Sunday, March 31, 2013

My Heart Sings

Oh, oh, OH my heart sings knowing that the Universe has such wondrous wonders in it.

Hubble Heritage Team — Interacting Galaxies Arp 194

Why Seek Ye the Living Among the Dead?

John Stanhope

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

This painting is notable for its somewhat subtle and implied drama.

Jean-Léon Gérôme

Thursday, March 28, 2013


I love the incongruity of the hat on this lovely portrait of Eve.

Frank Cadogan Cowper — Eve — early xxth century

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Queen of the Murderous House of Atreus

I've always had a crush on Diana Rigg, even when she was Queen of the murderous house of Atreus.

Radio Times — 1979
This scan was found on the internet, sorry I've lost track of the source.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Speed God

At the risk of having our friend Kid break a tooth while gritting, regarding concern over my orientation, here is but one more example of JC Leyender's masterful use of the male form. 

Take a deep breath, Kid : >)

J.C. Leyendecker — Collier's — January 19, 1907

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Male Form

See what I mean about JC Leyendecker and the male form?

 J.C. Leyendecker — figure study —early 20th century

J.C. Leyendecker — figure study —early 20th century

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Allegorical Inclinations

A full day of Spring around here, and it feels like it. Nice.

Now I'm handing out some really personal information here by telling you that I am of the heterosexual inclination, and I share the fascination and appreciation with much of the world of the use of the feminine form in graphics of all sorts. But if someone could paint a picture of a masculine form that might make me consider altering my inclination, well, that someone would be J.C. Leyendecker.

 J.C. Leyendecker — Spring — 1929

Though I'm still a fan of the traditional gender of the allegory of Spring, with all the attendant stereotypes:

John Byam Shaw — Rising Spring — early xxth century

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Comes Galloping In

This Welsh fellow was an undervalued practitioner of the Art Deco style. You don't see enough of his work in the Deco art books.

William Welsh — Spring — ca 1930s

Ah Yes, Springtime, the Young Man's Fancy

Fancy pants that is . . .

J. C. Leyendecker — Springtime — 1927

Spring Tide Greetings to You All!

That is, to all of you in the Northern Hemisphere . . .

Franz Xavier Winterhalter — Spring

Spring's Promise

Feels like it's a long time in coming this year . . .

Marjorie Miller — Spring's Promise — circa 1925


This image is from an old old art magazine, and is amazing for its cross-pollination of 'fine' art with 'illustrative' art. Benda's work is some of my utter favorite in the history of illustration.

W.T. Benda — Rememberance

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Vice Admiral

Okay, Uncle Sam smiled once in while — here as one of the two faces of the gummint viewing the nation's vices of the time. This is an excellent illustration of that time, looking very much like a 'modern' editorial illustration.
Robert Lawson — from an article entitled 'The Return of Sin?' — 1933
from the New York Herald Tribune Magazine

Grim and Determined

N.C. Wyeth — war bond poster — 1942

The persona of Uncle Sam seems to be at its best when he's grim and determined, rolling up his sleeves or stepping out smartly in times of war. I haven't seen him showing up for the recent wars. Maybe a little bit in editorial cartoons. I don't know if he's retired because we're too sophisticated to need an icon to follow where few of us want to go, or if he would be up for ridicule from the rest of the world, or maybe I just haven't been near a recruiting station lately and he's still hard at work. 

Now believe me I'm not being unpatriotic when I say this, but regardless, I'm not sure if I've ever seen an Uncle Sam image in a benevolent situation, say helping to rebuild villages or some such. Images of him handing out candy to street kids in other countries or playing soccer with them would be pretty patronizing. I wonder if there's a government agency that controls the use of Sam, like there is for the use of Smokey the Bear, and they're saving him for some grim time . . .

Downton Abbey

The cover below looks like it's a scene right out of Downton Abbey, in the real world time of 1917.

Is anybody out there following Downton Abbey? We are.

Coles Phillips — Good Housekeeping — March, 1917

Look at all that negative space not crowded up with word blurbs! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Another Way

Here's another way of getting rid of a pesky lion . . .

Neal Adams — The Return of Tarzan — 1975

And knowing Neal Adams, I can believe that this pose came from his hyper-visual imagination, with no pesky models.

Really Ticked

See, there's this shepherd guy and he's been losing his cows (?) to a vagrant lion, and the guy is really ticked and he's really buff, and well, enough is enough.

P.A. Leroux — A Shepherd Strangling a Lion — 1883

I try to imagine how this artist worked out the pose. If it's from his imagination, well and good. But if this guy is posing for the artist, is he, like, grappling a pillow, or what? Gosh I hope I don't stay awake tonight worrying about this.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunlit Vitamin D

I love the California Impressionists—so much of the work so full of sunlit vitamin D, as here in this golden delight.

Mabel Alvarez — Young Girl with Parasol

You Can See Why

You can see why they called her 'America's Sweetheart' . . .

Mary Pickford

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Careening Through the Sky

In his day, Dave Stevens not only revived the look of Golden Age comics, he managed to surpass it in quality at the same time. 
Yow, wotta great back cover!

Dave Stevens — Rocketeer — Starslayer #2 back cover — 1982

Friday, March 15, 2013

'Twas a Dark & Stormy Creature . . .

Ray Harryhausen — Bat-Winged Creature


One of the more fantastic of the old Fantastic covers . . .

Phillips & Summers — Fantastic — Summer 1952

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Speaking of Old Ways

Speaking of old ways of architectural renderings . . . 

Otto Wagner — Karlsplatz Tram Stop, Vienna — 1898
pencil - India ink - watercolor

Decorating Number

The old way of architectural rendering had such warmth & character.

Brandt — House & Garden — September, 1922

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Loved Anew

Such beautiful old books out in the world waiting to be loved anew.

Eric Pape — The Geste of Duke Jocelyn — 1920

Monday, March 11, 2013

Alive and Well

From an old old textbook, when they knew how to keep a school boy's interest in history alive and well.

Bathsheba — circa 1900

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Struggle for Life

I'm guessing this is an allegorical image and it looks pretty disastrous for what could've just been a boatload of naked people, all minding their own business. That poor baby is being swept right out of the picture, and the blindfolded guy at the rudder seems pretty darn calm considering what a ruckus is going on around him ("What's going on, people? C'mon, somebody tell me. Why's the baby crying?"). Whoosh. All this makes a lot of our struggles seem pret-ty tame, I must say.

Henry Delacroix — Struggle for Life — 1893

Grow, Grow, Grow My Hair

My last couple posts showed old guys with long hair, and my daughter sent over the jpeg below because I've talked about growing out my beard and hair.  Twenty years ago I had shoulder length hair, and a 'sea captain beard', but it all just got so hard to manage that I've had them quite short for a long time. 

Until now. Being so busy, I've just let my beard grow longer, and I was getting ready to trim it when I saw a really cool image of an older guy with epic long hair and beard. And I thought, well hey, nothing wrong with looking epic, so I'm going to let it all grow for a while and see what turns out. My wife loves long hair or dreds on guys, so maybe I'll get back to being in her favor a bit more, 'cept for the dreds part. They're just not me.

But my beard is just now passing 'Grandpa' length and heading for 'Wizard'. I'm hoping my hair will do likewise, thinning it appropriately along the way. At some point I hope to get a new portrait photo for my avatar/icony thing that will show my progress.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Ol' Man Winter

Ol' Man Winter done got us in his grip 'round here tonight, but I'm laughin' at him. We're warm 'n' cozy and we jump ahead an hour tonight so that we'll be that much closer to when the lovely Spring Maiden will come flittin' 'round like a butterfly that's been hanging out at the WinterFest mulled wine booth.

Below, an accurate portrait sculpture of the ol' man hisself.


Friday, March 8, 2013


I swear to thee, I kid thee not,
Spam hath risen like devil's rot.

A hundred per hour or more,
Beyond my power, around me soar.

I cannot focus while this doth happen,
I must do sumpin before I snappen.

Donn P. Crane — Bedeviled 

I ain't kidding folks, I just had 80 spams in only 10 minutes make their way through the filter. This isn't what I signed on for. I long for intelligent discourse, not for discourteous gibberish. Maybe it's time to pull up stakes and migrate elsewhere.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Peak to Peak

An interesting homage to illustrator Bob Peak and the profile of a widow's peak channeling the bride of Frankenstein . . .

Rosaria Battiloro — L'habit de la Mort — 2010

Sensitive Lion IV

I'm sorry, one more image of this current conceit:

The sensitive lion of Frederick S. Church . . .

Frederick Stuart Church — Conquered — circa 1915

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sensitive Lion III

The sensitive (and wet) lion of Michael Satarov . . .

© Michael Satarov — Morbid Beauty — contemporary

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sensitive Lion II

The sensitive lion of John R. Neill . . .

John R. Neill — The Cowardly Lion of Oz — 1923

Sensitive Lion I

The sensitive lion of John Macallan Swan . . .

John Macallan Swan — pastel study of a lion — circa 1900

Sensitive Line IV

The sensitive line of Ernest Thompson . . .

Ernest E. Thompson — Loup Dormant — 1891

This is a sleeping wolf — and looks exACTly like our family dog, whose breed is directly descended from wolves.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sensitive Line III

The sensitive pencil line of Gustav Klimt . . .

Gustav Klimt — Study for Water Serpents II — 1903-1904

Saturday, March 2, 2013


The mysteries of the universe keep me motivated. I'm gonna keep blogging here until at least the time I get the Pictorial Arts Journal up and running. But fair word of warning: I'm now holding back the very best stuff as content for the Journal.

Jean 'Moebius' Giraud