Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lovely Morning



New blouse


We just arrived home from spending a really lovely time in San Miguel de Allende.

I found this pretty embroidered blouse and two beautiful

handmade bracelets woven from some kind of palm.

The blouse came in that cute market tote with a pretty paper flower.

Such a nice detail from the shop isn't it?

Makes you want to go back there and shop some more :)

Jack Davis & Sesame Street

Can you tell me how to get... how to get to Sesame Street?

We 1970s kids all knew the way;  just turn the dial (yes dial) on the television to PBS (or CBC here in Canada) and there you'd find Ernie and Bert, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch and all your other Children's Television Workshop friends!

Little did this '70s kid realize that as I was watching Sesame Street (in black & white, by the way - we were the last family in our neighbourhood to get a colour tv, I swear!), the amazing Jack Davis was drawing all the muppet - and human - denizens of the Street!


Only years later, when I was all grown up and admiring Davis' work as a student of the art of cartooning did I realize who was responsible for these amazing Street scenes.  Enjoy!







 * Thanks to my old art school pal Rich Hockney for rescuing these posters and passing them along to me!

* More Jack Davis art on the Muppets Wiki - including "Reality Street" and "Mafia street" from Mad magazine!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sticky Notes

Sticky Notes

Bird Sticky Notes

I had totally forgotten to tell you that my super cute sticky notes set made by Galison

is now available exclusively at an Anthropologie near you (or online).

Oh! and they're also selling my Pocket Planner!

*Photos from

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments on my self-portrait.

I felt SO loved it warmed my heart. You guys are the sweetest!

Hurricane Irene from the the International Space Station

Hurricane Irene: An Expedition 28 crew member aboard the International Space Station captured this image of Hurricane Irene off the east coast of the United States on Friday, August 26, 2011, around 4:30 p.m. EDT (8:30 p.m. GMT).

This image or file is a work of an employee of the United States Federal Government, taken or made during the course of the person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image or 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.

NASA still images; audio files; video; and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format, generally are not copyrighted. You may use NASA imagery, video, audio, and data files used for the rendition of 3-dimensional models for educational or informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits, computer graphical simulations and Internet Web pages. This general permission extends to personal Web pages.

If the NASA material is to be used for commercial purposes, especially including advertisements, it must not explicitly or implicitly convey NASA's endorsement of commercial goods or services. If a NASA image includes an identifiable person, using the image for commercial purposes may infringe that person's right of privacy or publicity, and permission should be obtained from the person.

Hurricane Irene from the the International Space Station

Jack Davis "Doing Time"

Yesterday we learned how the amazing Jack Davis earned the title, "fastest draw in the East or the West." Today, again thanks to the generosity of Bill Peckmann, we'll see a dozen examples of Davis' legendary speed and prowess.Keep in mind that, just as with yesterday's Time magazine cover, Davis might have done as many as 15 pencil concept sketches before executing the final illustration for any one of these covers!


In his April '77 American Artist magazine article on Jack Davis' work for Time, writer Nick Meglin explains how Davis would come home to Westchester County from his meeting with Time's editors in New York, an approved sketch and related reference materials under his arm.  This would usually be on a Wednesday afternoon.  Davis would immediately begin working on the final, often staying at his drawing table until 11 p.m.


By 11 a.m. the next morning Davis would already be back in New York, the finished art delivered, and Davis awaiting approval or changes.  He always came prepared with an envelope containing a pencil, ink, watercolour paints and brushes, and an electric eraser in case last minute changes were requested.


Meglin explains that Davis liked to work on heavy Strathmore kid-finish illustration board.  He found the surface could tolerate large areas of colour being erased and reworked.


Davis said, "I don't think I'll ever not be impressed that my work appears on the cover of a magazine like Time."  Compared to the usual scenario, where he would do his work and it would be months before it was finally printed, Time offered the added bonus of fast turn around.  "With Time," Davis commented, "it's like 'instant satisfaction.'  You deliver it Thursday and see it again Monday."









 * Many thanks to Bill Peckmann, who provided all of today's scans and Nick Meglin's article from American Artist magazine!

Monday, August 29, 2011


Self-portrait sketch

I mustered all my nerve to share this.

I'm sketching for a self-portrait.

Much idealized... I am not as young or pretty.

Going to do it in watercolor and hopefully finish it

before my impending 44th birthday in two weeks.

Jack Davis "Just-in-Time"

The April 1977 issue of American Artist magazine includes an article by Nick Meglin in which he describes exactly why legendary cartoonist Jack Davis will never yield the title of "fastest draw in the East or West" to any challenger.  To demonstrate this claim, Meglin provides a series of roughs Davis prepared for the October 1974 cover of Time magazine.


Meglin tells us that not only would Jack davis often be called later in the week, when Time's editors had for one reason or another decided to change track on a cover story, but even on this abbreviated schedule Davis would typically begin by providing the editors with as many as 15 rough concept sketches!


Davis would execute these concepts on a special pad Time provided to its cover artists (as you can see in these examples) pre-printed with a red border and black TIME logo at the same size as the actual magazine.



Once Davis received approval, the execution of the finished illustration would typically take him less than 24 hours.  He would then deliver the artwork in person to Time's downtown New York offices.  Remarkably, in the case of this particular cover, the concept was changed yet again, even after the artork had been completed -- and the amazing Jack Davis, "fastest draw in the East or West" began and finished another entirely new cover in just three hours in the client's office!


 * Many thanks to Bill Peckmann, who provided all of today's scans!

The Memoirs of Babur

Baburnamah : a 16th c. autobiographical, illuminated, Persian / Islamic manuscript (copy), courtesy of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.

The manuscript miniatures below are cropped: please click through to the full-sized, full-page images hosted in Walters' Flickr set.

Mughal manuscript miniature of battle

The Fall of Samarkand

Mughal manuscript miniature of a Persian battle

The battle of Sultan Ḥusayn Mīrzā against

Sultan Masʿūd Mīrzā at Hiṣṣār in the winter of 1495

Indian mughal miniature of castle siege

The siege and battle of Isfarah

Islamic manuscript miniature of Sultan receiving guests; falconry

Ḥamzah Sulṭān, Mahdī Sulṭan and Mamāq Sulṭān pay homage to Babur

Islamic manuscript painting; rural setting, sultan on horseback

Foray to Kuhat (Kohat)

Persian manuscript miniature of date palms, birds and dogs

Date Trees of Hindustan

MS miniature from India - people on raft on river

Babur, during his second Hindustan campaign, riding a raft from Kunar back to Atar

Islamic battle in Hindustan in manuscript painting

The battle of Panipat and the death of Sultan Ibrāhīm, the last of the Lōdī Sultans of Delhi

Islamic MS miniature of horse/rider procession into castle

Babur entering Kabul

Indian mughal MS miniature of Hindu devotees outdoors partly clothed

Babur and his warriors visit the Hindu temple Gurh Kattri (Kūr Katrī) in Bigram

MS miniature - Turkish/Islamic/Persian/Indian : hunting

Babur and his party hunting for rhinoceros in Swati

Mughal miniature painting of peacock and other animals 1500s

Animals of Hindustan: monkeys, rodents and a peacock

"Recognized as one of the world’s great autobiographical memoirs, the Baburnamah is the story of Zahir al-Din Muhammad Babur (1483-1530), who conquered northern India and established the Mughal Empire (or Timurid-Mughal empire).

Born in Fergana (Central Asia), Babur was a patrilineal Timurid and matrilineal Chingizid. Babur wrote his memoir in Chaghatay Turkish, which he referred to as Turkic, and it was later translated into Persian and repeatedly copied and illustrated under his Mughal successors.

The present copy in Persian, written in Nasta'liq script, is a fragment of a dispersed manuscript that was executed in the 16th century." {very slightly edited: PK}

Walters manuscript W.596 (Memoirs of Babur or Baburnamah) is available from the Walters Art Museum website or from their Flickr set.

Follow along on Twitter: Walters Art Museum and Will Noel (Manuscript Curator). Thanks Will! [Also see Will's great blog, Parchment and Pixel, where he features items of interest from the Museum].

The Walters Art Museum's online collection of manuscripts and rare books includes one hundred and forty Islamic works; or see the list: The Digital Walters.

Previously: arabic || illuminated

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene Makes Landfall

Hurricane Irene Makes Landfall - Visible Satellite Image. Hurricane Irene made landfall on 08/27/11 at approximately 7:30 am EDT near Cape Lookout, North Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (Category 1). These two NOAA GOES-13 satellite images capture Irene’s landfall moment. The first uses the visible sensor; the second is colorized infrared imagery. Hurricane warnings are in effect for much of the U.S. coast from North Carolina to Maine, as the latest National Hurricane Center’s projected path has it skirting the coast over the next 24 hours, possibly heading inland along Long Island, NY.

For the most recent satellite imagery and animations, please see our real-time imagery web page. Related Information: Latest storm information from the National Hurricane Center.

Copyright: NOAA The information provided here is public domain and may be used freely by the public.

This image or file is a work of an employee of the United States Federal Government, taken or made during the course of the person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image or 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.

Hurricane Irene Makes Landfall

Keywords: hurricane, Irene, GOES-13, 2011.08.27, landfall. Subject: Environmental Science. Natural Hazards. Audience: Informal Education. General Public.

Manolo's Shelves


Living room shelves

Manolo finally finished installing the beautiful shelves he designed

for the living room's concrete wall. His talent just blows me away.

Love the combination of concrete, wood and stainless steel.

I can't believe we've been living here for a whole year already,

it seems like we moved in yesterday.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Neapolitan Cephalopods

I Cefalopodi!

cephalopod lithograph

mollusca illustration

lithograph of mollusca species

lithograph of cephalopod

monograph illustration of cephalopod

1920s lithograph of cephalopoda species

marine species book illustratio

UPDATE: The following quote relates to the author of a different volume
"Adolf Naef (1883-1949) was a Swiss zoologist and palaeontologist, famous for his work on cephalopods and systematics.

[He] studied at the University of Zurich, under the guidance of Arnold Lang, a former Professor of Jena University and close friend of Ernst Haeckel*. Naef visited and worked in Anton Dorn’s Zoological Station in Naples, Italy in 1908, studying the squid Loligo vulgaris, the subject of his dissertation.

Naef returned to the Naples Zoological Station in the mid 1920s to study cephalopods, publishing a two-part monograph in the Station’s 'Fauna und Flora des Golfes von Neapel und der Angrenzenden Meers-Abschitte' ('Fauna e Flora del Golfo di Napoli') series, which formed the basis for his two short but significant monographs on systematic theory. In 1922 he became Professor at the University of Zagreb, and in 1927 was Professor of Zoology at the University of Cairo."

'I Cefalopodi' is hosted by the Biodiversity Heritage Library on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution

The overall series from Naples is dated 1896 (presumably when it began) and this mid-1920s monograph (Vol. 35) on cephalopods features about thirty lithographs, most in black & white. (The digital book consists of only illustration plates)

UPDATE (Sep. 2011) I am indebted to Carlo C who emailed to advise the following:
"Actually the book they are from is not monograph n.35 by Naef, but rather the 1896 monograph n.23 by Giuseppe Jatta.

The author of the magnificent color and b/w plates you posted is Comingio Merculiano (1845- 1915), a professional watercolor painter hired in 1885 by prof. Anton Dohrn as in-house illustrator for the Naples Zoological Station.

He has been one of the best scientific illustrators of all times and this book on cephalopods is probably his masterpiece."
UPDATE II: (Sep 2011) The Biodiversity Heritage Library blog featured 'I Cefalopodi' in its Book of the Week.
Perhaps via; I don't quite recall. Click through on the images above to see them the right way up!

Fauna und Flora des Golfes von Neapel -- I Cefalopodi (sistematica) di Giuseppe Jatta 1896