Monday, May 24, 2010

Let's Brighten Up This Grey and Rainy Day!

Oh! Will this infernal rain never end? I want Spring sun and warm breezes and flowers blooming - and no rain! What did I ever do to deserve this?

But, never fear, we're going to brighten the day by looking at some absolutely stunning art.

In the fourth decade of the 18th century a new form of entertainment emerged in a world hungry for novelty, cleverness, and beauty in the privacy of one's home.
About 1730, artist Martin Engelbrecht (1684-1756) created cards for miniature theatres, which when inserted into a display box showed religious scenes and pictures of daily life in a three dimensional perspective.
He devoted an entire series of these to the Italian theatre. It would see that Engelbrecht came up with the concept of home theatre long before it was appropriated by cable television and dvd's!
From holograph numbering to the rear of each card, we know that Engelbrecht created at least forty-one sets of miniature theater dioramas. Many if not most have yet to be accounted for. All are scarce, many extremely so: these miniature theater engraved cards were roughly handled and often. That any have survived is quite remarkable.

Obviously, this woman did not adhere to the admonishing of Coco Chanel when she instructed women to get dressed - then take off one thing before leaving the house.

ah. From the fabulous E-Deco Magazine, this enchanting dining room at Château de Christin in Gard, near Herault, France. Shall we sit out this rain shower having lunch?
Speaking of stunning restaurants ... how about this beauty in Italy. It is literally the smallest restaurant in Italy. It seats ... two! That's right ... when you reserve here, you have the entire restaurant to yourself and your companion. Now, is that luxurious or what?! The gardens are also just magnificent - and, again, will only accommodate two people!

Who, other than Carol Channing, would consider being presented to the Queen the ideal opportunity to try out her new Loretta Lynn look? And does anything say "country virgin" quite like wearing a chandelier around your neck?Speaking of crowns...this magnificent Ann Carrington piece, Pearly Crown and Jewels of England, is just one of a series she has created, using pearl buttons. Below is a close-up detail ...
More of Ms. Carrington's stunning work can be seen by clicking here.

And, when thinking of stunning, remember the old Wild Wild West ... when men were men ...
This charming little altered spoon is by Hels Sheridan of Ink on My Fingers. I found it a delightful little quicky artsy project. Hels does delightful work - and offers tutorials on techniques, and always has loads of her own artwork to show. Pay her a visit!

I received a lovely little silver demitasse spoon as a prize on October Farm, and I'm thinking I may do some altering of it and put it in a small shadowbox. Though I don't think I'll make mine purple ... the silver is too pretty. By the way, there is a weekly giveaway at October Farm, so, be sure to check it out!

I was delighted to discover this photo on Ulla's Moth Tales site. I used to visit this often when I lived in upstate New York and spent time trolling around the exhibits at the Corning Glass Museum.
This French 1th century mechanical glass theatre is constructed of multicolored glass, lampworked, assembled; wood, mirror, rock, crystal, fabric and shell. It is 60" high and 74"wide. It is the only one known with movable figures. They are operated with 14 levers and wire pulls that protrude from the lower right side of the box. The theatre shows the Wedding at Cana, as told in the Gospel of John (2:1-10).
As magnificent as the photo is, it simply does not do the piece justice. It is jaw-dropping out of this world in "real life."

While we're on a miniature theatre exhibit, check out these fascinating pieces by English artist, Alexander Korzer-Robinson.

From his artist's statement: I am an artist from Berlin now living in Bristol. Drawing from a background in psychology, my art practice focuses on the notion of the “inner landscape”.

Using generally discarded
materials, I make objects as an invitation to the viewer to engage her/his own inner life in order to assign meaning to the artwork.
The cut book art has been made by working through the books, page by page, cutting around some of the illustrations while removing others. The images seen in the finished work, are left standing in the place where they would appear in the complete book. As a final step the book is sealed around the cut, and can no longer be opened.

As we remember the books from our own past, certain fragments remain with us while others fade away over time – phrases and passages, mental images we created, the way the stories made us feel and the thoughts they inspired. In our memory we create a new narrative out of those fragments, sometimes moving far away from the original content.
This is, in fact, the same way we remember our life – an ever changing narrative formed out of fragments. This mostly subconscious process of value judgements and coincidence is what interests me as an artist and as a psychologist. Through the artistic work, these books, having been stripped of their utilitarian value by the passage of time, regain new purpose. They are no longer tools to learn about the world, but rather a means to gain insight about oneself.
I am intrigued why Noël Coward has a half-empty bookshelf! I'm assuming this is home, as that is a very famous drawing of a youthful Sir Noël hanging over the bamboo sideboard. Curiouser and curiouser!
I never like to include political things on this blog ... I contribute on other websites for that! However, I found this photograph so poignant and sad. I am so happy that I have been able to tramp for hours over the rocks of the Athens Acropolis - and slept in a hotel overlooking it - before demonstrations and protests overpowered the breathtaking vista. Such a sad sight. I know their protests are valid - but I do wish they had found a place less relevant - and delicate! - as these ancient monuments and temples.

Did you know that Cotton Candy is called Barbe de Papa (Daddy's Beard) in French? This and other marvelous facts, tales and tidbits about life in France - along with lovely photos - are included at Tongue In Cheek: Stories Collected While Living in France. Anita, Trish, Marilyn - and all my other fellow Francophiles - will want to check out this charming blog!

It worked! I can't believe it! I have blogged the return of the sun to New Haven! I guess that makes me the Sun King!
I am going to take Dusty for a long leisurely walk around the square and enjoy this burst of sunshine! Thanks so much for helping me while away the gloomy hours this morning! I hope you've found some things that brightened your day ... and that now you'll

Go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´♥ Tristan

If you haven't entered the Groovy Flower Power Crafting Giveaway yet, scroll down to the previous post and enter ... 48 hours to go!


Theresa MacNaughton said...

Hi Tristan, what a lovely post today! Those Alice creations are A-mazing!!!! Love love love them!!! And that demitasse spoon is exquisite. :) Enjoy your walk with little Dusty. Theresa

Birgit said...

Where on earth did you find the photo of the vintage drag? Amazing!


Marsha @ Tattered Chick said...

As always, Tristan, you entertain and teach in your posts!!

Send some SUN my way PLEASE!!!

Enjoy your stroll with Dusty~~


Rebecca Nelson said...

You NEVER fail to entertain.

That bit on Carol Channing had me on the floor.

What was she thinking?

Oh yes...she WASN'T!



DollZandThingZ said...

Yes! You truly are the sun king! I live a few towns north of you & as I was reading the blog the sun came out!

Wonderful...fabulous..entertaining...informative...humorous and witty. I have run out of words to describe your blog really are the BEST!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

hey....i will trade your rain and gloom for my 80 and sunny!!! i have an adversity to sunny warm weather. thanks for the shout out and as always....great post!!!

Kaerie Faerie said...

fabulous post, thanks for sharing, have a nice afternoon, maybe you could send some rain down here?
your fairy friend

Jan said...

Forget Carol Channing, who is that gorgeous man behind her? The one with the beard? Is it Sir Laurence Olivier?
Great selection today, Tristan. I thought maybe you live in Oregon, all we have had is rain rain rain and more on the way. Enjoy your walk. I will put on my raincoat to enjoy mine.

Tristan Robin said...

Jan, that is Eddie Bracken. He played Horace Vandergelder in London in 1979 with Carol Channing in Hello, Dolly!. This photograph is their presentation to the Queen, which took place backstage.

Actually, I was only being snarky about the Loretta Lynn dress. In reality, it's Carol Channing's finale costume in Hello, Dolly! - the wedding gown.

I still think it's an ugly costume and looks like Loretta Lynn. :)

Malisa said...

Send that rain our way! We need the rain and I need a break from this HOT sun! In celebration of my returning to "the real world", let's meet up at that little Italian restaurant? Shall we? And, no, I don't want any cotton candy! :)


Are we having a pop test, Mr. Art Teacher, sir?

studioJudith said...

Wow !
Korzer-Robinson's work is stunning... need to spend some time investigating the deep details,
as well as those button crowns.

Glad you've manifested some sun peeking through the clouds - have
a lovely stroll


ImagiMeri said...

Hi Tristan,

Another great post, thank you! Did you really see the mechanical glass theatre in person? OMG, that is fantastically stunning. The closest I've come to anything like that is visiting the mechanical toy museum in San Francisco. I'm so awed by miniatures, mechanical toys, etc., and will have to remember this next time I'm in New York....that is where it's at......right?


Jorge de Rojas said...

As always Tristan, your blog and it's many wonders is a wonderful way to jump start my week. Continued thanks and accolades.

peggy gatto said...

You sent some sunshine my way, sunny CA is not sunny today!!!
Thanks for all the goodies.
I watched the old musical
Darling Clementine, with doris day on saturday, talk about some sunshine!!! Great songs and I am still singing"whip crack away" this morning!!!

mo.stoneskin said...

Good grief old chap, you make feel inadequate. Holographic numbering is something I've not dabbled in, unfortunately, but perhaps an art from I should dabble in.

All I need is a pen and paper.


#rude word#


julietk said...

Wonderful things you show us Tristan. I wish I could get past the teachings of my Mum that you should never deface a Book.

Maggi said...

Those books are incredible! Okay seriously, a two person restaurant??? I cannot even imagine how expensive that must be! lol

Glad the sun is back!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh VOTRE MAJÉSTÉ, LE ROI DU SOLEIL!!! I always knew you were special must have divine connections! But of course, your post is filled with EXTRAORDINAIRE pieces of fine miniature theatres and other luscious eye candy. Oh Tristan, I must see that site of which you speak...and you dearest, always put a crown or two in your makes me feel special, as if you know it will catch my eye! AND THOSE RESTAURANTS! O.K., this was fun.

Enjoy the rest of the sun dear one. Anita

Debby said...

Another fabulous post Tristan..

Createology said...

Such amazing knowledge you have my dear. Always the most interesting and talented pieces to share with us. Thank you. Glad you got some sunshine. We have extreme cold here and very unlike normal warm May days. Mother Nature is so fickle...

Tess1960 said...

Those bookls are so intrigueing. It must have taken months, years to create just one. I know it would take me a lifetime to create just one if my hands stayed steady enough to even try. Hey did that ugly fish just wink at me. :) LOL!!

Sea Witch said...

Wonderful post Tristan. I reread it several times. Understand about your feelings about Greece and their political statements, why on such lovely living art? but then, Italy is the same way. Lots of political banners hang from incredible and historic buildings. I never got used to it. Hope you and dust had a lovely stroll today. Sea Witch

ceecee said...

A very curious post. Loved it!

Beverly said...

It is me that should be thanking you. You always have interesting and entertaining things waiting here for me.

It is gray and gloomy here, but we were so desperate for rain that we are enjoying every drop.

jaz@octoberfarm said... just SOOOO inspired me. i am going to store craft supplies in the new armoire! sure, they are two gigantic floors away but i use them rarely and it could give me so much more room to work. i think i love you!!!

Deborah said...

Oh you clever clever man. You brighten every day. **kisskiss** Deb

Sue said...

Well Sun King, once again you have excelled! LOVE the mini theatres (have to blog about the one my daughter made/gave me for my birthday). Thanks so much for the link to Ann Carrington's work - fabulous!

I was also totally fascinated by Alexander Korzer-Robinson. What talent AND patience.

Make sure to show us if you decide to revamp your spoon (a la
Hels Sheridan).

Hot, humid and sticky here again today........wilting.


Shell said...

You are the Sun King. You brought here to New York where it is hot and sweltering.
The restaurant for two in Italy, I'm sure is a divine experience.

Deborah said...

The chandelier around her neck is bad enough but those sleeves are big enough to hide several guns and a bomb in. Love the mini theaters and the cut up books. I find things like that fascinating.