Thursday, September 30, 2010

Solomon and Sheba

There's just something about a Roy Krenkel drawing that grabs my imagination and just won't let go. There are so many Krenkel drawings out there, waiting to be discovered, that it's like a treasure hunt to gather them together.

Roy Krenkel — Solomon & Sheba

So Much Happier

I'm telling ya, there's a lot of validity to this idea. It's like having your cake and eatin' it too. Most of us own too—much—stuff!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Picture Postcard

Carl Larsson was a Swedish painter, an important watercolorist working at the turn of the twentieth century.

Carl Larsson — Model Writing a Picture Postcard — 1906

This is what Larsson wrote in the 1911 magazine Kunst:

". . . it would be enough reward if only men, through my art, understood how beautiful a flower on the side of a path is; how charming are the plaits around a young girl's small round neck, and the touch of the sun on a little nose; how splendid the nude figure of a woman is . . . but one must produce these images in the best possible way, with joy and enthusiasm, with hard work and pain, and the final result must be a victory, not giving the impression of confusion or fatigue, but illuminating the onlooker in a liberating way . . . Following this way of life, painters executed study after study, without being pleased or satisfied with their work, striving to reach that perfection which always seemed further away with each work that they were painting."

Carl Larsson — Girl Crouching — 1911

This drawing is a bit surprising, for the times, with a naturalistic style and the seemingly spontaneous smile—rather like a modern photo you might see on Tumblr or such.

The Today of Their Tomorrow

It's fun to look back to days of future past, to see what yesterday thought the today of their tomorrow would look like.

These couple of pages are from the yesterday of 1946, created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, showing, among other things, that everyone will own a set of portable jets to 'soar leisurely aloft at medium speeds'. I haven't been issued my set yet, so that probably won't be until the day after tomorrow, or maybe the tomorrow of the next month of the future. Though, this first page does hint at the achievement of Fed-Ex, getting fruits from farms to the desert within hours of being plucked.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nature Factoids

Mark Trail was created in 1946 by Ed Dodd, as an adventure strip, but by the time I was collecting it, it had become an encyclopedia of nature factoids. Not very exciting, but the graphics were colorful and compelling. I've saved a lot of them, even to this day.

Monday, September 27, 2010


As I say, as you know, magazine covers in those days: incredible.

R Tandler — Inland Printer — April 1916

THE St. John?

In the early 20th century era of amazing magazine illustrations, this Vogue cover stands out. It's typical art nouveau subject matter of the time, but the treatment is sensitive and gorgeous. It's signed by St. John, and I can't help but figure that this is J. Allen St. John, by any means not typical of him, and likewise his signature.

This was the point in time when J(ames) Allen St. John was turning out mainstream assignments for magazines and advertisers, though four years prior to this cover he had illustrated the book The Face in the Pool, and it would be two years after this cover that Edgar Rice Burroughs would write his first story Dejah Thoris, Princess of Mars. I could settle this in my mind if I had access to the St. John bibliography, but I don't. Probably one of you St. John enthusiasts do (Mr. DoorTree?).

Later note: We've heard from Mr. DoorTree, and yes indeed, this cover was created by our esteemed ERBdom chronicler, J. Allen St. John. So sweet, so sweet.

St. John — Vogue — March 18, 1909

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Jiminy Cricket—What a Show!

Speaking of the Disney Studio's early great posters, of which there were many, Pinocchio's were among the finest, evoking the storybook atmosphere that it deserved.

Cartoon Shorts

This blog jumps around just as much as my pictorial interests do. Sometimes I get dizzy leaping and twirling between all the arts.

I get a kick out of early Disney cartoon short posters, and I like the Donald Duck posters a fair amount more than I like the cartoons themselves (just as I like the Warner Bros cartoons a whole bunch better than their posters).

Donald's Dog Laundry — 1940

Mr. Duck Steps Out — 1940

Autograph Hound — 1939

The Hockey Champ — 1939

Officer Duck — 1939

Sea Scouts — 1939

The Riveter — 1940

Donald Duck's Lucky Day — 1939

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Elfin Song

I believe that originally this illustration by Florence Harrison was from Elfin Song, published in 1912, but here was printed in L'Illustration, the amazing French periodical published from 1843 to 1944.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nuits de Folies

In 1932, Alec Shanks designed this program cover for the Folies Bergère, one of Paris' most legendary cabarets, in a very Erté like style, elegant and larger than life—which of course is what the Follies were.

Three's a Crowd

This dashing poster is from a 1930 Broadway musical that also cast a young Fred MacMurray. Something to Remember You By was the big song.

Fred Allen had some big laughs as explorer Admiral Byrd, who has just returned from the Antarctic to announce his discovery of 500,000 square miles of brand new snow.

This illustration is interesting in the way it uses a dash of color in the facial flesh tones but landed fully on Libby Holman's gam.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some People Doodle

I have found out that there are some ardent Wallace Tripp fans out there, who appreciate every little doodle of Wallace's.

The thing is, that some people doodle — Wallace Tripps.

Choir Practice

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Feverdream of the Future

And the Freas women! Many times they had the same facial structure, but hey, that's what makes a style a style. They were always part of that feverdream of the future.


For all the many fine artists illustrating science fiction, I still have to say Kelly Freas is my favorite. He was not 'realistic' in the traditional sense.

He was like Frazetta, painting much from the imagination, and stylized in the form of a feverdream or vision. He painted the future from memory.

And just as an aside, I like the word 'rhapsody'.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Perfume of Ecstasy

One heck of a perfume, I must say.

Vera Willoughby — Perfume of Ecstasy — 1920s advertisement

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fine Art of Fantasy Illustration

The fine art of fantasy illustration is alive and well in a large number of artists sharing our current realm. Among the masters is Alan Lee, known to most for his Tolkien related wonder works. But here, this beautiful plate from the 1988 Merlin Dreams by Peter Dickinson.


I do so love books . . . but especially the old ones.

Ethel Larcombe — a bookplate reprinted in The Studio-early 1900s

Sunday, September 19, 2010

More Foyne Drawrings

Hoy! I ein't dun yet. Here'n'z sum more foyne drawrings by thet foyne master Lindsay. His'n soobjects iz near'n'dear to me heart. So sit oop strate! And pae attinshun! Or zo elp me, oi wunt be eld re-spon-siple fer me akshuns!

Buccaneer — 1955

Booty — 1936

Boarding — 1950

HMS Ariadne — 1910

Suspense — 1942

Trio — 1923