Thursday, February 26, 2009

Leatherwork by Tom Banwell

Filigree Flame leather mask in shades of orange
By Tom Banwell

Sigurd Viking Helmet
By Tom Banwell
This ceremonial viking helmet is named after an epic Norse hero Sigurd. As told in the Volsung Saga, Sigurd battles and kills the dragon Fafnir and bathes in his blood, gaining invulnerability. Sigurd roasts Fafnir's heart so that his master Regin may eat it, but in doing so he burns his finger. He sticks his finger in his mouth, tasting the dragon's blood thus gaining the power to speak to birds.

Black bird leather cut out mask
By Tom Banwell

Leather Steampunk Helmet
By Tom Banwell

How to make this American Dragoon Helmet

Friday, February 20, 2009

Nobody Believes Anything That's Put In A Poem

Canadian Alden Nowlan (1933-1983) is the focus this week.

Fair Warning
by Alden Nowlan

I keep a lunatic chained
to a beam in the attic. He
is my twin brother whom
I'm trying to cheat
out of his inheritance.
It's all right for me
to tell you this because
you won't believe it.
Nobody believes anything
that's put in a poem.
I could confess to
murder and as long as
I did it in a verse
there's not a court
that would convict me.
So if you're ever
a guest overnight
in my house, don't
go looking for
the source of any
unusual sounds.

"Fair Warning" is from Alden Nowlan: Selected Poems.

I also totally love Nowlan's The Rites of Manhood. And don't forget He Attempts to Love His Neighbors. And Great Things Have Happened.

Joan of Arc

Tabatha wrote a biography of history's most famous teenager: Joan of Arc: Heavenly Warrior (Sterling Publishing).

Who was Joan of Arc? Why are people still so inspired by her, nearly six hundred years after she was born?

Learn all about Joan of Arc's childhood in war-torn France; ride with the young warrior into battle after battle and see how she helped a king win his rightful crown; and find out about her terror-filled final days and how, finally, her reputation was gloriously, posthumously restored.

In Joan of Arc: Heavenly Warrior, Tabatha tells the story of Joan of Arc as the people of her day viewed her: warrior, leader, holy figure, witch.

"Appealing...this book is recommended for both younger and older readers."
~ Booklist

Visit Tabatha's "Inspired by Joan of Arc" art page.

Updated to add: There's also this October 2011 post about a Joan of Arc opera.

You can order Tabatha's biography of Joan of Arc from Books a Million, Powell's, and Amazon, among others.

Here's info about Tabatha's Einstein bio, forensic pioneers book, and The Holocaust Survivors.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gordon McGlothlin

Sometimes I see a set of work that makes me say, "OK, there's this week's Art Thursday." Gordon McGlothlin's Paper Art Studio was like that for me.

Kerry's Journey
By Gordon McGlothlin

By Gordon McGlothlin

Dreams for Sale
By Gordon McGlothlin

Yellow Tulips
By Gordon McGlothlin

You can also see his work here.


Interested in trying something new? Looking for a spring-related project? Consider making a stone art sculpture. Check out Creativity Portal's links and info. Stay and explore their site while you're at it. They have everything from batik and tie-dye to altered books.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Nothing New Beneath The Sun

Poet Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) came from an artistic family: Her father was poet Gabriele Rossetti and her brother was the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The painting below is by DGR, and he used his sister Christina as a model.

Monna Innominata [I dream of you, to wake]
by Christina Rossetti

I dream of you, to wake: would that I might
Dream of you and not wake but slumber on;
Nor find with dreams the dear companion gone,
As, Summer ended, Summer birds take flight.
In happy dreams I hold you full in night.
I blush again who waking look so wan;
Brighter than sunniest day that ever shone,
In happy dreams your smile makes day of night.
Thus only in a dream we are at one,
Thus only in a dream we give and take
The faith that maketh rich who take or give;
If thus to sleep is sweeter than to wake,
To die were surely sweeter than to live,
Though there be nothing new beneath the sun.


Here's an unrelated, but cool, idea:

On the ProTeacher site, Tracy suggests "Popping Poetry Balloons." She says, "I always start on a Monday morning and when the students arrive they see the class clothesline lined with balloons. After careful inspection, they realize that there is a small piece of paper rolled up inside of each one."

She writes a different type of poetry on each paper. Then the kids pop a balloon and learn about/experiment with that type of poetry.

You could put different bits of speeches and poems in the balloons and let the kids take turns popping balloons and reading what is inside while you (or they) videotape the readings.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Moon Above

"The moon develops the imagination, as chemicals develop photographic images."
~Sheila Ballantyne

I love the Astronomy Picture of the Day. Check these out:

The Colorful Moon
Credit: Galileo Project, JPL, NASA
"Explanation: Do you recognize the Earth's Moon when you see it? The crazy, patchwork appearance of the false-color image makes this almost full view of the Moon's familiar near side look very strange. The Sea of Tranquility (Mare Tranquillitatis) is the bright blue area at right, the Ocean of Storms (Oceanus Procellarum) is the extensive blue and orange area on the left, and white lines radiate from the crater Tycho at bottom center. Recorded in 1992 by the Galileo spacecraft enroute to Jupiter, the picture is a mosaic of 15 images taken through three color filters."

Illustration Credit & Copyright: Inga Nielsen
"Explanation: Is this a picture of a sunset from Earth's North Pole? Regardless of urban legends circulating the Internet, the answer is no. The above scene was drawn to be an imaginary celestial place that would be calm and peaceful, and therefore titled Hideaway. The scene could not exist anywhere on the Earth because from the Earth, the Moon and the Sun always have nearly the same angular size."

More moons:

The Giant Impact Theory
"The basic idea is this: about 4.45 billion years ago, a young planet Earth -- a mere 50 million years old at the time and not the solid object we know today-- experienced the largest impact event of its history. Another planetary body with roughly the mass of Mars had formed nearby with an orbit that placed it on a collision course with Earth. When young Earth and this rogue body collided, the energy involved was 100 million times larger than the much later event believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs. The early giant collision destroyed the rogue body, likely vaporized the upper layers of Earth's mantle, and ejected large amounts of debris into Earth orbit. Our Moon formed from this debris."

The Rabbit Moon
Moon Dancer
By Marina Yanen

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Edgar

There's a creepy sort of feeling around Art Thursday this week. As though a mysterious stranger in a hooded cloak was somewhere behind us ... coming closer, ever closer ... almost breathing down our necks as we sit here innocently looking at the screen.

Maybe they want to see, too. After all, we're celebrating Poe.

Edgar Allan Poe, the king of creepy, was born 200 years ago on January 19th. His delightfully sinister works have inspired not only stories and poems, but art:

To Edgar Poe: The Eye Balloon (The Eye, Like a Strange Balloon, Mounts Towards Infinity), 1878.
By Odilon Redon

Art Institute of Philadelphia, Edgar Allan Poe poster
By Joanna Boyle

"Open here I flung the shutter."(From The Raven)
By Gustave Dore

To Edgar Poe, 1894
By Felix Vallotton

Links:, an exploration of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories, also has a gallery of Poe-inspired art.
~Three neat Poe-related pictures on Omnicomic.
~I would love to get a good look at this -- Gahan Wilson illustrates Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven and other poems.
~Aisling d'Art explains that "art shrines" are a tribute to a person, place, or idea. She's made one for Poe that is available to be printed out, free.
~A fun cartoon of Poe skiing by Mark Summers.