Saturday, August 05, 2006

Painting with M & M's

Its pouring rain. I've done my shopping chores and now have some time to myself. Surfing around the net I came across this article in the NY Times which captured my imagination.

CRESCENT CITY, Calif., July 16 — The morning after the opening of a show of his recent work, the artist was in his studio, a concrete cell in the Pelican Bay State Prison, where he is serving three life terms in solitary confinement for murder and for slashing a prison guard’s throat. He was checking his supplies, taking inventory.

Mr. Johnson's paintbrush is made of plastic wrap, foil and strands of his own hair.

His paintbrush, made of plastic wrap, foil and strands of his own hair, lay on the lower bunk. So did his paints, leached from M&M’s and sitting in little white plastic containers that once held packets of grape jelly. Next to them was a stack of the blank postcards that are his canvases.

I'm still in portrait mode and am slowly building up my portfolio again with a variety of people and animals. Here are a couple of starts from today, both done in Derwent Drawing Pencils. They're my favourite medium of the moment as I can build a drawing so quickly with them. The first is the start of a friend's portrait, the second a lovely grey tabby.

And news just in---Moleskine has been sold to a French company...

I have taken the liberty of translating the piece from the orignal French only version.(which can be found here.)
Please bear with this version as translation programs do tend to translate quite literally at times

Moleskine was the travelling companion of the large adventurers and the confidant of the great writers.

Funds of investment of the general Company repurchases the small notebooks at an Italian company.

IT IS transfers of companies which exhale a perfume of nostalgia. Moleskine, celebrates manufacturer of small notebooks of voyage, changes hand. For 60 million euros, funds private of the general Company comes to repurchase this so French mark and which however was not it any more. In 1998, the Milanese company Modo & Modo had started again it, for the greatest pleasure of the amateurs.

With this transfer with a financial investor of French extraction, small SME returns a little to the “fold” with the same desire for building its future by also exploiting its past.

Moleskine was the travelling companion of the large adventurers, the confidant of the great writers, the witness of the anguishes of the great painters. Of Van Gogh with Picasso while passing through Matisse and Hemingway, plethora of artists of last century adopted Moleskine like notebook of voyage, sketch or notes.

Pablo Picasso had a whole collection of it. One of them, the scratch pad n° 53, a notebook of 9 centimetres over 13,5 with the annotation “June/September 1912”, is exposed to the Picasso Museum of Paris. Oscar Wilde never travelled by train without its notebook: “It is always necessary to have something of sensational to read”, said it. Ernest Hemingway was accustomed to sitting at table with the Small estate of the Lilacs in his “favorite angle”: “I ordered a white coffee and I spent long afternoon to be written on my scratch pad.”

More saddened was Bruce Chatwin

At the time, Moleskine was produced in an artisanal way by a small family paper mill of Turns. The amateurs appreciated his rigid cover out of paperboard covered with fabric of black or brown color, the elastic band which held it closed and the mitre which made it possible to open it without the pages not flying away. In 1986, the owner of the paper mill being deceased, the production ended.

More saddened was Bruce Chatwin. Collector, journalist, author of novels and accounts of voyage on Patagonie and the Aboriginals of Australia, it was accustomed to saying: “To lose my passport is the last of my concern. To mislay my scratch pad would be a catastrophe.” Chatwin told its fright when its paper maker, installed street of the Old-Comedy in Paris, taught him laconically that “Moleskine truth is not any more”. It sought of it a hundred for one of its tours.

It is a small Milanese company, Modo and Modo, which in started again the production in 1998 by depositing the mark that nobody had taken care to patent. Success was quickly with go. Notebooks, scratch pads, books lined, squared, into small and large size are sold today to 4,5 million specimens per annum in about thirty country. JNF Productions, created in 1977 by Jean-Christmas Flammarion, secured the exclusive rights of distribution for France.

Modo and Modo, whose Moleskine is the single activity, carries out approximately 70 million euros of sales turnover. Its owners, Mario Baruzzi and Francesco Franceschi, did not make any comment yesterday.

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Robert said...

Moleskines rock. They are the best way to keep track of ideas and get creative when you are on the go.

Jeanette Jobson said...

I've just filled my first Moleskine and am starting in on my second. I love them!

Mary said...

Jeanette you are definitely a natural when it comes to these pencils. These two drawings are absolutely marvelous.

Mallika said...

The sketch of Horus the cat is incredible. :) You captured his eyes so well!

Jeanette Jobson said...

Thanks so much Mary. I've really enjoyed working with them. Can't seem to stop.

Mallika, glad you think so. I'll post more on Horus tonight as I've done more work on him. However, its the eyes that I'm least pleased with. I just can't get that light and shadow quite right on them.