Saturday, June 21, 2014

Larger than life

As I've been going through the stacks and stacks and stacks of Life magazines given to me by illustrator C.F. Payne, I keep coming across striking advertisements.

No surprise there. Advertising companies have always been at the forefront of graphic design. But there are few that seem as fresh today as then. Among them, ads for Curtiss candy company, makers of all kinds of goodies, including the yummy Butterfinger and Baby Ruth bars. (Love the tagline for Butterfinger: "rich in dextrose." The food police would have a field day with that today.)

The ads are big, bold and modern. The only bad thing about them? They were placed on opposite pages, not the magazines' centerfolds. Even so, they'd be terrific framed. Joining them would be tricky. I tried to remove the pages carefully, but it is old paper (circa 1940s).

Here are the ads found so far, you can get an idea of their size in the images shot on my cutting mat and with the ruler … imagine the impact of turning the page and seeing one of these.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A startling war-time atlas

Yes. I've vowed again and again not to buy more maps. But while detouring through antique shops
in Lebanon, Ohio, I spotted this atlas. It was published in 1940 by Chicago's Geographical
Publishing Co. Thumbing through it, it didn't seem extraordinary. Until I reached the back, and a special section of maps depicting the war in Europe and Asia.

The bold red symbols - fists, boats, arrows, swastikas - were so striking as was the idea of
"remapping the world" at such a tumultuous time, that I felt compelled to buy it. I might
have been subliminally influenced by this year's 70th anniversary of D-Day, too.

As always, who knows what I'll do with it, if anything. Meantime, here's a look at some
of the maps (minus Asia, because the photo I took was out of focus, I'll try adding it later) …

Trying something new pays off

In an effort to try new things this year, I entered Art Comes Alive, an annual international, juried exhibition hosted by Cincinnati's Art Design Consultants. The piece that was juried into the exhibit is one of the most recent Grand Tour collages: "Riding the Waves" (below).

An e-mail arrived about two weeks before the opening, letting me know I had won an award. But not which one. They give out dozens of awards from gallery contracts and exhibits to purchases and "bests" (as in Best Watercolor Artist, etc.). I tried to put it out of my mind, but couldn't help wonder what it might be.

The big reveal was Saturday night when The Carnegie's director, Katie Brass, took to the stage and announced I had won its award. It was more than a surprise since I had been talking to Katie for part of the evening, and she never gave a hint, not a single one, about it. The prize? I'll be one of the 2015 artists in The Carnegie's Community Supported Art program. It launches this summer with 11 artists, hand selected by Matt Distel, the Carnegie's gallery director, and an ACA juror.

Already thinking about what I'll create, even though it's a year away. Meantime, the ACA exhibition continues through July 11 at ADC. There are 150 pieces in it, and more than a few stunners.