Thursday, April 30, 2009

When Projects Collide

Coming attractions - characters from two separate projects. I think. Yes, that is a Dharma Initiative chocolate bar.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tiny Men and Scary Women

"North by Northwest" (suggested as source material by Matt Dawson ) comes from the line in Hamlet in which he explains that he is only mad when the wind is "North Northwest".  So what is up with the tiny men in the late fifties? First we had The Incredible Shrinking Man in 1957, followed by The Attack of the Fifty-foot Woman  in 1958 - did the Sixties throw a long shadow into the past, causing anxiety about the coming of the women's liberation movement? North by Northwest was released in 1959, and Cary Grant's character is first mocked by his mother and then expertly manipulated by the character played by Eva Marie Saint.

This may not be the final version of this, ideally I'd like one with a shopping cart coming up behind him. I'm planning a month or so of Hitchcock on the other blog after the conclusion of Hamlet. And of course I need to do one other famous scene from this classic film.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I was working in my lab late one night...

Win this mermaid! Just go to the new blog, TinyTheatre, and leave a comment before May 10, for a chance to take this somewhat posable and slightly lumpy six inch beauty home (head courtesy of grrl+dog). I'll announce a winner on Monday the 11th (anyone who has already commented is in the pool, so to speak). Normal programming resumes here tomorrow - another paper person in peril. Hint: the title of the film from which the character is taken is a quote from Hamlet.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tiny Theatre

The Illustration Friday prompt this week was Theater, which motivated me to set up my other blog, TinyTheatre,  where Hamlet opens today. I have posted some Illustrated Shakespeare quotations so that there would be something over there besides the first scene of Hamlet. I am planning to showcase artists and others who work small scale in between postings of my own projects. I will continue posting to this blog during the week, though I may be on hiatus for the weekends here.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Crazed Victorian Mermaid

Here is Bosco being abused by a character who may look vaguely familiar. She'll be back on Tuesday and is part of the plan.  Monday (in the U.S. of A., people in the antipodes have to wait a little longer) will be announcement time.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


A windy day in San Francisco, one of the smaller paintings in (and on) Clarion Alley next to Community Thrift. The murals are a project of Precita Eyes, which has tours if you are lucky enough to live in San Francisco.

In other news, I have a big announcement just around the corner, AKA Monday.

My sources (thanks, grrl) tell me the above is not a painting, it's a three-layer stencil.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Katherine Streeter Pet Portraits

Here is a portrait of my cat Bosco by the amazing Katherine Streeter of the dolldreamer blog. She takes commissions for these wonderful pieces, you can see samples in her etsy shop and contact her if you would like one of your own - at $65.00 each, they are a steal.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Man in Red

It's a shame this guy never got to play Hamlet, I think he might have wiped the floor with Lawrence Olivier (sorry, Brits). The film is still very moving, though plot holes aplenty. I believe I would like to pursue the paper characters thing and I'm thinking of scenes from "Rebel without a cause" and other classics (I'd definitely get Bogart in there). Anybody got any favorites? 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Here's a piece I did about 15 years ago, still in use for the Berkeley Earth Day Poster (may be as close as this artist comes to immortality). See where they're celebrating in Northern California? Anyway, turtles all the way down (wikipedia).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cat and pitcher

Another item uploaded to my etsy store

In other news, I cleaned out my sewing box last night. Instant virtue! Easier to untangle than the financial markets, for sure. For those who have an entire sewing room to organize and boundless energy, there is a list of links with detailed recommendations (for instance, mounting your embroidery thread in "clear thread cases on a rolling cart") on the sew,mama,sew blog.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Parking Lot Absolute

Yup, decided I wanted to do more with the pavement level thing. Whoever oversees this parking lot at a local bank rivals Kim Il Jong in the aggressive defense of his particular territory. Locals are advised that any attempt to park there after bank hours will result in immediate towing by the cosily-named "Family Towing Co.", behind the figure to the right you can see one of those lower-jaw contraptions for ripping tires apart. It's a private parking lot and the meters resemble Darth Vader. I don't think this is what Native Americans are talking about with the whole being-one-with-the -land thing. 

For some tinier people in urban settings, see Little People-A tiny street art project

Edit: No man's borderlands on via negativa

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Work in Progress

Here's another picture of entropy or creative chaos at my house, your choice. I am giving up on segueways for the following links, cause they're just things I like, so will do individual intros.

These fold-out houses at eyetrouble are captivating - they partake of the nature of both books and stage sets.

The visual observations of the surroundings at Spirithelpers never fail to astonish.

Seth Godin recommended this manifesto by Chris Guillebeau  a few days ago. It's a distillation of the author's observations and advice for a web-based business model. Invaluable for those who are interested in marketing on the web, it's definitely in the school of Golden Rule Philosophy for the internet - this sort of thing is very heartening to read. 

Saturday, April 18, 2009

How vainly men

How vainly men themselves amaze
To win the palm, the oak or bays,
And their incessant labors see
Crowned from some single herb, or tree,
Whose short and narrow-verged shade
Doth prudently their toils upbraid;
While all the flowers and trees do close
To weave the garlands of repose!

     -from Andrew Marvell's The Garden

Just walking by the house where they cut down the trees and put up the wooden fence, and took a look at what was going on at pavement level. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Impossible/The White Queen as the Thinker

The White Queen in Through the Looking Glass made it a rule to try to imagine impossible things before breakfast. Am I the only creative person who identifies with this woolly-brained creature (she is essentially the same character as the sheep who owns the peculiar shop)? Difficult to know which are the useful (inspirational) woolly thoughts and which are mere puffy clouds of distraction. And speaking of inspiration/distraction, I saw this post this morning on the fabric of meditation blog, which makes me want to start saving laundry lint again.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Truck with wings and other Random Observations

This truck with wings made me things of the gump, a chair which had Professor Wogglebug's magical powder of life sprinkled on it and, as I recall, aided in the escape of some characters from imprisonment. Tip, the boy in the forground. later proved to be Ozma of Oz under an enchantment. In the background you can see the Wogglebug gesturing. Actually, the magical powder may have been invented by the witch who put Ozma under a spell. The John R. Neill illustration below is out of copyright .
Other things going through my brain, maybe spreading new emoticons around the internet?
LOLUMCOYN (Laugh out loud until milk comes out of your nose) or even shorter visually:
or this:
which stands for:
(Cthulhu finds you delectable and longs to embrace you with his many tentacles).
Any ideas?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dramatis Personae: Max James

Max James has been with the company the longest and is happy to recount its history in detail, illustrated with many anecdotes. He likes to refer to himself as "a man of many parts" and then chuckle a rich baritone chuckle. Other cast members have heard his stories many times, and like to place small wagers on which of them he will trot forth for whatever (usually young and female) member of the adoring public he has managed to corner.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Waiting for the spark from Heaven to fall

It's best to be prepared. There's a bit of J.T. Steiny influence in this.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Table Top Riot

Little people have taken over my dining room table. Pah, what good are meals? I live for art!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fleeting encounter/Raven and Fox Child

What was it the raven said to the fox child on that long ago night, when the stars had been freshly burned into the night?

Edit: I think a little of "Let the Right One In" crept into this illustration. Thanks, Lettuce, for the recommendation.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Green Tea Goddess

Something I added to my Etsy store.

A link to ateaandthink in Britain for a quick screen visit.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Lost Boys/Another Man in Black

So I was thinking about how Hamlet is the drama of adolescence (sure enough, I checked on Google, and this has occurred to other people as well). Brought to mind another guy who dressed in black, the character Kiefer Sutherland played in the 1987 horror comedy Lost Boys. This may have been the first film in this genre, it had a wonderful cast and script. The subtext was (and this is the main thread to Hamlet) that adolescents, with their bizarre fashions and bad attitudes, are in fact different in kind (and I know some of my readers were born around the same time or after this film was released).
     When Keifer and his blood-sucking pals wander into Max's video shop and are asked to leave, Max (Edward Herrman) remarks to Lucy (Dianne Wiest), "Bad kids". 
     "Aw, we were young once", she replies. But they're all VAMPIRES (before vampires were considered good boyfriend material). 
      Anyway, highly recommended for those who want to see Kiefer before he started saving the world. Coreys, we hardly knew ye. Link to trailer. Anybody else got any pop culture favorites?

P.S.: Do NOT rent the sequel by mistake - apparently it's unwatchable.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Look here

"Look here upon this picture, and on this,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See what a grace was seated on this brow...
Here is your husband like a mildewed ear..."
        - Hamlet, Act III, Scene IV

It has always seemed to me an awkward stage direction that Hamlet, having just slaughtered Polonius, pulls out two portraits, those of his uncle and father (Okay, so maybe he shoves Gertrude toward them and they are hanging on the wall) . He then proceeds to point out how much better-looking his Dad was than his uncle. So I think I have to do this. I have wired the 19th century photos to my Hamlet figure, then I will have to photograph it turned over to get two oval portrait areas and insert the above likenesses. Have made a lot of progress on the Hamlet, still hoping to find a store that still sells walnuts in the shell for THAT verse. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gargoyle of sorts/Beowulf and Grendel

Third in the series? Here you see Beowulf looking stunned because he has been taken over by Grendel (see below), I have always been very taken with the Bob Dylan line "Fearing not I'd become my enemy in the instant that I preach". However,, this particular threat is vitiated by the blooms for eyes.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Gargoyle Contemplating Flight

Well my lurking friend asked if the gargoyle was going on a t-shirt, so I did this version for redbubble . This gargoyle just grew and grew until he no longer fits in his original station. Now he's contemplating his next move. Indrani posted these images of flight on ishare...I am particularly fond of the last one. On the elsewhere blog, hummingbird flight as airy stitching.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Gargoyles are talismans for buildings. Possibly this one is suffering from insomnia.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ladyfingers Hello

These tiny heads came to me from grrl+dog in Australia, who has posted some philosophy about the life, death and rebirth of knitups on her blog, as well as a charming video. 

News of the Tiny : you can see the racier cousins of the ladies above on urbandon.

Friday, April 3, 2009

David and Goliath

Another big and little image. The duckheaded creature is a decorative garden piece, for those who like that sort of thing, and the little guy with the sword is, of course, Wilbert Carms Hamilton. 

News of the Tiny Balou, at bornagirl, directed me to the website of fellow Wisconsonian (?) Steve Tomashek, who has this wonderful instructional video on how to carve a mouse, but I think it might take a bit of practice to get to his level of expertise.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

King of the World

One of the players from my upcoming Hamlet on top of one of my large mosaic spheres for the garden. Remember, if you're in the area, you can contact me at smsanford (AT) lmi(DOT)net for a studio visit. More work on my mosaic site. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Unidentified Flying Saucer

Witnesses heard a faint humming sound before the object darted vertically up into the heavens...

News of the Tiny: a link to a gallery of last year's Washington Post peeps dioramas - this year's to be shown in the paper in all their glory on Easter Sunday.