astolat: lady of shalott weaving in black and white (Default)
[personal profile] astolat


As We Go Along (1908 words) by astolat
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Lucifer (TV)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Lucifer Morningstar/Mazikeen/Amenadiel
Characters: Lucifer Morningstar, Amenadiel, Mazikeen
Additional Tags: the devil made them do it?
Summary:

Despite all the newly discovered good points to Amenadiel’s company, if he didn’t stop moping, Lucifer was going to have to kill him anyway.

Auf der Nordsee

May. 3rd, 2016 19:34
[syndicated profile] edwardbgordon_feed
On board of the MS Meckie…

An Bord der MS Meckie…



5.9 x 5.9 inch / Oil on MDF board / 15cm x 15cm / Öl auf MDF Bord

If you would like to purchase this daily painting, please send your bid by email. Startprice 150 Euro. End of sale May 4th, 2016 at 6.00 pm (local time Berlin Germany). Terms of Sale and Right of Withdrawal.

Wenn Sie dieses Tagesbild erwerben möchten, senden Sie bitte Ihr Gebot per email . Mindestpreis 150 Euro. Ende des Verkaufs gegen Höchstgebot am 4. Mai 2016 um 18 Uhr. Beachten Sie bitte die Informationen zu den Verkaufsbedingungen sowie die Widerrufsbelehrung.

© Edward B. Gordon, all rights reserved.

[Random] Also

May. 3rd, 2016 12:08
minim_calibre: (Default)
[personal profile] minim_calibre
Yes, my actual blog is leech blocked on my computer, but I can access it from my phone, so I am not blocked from conversing on it. So. You know.

There is that.
minim_calibre: (Default)
[personal profile] minim_calibre
I can't remember if I mentioned it here or on Tumblr (my actual DW blog is, in fact, currently blocked in my leech blocker and I have been too lazy to actually to fix that, as the blackout ends on Thursday night), but DAMN, retyping a whole story, while an effective technique, introduces a lot of typos that you don't notice because, if you didn't change the lines much, they weren't there in the original, printed draft, so you're not looking for them.

When I did the pre-post passes (there were three of them, but in my defense, I was so tired I had a hard time seeing straight yesterday), I caught most of what was in net-new content, very little of what was in what wound up staying in the same basic form.

The lesson to take from this is as follows: dude, just wait until your QA people are online before actually hitting post, yes, even if you've been working on something off and on since 2014, yes, even if you're impatient and just want it gone so you don't change your mind, yes, even then.

(I feel like I've accidentally managed to internalize some of the lessons of continuous publishing for online documentation. Of all the lessons to take away from work, this is NOT one that meshes well with writing fanfiction for an audience. Oops?)

Anyhow, my eagle-eyed regular typo/thinko elimination squad have found the probable bulk of the stragglers I didn't find on yesterday's dozen or so post-post passes.

I'm so bored, guys. There's only so much window shopping I can do and only so many phone games I can play. Staying offline to avoid massive spoilers is THE WORST.

I mean, last night? I found myself writing Dick Booping, PI, just to entertain myself. Also, because it was too hot to actually work on anything real for the pre-sleep 100 words. So I went with sweaty pseudo noir instead. But mostly because I am booooooooooooooored. And missing my preferred form of communication.

Talk to me about writing! Amusing anecdotes about that time you had a horrible typo and didn't notice for two years! ANYTHING! Just, you know. NO FUCKING CIVIL WAR SPOILERS.

This Week in Fandom, Volume 7

May. 3rd, 2016 12:26
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Cat' written beneath the OTW logo (Cat)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Banner by James Baxter with a calendar icon and the text This Week in Fandom on a white background
Legal debates over Star Trek fan film Axanar, a new study on fair use guidelines in Australia & VividCon scholarships http://bit.ly/1pYsc77

Leverage rec?

May. 3rd, 2016 14:01
goss: (Movies - Sesame Street)
[personal profile] goss
So...say one were to have finally finished watching all 5 seasons of Leverage, where might one obtain Parker/Hardison/Eliot fic recs? :)?

Yavanna by ullakko (SFW)

May. 3rd, 2016 19:19
turlough: garden path surrounded by flowering tulips, ending at seagreen gate & fence ((other) i love gardens)
[personal profile] turlough posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Tolkien
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Yavanna
Content Notes/Warnings: n/a
Medium: ink + copics + photoshop
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: [deviantart.com profile] ullakko / [tumblr.com profile] ullathynell / Ulla Thynell illustration

Why this piece is awesome: I love the way this work manages to convey the sheer force and vitality I've always associated with Yavanna. And also how perfectly it illustrates this quotation from The Silmarillion: Some there are who have seen her standing like a tree under heaven, crowned with the Sun; and from all its branches there spilled a golden dew upon the barren earth, and it grew green with corn; but the roots of the tree were in the waters of Ulmo, and the winds of Manwë spoke in its leaves.

Link: Yavanna (DeviantART) or here (Tumblr)
[syndicated profile] gurneyjourney_feed

Posted by James Gurney

Fidelia Bridges (1834-1923) was one of the few commercially successful female artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She was a student of William Trost Richards, who encouraged her to paint detailed views of nature. 


Her sensibilities resonated with the newly emerging technology of color printing, called chromolithography, published in the form of album cards and greeting cards by Louis Prang. 

Album cards were treasured color images intended to be glued into a scrap book.


Bridges was influenced by Pre-Raphaelite art and Japanese prints. Often the scenes included a foreground bush or tree with a couple of birds, with a landscape view visible beyond.


These prints were immensely popular, and made her famous and well compensated, though some people in the day complained of the prints being overly saturated with color.


There's a chapter on chromolithography and the art of the late 19th century in the book The Artist's Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement
----
Previous posts

I don't think your day has come

May. 3rd, 2016 10:46
musesfool: Jane Villanueva (your place in the family of things)
[personal profile] musesfool
So not only did I forget the monthly writing roundup, I didn't post links to the recs update. I guess memory is the first thing to go! Anyway:

April 2016 recs update

[personal profile] unfitforsociety has been updated for April 2016 with 29 recs in 6 fandoms:

* 14 Star Wars
* 5 Avengers, 1 Avengers/West Wing crossover, and 1 Daredevil
* 3 Check, Please!
* 2 DCU
* 2 The Raven Cycle (including TRK spoilers) and 1 Divine Cities

***

Jane the Virgin
spoilers )

So this show is in pretty good shape to knock over a lot of dominoes in the final two episodes.

***

Meanwhile, work is still infuriating. Maybe at some point I'll be able to write up a post about it that doesn't devolve into keyboard smashing in anger, but that point has not yet come. Arrgh.

I have to keep reminding myself that I won't be able to see Civil War on Thursday if I'm in jail.

*deep breaths*

***

Recs!

May. 3rd, 2016 15:04
selenak: (Tony Stark by Gettingdrastic)
[personal profile] selenak
Some post Civil War tales have been written already, to my fannish relief, for I crave them. Mind you, most of what's written is not compatible with my interests in the MCU, to wit: Reader/Anyone - not interested. Steve/Bucky - not interested. Loki/Anyone (this is still going on?) - not interested. Actually, Bucky/Anyone - not interested. (Bucky centric gen I might be more open for now, but still, not what I'm primarily looking for.)

Meanwhile, post Civil War or Civil War inspired tales I am interested in include:

Spoilery Stuff )
[syndicated profile] muddycolors_feed

Posted by William O'Connor

-By Wiliam O'Connor

"Working out the vision night and day.
All it takes is time and perseverance,
With a little luck along the way,
Putting in a personal appearance,
Gathering supporters and adherents...
The art of making art, is putting it together."

S. Sondheim. Sunday in the Park With George 1984

Today we hear a lot of discussion of "branding". There are even classes on how to brand yourself and your art. This is nothing new however, the tradition goes back as long as artists have signed paintings. Some artists were better than others and the myth of many artists have grown into legends. Whether by underground, anti-establishment tactics, advertising and marketing campaigns or grass roots social media strategies, the art of selling artists is as old as art itself.

Here are a few of histories most famous artists, famous for being artists.

Durer
The Renaissance was the dawn of the artist as brand. Artists began to self promote their work using self portraits and other masterworks. Impressing their clientele as creative geniuses, artists began to become as important as the work they did. Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), was one of the pioneers to use print making to widen his market, boldly signing his works and portraying himself as a Christ-like figure.




Cellini
In the age of the celebrity artist Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571) literally wrote the book on self branding. Writing his eponymous autobiography the Italian artist regales his readers with swashbuckling adventures of romance and intrigue that delighted his patrons and helped establish the legacy of the roguish, cosmopolitan artist.




Delacroix
The Romantic Period produced some of the most memorable characters in the history of art. The of the earliest examples of the revolutionary, passionate, self sacrificing political activist artist is Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863). Delacroix embraced the romantic notion of being an artist, producing scandalous paintings throughout his career that would routinely get him banned from the Salon (Death of Sardanapaslus 1837) and making outrageous political paintings (Liberty Leading the People 1830) all with an artistic bravado that made him notorious in the art world. Delacroix knew that the only thing worse than bad reviews was no reviews.




Whistler
James McNeill Whistler(1834-1903) was one of the first true modern art personalities. Bringing his American Twain-esque flamboyance he entertained the Victorian British art scene with scandalous work and behavior. Always dressing in foppish clothes he presented nearly abstract, tonal paintings that infuriated the public and art critics a like. When the famous art critic John Ruskin repudiated his 1875 painting TheFalling Rocket, he sued the writer for libel. Although Whistler won the suit he was bankrupted by the process, but it made him a household name.




Duchamp
Early 20th century art was about deconstructing the traditions of the past. No artist was more iconoclastic than Duchamp. Flipping every established tradition he could on its head he mocked form, meaning, technique and materials, going as far as placing a urinal on a pedestal and calling it art. He so upset the academic establishment it made him one of the most renowned and infamous artists of the past century.




Picasso
When you ask someone to name an artist, the most famous and well known is Pablo Picasso(1881-1973). Part of Picasso's fame comes from the caliber of his work, but another aspect is the Picasso brand. Embodying the image of the modern Bohemian, Picasso crafted his image very carefully, balancing between reclusive savant and cosmopolitan socialite. Try picturing the quintessential artist (beret, cigarettes, womanizing, misunderstood genius), that’s Picasso.




Pollack
The mid-century abstract-expressionist art movement created a pantheon of famous artists, none more so than Jackson Pollock (1912-1956). Unlike many other artists, the reclusive Pollock was not the force behind his own success. Lee Krasner, a successful artist in her own right, promoted Pollock to all the most influential people in NYC. In 1949 Pollock was on the cover of Life Magazine being heralded as "The greatest painter in the United States".




Warhol
"Everyone has 15 minutes of fame." Art as a branded commercial commodity was the great legacy of Andy Warhol (1928-1987). Intentionally making mass produced art of mass produced products Warhol promoted himself ironically as a mass produced artist, even labeling his studio "The Factory" creating art that blurred the line between "high-art" and "pop culture" inventing PopArt and the concept of the artist as art. Even Don Draper would have been impressed.




Haring
In the 1980's art went underground, literally. The power of the galleries and collectors had become so overwhelming that anti-establishment artists had to take to the streets to be seen and began the guerrilla art movement. Stemming out of street art, Punk music and graffiti Keith Haring(1958-1990) started painting murals in NYC subways, eventually building a following that placed his style onto t-shirts, posters, coffee mugs and merchandise in dorm rooms all over the world. (Including yours truly).




Banksy
Art in the 21st century has gone global. With an international audience on the interwebs anonymous artist Banksy (??-??) is perfectly branded to be viewed, shared and copied garnering millions of likes and views all over the world creating memes as art. Using simple graphics of universally ironic juxtapositions his images work equally well on alley walls, t-shirts, billboards, or an Instagram feed.




So as you build your brand and your portfolio, remember that this process of salesmanship has been going on for hundreds of years, and do your research to see how many more of history's famous artists branded themselves into trending topics during their careers.

Enjoy
WOC

Elementary 4.23

May. 3rd, 2016 10:44
selenak: (Holmes and Watson by Emme86)
[personal profile] selenak
Okay, show, that was a really dumb bait and switch which I'm still hoping against hope wasn't one.

Read more... )

Yo, San Francisco!

May. 2nd, 2016 19:25
shrift: batman: crime fighters never sleep (crime fighters never sleep)
[personal profile] shrift
San Francisco people, are any of you planning to see Captain America this Thursday/Friday? I currently have plans to see it with friends on Sunday, but I'm pretty sure I will need to see Civil War multiple times.

I'm going to work from home on Friday, so I'll have scheduling flexibility.

Kathryn Rathke (update)

May. 3rd, 2016 01:08
[syndicated profile] linesandcolors_feed

Posted by Charley Parker

Kathryn Rathke. illustration, digital ink, portraits, caricature
Kathryn Rathke is a Seattle based illustrator who I first wrote about in 2010. Since then, she has continued to fill out her portfolio with her delightfully calligraphic digital “ink” drawings of figures and faces — some familiar, some less so — but all brimming with personality and character.

Her clients include Vanity Fair, The Village Voice, The Washington Post, Fortune Magazine, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, The Boston Globe, Paramount Pictures and American Express.

Rathke draws digitally in Photoshop, taking her sketches into Illustrator for final Vector line work and output. She manages in the process to keep the kind of free, gestural, almost scribbled line that many working in traditional media would envy.

 
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runpunkrun: combat boot, pizza, camo pants = punk  (Default)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Twitter's getting weird, y'all. Last month Margaret Cho followed me. I mean, she follows 90,000 people, but why am I one of them? Where did she even find me? Is she a Kirk/Spock shipper? Does she enjoy my updates on how little I get done every day? It's a mystery.

In honor of the way Twitter enriches and enweirdens our lives, here are three great things I found there recently:

Haunted bed, anyone?

May. 2nd, 2016 13:58
sholio: Peggy Carter smiling (Avengers-Peggy smile)
[personal profile] sholio
http://ithaca.craigslist.org/zip/5566203299.html

Someone is giving away a free haunted bed on Craigslist. This is the best thing I've seen all day.

And I'm stashing it under my "ideas" tag because this has GOT to be useful in a story someday.
capitu: (The Daily Snitch)
[personal profile] capitu posting in [community profile] daily_snitch
Please check our Thursday, April 28 Edition! It posted momentarily locked and you might have missed some Very Important News and Recs. :)

Joanne K. Rowling:
• J.K. Rowling Reveals Information about Lupin's Death on the 18th Anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts.

Harry Potter – Actors and Movies:
'Cursed Child to (Hopefully) Stage in Other Countries.
Emma Watson Attends White House 'Correspondents' Dinner.

Prompt Challenges:
[community profile] slythindor100 posted: Challenge 195.
[profile] poetic_hp posted May Prompt: Bloom.
[profile] hd_fluff posted May Prompt.
[profile] hp_may_madness posted Prompt 1 and Prompt 2.
[community profile] hp_creatures posted May Prompts.

Communities:
[profile] wand_in_a_knot announced Sign ups are open and closed.
[profile] wand_in_a_knot posted Round 1: List of participants.
[community profile] rarepair_shorts posted: 2016 Wishlist Event: Time to Post Your Wishlist.
[profile] hp_darkarts posted: Mod Note Regarding the 2016 Horror Fest.
[community profile] hd_prophet posted Special Edition: "Older fic of the day" list updated.
[community profile] hd_fan_fair posted Rules & Guidelines for the 2016 H/D Pet Fair.
[community profile] dramionelove reminds you: Submissions for the DramioneLove Mini Fest 2016 Due May 5th.
[profile] hdotp announced Harry/Draco Friending Meme.
[community profile] hp_podfic_fest reminds you: Today is last day for Sign-Ups.

Masterlists and Weekly Round-ups:
[info]daily_deviant posted the Banging Birthday Week 4 Round Up.
[community profile] hp_creatures posted the Monthly Round Up.

Hot Rec:
Entropy to Ecstasy by anonymous (Harry/Draco; Nc-17, 4,1K)
Summary: You don't even know the name for this thing you want to do to him. You don't even know that it has a name. All you know is that, one detention, you snap.

Uncivilized by anonymous (Harry/Draco, NC-17, 2,2K)
Summary: Draco's boss brings out his uncivilized side.

Editor's Choice Rec:
• Podfic: Dapper read by [personal profile] fire_juggler (Harry/Draco, Nc-17, 33 minutes)

Fandom Recs:
[profile] themightyflynn recced [one] [gen (Severus Snape, Lucius Malfoy centred] fic.
[profile] shiftylinguini recced [three] [Harry/Draco] fics.
[profile] rzzmg recced [one] [Harry/Ron] fic.
[profile] too_dle_oo recced [three] [Severus/Rosmetra] fanworks (two fics, one art).
[personal profile] capitu recced [one] [Harry/Draco] fic.
[profile] reijamira recced [one] [Harry/Draco] fic.

Resources:
[community profile] hd_prophet: Sunday 1st May.
[community profile] quibbler_report: Wednesday-Sunday, 27 April-1 May 2016.
[personal profile] smirkingcat cat posted at [profile] hd_writers: Monday Resources IV.

General Fandom News:
[profile] leviosa2016: Leviosa menus for Welcome Feast, Keynote lunches, etc, Hall Passes going up for sale, Song requests for Magical Ball, Call for Vid Show submission requests.

Searches:
[community profile] snarryficfind posted a search for Dark or playing both sides Snape.
[profile] hd_ficsearch posted a search for Harry not raised by Dursleys or Snape as a mentor.
[profile] hp_ficsearch posted a search for Harry with an animal that can talk.
[profile] hp_ficsearch posted a search for Non-betrayal Harry in Azkaban fics.

Community Spotlight:
[profile] hd_and_sons: A HP slash community focused on pairings (and threesomes and foursomes!) that include Harry, Draco, Scorpius, Albus, James II, and Teddy.

Please send your fandom news to the Daily Snitch.

[Writing] Notes to self

May. 2nd, 2016 14:23
minim_calibre: (Default)
[personal profile] minim_calibre
While it makes for a stronger story in the end, retyping the damn thing can and will introduce additional errors. Please take note of that and plan accordingly, no matter how many times you'd gone over that in the original draft.

Also, your spellcheck will tend to ignore proper nouns, or things it thinks are proper nouns.

Therefore, manually check all of them.

The longer the story, the greater the chance that all these things will be issues, and the greater the chance that eyes on the page will miss them before posting.

Signed,

OMG, I think I have finally found everything I shouldn't have gone out with.

Burial at Sea

May. 2nd, 2016 18:57
[syndicated profile] edwardbgordon_feed
„The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone“
                                                                                                               Harriet Beecher Stowe




5.9 x 5.9 inch / Oil on MDF board / 15cm x 15cm / Öl auf MDF Bord

Not for sale / nicht zum Verkauf

© Edward B. Gordon, all rights reserved.
thady: (DIV  -  Mohn)
[personal profile] thady posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: digital art
Artist on DW/LJ:
Artist Website/Gallery: [deviantart.com profile] trowicia

Why this piece is awesome: The art is fine and delicate. Love the subtle use of color and the sweetness of this piece and the angst lurking underneath.

Link: Safe With Me.

minim_calibre: (Default)
[personal profile] minim_calibre
Last night I blocked a sex scene with stick figures in fountain pen using J. Herbin violet-scented ink on a Rhodia dotpad.

I feel like this is such an egregious misuse of materials that someone's going to come and take my pen collection away.

The worst part is that I'm not sure it actually *helped* any.
minim_calibre: (Default)
[personal profile] minim_calibre
There Was, There Wasn't (13515 words) by Minim Calibre
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Steve Rogers/Natasha Romanov
Characters: Natasha Romanov, Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson, Nick Fury
Additional Tags: Friends With Limited-Time Benefits, Platonic Sex
Summary:

After New York, Fury had asked for her assessment of Rogers.




My self-imposed media blackout and the May 5th deadline (US Civil War opening--I'm so stupidly paranoid about spoilers that I actually turned off AO3 alerts for the week) finally forced me to finish the thing!

As I said on Tumblr, I'm probably not kidding when I say that this is a story that I wrote for me and I'm not sure anyone else needs to have a burning desire to read.

(Seriously, self? 13k? Really?)

(Yes, really. Jesus.)

Penny Dreadful 3.01

May. 2nd, 2016 19:07
selenak: (Malcolm and Vanessa)
[personal profile] selenak
My favourite late Victorian multi crossover is back!

Read more... )
musesfool: MWPP-era Sirius (we all shine on)
[personal profile] musesfool
I forgot to do the April writing roundup yesterday, possibly because I forgot I actually finished anything in April. Sigh.

April 2016 writing roundup:

your long shadows and your gunpowder eyes (@ AO3)
Daredevil; Karen/Frank; adult; 1,900 words
Karen wants the truth more than she wants the fantasy.

I did write some stuff in April! Just nothing that is actually finished. Or in some cases usable in any form! Sigh. Work has mostly sucked away my brainpower.

I've gotten some comments recently on older stories, which is fantastic and always welcome, but occasionally someone asks a question and, like, I'm lucky if I can remember what I meant yesterday, let alone in a story I wrote ten or more years ago! And it made me think about the weird timelessness of fandom, which always kind of exists in a permanent now for the fan who is in a particular fandom at any given moment. Though older stories will feel different - different styles or tropes were in fashion then, or the story was in conversation with some bit of fanon or speculation going around at the time, or canon had only progressed so far etc., and the context is often lost if you weren't there (or, in the case of my Swiss cheese memory, even if you were) - they do often hit the spot, and I know a lot of people don't check the date something was posted at first. I mean, I can speak to this from the other side as well, as a reader going through old Star Wars recs lists looking for things to read and coming up with stuff that is five or ten (or more!) years old too.

We're all still here. Even the people who are gone are, if they've left up their stories or their recs or their meta, still here.

I don't know if that's comforting or weird, but it's what I was thinking about this morning. *hands*

In other news, hockey teams which I am rooting for since my team is out did not have the best weekend. I apologize if my rooting for them is what does in the Caps or the Stars, but, you know, I am on your side, guys! On the other hand, the Sharks, whom I'm really only rooting for because of a fictional goalie (sweet baby Chowder!) won, so that was good.

In other hockey news, Amanda Kessel signed with the New York Riveters, which is exciting, even if the local newspapers don't seem to mention it at all. Sigh.

***

Meissonier's "The Smoker"

May. 2nd, 2016 09:44
[syndicated profile] gurneyjourney_feed

Posted by James Gurney

Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier The Smoker (A Man of the First Empire), 1873.
Watercolor and gouache on paper. Overall: 13 7/8 x 8 5/8 in. (35.2 x 22 cm
 
In this small painting, Meissonier shows an approach to water media that would make sense to an oil painter.

Meissonier. Approximately actual size
The lights are built up over a warm middle tone paper. The light tones are scumbled over the background, leaving little pits of darker tone. The face and hands are carefully modeled. You can feel the bones underneath the skin. The edges of the lapel and the hat are grease-stained and frayed, as befits an old outmoded soldier from Bonaparte's era.

The highlights on the pipe are very small, considering that the whole painting is the size of a piece of legal-size paper. Watercolor with gouache can be precise and highly descriptive if you take your time.
Download the large size file of the painting

Audrey Munson: America's Venus

May. 2nd, 2016 05:30
[syndicated profile] muddycolors_feed

Posted by Arnie Fenner


"What becomes of the artists' models? I am wondering if many of my readers
have not stood before a masterpiece of lovely sculpture or a remarkable painting
of a young girl, her very abandonment of draperies accentuating rather than
diminishing her modesty and purity, and asked themselves the question,
'Where is she now, this model who was so beautiful?'"
—Audrey Munson

by Arnie Fenner

As artists we all tend to reuse our favorite models, someone with the "right look," with the proper emotive skills, who can help us solve problems and provide inspiration. James Bama (and other illustrators of the 1960s and '70s) used Steve Holland extensively, Bettie Page was the Muse for Dave Stevens (though he was never able to draw her from life and used her pin-up photos for his reference), Andrew Wyeth repeatedly painted Helga Testorf, and Frank Frazetta...well, Frank used himself as the model for Conan, Tarzan, and John Carter of Mars. (Don't believe anyone who says he didn't, Frank included, or that Ellie was his Muse: she wasn't.) My wife Cathy posed for a number of book covers I painted in the late 1980s and early 1990s and she was also the model for illustrations by Terry Lee (for Analog and Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine) and Robert A. Haas.

I just finished reading The Curse of Beauty, James Bone's new biography of artist model and (briefly) actress Audrey Munson [1891-1996]. Though she was one of the most famous women of her time and the subject of many famous sculpted and painted works—including 15 iconic statues in New York City—I had never heard of Audrey before buying this book. Despite being routinely characterized by various contemporary writers as "unknown"—which you'd think would justify my ignorance prior to reading her story—there seems to be a plethora or articles, essays, Youtube videos, Wikipedia entries, and even a previous book about her available. Who knew? (Not me, obviously.)  


"I detest false modesty. For my part I see nothing shocking in our unclothed bodies."
—Audrey Munson

Dubbed "America's Venus" and "Queen of the Artists Studios" during the height of her popularity, she's described by pundits today as the "supermodel" of The Gilded Age. Uninhibited and outspoken (and, sadly, her outspokenness included anti-semitic attacks on people in the film business who she felt had cheated her), Audrey dated millionaires (without ever capitalizing financially from the relationships as others did as a matter of course), supported the Women's Suffragette Movement, was a controversial star of the early cinema (flummoxing the censors), became the centerpiece of a notorious murder, attempted suicide, and was ultimately committed by her mother to a mental institution, where she remained until her death at the age of 104. Though her face and figure adorn some of the most famous monuments and memorials throughout the United States—and reportedly even appeared on the Walking Liberty Half Dollar that was in circulation from 1916 to 1947—she was buried in an unmarked grave. As told by Bone, it's a fascinating—if ultimately tragic—story. I recommend The Curse of Beauty highly. 



Above: Audrey was the model for A. Stirling Calder's "Star Maiden"
which was sculpted for the Panama-Pacific Exhibition of 1915 in San Francisco.
The piece currently resides in the Oakland Museum.


Above: As "Beauty" on the exterior of the New York Public Library.


Above left: Audrey as "Descending Night," sculpted by by Adolph Alexander Weinman;
this was also created for the Panama-Pacific Exhibition. It was such a popular work that
he sold reduced versions cast in bronze. Above right: As "Pomona" in front of the
Plaza Hotel at the entrance to Central Park.


Above: Audrey—sculpted by Carl A. Heber—guards the Manhattan Bridge.


Above left: A smaller casting of "Spirit of Life," sculpted by Daniel Chester French.
The original is the centerpiece of Congress Park in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Above right: Audrey also posed for French's "Mourning Victory," a memorial in
Concord, MA to honor the three Melvin brothers who were killed in the Civil War.



Above: Audrey appeared in a silent film very loosely based on her career, Inspiration,
in 1915; she was the first woman to appear nude in an American motion picture.
Audrey is seen in the still above with Thomas A. Curran. She appeared in four
movies before her career collapsed, but only one—Purity [1916]—has survived. 


Above: James Bone, author of The Curse of Beauty, talks about Audrey's legacy.


Above: A quick biographical sketch.


Above: Audrey is even in Kansas City. One of Adolph Weinman's
"Day and Night" statues that were originally flanking the clocks in New York's
now-demolished Penn Station was turned into a memorial fountain honoring
Eagle Scouts [!] at 39th and Gillham Road.

April 2016

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