I am completely in love with the work of Spanish artist Beatriz Martin Vidal. Her evocative and moody images portray fairytales, myths and other personal inspirations. A subtle theme of overgrowing foliage runs throughout much of her work, poetically twining between her subjects. Like dreams - pulling from leaf to leaf...
Tradition tells us that Saint Lucy was born of noble, wealthy, Christian parents in Syracuse, Italy. Lucy had few memories of her father, for he died when Lucy was an infant. As a young girl, Lucy took a secret vow to consecrate her virginity to Christ. Thus her mother was quite dismayed when Lucy, as a teen, refused marriage to a young pagan. When Lucy's mother developed a hemorrhage, Lucy persuaded her to visit the tomb of St. Agatha to pray for healing. When her mother was healed, Lucy revealed her vow of virginity and asked permission to bestow her fortune on the poor. Joyful at her cure, Lucy's mother agreed, but Lucy's pagan suitor was incensed. With the persecution of the emperor Diocletian at its height, the jilted young man accused Lucy, before a judge, of being a Christian. When Lucy refused to relinquish her faith, the judge ordered her to a brothel. However, guards who attempted to drag her to the house of sin were unable to budge her. Similarly an attempt to burn Lucy to death failed so she was dispatched by thrusting a sword into her throat. The date of Lucy's martyrdom was December 13, 304.
According to the Julian calendar, December 13th was the shortest day of the year. The change to the Gregorian calendar altered the date to December 21st, but did not change Lucy's feast day celebration, and she is forever associated with lengthening days and more sunlight.
As early as the sixth century, Lucy was honored in Rome as one of the most praiseworthy virgin martyrs, and her name was inserted into the canon of the Mass. Possibly because of her name, which means "light," Lucy was invoked by those who suffered from eye trouble or blindness. Due to this connection, various legends arose. One legend claimed that her eyes were put out by a tyrannical government official or by her jilted boyfriend. Another declared that Lucy tore them out herself to discourage her pagan suitor. In every story, however, the Lord restored her eyes to her, more beautiful than ever.
I absolutely adore the folk-art style painting of English artist Anna Pugh! Her attention to details, love of nature and ability to tell stories within a frame are amazing! Her enchanting artwork mesmerizes and demands a second look. ENJOY!
One of my favorite things about Autumn is watching the garden change... I adore the plump red rose hips that gather themselves like arrogant dancers above all the fading greenery in my tumble of a garden. They seem almost a little wicked, with their old crumbled hats... definitely wanton, and ready to celebrate the coming of frost, their red globes waving at us, beckoning for attention.
I Love Love Love this time of year! Soft warm breezes against my cheeks, rustling leaves blowing gently across the garden, and tawny faded colors, as if dusk seeks to reveal herself earlier in the day...
I am off to the CASTLE today, to take John McRae's 'French Sedan Chair' Class! So why the image above? It is called 'A Lady Descending from a Sedan Chair' and is a study drawn for the painting 'The Porteous Mob' by James Drummond, in 1855. Isn't she lovely? Drawing Link , painted scene here.
Tomorrow I hope to show you my completed chair, till then you must imagine what it will look like...
Konstantin Kalynovych is another Russian Illustrator whom I adore. His work is as finely drawn is Durer's with wonderful surreal overtones and true fairy tale imagination woven in. One has to look many times to catch all the details he has created. Whimsical plays on reality stir our imagination - ice skating on a neck ruff, origami birds flying through the woods, and bigger than life shadows leading the way. Delightful!!!
I absolutely adore the fairy tale illustrations of Russian artist Gennady Spirin!
Kathy Viksjo writes in The Times on June 7, 1998: "He incorporates Raphael’s rich color—deep gold, blue and crimson reds—together with the Italian master’s classical compositions, into many of his illustrations. The microscopic precision of his super—realism recalls Flemish great Jan Van Eyck, while Spirin’s unbelievable graphic facility is like that of German Renaissance artist, Albert Durer…Even at first glance, viewers intuitively know that this is one of the masters of our time…Spirin is like a magician, using his paint brush as a wand."
His lushly detailed images evoke deep feelings of wonder, romance and idyllic sensibilities!
This wonderful painting by Sir Edward Burne-Jones. Long lost, and from the height of his career it came up to auction at Christies recently and sold for 2 Million! How lucky we are that it is now in public view again!!!
I first discovered the work of Dutch artist Ans Bakker a few years ago while reading an article about her home in the book Country Interiors. I feel in love with her organic and creative style that focused on 'Nests' and 'Romance'. Ans uses a variety of materials including found branches, glass, copper, iron and other recycled materials to create her own special blend of 'atmosphere'! "It is like digging up old fossils" she explains, "They slowly develop under my hands, sometimes by working, but often by living and giving shape to events. I create the frozen moment. It is me who stops time, no one else."
Ans' newer work has a modern reliquary feel, with molten glass shaped into crosses, globes, crowns and other magical forms. They do indeed look like ancient frozen relics dug up from a royal site on Northern Land. It is as if she met the Snow Queen deep in the woods, claimed the magic for her self and created a new alchemy!
Ans has a blog which you can reach via her site. If you click on the first link to the left on her site, you will find a 'English' translation that will lead you through all her galleries!
Whenever I visit my Husbands family in Minneapolis, I ALWAYS make a point of going to the American Swedish Institute. Although I am Danish, I adore the scandinavian history and exhibitions that the ASI offers. This past Thanksgiving, a new room was being opened. If I remember correctly they called it a 'Women's Weaving Room'. Although the room was empty, the incredible painting on the walls made it rich and warm to be in. The opulent and glorious roses painted on the upper edges all around the room, were dreamy and truly romantic! I couldn't resist stealing some photos to share with you!!!