|the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing.|
|I want a trouble-maker for a lover,|
Blood spiller, blood drinker, a heart of flame,
Who quarrels with the sky and fights with fate,
Who burns like fire on the rushing sea.
From Rumi’s Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi
|Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.|
--W. H. Auden
|Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face|
Do You Realize - we're floating in space
Do You Realize - that happiness makes you cry
Do You Realize - that everyone you know someday will die
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes - let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face
|The best things in life are not things.|
The midnight hour has always been more than an hour of the day. It is symbolically the inversion of the noon hour’s illuminating sunlight revealing all there is that should be seen and known. Midnight means a cover of darkness to hide certain problematic situations. It is a time for the compromised to meet in desperate rendezvous to pass dire secrets, while the good people dream in the deep sleep of the pure of heart. Midnight means locked doors, hushed voices, and a longing for the light of dawn. Here is a collection of the wonders and frights you may encounter should you dare venture out in the Witching Hour…
“Witching Hour (noun) 1. the witching hour, the hour at which witches are supposed to appear, usually midnight.”
Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour, With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.”
Tis the witching hour of night, Or bed is the moon and bright, And the stars they glisten, glisten, Seeming with bright eyes to listen For what listen they?”
The witching hour, somebody had once whispered to her, was a special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown–up was in a deep deep sleep, and all the dark things came out from hiding and had the world all to themselves.”
“Midnight is the witching hour — if you believe that kind of thing, and most people won’t admit it if they do. Midnight is the time when a door opens from our world into the next, and we are visited by dark spirits of the shadowlands. The incubus, the succubus, the old hag. Visitors are known by many names, but each story bears the same marks. The demons come after midnight in the first three hours of the new day, when we are alone and vulnerable, deep asleep and helpless, when we cannot move. They lay on us, press on us, suffocate us, take from us what is most precious: our lives, our love, our sanity — our sleep. If you believe in that kind of thing.”
The concept of Astrology or “study of the stars” has been around since the ancient world and can be traced as far back as the first dynasty of Mesopotamia.
For some the stars are a portent of the future and help inform one on the best course of action to take based on the stars’ alignment. If born under a specific “star” or month during the year you may have certain characteristics and mannerisms that correspond to a horoscope sign. There are 12 different horoscope signs which make up the zodiac with each sign representing a different animal. Those born between the late January through late February fall under the 11th sign of the zodiac: Aquarius.
Aquarius (January 20 — February 18)
The Aquarians are the “water-bearers,” descendants of “Hyas,” who was killed by wild animals while fetching water from a river. His sisters still cry for him, their tears being the falling rain. This rain from the heavens is why Aquarius is the zodiac sign based in air and water. Children of the water-bearer are known for their independent nature, general weird humor, and quirkiness. An air sign, they are intellectual and witty having been gifted with an analytical mind. Always living in the future, they are ahead of their time and may come off as a bit strange to others.
Aquarians really know how to stand out from the crowd and have great leadership potential. This sign is also the sign of friendship having the ability to make friends with almost anyone and most like has a wide social circle. Their sign rules surprises and originality, they enjoy shock value and love to change their minds. A practical joker at heart they are always fun to be around. Ruled by Uranus, Aquarians are tech savvy and all about progress, the love next generation technologies and can usually be found tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos. Water Bearers also have great imaginations and tend to see possibilities where there appear to be none.
Whether it’s the sole survivor of a plane crash, stranded on a fly–speck Pacific island or the forlorn deserted lover standing alone in the early morning fog at mid–span of Waterloo Bridge, there is nothing sadder, and nothing more defining of the human spirit, than the tossing into the sea of the “message in a bottle.” The idea, more than the actual execution, of this desperate measure, has come to symbolize an eternal act of human faith — that somehow Divine Providence will guide this message through the shifting seven seas to be found on a beach by the one who needs to read it. Human faith is heartbreaking… but wonderful.
Message in a Bottle Send me a message in a bottle, Way across the seas. With the scripture of a poet, And words flowing with ease.
Send me a message in a bottle, The words soft and sweet. Rolling through the waves And sand to my feet.
The glass will wipe clear When I look in at beauty within, A sigh of relief, In every dwindling sin.
Send me a message in a bottle, And I’ll send you mine, With beautiful markings, And words intertwined.
The shore it will wait, There for you to see. A message in a bottle, There it will be.
The Embargo Ends, And The Internet Is Calling
Cuban Art Renaissance: The embargo ends, and the Internet is calling
Cuba by albercriso
One of the rare places on the planet where art has not greatly benefited from the Internet, and the free expression its unfettered discussion encourages, has been Cuba.
The official U.S. economic embargo of Cuban goods has been in place since 1960, making the sale of art to wealthy American investors a hassle involving shipping through third
Francis Ford Coppola: Godfather of New Hollywood
Francis Ford Coppola: The Godfather of the New Hollywood (1972-1982)
The Godfather Is Back by donvito62
By the late 1960s, the big Hollywood movie studios had lost control over actual movie production.
Individual “executive producers” based at the “Big Five” increasingly cut deals with star independent producers, directors and, especially, movie star actors for percenta
Collection: Leapin' Lizards
They look like tiny versions of dinosaur ancestors who have survived into our age, like sharks and crocodiles, but actually they are of a separate evolution and not related. They have scary devil–mask faces, many even sporting horns—but actually, most species are quite human–friendly and can make affectionate pets.
Their endless variations in skin coloring and tattoo–like designs are what draw the artists’ and photographers’ eyes. The chameleons even “change clothes” all day long, wanting to always be wearing the appropriate colors for the “room” they find themselves in.
Collection: That Place We All Go To
That Place we all go to though we don’t know the way
Almost half of our lives we spend in a state of being that ranges from a near comatose blackout to a surreal quasi–consciousness we accept as a visit to a non–reality. For some of us, bedtime is a welcome drifting off to a much needed rest. For some of us, it’s a miserable battle with the nightly brain gremlins that harass us into hours of exhausting wakefulness. Some of us “don’t dream.” Some of us enjoy our dreams. Some of us are terrorized more nights than not by hideous nightmares. “Beds” are different countries for each of us, with no
Picking up where the Captain America: The First Avenger movie left off, we find ourselves back in the 1940’s following the life of Peggy Carter after losing Steve Rogers (a.k.a. “Captain America”). Set in 1946, it is a period still trying to come to terms with the idea of the self–sufficient “working woman” who, before the war, was a rare creature. It is also an era when it was totally acceptable to bombard women with sexist and belittling comments.
When we first meet Peggy Carter she is walking down the street in a sea of grey suits and it is clear from her attire that she is not here to blend in with the background. The show’s costume designers created a very patriotic red, white, and blue look for the first time we see her; the same outfit she wears in all of the publicity photos for the show. Her ensemble was created most likely to visually link her previous ties to Captain America who sports the same patriotic color pallet in his outfit rather than being the same colors as her own country’s Union Jack. While she is dressed in the female equivalent to a men’s suit there is one item that sets her apart: her bright red hat.
Comic book heroes have never been trendsetters or fashion icons, and one knows better than to look to them for fashion inspiration. The skin–tight latex one piece suits favored by comic book heroines are fashion disasters when attempted in the real world.
By moving away from the up until now established hypersexualized female comic book hero, Agent Carter looks to appeal to an entirely different audience, one mainstream comics often forgets or deliberately ignores. The typical comic book audience is no longer the stereotyped young “nerdy” male living out his fantasies vicariously with the pin–up style ladies filling the pages of the latest graphic novel. Today’s comic book audience is almost 50% female and they expect more from their heroines’ attire than the usual “barely–there” outfits.
Enter Peggy Carter, who is not only capable, confident, and poised — but feminine as well. When Agent Carter appears at her job, her outfit is modest, well–tailored, and professional; fashionable for the time without being distracting. Peggy is respected by her female coworkers, something which is rare not only in comics, but in entertainment as a whole, where one is more likely to see females engaged in “cat fights” than sisterhood. Her female colleague specifically compliments Peggy's red hat as she enters the office. She likes it, and more importantly, she lets us know that we, as the audience, are allowed to like it.
It establishes that being fashionable and feminine are acceptable and do not, in any way, detract from a woman’s ability to be competent and intelligent. At the same time Peggy knows how to use her femininity, and the reality of the sexist world she lives in, to her advantage. She disguises herself as a sultry blond to gain easy access to the information she needs. She uses the ages–old “lady troubles” excuse when she needs the day off to investigate a case. She claims she hurt herself when she caught her heel in the cobblestones to hide the real reason for her limp after being injured while saving the day. After all, if sexism can work against her, why can’t she make it work for her?
In this show Peggy Carter takes the spotlight, while Jarvis, a butler whose services she has inherited, happily plays a supporting character to our hero in his role as emotional support and get–away–car driver. The contrast between the Peggy and Jarvis relationship and Peggy’s relationship with her male co–workers, and even that of her friend Angie’s with her male customers at the restaurant, is quite stark. The show makes it crystal clear what its message is regarding gender equality and sexism during a scene in the diner. Peggy almost impales a misogynistic male customer with a fork while setting him straight on how to treat his waitress before sending him on his way.
Even though Peggy is still mourning the recent loss of Steve Rogers, who ostensibly died just as their romance was starting to bloom, she clearly has no intention of throwing herself into the arms of the nearest man for comfort, as she maintains professional and platonic relationships with Jarvis and her fellow agents. Peggy signals through her actions that she is an independent woman who can take care of herself and is ready roll with the punches. She clarifies this for Agent Sousa when he tries to defend her after callous comments from another agent. Instead of the “thank you” he expects, he is told to back off because Peggy can fight her own battles and doesn’t need a man to defend her.
The character of Peggy Carter fills an interesting space in the comic world, violating the social norms of her time without attempting to start a revolution. She has no qualms donning a dress in order to get closer to her target, but firmly reminds others that she is an agent, not a secretary. Her hat is a symbol of her power, and unlike so many other comic book heroines, her symbol of power is not built for the male gaze. She doesn’t don a skintight, revealing outfit involving a gravity–defying bra, but a swell accessory with a pop of color. You can expect to see many a red hat and period appropriate hemline on cosplayers at upcoming conventions, and it will be a very welcome sight.
Credit is definitely due to Hayley Atwell, the actor playing Peggy Carter, whose performance sells the character and the story. Atwell is on her way to becoming this generation’s Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman) in the way she drives the message home that women don’t need protecting or rescuing, they just need people to get out of their way so they can save the day. Atwell’s Peggy Carter makes it clear to anyone that tries to demean her that she isn't going any where and is here to stay. She may not have super powers, an iron suit or super soldier serum, but she is, without a doubt, the hero so many women have been waiting for and the one they have deserved for a long, long time.
A free Madefire motion book created by Ben Wolstenholme & Liam Sharp
Without going into all the wonderful enhancements (not only frame motion and dramatic juxtapositions, but also musical scoring and sound and flash effects) possible with the Madefire motion books process, it should be emphasized, lest one get lost in all the bells and whistles, that the actual story narrative of Mono is stand–alone worthy of feature film treatment (and every possible multi–platform iteration).
Mono is an alternative warrior in this time of superhero glut. He has no “super power” per se, only the strength of 12 men and a powerful, deadly prehensile tail, for he is a genetic “throwback” of nature — a “man–ape” hybrid. This “animal” essence in his DNA gives him more than an insanely lethal physique. It also reflects in his psyche, lending a purity of thinking in terms of his duties and goals. He exhibits the same constant calm resolve, as focused and unapologetic, as any of the wild’s predators which hunt and kill in order to survive. He simply hunts and kills on behalf of his human half–brethren.
In the initial series of Mono motion books, the setting is Nazi–occupied France during WWII.
Mono, being of a most unusual genetic mash–up, is the quintessential target of Nazi pure-blood ideology and a threat to their master race pretensions. Mono is assigned a suicide mission to infiltrate the enemy lines and ultimately hunt down and kill the Nazi general in charge of the brutal occupation. General Eberbach is a model Aryan “ubermensch” more than capable of meeting Mono in toe–to–toe mortal combat. Ironies powerfully resonate in the comparison of the Nazi general’s self–regard as a guardian of civilized culture and refinement, and his perception of warfare as a noble family vocation — with Mono’s self–regard as being a dutiful servant to Queen and country (and to the wild, natural world untouched by mankind’s “civilization”). His understanding of war is as a hideous exaggeration of force for acquisition of land and resources far beyond the needs of basic survival — his “animal” self knows not to kill beyond what he needs nor damage the Earth that enables all life.
Mono is a welcome alternative take on the superhero character in popular culture that is rapidly exhausting itself.
Seeking “superpowers” from our natural brethren right here on Earth, rather than from super–human aliens from outer space or the bites of irradiated spiders, might just be the jolt of fresh juice to the hero narrative that is long overdue. The personal reveries of this hero are a definite literary notch above standard comics hero philosophizing. Mono as the Queen’s special agent is James Bond pulled inside out. His lethal animal essence is obvious, rather than hidden in tuxedos and sardonic urbanity. It is his unexpected humanity that is hidden, only to emerge in moments of his contemplation of his lot in life.
Not only is Mono a completely satisfying comic book experience in its story alone, it’s also one of the first comics to rise up in the emergent “motion comics” format. Frames of story are drifted over in a cinematic fashion, lending added energy or ennui to narrative moments as needed. Sound cues enhance action and other sequences and add greatly to the storytelling, setting mood and even historic time and place. The ability to subtly direct the casual reader’s eyes through the illustrations as the artist would, seeing the graphic storyline a bit more as the artist intended, makes a world of difference. There looks to be a bright future for comic “motion books” — especially if the storylines themselves continue to evolve to higher heights along with the new “cinematic” motion and sound effects. This is the true achievement of Mono.
Madefire created by Ben Wolstenholme, Liam Sharp & Eugene Walden.
Script: Ben Wolstenholme & Liam Sharp
You can find more examples of Madefire’s Motion Books™ here or you can create your own.
Check out Madefire’s Motion Book Tool Group. This group has all the tools and tutorials to get you started.
Frozen was Disney’s tremendously successful third attempt at adapting the grimm Hans Christian Anderson tale 'The Snow Queen.' As early as 1943, Walt Disney saw the potential in this the longest and most highly acclaimed of Andersen’s stories, but it took 70 years and a couple of modifications for the film to finally become a dream come true.
First published in 1845, the villainous Snow Queen was described in the story as: “…a woman, dressed in garments of white gauze, which looked like millions of starry snow–flakes linked together. She was fair and beautiful, but made of ice—shining and glittering ice. Still she was alive and her eyes sparkled like bright stars, but there was neither peace nor rest in their glance”
In order to make the story work on screen Disney had to turn the Snow Queen from villain to flawed heroine and in doing so introduced it’s first dual Princess narrative featuring sisters Elsa and Anna.
Disney always includes a few artistic treats in their animated films and this one is no different. The names of the characters—Hans, Kristoff, Anna, and Sven—are a tribute to the original author, when placed together it sounds like Hans Christian Anderson. During Anna’s song ‘For the first time in Forever’ she swings and poses in front of a painting in the palace gallery based on 18th-century oil painting ‘The Happy Accidents of the Swing’ by Jean-Honoré Fragonard. It seems to be a popular painting among the Disney animators as it has show up in concept art of films like 'Tangled.'
Frozen’s popularity is a tribute to the essential and timeless themes of Anderson’s story—love, family, and finding one’s inner strength. The award winning film has not only melted audiences’ hearts across the world and become the highest–grossing animated movie of all time, it has also inspired a multitude of cosplayers to “let it go” and transform into their favorite Frozen characters.
Ready the reindeer and prepare to sled full speed ahead through a chillingly beautiful cosplay collection!
Some people are worth melting for”
Let the storm rage on! The cold never bothered me anyway”
Do you want to build a snowman?”
But — but — Oh, come on! It’s a palace made of ice! Ice is my life!”
Current Residence: A Peaceful State|
deviantWEAR sizing preference: L
Print preference: As Big As Possible.
Favourite genre of music: Rock. Jazz(Hard Bop). Blues. 80's Metal. Tribal(Aboriginal thru Electronic). Classical.Troubado
Favourite photographer: Sebastio Salgado. Richard Mapplethorpe. Walker Evans. Weegee.
Favourite style of art: Post-impressionist. Abstract-expressionist. The New Digital Vanguard. Contemporary fantasy.
Operating System: OSX
MP3 player of choice: Shuffle
Shell of choice: Any Conch will do.
Wallpaper of choice: French Louis XIV Rococo Style
Skin of choice: Thick enough to persevere and thin enough to feel.