The Magical Illustrator for Disney and Beyond
Born in New York in 1916, Eyvind Earle began his prolific career at the age of ten when his father, Ferdinand Earle, gave him a challenging choice: read 50 pages of a book or paint a picture every day. Earle choose both. From the time of his first one-man showing in France when he was 14, Earle’s fame had grown steadily. At the age of 21, Earle bicycled across country from Hollywood to New York, paying his way by painting 42 watercolors. In 1937, he opened at the Charles Morgan Galleries, the first of many one-man shows in New York. Two years later at his third consecutive showing at the gallery, the response to his work was so positive that the exhibition sold out and the Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased one of his paintings for their permanent collection.
In 1951 Earle joined Walt Disney studios as an assistant background painter. Earle intrigued Disney in 1953 when he created the look of “Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom” an animated short that won an Academy Award and a Cannes Film Festival Award. Disney kept the artist busy for the rest of decade, painting the settings for such stories as Peter Pan, Paul Bunyan, and Lady and the Tramp. Earle was responsible for the styling, background and colors for the highly acclaimed movie Sleeping Beauty and gave the movie its magical, medieval look. He also painted the dioramas for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
After 15 years creating animated art, Earle returned to painting full time in 1966 and kept working until the end of his life. Eyvind Earle passed away on July 20, 2000 at the age of 84. You can peruse the majority of his work at his website here.
Paintings Made with Real Blood and Urine
The Brazilian street artist, Vinicius Quesada, likes to add a shock value to his artwork. He makes incredibly detailed psychedelic art of violent geishas, smoking monkeys, and other apocalyptic imagery. His series, entitled Blood Piss Blues, was created using exactly what it says – blood and urine. To read more about his art process, you can read an interivew he gave to the website, My Modern Met. You can also follow him on Tumblr by clicking on his name above.
Amazing Life-like Paintings of Book Spines
At first sight, these look like four photos of some books on a shelf, but they aren’t. They are four paintings. Amazingly detailed, incredibly like-life, paintings (click on each to see separately). They display all of the minute details, the tiny tears and faint creases, that well-loved books acquire over time. The artist is Paul Beliveau from Quebec, Canada.
“Femme Fatale” Vampires, Part 1
Bolesław Biegas (1877–1954) was a Polish surrealist artist (painter and sculptor), best known for his “vampire-as-femme fatale” style of painting as seen above. Biegas created a small museum for his art in Paris, France, called the Musée Boleslas Biegas.
- The Vampire in the Form of the Demon, 1917
- A Vampire in the Form of the Lizard, 1916
- Kiss of the Vampire, 1916
- Vampire Suyene, 1917
- The Vampire in the Form of the Dragon, 1917
The Amazing Art of Felix Labisse, 1905-1982
French painter, illustrator and stage designer. He was of Flemish and Polish descent and worked in both France and Belgium. He was a highly-known figure in the art community and was primarily a surrealist painter. He was famous for his depictions of “blue” women and altering the anatomy of his figures. Click on each painting to get a better view of this. My favorite is the little frog wearing a black priest cloak with an upside-down cross. The upside-down cross does not symbolize the devil or anything evil as many people mistakenly believe.
The Strangely Beautiful and Bizarre Art of Alessandro Sicioldr
Sicioldr is an Italian self-taught artist born in 1990. His visionary style is influenced by the study of artists like Giraud, Bosch, Bruegel, Serafini, Seba and by his interests toward the relationship between alchemy and psychology. His uncanny subjects are images coming from the unconscious, represented by the author through a rigorous and elegant style of drawing.
Illustrations for Fairy Tales That Don’t Exist Yet
These illustrations by Mike Davis blend surrealism, religious iconography, Dutch portraiture, and a touch of fairy tale magic to create narrative paintings that seem to tell fantastical stories while stretching beyond the confines of a simple “Once upon a time…”
The Renaissance Woman and Body Hair
Notoriously, on the wedding night of the celebrated art critic, John Ruskin and Effie Gray in 1848, Ruskin was so repelled by the sight of his bride’s body that he was unable to consummate the marriage. Effie Gray explained in a letter of five years later “he had imagined women were quite different to what he saw I was, and that the reason he did not make me his Wife was because he was disgusted with my person”. Ruskin was traumatized by the sight of Effie’s pubic hair.
For an English male art historian of the nineteenth century, steeped in the classical tradition and Italian Renaissance art, the expected female body would have surely been hairless. But how did these pictures interact with the way women treated their own bodies? Did the reinvention of the female nude in Renaissance Italy go hand in hand with a vogue for body hair removal?
The Renaissance could indeed be called a golden age of depilation. During that era, the practice of pubic hair removal flourished. Sixteenth and seventeenth century artists portrayed women as having little or no pubic hair. The work of Peter Paul Rubens, whose models typified the ideal in feminine beauty, most dramatically displays this as shown in his paintings. Recipes for the practice of hair removal where common place and easily retrieved from books.
A recipe that constantly recurs is one based on creating a highly alkaline solution that melts the hair from the surface of the skin, just as hair-removers like Nair do today. There is evidence of recipes for this paste, called rhusma, being used in Ancient Turkey from about 3000 BC and from the Trotula, a very popular medieval book of recipes dating from the twelfth century. Variations of this recipe have been frequently reproduced and include ways for women to remove unsightly body hair for “all” parts of the body.
A 1532 Book of Secrets gives this version of the recipe:
How to Remove or Lose Hair from Anywhere on the Body
Boil together a solution of one pint of arsenic and eighth of a pint of quicklime. Go to a baths or a hot room and smear medicine over the area to be depilated. When the skin feels hot, wash quickly with hot water so the flesh doesn’t come off.