Red Blue and Yellow Dominant In Artwork

Poster by A. Ballester, 1941
Poster by A. Ballester, 1941
'Good Morning Madrid' with Maria Mercader - Poster by Ballester (probably), 1943
‘Good Morning Madrid’ with Maria Mercader – Poster by Ballester (probably), 1943
Roger Broders (1883 - 1953) 1928 travel poster illustration for India Railways
Roger Broders (1883 – 1953) 1928 travel poster illustration for India Railways
Lois Gaigg poster for Lloyd Express 1932 ships
Lois Gaigg poster for Lloyd Express 1932 ships
Movie Poster by A. Ballester, 1942
Movie Poster by A. Ballester, 1942
My Trip Abroad Ruth Eastman (1882 - 1976)
My Trip Abroad Ruth Eastman (1882 – 1976)
'All that money can buy' Poster by Antonio Ballester, 1941
‘All that money can buy’ Poster by Antonio Ballester, 1941
Susan found herself talking about it for the first time, Illustration by Edwin George in 'English Woman' 12 July 1958
Susan found herself talking about it for the first time, Illustration by Edwin George in ‘English Woman’ 12 July 1958
CHARLES E. CHAMBERS (AMERICAN - 1883-1941) goodbye snow night
CHARLES E. CHAMBERS (AMERICAN – 1883-1941)
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The Cosy Little World In Illustration

Artists have various ways of deliberately distorting naturalistic perspective to achieve a certain mood, for example, a cosy little world.

A common feature in children’s book illustration is the curved horizon. An exaggerated and curved horizon gives the impression that the child lives on a very small planet, and mirrors the experience of early childhood. The young child’s arena is small compared to that of an adult, both physically and imaginatively.

Humans have the tendency to populate every sparse area with fairies. We historically consider small protrusions in land (knolls and hills) magical in some way. Here’s an illustration of a fairy hill, with tiny people coming out of a trap door. (Similar imagery can be seen in “The Legend Of The Pied Piper“.

The Fairy Hill by Lady Beatrice Glenavy

And here’s an Arthur Rackham illustration of a magic hill:

Arthur Rackham Magic Hill
Arthur Rackham Magic Hill

I believe the concept of the fairy hill has something to do with the tendency to depict horizons as curves in illustrations for children.

Oxford Book of Poetry for Children compiled by Edward Blishen, illustrated by Brian Wildsmith (1963) fairy hill
Oxford Book of Poetry for Children compiled by Edward Blishen, illustrated by Brian Wildsmith (1963) fairy hill
The World Is Round by Gertrude Stein
A Postmodern picture book “The World Is Round” by Gertrude Stein, the only children’s book she managed to get published. (All the others were deemed too dark.) The cosy little world on top of a knoll or hill intersects with the symbolism of altitude, in which a character goes to a high place to achieve Anagnorisis. The grassy hill or knoll is the miniature, childlike version of ascension of the Mount.
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Luggage and Suitcases In Art and Storytelling

Luggages, suitcases, boxes and other forms of containment are useful motifs for storytellers. Find a standout example in the lyrical short story “Prelude”, one of Katherine Mansfield’s finest.

In “Prelude”, the Burnell family move from central Wellington out to the country. Mansfield’s narrative camera follows Kezia as she says goodbye to her old house. Meanwhile, her unmarried Aunt Beryl feels constricted. Mansfield utilises a variety of containers to convey this emotional state.

Below, you’ll find a collection of suitcases and luggage in art. These characters prepare to go on holiday, arrive at their destinations and return home.

The holiday destination is a heterotopic liminal space, and there’s nothing like luggage to put us in mind of this altered psychological state.

by Perry Barlow (1892-1977) 1955 suitcase
by Perry Barlow (1892-1977) 1955 suitcase
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Sunsets and Sunrises in Art and Illustration

Norman Mills Price (1877 - 1951) boat with sunset

Natalie awoke the next morning to bright sun and clear air, to the gentle movement of her bedroom curtains, to the patterned dancing of the light on the floor; she lay quietly, appreciating the morning in the clear uncomplicated movement vouchsafed occasionally before consciousness returned. Then, with the darkening of the sunlight, the sudden coldness of the day, she was awake and, before perceiving clearly why, she buried her head in the pillow and said, half-aloud, ‘No, please no’.

from Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

ANALYSIS

In this passage, all as brightness and cleanliness, the “gentle” movements as the curtains sway in the breeze, light from the sun creating pattern on the floor, reflects the room’s atmosphere as one misaligned with Natalie’s emotions. The space may feel welcoming and still, and the terms Jackson selects to describe this morning after are alarmingly pleasant. Yet, as the passage continues, a sudden jolt from the established comfort moves the room to darkness and coldness. Like storm clouds obstructing sunlight, the room changes its atmosphere. Natalie’s waking up is the moment when which the room changes: Not only does the girl wake up from her dreams, crossing the divide from the unconscious to conscious, but she also begins to encounter the precipitating moment of trauma. There are no doors for Natalie after this trauma, an inability to exit or enter into a space that is not somehow associated with control or defined roles. Her desire for a cleansed and hollow home, ready to be filled in and cared for manifests in the dorm room setting, a space where Natalie attempts to control her surroundings.

“Homespun” Horror: Shirley Jackson’s Domestic Doubling by Hannah Phillips
Julian Walbridge Rix (1850 - 1903) Sunset in Yosemite
Julian Walbridge Rix (1850 – 1903) Sunset in Yosemite
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Ship Decks in Art and Illustration

Franklin Booth (1874-1948) on board ship
Franklin Booth (1874-1948) on board ship
James Tissot women on ship deck
James Tissot women on ship deck
Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile cover art by Andrew Davidson ship deck
Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile cover art by Andrew Davidson ship deck
On the Deck by Abbot Fuller Graves (1859-1936).  Graves was famous for his floral illustrations
On the Deck by Abbot Fuller Graves (1859-1936). Graves was famous for his floral illustrations
MCCLELLAND BARCLAY (American, 1891-1943) Pictorial Review cover September 1933
MCCLELLAND BARCLAY (American, 1891-1943) Pictorial Review cover September 1933
William Howard Jarvis (1903​–1964) poster for Cunard White Star Cruises c1934
William Howard Jarvis (1903​–1964) poster for Cunard White Star Cruises c1934
Comforting-Words Howard Pyle ship
Comforting-Words Howard Pyle ship
John Watson Nicol - Lochaber No More ship
John Watson Nicol – Lochaber No More ship
Tibor Gergely, The Merry Shipwreck by Georges Duplaix, 1942 deck
Tibor Gergely, The Merry Shipwreck by Georges Duplaix, 1942 deck
Aurelius Battaglia, 1960
Aurelius Battaglia, 1960
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What is a serigraph?

A Serigraph is a rendition of an original artwork created by the silk-screen printing process.

The Archer Art Gallery

“Serigraph” refers to a type of screen printing, which in turn influences the sort of art that can be produced. This particular form of screen printing is labour intensive and involves a colour professional who separates every colour. Basically, ink is forced through a series of fine meshed silk-screens, which are probably not silk these days, but a synthetic material. Some of this polyester mesh is coarse, other mesh is fine, depending on the level of detail required. Serigraphs allow artists fine control over colour in a way other forms of printing does not.

What does an serigraphic illustration tend to look like?

It took off as a printing form in the 1960s. Thank Andy Warhol. During the 60s, some big name artists such as Warhol realised serigraph printing could achieve textures that other printing processes did not allow.

Marilyn Diptych Andy Warhol 1962
Marilyn Diptych Andy Warhol 1962
Anagraphis 1994 Eric Cartier serigraph for a cartoon manual on screen printing
Anagraphis 1994 Eric Cartier serigraph for a cartoon manual on screen printing
Owl & Books. Original Serigraph by Norinaka Suzuki. Vintage Japanese Print 1900
Home » Art

Two Worlds In The Same Illustration

An Entire World In A Single Illustration

ABOVE AND UNDER WATER

David Delamare (1951-2016) modern mermaid illustration
David Delamare (1951-2016)
Now That Days Are Colder by Aileen Fisher, Designed & Illustrated by Gordon Laite, Lettering by Paul Taylor (1973) skating two worlds underground
Now That Days Are Colder by Aileen Fisher, Designed & Illustrated by Gordon Laite, Lettering by Paul Taylor (1973)
The Haunting Of Hill House poster two worlds
The Haunting Of Hill House poster
Deceiving the invader as to the state of the tide, William Heath Robinson (1872-1944) sea ocean
Deceiving the invader as to the state of the tide, William Heath Robinson (1872-1944) sea ocean

The Hollow Earth is a concept proposing that the planet Earth is entirely hollow or contains a substantial interior space. Notably suggested by Edmond Halley in the late 17th century, the notion was disproved, first tentatively by Pierre Bouguer in 1740, then definitively by Charles Hutton in his Schiehallion experiment around 1774.

Wikipedia, about Hollow Earth fantasies
Manhunt by Kate Messner
When the world’s greatest masterpieces are stolen, it’s up to three kids to track down the culprits!

Henry, Anna, and Jose head from Boston to Paris for their most dangerous mission yet: to solve the mystery of an international art heist! Shortly after they arrive, they learn that a member of the Silver Jaguar Society is working as a double agent, passing information to the criminal gang the Serpentine Princes — but who could it be? When the senior members of the Society go missing, it’s up to Henry, Anna, Jose, and their smug new comrade, Hem, to mount a rescue while staying hot on the trail of a missing masterpiece. Running around — and below — a foreign city filled with doppelgangers, decoys, and deceit, the three sleuths discover they’re the only hope for the Society’s survival!
Charlie Hernández has always been proud of his Latin American heritage. He loves the culture, the art, and especially the myths. Thanks to his abuela’s stories, Charlie possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the monsters and ghouls who have spent the last five hundred years haunting the imaginations of children all across the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Central and South America. And even though his grandmother sometimes hinted that the tales might be more than mere myth, Charlie’s always been a pragmatist. Even barely out of diapers, he knew the stories were just make-believe—nothing more than intricately woven fables meant to keep little kids from misbehaving.

But when Charlie begins to experience freaky bodily manifestations—ones all too similar to those described by his grandma in his favorite legend—he is suddenly swept up in a world where the mythical beings he’s spent his entire life hearing about seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Hispanic folklore and into his life. And even stranger, they seem to know more about him than he knows about himself.

Soon, Charlie finds himself in the middle of an ancient battle between La Liga, a secret society of legendary mythological beings sworn to protect the Land of the Living, and La Mano Negra (a.k.a. the Black Hand), a cabal of evil spirits determined to rule mankind. With only the help of his lifelong crush, Violet Rey, and his grandmother’s stories to guide him, Charlie must navigate a world where monsters and brujas rule and things he couldn’t possibly imagine go bump in the night. That is, if he has any hope of discovering what’s happening to him and saving his missing parents (oh, and maybe even the world).

INSIDE AND OUTSIDE

1935 January two worlds
1935 January two worlds

A view through a window is a great way of showing two different environments, of course. But where to position the camera to allow the viewer both views? Below are various examples.

1930 August, cover by Walter Buehr two worlds
1930 August, cover by Walter Buehr two worlds

In Angela Barrett’s fairytale illustration below, the crosscut of the wall allows for the Easter Egg detail of a shoe hidden in the wall. This is an old custom. People used to hide shoes in the house for apotropaic purposes:

Concealed shoes hidden in the fabric of a building have been discovered in many European countries, as well as in other parts of the world, since at least the early modern period. Independent researcher Brian Hoggard has observed that the locations in which these shoes are typically found – in chimneys, under floors, above ceilings, around doors and windows, in the roof – suggest that some may have been concealed as magical charms to protect the occupants of the building against evil influences such as demons, ghosts and witches. Others may have been intended to bestow fertility on a female member of the household, or been an offering to a household deity.

Wikipedia
Illustrator makes use of the concealed shoe in her illustration of Snow White's pregnant mother.
Illustrator makes use of the concealed shoe in her illustration of Snow White’s pregnant mother.
Travel Agent at Desk by Constantin Alajalov (1900-1987) 1949
Travel Agent at Desk by Constantin Alajalov (1900-1987) 1949
Montreux-Bernese Oberland Railway art deco poster 1922, Lake Geneva out the window and the Dents du Midi mountains
Montreux-Bernese Oberland Railway art deco poster 1922, Lake Geneva out the window and the Dents du Midi mountains

See also: The Symbolism of Trains

In the illustration below, Thornton Utz makes use of a warm palette for the interior and a cool palette for the snowy scene right outside. It looks like this couple has prepared for a magnificent dinner party but their guests have been foiled by the weather.

Thornton Utz, cover for The Saturday Evening Post  February 20, 1960
Thornton Utz, cover for The Saturday Evening Post February 20, 1960

The illustration below, by Japanese illustrator Tadahiro Uesugi, offers another excellent perspective for showing both inside and outside view through a window. Uesugi is known for playing with unusual angles and perspectives.

Tadahiro Uesugi

OVER AND ABOVE THE BRIDGE

Here is another Tadahiro Uesugi illustration. Bridges, overpasses and raised railway tracks are another way of showing the viewer two different ‘worlds’.

1947 February, cover by Dong Kingman two US cities
1947 February, cover by Dong Kingman two US cities
Adolf Münzer 'Die Elektrische' (The Electric) Jugend number 2, 1900 train
Adolf Münzer ‘Die Elektrische’ (The Electric) Jugend number 2, 1900
Superman Versus The City Of Tomorrow
Superman Versus The City Of Tomorrow

PANOPTIC ART

Panoptic narrative art depicts multiple scenes and actions without the repetition of characters. Think of the word ‘panorama’. ‘All-seeing’ (pan + optic).

Robert Maguire (American, 1921–2005), The world, the flesh and Father Smith, paperback cover 1960
Robert Maguire (American, 1921–2005), The world, the flesh and Father Smith, paperback cover 1960

Kitty’s mother died on an inappropriately sunny Tuesday. So much has changed in Kitty’s life over the last few months, and she needs the world to stop spinning around her. She needs things to return to normal — or as normal as they’ll ever be.

Normal definitely does not include her family moving from their home in a cozy corner of London all the way to New York City. Moving means leaving behind her friends and neighbors, her grandmother, and all the places and people that help Kitty keep her mother’s memory alive.

New York City is bright and bustling and completely different from everything Kitty has known. As she adjusts to her new school, explores her new city, and befriends a blue-haired boy, Kitty wonders if her memories of her mother don’t need to stay in one place — if there’s a way for them to be with Kitty every day, everywhere.

With her wry, poignant wit, Kitty tells a universal story about the grief of losing a beloved family member, the fears of starting over, and the challenges of how to remake a family in this powerful, heartfelt debut novel.

FURTHER READING

A Glossary Of The Underworld

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Home » Art

A Peephole Effect In Storytelling and Art

In a position to know, Clarence Coles Phillips, 1921 eavesdropping

Peephole: a small hole that may be looked through, especially one in a door through which callers may be identified before the door is opened.

Though the graphic art below focuses on peepholes — from literal holes in walls to views through trees in a forest — in literature there are established terms for describing the unsettled feeling you get when you look through something to something else.

It goes back to Freud, of course. Freud and the uncanny, or unheimlich.

Freud described the uncanny as “that class of the terrifying which leads back to something long known to us, once very familiar”. The uncanny represents the liminal space between what is capable of being understood as outward in the world and what is hidden. Though we may get a sense of the familiarity, its true connection to the past is never quite in our reach. Through repression or burying, the uncanny is never able to be fully comprehended — it can, however, be sensed or felt.

The word ‘unheimlich’ is the opposite of ‘heimlich’, which has various definitions, all related to ‘the home’ e.g. ‘belonging to the home’. The home is (hopefully) where we experience peaceful pleasure and security.

Some writers are well-known for their ability to evoke a sense of the uncanny in readers. One standout example: Shirley Jackson.

In her novel Hangsaman, Jackson repeats door scenes to evoke in readers a sense of the inbetween. (Liminal space.) These doors runction as a gateway to “the shadowy part of self reserved for the double“:

A knock on her door was a strange thing to her as the fact of the door itself… as she looked at the inside, and meant to mark the next day whether the panels outside were the same as those inside; off, she thought, that someone standing outside could look at the door, straight ahead, seeing the white paint and the wood, and I inside looking at the door and the white paint and the wood should look straight also, and we two looking should not see each other because there is something in the way…

Hangsaman, Shirley Jackson

Below is an analysis of this passage. Before reading, know that lonely college freshman Natalie Waite is the main character and she has created this imaginary friend she calls Tony. (Many readers don’t pick up that Tony is imaginary, instead coding Tony as a same-sex romantic object.)

The knocking figure lurking behind the door, somatically signaling its presence but unknowable until the door is opened, is exactly the fear Freud describes in the uncanny. Natalie’s attempts to understand the odd situation relies her ability to “look” at the inside, to “mark” the day, to observe panels from various angles, to “see” the paint, wood, and otherwise normal harbingers of reality.

To decipher what is happening, Natalie attempts to reassert the concreteness of her room and the door. Jackson’s paragraph instills the fear in not knowing where the boundary between the real and the unreal lays, and leaving the uncertainty open after establishing the obvious.

The “we two looking” are Natalie and Tony, not yet able to meet due to that “something in the way,” whether it be logic, reasoning, perception, or simply, a locked door.

Beyond the locked door is the distance between two selves and mental activities. To look at each other would be to finally confront the shadowy other, an act that Natalie cannot fully confront.

What is beginning to emerge in this passage, though, is an inability to separate the real world self from the non reality. It is unclear who the “I” in the passage is, whether Natalie or Tony, real self or shadowed visage.

“Homespun” Horror: Shirley Jackson’s Domestic Doubling by Hannah Phillips

Useful words from that analysis:

Somatic psychology: The study of the mind/body interface, the relationship between our physical matter and our energy; the interaction of our body structures with our thoughts and actions.

Non reality: A place, situation, etc. that is not reality.

Visage: A person’s face or facial expression, with reference to the form or proportions of the features. And here it means the manifestation, image, or aspect of something. (A metaphorical face, for things which don’t normally have faces e.g. buildings or parts of architecture.)

VIEW THROUGH A PEEPHOLE OR VIEWFINDER

Peephole, Norman Rockwell (1958)
Peephole, Norman Rockwell (1958)
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