Rachel Bess' work is very gothic and fairytale-like and drew me in immediately. The way she paints, realistic yet still very much like a painting, reminded me a lot of Kris Lewis, but a somewhat darker version.
Most of her paintings are portraits and all of them women, a lot of whom look like burlesque dancers.
Insects and other scientific objects seem to be a frequent theme. Sometimes they are in the background and sometimes they seem to play a bigger role in the piece.
Artists, or anyone really, always score bonus points with me when they like owls. Rachel Bess does seem to be a fan. And seeing I love silhouettes too, she really is in it to win it.
I really like how some of her portraits are so much like ancient icons. I've been drying to try that myself. Maybe I could try it soon, it seems like the perfect project for autumn.
What I probably find most interesting about it is that even though her works are pretty dark, the subjects are always illuminated very well. And you know how much I love contradictions like that...
The picture sequence posts seem to be a succes, so I figured I'd give them a regular spot on Sundays. From now on I will do a themed post each Sunday with all sorts of pretty pictures found on the internet.
This time: Autumn. I love the colors of this season and am always excited to see everything turn orange outside of my window.
As I mentioned yesterday, I went to an Etsy meet-up and as I expected it was great. Quite a lot of people showed up and it was great to meet people who do the same. Turned out a bunch of them were either going to visit or sell at today's Crafty Market. I already had plans to go there and despite today's rain it turned out to be a great market.
After walking past this owl(from this shop) several times I realised I just had to have it, it will make for a very cute pillow in my room.
And I also got a lovely new wallet(from this shop)! It is very practical, a bit bigger than I've had before, and has a lot of my favorite colors that go with most of my clothes and coats.
It's been an exhausting but amazing weekend so far and I'm hoping to relax and maybe craft a little tomorrow.
An early blog post today, because I have plans for tonight. I received an email yesterday saying there was an Etsy meet-up tonight! I am so excited! This is the first time I'm ever going to meet Etsians and I'm guessing it'll be great. I'll let you know how it went.
But before I go I wanted to write about this new movie:
I think the concept is absolutely genius! As if the name Gnomeo and Juliet wasn't promissing enough already, I love that they are rivals that live in seperate backyards!
And the cast is unbelievable, so many great actors and actresses: Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Jason Statham and even Ozzy Osbourne.
I'm really looking forward to this movie and I'm hoping it'll be as good as the trailer.
This is one of my latest finds in the art department and I have to say I'm very excited about it. Alex Gross' art is a combination of Mark Ryden and Frida Kahlo's work with a bit of Isabel Samaras mixed in.
Apart from the bizarre scenes, what I noticed first was his use of color. When I paint I often stay away from primary colors and use similar colors to these works instead. I love how, even though a lot of his paintings seem to be a bit sepia-toned, the colors are still so vibrant.
The skulls and flowers and positions of the models are a lot like Frida Kahlo's paintings.
(He even included an owl!)
But the landscape, symbols and composition reminded me more of Mark Ryden.
You know how much I love creepy and cute, but the same often goes for bizarre and beautiful. And this certainly does!
(Wouldn't this make a perfect cover for a Murakami book?)
I'd love to know the ideas behind every work, because it seems like there's a lot of thought behind it. It is all so very intriguing, I can't wait to find out more about it.
You've probably all heard about the cool owl movie that's being released later this month: "Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga'Hoole". I don't actually want to discuss the movie right now, but I will post about it later when I've actually seen it. And if there's going to be a lot of merchandise made, I'm sure there will be many more posts on the matter.
When I first saw the movie trailer I wouldn't have guessed it was derived from a series of books. I know it's a children's series but the covers got me so excited I might actually give it a go. Have you seen the amazing cover art?!
What's also very cool, although a bit useless, are these "playaway" audiobooks, a preloaded mp3 player with the awesome cover printed on the front. If you want to read the whole series this would get really expensive really quick, and it's such a waste that it only holds so little (although it would be cool if you could load more onto it...). But if they ever were to make iPods with owl print I'd be the first in line.
"Kitchen" had been on my to-read list for quite some time, but I am happy to announce I finished it this morning. I had heard a lot of great things about Banana Yoshimoto and I have to say she does live up to it all.
The book actually contains two novellas: "Kitchen" and "Moonlight Shadow". Both about people who lose their loved ones and have to live on after that. Yet they're not heavy or depressing stories. It did make me think, she touches on some really interesting subjects and questions.
I thought about posting a few of the sentences I liked best, but I realised they probably won't make any sense out of context. What I can say is that she truly has her own poetic way with words. If you haven't read anything she wrote I do encourage you to do so. I know I will be reading the next one really soon.
I'm dying to take up sewing again. My mom and I are making plans to get machine out on our table, and hopefully get in fixed to since it has a few problems. This may have something to do with a little project I thought of for Etsy. If the machine doesn't work I'm just gonna do it by hand. Or I'm gonna try if the tiny little machine I have actually works.
Either way it felt like time for another collection of pictures and paintings.
When the dvd of Winter Passing caught my eye I immediately knew it'd be a good and a bit unusual movie. The combination of actors struck me as odd and very interesting, would you expect Ed Harris, Will Ferrel and Zooey Deschanel in one movie?
Amelia Warner plays the sweetest girl and seeing Will Ferrell in a pretty serious part while wearing eyeliner would already have made it worth my while. Everyone is pretty excentric, but it still made me want to move in with them in that cluttered old house filled with books.
It's another one of those slow movies that makes you feel like you've been on a holiday even though it's only an hour and a half. It wasn't too eventful but entertaining nonetheless. And I'm very glad I got see it.
Lately I've been more into stamps than ever, so with a few on my wishlist I browsed Etsy and came across this lovely shop called kawaiigoodies. And it holds so much more than just stamps: lovely fabrics, washi tapes, bento boxes, basically anything that's cute and Japanese.
The stamps I was looking for were cherryblossoms and I ended up with a whole set of them.
Here's a picture of a little try-out I did with them today.
It will come as no surprise that among all those cute stamps I found another one I fell in love with. The first thing that came to mind was to use it on the back of my letters right in front of my address, like this:
Besides stamps I got these really cute food cutters. They could make cute and tiny cookies too, or maybe marzipan decorations on cupcakes or cakes.
Because I wanted to try them out as soon as possible I decided to try it with melon. I think it will look amazing with watermelon, but this is all I had. Pretty cute, right?
I will post some more pictures when I have the time to try them out properly.
Anyway I am very happy with my new set of stamps and foot cutters and I'm very excited to have found yet another great Etsy shop. Thought I'd better not keep this to myself, hope you liked it.
The day before yesterday our class went to FOAM, the Amsterdam photography museum, to see a large exhibition of a photography duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. It was breathtaking!
I had seen ads on the street but was afraid I'd missed it, fortunately I still got to see it in their last week. And I even got to buy a poster.
We had to pick three pictures and do a quick write of everything that crossed our minds, later on we'd have to write a careful review on one of them. I will do that on the photo above of Antony Hegarty of Antony & the Johnsons.
I also really liked the one of Hilary Swank, which you really have to see in full size to experience the full effect and which got me a little teary-eyed myself, and this somewhat unusual one of Natalie Portman that I just couldn't pull myself away from.
It wasn't until the last room I saw this gorgeous picture of Tilda Swinton, she looks a bit alienesque, but as a portrait I find it absolutely gorgeous. And the colors! How most of it is muted grey and sepia, apart from the hair and the eyes. It's such a powerful image.
Somehow I only posted more conservative portraits, they had some pretty unconventional ones too and a whole bunch that was edited in a way that goes way beyond the usual touch ups on photoshop. But I am always really drawn to portraits that show someones personality, their whole being. I haven't found anything that can capture those intimate moments apart from photography and it got me addicted from the start.
Considering my love for owls I really don't get why I love this next cartoon. It's supposedly shown on the BBC and everything revolves around this one owl getting killed in a different way each and every time.
But I just love the animation and the whole look of the owl, how it's feet are disconnected from it's almost heartshaped body and of course that it always seems to have a bad mood. I probably couldn't have handled it that well had the owl looked lifelike, but this is manageable. Try for yourself:
My taste in music usually leans towards calm singer/songwriters, but I also love other genres very much. A while ago I got into this blues/rock duo called The Pack A.D.
They're often compared to the White Stripes, but I think they really have their own sound. And I just can't believe they manage to produce all that sound with just the two of them.
The first song I heard was Making Gestures and it's still the one I listen to the most. Now I have to admit I haven't heard that many songs, but I'm dying to get their albums.
The music video is amazing, truly a work of art and it goes so well with the song:
I am quite addicted to it and even know how to play it myself. It made me get out my own electric guitar again. When I have some free time again I will try to practise some more bluesy songs and get my resonator fixed, but more on that later.
Lately I've been thinking a lot about this blog. I've been wanting to broaden my horizon a bit. So there might be some posts in the near future unlike my previous posts. Some styles/subjects I might stick with, others might be a one time thing.
Ever since art school started it's been one big rollercoaster ride. That combined with my new layout led to this little carnaval-themed collection of art and pictures. Hope you like it.