Archive of ‘art’ category

“We have art in order not to die of the truth.”

ARTSLike many of my dear friends, I have been consoling myself with art lately, nearly drowning myself in it. Well, maybe just the opposite, really. Between the terror of our current administration and my own personal traumas and tragedies, art has been the life vessel that’s saved me from going under. I can always breathe easier and hope for better things when I look at something beautiful. It keeps me safe. And sane. Or at least the illusion of these things. And I’ll take that. Sometimes it’s the best we’ve got.

I don’t know precisely when it was that art became such a crucial part of my life; I’m certainly not an artist…although it does run in the family, somewhat. My grandmother on my father’s side was a concert violinist, my father is an artist, and one of my uncles is an architect. But all of that talent passed me by, I’m afraid. Except, perhaps, the enthusiasm for and appreciation of such things–I’ll confess to an overabundance of that!  I wish, though, that I had at least gone to school for art history or criticism or theory or something like that, so that I could make intelligent appreciative comments and engage in discussions without looking like an idiot, but ah, well. Maybe in another life.

For right now, though, I’d love to share with you some of the illustrations and paintings and photography which has lately been relieving, reviving and rescuing me–and the incredible humans who have brought these visions to life. I am so grateful every day that there are dreamers and stargazers and worldmakers who create these marvelous things that make my existence just a tiny bit more bearable.

Tell me, what’s keeping you afloat right now, and propelling you forward?

Three of Swords, Caitlin McCarthy

Three of Swords, Caitlin McCarthy

Rose, Ellen Rogers

Rose, Ellen Rogers

Miss Meatface

Night Jar Illustration (Adam Burke)

Night Jar Illustration (Adam Burke)

Munich Art Studio (Becky Munich)

Munich Art Studio (Becky Munich)

moonworship

the moon and her women, Sarah Goodreau

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 Untamed series, Jaime Erin Johnson

Vesper, Darla Teagarden

VESPER, Darla Teagarden

Lizz Lopez

Lizz Lopez

Fox Familiar Mask, Camille Chew

Fox Familar Mask, Camille Chew

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Keevan and Kieran, Goblinfruit Studio

Ivonne Carley

Ivonne Carley

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Calling In the Four Quarters, Karyn Crisis

I am no bird II, Helena Aguilar Mayans

I am no bird II, Helena Aguilar Mayans

Athena, Jessica Joslin

Athena, Jessica Joslin

Abigail Larson

Abigail Larson

Jas Helena

Jas Helena

Lupe Vasconcelos

Lupe Vasconcelos

A Decadent Parade of Outrageous Fancies: Alastair

Droles

Drôles de gens que ces gens-là

A Decadent Parade of Outrageous Fancies: Alastair

(Originally published on the Coilhouse Magazine blog, May 11, 2010.)

Who is Alastair”,  mused J. Lewis May in 1936. “No one knows; not even – it is hinted – Alastair himself.”

An artist, composer, dancer, mime, poet, singer and translator, Alastair was a fascinating and elusive personality, and perhaps best known as a gifted illustrator of the fin-de-siecle period.

Bad Counsel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Officially born of German nobility in 1887 to the family of Von Voigt, and later mysteriously acquiring the title of Baron, Hans Henning Voigt was an enigma. He claimed to be a changeling…the spawn of an illegitimate union between a hot headed Bavarian prince and a pretty Irish lass (and many of his relations later accepted this explanation of his origins). To his delight, “he was referred to as German by English writers, as English by German writers, and as Hungarian by French writers.”

Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray

A collector of characters, Alastair had a great gift for friendship despite his bizarre and capricious persona, theatrical behaviors, and perpetual unhappiness. Among those in his inner circle were Harry and Caresse Crosby; Harry, having heard of Alastair, believed him to be “the embodiment of all his fantasies, a creator of the most outrageous fancies”, and hastened to meet with him. Many years later Caresse recalled of the first visit, “He lived in a sort of Fall of usher House, you know, with bleak, hideous trees drooping around the doors and the windows… a blackamoor ushered us into a room where there was a black piano with a single candle burning on it. Soon Alastair himself appeared in the doorway in a white satin suit; he bowed, did a flying split and slid across the polished floor to stop at my feet, where he looked up and said, ‘Ah, Mrs. Crosby!’”

Campaspe

Campaspe from the Blind Bow-Boy

Although clearly influenced by the sinister, serpentine style of Aubrey Beardsley, with echoes of the deliciously unhinged work of Harry Clarke, and a bit of the occult grotesquery of Austin Osman Spare’s art – Alastair’s perversely decadent illustrations are wholly, unmistakably, his own. His strangely attractive beings, with alternately tortured, anguished or menacing countenances, ornately and elegantly attired, skulked and cavorted amongst all manner of plays, novels and short stories. Oscar Wilde’s Salome, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher (1928 edition), and Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Chloderlos de Laclos are just a few examples of works that contained examples of Alastair’s menagerie of fever dream fantasies.

Alastair retired in relative obscurity, and there were few to mourn his death in Munich in 1969. A dazzling, melancholy character of his own creation, he was a man of rare and unique tastes, and perhaps a mystery right to the end; but mostly, one would surmise – a man, who, “was as he was because he could not be otherwise.”

The Artist At Home

The Artist At Home

Herodias

Herodias

Night

Night, pencil drawing, The City of Night

Usher

Usher and Madeline, pencil illustration, The Fall of the House of Usher

Eleanora

Eleanora Duse, portrait

Casati

Marchesa Luisa Casati

Our Lady of Pain

Our Lady of Pain

Queen of Night

The Queen of Night, from The Magic Flute

All images included in this post are from: Alastair: Illustrator of Decadence (1979) by Victor Arwas, and scanned from my copy of the book.

this, that, & the other thing {xxxi}

evegrimoireGorgeous art by Brittany Schall in Grimoire issue #1

3. dressesHow nineteenth century Britain became obsessed with insects

tumblr_oi50b0Pi9C1u4z6nuo1_500Stripcraft: Lux ATL’s Spells For The Revolution

OS-WEB-2

Of Shadows: One Hundred Objects From The Museum Of Witchcraft And Magic

The Lure of Laudanum, the Victorians’ Favorite Drug
11 Nasty Women Dominating Weird Fiction
We Have Always Lived in the Castle: America’s queen of weird hits the screen
Sex Magic: How to Cast Spells with Your Orgasms
SinSynth: Dreamy Music for a Would-Be Neon Giallo
Emily Brontë was metal-as-fuck and deserves to be remembered as such.
Witch Marks, Curses, and Magic in the Neglected History of Medieval Graffiti
The Last Bookbinder On The Lower East Side
† Bad Books For Bad People Episode 5: R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps
The Wordsmith Behind The Best -And Wittiest- Twitter Of 2016
The Rise of Science Fiction from Pulp Mags to Cyberpunk
Meet the ghosts at Los Angeles’s most haunted hotels

Beautiful Monsters at the Creeping Museum

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The Creeping Museum is the nonprofit creative vision and labor of love conceived between two friends and a grilled cheese sandwich in a North Portland laundromat in the spring of 2016.  Their remarkable mission? To help artists and independent creators give back to their communities by turning their strange and unusual work into tiny pieces of affordable art in the form of collectible enamel pins– for which to support wonderfully worthy causes.

beautiful monstersThe Creeping Museum continues their mission of making the world a better place through kind hearts and spooky arts with the release of their most ambitious and highly anticipated collection to date: Beautiful Monsters. Inspired by the night creatures of Penny Dreadful, in support of the marginalized and forgotten, Beautiful Monsters is now available.
Read more at Haute Macabre today.

Bonus! I was honored to have made a small contribution to The Creeping Museum’s Eviscerate The Patriarchy auction (proceeds to benefit the Joyful Heart Foundation); believe it or not, I actually knit these mitts up in about 6-7 hours!
Photo credit: B. Brandt / Styling: Maika Keuben

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Bonus! Should you like to wish to swan about in a spookily elegant ensemble inspired by The Creeping Museum, Beautiful Monsters, and Penny Dreadful, see below. As always, click on the image to see a listing of items used.

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this, that, & the other thing {xxx}

Baba Yaga Flying (close-up) by Marylin Fill

Baba Yaga Flying (close-up) by Marylin Fill

Baba Yaga’s Guide To Feminism by Anne Thériault

primary_3_0 The Dangerous and Highly Competitive World of Victorian Orchid Hunting

tumblr_oh2a24fiyu1qaivtro1_400The Angelic Host, by Phillip Valdez

therewillbefun03-1-720x1009 How a Magician Preserved the Ephemera of Victorian Entertainment

Frog and Toad: An Amphibious Celebration of Same Sex Love
Vulvas: Officially scarier than Satan
Hear Vincent Price’s Rare How-To on Selling Your Soul to the Devil, Summoning Demons
Kate Bush returns in new video for ‘And Dream Of Sheep’
Two Black Holes Merge into One
Queer as folk: the fantastical costumes of old English festivals
Protect Your Library the Medieval Way, With Horrifying Book Curses
The Body Horror of Tam Lin
Art That Creeps: The Sculptures Of Rebecca De Groot

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