Friday, February 28, 2014


The British band Sailor scored a number of hits in the seventies, notably Traffic jam, Sailor, Girls girls girls, and A glass of champagne. I quite like the cover design for their album Trouble from that time, released in 1975. I could not find information on the photographer and/or artistic designer.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


I had more or less decided to discontinue the Flickr Favourites category, but this recent post by my Flickr friend sannesu made me change my mind. Another gorgeous shimmering colourful abstract of the type that features so often in her work. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Wine forest

I was surprised to see that the last entry in this category was over a year ago. Anyway, here is another special logo, with a visual play on the two components of the company's name. it was designed by Jeriahlau.

web site

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Vogue February 1935

One of the most minimal vintage Vogue covers - and one of the best. This little masterpiece was created by Carl Erickson, who managed to draw attention to the main subject of the issue, make-up, very effectively.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

One shoe tale

You may recognize the photograph used for the cover of the latest Jeremy Green novel: it is by my Flickr friend Jenny Downing, and has featured under Flickr favourites here, and subsequently re-posted under From the artchives here. Here it is once more, because it is such a good shot, and I am happy for Jenny that her work is recognized in this way.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Lillian Bassman

Of all the famous fashion photographers, perhaps my favourite: American Lillian Bassman (1917-2012). Possibly because she was a painter as well, her fashion photoshoots tend to be far more artistic than most of her colleagues. A good example is the shot above, of model Margie Cato. Simply beautiful. More on Bassman in the Wikipedia article linked to below.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

After the skate

More photoshop brilliance taken from the advanced photoshop contest section of Worth1000. Here is a shot created by their member ArabellaOcean for the Sport Ren 3 contest - transforming classic paintings into sports images. This one (based on a Bouguereau work After the bath) is an appropriate homage to the Dutch speed skaters who have made the Olympic Wintergames in Sochi such a success for the Netherlands. All rights retained by the creator.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

St Nicholas Church Pyrford

Once more one of my attempts at digital art based on my own photographs, created with the free software SuperPhoto that came with my new laptop. This is a shot I took of a little church in Surrey, where my niece got married in the summer of 2011, with a painting like treatment. The link leads to the original photograph.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Potpourri: Paper butterfly art

From time to time I will be highlighting some of my own favourite posts in my parallel blog, Art's Potpourri. These can be recent or from some time ago. This one was originally posted 10 February 2013.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Whatever you may think of her music (I think it is better than the average chart fodder), Lady Gaga has a clear desire to be seen as artistic in general. That includes many of her cover designs, including this one for the 2013 single Applause. More about Lady Gaga on the linked Wikipedia page.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

'Japanese Beethoven' Mamoru Samuragochi exposed as a fraud

Mamoru Samuragochi was the most popular contemporary classical music composer in Japan, where his Hiroshima Symphony, dedicated to the victims of the 1945 atomic blast, became an anthem in the wake of the 2011 tsunami. The fact that, like Beethoven in later years, he is deaf contributed much to his reputation. Now it turns out that he did not compose his most famous works at all (having outsourced them to an unaccredited Japanese colleague, Takashi Niigaki), and to add insult to injury, might not even be deaf. For the full (amazing) story, see the link. Image sourced from here.

web site

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

This is the ice age by Martha and the Muffins

In Desert Island Discs, I am focusing on albums that I love, with emphasis on the less well-known ones. They can be from all genres, from new age via pop/rock and jazz to classical. Live albums will be rare, compilation albums will be excluded. Images are created with the on-line programme Photoface Fun.

The fourth in the series is a new wave gem from Canada. Martha and the Muffins released their first album (Metro music) in 1979, while the accompanying single Echo Beach was a deserved world-wide hit, and to date remains their only song known to the general public. Their third album This is the ice age was released in 1981, and remains one of my favourites from those turbulent years. A stunning range from tender ballads (One day in Paris), to experimental anthems (Boy without filters) and up-beat rock songs (You sold the cottage). It has taken about 25 years before this album was finally released on CD, and I had to snap it up by ordering from Amazon Canada.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Girl with a black cat

Perhaps the greatest painter of the 20th century who has not appeared in my blog yet: Henri Matisse (1868-1954). As the leading figure of Les Fauves (the wild ones), the French counterpart for my favourite German expressionists, he should be one my shortlist of great painters, but I find myself warming to his art rather slowly. But as time goes by, more and more of his works appeal to me, for instance this one created in 1910. More on Matisse in the linked Wikipedia article.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Unusual concertos [65]: Contrabassoon

Before the purge of end 2008, one of the most popular topics of this blog was "Unusual concertos", classical concertos for all kinds of instruments and orchestra. I have decided to revive this, aiming for less familiar composers in general. In its original incarnation, I came to 40 different concertante instruments - realizing 60+ this time.

The sixty-fifth concerto deals with the contrabassoon (image source). This is the larger version of the more common bassoon, and plays a full octave lower, adding considerably to the natural grumpiness of its cousin. Not surprisingly, concertos for this instrument are rare, but one of the leading contemporary composers, Finland's Kalevi Aho, wrote one in 2005, which was recorded for a CD I have in my collection. It is played by Lewis Lipnick and the Bergen Philharmonic under Andrew Litton, available on a BIS CD.

Go here

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dutch gold rush

For us Dutch, the first week of the Olympic Wintergames in Sochi has been dominated by the phenomenal successes of the speed skaters (to date, of the 18 medals awarded, 12 were for Dutch skaters, including four of the six golds). Even the New York Times paid attention, and selected this beautiful photograph of the golden race of Ireen Wust (3 km) for their front page. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Pavel Golovkin/AP Photo).

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Ladies' Home Journal February 1915

For Valentine's day, a timeless cover of almost 100 years ago on that theme. This American magazine started in 1883 and is still going strong today. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Princess in Elburg

My beautiful princess, shot at last year's Christmas celebration in the old city of Elburg, not far way from Kampen. She is wearing a hat that she designed and made herself, a new dimension to her artistic endeavors (she calls it wearable art).

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.077 sec (1/13)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 18 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Post-processing: Lu Schaper


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hildegard von Bingen, heavenly inspired

The most ancient composer in my collection (and that by a few centuries): Saint Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). She is also one of the most recorded female composers of all time. Her vocal works are ethereal and will appeal to anyone who is interested in the new spiritualism of Tavener and Part. This Naxos disc was my introduction to her work and remains indispensable. The Oxford Camerata under Jeremy Summerly give an outstanding and well-recorded performance. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Behind the scenes of Annie Leibovitz' Disney shoots

I love the commercial shoots of famous photographer Annie Leibovitz for Disney, in which she lets celebrities play the part of Disney's characters. So far, five of these have featured in the creative ads series of my blog: Roger Federer as King ArthurJessica Biel as PocahontasOlivia Wilde as the Evil Queen and Alec Baldwin as the Spirit of the Magic MirrorRachel Weisz as Snow White, and Julianne Moore as Ariel with Michael Phelps as a merman. The linked post in the MyModernMet site gives a few more, but intriguingly includes several behind the scenes photographs, such as Russell Brand getting ready for his shoot as Captain Hook.


Monday, February 10, 2014


In the twenties and thirties, Swedish cinemas showed new movies from Hollywood with home-made poster designs - which most of the time were far more beautiful than the original posters. A case in point is this poster for the 1924 movie Greed, directed by Erich von Stroheim with local art work by Eric Rohman. More examples in the link.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Still life with fish

Once more one of my attempts at digital art based on my own photographs, created with the free software SuperPhoto that came with my new laptop. This is a photograph of a cod we had for dinner some time ago, given a painting like treatment. The link leads to the original photograph.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Bridge to nowhere

Another gem that I encountered on a music blog, rather than knowing what the music itself is like. Farmington Hill is a southern rock band from Colorado who released their first album Bridge to nowhere in 2013. I can't find any credits for the cover, but the combination of the water colour type art and the beautiful fitting font for band name and title is remarkable.

Friday, February 07, 2014

History Channel

Similar ideas have been floating around on the internet for a while, but this is the first time I see it used in advertisement. The History Channel came up with the idea to use combined photographs of present and past for their Know Where You Stand campaign. The images themselves were created by Seth Taras.

Creative Ads

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Hopper meditations

A stunning idea, a first-class execution. Richard Tuschman created this beautiful series of composite photographs inspired by the work of  Edward Hopper. In the first step of his art project, Tuschman builds painted dollhouse-size dioramas, which he then photographs in his studio, taking care of the exact lighting effect he wants to emulate Hopper's paintings. He finally photographs models and merges the two images into a digital composite in Photoshop. As always, all rights retained by the creator.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Repost: Olympic winter games 1998

A re-post from the artchives (original posting date 12 February 2010) - with the blog in its current form over four years old, I intend to dig up some of the older posts once in a while. I selected this one because the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will be on their way soon in Sochi, Russia. This is my favourite poster of previous games, the one made for Nagano 1998. Other winter Olympics posters have featured in the blog here: Vancouver 2010Torino 2006Salt Lake 2002Lillehammer 1994Albertville 1992Calgary 1988Sarajevo 1984Lake Placid 1980Innsbruck 1976Sapporo 1972Grenoble 1968Innsbruck 1964Squaw Valley 1960Cortina d'Ampezzo 1956Oslo 1952St. Moritz 1948Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936Lake Placid 1932St. Moritz 1928Chamonix (1924).

A unique poster in the series, as it emphasizes the interaction of man and nature rather than sports as such. It is not a coincidence that this was for games held in Japan, where haiku poetry emphasizes precisely that relationship. I love this one, for its originality, and its colour scheme. The best winter olympics poster of the past four decades. The games of Gianni Romme and Marianne Timmer - two gold medals each.

Vintage Posters