Saturday, April 30, 2011


Photo by Daphne Zaras from The National Severe Storms Laboratory: Norman, Oklahoma May 3, 1999 at 1:30 p.m. the initial stages of the storm that produced a continuous, deadly tornado which tracked from near Chickasha to Moore and Del City in the Oklahoma City metro area.

The storm was doing what scientists call "cycling": the original circulation had spun off toward the back side of the storm while a new circulation formed. The new circulation became the third, or possibly fouth tornado produced by the storm, and also was responsible for what became the Chickasha-Moore-Del City, Ok tornado.

The second, western storm had already produced a tornado and was clearly going to continue to produce tornadoes.VORTEX-99 intercepted 4 to 6 tornadoes on the second storm, for a total count of approximately 12 tornadoes on two storms.

Description: One of several tornadoes observed by the en:VORTEX-99 team on May 3, 1999, in central Oklahoma. Note the tube-like condensation funnel, attached to the rotating cloud base, surrounded by a translucent dust cloud.

TornadoInformation presented on these pages is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline / photo / image credits is requested.

This file is a work of an employee of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, taken or made during the course of the person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the file is in the public domain.

Generally speaking, works created by U.S. Government employees are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office.


My birdies flew all the way to Germany!
If you live there you can purchase these two books illustrated by me.
Published by Verlag am Eschbach:
Fange nie an aufzuhören, höre nie auf anzufangen & Ins Herz buchstabiert.
Both covers were made with my hand carved stamp designs.
Two more books will come out for their autumn/winter 2011 collection.
One is an anthology of poems about the joys of sending and receiving letters that will feature 20 of my bird collages with vintage postcards and ephemera & the other one
called "Soul Medicine" about all those little things in life that make us happy
by Christa Spilling-Nöker :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Coronation portrait

Description: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Coronation portrait, June 1953, London, England. Credit: Library and Archives Canada / K-0000047. Date: June 1953.

Author: Unknown photographer, National Film Board of Canada: Still Photography Division.

This Canadian work is in the public domain in Canada because its copyright has expired due to the following: it was subject to Crown copyright and was first published more than 50 years ago.

Terms of use, Credit: Library and Archives Canada / K-0000047. Restrictions on use: Nil. Copyright: Expired.

Additional information: Colour transparency available / Transparent couleur disponible. Source: Government. Other system control no.: DAPDCAP82719. MIKAN no.: 3242153.

The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II the ascended monarch, was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ceylon, Pakistan and Head of the Commonwealth.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Coronation portraitElizabeth ascended the thrones upon the death of her father, King George VI on February 6, 1952, and was proclaimed queen by her privy and executive councils shortly afterward. The coronation was held more than a year after the accession, on June 2, 1953. This followed the long-standing tradition that a festival such as a coronation was inappropriate during the period of mourning that followed the death of the preceding sovereign. In the ceremony, Elizabeth swore an oath to uphold the laws of her nations and to govern the Church of England.

Arabesque Designs

Plates (most) designed by Etienne de Lavallée-Poussin for a posthumous publication: 'Nouvelle Collection d'Arabesques, Propres à la Décoration des Appartemens' 1810. (New collection of arabesques, suitable for decorating apartments. [book]

The arabesque is a type of curvilinear decoration in painting, prints and metalwork etc, with intricate intertwining leaf, flower, animal, or geometrical designs. Rather than having Islamic origins, common usage refers to the flowing abstracted acanthus leaf scroll ornament that began to appear during the Renaissance, inspired by Greek and Roman art works.

Nouvelle collection d'arabesques, 1810 l

Nouvelle collection d'arabesques, 1810

Nouvelle collection d'arabesques, 1810 f

Nouvelle collection d'arabesques, 1810 g

Nouvelle collection d'arabesques, 1810 h

Nouvelle collection d'arabesques, 1810 c

Nouvelle collection d'arabesques, 1810 a

Nouvelle collection d'arabesques, 1810 d

Nouvelle collection d'arabesques, 1810 b

Nouvelle collection d'arabesques, 1810 i

Nouvelle collection d'arabesques, 1810 e

Nouvelle collection d'arabesques, 1810 j

Nouvelle collection d'arabesques, 1810 k

[click through to enlarged versions; all illustrations were cropped from the
full page and have been variously spot-cleaned in the background]

Etienne de Lavallée-Poussin (1735 - 1802) was a French interior decoration designer, printmaker and artist who spent many years honing his artistic craft in Rome.

The decorative forms seen above were first produced in the 1780s, inspired by classical sources: the antiquities of Herculaneum, the grotesques of Raphael, and the designs on ancient Roman palaces and villas.

Lavallée-Poussin contributed the great majority of designs to the book, although Guyot's 1810 engravings (hand-coloured) also feature compositions by Voisin, Le Clerc, Berthelot, de Claire, and Janneret.

'Nouvelle Collection d'Arabesques, Propres à la Décoration des Appartemens' (1810) by E de Lavallée-Poussin and Marie Alexandre Lenoir [introduction] has recently been digitised and posted online by the University of Heidelberg. {click anything below 'Inhalt' and then 'Vorschau' for thumbnail pages.

It's hard to tell from the very brief mentions of this volume online, but the Heidelberg copy seems to be missing at least a few designs (by Janneret) that show the arabesques in situ as architectural motifs in apartments.

Brian Sanders: "... five decades in the illustrative arts"

Today, guest author Bryn Havord concludes his article on English illustrator Brian Sanders.

The early colour supplements produced in Britain gave illustrators excellent shop windows for their work.


This series, in the prestigious Sunday Times Magazine featured the best shots made by ten great tennis players. The art director was Michael Rand.


Michael Rand also commissioned Brian to paint a series of cars used in fiction. The Aston Martin used in Ian Fleming's James Bond book was an MK3, rather than the DB4 used in the film. Brian used his own Aston Martin DB3 for the illustration.


Artist/Illustrator Roger Coleman, an old friend of Brian’s – they shared a studio at Artist Partners – kindly portrayed Goldfinger for this illustration below.


The series led to Brian being commissioned to paint the illustration for the book cover shown below. I especially liked the way Brian used the windscreen to show Lord Montagu's house, Beaulieu Abbey, as a reflection.


Below, this painting of Cleopatra, together with a painting of Ophelia, were commissioned as Shakespeare for Schools posters, published by The Sunday Times,.


During World War Two Brian, together with thousands of other children living in London, was evacuated to the countryside to protect them from Hitler’s bombing campaign, and Brian was sent to Saffron Walden, a charming market town in north Essex, where he and Lizzie now live nearby in an Elizabethan house.

His most recently published book is: Evacuee: A Wartime Childhood, the first in a biographic trilogy. It quotes him as saying; “I always wanted to be an artist and I’m still trying”.


It is a brilliantly written and illustrated book, evoking the atmosphere of wartime Britain. I was also a child at the time, living in a different part of Essex from Brian, and his book brought back so many memories of a strange and threatening time, but also a time of great joy and fascination. The adult view at the time was that the American GIs were “Overpaid, oversexed and over here”, and indeed many of them were a source of interest to many of the young British females. They were definitely of interest to many of us young boys with their stories of life in America and in the US forces; their chewing gum and chocolate were pretty good as well!

* Evacuee: A Wartime Childhood is available from price £7.99, plus postage. Payment by PayPal.

* Many thanks to Brian and Bryn for an interesting and inspiring week! Bryn has promised to follow up in the next couple of months with a further look at Brian's work post-1970 ~ Leif

Thursday, April 28, 2011

William Randolph Hearst

William Randolph Hearst (April 29, 1863 – August 14, 1951) San Francisco, California.

Title: HEARST, WILLIAM RANDOLPH Creator(s): Harris & Ewing, photographer. Date Created/Published: [between 1905 and 1945] Medium: 1 negative : glass ; 8 x 10 in. or smaller. Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-hec-17671 (digital file from original negative)

Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication. This IMAGE (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1978 were copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office. Works published before 1923 (in this case c1905) are now in the public domain.

The photographic firm of Harris & Ewing, Inc. gave its photographic negatives to the Library in 1955. The Instrument of Gift included restrictions which have now expired. In addition, the Library acquired from various sources photographic prints taken by Harris & Ewing. Copyrights were placed on some of these photographs, but the copyrights have expired.

Call Number: LC-H25- 28275-D [P&P] Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

* Title from unverified caption data received with the Harris & Ewing Collection.
* Date span based on active dates of Harris & Ewing, Inc.
* Copy. Portrait series.
* Gift; Harris & Ewing, Inc. 1955.
* General information about the Harris & Ewing Collection is available at
* Temp. note: Batch three.

* Glass negatives.

* Harris & Ewing Collection

Brian Sanders: "... suddenly in the “Swinging Sixties”"

Guest author Bryn Havord continues his article on English illustrator Brian Sanders.

During the ’60s Brian’s work was also used in all of the earliest newspaper colour supplements, and Stanley Kubrick employed him to record with paintings and drawings made on the set, the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

(Above: Round 65. One of a series of experimental collages that helped persuade Stanley Kubrick to offer Brian the opportunity of portraying the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Brian drew on the set for two days each week, working on larger paintings in his studio.)

(Above: Although he worked on the project for more than a year, he only has a record of twenty-four of his works. He thinks that there may be more in the Kubrick Archive. Only two of Brian’s drawings were published before Kubick’s death, and then not until 2001.)

(Above: Collage of the Astronauts’ costumes.)

(Above: Preparing to shoot the descent into the pit containing the obelisk.)

(Above: This painting/collage was on a canvas four feet square.)

(Above: It was amusing to see the astronaut actors smoking and playing poker whilst awaiting their cue.)

(Above: Kubrick rightly thought that suits and uniforms would change little over the years.)

(Above: These are the cocoons the film’s astronauts would be frozen in during the journey – until Hal the computer murdered them.)

(Above: Gary Powers rehearsing. He ran on the spot whilst the huge centrifuge set rotated.)

(Above: The camera was mounted to go round with the centrifuge as the set rotated. The first time it did so, many of the exterior light bulbs exploded.)

(Above: Fitting the Helmets. When in their space suits the astronaut actors breathed compressed air, just as if they were on the moon.)

(Above: Kubrick – in blue – with the camera team. Geoff Unsworth (balding) the cameraman worked on several other Kubrick films. Keir Dullea is the astronaut in the revolving tunnel.)

(Above: One of the only two pieces published before the film was released.)

It was an exciting time, and it was if someone threw a switch on the 31st of December 1959, and we were suddenly in the “Swinging Sixties”, and many of the illustrators started to develop their highly individual styles, which reflected the fashions, music and arts at the time.

(Above: The king of the Barbareens was a ten-part serial for Honey magazine. Brian made three illustrations. This opening spread was full-colour on the left, bleeding to black and white on the right hand page. The art editor then lifted parts from each illustration to illustrate further instalments. Below: The second drawing.)


However, towards the end of the ’60s there was a decline in the interest in fiction in women’s magazines, and for some reason art editors and art directors started asking the illustrators to start producing more highly finished work. Below, this Illustration for the American Good Housekeeping, was probably the last of his scumbled acrylics. His work then began to reflect the changes happening in the 1970s.


Magazine work became harder to find on both sides of the Atlantic, but the market for paperback book cover illustration remained buoyant, although more and more photographic cover illustrations were being used.


(Above: Throughout his career he has been fortunate enough to illustrate hundreds of paperback covers. These are two of the earliest.)

Concluded tomorrow...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Old Treasures

Old Treasures
I'm back home with so many beautiful memories of my trip to visit my mom & brother! These are a few of the invaluable things I brought back from Chile.
The Loot
My mom and I had so much fun going through all the old letters she has been keeping for years. I brought back some of my favorites, old family records, photos and a few really beautiful antiques my mom wanted me to have like an old ostrich egg, a few pieces of silver my mom's had for ever & the wood box to keep all the treasures.
Vintage ink pen nibs
This is a beautiful box full of ink pen nibs I found at an antiques shop in Santiago.
It was still sealed and in perfect condition. Perfect for my white acrylic ink.