Monday, November 29, 2021

Artist Love - Shiori Matsumoto

 I found Shiori Matsumoto when I was looking for "Zig Zag Girl" images. You know the image. The lady who is the magicians assistant (of course the assistant and never the magician [eye roll]) gets in a box and then the box is separated into a zig zag pattern. The illusion insists that the female assistant has been turned into three separate pieces. In any case, I was looking for this image because it holds a special symbolism for me. 

And what I found in my search was this morsel of goodness. First of all, the color theory is fantastic. But the imagery is tops. The dwarf baby child monster has such a cute tiny butt. Look at that little tushy! The round room, the tiny Fez, the realism of the girl. I love the whole thing.

Look at the creeper here behind the curtain. The imagery is great in an of itself. The bear engaging with the audience. The girl in the mirror. The bird with the lollipop. It's all so crazy!
And this pretty! The title is "Door of Boundary." You can learn more about Shiori and see more of her work here.

Shiori's pop-surreal expressions are reminiscent of Mark Ryden who I recently learned was the cover artist for the late great King of Pop Michael Jackson's "Dangerous" album. Mr. Ryden has a great instagram post about the 5 days that were required to come up with the concept. You can see it here. Juxtapoz Magazine covers more on this piece here.

In a future post I will cover more of Mark Ryden's art. When I was in art school (a long time ago) he was whispered about. 

I can't wait to cover more art. Stay tuned! 

XO, Gwenny

Monday, February 17, 2020

Crazy Doll Lady

As many of you know I have been in love with dolls for a better part of my life. At 10 years old, I fell in love with a French Corolle Doll Catherine Refabert in 1981 and saved and saved and saved all the money from my allowance and babysitting so I could possess this uncanny creature. When I look at her now, (yes, I still have her), I am not sure what captivated me so much; I love her still nevertheless.

This is Sad Sunny. She is the first Takara Tomy Blythe that I customized on a Scotty Mum base. She wears a dress set by Chu Things and a Boater Hat by El Gato. I really love her; if you look closely, you can see a tear on her cheek.

As I grew, my love for dolls simmered beneath my "I must be cool" exterior and so I sort of forgot about them. I did not indulge in that obsession until I saw "her" on Pinterest. I wish she was in my collection. I simply squirreled away this enchanting little "person" for a rainy day. Never did I think this would be the rabbit hole it has become and now I wonder what in the world I did without dolls.

You'll want to see more of Floriana's work at Almond Doll.

Now, I am entirely shameless and couldn't give a fig about what anyone thinks about this obsession of mine becasue I really can't think of anything that "sparks joy" more than my hobby for these uncanny little creatures. Call me a crazy doll lady if you want, but everytime I capture a photo just right or make a new doll hobby friend or add a treasure to the collection or recieve dolly mail, it is a little gratitude ritual for me. And one of the greatest things about this love of mine is that I am not alone out there! I have doll friends all over the world and two of my best are right here in Elk Grove and Napa! Lucky me!

My sweet "Marion" customized by Kata at Unnie Dolls. She IS part of my collection and she is one of the sweetest little creatures I have ever seen.
But it isn't just the dolls that are a draw for me. It's everything! The fashions for instance are AWESOME!! I almost love the fashion more than the dollies themselves. (Almost). And some of the fashion artists in our community have so much talent it's unreal!

Above are from Moshi Moshi Studio by my truly beautiful friend Hilary. She creates these little confections in a little craft cottage far away in Cornwall,  England with the help of her little crew of Moshling's. I have a few of her creations (see above on Marion) but you can never have too many! If you want one of her designs you'll have to be quick and hope that paypal is up to date and that your cache is cleared and that your first born is ready to be traded. I'm very thankful that she is a personal friend. I love her and she has helped me on my own journey of sewing doll clothes.

Below are all fashions by Maria at Chu Things. She is also one of my favorites. It's impossible to pick just one favorite because each doll has her own personality and therefore style.

I customize dolls (see Sunny up there), but it takes me a very long time. And while I am not the best doll artist out there, I love the feeling of accomplishment I get after finishing a doll. I don't command the prices of Erin Deir or Casey of Cupcake Curio but I still feel like a part of an artists community. Below are a few of mine.

This is "Julia." I just completed her last week. She has gone to a new home.

This is Valentina. She is on an Icy Doll base. The Icy Doll is a sister mold to Blythe. Learn more from Casey at Bebe Blythe. She is wearing a Pomme Pomme under skirt and stockings and a felt hat made by me.
And last but not least is Genevievre better known as Gigi my little "Dear One."  She is wearing a skirt by Moshi Moshi and shirt and ears by Pomme Pomme.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween 2017 - Poppy Barach and Julie Audet, Photographers

I found two great photographers who have flawlessly captured this mysterious time of year.

Poppy Barach's images are haunting and rich. You can follow her on Instagram, here.

And, Julie Audet. Her images are filled with wisdom and magic. And she can be found on Instagram, here.

Poppy Barach

Julie Audet

Poppy Barach

Julie Audet

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

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Consequat orci feugiat. A elit et wisi placeat sodales. Orci neque ut magnis aliquet justo ut quis mollis. Diam ante purus. Tincidunt nullam venenatis lacus amet pellentesque. Proin tincidunt sit eu wisi parturient ut sit molestie vulputate tellus consectetuer in wisi sed. Aenean viverra nisi. Vitae sit leo. Tellus sed vivamus. Amet mauris suscipit suscipit dapibus eu. Morbi integer sit. Mattis habitant nulla quisque mauris nec. Ornare elementum massa elit lacinia suspendisse nibh consectetuer nunc non et et. Vivamus viverra ut dis donec amet. Amet dolor porta. Viverra rutrum id. Quam sed sed. Fringilla quis litora. Ut cursus neque aliquet sed erat volutpat nulla arcu sagittis lorem lorem sit faucibus wisi laoreet diam et.

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Monday, December 29, 2014


I am guilty of having a very busy Christmas season and I am so sorry for not posting regularly. Now that we are on the downswing, I 'll be plenty more consistent with my posts.

On that note, I found, in my email inbox this morning, a question from a friend posed like so, "Do you know?" Below is the question:

I first read it with a chuckle. Who would think to query this? And then I read it again with curiosity. And said, "Yeah! Why and how?" In my search for answers, I found that squirrels were not only a subject of note in British 18th Century paintings but also in American 18th Century paintings and French 16th Century paintings and in fact throughout several centuries and countries.

It seems the squirrel was a popular pet. And in fact, their keepers loved them so much that this pet consistently evoked poetry:

From The Virginia Gazette, December 15, 1768
A Young Lady's Complaint on the Death of her Squirrel.

A thing so pretty as my PHIL,
A thing so sprightly and so queer,
The pet I lov'd so very dear,
To rob me of the pretty elf,

For him I've lost each night's repose,
Nothing enjoying but my woes.
Oh could my squirrel but survive,

But he is gone ! ne'er to return!
And useless 'tie to sigh and mourn.
I'll therefore seek another pet ,

Amongst the fops or empty beaus,
Because he'd surely make me fret,
And prove a very worthless pet.

And the paintings:

1760 John Singleton Copley (American artist, 1738-1815). Boy (Henry Pelham) with a Squirrel.

1765 John Singleton Copley (American artist, 1738-1815). Frances Deering Wentworth (Mrs. Theodore Atkinson, Jr.)

1790 Denison Limner Probably Joseph Steward (American artist, 1753-1822). Miss Denison of Stonington, Connecticut possibly Matilda.

1526 Hans Holbein the Younger (1498–1543) Lady with a Squirrel on a chain.
1580's Portrait of a Lady, possibly the Poet Maddalena Salvetti (1557-1610), in a Green Dress and a pet Black Squirrel with a bell collar.

1600's Frederic Kerseboom (1632-1690) Lady with a Red Squirrel on a Chain and a Spaniel

1700's Joseph Highmore (English artist, 1692-1780) A Portrait of a Boy with a Pet Squirrel.

1730 Unknown French artist, Portrait of an Unknown French Lady Holding Flowers and a Red Squirrel with a bell collar.
I attained these renderings of these portraits from 18C American Women. For more explanations and interesting meanderings, please go visit Barbara. She has several other blogs as well, all worth a visit, including her biggest collection, "It's About Time."

Did I, however, get the answers to the how and why? No. I did not. If anyone knows, please enlighten me!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Adrien Broom - Surprise!

I have seen a few things. Not tons of stuff, mind you - a few things - more than the average Joe...well, Josephine in my case, I suppose.

I've been to a few other countries. I speak (albeit marginally) another language, I can cook world cuisine and I married a Mediterranean man. At this point, I feel like I've been surprised, titillated, hypnotized, mesmerized, wowed, and awed as much as I can be. It's disconcerting to walk into middle age thinking this.

I went to art school knowing full well that I need - no, thirst for - stimulation; that's just me. As, I've grown older, I find that it is harder for me to feel viscerally stimulated. And then there was today...

Today, I searched #somethingnew. And what came up was a world of color by Adrien Broom. She is a Connecticut artist whose imagination matches that of Erin Morgenstern in The Night Circus. Her creativity and vision is captivating at the least.

She has started "The Color Project" which I found on My Modern Metropolis. Her art is nothing short of genius. As I look at my Art History background, I remember studying artistic movements. We are in a new movement currently but which lacks a name. In a world where Dystopic novels are translated to the screen and where electronics have taken the place of relationships, it is comforting to see that imagination and expressiveness still win out. Enjoy this part of her series but please follow the links above so you can see more of Adrien's fascinating virtuosity.

You also know how much I love Vimeo. So here is a film that chronicles a behind the scenes look at this artist and her art.

Behind the Scenes of Orange from Adrien Broom on Vimeo.
Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Inspired - Dead Time


Dead Time

Time moves so slowly it seems
I long to be long like history
The gloom of doom and the scare of fright
Even an average day can seem like a horror
I have a lot of words behind my tongue
I want to scream in this tomb
The office
Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bubbles - Waiting for Spring

In an effort to patiently wait for Spring, I watched a Doris Day movie last night and began to think of this post. I promised Kelly from Little Paper Planes that I would post a song for her. I got the inspiration from a tweet of hers where she said, "Where is my head?" It spurred a knowing smirk from me and comfort in knowing I'm not the only one.

As I lay on the couch with my feet freezing despite the fact that it is, ahem, Spring, I scurried to the kitchen to make some bubbles. Hoping to warm my feet, solidify this post in my mind and create some fun all at once!

Here is the recipe:
1 Tablespoon dish liquid
6 Tablespoons water
Mix well and dip fork into mixture (or pipe cleaner or wire hanger or beading wire)
Blow...It's sort of magical!

Spring, Spring, Spring...get on it already mother nature!

Charles Edward Wilson
"Blowing Bubbles"
Thomas Couture

Ch. Chaplin
"Blowing Bubbles"
Bubbles - A Track List
1. Where is My Mind - Pixies
2. Heaven or Las Vegas - Cocteau Twins
3. Paris Collides - RUFUS
4. Rumour Has It - ADELE
5. Daniel (Death Metal Disco Scene Remix) - Bat for Lashes
6. Animal - Miike Snow
7. Breaking It Up - Lykke Li
8. Stand and Deliver - Adam Ant
9. White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
10. Sugarbush - Doris Day and Frankie Laine

Bubbles from poppiesandpaperbacks on 8tracks. Painting Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin "Soap Bubbles" 1733

Friday, March 16, 2012

Art Nouveau

When I was in college, I studied art. I was so intrigued by the creativity of others, I thought I would try my hand at developing some creativity of my own. Never feeling wholly satisfied with my own creations I collected a handful of art movements to study - one in particular - such music, such richness, was Art Nouveau. The era went from 1890-1914 and produced some of the finest designs seen still, even today. Some of the greats include Alphonse Mucha perhaps the most popular, Gustav Klimt,  Aubrey Beardsley and Rene Lalique.

Today's post is a simple collection of beautiful pictures by the greats of this intriguing art movement.


"Dance" by the famous Alphonse Mucha, Czech by birth educated in France and perhaps the most popular of the Art Nouveau movement.
I love this drawing! Aubrey Beardsley was famous with ink on paper. His lines are as straight as an electronic device could make and his cleverness cannot be emulated. Look at the money and lest we forget her boobies! The title "Lady with a Monkey" seems obvious enough.

As an art student, Judith and Holofernes is thrown in your face daily. I think I have perhaps seen at least 150 different images of the same 'couple' from about 26 countries spanning several centuries. But this version of Judith and Holofernes is by far my favorite. Judith has just slain Holofernes the leader of the Assyrians. The best part of this painting is the indignant look on her face. She was the first feminist! If you ever have the opportunity to see this in a museum it is more than worth the live viewing. She speaks volumes in her silence! 

I cannot find where I got this image. My apologies. However, please look how stunning this pendant is . Rene Lalique is most noted for his glass sculptures but it is often forgotten that he made the most spectacular jewelry. I want her!