Sunday, November 30, 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Max Vadukul

British photographer Max Vadukul (1961) is famous for his artistic shots, including celebrity portraits, more often than not in black and white, album covers (Sting) and contributions to the New Yorker. The photograph above of beautiful French actress Audrey Tautou is a good example of his timeless style. More about Vadukul in the Wikipedia entry linked to below.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Unusual concertos [81]: Piccolo trumpet

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 80+ this time.

The eighty-first concerto deals with the piccolo trumpet (image credit). This is the smallest instrument in the trumpet family, pitched a full octave higher than  the normal trumpet. Perhaps best known for its use by the Beatles in Penny Lane and All you need is love, I stumbled upon a concerto for this instrument by Slovak composer Juraj Filas. On YouTube a version is available by Otto Sauter and the U.A.N.L. Symphony Orchestra under Raul Gutierrez (parts 1 and 2).

Go here

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Kampen rooftops

This is a picture I took near our home, a typical collection of Kampen rooftops. The different colours and change in angle make this a nice example of a found abstract. It also became my 72nd photograph to make Flickr Explore, the 500 most interesting shots of the day.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.025 sec (1/40)
Aperture: f/5.9
Focal Length: 20.0 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The port of Cannes

French neo-impressionist painter Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) has not featured yet in my blog. A founding member of the group of avant-garde painters Les Nabis, his colourful works such as this scene in Cannes from 1927 deserve more attention. More about Bonnard in the Wikipedia article linked to below.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


This 1932 French movie by director Paul Fejos is apparently rather forgettable, but the poster is a fascinating piece of Art Deco. Taken from a post at 50watts about French movie posters, where it is also stated that the artist is unknown.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Vogue November 1930

There is something about the expression of the woman on this vintage Vogue cover that just screams November to me. A successful piece of cover art by regular Vogue illustrator Eric.


Sunday, November 23, 2014


Cinzano was and is the most important competitor in Italy for Martini. This poster from the twenties is one of the most impressive I've encountered so far. it was designed by Todoquato. Cin cin!

Vintage Posters

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Potpourri: Hard water

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 29 May 2013.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Poppy harvest

Shortly after its completion, the art installation Blood swept lands and seas of red by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper (blogged here) is now being dismantled, each of the 888,246 hand-made ceramic flowers being harvested, packed and sold. Part of me thinks this is a pity, part of me agrees with the logic by the artists:"this was never intended to last, it reflected the young lives who were lost on a tragic scale". As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Undisclosed/Getty Images).

Kieft and Gijp

Earlier this week, Michel van Egmond's book Kieft won a prestigious annual book award, just one year after he did the same with Gijp. Both books deal with the life story of two successful Dutch football players (43 and 15 caps, respectively), who are noe frequent football analysts on Dutch TV. I post this because I think that both covers have striking portraits, bringing out the humour of Rene van der Gijp, and the personal problems of Wim Kieft (who was a cocaine addict for many years). Unfortunately, I could not find the name of the photographer(s).

web site

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Anchor abstraction

One of my own favourites of recent months, even though it did not make much impression on Flickr. It is a zoomed in photograph of a rusty anchor belonging to a boat nearby our home.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture: f/5.9
Focal Length: 20.0 mm
ISO Speed: 125
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Magic carpets by Miguel Chevalier

The location of this art installation contributes so much to the overall effect. French artist Miguel Chevalier has created this beauty in the inner courtyard of the 13th-century Castel del Monte in southeast Italy. Chevalier created  a colourful pattern of interactive lights that respond to the movements of visitors. More photographs and a video in the link.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Polly Bergen (Vintage manga)

More photoshop brilliance taken from the advanced Photoshop contest section of Worth1000. Here is a shot created by their member kr43m0r for the Vintage Hollywood Manga 6 contest. Polly Bergen was a successful actress in the 50s and 60s, and this image shows how suited she is for the manga treatment. As always, all rights retained by the creator.


Monday, November 17, 2014

The Delineator November 1927

This magazine has featured a number of times already in this blog, and here we have yet another cover that is an Art Deco masterpiece. The famous illustrator Helen Dryden created this beauty. Strange to think that when this magazine was delivered in people's mailboxes, my parents were in their cradles.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Abstracting reality part 6: abstracted art

Of the recurring topics in my photography, abstract images tend to stand out. This has inspired me to write a series of blog posts on the subject, as seen through my lay-man's eyes (I never received any formal training on photography). In these posts, I will tackle the following six (not mutually exclusive) themes: distorted reflections, architectural abstracts, wear and tear, zooming in, abstracted art, and miscellaneous situations. A general introduction was posted here; the first contribution (on distorted reflections) was posted here, the second contribution (on architectural abstracts) was posted here, the third contribution (on wear and tear) was posted here, the fourth contribution (on zooming in) was posted here.

Abstracted art (the fifth of the themes) is not easy. Photographing art with the purpose to create something new is one of the harder things to do, and creating abstracts this way is even more difficult. Usually, the art piece will be a sculpture, and by focusing on a detail, one may get the abstract one wants. As always, lines and patterns play a dominant role in this. Please click here to see 12 selected examples from my Flickr photostream with some background information.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Unusual concertos [80]: Bouzouki

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 80+ this time.

The eightieth concerto deals with the bouzouki. This traditional Greek instrument is not really a suitable concertante instrument due to its inherent soft sound, but composer Joseph James overcame that problem by using three of them in his Concerto for 3 Bouzoukis and Orchestra, the only one I know for the instrument. It has been recorded in a version played Costa Rialis and the Philharmonia under John Gibbons, available on a Black Box Classics CD.

Go here

Friday, November 14, 2014

Last night I dreamed you kissed me

A wonderful and almost spooky sheet music cover from the jazz age. Last night I dreamed you kissed me is a song from 1928, perhaps best known in the Louis Armstrong version.

web site

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Riviera life

Dutch singer Caro Emerald has been very successful with her retro jazzy pop style, breaking sales records in the Netherlands and abroad. For her single Riviera Life, a very suitable vintage-style cover was designed, perfectly in line with the music. More about Caro Emerald on the linked Wikipedia page.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Autumn in Utrecht

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 an autumnal scene on one of the canals in Utrecht, photographed by myself a few years ago, converted to digital art by the painting module of the mentioned software. One of my personal favourites so far. The link leads to the original photograph.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lest we forget (links, updated)

Over the past few years, I have made many posts inspired by the so-called Great War (1914-1918), on the occasion of Armistice Day (11 November). Here (like last years, updated) I collect links to all of them rather than re-post one or two. If you want to click just one, I suggest the first one, which has some astonishing background information. The image above is based on an image sourced from here, and copyright by Nick Harvey/Rex Features.

11-11-08 Poem: In Flanders' fields.
11-11-08 YouTube: Documentary on Britten's War Requiem.
11-11-08 Paintings: Returning to the trenches (Nevinson).
11-11-08 Flickr favourites: Lest we forget.
11-11-09 Vintage posters: In Flanders' fields.
11-11-09 Paintings: La guerre (Gromaire).
11-11-09 Photojournalism: Remembrance.
11-11-10 Paintings: Over the top (Nash).
11-11-10 En Vogue: Vogue May 1914.
11-11-10 Poem: Suicide in the trenches.
11-11-10 Photojounalism: The fallen.
11-11-11 Under cover: Motion Picture May 1918.
12-11-11 Photojournalism: Armistice day in London.
12-11-11 Photojournalism: Armistice day in Minsk.
11-11-12 Art-iculations: Artists who fell in the "Great" War.
11-11-13 Paintings: Armored train in action (Severini)
11-11-13 Flickr favourites: Poppy.
09-11-14 Miscellaneous art: Blood swept lands....
10-11-14 Paintings: Still life with poppies (van Gogh).
11-11-14 Flickr favourites: Voices fading on the winds of thought.

Voices fading on the winds of thought

When my Flickr friend jenny downing posted this beauty three months ago, I immediately bookmarked it for use on Armistice Day, the day that horrible Great War ended in 1918. Poppies have become a symbol for one of the darkest periods in human history, and this poetic shot of them, combined with a very appropriate title (lifted from a Siegfried Sassoon poem), makes this the perfect post for today. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Still life, vase with daisies and poppies

It is double timely to post this relatively unknown still life by Vincent van Gogh from 1890 this week. Firstly, it was sold recently for over 60 million dollars at the Sotheby's New York auction. Secondly, with Armistice Day coming up (tomorrow), an image with poppies is the traditional way to commemorate the dead of that awful "Great" war. More about van Gogh in the Wikipedia article linked to below.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Blood swept lands and seas of red by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper

The first of three days of posting inspired by the upcoming Armistice Day, which marks the end of World War One. This impressive art installation has been created over the past months around the Tower of London. The grounds around the building have been covered by 888,246 handmade poppies, each representing a British and Commonwealth person who died during this war. Photography by Martin Pettitt.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

The fall of the wall

Tomorrow the world celebrates the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, one of the most momentous happenings in my lifetime. I picked this shot for its photographic qualities. It shows a woman sorting small stones from the former Berlin Wall at a wholesale souvenir supplier. As always, all rights retained by the photographer (Matthias Balk/European Pressphoto Agency).