Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The monkey

For the second day of Chinese New Year (Year of the monkey), I have selected this expressionist monkey painting by the brilliant Franz Marc (1880-1916), completed four years before he fell in the Great War. More on Marc in the linked Wikipedia article.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Happy Chinese New Year!

To all our family and friends who celebrate the lunar new year: may you have a great time and a good and healthy year ahead of you! The year of the monkey starts today (image sourced from here).


Sunday, February 07, 2016

Glacier National Park

A beautiful poster for the Glacier National Park in Montana, USA, designed by Lanquist. I would put this some time around 1930. Appropriate for today, as it is the final day of the year of the goat (sheep).

Vintage Posters

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Soichi Sunami

Soichi Sunami (1885-1971) was one of the few Japanese photographers to have achieved world-wide fame. His main work centered around elegant portraits of early modern dancers, such as the depicted Ruth St. Denis, shot in 1929. More about Sunami in the Wikipedia entry linked to below.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Heavy rain

I came across this beautiful poster yesterday, inspired by the continuing rain here in the Netherlands. This 2010 David Cage thriller has good reviews, and I would watch it if it gets screened on TV.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Ripped in January

A selected overview of culture stars relevant to my own tastes who passed away this month. Rest in peace. Image by myself.

Gilbert Kaplan (74), American businessman and amateur conductor. Probably the only amateur to have landed a recording on the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label (Mahler's second symphony) - in our CD collection. 
Vilmos Zsigmond (85), Hungarian-American cinematographer. Famous for his work on timeless classic movies like Close encounters of the third kind and The deer hunter.
Michel Delpech (69), French singer-songwriter and actor. Hits like the upbeat Pour un flirt and the beautiful Ce Lundi la are on our car USB stick.
Pierre Boulez (90), French composer and conductor. We have half a dozen of CD's with his compositions, including Pli selon pli, and Explosant fixe, as well as dozens of CD's with him conducting works of Debussy, Mahler, Webern and others. One of the most important figures in classical music for the past 60-70 years.
David Bowie (69), British art rock legend. One of the greatest of all time. Favourite albums from a career of almost 50 years: Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Low, Heroes, Black star. Favourite songs: Space Oddity, Life on Mars?, Rock and roll suicide, Ashes to ashes, Under pressure, Loving the alien, and many more. His acting career, although less extensive, should be mentioned as well, especially his role in Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
Alan Rickman (69), British actor, He starred in many TV series and movies, for me most notably in the eight Harry Potter movies as Severus Snape.
Hubert Giraud (95), French song writer and lyricist. He gave us evergreens like Sous le ciel de Paris and Mamy blue.
Elisa Pegreffi (93), Italian violinist and founder member of the famous Quartetto Italiano. My first choice for the middle and late string quartets of Beethoven.
Glenn Frey (67), American singer/song writer, founding member and one of the main vocalists of the Eagles. Responsible for some of the best pop/rock songs of all time, including Desperado, Lyin' eyes and Tequila sunrise.
Leila Alaoui (33), French-Moroccan photographer and video artist, killed in terrorist attack in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Denise Duval (94), French soprano, best known for her roles in the premieres of several works by Poulenc, including the opera Les mamelles de Tirésias.
Colin Vearncombe, better known as Black (53), British singer/song writer who had a world wide hit with Wonderful life in 1987.
Paul Kantner (74), American guitarist and vocalist, co-founder of Jefferson Airplane.
Signe Anderson (74), American vocalist, co-founder of Jefferson Airplane, lead singer before Grace Slick.
Aurèle Nicolet (90), Swiss flautist, arguably one of the very best of the 20th century. Stars on many classical CD's in my collection.
Frank Finlay (89), acclaimed British actor. I will remember him for his role as Porthos in the Three Musketeers movies, and the Witchsmeller Persuivant character in the first season of Blackadder.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Portrait of Dagny Juel Przybyszewska

I stumbled upon this work by Polish artist Konrad Krzyżanowski (1872–1922) in Wikipedia via Munch and his muse Dagny Juel. An immensely powerful portrait of the tragic Norwegian writer which was created in 1901. I will check out more of Krzyżanowski's work the coming months. More about Krzyżanowski in the Wikipedia article linked to below.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016


My favourite image of the year so far - and one that got good response at Flickr as well. This abstract is a detail shot of a metal rooster for sale as interior decoration.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/320)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.0 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Monday, February 01, 2016

Nikon Awards blunder

This could have gone in Potpourri under Mixed Nuts as well... A prestigious Nikon Award was given to Singapore photographer Chay Yu Wei for the perfect capture of an airplane flying overhead an emergency stairs construction. Agreed, it is a great image - but unfortunately it is a rather amateurish piece of Photoshopping. Quite embarrassing.

web site

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Save the children

I love this Brazilian advertisement campaign (more examples in the link) against the use of child labour in the fashion industry. "Clothing should not cost a childhood". Subtle images, and quite to the point.

Creative Ads

Friday, January 29, 2016

The miraculous

My most important musical discovery of recent years: Sweden's singer, songwriter, and keyboardist Anna von Hausswolff. I have described her elsewhere as Kate Bush on acid, with a stunning choice of church organs as main accompanying instrument in her second and third albums. The album covers are excellent as well. I selected the cover of the 2015 album The miraculous for today's post. Anders Nydam is credited for the cover photography.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Judge December 1926

The American magazine Judge has featured before in this blog. This cover by John Holmgren is a beautiful piece of Art Deco.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

IJsselmuiden sunrise

Another example of my digital art, created with the free software SuperPhoto that came with my laptop. This painting-like treatment was applied to an early morning picture I took just over a year ago near our home - it shows the village of IJsselmuiden across the river, the iconic Kampen bridge and tall ships moored at the river shore, opposite our home. The link leads to the original photograph.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Park life

This painting by my wife has graced the shop window of our studio several times already. There is some inspiration by Macke in the subject, but the result is very much her own style.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Monday, January 25, 2016

Potpourri: Paper crab

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 28 April 2013.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Chinese art factories

The "art factory" is a development of recent years, and the linked article gives an astonishing insight into the phenomenon. Dafen is a Chinese village where 8,000 artists are working on the art world’s version of assembly lines produce three to five million paintings a year. The mind boggles.

web site

Saturday, January 23, 2016


An experiment that I think is very successful: I shot this abstract by using an aluminium foil cooler bag to reflect colours from one of my wife's paintings. A nice spin-off of the "one shot a day" challenge in 2016 - when weather is not great you look inside for possibilities. Not my most successful shot of the year in terms of responses, but a personal favourite.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170, 20 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.03 sec (1/30)
Aperture: f/3.6
Focal Length: 4.5 mm
ISO Speed: 320
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Friday, January 22, 2016

Vogue January 1928

An interesting Vogue cover that I came across recently. Surprising in its spare (and effective) use of colour. It was created by the famous George Lepape.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Philips radio

A beautiful Art Deco poster with a clear oriental influence for the famous Dutch Philips brand, dating back to 1926. No information on the designer.

Vintage Posters