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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: art, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 3,379
26. Arlo’s ARTrageous Adventure!

Arlo's Artrageous Adventure
Author & Illustrator: David LaRochelle
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-4027-9226-7
Pages: 28
Price: $14.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Arlo’s grandmother wants him to join her for a visit to the art museum, and he is not a bit happy about it. But he’s in for a fun treat when he actually gets there. Far from being the stuffy pictures he expected, this artwork holds a secret behind its serious facade.

As Arlo wanders through the museum, he sees the art as it’s supposed to look, but a flap can then be lifted to reveal the surprise inside. As grandmother comments on the seriousness of the art, Arlo smiles and laughs at what hides behind.

Art doesn’t have to be boring, as Arlo finds out in Arlo’s ARTrageous Adventure! And kids will laugh along with him as they enjoy the fun.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


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27. Ten Illustrators To Follow Now

From sketches to digital art narratives, here’s a visual journey into the worlds of ten illustrators on WordPress.com.

Brad Young

The drawings at Brad Young Art capture life’s little moments. From pen and ink to watercolor, and gardening to food to neighborhood spots, it’s easy to get lost sifting through Brad’s mix of doodles and sketches.

Sarah Goodreau

Sarah Goodreau, an illustrator living in Amsterdam, has a distinct style marked with the warmth you’ll find in children’s picture books, as well as the mystery of surrealist landscapes. In addition to illustration, Sarah is interested in video and stop-motion animation.

Marc Taro Holmes

At Citizen Sketcher, Montreal-based artist Marc Taro Holmes chronicles his location sketching, travel drawing, and plein air painting. His work-in-progress is refreshing, from airy landscapes to spirited pieces full of movement. When viewing his work, you can picture his hand moving across the page.

Drew Dernavich

Artist Drew Dernavich works on a number of projects, from New Yorker cartoons to art for musical projects. At Words, Pictures, Humor, you’ll find highlights from his professional work.

Robert M Ball

London-based illustrator Robert M Ball shares a range of work on his blog, from his “Beautiful Death” series for HBO’s Game of Thrones to his new book, Dark Times

Lorna Alkana

Los Angeles artist Lorna Alkana experiments with multi-layered digital media and visual essays. It’s fun to read about — and see — her process of image manipulation.

Pete Scully

Urban sketcher Pete Scully organizes monthly sketchcrawls in Davis, California. An avid keeper of sketchbooks, he’s constantly doodling, bringing the world to life with his colorful, lighthearted illustrations.

Anna Totten

Just Look at My Face is Anna Totten’s virtual lost and found of doodles and illustrations. Playful and colorful, Anna’s work will put a smile on your face.

Slightly Chilled Porcupine

It’s easy to scroll through the black-and-white illustrations at Slightly Chilled Porcupine and lose track of time — at first glance, the drawings are simple, but the messages, while often quirky, are not to be dismissed. (Also, who doesn’t love porcupines?)

Danny Gregory

Award-winning artist Danny Gregory has written numerous books on art and creativity. (Fun fact: Pete Scully, mentioned above, is featured in one of them: An Illustrated Journey.) On Danny’s blog, you’ll find drawings, illustrated journaling, and essays. Be sure to also check out Sketchbook Skool, his six-week online art course.

Let Them Draw Cake," Danny Gregory
“Let Them Draw Cake,” Danny Gregory

Want more? Browse some of our favorite art and design blogs, or explore the illustration tag in the Reader.


Filed under: Community, WordPress.com

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28. strawberry pink hair....

©the enchanted easel 2014
{and you know I'm living vicariously...;)}

custom painting, just about done.

©the enchanted easel 2014

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29. Call for Submissions: Helen: A Literary Magazine

Helen: A Literary Magazine is still accepting submissions for our inaugural issue. We're based in Las Vegas, Nevada and are looking for work that honors our city and state.  

We are seeking short literary fiction between 500-5,000 words, flash fiction between 50-1,500 words, poems (12 pages MAX), creative nonfiction between 1,500-5,000 words. Please send us work that honors our theme: "Strong Female Lead."  

Our guest fiction editor for our inaugural issue is Michael Czyzniejewski and our guest poetry editor is Karen Craigo.  

For more information on guidelines, please visit here our website.  

To submit your work, please use our Submittable page.  

We are a semi-pro market and pay $20 upon acceptance.

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30. Call for Submissions: NonBinary Review

NonBinary Review, the quarterly literary publication of Zoetic Press, wants art and literature that tiptoes the tightrope between now and then. Art that makes us see our literary offerings in new ways. We want language that makes us reach for a dictionary, a tissue, or both. Words in combinations and patterns that leave the faint of heart a little dizzy. We want insight, deep diving, broad connections, literary conspiracies, personal revelations, or anything you want to tell us about the themes we’ve chosen. Literary forms are changing as we use technology and typography to find new ways to tell stories—for work that doesn’t fit neatly into any one genre, we’ve created a separate category to properly evaluate submissions of a hybrid or experimental nature.

Each issue will focus on a single theme.
 

Issue #1 (June 2014): Grimm’s Fairy Tales is available for free download from the Apple store.


Upcoming themes:
 

Issue #3 (reading period closes Oct. 31, publication December 2014): L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz
 

Issue #4 (reading period closes Jan. 31, 2015; publication March 2015): Bulfinch's Mythology: The Age of Fable 

We are a paying market--1 cent per word for prose/hybrid work, $10 flat fee per poem, and $25 flat fee for art.

Please note that at present, the Zoetic app is accessible through iPad only, with future updates to include iPhone and Android versions. When submitting your work, please note that if selected for publication, your work will appear in electronic form only.

For more detailed guidelines, please expand the guidelines box of the genre you’re submitting to on our Submittable page.

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31. Call for Submissions: If and Only If: A Journal of Body Image and Eating Disorders

If and Only If: A Journal of Body Image and Eating Disorders seeks submissions of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and art work for our inaugural issue to be published in Fall 2014. We are seeking works related to body image, the body, and eating disorders in all of their various definitions. 

Send up to five (5) poems, 6000 words of fiction/nonfiction, or three (3) images to the editors at:  

iffjournalATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

by October 1, 2014. Please include a brief bio and your contact information along with your submission. All work should be submitted as an attachment. Written work should be submitted in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format. Visual submissions should be in .jpeg or .gif format. 

More information and full submission guidelines at our website.

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32. Q is for Queen

Here is one of my favorites from P is for Pirate, the notorious Grace O’Malley—Irish queen & pirate captain. She was a contemporary of Queen Elizabeth I and reportedly had an interview with Gloriana (who, after all, had a soft spot for buccaneers).

Queen Grace has been the subject of songs, at least one play and even a musical. So far as I know the swashbuckling Maureen O’Hara never played her in a movie, but what perfect casting that would have been!

I show Queen Grace in an Errol Flynn pose with her ruffians behind her. In the sketch I thoughtlessly drew a baroque-looking ship like we’re used to seeing from piracy’s golden age. In the final painting I used the Mayflower—much closer in style to a ship from Queen Grace’s time—as reference. Same deal with the costumes: they’re Elizabethan. I first drew her in men’s clothes but thought she looks much cuter in a dress.

Thumbnail sketch Errol Flynn in Captain Blood Tight sketch—in a man's costume In a dress with skirts hiked up for ease of movement Color sketch IMGP1534 IMGP1535 IMGP1622 IMGP1623 IMGP1624 IMGP1625 IMGP1626 IMGP1627 IMGP1628 IMGP1629 IMGP1630 IMGP1632 IMGP1633 IMGP1634 IMGP1635 IMGP1636 Queen

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33. ~HaPpY WoRLd ElePhAnT DaY~

a crop of my painting "moonlight mavens"
©the enchanted easel 2014
love,
me and maggie
xxx

{almost forgot. good thing i didn't. not quite sure maggie would have ever forgiven me. :(
whew!}

PRINTS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE SHOP LINKS FOUND HERE:

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34. PBBY-Alcala Prize Retrospective Exhibit


You are all invited to an exhibit featuring the winning works from the past 31 years of the PBBY-Alcala Illustrators' Prize. The exhibit will be at Corredor Gallery, College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines Diliman and will open 3 p.m. on August 18.

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35. this beauty....

©the enchanted easel 2014
on the easel this week.

a custom mermaid....and a very cute, very enamored little sea turtle.

{so, take that mr. hare. slow and steady definitely wins this race...or at least the heart of a very beautiful little mermaid. :)}

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36. By Its Cover Special: Image Expo 2014

by-its-cover-E

This will be the last By Its Cover for a few months, so I thought I’d do something special. Today we’re going to look at the Image Expo teaser images shown at SDCC 2014.

To be clear, these aren’t necessarily covers. In theory, they’re teaser images intended to get people interested in each series, though half of the teasers look like they just used the first issue’s cover art.

When Torsten Adair suggested the topic, I was initially hesitant. I made a conscious decision to focus on the best covers each week – partly in hopes of inspiring people to create more visually diverse covers – but these Image Expo images range from great to distinctly not-great. Though it’s possible for us to learn just as much (or more) from seeing people’s failures as their successes.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I almost feel like the column you are about to read needs a warning. I was going easy on the covers before; we’re about to go critical.

Methodology: I purposely avoided reading the descriptions of each book until after I’d looked at the corresponding teaser image. I then showed the images to a couple of friends who also knew nothing about the books, to see if their impressions differed. What follows are the results.


12

I’ve decided to go through these in reverse order from how the books were announced, because I wanted to start off with an example of perfection. Sleek and stylish, this teaser doesn’t say much, but in a tantalizing way that makes me want to know more.

The way the syringe icon doubles as a pill is perfect. The texture inside the icon wasn’t really necessary, but it works regardless. Futura is one of those sturdy, timeless fonts that’s ridiculously overused, yet never gets old. And like any proper teaser, it tells me the month and year it’s coming out.

That said, based on my own experience, I’m betting there are a lot of non-designers out there who consider this image boring. But I’m not sure that can be helped.

 

11

Tooth & Clawl? Tooth &…Crawl? Crawl? Clawl?

It took me two minutes looking over this image before I realized it said “Tooth & Claw 1.” I can understand putting the “1″ in there so that the ampersand is centered (and it’s a great ampersand, by the way), but the number’s similarity to the lowercase “l” hurts the title’s readability. Plus, what do you do with Tooth & Claw 2 and beyond? Since all other numbers are wider than “1,” the ampersand will either no longer be centered, or the title is going to look cramped.

Also, the lowercase “l” looks weird with the upper serif coming off the wrong side like that.

But the title treatment isn’t the only problem. My friends and I all found this cover to be visually boring, and I couldn’t figure out why. I’m a fan of Busiek’s writing, so I want to like this. The image is well drawn and well composed. I dig symmetrical compositions. And it’s an image of a warthog doing magic! So why does it make me want to scroll away quickly to something more visually pleasant?

The problem is the colors. Instead of being used to create depth, they’re flattening the image out. The old staple of warm-and-cold contrast is being used for the background, but the gradient meets in the center as a dull gray. The blue orb sits in the cold area of the gradient, where there is the least contrast, and likewise all the brownish red elements sit in the warm area of the gradient.

The warthog, who should be the focus of the piece, is colored entirely in very desaturated colors that push the focus to the less gray background elements. Even the glowing light in the character’s hands is gray, instead of a vibrant white. The glowing objects around the character are separated from the light blue background with a strange warm gray glow that flattens them out, making it look like the character is sitting (well, floating) in front of a painted wall instead of summoning light. From a distance, the image balances out to dull gray and brown.

A better approach? Glowing objects are hard to convey against light backgrounds. A lightsaber doesn’t look as good in front of a white or pastel wall as it does behind dark colors. If the warthog was floating in front of a black background, everything lit only by the green objects emanating from the character’s hands, that would be one dramatic image.

(Yes, I realize Jordie Bellaire just won an Eisner for Best Coloring. Feel free to tell me I’m wrong.)

 

10

Whoa, look at that title logo. That’s crazy. I never would’ve attempted something so wild and chaotic, and that’s why I love it.

I also love the expressiveness of the painting, and the color palette is solid. I don’t quite get the light blue circle (sun? moon? something else?) that’s overlapping his face, but since they’ve already consciously broken all the rules with the rest of the composition, I feel like I should just go with it.

My first guess as to the story was “a western set in space?,” and the description pretty much confirmed it, so it’s a success there too. All it’s missing as far as teasers go is a date. It doesn’t count if you hid it in those seemingly random dots, guys.

 

09

The image of the kid behind the moon works really well when I’ve seen it cropped down on other sites, but otherwise the composition is a little awkward. I kind of want the kid’s eye line to be pointing to the title and credits, rather than just under them and over to whatever is to the right of the image.

There are a few different approaches that I think might work a little better. I don’t think the typeface used for the title works very well spaced out like that. A taller typeface would probably work better, like the one used for the creator’s names. But there’s so much space for a title at the top of the image, you could go even taller.

Or, the image could be cropped in so that the moon is centered horizontally, and the title and creator names could be centered within the moon. Or, the image could be cropped in so that part of the left side of the moon is cut off (the kid being places on the left side of the rule of thirds), and the title and creator names placed small in the upper right corner (not overlapping the moon).

I’m not sure if I’m making sense, so here are examples.

 

08

Am I the only one who hadn’t heard of the constellation the Southern Cross? Maybe that just shows how ignorant I am of astronomy, I don’t know. I initially thought the dots in the “O” were an attempt at making it look like a moon, until I saw the symbol in the Image logo, and still didn’t realize it was a constellation. Make fun of me if you want.

So my first thought looking at this teaser is that the story takes place in the south, and is about some sort of angel or winged main character who is transporting a ghostly corpse a la Hellboy. After I was informed about the constellation, I still figured it was the same story, only set in the southern hemisphere.

The story description tells me I couldn’t be more wrong. It doesn’t even take place on earth! It’s about a tanker flight heading to Titan called the Southern Cross, and what I took to be wings are probably the frame around a window. The corpse might be hitching a ride, as I thought before, or it might be trying to strangle the character.

It’s well drawn, but isn’t quite getting across the concept. It’s described as “The Shining on a haunted spaceship,” but I got neither a spaceship nor The Shining from this. The look of internal peace and calmness on the character’s face does not convey a horror vibe.

In terms of type, it’s kind of distracting to me how “SOUTHERN” is in very clean Futura, while “CROSS” is in Futura that’s been roughed up to look hand-drawn. They should either both look hand-drawn, or both look clean. Or maybe the hand-drawn word should look more hand-written (instead of a roughed up geometric font), but it might be tougher to get that to work. I also kind of want to see the Image logo moved up below the logo and resized to the same height as the “01,” to balance out the top half of the image.

 

07

A collage like this could’ve completely fallen apart, but I think it works. I immediately get that this is two locations combined into a single image, rather than two people finding a cave filled with ships flying away from a tiny planet. I think the ships flying overhead behind them helps a great deal in terms of that.

The only thing I’m not sure of is the stream. Is it lava? It looks like they’re standing in it, so I assume not. Is it just water colored red because artistic license? It’s the one element that isn’t really working for me, because I don’t really like how it flows behind the ships.

 

06

It’s not an elegant cover, but it does a perfect job of getting across the concept, assuming that concept is “Planet Of The Apes meets The Wild Angels.”

 

05

A critic who likes to be cruel for the sake of comedy might say: “Intersect is about a boy with a wolf for an arm who encounters Alice Cooper,” but I like to think I’m above that.

I like the texture of the painting, but the composition isn’t working for me. Then again, it perfectly matches the book description, which opted for text with a lot of flavor that doesn’t actually tell me anything.

 

04

Please tell me this is going to be a really tall comic.

This image certainly has a lot of energy, though it seems strange to have this exciting lightning bolt! and exciting title! and then this person just standing there looking bored. Normally I like contrasts, but his boredom in the face of excitement makes me feel like I’m going to be bored.

 

03

 

I don’t understand why those decorative flourishes are only on the right side of the page, unless they did it just to drive people like me crazy.

Let’s talk about the logo first. I get that the looseness of the letters is meant to convey that this is going to be wacky, but it really just looks sloppy. While it conveys madness, it doesn’t really convey god-ness. If the word “Valhalla” had been written in that font used for the rest of the text, and then “Mad” was in a zany comedy font, the logo itself would have a visually interesting contrast that better communicates the story.

The teaser would then be improved by having the rest of the text in a plain font, except maybe the year (which could mirror the logo’s “Valhalla text.”

Also, y’know what would be better than text telling us its a story about “three lovable gods just here to have a good time?” A silhouette of three godly-looking people laughing and holding mugs. You could even build that silhouette into the logo Final Fantasy-style, and it’d be perfect.

 

02

I like the decorative shapes being used here. The knives are a nice touch, if they represent that one character wants to backstab or is the enemy of the other. If that’s not what the knives are communicating, then I would’ve left them out.

The title text needs work. Serif fonts like that work well for small text, but they make for extremely plain logo text, even when hand-traced to give it an indie look. As much excitement as the illustration tries to convey, the plain non-logo title undermines it.

The red shape behind the title looks nice, except the hatch lines inside it don’t quite fit with the fully filled in colors in the backgrounds of the three main shapes. Instead of looking artsy, it looks like “I was filling this in with a marker, but got impatient and gave up.”

The placement of the Image logo looks like an afterthought, or a “I don’t know where to put this now, I’ll just wedge it in here.” A better place for it might be centered in the shape created by the overlapping red and light blue, or centered below the feet of the central character.

 

01

My first impression of this image was that it was two people sitting on the nose of a runaway bike as it was popping a wheelie. It seemed pretty clear to me what direction they were moving, from the speedlines behind the back tire, and their relation to the horizon.

After staring at it for awhile, I realized a few things. What I thought were speedlines was actually the reflection of the bike on a shiny black surface. In fact, they’re not moving at all – the guy’s legs are firmly planted on the ground, not on the foot pegs, and the background image represents a completely different view angle. The only thing I’m still confused on is why there are bits of krackle to the left of the front tire if they’re not moving.

In short: this cover isn’t working. Even if the intent was to confuse, my question is “why?” It doesn’t make the cover more interesting to look at, it just makes me want to look at an illustration that makes visual sense.

If you removed the bike and left just the strip of background, with the logo filling the black space below, I would love this image. If you removed the strip of background, moved the bike up a little so it’s more clear that there’s a reflection under then, and moved the logo to the upper left, I would call this a strong image. As is, it’s not working.

 

See you in a few months.


Kate Willaert is a graphic designer for Shirts.com. You can find her her art on Tumblr and her thoughts @KateWillaert. Notice any spelling errors? Leave a comment below.

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37. A is for Articles

Here is your Monday dose of P is for Pirate—available in bookstores everywhere by Eve Bunting from Sleeping Bear Press.

The Articles were the pirates’ ethical guidelines which set out rules for behavior & working conditions aboard ship. New crew members signed them before becoming part of the ship’s company. Did you know that the pirate captain was elected—and could be voted out if he didn’t meet the crew’s expectations?

Pirates who couldn’t read or write made an X at the bottom of the contract and a clerk would write next to it, “John Manders (or whatever the sailor’s name was), his mark.”

sketch color sketch Painting in progress… IMGP1532 IMGP1533 IMGP1610 IMGP1611 IMGP1612 IMGP1613 IMGP1614 IMGP1615 IMGP1616 IMGP1617 IMGP1618

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38. The Fair Toxophilities and Daniel Deronda

By K. M. Newton


The painting The Fair Toxophilites: English Archers by W. P. Frith, dating from 1872, is one of a series representing contemporary life in England. Frith wrote that his”

“desire to discover materials for my work in modern life never leaves me … and, though I have occasionally been betrayed by my love into themes somewhat trifling and commonplace, the conviction that possessed me that I was speaking – or rather painting – the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, rendered the production of real-life pictures an unmixed delight. In obedience to this impulse I began work on a small work suggested by some lady-archers, whose feats had amused me at the seaside … The subject was trifling, and totally devoid of character interest; but the girls are true to nature, and the dresses will be a record of the female habiliments of the time.”

After Gwendolen Harleth’s encounter with Daniel Deronda in Leubronn in Chapters 1 and 2, there’s a flashback to Gwendolen’s life in the year leading up to that meeting, with Chapters 9 to 11 focusing on the Archery Meeting, where she first meets Henleigh Grandcourt, and its consequences. In the England of the past archery was the basis of military and political power, most famously enabling the English to defeat the French at Agincourt. In the later nineteenth century it is now a leisure pursuit for upper-class women. This may be seen as symptomatic of the decline or even decadence of the upper class since it is now associated with an activity which Frith suggests is “trifling and commonplace.” A related symptom of that decline is the devotion of aristocratic and upper-class men, such as Grandcourt and Sir Hugo Mallinger, to a life centred on hunting and shooting.

The Fair Toxophilites

The Frith painting shows a young female archer wearing a fashionable and no doubt extremely expensive dress and matching hat. This fits well with the novel for Gwendolen takes great care in her choice of a dress that will enhance her striking figure and make her stand out at the Archery Meeting, since “every one present must gaze at her” (p.  89), especially Grandcourt. The reader may similarly be inclined to gaze at the figure in the painting. One might say that together with her bow and arrow Gwendolen dresses to kill, an appropriate expression for arrows can kill though in her case she wishes only to kill Grandcourt metaphorically: “My arrow will pierce him before he has time for thought” (p. 78). Readers of the novel will discover that light-hearted thoughts about killing Grandcourt will take a more serious turn later.

With the coming of Grandcourt into the Wancester neighbourhood through renting Diplow Hall, the thoughts of young women and especially their mothers turn to thoughts of marriage – there is obvious literary allusion to the plot of Pride and Prejudice in which Mr Bingley’s renting of Netherfield Park creates a similar effect. The Archery Meeting is the counterpart to the ball in Pride and Prejudice since it is an opportunity for women to display themselves to the male gaze in order to attract eligible husbands and no man is more eligible than Grandcourt. Whereas Mr Darcy eventually turns out to be the perfect gentleman, in Eliot’s darker vision Grandcourt has degenerated into a sadist, “a remnant of a human being” (p. 340), as Deronda calls him. Though Gwendolen is contemptuous of the Archery Meeting as marriage-market, she cannot help being drawn into it as she believes at this point that ultimately a woman of her class, background, and upbringing has no viable alternative to marriage.

While Grandcourt’s moving into Diplow Hall together with his likely attendance of the Archery Meeting become the central talking points of the neighbourhood among Gwendolen and her circle, the narrator casually mentions another matter that is being ignored – “the results of the American war” (p. 74). Victory for the North in the Civil War established the United States as a single nation, one which would ultimately become a great power. There is a similar passing reference later to the Prussian victory over the Austrians at “the world-changing battle of Sadowa” (p. 523), a major step towards the emergence of a unified German nation. While the English upper class are living trivial lives the world is changing around them and Britain’s time as the dominant world power may be ending.

Though the eponymous Deronda does not feature in this part of the novel, he is in implicit contrast to Gwendolen and the upper-class characters as he is preoccupied with these larger issues and uninvolved in trivial activities like archery or hunting and finally commits himself to the ideal of creating a political identity for the Jews. When he tells Gwendolen near the end of the novel of his plans, she is at first uncomprehending but is forced to confront the existence and significance of great events that she previously had ignored through being preoccupied with such “trifling” matters as making an impression at the Archery Meeting: “… she felt herself reduced to a mere speck. There comes a terrible moment to many souls when the great movements of the world, the larger destinies of mankind … enter like an earthquake into their own lives — when the slow urgency of growing generations turns into the tread of an invading army or the dire clash of civil war” (p. 677). She will no longer be oblivious of something like “the American war.” By the end of the novel the reader looking at the painting on the front cover may realize that though this woman who resembles Gwendolen remains trapped in triviality and superficiality, the character created in the mind of the reader by the words of the novel has moved on from that image and undergone a fundamental alteration in consciousness.

 K. M. Newton is Professor Emeritus at the University of Dundee. He is the editor, with Graham Handley, of the new Oxford World’s Classics edition of Daniel Deronda by George Eliot.

For over 100 years Oxford World’s Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford’s commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. You can follow Oxford World’s Classics on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the OUPblog. Subscribe to only Oxford World’s Classics articles on the OUPblog via email or RSS.

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Image credit: The Fair Toxophilites by W. P. Frith. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

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39. Call for Submissions: Lunch Ticket

Lunch Ticket is now accepting submissions for its Summer/Fall 214 issue. Starting August 1, 2014, the following genres are encouraged to apply: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Poetry, Writing for Young People, & Visual Art. 

The deadline is set for October 31, 2014. 

Send us your best work! For guidelines and submission manager, visit our website.

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40. Call for Submissions: Portland Review

Portland Review is now open for a new batch of submissions. Our submission period for our upcoming Fall 2014 issue spans from Aug. 1st to Sept. 1st. We are looking for well-crafted fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, and blends of these to publish in our print issue and on the web. Accepted authors and artists receive one free issue, discounts on additional copies, and our unending gratitude.

At this time, we do not accept unsolicited, previously published work or submissions sent by mail or email. All submissions must be sent through Submittable. General and genre specific guidelines can be found on our Submittable page. Simultaneous submissions are welcome.

Established in 1956, Portland Review publishes collections of exceptional work by local and international talents. Portland Review is a quarterly journal produced by graduate students in Portland State University's English department. We look for quality pieces with unique visions, regardless if they fit with traditional or estranged forms.

Questions, comments, or other requests can be sent to:

editorATportlandreviewDOTorg (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

We look forward to reading your work!
Sincerely,
Portland Review

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41. Robert Chandler on Kazimir Malevich

There has never been a better year to look at the work of Kazimir Malevich, a pioneer of abstract art often seen as the greatest Russian painter of the twentieth century. “Malevich: Revolutionary of Russian Art,” first shown in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and now at London’s Tate Modern, is the most comprehensive exhibition of his work ever.

Malevich is known above all for his Black Square (1915)—a black square surrounded by a margin of white—the most prominent of the abstract, geometric paintings he called Suprematist, first shown at the now famous “0.10” exhibition in Petrograd in 1915. With Suprematism, Malevich hoped to create “a world in which man experiences totality with nature,” though using forms “which have nothing in common with nature.” He declared the Black Square to be the “zero of form,” claiming that it eclipsed all previous art. This iconoclastic icon was first shown hanging diagonally across the corner of a room, the traditional place for the most sacred icon of all.

Robert Chandler writes on Kazimir Malevich in the NYRB.

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42. Ahoy, ye sea dogs!

l_9781585368150_fcP is for Pirate is here!

As long-time readers know, the subject of pirates is a favorite of mine. You can imagine how happy I was when Sleeping Bear Press asked me to illustrate Eve Bunting’s latest, P is for Pirate. 

Here’s how the jacket art came together. Some rough sketches, a tight sketch based on the approved rough, the painting in progress. I lost something in the tight sketch—the pirate doesn’t have the same aggressiveness & oomph—so I went back to the rough sketch to paint from. That’s my dear old African Grey, Sherman, sitting on his shoulder. How I miss him! I like this low-key palette, mostly blacks, greys and red. The talented Felicia Macheske was my art director on this project. I will show more images throughout the month.

piratecover.tn.A179 piratecover.tn.B181 piratecover.tn.C180 piratecover.sk IMGP1753 IMGP1754 IMGP1755 IMGP1756 IMGP1757 I'm using a palette knife to scrape red paint over the black background. IMGP1759 IMGP1760 IMGP1761 IMGP1762 IMGP1763 IMGP1764 IMGP1765 IMGP1766 IMGP1767

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43. Writers Write: Banish Discouragement


COMING: March, 2015


Today, I am discouraged.

My trusty friend, ART AND FEAR, says this:

“. . .artmaking can be a rather lonely, thankless affair. Virtually all artists spend some of their time (and some artists spend virtually all of their time) producing work that no one else much cares about. . . The sobering truth is that the disinterest of others hardly ever reflects a gulf in vision. In fact there’s generally no good reason why others should care about most of any one artist’s work.”

Yes. that’s how I feel today, that no one is much interested in any of my work.
Ho, hum.
So, what?

Fortunately, ART AND FEAR goes on:

“The function of the overwhelming majority of your artwork is simply to teach you how to make the small fraction of your artwork that soars.”

On those discouraging days, these are words to cling to!

ARTWORKSoars

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44. Call for Submissions: Muzzle Magazine

Muzzle Magazine publishes poetry, visual art, interviews, book reviews, and performance reviews. We are currently open to submissions in all categories. Please use our online submissions form.

Deadlines:
Issue Deadline
Non-Themed Fall 2014 August 15, 2014 (extension)


Mental Health Issue November 1, 2014
(Guest Edited by Rachel McKibbens)

Only previously unpublished work will be considered for publication. Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let us know immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. Please include a 50-100 word bio in the "Cover Letter / Biography" field of the online submissions form.

For questions about submissions, please email:

muzzlemagazineATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

(Note: Submissions sent via email will no longer be considered as of 1/16/2011; submissions must be sent via our online submissions form).

Poetry Submissions: Please send 3-5 poems at a time. Include all poems in one DOC or PDF file.

Additionally, please make sure your name does not appear anywhere in the document or submission title; our editors like to view submissions blindly.

Upon acceptance of poetry submissions, poets will be invited to send audio recordings of their work.

Visual Art Submissions: All art submissions must be attached as JPEG files. Please send no more than 5 pieces in one submission. In the file name for each piece, please include the title of the piece (ex: Alight.jpeg).

Interviews: Interviews should be less than 2000 words. Each interview must be attached as a PDF or DOC file.

Reviews: Reviews should be less than 1500 words. Book Reviews should be of poetry books published within the past 2 years. Performance Reviews should be of poetry performances that occurred within the past 6 months. Each review must be attached as a PDF or DOC file.
Want a Muzzle Editor to Review Your Poetry Book? If you would like Muzzle to consider reviewing your book, please send a hard copy to:

Muzzle Magazine
ICO Stevie Edwards
312 N. Geneva Street, #5
Ithaca, NY 14850

PDF's for pre-release books may also be sent via email to:

muzzlemagazineATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

Please note that sending your manuscript does not guarantee it will be reviewed.     

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45. this scarlet haired beauty....

"ribbons undone"
©the enchanted easel 2014
has completely stolen my heart!

inspired my favorite musical maven, tori amos and her song entitled "ribbons undone"...hence the name of the painting.

i "heart" her. the painting...and tori. :)

PRINTS can be found in the shop links attached to my website here~

{ps and btw, there's a really cool shop i opened up recently at nuvango where my paintings are featured on lots of tech products from iPhone cases to skins for your laptop...even the beast of a 17" mac, like my own. think i need this beauty for my mac...}

oh, and the video for my inspiration is posted below. 
tori, tori tori....how i love you so!


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46. Call for Submissions: Pentimento


Pentimento, a literary magazine for the disability community, is seeking submissions of disability-related poetry, essays, and fiction for the December 2014 issue. We also publish artwork and photography by individuals with a disability.  

We are also seeking submissions for our "Readers' Pen" submission category. "The Readers’ Pen" is space in the magazine devoted to first-person writing by our readers on a particular topic. The topic may be broadly interpreted and submissions must be a true story with a disability-related theme. The writing topic for the December issue is "Romance."  

Please visit our website for more information.

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47. Call for Submissions: Mom Egg Review

Mom Egg Review seeks submissions of work in all genres for its 13th issue, plus a special themed poetry folio, “Compassionate Action”.

Mom Egg Review, a print literary journal featuring poetry, creative prose, short fiction, and visual art, seeks your fine work for its thirteenth annual issue. The issue is un-themed, but will also contain a special poetry folio to be curated by Jennifer Jean, “Compassionate Action”. We publish work by mother writers or by anyone about mothers or motherhood. 
 
There is no fee to submit. Submissions will be open until September 1, 2014. Please read our full guidelines before submitting.
 
Please visit our website for more information.

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48. Interview: Rick Geary on Kickstarter, Murder, and Billy the Kid

Anybody who has read any amount of my writing, either here and elsewhere, will probably know who my favourite comics writer is*. But I also have a favourite comics artist, whose work is a constant delight to me, and by whom I have pretty much everything I can get my hands on. It’s Rick Geary. He mostly works in black & white, has almost never done any work for The Big Two, and you could just about be forgiven for not having heard of him, but he’s been making his living as a cartoonist and comics artist for nearly forty years now, and is, for me, the comics artist whose work I cherish the most.

He worked on all sorts of things for Dark Horse Comics, and many others, over a number of years, much of which has been collected, and on a shelf right beside me, as I write. In 1987 he started work on a series called A Treasury of Victorian Murder for NBM Publishing, which now stands at eight volumes of true murder tales, which has since been joined by A Treasury of XXth Century Murder, which is up to six volumes, both of which feel like his true life’s work. I’ve always been a fan of true crime stories anyway, and to have them drawn in Geary’s gorgeous black line work is wonderful. If you want to try one – and you should – they’re all available on his Author Page at NBM. It’s not for nothing that Our Glorious Leader, Ms H. MacDonald, said ‘

No season would be complete without the latest in Rick Geary’s ongoing series of 20th-century murders: with elegant, unsettling penwork, Madison Square Tragedy: The Murder of Stanford White tells the notorious story of architect Stanford White, who was murdered by a jealous husband in a theater atop the original Madison Square Garden.

As well as his ongoing work with NBM, Rick Geary has recently taken to selling books through a series of Kickstarter campaigns, with the most recent, for The True Death of Billy the Kid, still running, until Monday the 11th of August, a week from today. It’s going to be a 60-page black-and-white hardcover graphic novel, and I can pretty much guarantee it’ll turn up right on time, too, because I’ve backed his other two projects, and they did – which is more than can be said for other fundraisers I’ve ante-ed up for, but that is something I’ll wait to address here another day, in the not too distant future.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s a quick interview with Rick Geary, which I was thrilled to be given the chance to do…

Billy the Kid

Pádraig Ó Méalóid: This is your third Kickstarter campaign, at this stage. First of all, what made you decide to try out fundraising like this as a way to get your work out there?
[Link to The True Death of Billy the Kid Kickstarter.]

Rick Geary: The first time I tried fundraising on Kickstarter was about a year ago, simply out of curiosity as to how it works and to see how well I would do. I thought I should start out with the kind of true crime graphic novel I’m known for. This was The Elwell Enigma, and it succeeded beyond my wildest imagination. After that, I thought I’d try something different. A is for Anti-Christ: Obama’s Conspiracy Alphabet, a kind of satirical children’s book, was a bit of a harder and slower process, but it finally came through. At last, I thought I’d use Kickstarter to fund the kind of historical and non-fiction subjects that fascinate me but which aren’t precisely murder cases. The True Death of Billy the Kid comes out of my life here in Lincoln County, and has now exceeded my funding goal with several more weeks to go. So I have to say I’m very happy with my Kickstarter experience. I also must say that the experience has been made as smooth as possible by my friend and agent and production genius Mark Rosenbohm, who has managed all three campaigns.

PÓM: Yes, I’d noticed that all your campaigns were under Mark’s name. So, is he effectively acting as your publisher on these, or is that the wrong way to look at it?

RG: I suppose he could be technically called my publisher, although I like to think of these books as self-published. They all have come out under my little imprint, Home Town Press.

PÓM: What led you to want to try out an internet fundraiser like this in the first place, and why did you choose Kickstarter to do it on?

RG: There are certain projects in my mind that I know would never be taken on by a mainstream publisher. The Obama Alphabet was certainly one of them. I began my career publishing my own work and I’ve always believed in it. Why Kickstarter? At the time, it seemed to be the only one out there.

PÓM: Are there any drawbacks to using Kickstarter, do you find?

RG: The hardest part of a Kickstarter campaign, though I’d hate to call it a drawback, is the work that comes on the back end. I try to be very conscientious about packaging the books and other premiums and sending them out in a timely manner. Almost 200 mailings for my first project. It’s all well worth it, though.

PÓM: Are you still producing work through more conventional means, like with NBM, for instance? I know they published your Madison Square Tragedy – The Murder of Stanford White around December 2013, so is there anything more scheduled from them?

RG: Yes, I’m still producing murder stories for NBM. I’m currently in the midst of a project that’s a bit of a departure from the true-life cases. Louise Brooks: Detective is a fictional mystery featuring the actress Louise Brooks solving a murder in 1940′s Kansas. After that I plan to return to non-fiction with the story of the Black Dahlia murder.

PÓM: Am I right in thinking you’re somehow related to Louise Brooks?

RG: She was my mother’s second cousin. Though they never met, they grew up in the same area of southeastern Kansas. Brooks was my mother’s maiden name (and my middle name). My mother was born and grew up in the tiny town of Burden, Kansas, as did both of Louise’s parents. The graphic novel I’m working on, Louise Brooks: Detective, takes place during the brief time (1940-42) that she returned to Kansas after her Hollywood career collapsed. The action unfolds in Wichita and Burden.

PÓM: What is it that draws you towards these murder stories, do you think?

RG: It’s become kind of a cliché, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve been attracted to the dark side of human nature. Perhaps because I have such a light and sunny nature myself. Stories of anti-social behavior have the most drama and excitement. And the unsolved cases are the best of all, for the mystery they embody and the speculation they engender. I’m a big proponent of the essential unknowability of things.

PÓM: With the unsolved cases, do you have opinions of your own on who might have done them, or does that not matter to you? With things like Jack the Ripper, for instance, which has virtually mutated into fiction, do you have any ‘favourite’ suspects?

RG: In most cases my goal is to keep a journalistic detachment and not express opinions of my own. Some of the unsolved murders have, as you say, mutated into fiction, but I try to give equal weight to all the theories out there, no matter how ludicrous. Jack the Ripper is the perfect example. The endless speculation linking him to the royal family or other well-known people is pretty flimsy, though entertaining. My belief is that the Ripper had to be some faceless, anonymous East End resident, someone you wouldn’t even notice on the street.

PÓM: What is it about Billy the Kid, that made you want to do this particular book?

Billy 21 (1)

RG: Upon moving to Lincoln County, New Mexico, seven years ago, I found that the Kid is a very big deal here. The town of Lincoln, where he spent much of his brief life, is a perfectly preserved little western settlement, and the local historical society is very protective of his story. Accuracy is the top priority. I noticed that no graphic novel has been published that told his true story, and it seemed a natural for my next project on Kickstarter.

Billy 22 (1)

PÓM: How much research goes into doing one of these books?

RG: I do as much as I can and still fit within the deadline. I start by reading as many books with as many different points of view on the subject as I can find, and take copious notes. I fill this out with online sources, but what I find there is usually not as detailed as the information contained in books. Then I condense all the material into what I hope is a clear and compelling narrative structure. As for picture reference for period costumes, interiors etc, I usually rely on my extensive personal library. But I can also find pretty much anything I want online.

Billy 23 (1)

PÓM: Have you any plans to do more ‘Wild West’ based stories, or is Billy the Kid a one-off?

RG: Nothing specific on the horizon, but I wouldn’t rule anything out.

PÓM: What’s your feeling about fundraisers like Kickstarter, now that you’ve been through it three times? Is it the future of comics publishing, or just an interesting sideline, for you?

RG: I can’t speak for others, but my own experience with Kickstarter has been nothing but positive thus far. I don’t know if it’s the future of comics publishing, but it’s certainly my future. I plan to use it, perhaps once a year, for graphic novel projects that treat broader historical subjects and wouldn’t overlap with the murder stories I do for NBM.

PÓM: Will this, and your previous Kickstarter projects, be available for the general public to buy later on, or is this the only way to get hold of them?

RG: All of my Kickstarter books are, for the moment, sold personally by me at the SD Comic-Con and at APE, or else are available via the “RG Store” on my Website. I’ve also been selling them, on consignment, through a retail outlet in my tiny burg of Carrizozo. Whether they will eventually gain a wider distribution remains to be seen.

PÓM: Thanks very much for taking the time to do this interview, Rick.

RG: Entirely my pleasure, Pádraig. Thanks for everything.

Some Links:
The True Death of Billy the Kid Kickstarter page
Rick Geary’s own Website
Rick Geary’s Author Page at NBM
Rick Geary’s Facebook Page

header_original

[*It’s Alan Moore, in case there was any doubt.]

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49. Artist Randy Queen threatens legal action over unfavorable Tumblr posts

3203122-darkchylde14.jpg

Randy Queen is a skilled comics artist who often draws attractive women. He’s best known for Darkchyde but he’s worked on many other books over the years like Red Sonja and Witchblade. Escher Girls is a tumblr that posts pictures of ridiculously drawn comics women. As you do.

Some of Queen’s art was featured on the site, and he didn’t like it. So he used the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) to sport these posts to Tumblr and get them removed, as reported at Techdirt and further explained here:

So, this morning we wrote about comic artist Randy Queen sending copyright notices to Tumblr to make a bunch of posts disappear, which were critical of his work. The take downs were for the Tumblr Escher Girls, which tracks and highlights the ways in which women are portrayed in popular media (frequently comics) — basically highlighting the ridiculous manner in which women are often drawn. Queen apparently wasn’t too happy about it and issued copyright takedowns to Tumblr, despite the strong fair use defense. The Escher Girls blog posted what was, frankly, an incredibly even-handed post about the situation, just letting people know what was going on. The author specifically noted no desire to fight back or attack Queen, but just to let people know. It appeared that Escher Girls had no plan to even file a counter notice.

While Escher Girls founder Ami Angelwings seemed pretty calm about the whole thing, Queen went further and threatened legal action against the blog for even mentioning it.

There’s a much longer account here that includes this protest from Queen:

In a letter to Ami, he openly believes her actions “publicly challenges my right to protect the perception of my IP as it exists today.”

That didn’t sit too well with the internet, drawing the ultimate diss in the form of a tweet from the Nerd King himself:

As someone pointed out, if Queen didn’t want his early work held up to scorn, maybe he could have said that. I sometimes post bad art here and one time a pretty well known artist complained, and it was clear he was having a bad day so I took it down. But this is the internet, buddy.
Tumblr is generality one big fair use, and there is no law that prevents someone from perceiving Queen’s art anyway they please. IT’s not like they called him a jackass, or thin skinned or defensive or silly. They were just pointing out some of his early art that presented figures in a certain way. I have a tumblr (sadly not updated very often) for The Brokeback Pose, one of a zillion that do similar things. This is like trying to patch up a ballon that got dragged through a cactus patch with a bandaid. It’s also very anti-free-speech. And the more people talk about this, the more upset he gets, now claiming he’s being harassed, and the victim of “character assassination.” Well, if pointing out that someone is acting in a very defensive thin-skinned way is character assassination, so be it.

Or as Rachel Edidin put it concisely:



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50. sketching swirly strands...

©the enchanted easel 2014
of mermaid hair!

custom painting in the works the next week or so. and guess what it is? *hint-i have painted lots of them in the last year...and they have great hair days every day, despite the fact they live in the water...or so the myth goes.* give up? i am painting yet another MERMAID. no complaints though...i LOVE painting hair. and this little beauty in the works? she will have PINK hair. not just any pink, but my signature strawberry pink. and hey, let's face it...don't we all dream of having super awesome, super strawberry pink hair? it's ok, you don't have to answer that...;)

bring on another mermaid! the easel is awaiting!

{a peek at the thumbnail process below. that's how it all begins folks...with a pink ink joy pen. :)}

©the enchanted easel 2014

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