Otherworldly and wierd

Warrior Crabs, Q. Cassetti, 2012, Pen and InkI am inspired by all things Japan. A J thing. I am all caught up in reading and studying about Yokai, which according to Wikipedia is:

“Yōkai (妖怪?, ghost, phantom, strange apparition) are a class of supernatural monsters in Japanese folklore. The word yōkai is made up of the kanji for “otherworldly” and “weird”.[1] Yōkai range eclectically from the malevolent to the mischievous, or occasionally bring good fortune to those who encounter them. Often they possess animal features (such as the Kappa, which is similar to a turtle, or the Tengu which has wings), other times they can appear mostly human, some look like inanimate objects and others have no discernible shape. Yōkai usually have a spiritual supernatural power, with shapeshifting being one of the most common. Yōkai that have the ability to shapeshift are called obake.

Japanese folklorists and historians use yōkai as “supernatural or unaccountable phenomena to their informants”. In the Edo period, many artists, such as Toriyama Sekien, created yōkai inspired by folklore or their own ideas, and in the present, several yōkai created by them (e.g. Kameosa and Amikiri, see below) are wrongly considered as being of legendary origin.[2]”

All of this aligns perfectly as cultural inspiration from which Pokemon, the work of director, Hayao Miyazaki (“Princess Mononoke” and “Spirited Away”)—Yokai has been a bubbling undercurrent—explaining the unexplainable, giving personalities to unwanted or forgotten objects or just plain to be scary and dark. I am reading a series of wonderful books butterfly style …flitting from one to the other, and many of them I highly recommend, to best grasp (as best I can as a Westerner) the basis and the lyricism of this profoundly Japanese mythology.

Samuri Crab, H. Japonica

The Warrior Crabs, or Heikegani, are part of the Yokai stories. Wikipedia tells the story better than I. The Heikegani:

“Heikegani (平家蟹, ヘイケガニ) (Heikeopsis japonica) is a species of crab native to Japan, with a shell that bears a pattern resembling a human face. It is locally believed that these crabs are reincarnations of the spirits of the Heike warriors defeated at the Battle of Dan-no-ura as told in The Tale of the Heike.

From Arthropoda.wordpress.com

“Popular legend alleges that, following the battle Dan-no-ura, the souls of drowning Heike samurai warriors were transformed into crabs. These crabs are distinguished by having the faces of the fallen samurai on their backs. To this day the Heike crabs roam the depths of the oceans around Japan, searching for the lost heirlooms of their empire.”

There truly are crabs in Japan with faces on their backs, and so this tale emerges to explain this phenomenon, making magic for me, and for many others to best remember and honor the memories of ancient Japanese warriors.

The ghost of the Heike general Taira no Tomomori (bottom left) at the bottom of the ocean with the anchor he used to drown himself following defeat at Dan-no-ura. He is joined by Heike crabs bearing the faces and souls of his comrades. By artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 17th century.

Better understanding the obvious

Collection of images of Evelyn Nesbit

Had a meeting with the new Director of the Baker Institute and new Assistant Director for Development/Public Affairs. They have a change agenda which should be interesting to see how it evolves…and whether I am in the mix or not.

Prior to the meeting, I had a little oasis of time and went to GreenStar. My granola was critiqued by my major eaters and they suggested we get rid of the sunflower seeds. So, minus the sunflower seeds, it changes the ballgame.There I was at the center of the green universe in Ithaca, fully immersed in the bulk grain bins. Adding more nuts is an option (pecan pieces, not walnuts…they are too definitive) but is there anything else?. Turns out, there were all sorts of other rolled grains outside of oats. There was rolled rye, rolled rice and a nice (visually) rolled Kamut (a relative to wheat but apparently nonwheat eaters have no trouble with this). I am a visual person and the Kamut was golden and a bit thicker than the other grains, so I weighed out a bag to see what could happen with it. I liked the thickness, the less bendy quality (than Oatmeal) and maybe it would add some crunch to the mix as it might grab the oil/syrup sauce in a good way. Last night proved I was right. Best batch yet. New add…vanilla to the slurry. Onward.

Also bought some vegetarian “meat” from the “Field Roast” brand. Vegetarian meatloaf and vegetarian chirizo. lets see what these things taste like without the meat titles. Also  bags of basmati and arborio rice. Bring on the snow. We have enough stuff to last the winter. It was so nice and tranquil at GreenStar at 8 a.m. It was refreshing from the normally shopping cart olympics that go on during prime time during the weekend when we normally go. It was sane enough to check out the nooks and crannies to see what else is there. I found peppercorns and the spices quite a treat.

Hangar Theatre posters are wrapping up. One more…and then tweak time. The Triathlon is knocking on my door too. Valentines too. Yikes.

Today was haircuts for the boys and lunch at Thai Express. Back home, and frankly, exhausted as this cold is still holding on like a hungry monkey. I am a bit better…but tired. Tomorrow its the zoned zone.

The Evelyn Nesbit pictures come out of my doing research on ladies in picture hats (1900) on Flickr. There are some really searchable antique picture sets from several national sources. While I was looking, I found these of Evelyn, the wife of Harry Thaw (nut, drug addled idiot and related to me), and lover of Stanford White. I have never really thought about Evelyn and what she was all about. Well, a picture does tell a story. This is a young girl, whose lawyer father died, and whose mother took her to a photographer as a model and away they went. Today, she might be on a reality show such as “America’s Top Model”. But instead, influential tastemakers such as White and Charles Gibson (who word says that Nesbit was one of the reference women for his famous Gibson Girl) took her in hand and hurdled her into the limelight. I mean, I audibly gasped with the flower pictures (above). They are so amazing, fresh, and timeless. Imagine seeing this delicate girl in the broad daylight. Spiritually, she does match up with Gibson’s girl. Her life was formed by tastemakers, supporting her family. She tumbled into a horrific marriage with Harry…experiencing her own addiction to drugs and alcohol without the fortune that these men made from her.

Must go scan and think about this lovely girl.

Day after Advent 2: What a wonderful world

Madhubani Painting by Bharti DayalSo, Today is our thirtieth wedding anniversary. We are having FB requests to post a few pics which I might do just for fun…I am thrilled to be housebound with snow and cold and noplace to go so I can jump on the work for the Hangar. Got a bunch of stuff to close on the car…and move forward.

I got a curious email from an Indian fashion designer and fine artist  who saw my work (on LinkedIn via the Behance Portfolios I have streamed there). Lesson here is, whenever you can have twitter feeds or rss feeds do the heavy lifting to get your work sent to different networking sites, do it. You never know who will see this work. She said that my work reminded her of Madhubani art (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithila_Painting). And so, I took a look!. Love this stuff! Wiki tells us that this painting technique was practiced by women and passed down to each generation from woman to woman. Wiki also says:

“Madhubani paintings mostly depict nature and Hindu religious motifs, and the themes generally revolve around Hindu deities like Krishna, Ram, Shiva, Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. Natural objects like the sun, the moon, and religious plants like tulsi are also widely painted, along with scenes from the royal court and social events like weddings. Generally no space is left empty; the gaps are filled by paintings of flowers, animals, birds, and even geometric designs. Objects depicted in the walls of kohabar ghar (where newly wed couple see each other in the first night) are symbols of sexual pleasure and procreation.”

No room to move, eh? I can do that.

Look at this jewel:

or t his one with the flower faces, the baby elephant and the sky fishes?

There is much much more. Just when things started to slow down…a little internet shove ! Cheers

Lubok, Lubki

The Goat and Bear, second quarter of the 19 c., National Library of RussiaLubok is singular, Lubki is plural…who would have known? Figured if I found out the plural, I might find more of a cache of images than the ones I have found. Nice thought. Fraktur and the Pennsylvania Germans were prolific and collected/curated. These babies are few and far between despite their popularity:

The National Library of Russia>>

Johns Hopkins University, Sheridan Library,  Alex Rabinovich Collection of Lubki Prints>>

Fine Press Book Association: Lubki, The Wood Engravings of Old Russia by Adela Roatcap

San Diego Accountant Guide (?) Lubok Multimedia Guide>>

The Koren Picture Bible (Wikipedia) (1692-1696)

Lubok (Wikipedia)

Boguslawski, Alexander. “Russian Lubok (Popular Prints).” 29. January 2007

New York Public Library Digital Collections: Lubok>>
(best resource by far) 

I thought for sure, the Russian Library(for Lubki) would be the Free Library of Philadelphia (for Fraktur). This was popular art that even the Czars collected for themselves and children, charmed by the stories, the humor, the crude color and linework. So where are those royal collections? In the trashbins?

Need to cut it short. I am betwixt and between today with lake work, work, work and kid work. I will pick up a bit later to see if there is more to talk about.

A Lightning Bolt from the Sky

Work in Progress, Q. Cassetti, 2010The poster to the left is work in progress for Tburg’s Zydeco Trail Riders show at the Rongo prior to Grassroots. Still working with it and am thinking about color and junking it up a bit more. I don’t know if color will help this..you and I will see.

A lightning bolt from the sky happened yesterday. I heard my email ping…and checked a letter from a person who found my Fraktur inspired work. She is a curator for the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center in Pennsburg,PA and liked my work (Wunderfisch!) and was interested in my possibly having a show at their Museum. We have had, since then, a wonderful conversation about our respective passions about these people, their beliefs, the imagery—We may be looking at a show in 2012 (so I can expand the body of work…maybe work a bit with the images I want to do from The Long Lost Friend. My new friend clued me into an individual in the 1800s from Penn Yan, the Public Universal Friend, Jemima Wilkinson>> From Yates County.org says:

Jemima Wilkinson, the first American-born woman to found a religious movement, was born in Rhode Island in about 1765, of Quaker parents. In 1776 she fell ill of a fever. She awoke from a coma and told those standing by that Jemima had died and a spirit from heaven now inhabited her body. She never again used her birth name and until her death in 1819 was always referred to as the Public Universal Friend. 

Her teachings were influenced both by the somewhat mystical version of Quakerism current at the time, by the Shaker movement founded a few years earlier by Mother Anne Lee, and by the New Light Methodists, whose meetings she had attended. She wore androgynous clothing, rode horseback, let her hair hang loose on her shoulders and wore a man’s broad-brimmed hat; and she preached in public, a tremendous novelty for a woman in the 1770s. She preached all over southern New England and beginning in 1782, in the Philadelphia area. Sometime about the middle 1780s she determined to remove her followers from the persecution and distractions attendant on living among people not of her faith.            

ooooh weeeeee~! Bring it on!

Ein grosser Wunderfisch : A meandering in Fraktur

I ran into a very rich cache of fraktur at the Free Library of Philadelphia site. What I learned was the types of fraktur went far beyond my original understanding with categories from Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates, to listing of one's children, to Letters from Heaven to letters to your beloved. There are New Years Cards, Bookmarks and bookplates (as school rewards), illuminated songbooks and hymnals, Baptismal Prayers, Death Memorials, to illuminated writing samples and books. There is even a type of illlustration referred to as a Spiritual Labyrinth (will show below) and the most curious(and remarkable, the big "Wonderfish"). Say no more. I am ssooooo on this train! Spiritual labyrinths, wonderful magical fish, Letters from heaven...Bring it on...This is a remarkable vein.

to learn more on this topic, please visit the Free Library of Philadelphia.

The Free Library does one better in providing a lovely page of links (the better to study more!)>>

Courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia
A big Wonderfish (Ein grosser Wunderfisch)
Category: Wonderfish (Wunderfisch)
Decorator: Anonymous
Scrivener: Anonymous
State/Province: [Pennsylvania]
Note: Based on stylistic characteristics
Creation Date: ca. 1820 - ca. 1840

From the translation of the copy:
A big wonder fish which was caught with effort near Geneva, the beautiful city. The same had a man’s countenance and on his head a crown with crosses; on his body a sword, two war flags, a cannon, and three rifles as well as three skulls. As this drawing shows in detail the same was three ells high and also five ells long, as can be seen in the following hymn with more. Such a miraculous sign on the 12th of February A.D. 1740.
In this fish’s name I now begin; you people all together, who stand by me quietly, hear: this great miracle happened this year on water and on land. This is certainly true. First I will describe Geneva, the beautiful city, where on the 12th of February a fish was caught by man in the sea. It was felt it for five whole days; it was caught with great effort. Three ells high, it was, and also five ells long. Everyone wondered who looked at it. The fish had a true human head. Everyone was amazed who viewed the fish. He has feet like the swans, on the head a crown, a sword, two war flags, as can be seen. Three skulls with it, there are seen down there. What can be the meaning? Who knows the fish’s miracle? Many people came together to view the fish. On the sea there came a wonderful man, who was adorned on his body exactly like a fish with big and wide scales. He carried a simple sword. The man said to the people [continued on reverse]

courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia
Love Letter (Liebesbrief)
Decorator: Anonymous
Scrivener: Anonymous
Creation Place:
State/Province: [Pennsylvania]
Note: Based on design characteristics
Creation Date: ca. 1800
Hand-drawn; hand-colored; hand-lettered. This document is a square sheet of paper that is folded into a star. The text and drawings are on both sides of the sheet. The areas that are visible on the folded paper are decorated with text, hearts, flowers and a small cross. One of the hearts is pierced by an arrow. The measurements refer to the unfolded paper. For records of the unfolded front and reverse, see FLP 753 and FLP 753v.
1 \ My Dearest Dear and blest divine \ I’ve pictured here your heart and mine.
2 \ But Cupid with her Cruel dart \ Has deeply pierced my tender heart
3 \ And has between us set Across \ Which makes me to lament my loss
4 \ But I’m in hopes when that is gone \ That both our hearts will be in one

Say no more!

courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia
Which is written in Golden Letters (Welcher in güldnen Buchstaben geschrieben)
Letter from Heaven (Himmelsbrief)
Decorator: Anonymous
Printer/Publisher: [John S. Dreisbach (1825-1867)]
Town/Township: Kreidersville or Bath
County: Northampton
State/Province: Pennsylvania
Note: Based on location of printshop
Creation Date: ca. 1850

Oh Yes! There is more interesting stuff than what originally meets the eye. Himmelsbriefs , religious documents are believed to have been written by God or another divine being. It is often reported that these documents miraculously fell from the sky into a recipient’s hands. Letters from Heaven often claimed to give magical protection to their possessors and blessings to those who published them, while those who disbelieved their claims were promised divine punishment.

Bring it on!

courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia
Family Record of Daniel and Sarah Sexton
Family Record (Familienregister)
Decorator: Anonymous
Scrivener: Anonymous
County: [Monmouth]
State/Province: [New Jersey]
Note: Based on genealogical research
Creation Date: ca. 1765
"Be faithful unto Death & the Lord Will Give you a Crown of Life \ "

courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia
Death Memorial (Denkmal)
Scrivener: Anonymous ca 1818

courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia
Reward of Merit (Belohnung)
Decorator: Anonymous ca. 1820 - ca. 1840
Creation Place: State/Province: [Pennsylvania]
Note: Based on design characteristics


Bathing Beauties Mark Twain Day, Mono Lake, California
Burton Frasher Sr. 1888-1955
Pomona Public Library
Courtesy of Pomona Public Library


Just discovered this nice site for imagery/ideas called the Calisphere, which is the University of California's Online Digital image resource. It rocks. I was searching random names (one being Mark Twain because I got some good images from Berkley of his wife, Olivia Langdon, and wanted to see if they were here too). They were and more...like this appropriate image for mid August, Mark Twain Day at Mono Lake in California. Lovely gals ready to display their pulchritude albeit some don't look too pleased in the picture ( I am thinking that the gal on the far right is maybe shy...and not cranky like she seems).

Yesterday was hot, so took two long dunks in the lake (an hour each) and in between took Kitty to visit a friend, Alex napped and I drew pictures of a Christmas Tree. Rob weeded the beach and anything else that would come across his path...so the beach is looking quite swanky as are the hosta that are readying themselves for the big white trumpets we get around Labor Day every year. Rob also arranged an online appointment for the Wonderbus to get a new windshield as a pinpoint pop has become a runner that has spread.

This week promises more heat through Wednesday and then showers. A college friend is here for two nights...and we hope to entertain him with the best of the region (music at Felicias, the Farmer's Market, Waterfalls and if he stays, The SufferJets (our roller derby gals). My pal Peggy arranged for us (4 women) to sponsor an ad for their program. I designed it (big type/black and white) with our referring to ourselves as Mothers of Invention. The copy is about the mothers celebrating the sisterhood. These Roller gals all have Derby names (the leader is named Chairman Meow as a for instance). The Ithaca gals have numbers that mean stuff...as well. We have boy cheerleaders (very Itown) in zip up car mechanics suits. And, they really get the crowds. So, we will see.

I am very wound up about getting Kitty to get the work done for her AP classes. She is, I think, oversubscribed and will not be successful with the workload she has in place. So, I am going in to see the guidance folks and lessen the load a bit as she will have college applications and essays to do in addition to the schoolwork. I am losing sleep over this and the whole college thing...and dont quite understand why I am so whipped up about this. But, I am. So, planning and changing things are my ways of coping and dealing with the onslaught.

Alex has his new glasses and seems to think he looks great in them (which he does...a young Yves St. Laurent look). He is loving being able to see. I guess maturity and sheer blindness has given him the confidence to wear these specs though we have bought them and had them for a while...he just needed to be more dire with the vision. He is looking forward to being able to start driving...and is anxious to get going (unlike K. who could care less cause she has us to drive her). Alex happily started cross country preseason training happily today despite the promises for 90 degree heat. There will be plenty of cold water tonight in the deep Cayuga!

Tuesday late night

Am all tumbled and jumbled. I figured I would just make some SF pictures to maybe right myself. These portraits are getting me all worried and confused.So as a bit of medicine, I figured I would research lovely asian ideas and art. Utamaro is a long time favorite--so the incomplete image above is a bow and wave to him. The stick in her hand will either become a brush or a pencil...perhaps a SF skyline hair ornament...And A golden gate bridge pattern in her dress. I am editing the crap out of this thing...reducing line and color which I think looks pretty good. The hair has been fun..so I am charged despite my personal confusion.

I also ran across the idea of the Hariko and the daruma doll. Daruma or Dharma Dolls are:

Daruma dolls (達磨 daruma?), also known as dharma dolls, are hollow and round Japanese wish dolls with no arms or legs, modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder and first patriarch of Zen.[1] Typical colors are red (most common), yellow, green, and white. The doll has a face with a mustache and beard, but its eyes only contain the color white. Using black ink, one fills in a single circular eye while thinking of a wish. Should the wish later come true, the second eye is filled in. It is traditional to fill in the right eye first; the left eye is left blank until the wish is fulfilled.

Many of the Daruma dolls are male but there is a female daruma doll. It is called hime daruma or "princess daruma."

The Canon Creative Park page said about Dharma dolls: (they also have cool pdf files of Dharma dolls you can print out and assemble in a range of color!)

"The first Dharma dolls are said to have been made some 300 years ago at the Sorensen Dharma Temple in Takasaki City in Gunma Prefecture, modeled after the Zen monk, Bodhidharma. The eyebrows and beard represent the crane and the turtle, long considered symbols of longevity in Japan, and the dolls are popular as good luck charms. It is traditional to paint in the left pupil (the right one facing you) when you make a wish, and then paint in the right pupil when the wish comes true. Also, it is said to be most lucky to place the doll so that it faces south. In Japan, red and white are considered lucky and these are the usual colors for a Dharma doll. There are other dolls with different colors, based on oriental astrology, so you can select the color of the doll based on the nature of your wish and your lucky color, increasing the fun and perhaps the efficacy of the charm. "

Chad mentioned that part of the Daruma doll concept was to hold the pure idea of the Daruma and draw it without looking. He said: "I really like the darumas. They represent Bohodidarma who founded Zen Buddhism and is credited with creating martial arts. When you do it, try and detach yourself from it and create it with a pure mind free from opinion of self. It is an amazing exercise. Really, try it." "so express from your heart and let the pen do the work. Its all about sincerity and intention." So, I am fascinated with a mini sketch process of these little wonders that promise action, a journey, a wish. There is something truly wonderful in these personal commitments, reminders of promises. I seem to be fascinated by asian good luck symbols--from the Daruma and the Happy or Lucky Cat and the various Hariko figures. Maybe some simple fun illos of these guys before I get with the portraits...?

This google article from the illustrated encylopedia of Zen Buddhism gets into the story, the symbols and imagery...why no arms and legs, and why they are early weebles...that wobble... take a look>>

Back to work. R. should be home in an hour or so.

As pleased as Punch!

There he is, Punch. Mr. Meany--always portrayed with his stick that he uses quite vehemently on the other person (generally Judy or their baby(!)or the crocodile(!!)) with his big nose, big chin, motley clothes and his little scary voice (which I find out is part of his signature...it is called the Swazzle--as wiki sez:

In the British "Punch and Judy" show Punch wears a jester's motley and is a hunchback whose hooked nose almost meets his curved jutting chin. He carries a stick, as large as himself, which he freely uses upon all the other characters in the show. He speaks in a distinctive squawking voice, produced by a contrivance known as a swazzle or swatchel which the Professor holds in his mouth, transmitting his gleeful cackle— "That's the way to do it". So important is Mr. Punch's signature sound that it is a matter of some controversy within Punch and Judy circles as to whether a 'non-swazzled' show can be considered a true Punch and Judy Show.

I love this Swazzle thing. Really could be a great name for a lot of things. A whole twist to the character, a sound, a signature beyond the beating of the other characters. The Professor is the name of the single puppeteer who performs these little plays...always of two characters. I was musing on the history (there's quite a bit) of Punch and Judy  to Rob. Surprisingly, we both had the same opinion of them (albeit, I always go for the look as primary) as they are anachonistic and the shows which both of us saw in our childhoods...the children of today do not even see. It was horrifying to go to a show, not understand what this little puppet who hit people and spoke in this bizarre manner and try to figure out what your parents had in mind in taking you to this performance. Was there some message I was too stupid to understand? Was this something to expect as my parents wanted to hit me with a stick? Why were people laughing? It was puzzling and scary the way the clowns are..only somehow Punch and Judy were more academic (translated, more tasteful and somehow, good for you).

I like it that Punch is a derivative character from the Commedia del'Arte, Punchinella...who also has a wonderful nose (and mask)...not quite a clown...but maybe close enough?

Marie-Antoinette's quiet option


Another unexpected garland from Hartford. I have been granted a merit scholarship from the University of Hartford. How wonderful! Now the pressure is on...and what with my muddle and confusion...it only sullies the mix. Man, I am nervous.

Post looking at the I Miller Warhols, I had a great idea for a book on color for littles...with spreads on each color--with these "scientific specimen case" type of pages that stack out all sorts of things that are either the color or bear the name of the color in the name of the thing. Maybe some little type things throughout...so there is lots for the young reader or little person and their reader to read and discover. Could be cute.

K and I may do a little book on Mr Grumpy, our cranky boy cat...who always is guaranteed to get up on the wrong side of the kitty litter every single, solitary day. He always is swiping us, crankily telling us its time to eat. He does bow to the superior cat,(read dog) who he accompanies nightly on her walk, serving as the court of honor along with his bookmatched companion cat, Mei Mei. And, if we don't behave, he will poop in the tub to show us who is boss. I will write and layout. K is to be the illustrator. We casually write it when we comb the cats/superior cat....and scream with laughter. So, hello project, hello LULU.


bipolar sense of reference

I ask myself, "what the hell are you smoking?". Dunno. I am going deep with Vignee-LeBrun paintings of Marie Antoinette with every other picture of her holding a stylized old style, David Austen-ish, pink rose. The hands are always the same. Always. I'll show you...(not now). Love the ribbons and bows, the flounces and furbellows, the pearls and feathers, hats and the absolutely luscious color. My puritan spirit embraces the sheer baroque, over the topness. So, I sez to myself...I need to see more, more more of this wonderful lusciousness. So off the Dutch still lives from Ambrosius Bosschaert with the quest of the victorian interpretation of these scoops of gloriousity. On the other hand, I am thinking Andy Warhol...and my artdirector and husband out of the blue suggests the I Miller images from Warhol's youth. So, off to that direction. And the Dream Project. I wallow and sink in it's absolute profundity. I am lost. Wandering...albeit mit schlag.

another view of the universe

Descartes's Mechanical Philosophy
According to French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650), the universe operated as a continuously running machine which God had set in motion. Since he rejected Newton's theory of gravity and idea of a vacuum in space, Descartes argued that instead the universe was composed of a "subtle matter" he named "plenum," which swirled in vortices like whirlpools and actually moved the planets by contact. Here, these vortices carry the planets around the Sun.

Isn't this cool from the Library of Congress' Beginnings show.I love this.

My friends, the librarians

I was yacking away with my new friend, and stellar musician, Carol Elizabeth Jones, about old time music and sources for inspiration and reference I could go. She, being totally plugged in, recommended a few books and then send me to a wonderful place we all need to go..The Library of Congress' American Memories Page. There are great digital files you can access for starting points--also, if I were a teacher, files that would drop into a powerpoint for students to really see and understand the time, the topic, the idea in a meaningful way. I am delighted with the printed ephemera section down to actual folding diagrams to depict how a piece shown in the collection would be folded (as indicated in the name of the selection--Leaflet, folder etc.to Double Vertical Fold). These folding diagrams are fascinating as inspiration for design/print/illustration pieces on the possible table at the office.

Check it out. It's a fun time...that could have great payout...and it's free!(albeit supported by those taxes we all had to pay out this past week).

New amusement and reference

This is absolutely inspiring and makes me thankful that I have a tremendous husband who sends me links of weight and consequence (versus the lightweight stuff that amuses me such as fez-o-rama...etc.). The British Library sets the bar high with their new online gallery, "Turning the Pages: leaf through our great books and magnify the details". The Library mounts their special books from the Lindesfarne Gospels, to Leonardo's notebooks, to the Sforza Hours and the First Atlas of Europe that you can literally turn the pages, magnify details, read the copy and do everything except sneeze on the original. They show the original binding and end papers, annotations, drawings. Jane Austen's History of England has these wonderful naive portraits drawn by Austen--an inspiration and insight to see her visual skills in addition to those literary.

Go here>>

It is a wonderful resource with a magnifying glass to see up close how images were handled, to note the palettes etc. I am hardly breathing with excitement.

This is your little afterdinner mint from all of us at The Rongovian Academy of Fine Arts.

Doesn't get much better than this.

image from the Lindesfarne Gospels