Tag Archives: art

Jillian Tamaki and the Penguin Threads

I read an article a few months ago about Penguin’s plans for a new collection, and I should have known then that it would be fabulous, because what has Penguin ever done that’s not fabulous? But wow. I pre-ordered these beauties the moment I laid eyes on them. Bravo, Penguin.

As a part of its Fall 2011 collection, Penguin plans to release these delightful covers as part of its Penguin Threads series. The publishing house commissioned artist Jillian Tamaki to design hand-sewn covers of three classics: Jane Austen’s Emma, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, and Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty (links are to pre-order each from Amazon).

such detail!

Tamaki sketched the illustrations before stitching these designs with a needle and thread. The final covers are sculpt-embossed, maintaining some of the tactile texture of the original threads designs, and are full wraparound images with french flaps.

love the hair, giiiiirl

Although each book is new to the Penguin Classics Deluxe series, it seems Penguin chose these three books for various unrelated reasons. This will be the first standalone edition of Emma, this year marks the centennial of The Secret Garden‘s publication, and Black Beauty features a new foreword written by Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley.

my favorite

the wraparound

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Lovers and Other Strangers

My absolute favorite artist in the world is Jack Vettriano, which may seem a little cliche due to a few extremely well known and well exploited works of his.  However, I feel unique in saying so because I’ve studied his work, I know his background, I can recognize his distinctive style from a mile away.  I’ve no less than seven prints by Vettriano on display in my apartment (and about fifty more that I wish I had wall space for), not to mention the coffee table book on my, well, coffee table.  The Singing Butler is probably his most famous work, which was interestingly enough part of his first London exhibition back in October 1992 called God’s Children:

you know

Vettriano was born in Fife, Scotland in 1951.  He sparked an interest in painting when a girlfriend gave him a set of watercolors on his 21st birthday, and spent the next nearly 20 years teaching himself how to paint.

In 1989, he submitted two paintings to the Royal Scottish Academy’s annual exhibition; both were accepted and sold on the first day. The following year, an equally enthusiastic reaction greeted the three paintings, which he entered for the prestigious Summer Exhibition at London’s Royal Academy and his new life as an artist began from that point on.

The next twenty years produced over 23 separate exhibitions, including those during his 13-year residence at London’s Portland Gallery, which produced such projects as The Passion and the Pain; Between Darkness and Dawn; Lovers and Other Strangers; Affairs of the Heart; and Love, Devotion, and Surrender.

this makes me think of November (probably because it was the featured piece on a calendar I had once)

I have a deep appreciation for Vettriano’s work mostly due his fascination with stylized 20s- and 30s-type settings and characters.  I also love his use of rich, warm colors for his light, sentimental work, and cooler, occasionally faded colors for his darker, moodier pieces.  Vettriano devotes his efforts to exploring specifically angles of the human body and how changing postures and profiles can portray emotion or circumstance, and more broadly, human interactions in general – half of his works feature two or more people and the other half seems to be clearly contemplating those not shown.

The thought and lyricism in the titles of his works is another effort that rings especially important to me (as a writer and general lover of language).  The piece above is called Back Where You Belong.  The piece below is Elegy for a Dead Admiral.

one of my definite favs

I find his work to convey both timelessness and elegance, his collection as a whole striking a delicate balance between the ethereal and the esoteric.  The pieces both above and below are hanging in my dining room.

The next few pieces are Mad Dogs, The Temptress, Waltzers, and Sweet Bird of Youth, respectively.

a fairly early work

a fairly recent work

might recognize this one too

the first piece I ever saw

A few other well recognized paintings are Bad Boy, Good Girl (1994), In Thoughts of You (1996), Dance Me to the End of Love (1998), and Cafe Days (1995).  Below is Vettriano, now 58:

the artist

Not an Expert

credit: http://chiaroscuro.baltiblogs.com/

I don’t have any definite plans for the purpose which I intend this blog to serve.  As a music journalist, I’ve been updating a portfolio website so as to collect and display my work.  As a writer, I’ve been chronicling my own experiences for over 7 years now, across hundreds and hundreds of pages.  So I have both the personal and the professional pretty well covered.  I suppose this will become my middle ground.

credit: http://vinylfanatics.com/As to its content, I don’t have any real ideas about that either.  I understand enough about myself that I assume the shape this space might form would be purely an extension of my life’s passions, which include artistic standards like music, literature, culture, poetry, culinary arts, fashion, and photography, among so many other things.

credit: http://fineartamerica.com/index.htmlBeyond that, I see this as a small offering to the world… a way to appreciate music, beautiful things, poignant words, good food, and brilliant people.  Because really, I don’t claim to be an expert on anything.  I know a lot about a few things, but mostly I’m still learning.

credit: http://www.vandaprints.com/index.php