed project: a blue lace agate stone set on a wide sterling silver band! It's taken me almost 3 months of filing, hammering, soldering, setting, and polishing (and more polishing!), but it's finally done and on the hand of my wonderful sister-in-law Shannon in honor of her 30th birthday. 

That's my chicken hand above, not hers. I couldn't help myself from trying it on. And wearing it around the house. And modeling it for my coworkers in the office. But that was it, I swear. Anyway, I really hope she likes it. 

- Cathleen 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Art Teacher Essential!

Yeah, I'm going to need that. 

Can be purchased here

Happy Weekend! 

- Grace

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Who Knew?

 When you think of artist Helen Frankenthaler do you think of this?:

Mountains and Sea.

Me too. 
But did you know Helen (we're on a first name basis) also revolutionized the face of woodcut print art? East and Beyond (below) was created in 1973 and to execute this work Frankenthaler used a jigsaw to divide the wood block and then put it back together to print. Apparently she used a new technique to put the block back together so the division line was invisible. Because of this technique East and Beyond isn't cut into and instead transfers vibrant and bold color in large abstract sections. 

East and Beyond is one of the most famous woodcuts to date. Cool!!

- Grace

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bust a Move

Antique Napoleon Bust, $175 from English Shop on Etsy

Nothing looks more ritzy or regal than a bust perched atop a mantlepiece or bookshelf. Here I've found some good-looking specimens that will surely class up any joint.

Antique Chopin Bust Music Box, $34 from Green Apple Workshop on Etsy

  Antique Plaster Bust, Probably Jesus, $45 from artyFactz on Etsy

1950s Spanish Flamenco Pair, $50 from Dixie Antiques on Etsy

Boy and Girl Resin Busts, $21 from Red River Antiques on Etsy

Lady Head Vase from Inarco, Japan, $125 from SeedWerks on Etsy

Another Lady Head Vase from National Potteries Co, Japan, $185 from Vintage Twice on Etsy

Those last two have big holes in their heads (not pictured), perfect for planting a bunch of juicy succulents or flowering cacti. You know, the usual thing you might find propped upon a lady's head.  

- Cathleen 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book: Crea Tu Circo

Crea Tu Circo.
This amazing book available in Spain is on its way to me via a prom date circa 1998 who currently lives in Spain. Thanks Mark! Looking forward to getting my book soon. 

I'll let you know how the creations turn out!

- Grace

Monday, March 19, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lo Lee Ta

I looove this cover designed by Jamie Keenan for my favorite novel of all time: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. This brilliant and subtle double entendre-d image, along with 60 other redesigns, was part of a cover competition organized by John Bertram that will soon be compiled for a book titled Recovering Lolita. Co-edited by Yuri Leving, the book also includes essays on historical cover treatments, and is due out in June.

Visit imprint to see some of the other designs, as well as this awesome online trove of past Lolita covers. 

- Cathleen 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Huguette Clark's Jewels

The death of reclusive heiress Huguette Clark on May 24, 2011 created an ownership issue for most of her belongings as well as her massive fortune. 

Going up for auction via Christie's New York on April 17 are the following items:

The pink cushion cut diamond, likely given to Clark by her mother, is estimated at $6-$8 million. The emerald cut diamond is estimated at $2-$3 million.

These two diamond bracelets were worn by Clark in her last-known photo (above), taken in 1930. The diamond and emerald bracelet is valued between $20,000 and $30,000; the other is estimated at $300,000 to $500,000. 

Diamond, ruby, and sapphire American flag brooch designed by Cartier and a multi-gem bracelet features 10 dangling ornaments, including an elephant, two lovers on a bench, and an angel. This Cartier designed bracelet is valued between $20,000-$30,000. 

Clark's sister, Andress is pictured in the onyx, turquoise, and diamond frame on the right and the art deco crystal clock, left, is valued at $15,000-$20,000.

Also up for sale are three Manhattan apartments and this gem below in Connecticut which apparently has sat empty and unoccupied for 30 years. 

Two conflicting wills ensconce the division of Clark's assets in drama. 


- Grace

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Artist of the Week: Pina Bausch

Monday night I went to see Pina, a 3D tribute to the late great choreographer Pina Bausch. Directed by Wim Wenders, the film is made of extended cuts of dance performances interspersed with portraits of each of the dancers who worked closely with Pina throughout her career. It was no long form documentary, delving into her life's details from birth until death. It was about dance. Her dance. The movements; awkward and graceful, conveyed the strength and fragility unique to her style of choreography. The sounds of each dancer's labored breathing, skin against skin, fists on flesh. The pieces were performed in a bed of brown soil spread thick over a stage, or in a room full of chairs, or out on the edge of a cliff. It was all so beautiful and so moving, and so unlike anything I'd ever seen in dance before. The only words spoken were played over each of the dancer's portraits, recalling just one or two lines about Pina's process or their relationship. Keeping with the spirit of dance---where words may only hint at a feeling, movement can convey so much more.

Pina died on June 30th, 2009 at the age of 68, five days after she was diagnosed with lung cancer (after years of heavy smoking (a surprising number of the photos I found of her online feature her with cigarette in hand)) and two days before shooting was scheduled to begin for the long-planned documentary. But somehow, the show had to go on.

Here is the trailer: 

Here is a clip of one of my favorite dances from the film: 

And here is another great moment:

- Cathleen 

[Top photo via James Waites via Getty Images]

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Botanical Art for the Next Generation!

When I think about botanical drawings and prints I think of this: 

Very pretty, but now slightly boring and overdone. 

I came across this on the blog Colossal:

Floral X-Rays by Brendan Fitzpatrick take botanical art to the next level. 
A photographer for over 20 years, Fitzpatrick is located in Singapore. These images were taken in a radiology lab and manipulated in Photoshop. 


- Grace

Monday, March 12, 2012

Remains of a Date

Reliquary of St. Balbina

Last week Micky and I had a date with New York City. We slept in, ate brunch and dessert (because why not!) at Peels on the Bowery, took the D then the A train way uptown to The Cloisters where we saw some really old chess pieces and Medieval art, rode the train back downtown to the Lower East Side where we stopped in at the Essex Street Market to buy a couple of handmade caramels from Saxelby Cheesemongers, grabbed a beer at The Magician (where we had our first date), went to a gallery opening to see the work of my friend Pooneh, then topped the night off with dinner at a cozy French bistro nearby called Antibes. It was absolutely the most perfect day. Made even more perfect by my discoveries at The Cloisters that afternoon: Creepy! Wonderful! Reliquaries! 

The three busts featured here were made circa 1520, possibly in Belgium, and definitely held relics—skulls to be exact. Reliquaries were made to hold the bones or hair of a holy person (First-Class Relic), an item worn or owned by a holy person (Second-Class Relic), or an object that has touched a First- or Second-Class Relic (Third-Class Relic), and they were thought to possess great power.

Arm Reliquary, circa 1230, used by clergy to bless people or heal the sick

Foot Reliquary 

Handblown Glass Reliquaries

- Cathleen 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Week of the Arts Special Edition : Backpack to Art School

It's probably a little early (or late) for back to school talk, but in loosely keeping with this week's theme (They don't call me Catheme for nothing. OK, no one has actually ever called me that.), I wanted to introduce The Bag that I carry with me to and from art school everyday. I got this awesome backpack for Christmas from my dad and I L-O-V-E love it! 
It's got snaps! Adjustable straps! And it's big enough to hold my laptop (Mac), datebook (Moleskine, vertical orientation), keys (9 ...1 of which I cannot identify), wallet (Poketo!), iPod (also Apple), pen (black), two packs of gum (Peppermint & Peach/Mango), lip stuff (Aquaphor), breakfast + lunch containers (Containing Today: Yogurt & Berries + Beef Stew), and book (a copy of The Hunger Games that I am currently tearing through) ALL AT ONE TIME. Just LOOK at all this room: 

It was handmade by Eunice Han of HangaBag, my dad purchased it (with my mother's help) on Etsy for $76, and it has already improved the sorry state of my shoulders and back that have long cried out for a reprieve from the heavy ol' shoulder bags I used to favor. Yes, that's right, this bag has officially got my back!

- Cathleen 

[Photos courtesy of HangaBag because I can't find my camera anywhere.]
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