Saturday, 31 May 2008

Paris photo

Someone has sent to me this to a panoramic photo of Paris by night.

Enjoy!, but don't sigh with longing, because Paris must surely be, for all of us mortals who live elsewhere, a myth as much as it is a city.
Warning: there's accordion music playing

Magic potion, my homage to charcoal

Take one of these

Mix with a bit of this in the right proportion.

You'll get something like this:

I am absolutely fascinated by the possibilitites of charcoal as a drawing medium. In this ultra technological times, rubbing a piece of burnt wood against a white piece of paper must feel like the ultimate transgression. Such humble material, but add a bit of human endeavour and passion then, only then, will you get something like this:

These portraits have been drawn by wmwrose, and luckily he shows examples of his work in his flickr photostream. He's going to be on the cover of American Artist Drawing Magazine this summer, and no wonder!
Such mastery and capacity for subtlety leave me speechless.

Images: courtesy of wmwrose, thank you so much for this Bill!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

In the news a few days ago

" A domestic parrot that got lost in Japan was returned back home by the police after the bird told them the name and address of its owner"
(I'm not kidding)

Rare books

From the Bodleian Library in Oxford

From old editions of Alice in Wonderland

These scanned images are shown in Rare Book Room, an amazing site where you can read ancient books that have been entirely digitally photographed to a high resolution. They come from some of the greatest libraries in the world and they are a joy to watch, even if it would take a bit of effort to read them all! Unfortunately the images shown above don't do any justice to the high quality images shown in their site. You can search by author or by library and they have books from the Library of Congress, The British Library, The Bodleian Library, The American Antiquarian Society... a peek into a world that normally remains hidden to the general public.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Interesting lady: Sylvia Beach

... And a word on inspiration

Inspired by her friend Adrienne Monnier, who had been one of the first women to found her own bookshop in France, "Amis des Livres", Sylvia Beach set up her own English language bookshop in Paris and she named it "Shakespeare and Company". They were lending bookshops, where they organized readings and supported the the work of young writers.

Sylvia Beach was the first publisher of James Joyce's Ulysses

Many years later, Mr. George Whitman went on to open his own English language bookshop, and also named it Shakespeare and Company, with the intention of preserving the spirit of the original store .
It is currently run by George Whitman's daughter.
And guess what her name is...Sylvia Beach Whitman.


I love these cards and notes from They are so colourful and have such a sense of humour
(oops, I've just seen that they sponsor a very famous blog out there, but I can assure you they had been my favourites forever)

Sunday, 18 May 2008


"Half of the world doesn't eat because of underdevelopment and half of the world doesn't sleep because of development"

Julio Cortázar

Saturday, 17 May 2008

It's a small world

More about me

Portrait of Mme. Claude Monet
By Pierre-Auguste Renoir

This portrait belongs to the collection of the faboulous Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.
This mood...this mood I know of. Imagine the remote control in her left hand and you'll understand why my posts are so brief....

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Art facts

Last February this painting was sold at a Sotheby's auction in London for £5.7 million (8,7 € million, $10 million). Peter Doig speaks about his views on this peculiar incident in this article from The Guardian newspaper. His comments on this matter start by the very curious declaration 'It made me feel sick, really".

Other images of his work in this online gallery