scott waterman: wonderman

Scott Waterman works with acrylic medium on archival paper or cotton canvas fabric. He creates images up to 25 feet wide based on existing paintings or client-provided sketches and watercolors.

I'm smitten (especially with his use of unacceptable color).

Paintings from top: Use of Unacceptable Color, Pepper La Belva, Untitled, Discover the Recipes You Are Using and Abandon Them.

This Waterman painting is 12 feet wide by 11 feet high and painted with acrylic and mixed materials on canvas. It's installed behind the sushi bar in a restaurant in Santiago, Chile.

:scott waterman

the blogs of others: portes et fenêtres

To stir the imagination and the senses, please visit portes et fenêtres, a space devoted to (yes!) doors and windows. A wondrous indulgence and vicarious travel thrill.

:portes et fenêtres


antea: beguiling, strange beauty

Antea was painted in the early 1530s by Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, known as Parmigianino (1503–1540). This captivating painting is on view at The Frick through May 1. While there is no known evidence definitively linking the woman Parmigianino depicted to a specific person, her identity has been the cause of speculation for centuries.

Holland Cotter notes in his Times review of Antea: A Beautiful Artifice, that 'we enliven objects with our attention.' The bewitching Antea has captured mine. Truth be told, I'm most intrigued by her adornments and their composition — her gold satin dress, the marten fur, pearl drop earrings, ruby ring and gold chain; the lavish ruby and pearl jewel in her hair; her apron and the cuffs of her underdress decorated with delicate blackwork embroidery — not to mention that implausibly long right arm. I have returned again and again to dote on this Frick visitor; I hope to see her one more time before she leaves.

The woman in the painting was first identified as “Antea” in 1671 by the artist and writer Giacomo Barri, who claimed she was Parmigianino’s mistress. As Antea was the name of a famous sixteenth-century Roman courtesan, it was assumed that this was the woman to whom Barri referred. She has been identified alternatively as the daughter or servant of the artist; a member of an aristocratic northern Italian family; and a noble bride. It is most likely, however, that the Antea represents an ideal beauty, a popular genre of portraiture during the Renaissance. In such portraits, the beauty of the woman and the virtues she stood for were the primary subject, while the sitter’s identity — and even her existence — were of secondary importance.

More from Holland Cotter's review:

We know that the name “Antea” was attached to the picture only in the late 17th century, after the artist’s death. In classical mythology it referred to Aphrodite, the goddess of love. In the 16th century it was associated with a Roman courtesan of high renown, though there is no reason to think Parmigianino had either in mind.

Attempts have been made to determine the social status of his subject through a close reading of her sumptuous attire, though the results are contradictory. One scholar concludes that her apron indicates she was a servant, but another points out that noblewomen wore aprons too, fancy ones. Marten fur stoles like the one draped over the woman’s right shoulder were emblems of fertility, suggesting an identity as a young bride. But in other contexts the marten was a symbol of unbridled lust. The head of the animal preserved on the stole, its teeth as sharp as the fangs on a Japanese anime demon, looks rabid rather than nurturing.

In short, after much interpretive parsing and sorting, we know nothing at all about who this woman called Antea was, or what she meant to the artist, or to anyone else.

:parmigianino’s ‘antea’: a beautiful artifice is on view through may 1, frick collection.


answer is... winners are...

The Holy Moley contest was great fun. Heartfelt thanks to all who visited, read, left a comment. Now, here's what I learned about the origins of Holy Moley:

First, an entry from The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994:

moley n. (pop. As a characteristic exclamation of 'Captain Marvel,' hero of a series of comic books begun 1940, first written by C.C. Beck; perh. reflecting 'moly' 'magic herb in Greek mythology', in allusion to the invocation of mythological figures as a source of the character's powers; perh. euphem. and rhyming alt. of 'holy Moses.' In phrase: 'holy moley' (used as an exclamation of surprise). 1949, 'Capt. Marvel Adventures,' in Barrier & Williams 'Book of Comics' 87: Holey Moley! He got away.

I was delighted to find this great graphic. The story line is apparently from the 100th issue (1949) of Captain Marvel Adventures; there might be earlier uses of the phrase, but I couldn't find any.

Next, from The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer, 1997:

Holy mackerel! or Moses! or moley! or smoke! These are exclamations of surprise, astonishment, delight, or dismay, as in Holy Moses, here comes the teacher! or Holy moley, you won! or Holy smoke, I didn't know you were here, too! The oldest of these slangy expletives uses mackerel, dating from about 1800; the one with Moses dates from about 1850 and cow from about 1920. None has any literal significance, and moley is a neologism devised to rhyme with holy and possibly a euphemism for Moses.

Spankin' new softcover Moleskines go to:

Katie. Brava! The first to put yourself out there. Your answer was squarely within the arena of comics. Nicely done. A Moleskine for you, my dear. Luisa. My deepest gratitude to you for your magical retelling-with-a-twist of the Winifred/Gwenfrewi legend. Wouldn't this make a fine Monty Python sketch? Graham Chapman would be so proud. (Don't you think Winifred should be the patron saint of virgins AND moles?) Holy Moley Moleskinerial goodness for you, for sure. Lori. To my mind, the divine Mexican mole itself (particularly the otherly-worldly Oaxacan variety) is worthy of its own shrine. Look to the mail for a Moleskine delivery. And, Felicity. Yes! You sought out the ancients for the wayback backstory. Excellent sleuthing. Your Moleskine will likely be on the slow boat, but summer is a great time for sketching and making travel notes! So off they go*.

I know someone who, when asked the Holy Moley question, gave an answer that was essentially a verbatim recitation of the The Dictionary of American Slang entry. Scary. Said person doesn't frequent le bloggie, else this wouldn't have been much of a contest.

Wishing you all a lovely week ahead.

*If I don't have your address - you know who you are - please e it to me.


Good weekend, everyone. Wherever you may be.

The Holy Moley contest (see next post) is on until Sunday night or Monday morning or thereabouts. Leave a comment - you just might win a new softcover Moleskine notebook. Yee. Haw.

:image d:m


holy moley*

Moleskine \mol-a-skeen-a\ is the heir of the legendary notebook used for the past two centuries by great artists and thinkers, including Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, André Breton and Ernest Hemingway.

Moleskine has just announced a new flexible, softcover version of their traditional hardcover notebook. That's 192 pages (96 sheets) of quality Moleskinerial goodness in your pick of ruled, graph or plain paper.

{ Win a softcover Moleskine today! I'm having a little contest. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for details. Play! Win! Or...buy one here. }

The little black Moleskine notebook, with its rounded corners, elastic closure and expandable inner pocket, was originally a nameless object. It was produced by a small French bookbinder that supplied Parisian stationery shops frequented by the international literary and artistic set.

In the mid-1980s, however, the original manufacturer closed down - the notebook was no longer available. In his book, Songlines, Bruce Chatwin tells the whole story of his favorite notebook, which he nicknamed 'Moleskine.' And this, as the tale goes, is where Moleskine got its name.

Fast forward to 1998. Modo & Modo, the old Italian publisher, brought the notebook back to life, taking the name Moleskine from Chatwin's writing. Since then, the notebooks have enjoyed extraordinary popularity - obtaining nothing short of cult status through fabulous sites such as moleskinerie, flickr moleskinerie pool and skineart. If you know of other Moleskine links, please, please, pretty please share the goodness.

In 2006, Modo & Modo began looking to sell the company or partner with someone to help it expand. According to an article in The Daily Telegraph, the company reported that its small staff was unable to keep up with demand. In August of 2006, the French investment fund, Société Générale, purchased Modo & Modo for 60 million euros.

So, (show and) tell us. What's in your Moleskine?

From a collage series, Pisanka, that I created last year in one of my watercolor Moleskines. I'm working on some others for Russian Easter '08 - coming up next Sunday, April 27, in fact.

Irina Troitskaya. Irina's website is magical.

Will Freeborn





Moleskine art (at the tippy top) courtesy of edgaroid. So. Cool.

* Win a softcover Moleskine.
Answer this: what is the etymology of 'holy moley?' Educated (witty, clever, but incorrect) guesses are welcome and will be rewarded along with correct answers, of course. You're on the honor system here. Email or comment today! The answer - and winner(s) - will be announced later this week.


Good weekend, everyone. Wherever you may be.

:image marie claire maison


lay up treasure

The beautiful Russian poet, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, wrote the poem, "I Am a Purse," in 1955. I offer it here - on this day of great gladness.

"I am a purse. . ."

I am a purse
lying on the road,
alone here in broad daylight.
You don't even see me, people.

Your feet
walk over and around me.
And don't you
understand anything?

And don't you, really,
have eyes?

That dust,
that you raise yourselves,
conceals me;
so clever
of you.

Look more closely.

Only a glance is needed.

I'll give everything to you,
all that I treasured.

And don't look for my owner.
I laid myself on the ground.

Don't think
they'll suddenly pull a string,
and above the crooked fence not far away
you'll see some little Nina,
saying with a laugh:
"They fooled you!"

Don't let a humiliating laugh and some faces
in a window somewhere scare you.

I'm no fraud.

I'm the real thing.

Just look inside me!
I'm afraid of one thing,
to your disfavor:

that right now,
in broad daylight,
I won't see
the one I wait for,

that the one who should
won't pick me up.

:translated by albert c. todd; images d:m + n


i went walking

This is what I saw.

:japanese magnolia; image d:m


current findings: rocío rodríguez

I have just discovered the wonderfulness of Rocío Rodríguez (I'm likely among the very few who hadn't known of her - until today, in my case - but no matter). Rodríguez was born in Cuba and educated (in the late 70s) at the University of Georgia in Athens. I'm amazed at the depth she achieves through the use of simple, calligraphic line interwoven with layers of paint (thick, opaque, textured - or smooth and transparent). Here's Rodríguez commenting on her work:

In my paintings, several realities co-exist -- from a disintegrating cosmos, to foreign wars, to the silence of a private garden, parallel worlds existing side by side. They present differing dichotomies: the global and the personal, the natural and the mechanical, the concrete, the abstract, the ambiguous, the suggestive. Our lives are a confluence of chaotic and ordered experiences that we perceive on various planes. For me, painting parallels the complexity of this dynamic.

Some of his canvases are quite large. See what I mean right here.

images: artnet; fay gold gallery
lineage: dear ada; another shade of grey


true nature

Birds’ nests are ephemeral, often abandoned once the young have fledged. But the sheer ingenuity of these miniature marvels of architecture is as durable as the impressions left by San Francisco photographer Sharon Beals who captures them in their lasting glory.

:sharon beals; audobon magazine