Friday, February 27, 2009

A Cuppa Lamelos

I don't like the design of that small Nespresso machine much. I think it looks stupid. Stupid I tell you! But with a decoration by art pal Boris from comic collective Lamelos I don't think it's that stupid anymore. How can it be stupid with a green George Clowny on the water reservoir! I like it I tell you!
I stole the photo's from the Lamelos blog.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Barreleye Fish

Oceans are the home of strange and wonderful fish like the Frilled Shark, the red-lipped Batfish, or the different types of Anglerfish. But I never heard of the Barreleye fish before. With a conceited snout and a slow, pale glance this peculiar deep sea fish's got a un-fishlike face, but most remarkably, his dark-scaled body has a transparent head. It looks very surreal, like it has been made up and only lives in imaginary waters. I'd love to capture this odd animal in paint some day.
Today the Barreleye fish is news. It's eyes were believed to be fixed in place (which could only give it a tunnel vision view), but researchers now know that it can rotate his eyes within the transparent shield that covers his head so he's able to look up at potential prey or look forward to see what it is eating. There's a clip (and more photo's) on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's website.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


My dad is an excellent calligrapher. As a kid I saw him writing charters and diploma's on a weekly basis. I was not allowed to lean against the table he was writing on though; as clumsy as kids can be he was afraid I would nudge his arm by accident. At some point he was overtaken by the computer and the demand of handwritten documents diminished. I shamelessly took advantage by calling his calligraphy books mine and stored them on my bookshelves.
Today those books can be frequently found on my working table. One book has my particular interest because it has a small section about calligraphic decorations, known as 'krullentrekkerij' in Dutch. (Figuratively speaking krullentrekkerij means something unnecessary, something with too much frills. It's kind of an old fashioned word, you don't hear it very often nowadays). Frilly is exactly what krullentrekkerij literally is. Or 'ornamental pen flourishing' as it's called in English. It's the calligraphic decoration -curls or objects made from curls like hearts or animals- that is used to embellish a calligraphic text. They were often made out of one single pen stroke. Wood type printing is also known for its curly embellishments but those ornaments have a more simpler style and are a composition of several separate lines. Objects in wood type ornaments are often line illustrations in stead of an illustration done with one (pen) line.

It's clear that I inherited a love for type from my dad and that's why a curly (or typographic) detail often finds it's way into my work. Below are some beautiful examples of pen flourishing that I'd like to share. Part comes from my dad's books, part I found on the internet.

First pic: Flourishes from the 18th century. Above: Aphorism by Broeders, 17th century. Both from: Calligraphy, Arti picture encyclopedia

Portrait of Charles II & detail Source

From: 'Ornamental Pen desgins and Flourishes' by Carol Belanger Grafton

Johann Losenawer, 1739 Source

Dutch stamps Source


- Here's a link to a nice website on rare calligraphy books.
- A book with plenty pen flourishing examples, available at Amazon.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Oh la la

'Allo? Ici monsieur Jacque. Non, non, c'est Jacque, with a 'J'. Excusez moi, c'est ma gigantic moustache, eh! ...Still available? Bien sur, visit Oh By Jingo, where my creator Miss Germaine is putting me and other cool 'left hand made' goodies up for sale!'
(Pic from the Oh By Jingo webshop).

The Daily Noodles

Speaking of kittens in the post below, here's me all time favorite kitten Noodles being her usual cute self. (The blue blanket is her morning sleep spot. After that it's napping in the shoe box and at night it's the furry tan coloured igloo).

Kittens & Foxes

Kittens inspired by kittens & Foxes on a trampoline. Because it's Friday.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tattoo me tattoo you!

Look what Kirsten saw in Tokyo! My 'damp free' pig in ink. (The guy had a 'Todd Schorr' on the other side).

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Marsupilami And The Banana

I found out that art pal Iris and I both think that the Chiquita banana logo conceals some sort of optical illusion. Not just any optical illusion, but exactly the same one; in a split second, before we see the famous lady with fruit hat, we both see a banana eating Marsupilami in the blue and yellow trademark. I've attached a rough sketch of the illusion -as we see it- below.
The 'People Who Also See A Marsupilami Eating A Banana In The Chiquita Logo'-club is taking on new members, starting today.
(Pic's from the Chiquita & Marsupilami websites).

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hair Bouquet

Today I went to the Dutch Funeral museum Tot Zover in Amsterdam to see a recent acquisition of the museum's collection; a decorative cabinet of walnut wood that preserves a flower bouquet made from human hair. The bouquet was a birthday present, given to Mr. I.W. de Hoog by his son in 1871 as a personal monument to honour the family. In the war years 1914-1915 other family members and their spouses provided more 'hair flowers' to the bouquet, creating a voluminous 18 inch compilation of different types of flora. This bouquet is impressive, because pieces of hair from loved ones -living or deceased- were usually kept in medallions or small picture frames.
I was amazed by the tiny details of these floral imitations: leafs, grapes, roses, daisies, all clearly made with lot's of patience and diligence, which could also be said about the fine wood carving. The static look of the cabinet, the gloomy pepper & salt colours of the bouquet and the craftsmanship with human components did gave it an eerie feel but nevertheless I loved it.

The museum Tot zover is located next to the cemetery 'De Nieuwe Ooster'. The hair bouquet is worth a visit but the rest of the museum is not that alluring. The few other interesting pieces and relics are tucked away in the dark or in a corner of a showcase where they can hardly be seen. Lot's of missed opportunities there, unfortunately.

More snapshots: