Artistic Works using Public Domain elements 2012

Collage, recoloring, distortion, Mona Lisa with a mustache & horns-- anything goes when a modern digital artist starts working with raw material from the treasures in the Public Domain. Archive of works during 2012.

Double Wings, Double Head
From Jean-Francois Champollion, Panthéon égyptien, collection des personnages mythologiques de l'ancienne Égypte, d'après les monuments, 1823; ; G.A. Harvey & Co., A catalogue of perforated metalwork, c. 1926; and Friderichsen Floor and Wall Tile Co., Catalog #10, 1929.

(Click on image to enlarge) Link1; Link2; and Link3 to originals
Continuing my fascination (probably temporary) with the Egyptian imagery in that 1823 French volume. Here's a handsome double-winged, double-headed (both heads are birds) creature standing on a pair of Nile-sized alligators. All superimposed on a pattern of tile and perforated metalwork.

Royal Tumescence
From Jean-Francois Champollion, Panthéon égyptien, collection des personnages mythologiques de l'ancienne Égypte, d'après les monuments, 1823; and Fratelli Carcano [firm], Forma e Stampo "Stile 900", 1910

(Click on image to enlarge) Link1; Link2
From same sources as the Egyptian tiptoe/fingertip princesses below. To my modern eyes, it seems to depict six stages of a royal figure or god. Top row, from left, a fetus; birth, with all the trapping of royal position; childhood. Bottom row, from left, adolescence, youth, and final adulthood. In the final stage, there is some sort of transformation to both god and man with two heads, one human, one animal. Notice in the last three stages, the erect penis. Interesting society, where sexuality of the royalty/gods was considered natural. I would have liked to have grown up in a society where it was considered natural for heroic figures to be sexual. Instead, I was raised in a subculture deifying a "Holy Family" -- the Virgin Mary, the asexual Jesus, and the long-suffering Joseph. The book of Egyptian antiquities is in French, so I have no idea how Champollion explains this odd image. Again, the image is layered on an old tile pattern.

Seven Human Parasite Eggs
From Robert W. Hegner, Invertebrate Zoology, 1933; and Friderichsen Floor and Wall Tile Co., Catalog #10, 1929.

(Click on image to enlarge) Link1 and Link2 to originals
A digital collage with explanatory text, showing eggs of seven flatworms of the class Trematoda, commonly known as "flukes". Flukes are parasitic; they live in other creatures. These seven are particularly detestable because they are human parasites -- may the Gentle Reader never encounter one of these spawn of Satan.

  1. Intestinal fluke, China
  2. Lung fluke, America and Far East
  3. Liver fluke, Far East
  4. Intestinal fluke, China, Japan
  5. Blood fluke, China, Japan, Phillipines
  6. Blood fluke, Africa, America
  7. Blood fluke, Africa, Near East
Of course, Hegner's book is 80 years old. Maybe since then they've discovered that human parasites were just a figment of Hegner's scientific imagination -- but I doubt it.
The whole thing is layered upon a tile background from a 1929 catalog. The addition of text is an experiment; the font is Goudy Stout.

Sponge and Electron Paths
From Robert W. Hegner, Invertebrate Zoology, 1933; and F.L. Ockenden, Introduction to the Electron Microscope, 1945

(Click on image to enlarge) Link1 and Link2 to originals
A digital collage composed (in the center) of a diagram from a Zoology book of a biological state in the development of a sponge -- "Proterospongia Haeckelia (After Kent)," reads the caption -- with (on the four sides) a diagram labelled "Model of Electron Paths" from a book on Electron Microscopy. Worked hard on this, but not sure I'm pleased with the result.

Egyptian table goddesses
From Jean-Francois Champollion, Panthéon égyptien, collection des personnages mythologiques de l'ancienne Égypte, d'après les monuments, 1823; Fratelli Carcano [firm], Forma e Stampo "Stile 900", 1910; and endpaper from unrecorded book.

(Click on image to enlarge) Link1; Link2
Looking through this 1823 French book on Egyptian antiquities by Jean-Francois Champollion, I saw many images I have never seen in American museums. For instance, curious images of young women arched on tiptoe and fingertip. There were a total of four in Champollion's book. Here are two: the blue colored one seems to be supporting tiny ships filled with royalty and gods; the white one below is adorned with the wing-shaped Egyptian symbol. I assumed these were like the Christian motif of Mary Mother of Jesus sheltering the whole world in her cloak. But a quick search on Wikipedia reveals that "women as furniture" -- don't the posed figures seem like tables? -- is one of the world's many fetishes -- forniphilia. Oh well, I'll remain happily puzzled. These two goddess images are superimposed on a 1910 tile pattern from the previous source and a hand-printed endpaper used in binding another book. (Incidentally, whatever French library owned the Champollion book marked each of the images with a cheap rubber stamp -- a public domain outrage. Naturally, I whited it out.)

Composition in Tiles and Metal Household Objects
From Fratelli Carcano [firm], Forma e Stampo "Stile 900", 1910; G.A. Harvey & Co., A catalogue of perforated metalwork, c. 1926; and Welsbach Co., Supplement "C" : combination fixtures, gas fixtures, brackets, fittings, gas globes, 1916

(Click on image to enlarge) Link1, Link2, and Link3 to originals
Sources are listed in "layer" order, that is, bottom first, top last. The bottom-most image is a 5-color tile pattern from an Italian tile company; the middle image is a "Rose" tile pattern in perforated metal, used for radiator covers; and top-most is a gas light fixture with two cocks, duplicated three times and recolored. Also added my signature logo, but I'm having doubts about it.

The Violet Lady Sees the Future
From Various Advertising Graphics, Duluth Herald, 1911; and Raymond Palmer, ed., Amazing Stories, 1938

(Click on image to enlarge) Link1 and Link2 to originals
Combination of three images from the Duluth Herald and one from Amazing Stories: The three newspaper images are (1) the violet lady "won't be happy till she gets it" -- it being a new kitchen range; (2) horse-head detail of ad showing mounted herald announcing opening of new store, and (3) navy men running large shipboard gun. The Amazing Story image shows a couple aboard a vessel heading into "boiling zone" of space. Another element is my new signature logo, in lower right with month/year (12/12) of creation. This was my Christmas work, done after saw Lincoln at matinee.

Digital Collage of Technical & Catalog Images
From Biffen & Seaman, Modern instruments in chemical analysis, 1956; Abram Cox Stove Co., Novelty stoves and ranges, 1914; and Berlin Iron Bridge Co., Iron railroad bridges, iron roofs, wrought iron turntables, iron fire escapes, 1890

(Click on image to enlarge) Link1, Link2, Link3 to originals
In the blue background, a trade catalog image of the roof trusses of a Connecticut forge shop built entirely of iron. To left and right in tan, detail of a big old-fashioned wood stove, the Regent Novelty, by the Cox Stove Co; and in yellow and black, toward the center, a mercury-cathode cell from a more modern textbook of laboratory techniques. Some difference in border treatment. Color scheme suggested by room treatment in a 1915 rug catalog. This was done on my 68th birthday, a nice day where I went to a HumanLights solstice celebration that included making ice cream with liquid nitrogen -- and I got the first scoop because of my birthday -- and later drinks with Janice and three old, old friends who live in the same building.

[Later] Experimenting with Genuine Fractals' STN format, took this image and made it 300 pixels per inch, print size @ that resolution = 36.8 inches wide by 20.7 inches. File size is 197 MB in Photoshop and

Screed Clip on Digital Collage
From Truscon Steel Co., Truscon steel joists for economy, fire-safety, permanence, 1925

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original
From a catalog of an Ohio company that provided steel joists for construction of skyscrapers, three images combined. The forward image is a Screed Clip, used to connect a wood strip to a metal joist. The clip itself is in the light blue circle at lower left. In the background is a (distorted) chart of different steel joist sizes superimposed on a building of the time that was built with Truscon equipment. Later, the company merged with Republic Aviation and built warplanes during World War II.

Marking the slow passage of time
From Asprey & Company, The Clockwork of the Heavens, 1973

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original
From a catalogue prepared for an exhibit of watches, clocks, and allied scientific instruments prepared by Asprey jewelers, a London firm.

Futuristic seashore bandicoot
From Hugo Gernsback, Amazing Stories, May 1926; Horace Richards, Animals of the Seashore, 1938; and Royal Society of Australia, Transactions, 1938

(Click on image to enlarge) Link1, Link2, Link3
Digital collage composed of near-random elements: (1) from an old science fiction book, a drawing of a utopian future (""They were looking down upon great buildings a thousand feet in height above which swarms of enormous airships darted gracefully through the air."); (2) from aother book, a wave breaking over a seashore; and (3) from Australia, a picture of a bandicoot rabbit and its burrow and, in the frame, "wind roses" showing wind direction at different meteorological stations. None of them recognizable with the distortion and recoloring...

Meditation on a Book of Medical Oddities
From Cornelis Van Der Wiel, Observationum rariorum medic. anatomic. chirurgicarum centuria prior : accedit De unicornu dissertatio : utraque tertia parte auctior, longeque emendatior, 1687

(Click on image to enlarge) Link
Digital collage composed of elements from a book of medical, anatomical, and surgical curiousities. I recognize few of the elements -- it's in Latin -- although there is a dead child with an angelic face and terribly deformed legs (left). I marvel at the range of mutations and malfunctions in biological form. I may complain about my genetic portfolio -- major dental work coming and I have Grandpa Bob's predisposition to diabetes, etc. -- but when I look at the full range of birth outcomes, I realize how lucky I am, with ten fingers and ten toes and a a baseline of pain-free peasant vigor. The book reminds me of my Philadelphia Center City neighbor Mutter Museum. Another fine upload by the Getty Research Institute.

Digital collage from 1914 Show-Biz Paper
From New York Clipper, Clipper, 1914

(Click on image to enlarge) Link
Combination of elements from a single month (August 1914) of the New York theatre trade paper that eventually became Variety. The curly type of the "Handy Dandy" ad charmed me -- from the days when hand-lettering ruled. Other elements include an ad from a theatrical booking agency, a drawing of a glamorous couple of the time, a valise covered with hotel stickers, and a typographic list of the paper's subject matter.

Digital collage in failed energy venture
From VanDePoele Electrical Light Co., The VanDePoele System of Electrical Light, 1884

(Click on image to enlarge) Link
Various elements combined from the 1884 catalog of early Belgian innovator of electrical systems headquartered in Chicago. Snazzy illustrations, many technical diagrams with playful borders. Inset in lower right is artist's view of the electricity-rich future. I used color pattern from a Glidden Paint color harmony chart for interiors with blue rugs.

See the See-Through Lady: Digital collage in plumbing, woodwork, jewelry, and swirls
From Columbia Lumber Co., Premier standardized woodwork: the most complete line of practical cabinet work, approx. 1910; Murco Vapor-Vacuum- Co., The benefits of thirty years' experience in heating and ventilating, 1913; and Martin Gerlach, Die Perle: Weltorgan für Juwelengold und Silverarbeiter unter Mitwirkung hervorragender Künstler und mit Unterstützung des hiesigen K. K. Museum für Kunst und Industrie, 1880

(Click on image to enlarge) Link1, Link2, and Link3
Four elements here: (1) Various plumbing implements with trade name MURCO from a 1913 catalog, combined with (2) a necklace from an 1880 book previously used as a source; combined with (3) a drawing from a catalog of woodwork projects of a built-in bathroom seat with (if you click onto the fully enlarged 1660x1498 pixel version) a see-through lady seated on it, and finally (4) marbleized paper from some unrecorded book.

Mitt Romney mansion auto elevator
From Waygood-Otis Lifts, Trade Catalog, 1923; and Charles Malo, Livre Mignard, ou fleur des fabliaux, 1826

(Click on image to enlarge) Link1 and Link2 to originals.
Mash-up of three images from two sources. Picture of auto in garage car lift is from a trade catalog of elevator manufacturer Waygood-Otis of London. From an 1826 poetry book comes the marbleized background used in the book's binding and a wooden altarpiece used as a framing device. Tiny license plate establishes this as the car elevator of the former GOP presidential candidate, who famously had a car elevator in one of his homes cum palaces. I feel joy that we live in the universe where he lost. I like the steps instead of a ramp.

19th-century lady at her creams and powders
From Various unrecorded sources

(Click on image to enlarge) No link to original.
From images I stored before I kept careful track of URL's and provenance. Combination of two images here: (1) an old tiny newspaper advertisement for PLEXO lanolin-enriched penetrating cream and (2) a 1970's ziggy vector design (in background). I thought of the image as an old woman of today sitting before her mirror when she suddenly drifts back to her younger days.

Emma carries Eginhart through the snow
From Moritz von Schwind, Emma trägt Eginhart durch den Schnee, 1829

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
Curious about von Schwind, the artist in previous entry, I looked him up and ran across this drawing in the online repository of the Museen Nord. It illustrates a folk tale about a romance between Charlemagne's daughter Emma and her tutor Eginhart. The story is retold here. Eginhart visits Emma's bedchamber one evening -- but it snows. They know that Eginhart's snowy footprints will give away their tryst, so Emma carries Eginhart back through the snow to his quarters. Unfortunately, a sleepless Charlemagne observes the maneuver. Charlemagne banishes them. But years later, he welcomes the couple back to his court. The frame is another import from the collection of Japanese leather-designs.

The Prisoner Sees His Dreams
From various sources, Link1, Link2, Link3
A complex image, from three unrelated sources. It is built around an 1836 painting by Moritz von Schwind, entitled "The Dream of the Prisoner" (photograph right), which appears as frontispiece to an Italian introduction to Psychoanalysis (Link1). You can barely see the bearded reclining captive in my distorted artistic re-imagining on the left. Two other elements are (1) from a clinical manual of eye diseases (Link2), top left and right sides and (2) images from a catalogue of ventilation devices (Link3) at bottom, showing the use of ceiling fans in a bar and a large exhaust fan.

Ornamental Fantasia III in Jewelry
From Martin Gerlach, Die Perle : Weltorgan für Juwelengold und Silverarbeiter unter Mitwirkung hervorragender Künstler und mit Unterstützung des hiesigen K. K. Museum für Kunst und Industrie, 1880

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
Same source as immediately preceding image, plus background is from a book on decorated leathercrafts in Japan.

Ornamental Fantasia II in Jewelry
From Martin Gerlach, Die Perle : Weltorgan für Juwelengold und Silverarbeiter unter Mitwirkung hervorragender Künstler und mit Unterstützung des hiesigen K. K. Museum für Kunst und Industrie, 1880

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
Same source as immediately preceding image.

Ornamental Fantasia I in Jewelry
From Martin Gerlach, Die Perle : Weltorgan für Juwelengold und Silverarbeiter unter Mitwirkung hervorragender Künstler und mit Unterstützung des hiesigen K. K. Museum für Kunst und Industrie, 1880

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
A quiet image based various permutations of a single image in a German catalog of jewelry.

Fantasia from Three Elements
From various sources

(Click on image to enlarge) Link1 and Link2 to originals.
A combination of images from (1) June 1927 Amazing Stories illustration (Link 1); (2) title page from 1904 Manet und sein Kreis (Link 2); and (3) marbleized paper from some other unrecorded book. The first element, the pulp magazine drawing at bottom (by J.M. deAragon), is entitled "Ignorance, Fanaticism and Cruelty" with a caption The three prediluvian masters — man’s soul eaters that, though slowly shrinking from the few and feeble attacks of poor humanity, still loom large over the entrance to the temple of human happiness." A kind of visual meditation, during an intense, sleepless night. Original title page had orange text, but I wasn't able to get that to work, perhaps because of the marbleized paper.

Angles and Iron Awaiting Results
From Snead & Co., Book Stack and Shelving for Libraries, 1908

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
Digital manipulation of a photograph from a trade catalog by a Jersey City shelving company. Cropped, recolored and otherwise tweaked. I liked the way the shelves themselves go off at different angles according to the textbook rules of perspective and the small repeating geometries on the upright (visible only in the enlarged 684 x 969 pixel version). The shelves pictured are from the Louisville, Kentucky, library, where I was a client on a romantic week-long visit to that city some forty years ago to Nancy S., who lived in that Southern town, and to whom this piece is dedicated. I first became familiar with the concept of thermodynamic Entropy from my reading there that summer when Nancy was at work. There were lightning bugs in the air and much talk about an upcoming horse race.

Fiddler Uncle Jimmy and Niece Eva
From Tony Russell, Country Music Originals: Legends Of The Lost, 2007

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
A respectful manipulation of a photo from a book of old Country Music stars. This one shows Uncle Jimmy Thompson and his niece (and long-time musical assistant) Eva Thompson Jones. You can hear Uncle Jimmy (in the public domain) playing the song Lynchburg here. There's also a brief interview and a quadrille. Thompson is known for beating 86 fiddlers in an eight-day fiddling contest in Dallas in his youth. He called his violin "Old Betsy" and covered it with a red flannel cloth every night. I was attracted to the photo because Thompson vaguely resembles me and I liked the warmth between him and his niece.

Ornament on Curved Stairway
From Winslow Bros., Ornamental iron & bronze / executed by the Winslow Bros. Company, Chicago, 1910

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
A Photoshop filter/recolor manipulation of a portion of a black and white photo from the catalog of a Chicago company that made metal ornament for stairways, elevators, doors, etc. This marble stairway and banister was in a St. Louis, Missouri, building called the Woman's Magazine Building. I was first attracted by the statue of the lady, then by the stairway's curves, and finally, as I distorted the image more and more, I thought it developed a kind of ghostly, faded magnificence like the movie The Shining.

The New York Trilobite
From James Hall, Tables of organic remains: from the report on the geology of the fourth district of New York, 1843

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
Take a fine 19th century engraving of a fossilized trilobite found in Lockport, New York, and send that image through a process of recoloring, distortion, and filtering -- and here's what you get. The trilobite, a marine arthropod distantly related to the horseshoe crab, is my favorite extinct animal. Because they don't look like they should be extinct, they look well-designed to my eye, with crusty shells and compact organs -- but that didn't enable it to survive.

Typographic decoration with type added
From A. Limbourg, Fabrique d'ornements en zinc , 1910

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
A century-old design from a French trade catalog of zinc building ornaments. The image above was a printer's decoration from the title-page. I decided I needed to learn more about creating curved text in Photoshop, so I adopted the text in the original ("Ancienne Maison/RAINOT/Fondee en 1850") to more contemporary meaning ("PHILLY-BOB/Public Domain Free-for-All/Since 2012").

Witlesse Man: Digital collage based on William Crookes
From William Crookes, Sur la matière radiante: conférence faite a Sheffield, le 22 Aout 1879, devant l'association Britannique pour l'advancement des sciences, 1880

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
From a French translation of a talk by William Crookes, discover of the cathode ray. This is a composition that combines elements of the binding -- marbleized endpapers and brown corduroy(?) corners -- with an illustration of one of Crooke's experimental setups. I like the fact that the diagrams are reversed -- white line on black ground. Crooke closed his essay with a quote from Edmund Spenser's 16th-century poem The Faerie Queene:

"Yet all these were when no man did them know,
Yet have from wisest ages hidden beene;
And later times thinges more unknowne shall show.
Why then should witlesse man so much misweene,
That nothing is, but that which he hath seene?"

(In other words, if I know more than smarter men of ages past did, doesn't it stand to reason that there are things I don't know?) That spirit may explain Crookes' later studies of Spiritualism. Anyway, the quotation allows me to include two more images of romantic illustration, showing scenes from The Faerie Queen, the left by Briton Riviere and the right by Johan Fussli:
Not sure why I'm so fascinated with these sentimental illustrations. Perhaps it's because this public domain project requires to move back in time 100 years or so (since that is when copyrights run out) and my sensibility is formed more by the work of that time than it is by modern art. Or maybe I just like old-time depictions of female beauty, which are rare today in art -- except in advertising art where they are boring and, worse, insulting.

Digital collage a la Owen Jones
From Owen Jones, Examples of Chinese ornament selected from objects in the South Kensington museum and other collections, 1867

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
A composition built around a design on a blue and white Chinese bottle in a lavishly illustrated book by architect and "design theorist" Owen Jones. Recoloring, repeated distortion, and various filters. Click on the image a couple times and you will see a very large version of it (795 by 1216 pixels). Done while watching the James Bond Thanksgiving Marathon on cable. My graphic arts background wants to add text or some unifying element to the swirling texture, but I'll just leave the chaotic maelstrom for later use.

Detained Gypsy Woman, 1943
From Cristoforo Magistro, Zingari al confino, Undated

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
A composition built around a photo from a recent book about Gypsies detained in Italy during the Fascist Mussolini regime of 1922-1943. It's in Italian, which I can not read. As near as I can tell from the caption, this is Maria Marina Herzemberger, confined on the island of Sardinia in 1938. This picture was taken in 1943. A sad tale among many sad tales from that period in European history. After five years of confinement, there's no mirth on her lips and her eyes drill into you with caution and mistrust. The background is constructed from an undated trade catalog of metal grills by Metalace, a Massachusetts company.

Athenian Vase Painting, 600 B.C.
From Arthur Fairbanks, Mythology of Greece and Rome with Special Reference to Its Influence on Literature, 1907

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
The caption reads: "At the left sits the aged Pelias; at the right the two daughters of Pelias watch the old goat, which has its youth renewed by Medea in the caldron over the fire." I was confused by the double-meaning in English of "old goat"; the website defines it as "a lecherous man, especially one considerably older than those to whom he is attracted," but I think the caption simply refers to an aged animal. Anyway, on first reading I thought the caption said that Old Goat Pelias sacrificed an animal to renew his youth. His younger self arises from his aged body to make mad passionate monkey love to the two women on the right. An ordinary mistake, right? Move along....

Digital collage a la Haeckel
From Ernst Haeckel, Art Forms in Nature, 1904

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
A wild fantasy based on a section of one of the plates ("Globegerina") from Ernst Haeckel's master-work of drawings from nature, recolored and distorted, based on my observations of various ways that Arabic books decorate the lines of Arabic script.

Glassy Eyed
From Siemens Glass Works, Glas = glass = verre = vetro = vidrio, Undated, Est. 1925

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
A decorative wall pattern from Heiliginthal (see previous) filled with patterns of glass tile from cited Siemens glass catalog. Then recolored, distorted, and filtered beyond recognition. During a sleepless night when I have stuff on my mind.

Endpaper and Decorative Wall Relief
From Joseph Heiliginthal, Recueil des dessins d'ornements d'architecture: contenant tout ce qui a rapport à la decoration des appartements 1845

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
Ran across another mid-19th century catalog of Rococco ornament of the type once found on high-class French apartments. Heiliginthal was based in Alsace in Northern France. The online scanned version has beautiful marbleized endpapers, which I used in construction of the image. Three women have odd, old-world proportions and limbs, with small heads.

German V-1 Rocket Hits London
From Nigel B. Cook, Civil Defense Evidence, Various dates

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
Street scene moments after a German V-1 rocket hit Aldwych on June 30, 1944. According to this collection of British civil defense documents (with an antiwar slant): "Neither in [recriminations against citizens of German origin] nor in any other way was there a sign of instability. No panic running for shelter, no white faces in the streets (although plenty of taut, grim ones), no nerve disease. In all London, the month ... saw but twenty-three neurotics admitted to hospital. The mind-doctors had rather fewer patients than usual." I like the unhurried, balanced walk of the young woman in the foreground. Included another border (of rubble) to continue experimentation.

Egyptian Royal Daughter's Funeral
From Aidan Dodson, Amarna Sunset: Nefertiti, Tutankhamen, Ay, Horemheb and the Egyptian Counter-Reformation , 2009

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
Composition based on archeologist's drawings from the tomb of Mekataten, pre-teen daughter of Akhenaten. It is a collage composed of sections of the original drawing of the wall and shows mourning ululations of Makataten's big sisters and a top- and bottom-border of afterlife offerings. I like the sinuous abandon of Mekataten's wailing sisters. Whoever did the original drawing did a fine job of deciphering the flaking wall paint into ink line. This work continues my work on border technique.

Satyrs & Border
From Jennie Ellis Keysor, Great Artists Vol. 1: Raphael, Rubens, Murillo, and Durer, 1899

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
A Peter Paul Rubens painting of two Satyrs, prettied up with an advertising border from an old type catalog. Not sure it worked artistically, but got me through an insomniac evening. Border was much more difficult than I expected. Will need to work more on borders.

The Draft Dodgers on the Home Front Expect Every Joe to do his Duty
From U.S. Department of Army, German Propaganda Leaflets, November 1945

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original.
Text of leaflet dropped on U.S. positions by German airplanes and mortars during World War II: "GI's have you ever figured it out? ... [Only] 4 [American] men out of 100 are engaged in actual fighting... Almost every day you front-line men read of people at home leaving war jobs for something more secure which will carry them through the post-war period." I added the color.

Retired Sea Captain Night Visit
From Ceramica Liguri, Pavimenti di ceramica, Undated

(Click on image to enlarge) Link to original
Another variation on ceramic patterns, this time an Italian tile-maker. I like the black through blue through white shades of this. Visualizing old sailor's night-time visit to the bathroom, staring at the tile, remembering his past. Ship image comes from old type catalog, source unknown.

Revised FORMAT here

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ceramic Tile Design with Logo (Click on image to enlarge)
From Compagnie generale de la cermique du batiment, Carreaux gres cerame fin vitrifies, c. 1920
A composite of this Belgian company's logo and one of its floor tile designs, composed of three sizes and colors of vitrified ceramic tiles. The whole book is very Bauhaus. However, some of the simpler designs are ones you've seen on many bathroom floors -- like, on page 77, my current one. Several types of filters used along with unusual 68% Hard Light blending mode on orange logo.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Aggregates & Endpaper (Click on image to enlarge)
From Arthur G. Bruce, Hard Pavements, 1926
I combine (1) the fine-art marbleized endpapers used in this book's binding with (2) one of the line drawings showing three grades of "hot-mix bituminous pavements." In the stack of three drawings, I tried to duplicate the look of old blueprints.
There is family legend that my maternal grandfather, Bob Guston, showed up at a construction site looking for a job. The boss asked him if he knew concrete and Grampa Bob lied "yes," then went to the library, read a book on the subject, and went on to make a career as a construction crew foreman on big concrete jobs like bridges and factories. The Moore family's entry into the go-to-college middle-class is based on that story -- as well as on my paternal grandfather Roxy's skill at seeing subtle variations in the paint color of Packards as they came off the assembly line. Ah, those were the days in Detroit.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Old Man's Reveries (Click on image to enlarge)
Source: not recorded; an old type catalog, I believe.
Type may be too small to read, click to see it. Arab poet Adonis expresses my sentiments on aging:

I can’t believe that I have become old, I walk, a stranger
No consolation needed. I do not complain —My love and death
          are in one orbit but I still wish to tempt
          those that come after me
to light the darkness of eternity
with the body's glow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Composition in Steel Parts (Click on image to enlarge)
from Steel Company of Canada, General Catalogue, 1931
From RGB to duotone and back, this simple page of metal parts goes lilac and green. Choice partially influenced by Alfred E. Barnes' choice of hardware on the walls of his museum alongside finest contemporary art.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Flower Border (Click on image to enlarge)
from Frank Gibson, A Practical Guide to Stenciling, 1913
Heavily colored treatment of constructed border from excellent stenciling guide. Kind of Pennsylvania Dutch style.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Distraught Damsel (Click on image to enlarge)
Gustave Aimard, Balle Franche, 1867
A melodramatic illustration from a late 19th-century French “western”. Heavily-inked engraving style. Slight colorizing and distortion from original. Dissatisfied with this series.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pensive Irene (Click on image to enlarge)
Irene Marbury, Modern Dancing: by Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Castle, 1914
One of the fashion photographs of World War I dancemaster Vernon Castle's wife, Irene. Someday, I'm going to watch the 1939 movie, The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers; the story of the glamorous couple through two world wars is a moving story. The original was mildly colorized.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Frieze Lady (Click on image to enlarge)
from Scott Mitchell (Thomas Parsons & Sons), A Few Suggestions for Ornamental Decoration in Painters’ and Decorators’ Work, 1909
A tiny detail of a figure on a panel on page 57 of book, labeled as suitable for a “hotel dining room or café.” Difficult image, had to do twice from original. Done during Romney/Obama debate.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Stencil Variation (Click on image to enlarge)
from Frank Gibson, A Practical Guide to Stenciling, 1913
Various transformations applied to the original. A book of lovely stencil designs, may do more with them. This one took me two hours — through Dexter and Homeland.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bulging Boiler (Click on image to enlarge)
from Hopson & Chapin, Boiler and Radiator Catalog, 1893
From the era when steam power revolutionized technology, a steam boiler with brick cutaway, recolored and distorted from original. An experimental maze background overlay, very faint, from Corel's Painter.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Monsieur Pinaud’s Lilac (Click on image to enlarge)
from an early 20th century Black newspaper, reference unknown
Went for bright colors, imagining this as a barroom coaster. Text: “The world’s most famous perfume, every drop as sweet as the living blossom. For handkerchief, atomizer and bath. Fine after shaving. All the value is in the perfume — you don't pay extra for a fancy bottle.”

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Buffalo Vase (Click on image to enlarge)
from E.T. Barnum Wire & Iron Works, Catalogue of Vases, Settees, Fountains and Other Lawn Furniture, 1904 Link
Another freely manipulated image based on a detail from a Detroit company's catalog of lawn decorations. The original went through multi-layer distortion and recoloring in the scheme used in old comic books, where you had to put on pair of colored glasses to see "3-D."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Windmill Re-Imagined (Click on image to enlarge)
from G. Crook, Building Plans for Dutch Industrial Windmills, 1850 Link
This is a freely manipulated image based on a detail from a plan for a Dutch windmill. To me, it is evocative of a 21st century space vehicles. The image (original here) was distorted, recolored, and finally sent through various Photoshop filters. Precise and handsome industrial draftsmanship in the book if you glance at the PDF in the link above.