Writing for artnetnews.com Hettie Judah listed the most overused word in Artspeak for 2015: "activist, Activation, Carefully, Continuously, Emerging, Famous, Iconic, Immersive, Intervention, Poetic, Transformative" and "Urgency."  The most annoying of all over the decades have been Art and Gallery. Everyone's using these words as commercial come-ons  including car dealerships, furniture jewellery, and gift stores here in Nova Scotia. Any Warhol is set to appear on TV in "American Horror Story:Cult." I guess that has little to do with his place in American art as the 20th century game changer?



Warhol did not say that but he might have made a similar comment.  Canadian guru
Marshall McLuhan was supposedly the first to note that, “Art is anything you can get away with,” but probably had no idea how far the changing role of art in a media society might go.  Some credit,  Andy Warhol with that quote, claiming that McLuhan was a tired, grumpy old FArt, well beyond minting such a deep insight. Warhol certainly understood that society was on the cusp of accepting images over meaningful content and mechanical mass production over craftsmanship.



That sign was photographed during Lunenburg Art Gallery's "Paint Sea On Site annual, in 2011. And no I did not doctor the sign. I'm not that angry or anarchistic when it comes to this odd group of amateur artists. At Mount Allison the "BFA" degree was even worse treated by the other arts, It was said an acronym for "Bachelor of F****a**". The combination BFart has combined nasty connotations.



Today, Wikipedia says, "Art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author's imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power." That's a good deal more open ended than the Renaissance version. Warhol's art was driven by his massive collection of Polaroid photographs, which brought subject matter into his studio without a need for painful interactions. Andy isn't that good today. Time is another uncomfortable truth.



Warhol was not into traditional "Fine" or "Finished Art" and being non-conventional paid off for him and became the model for decades of aspiring wannabes. "My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person." These days it does not even have to be in focus, and like the Lord Of The Dance, Warhol's cohorts, some quick and some dead, are Legion.
 


McLuhan was not an enfeebled old man when he met Warhol briefly back in the 1960s and went away describing the New Yorker as "a rube," which is dirty carny talk. Perhaps he was angry because the artist had accepted him as an "honorary muse," but stolen phrase, "in the future, everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes." That's so good, I have pirated it myself! McLuhan thought that, "Advertising is the greatest art form of the 20th century." It was after that, that craft assimilated art and the whole field went ballistically democratic, which is where it remains to this day. It no longer demands talent but charisma is helpful.



So you want to be an artist? That's easy. making a living is not! Self exposure is not everybody's idea of a fun game. It is no longer mine! Even if the market was as uncrowded and simplistic as it was in the 1970s, I would not go back for some of those days were disappointing in outcome in spite of making huge efforts hoping to succeed.  Galleries can be a stumbling block as well as an aid to a career and today most of the real, viable "commercial art galleries," as they called themselves, are gone. The Secord and Zwickers Gallery cling to life in Halifax but most of the are they offer is of historic or investment interest.



Here is a quick look at "galleries" in Halifax. The "Maples" subsists on jewellery.I could fill this page with examples of business "galleries" which have nothing to do with either art or crafts. Teaching art was never a sinecure, and Alex Colville left Mount A' because they were parsimonious to say the least.  Today. the "cash-strapped" NASCAD University uses contract teachers, who are not used a lot better. It's all a matter of public record.





I dated my final commissioned painting because knew I was facing failing eyesight in the fall of 2011.  I painted a few canvases after that time but most were unsatisfactory with one eye becoming a dead issue due to internal damage caused by high pressure within the eyeball. Two crows, joy or mirth?  A global depression and lack of discretionary income in the buying market left no choice but to opt out rather than sink more money into frames, materials and travel without much promise of a rational return on the investment. Now I have promised Ruth an acrylic painting before the end of the current year. If that is possible I would like to use up my left over supply of canvases (three are quite large) and paints and that raises the question of what I would truly like to paint as a recreational retiree.



Toulouse Lautrec "developed an adult-sized torso, while retaining his child-sized legs. Additionally, he is reported to have had hypertrophied genitals. Physically unable to participate in many activities enjoyed by males his age, Toulouse-Lautrec immersed himself in art. He became an important Post-Impressionist painter, art nouveau illustrator, and lithographer, and, through his works, recorded many details of the late-19th-century bohemian lifestyle in Paris." - Wikipedia. He was a skilled caricaturist and thus, like Picasso, a favourite of the English satirical English cartoonist Ronald Seale. To some extent all of these men were illustrators, and that would be my preference if I were to have a "second coming."




Illustration existed long before McLuhan began theorizing that ads were art. The word illustration is now generally understood as a picture which adds weight to text in a book or newspaper. It can also be used to diagram objects in order to explain their appearance or use. Illustration is also "the action or fact of illustrating something either pictorially or by exemplification." eg. "For the sake of illustration, I refer to the following case in law." The word seems to have first come into use in the very late years of the 1700s and peaked in the 1920s. Illustrators were then denigrated by fine artists and their critics and followers and hit a low as "mere illustrators" at the turn of the last century.
 


In this century, the word has again become popular in recognition of the auction house prices realized by people like Searle, Rackham , N.C. Wyeth  and others of that ilk. Searle's cartoons are often as fearless of ink as any generated by Picasso. His lithographic prints bring around $700 while small watercolours originally destined for magazine publication sell in the after market at around $3,000 US.
 


Of course, illustrations go further back in time that the 1800s.Georgius Agricola (1492 - 155) was a German now considered the "father of mineralogy. His birth name was Georg Pawer (Father). Agricola described mining methods which are now obsolete, such as fire-setting, which involved building fires against hard rock faces. The hot rock was quenched with water, and the thermal shock weakened it enough for easy removal. It was a dangerous method when used in underground, made redundant by explosives. The illustrations most famous work, His most famous publication was the De re metallica libri xii  published five years after his death, the delay caused by the number of woodcut illustrations he produced for it.



The English mystic and illustrator William Blake (1757- 1827) is now considered a pivotal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. "Reverent of the Bible but hostile to the Church of England (in fact he was no fan of any organized religion) Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American Revolutions." He later he rejected many of these political beliefs... His visual artistry led 21st-century critic Jonathan Jones to proclaim him 'far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced'." This is an illustration for Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, showing the king and queen, Puck and fairy-ring dancers.



In the full swell of the Romantic Era paintings illustrating mythology were an end in themselves, although many were reproduced as chromlithographic prints. John Roddam Spencer Stanhope (1828-1908)  was a second-wave pre-Raphaelite who also painted contemporary England. This painting, The Waters of Lethe by the Plains of Elysium was painted in 1880.




Edmund Dulac (1882-1952) was a French-born, British naturalized magazine illustrator, book illustrator and stamp designer. Born in Toulouse he studied law but later turned to the study of art at the École des Beaux-Arts.
He was one of the great figures from the Golden Age of Illustration.



Artuš or Artur Scheiner (1863 -1938) was a prolific Bohemian painter, decorative artist, and illustrator,in a time when illustration was not considered a weak sister of academic art. The
current English word illustrate was once defined in the sense of "illumination; spiritual or intellectual enlightenment." This Middle English word was engrafted from Old French, illustration, "apparition" having arrived there from the Latin illustrationem "a vivid representation" from the past participle stem of illustrare "light up, make light, illuminate",related to lucere "shine," lux "light". The sense of " an act of making clear in the mind" is from 1580s, To "provide pictures to explain or decorate" came into use in the 1630s, while use as "an illustrative picture" is recorded first in print in 1816. 




Illustrations can seem magical in impact, but one has to go centuries back in time to find their origin in images which may have had magical intent. The Spanish Cueva de Altamira is renowned for numerous cave paintings in charcoal and featuring local animals and human hands, the last created during the Upper Paleolithic and dated in 2012 at 24,000 to 41,000 years before the present. This cave was the earliest found to have prehistoric humans.



When it comes to that the district in which the cave is found is itself unusual. "The modern Province of Cantabria was constituted on 28 July 1778 at Bárcena la Puente, Reocín. The Organic Law of the Autonomy Statute of Cantabria was approved on 30 December 1981, giving the region its own institutions of self-government." The population was 582,206 in 2916. Altamira is within this sedimentary mountain
and has been declared, along with nine other Cantabrian caves, as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO." - Wikipedia



"Cantabria belongs to Green Spain, the name given to the strip of land between the Bay of Biscay and the Cantabrian Mountains, so called because of its particularly lush vegetation, due to the wet and moderate oceanic climate. The climate is strongly influenced by Atlantic Ocean winds trapped by the mountains; the average annual precipitation is about 1,200 mm (47 inches)."




A coastal strip of low, wide and gently rolling valleys some 10 kilometres in width, the altitude of which does not rise above 500 metres, and which meets the ocean in a line of abrupt cliffs broken by river estuaries, forming ridges and beaches. Santander Bay is the most prominent indentation in the coastline. Mountains parallel to the sea are part of the Cantabrian Mountains.  mostly composed of limestone showing karst topography.



The nearest town Santillana del Mar is about two kilometres north of the cave. Altamira is Spanish for "High Land."






This is that high land directly above the cave. As you can see it is not as high as the mountains seen in the distance, which constitute most of the land area of Cantabria, which some guess is a Celtic designation meaning "high view."




Limestone, being a soft rock is subject to erosion, weathering and rockfalls
. It is thought that there was a broad living area at the mouth of the cave which was sealed by an event of this sort about 13,000 years ago. The inhabitants were last there 14,000 years ago so there was no loss of life but the entrance was sealed preserving the contents until they were discovered when a fallen tree cleared some of the rocks and rubble. One tale has it that a hunter discovered it while trying to track down his wayward dog in 1868. The above scene is an imaginary pasteup.




The hunter, Modesto Cubillas told Marcelino  the property owner, about the place, which was afterwards widely used by hunters and fishermen to escape from inclement weather. However, he did not visit the cave until 1875 and was not at first impressed by what it saw. Two years later he attended the Universal Exhibition in Paris and viewed carved bones found by archaeologists. He thought it possible that there might be similar artifacts in his cave. Above Antonio Banderas plays
Sanz de Sautola.




While the newly minted amateur archaeologist scrabbled in debris on the cave floor his daughter observed images on the ceiling in a area distant from the cave mouth. Eight-year old Maria thought these were pictures of bulls and cried out to draw his attention upward.  May years later she told prehistorian Herbert Kuhn that that moment was "the greatest adventure of my life... and my greatest disappointment." She was old enough to understand the difficult years that followed.




The cave was excavated by Sautuola (with cane) and archaeologist Juan Vilanova y Piera (standing behind Maria) from the University of Madrid, resulting in a much acclaimed publication in 1880 which interpreted the paintings as Paleolithic. The woman in red is Maria's mother. Their findings were ridiculed at the Prehistorical Congress in Lisbon later in that year. The consensus was that the illustrations were too well preserved and of too much artistic merit to be anything other than a forgery. A neighbour insisted that that Sautuola had hired a contemporary artist to do the work, an unlikely scenario considering the number images and available time for execution of the project. His wife wanted him to forget the whole matter, but he persisted in his interest and died in 1888, a completely disheartened individual. Four years later his reputation was restored.




By 1902, the number of paintings discovered persuaded some critics they were not forgeries. Artifacts which came to light supported the idea that Altamira might be an antique cave dwelling. The influential French archaeologist Émile Cartailhac, who had been a leading critics, emphatically admitted his mistake in the famous article, Mea "culpa d'un sceptique", published in the journal L'Anthropologie. Maria who was first to see the paintings .married into the Botín family and the current owners of Banco Santander are Sautuola's descendants.



.Karst topography is well known in the area of Sussex, New Brunswick where the main street in town has a habit of collapsing into deep pits. Mystery Crater (which is a sinkhole) is located nearby. Karst topography is created by the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves.  "Rainwater picks up carbon dioxide from the air and as it percolates through the soil, which turns into a weak acid. This slowly dissolves  the limestone along the joints, bedding planes and fractures, some of which become enlarged enough to form caves."



The geology of this area has been thoroughly mapped since the early twentieth century. It is a paradox that many of us are uncomfortable in caves, considering the fact that from distant times they have offered refuge from the cold, rain and snow. Not all of our ancestors were fortunate enough to live in karst regions. Human occupation was found limited to the cave mouth, although paintings were created throughout its length.




"Archaeological excavations in the cave floor found rich deposits of artifacts from the Upper Solutrean (dated at approximately 18,500 years ago) and Lower Magdalenian (dated between 16,500 and 14,000 years ago) periods. The cave was occupied only by wild animals in the long period between these two occupations. It can be assumed that the site was well positioned to take advantage of the rich wildlife that grazed in the valleys of the surrounding mountains as well as permitting the occupants to supplement their diet with food from nearby coastal areas." - New World Encyclopedia



The method used to create hand prints at Altamira is known ad hand stenciling.  According to recent research by Dean Snow of Pennsylvania State University these were largely made by females, but men and children were also involved. However, it now appears that the handprints are much earlier than the animal paintings. Pike, A.W.G. and 10 others 2012. "U-series dating of Paleolithic art in 11 caves in Spain." Science, v. 336, p. 1409-1413 revealed that some abstractions and handprints were on the underside of deposited "flowstone". When dated they were found to be about twice the age of the depictions of animals. The range was found to be back as far as 43,000 years. The researchers concluded that "their ages may coincide with the arrival of the earliest anatomically modern Europeans, but they are also towards the end of the period when Neanderthals were still present in much of Europe, including northern Spain. It cannot be ruled out therefore that the earliest paintings were Neanderthal symbolic art.




"Typically a polychrome cave painting was created in three basic stages, which might vary significantly according to the experience and cultural maturity of the artist, the nature and contours of the rock surface, the strength and type of light, and the raw materials available. Take a picture of a bison, for instance. First, the outline and basic features of the animal are drawn on the cave wall, either by scoring the surface of the rock with a sharpened stone, or by applying a black outline using charcoal or manganese. Second, the completed drawing of the animal would be coloured or filled in with red ochre or other pigments. Third, the edges of the animal's body would be shaded with black or another pigment to increase its three-dimensionality. Alternatively, depending on whether or not the contour of the cave wall made it necessary, additional engraving or even sculpting would be applied to boost volume and relief."
- www.visual- arts-cork.com




"Cave art is generally considered to have a symbolic or religious function, sometimes both. The exact meanings of the images remain unknown, but some experts think they may have been created within the framework of shamanic beliefs and practices. One such practice involved going into a deep cave for a ceremony during which a shaman would enter a trance state and send his or her soul into the otherworld to make contact with the spirits and try to obtain their benevolence."  - Encycloedia Britannica. This is, of course, supposition based upon relativly recent subjective evidence.



Since that Spanish complex was uncovered, some other major finds have been made in nearby France.  "On September 12, 1940, the entrance to the Lascaux Cave was discovered by 18 year old Marcel Ravidat. Ravidat (died in 1995) returned to the scene with three friends, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel, and Simon Coencas, and entered the cave via a long shaft. The Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave e was first explored by a group of three speleologists: Eliette Brunel-Deschamps, Christian Hillaire, and Jean-Marie Chauvet for whom it was named. The Cosquer cavewas discovered in 1985 by and named after diver Henri Cosquer, but its existence was not made public until 1991, when three divers became lost in the cave and died. In a tidal zone, it is now partially submerged due to sea level rise in the Holocene Era. These three caves displaying prehistoric art are well known, but are not the only sites here or in Europe generally.


 
The Lasceux Cave had strong images of local fauna dated at 17,000 BP. when it opened as a tourist attraction and drew 1,200 visitors per day before it was concluded that the illustrations had been damaged by carbon dioxide, heat, humidity, and other contaminants which they introduced to the confined spaces. The cave was closed to the public in 1963 and the paintings were reworked and a monitoring system was introduced. Lascaux II, an exact copy of the Great Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery opened in 1983 in the cave's vicinity, a compromise and attempt to present an impression of the paintings' scale and composition for the public without giving access to the originals.



In the 1970s visitors were still being admitted to the natural galleries at Altamira, where the same sort of damage was noted. The cave was completely closed to the public in 1977, and reopened to limited access in 1982. Very few visitors were allowed in per day, resulting in a three-year waiting list.
 


After green mold began to appear on some paintings in 2002, the caves were again closed.




"A replica cave and museum were built nearby and completed in 2001 by Manuel Franquelo and Sven Nebel, reproducing the cave and its art. The replica allows a more comfortable view of the polychrome paintings of the main hall of the cave, as well as a selection of minor works. It also includes some sculptures of human faces that are not visitable in the real cave." - Wikipedia



As you can see this is a less rough and ready "cavern." There were plans to reopen access to the cave towards the end of 2010 but the Spanish Ministry of Culture on advice from conservators they decided that the cave would remain closed to the public.These scientists and technicians had found that conditions inside the cave had become much more stable and manageable following the closure.




By February 2014, it had been decided to institute a year-long experimental period of weekly visits, which saw 250 people gain access to the 20,000-year-old paintings. This was seen to have "no impact" n the valued artwork. Visits continued in 2015 starting in April. It was explained that, five people were to be chosen at random from among the audience at the Altamira museum. Two guides,took them on a tour lasting 37 minutes, including a  10 minute stay in the part of the cave which containing the paintings. Wearing apparel was not optional.



Sergio Sánchez Moral and Cesáreo Saiz Jiménez, who monitored the cave at different periods between 1996 and 2012, thought this was ill-advised: "Some of the red ceiling paintings are partially covered by white colonies of bacteria, and their progress is clear to see. At the same time, fungi are invading the air in the cave, with the highest concentrations in the area with the paintings. That's to say, any kind of risk threshold has already been exceeded." Then in 2015, local government suggested auctioning off a right to visit to the highest bidders. Notice that note about "waiting for the figures to pop."



"Popular Party politician José Antonio Lasalle said: 'The proposal contravenes the policy of public prices that state museums operate on. In this country, access to culture is the same for everybody.' In November 2017, Francisco Martín, the Cantabria government's tourism chief, disagreed: 'This isn’t just about money, but a way of promoting Altamira on the international tourism circuit.' he said. 'What we’re talking about wouldn’t affect the weekly lottery of visitors to the site.'" Bureaucrats have a way of missing the point where money is an issue.




Those bulls Maria spotted on the cave ceiling were bison. a European species now extinct but similar to the long-horned European Bison of today.  The height of the ice age came twenty thousand years ago, but things were not noticeably better  in the hills of Cantabria three thousand years later. Back then, the plains of northern Europe were devoid of  human and animal life. The unfortunate climate had pushed animal populations of every sort into the Ukraine, southern France Italy and the Iberian peninsula. In what is now northern Spain, sea level was more than a hundred metres lower than it is today but the coastal cliffs were steeper and not greatly different in position. The people there depend on bison herds and smaller animals which spent summer on the high plateau to the south. They also hunted the forests of the coastal plain.




Taking one consideration with another, these folk were not badly placed, having two food and clothing resources to the north and the south. The fact that they had a cave for shelter meant they did not need to be nomadic and follow the herds of bison. They stayed put, knowing that any valuable site abandoned in seasonal migration might be  occupied by a rival clan.  In these trying times there had been clashes between hunter-gatherers. The bad news meant that the men of the tribe had to forage afar for periods which might extend to several weeks in succession.






Meanwhile, women and their daughters, and very young sons, were expected to gather foods closer their base, nuts, berries, frogs and anything else that was edible. Because men were not around, children were often born without a male parent in camp. That meant that women had a more complete understanding of conception and birth and kept that magic close. In return, the men provided protein and as much protection ftom wild animals and interlopers as they could manage. Families and clans might prosper but no one lived long, the age of 35 being ancient.  As for cave art, That had been presumed to be the province of men, but women were the ones that kept the home fires burning. Dean Snow of Pennsylvania State University analyzed hand stencils found in eight cave sites in France and Spain. By comparing the relative lengths of finger, he determined that three-quarters of the handprints were female. The question that follows is, "Was some of the more sophisticated work have been created by women?"



Whatever the answer, there is an historic bias in favour of males as creative geniuses. The Altamira artists did not paint woolly mammoths which  still dwelt on the tundra until 12,000 years ago. Brian Sykes, an authentic human geneticist by trade, tells whopping good tales. One fiction concerns a prehistoric female artist named Velda: "Her grandfather had been one of the men who painted the ceremonial caves and she had even tried to reproduce their wonderful images on the walls of her own cave. Her great wish was to be allowed to do something in one of the big caves that were used only for the ceremonies before the big hunt."




Artur Scheiner illustration of a cave as a magical place. Painting the caves was supposedly "a jealously guarded privilege. Not only did you have to be able to paint,you also had to have a convincingly supernatural gift for magic.  Since this was virtually impossible to demonstrate, the aspiring artists tended to exaggerate their eccentric behaviour or claim descent from a long line of magicians." The more things change? It is claimed that some illustrations in the cave "pop," but the reproductions also "pop."
 



Artur Scheiner. "Velda expressed her talents as a delicate craftswoman by carving ornaments for bone, or if she could get it, mammoth ivory. The designs she carved were both symbolic and naturalistic, and she would take weeks or even months to finish a piece... Her reputation for exquisite craftsmanship spread and her pieces  were eagerly traded with other bands... she eventually achieved her ambition and was allowed to decorate one part of the ceremonial caves. She died at the age of thirty-eight."




"The conservation-restoration of cultural heritage focuses on protection and care of tangible cultural heritage, including artworks, architecture, archaeology, and museum collections." Restoration of original cave drawings involves using original pigments and pine-needle brushes, perhaps thats part of the magic?  Honestly speaking one cannot revive the dead and perhaps "restoration" should in some instances be called "replication." Picasso, after visiting Altamira in his native Spain supposedly decided that, "after Altamira everything is decadence. Seeing the Lascaux illustrations he added, "We have invented nothing new." I say "something" as there is no reliable source for these quotes.



He is also credited with the saying, "Good artists borrow, great artists steal." T.S. Eliot expressed similar sentiments, but the idea is older than either of them.  Clearly prehistoric masters were copied in our day. In this case, the image was created by illustrator Ronald Searle, who seems to have wanted but never received recognition as a fine artist. He expressed admiration for Picasso's anarchistic approach to art and adopted his style in satirizing
Sir Edwin Landseer's painting of a stag, "Monarch of the Glen." It has been criticized as representing the worst of Victorian romanticism.
 


However in 2017, it proved its continuing popularity when,
"The National Galleries of Scotland said donations had come from as far afield as Los Angeles and Hong Kong to raise £4m to secure the painting." Like the Altamira illustrations it had become an icon. The NGS described the work as "an important Victorian picture that has taken on various layers of meaning, which include its use in advertising and as a Romantic emblem of the Highlands of Scotland." That said, it does not "pop" like images of similar animals within Altamire, but that could be because of different lighting and pigments.



Earlier societies were not always as paternalistic as at present and representation of shamans as male may not be accurate.  Sympathetic Magic is possibly the earliest form, a belief that things that look alike are alike." It was thought that when images were hurt, the animals illustrated would be wounded or killed in a future encounter. The use of voodoo dolls is another example.  There are situations where cave walls are thought to have been abraded by spear points, but ornamental spear-throwers make it clear that prehistoric may may have thought that simply imaging a situation could bring about the result looked for in a hunt. It has been guessed that hallucinogenics might have been used to stir up fires in the imagination.




On the other hand this deer hunting scene at Altamira might have represented a magical attempt to influence the future  Story telling in the presence of an illustration might have been used to strengthen clan bonds, remind people of a significant past event, or as light entertainment.

It is currently believed that pigments were mixed with water rather than fats, and applied using fingers, wool, and twig or pine-needle brushes. In addition to the colours seen today the painters may have used blues and greens obtained from plants such as woad, but these colors are fugitive, and so we cannot be certain of this. Fixatives for the images appear to have been natural. These were not produced by a single artist and were painted over a span of 20,000 years. They still have snap, or if you prefer magic!



In the past giant cave bears, leopards and lions and human enemies made it mandatory to believe in mortal god-kings or queens, who invariable failed and had to be reincarnated in a new-born individual.  The interior of Altamira was claustrophobic which is why people lived in the cavern at the mouth, but they might have retreated to the depths at certain times for sacramental purposes. Brian Sykes imagines one such gathering this way, "In silence the men looked up at at these creatures they not only feared, but depended on. In the soft light the images started to come to life. They began to move..."



"The paintings were too high up to touch or see whether they really moved. Still the men stared up in silence, their eyes darting from one animal to another as if to check if it was still there. They were concentrating on the hunt, looking hard at these images and preparing to meet them in real life." Once the images became completely real in the minds of hunters they assaulted them with spears. "The beasts had lifted off the walls and were in front of them, suspended in the air, The cavern echoed to the bloodcurdling screams of the hunters as they invoked a sympathetic magic that would transfer the ritual killing of these imaginary beasts to the slaughter their living cousins." That is a possible scenario."





Some present day observer have seen the images "snap." Is that possible in a rationale world. There is no motion above but many people get snapped. Researchers at the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan and the Chinese University of Hong Kong have looked into the state of mind-warping, travel-sickness-inducing images. Although the viewer knows they are static the images unnervingly seem to move anyway.  They found that four colours distant from one another on the colour wheel produced the effect.
White couples best with black, blue works well with yellow.
"Snap, Crackle, Pop Art!"



The subject matter of current graphic art and illustration "borrows" or "steals" from every brand of conventional and unconventional art, but what used to pass for realism. It was a period of unprecedented excellence in book and magazine illustration Current between the 1880s and 1920s before TV and the Internet, it was fueled by a voracious public demand for static, seemingly magical images.  



Today a graphic illustration is  said to be "a decoration, interpretation or visual explanation of a text, concept or process, designed for integration in published media, such as posters, flyers, magazines, books, teaching materials, animations, video games and films." It is no longer restricted to a plane surface and is gradually being extended into three dimensional images. "There was a time when graphic design and illustration were indivisible. Many of the great designers of the 20th century were also illustrators and moved effortlessly between image-making and typographic functionalism."



In the past, I worked as an illustrator, graphic artist and fine artist before personal computers  spelled an end to much traditional art. Today, I have dated copies of Adobe Illustrator  and Photoshop on my Apple, but do not make much use of the former, which is a good tool for an illustrator, essential a freelancer. Photoshop is the preference for groups of people who are in a hurry to get things done. I have spent a lot of time since 1995 combining my own material with that if others for fun rather than profit. That view of a spaceship homing in on Lunenburg town is an example, which took about 10 minutes off my life while the cartoon, which is based on Searle, was much more labour intensive .



Above an illustration from a Neil Gaimen graphic novel, in which the images sometimes overwhelm the text. Superimposed is Edward Goreys much earlier illustrated book of poetry, where the text is dominant and the ink drawings meant to supplement rather than overwhelm it. Earlier we mentioned borrowing. Good subject matter never dies and never fades away! In the commercial art world, as with fine art, it is increasingly difficult to get attention as a magician by attempting to shock.





These Victorian nudes appear to be enticing Ulysses with their "music." They were illustrative of mythology (but not book illustrations) and shockingly displayed for their day. You will have notices that this attempt at seduction occurred from within a cave?
 


Graphic designers and illustrators both do visual work, but a graphic designer does not have to have individual manual artistic skills, but simply understand how to assemble bits and pieces provided by his group of craftsmen, typically using a computer. An skilled illustrator may actually draw or paint something using conventional tools or a computer and software such as Illustrator. The individual Illustrator  eg Santore, above) is often commissioned to produce a product as supplemental to advertisements, books, magazines, packaging, greetings cards and newspapers. A Graphic Illustrator travels the wind between these two worlds and many are involved with animation and movie making, or creating quick and dirty ads for big industry politicians or business.  They are not loners and their model was Andy Warhol, whose access to technology was more limited than at present.




This is one of the most overworked themes in Fine Art, Orpheus and Eurydice making their unsuccessful attempt to escape from the Underworld, located by entering a cave in the earth. Dark enclosures, like this and the deep forest, seem to revive human insecurities and are therefore a subject of interest to the present day. Not a true illustration, such paintings should perhaps be labeled as "Representational Art"?




This, by contrast, is a book illustration painted by Edmund Dulac, featuring Psyche at the gates of hell, behind which stood a cavern leading to the depths.




One of Arthur Rackham's illustration for Rhinegold, showing a dragon rather than a wild multi-headed dog guarding the Otherworld cavern.


One should not overlook the first Alice book, which was not entitled "Alice In Wonderland." For the 150th Anniversary this new/old binding was produced and new il
lustrations added to go with the original text.




In the earliest versions Alice is seen following the White Rabbit into a sinkhole, but Walt Disney made that entrance less frightening. "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 fantasy novel written by English mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures." -Wikipedia

 

Here is one in which the Cheshire Cat is hard to discern.
The manuscript was illustrated by Dodgson who penned 37 illustrations. It was printed in a facsimile edition in 1887.  John Tenniel provided 42 wood engraved illustrations for the published version of the book in Britain (1866).  Alice has been illustrated by Charles Pears (1907), Arthur Rackham (1907), Charles Robinson (1907) Willy Pogany (1929), Mervyn Peake (1946), Ralph Steadman (1967), Salvador Dalí (1969), Graham Overden (1969), Max Ernst (1970), Peter Blake (1970), Tove Jansson (1977), Anthony Browne (1988), Helen Oxenbury (1999), Lisbeth Zwerger (1999), DeLoss McGraw (2001), Robert Ingpen (2009) and Yayoi Kusama (2012). Any many others of lesser note. We will have a look at them!




Lewiss Carroll's book appeals to adults because it is a Victorian puzzle book, full of allusions, which have been largely figured out. Continuously published,like the Bible, it has generated a whole after-market series of businesses, profound analytic books, knock-0ffs, movie and TV productions, gizmos, gadgets and what have youse. The motion picture Matrix seems to have taken the same theme,  and the anti-hero never does survive his time in Hell. Alice takes pills to try to alleviate difficulties encountered in her other world and so does Neo, who discovers that his dystopian world is a synthetic construct created by man-made machines. He is perpetually distracted trying to free men from their "dream world".



In a pivotal scene. a character named Morpheus, represented as a god-hero, offers him two pills: "
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more." Neo awakens in the real world and learns unpleasant truths before being faced with his mortality. Morpheus is reminiscent of the Cheshire Cat? The original edition featuring illustrations by John Tenniel were not colourized.




Is that not our Matrix? Remember that mad has since the year 1300 meant "angry" or "enraged." and that is still the prime meaning. The Brits introduced the concept of "mentally deranged" as well as "ill-advised" and "extremely foolish,", and those are accepted meaning in Canada. In the United States, the word can have a positive slants as in "mad cool" and "I was in a mad dash to complete the task." Not also "I got mad respect for her." Then there is "mad money".



In additions to allusions there is symbolism in this weird fantasy: "The Cheshire cat fades until it disappears entirely, leaving only its wide grin suspended in the air, leading Alice to marvel and note that she has seen a cat without a grin, but never a grin without a cat. This echoes ancient questions in logic about substances and predicates."  - Wikipedia.




Rebecca Jenkins reinterpretation of Alice. "The150th anniversary interactive online edition released free of charge by The Public Domain Review and publishing platform Medium, with copyright-free text and illustrations, annotated by a dozen Carroll scholars. The site allows free remixes of the public domain and Creative Commons licensed resources with reader-supplied commentaries and artwork." That is illustrative of the work in which we live, whether real or virtual.



No book has created more artistic interest! See "wiki alice illustrators and artists." Alternately, type in the above words. "Humor is reason gone mad."  - Groucho Marx



This, again, is Lewis Carroll, the dyslexic spelling is habitual with me. I do agree that, "Family is a unique gift (especially that current in 2017) that needs to be appreciated and treasured, even when they're driving you crazy. As much as they make you mad, interrupt you, annoy you, curse at you, try to control you, these are the people who know you the best and who love you." - Jenna Morasca. And that does not excuse my misunderstandings, bad habits or inverted illustrations and language.





I don't think it likely that R&R will be offered a red or blue pill but time passes and who knows? "Old Knobby" was a title gifted on my not that distant ancestor, an Irish rabble-rouser named Arthur Hill Gillmour, who first settled at Machias (Bad Falls) in Maine before accepting land in New Brunswick following the American Revolutionary War. In his dotage, in common with me, he was bald, but had a battleground head from physical blows due to misunderstandings.  Mine came from misjudgment of distances due to eyesight problems. Anne really hated my loss of hair. Ruth does not seem to mind. never having seen me with an afro. Her photo at the cottage 2017.  A "bathing suit moment." My intentions have always been honourable.




Schneider's illustration. Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann (1776 – 1822) was a Prussian author of fantasy and Gothic horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist.  His stories form the basis of Jacques Offenbach's famous opera The Tales of Hoffmann, in which he appears as the hero. He is also the author of the novella The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, which is the base for Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker. The one-eyed, Uncle
Drosselmeyer (above) is the godfather of Clara. He sets the plot of "The Nutcracker" in motion by giving Clara a toy nutcracker on Christmas Eve.




Guess what? Given a restart, I would like to be a Golden Age illustrator rather than experience another FArt interlude. However, I am open to advice, or "miracles", which our rude ancestors called "magic".

rodneymackay@gmail.com

No web commerce in more than a decade!  Currently, it really is getting to feel a lot like Yuletide, and R&R are nearly content. The last days of November will be devoted to attempts to draw and paint.
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