The Art of the Autochrome...Part 2

I really love the colors of a good Autochrome.  I know that the colors aren't real but they certainly fit a certain mood.  Autochromes were created in 1903 by the Lumiere Brothers in France and marketed in 1907 to the rest of the world. There were a lot of incredible photos taken with this technology but by the 1930's it was dated and people went on to color film.

Here are some of the beautiful autochromes that are inspiring me today...

Arnold Genthe, Lady of the Sea, c. 1910

Gabriel Veyre - Casablanca  - 1908

Lumiere Bros, Woman in A Colorful Costume c. 1912

Georges Chevalier,Angle de la rue Lepic et de la rue Puget, en bas de Montmartre, 1914
Alfonse Van Besten, Two Girls Picking Cornflowers, 1912
Arnold Genthe, Nude Study, c. 1920's
Richard Sullivan, Charlie Chaplin, 1915
Photographer Unknown,Woman in Pink Dress Sitting in Chair Holding Roses, 1915 via George Eastman
Alfonse Van Besten ~Modesty c. 1912
Charles Corbet, Young Lady with a Fan on Couch, 1910
Charles Corbet, Melancholia, c. 1910
Do you have any favorite old technology's you wish would come back in style?

Want to see more? Here's the link to my original post, "Art of the Autochrome" .

Art Heroes - Southworth & Hawes Photography

Some of the most inspiring (and oldest) photography was done by the photography firm of Southworth & Hawes  ( Albert Sands Southworth (1811–1894) and Josiah Johnson Hawes (1808–1901).  They were primary active between from 1843-1863 in Boston.

These guys really amaze me. I love the way they arrange their subjects. The sitters seem a lot more real then most of the Victorian photography I've seen before. They photographed some of the most famous people of the time including Louisa May Alcott, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Daniel Webster. But the daguerreotypes that really stand out for me are the everyday people...the "unidentified" people.

Unidentified Child, circa 1850
The Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Family, 1849

"The artist, even in photography, must go beyond discovery and the knowlege of facts; he must create and invent truths and produce new developments of facts. "
--A.S. Southworth, 1870
Death of Pain (first public administered Ether anesthesia)1847

Rollin Heber Neal

Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1857

Alice Mary Hawes, 1852

"Learn to look and see the difference under different lights in the same faces. Learn to see the fine points in every face, for the plainest faces in the world are human faces, belonging to human beings... "
--A. S. Southworth, 1873
Unidentified Girl with Ringlets, circa 1850's
Unidentified Woman, circa 1850
Unidentified Dead Child, Circa 1855

"In the nice production of light and shade which is the perfection of modelling, the Daguerreotype will be found to surpass the Artist's best efforts, being capable of representing independently, action, expression, and character to a great extent; and in some instances approaches very nearly, if it does not equal these higher branches, thus developing beauty in grace of motion and in repose, which is the first object and the supreme law of all Art."
--A.S. Southworth, 1855

Two Women Posed with a Chair, ca. 1850 
Unidentified Woman, 1852
Laura Bridgman, 1855

Winchester Family Tomb, Mount Auburn Cemetery, circa 1853

Unidentified Girl, 1850
Winter Portrait with Fur Coat and Gloves

Unidentified Child, 1850

Of course this is only a tiny bit of work by Southwork & Hawes. You can find more in the book, "Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes. You can also see more Photographs in this flickr set from the George Eastman House.

I hope these daguerreotypes have inspired you as much as they inspire me. 

Now, I'm off to work on a custom portrait...

Art Hero: Constant Puyo

Although, I've only discovered his work recently, I am in love with his photography. Émile Joachim Constant Puyo (1857 –1933)is a true inspiration to me . His work is so soft and feminine... so dreamlike and quiet. It's as if the women he photographs are themselves ghosts...

 Apparitions 1910
Im Schilf 1903
La Tapisserie 1900
Au Jardin Fleuri 1899
Nude - Against the Light 1906
Juin, 1899
Alma Mater, 1904
Sommeil 1897
Nymph, 1904

Chant Sacre c. 1900

His photographs are so incredible, don't you think? Puyo uses textures and graininess in his work to really help develop that certain eerie feeling that I love. He truly is someone to study in his use of light and shadows. What an inspiration! I going to get painting now.

Is anything awakening your inner muse today?

The Art of the Autochrome

As you all know, I have a deep love for vintage photography. It transports me through time. I truly love the surreal darkened colors of a Autochrome.  Although the early color technique invented by the Lumiere Bros. was only around for about 20 years, I love what has survived. Each photo looks like a strange dusty painting. A place lost somewhere between color and black & white.

I would love to study more of these autochrome colors. The pinks and blues are incredible. Don't you think they would make a lovely painting palette.

Sitting with mom in brilliant blue...via the George Eastman House
Girls with a pink umbrella via Lisby

Stuffed Birds, 1915 via How to be a Retronaut
Pretty lady in satin holding mirror via George Eastman House
These two gentleman via Lisby
Another gorgeous one via The George Eastman House
Listening to Music by Jean-Baptiste Tournassoud? via cinemalane
Ballerina by Gervais Courtellemont
Modesty by Alfonse Van Besten 1912
Skulls by Paul Sano 1912
Not enough? Want to see more?

Click on this link to the awesome site of Autochrome collector Florent Van Hoot.

I'm may be a weirdo...

But I love finding random stuff like this. Thank you Tumbler...Strangely enough, here is a photo of a  dead guy's grave from my small town of Dudley, MA. Kind of gives you shivers doesn't it. The photo is from about 1855.  I wonder who Cha' (Charles?) Carpenter was and why he died so young...

Gravediggers via Fuckyeahvictorians

Favorite Places & Spaces

This weekend was beautiful in San Francisco.  I went out and enjoyed the warm sunshine with a beautiful walk around the Haight. If you are like me and haven't been there for a while, there are just so many cool unique shops there now. I love it. One of my favorite places is Mystery Mister. It is filled with the coolest antiques and oddities. I dream of my house looking like this shop one day. Here is a peek at some the fabulousness...

Say hello to Mr. Bobcat.

A nice dress for a spring stroll.
nesting birds

the ornateness of a cash register

cowboys & alligators

beautiful blues

golden butterfly

mink wrap & feather hat

butterflies, bats and a tiny cabinet of curiosities
So definitely...stop on by. They are always getting amazing new/old things in. I'm sure you will be delighted as I was to check this place out. And please say "Hello" to Rochelle for me.

Mystery Mister 
1506 Haight Street
(between Ashbury St & Clayton St)
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 552-4226

Mission Street Party!

Next week, December 10th,  the Mission District in San Francisco will be going all out. Walk around and check out all the goodness my neighborhood has to offer and catch up on your holiday shopping too. Go local and and support some wonderful businesses while finding the coolest stuff at the same time. I say it's a win-win. Who's gonna join me?

More info here!

Virginia City!!!!

Just came back from and amazing trip to Virginia City, Nevada. I've been celebrating Halloween there for the last 5 years or so and it has become and annual event. It is such an amazing place. It is full of history and hauntings and such beauty and decay. By Halloween most of the tourists are gone and the town becomes yours.
I feel it is a spiritual place where you can stop the whirlwind of your life for a while. Here are a few pics from my can see the flickr set here.

this is the decay of which I speak...

little baby rest in peace...

As seen between the gate...

holding hands with death...

My hubby doing the robot...

Me in my fox mask...
Devil in Red...
To a lovely weekend, full of spooky things...and coming home to San Francisco to the SF Giants winning the world series and people partying in the streets. Tonight a Day of the Dead celebration in my neighborhood and a very needed nights rest. Can you say sensory overload?

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend full of fun. What did you do for Halloween?

Scream queens unmasked...

I love all the cheeky old spooky TV shows of the past, like the Munsters and the Addams family. And what little girl didn't want to be Wednesday Addams?  I miss staying up late to catch the creature double features that I'd watch at midnight as a teenager. It makes me wonder, where are those horror queens that would show all of those terrible b-movies? I suppose they are dead or retired. Well, I am happy Elvira is still around although I see her less and less of here these days...I suppose it will be an end to an era. This makes me sad. Who will inspire this next group of kids to go goth? This is a question I can not answer...

Sigh...Here is a little salute to the ladies that showed the naughty side of horror.  I've posted pictures of actresses that played these spooky parts for years and were pretty much only know as that character. I think they are beautiful both ways but I must say, it is amazing what a little makeup can do. Enjoy!

Cassandra Peterson

as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Carolyn Jones Morticia Addams

Maila Nurmi Vampira

Here's a little extra scream for the Halloween weekend...Hope you all have an excellently spooky holiday!

The colors of fall

Today brings one of the first rains of the season in San Francisco and truthfully I really like the grayness of the skies. I suppose I am just a true New Englander at heart. I like being a bit cold.  It makes you want to cuddle.

Yesterday, I spent my day at Terra Firma Farms in Winters, California for their annual Farm Day. It was wonderful. There was strawberry picking, hay rides, a country swing band, and wine tasting. A all around lovely day full of sunshine and pumpkins. I love the fall and all the beautiful rich colors it brings.

Now... I'm off to cook up my first Butternut Squash soup of the season. I'm going with the Moosewood Cookbook recipe here, the added sage makes it perfect.

Tintypes & Daguerrotypes make me cry.

I suppose I am just in that kinda weird mood today. And getting inspired by everything around me. I am listening to Hildegard von Bingen on Pandora and looking for Victorian dresses(as part of the mini book) on the web and feeling nostalgic for some reason. I've just put in a bid on ebay for a beautiful daguerreotype of a young girl. It is set in a its original case and is beautiful. Let's hope I get it.

While looking all of these old photos on Ebay I began revisiting my own tiny collection. It was pretty interesting to scan these in.  I like the strangeness and beauty in all of them. They aren't perfect examples, that is why I chose these particular people.  A lot of the details had been lost because of age. Now I can see even more bits and pieces. And so can you. Here is my mini collection:
I love this photo because the girl is a bit strange looking.

I love these little kids with attitudes.

Ok, not a tintype but a beautiful old photograph anyway...

Love the pint cheeks and plaid

This one is super dark and tiny, found at the flea market outside Paris.
What kind of old things do you collect?

P.S. If you are into Hildegard there is a new film out about her. Here is the preview.  It looks amazing and it opens today!

Update: I won the item on ebay...I'll post it when I get it!

A Pinnacles weekend.

Another wonderful weekend in the woods. I went to Pinnacles National Monument with some friends to get out of the city and spend the weekend out in nature. It is amazing to sleep under the stars, get away and clear out my mind while visiting some animals and doing some hiking.  We hiked about 8.5 miles straight up the mountain in the 90 degree heat. It was damned hot...We climbed through dark caves and over ridges. 

It was pretty good until my knees gave out and I tripped and got myself bloody. Yay, 39th birthday....Oh well. It was a good time. I'm ready to get back to work tomorrow and working on the sketches on the mini book. I'm happy to be back in my comfortable bed and get a little shut eye. Here are a few pics from my trip...

The bunny from the campground.

Stairs coming up from the caves.

A tree that grows anywhere.

No swimming alllowed!!!


Entrance to the caves.

Weird fluffy vines.
I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend too.

Feeling Green

I've been spending a good amount of time in the woods lately and have been really getting into the color green. I need to put more of it in my life.  I've gotta surround myself with GREEN... Here are a few greens that have inspired me this week.

 Green vines that hide

Amazing green vintage dress via chictopia

Always a favorite green, that Atonement dress.

If I could, I'd have this color kitchen....via 

I love these vintage green bottles. Find them here.

The ultimate green couch via EmilyStyle

A lovely photo via leaves of a feather blog

wouldn't you love to hang out here?

A salute to all that are lucky enough to live in the green...more cute owls here.

another wonderful weekend in the woods

I grew up on the East Coast where being in nature was very different than it is in California. My family has a little cottage on a pond in Massachusetts and we were able to go swimming whenever we wanted. I really miss that freedom.

This weekend I went camping at Henry Coe State Park with a few friends and I finally felt a bit of that freedom. We camped deep in the park and hiked down to a spot called china hole which was like a mini oasis after walking in the 100 degree heat. Such a beautiful place that I'd love to go again.

Here are a few of the moments:

the picnic table by our tent. Isn't this the best place for writing?

China clean and clear

so pretty

a place to cool off.

 jumping in.

more pretty...with butterflies

 walk back to camp in all that heat and sun

Now it is time for me to get back to work after a few days of sunshine. I'll be posting what I have been working on in a few days.

Nighttime Meditations

Winter in the Bay Area can be so dark and gloomy.  I sometimes miss the east coast where I grew up and the brightness of the snow. Even as a adult, I would get excited to see the freshness of the newly fallen snow. It is so beautiful. I will quickly admit though, that I do not miss the cold.
    Here in San Francisco it is just rain, rain and more rain.  I need to force myself to go out and be inspired by what is around me regardless of the wet. It is gorgeous out there if you know where to look.  I just need to train myself to see, bring the camera and enjoy the sound of the rain.  Here are a few pics I took in on a walk down Market Street and my own back yard.
BTW, I am excited to be visiting the snow next month...I'll be spending my anniversary doing a little skiing in Tahoe. I haven't been skiing in about 20 years, I'm a bit nervous. But I am sure there will be pretty pictures to be had all around.