Handwriting analysis of Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe writing

Marilyn Monroe writing in her journal

A new book of Marilyn Monroe’s unpublished writing has come out, with many images of her handwritten thoughts. I was fascinated by what her writing revealed; here is a quick interpretation.

Continue reading

Wayland’s encore

This just in!!

Richard Jobson

Richard Jobson looking very serious

Wayland’s Song, the new film by punk turned film director Richard Jobson is already wrapped.  But I’ve just heard from Jobson that he is still shooting more footage on a train today – he explained it was for more “nourish effect”.  I asked him why he is still shooting, and he breezily answered, “Never finished”.

The man is obsessed.  I can respect that.  I may never know what “nourish effect” means, though.

Update #2!! (July 27th)

Richard just told me that the character of Wayland,  played by Michael Nardone, is an epileptic.

Here you can read about what I know about Wayland’s Song up to today.

Jobson has two websites that I know of:  No Bad Films and RichardJobson.com.

– Signing off as M.K. Hajdin,  Richard Jobson’s unofficial publicist.

Quote of the day: Sacrifice at the Altar of Beauty

Helen Frankenthaler by Ernest Haas

Helen Frankenthaler in 1969 by Ernest Haas

What would the world be like if all the time and energy and thought that so many women feel compelled to sacrifice at the altar of the Beauty Mandate were given to other pursuits? To improving the self in ways that impacted positively upon self-concept and could lead from strength to strength, chasing self-actualization instead of fighting a losing battle against the physical signs of years lived?”

– Leisha Kivlin, commenting on this thread at I Blame The Patriarchy.

Leisha Kivlin is a writer.  Her website is here.

Here is an interesting article about how Helen Frankenthaler’s status as a woman affected her career as an artist.

Sundays with Clyfford Still: Breaking the Cage (15)

Welcome to Sundays With Clyfford Still. I’m your host, M.K. Hajdin.

This is number 15 in the series. You can read the other posts here.

This week we go back to the early days of Clyfford Still, before his paintings progressed into complete abstraction.

Haunting images from Clyfford Still

Untitled Still from 1936. Photo: Tiffany Weber

A woman old before her time, a death’s head surfacing beneath her skin.  A gaunt male figure is cradled on her lap, almost in a nursing position, but he seems too weary to take any nourishment and she is too empty to provide it. These starveling figures are eerily prophetic in the light of the concentration-camp images that would shock the world only ten years after this picture was painted.

Artists learn how to do art by reproducing what they see around them in a realistic manner.  Once the techniques are mastered, many artists go on to use the techniques that they learned to interpret reality more imaginatively.  Clyfford Still began on this path trod by so many others, but his originality soon surfaced, and drove him to be one of the first artists who abandoned reality altogether and plunged into complete abstraction.   But what drove that process?

Continue reading

Clowns with Klout driving around in Gary Numan’s cars to sound of steel drums. Directed by Richard Jobson

I was talking with Daniel Swensen, who is the funniest guy in the world and who also has a fantasy novel coming out called Orison.   We are both mystified by the workings of Klout.  Our search for the truth about social media led us into a dark, ominous, disturbingly amusing carnival of the damned.

Continue reading

The Sketchbook Project begins

I heard my landlady bellow my name from downstairs.  After a quick self-inspection to make sure I was dressed – bitter experience has taught me the importance of this  – I rushed to open the door.   There, lying on the landing, was a brown envelope with something I’ve been eagerly waiting for.



Ignore those greasy fingerprints on the cover.  I had just put on some hand lotion. 

This 8″ by 5″, 220 page sketchbook by Watson-Guptill is bound like a real book.  I didn’t want a spiral binding even though it would have let the pages lie flat.  I wanted something that would look and feel like a book and look good on a shelf, but not look so awesome that I would be afraid to actually write or sketch in it.  (That’s happened to me before with fancy journals).

Continue reading

Sundays with Clyfford Still: Sylver Lyning (14)

Welcome to Sundays With Clyfford Still.  I’m your host, M.K. Hajdin.

This is number 14  in the series.  You can read the other posts here.

This week we’re looking at the lighter side of Clyfford Still.  We don’t have any evidence that Clyffie himself actually possessed a lighter side,  but a survey of popular culture reveals that one exists – created by other artists with a bit more humor and less paranoia.

 Here is cartoonist Kenny Be’s vision of “Clyfford’s Color Fyeld Gryll”, which unfortunately never came to pass.  Unfortunately, I say, because that “dyppying palette”  looks pretty good.

cartoon by Kenny Be

Continue reading

How Not to Disgrace Yourself Utterly on the Internet!

Are you on the internet because you have something awesome that people should see?  Do you want to know how not to act like an ass and alienate them forever before they get a chance to see it?

Some folks out there are shooting themselves in the foot every time they use some kind of social media.

Continue reading

Robert De Niro’s waiting, in hyper-realistic detail

You talkin’ to me?

Robert De Niro by Graham Bradshaw

Robert De Niro by Graham Bradshaw

This isn’t a photo. This is pencil.  Specifically, it’s the work of British artist Graham Bradshaw, whose website explains:

Hyper-realism, although photographic in essence, often entails a softer, much more complex focus on the subject depicted, presenting it as a living, tangible object. These objects and scenes in Hyper-realism drawings/paintings and sculptures are meticulously detailed to create the illusion of a reality not seen in the original photo.

Reality generally doesn’t satisfy me, hyper- or otherwise.  That’s why I lean to the abstract in my own work.  But it’s useful for any artist to spend time looking at different styles of work than the ones they prefer, otherwise there’s a danger of stagnating.

Bradshaw’s work is beautifully executed.  He also hasn’t had any formal training in the arts.  (I doubt it would have helped him much if he had, since they don’t seem to teach drawing any more.)

More of Graham Bradshaw’s work can be found on his website. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Sick this week, also textures from Mars

Dear readers:  I was ill this weekend. Since I don’t write my blog posts in advance, I wasn’t able to do this week’s Sundays with Clyfford Still.  Rest assured Clyffie will return next week.

Here’s a totally irrelevant but visually interesting texture from Mars.

Rock strata on Mars in false color. Photo credit: JPL / NASA