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.

I am going straight to hell

…for posting this, but it’s worth it, to provide you with a few moments’ entertainment.  That’s how dedicated an art blogger I am.  You’re welcome.

Bad Christian Art

Corporate Jesus

Jesus cuts deal with the Feds to avoid insider trading scandal

..Also, he’s totally going to invite that guy up to his place later. Painting by Nathan Greene.

Continue reading

More art from strange places: Mummified Egyptian Ibis


This bird was believed to be sacred by the ancient Egyptians.  They mummified such birds and buried them along with important people – with plenty of birdseed for the afterlife.

This image is a 3-D reconstruction by anthropologist Andrew Wade using computed tomography.  I am fascinated by the colors and think it makes a striking, if accidental, piece of art.

Art Quote of the Day: Bill Jensen

I’ve always thought, you can not teach the art part of art, you can’t do it because you can’t even talk about it. So one way of guiding young artists is to just surround them with intense art, deep art, meaningful art, from the past, from contemporary times, whatever it is, from films, from books, from anywhere.

— Bill Jensen

This quote (and the following photo) comes from an excellent piece in the Brooklyn Rail about abstract expressionist painter Bill Jensen.

Here’s another intriguing quote from Jensen:  “A very important concept in Chinese paintings is emptiness and fullness. With my work I don’t know if darkness is empty or lightness is empty. It could also be that either darkness or lightness is full, because in Chinese philosophy, emptiness is not what we think of as emptiness. It is the place where everything will be going and then will be reborn. “

  Read the whole piece here.

Bill Jensen, “Mandate of Heaven,” 2010-11. Oil on linen, triptych, 56.5 × 123.5 ;” overall. Courtesy Cheim & Read, New York.

Mandate of Heaven, by Bill Jensen. Oil on linen, triptych, 2010-11.

Sundays with Clyfford Still: Clyff’s writing analyzed (1)

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

This is post 1 of a series.  Click here to read them all.

All this week here at Exiled Star(dust) we’ve been doing handwriting analysis, and I am very pleased to be able to tell you that I’ve finally located a handwriting sample of Clyfford Still.  Now we can end the week with a bang.

Our sample is a letter written by Still to Jackson Pollock, and comes to us courtesy of the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.

Clyfford Still letter to Jackson Pollock page 1

Clyfford Still letter to Jackson Pollock page 1

Letter from Clyfford Still to Jackson Pollock, page 2

Letter from Clyfford Still to Jackson Pollock, page 2

The text of the letter reads:

October 29/53

Dear Jack

Went up to Janis’ gallery with Barney the other day and took the liberty of pushing into the office to see some of the paintings you did this summer.

What each work said, what its position, what each achieved, you must know.  But above all these details and intentions the great thing, to me, came through.

It was that here a man had been at work, at the profoundest work a man can do, facing up to what he is and aspires to.

(page 2)

I left the room with the gratitude and renewal of courage that always comes at such moments.  This is just my way of saying thanks, and the hope that some of my work has brought some of the same to you.

Clyff Still

48 Cooper Sq.


Analysis of the writing:

The first impression I get from the writing is of a keen, inquisitive mind.   The writing is very elongated in the upper and lower zones and the middle zone is shrunk almost to nothing.  Here’s a diagram of the zones as they are used in handwriting analysis:

Handwriting zones

The middle zone has to do with our social selves, and the people around us.  Still’s middle zone suggests he disliked socializing generally and would only do so if it were truly necessary.  He was not the kind of person who would join others just to avoid being alone, or tolerate idle chatter. He did not allow himself to be dictated to by other people.    A small middle zone also shows the ability to concentrate.  He could shut out others completely and focus entirely on his work.

Clyfford Still's lower loops show frustration

Lower loops showing frustration

The lower zone is longest.  It has to do with physical and material things, our bodies, sex, and the subconscious.   The long simplified loops show a strong interest here, but the loops either don’t close at all or close below the baseline, which shows  frustration or denial.  Also they’re turned in the opposite direction of the usual loop, which shows an independent approach to the subject.

The upper zone is nearly as long as the lower zone and is much much larger than the middle zone.   This zone has to do with the imagination, intellect and spirit.  Here we find long, closed loops which indicate both interest and fulfillment in these areas of life.

Clyfford Still's upper loops

Upper loops show imagination

Margins are even and narrow,  there are large spaces between words :  this was a man who would push into other people’s spaces if he felt the need, but required much space for himself.

The baseline is mostly even,  showing good self-control.

Clyfford Still's leading strokes

Letters begin with leading strokes



Long beginning strokes on some letters indicate procrastination.  Clyff could take a while to get started, but once going could keep it up for a long time.



Speed and flow are both very high, suggesting a quick thinker and eloquent communicator with a great deal of energy, both mental and physical.

Big loops on the t-bar stems show combativeness – ready for an argument or fight.  The big loop on the d shows a sensitivity to criticism.

The long, firm, energetic t-bar crossings show a strong will and assertiveness.

Clyfford Still's long T-bars

Long T-bars show confidence

Some of the t-bars sharpen towards the end, indicating a sharp tongue and a critical nature.  Others are heavy and tilted downward towards the right, which shows aggression.

Clyfford Still's aggressive T-bars

Aggressive T-bars


Clyff's go-to-hell K

Clyff's go-to-hell K


More combativeness is shown in the letter k, which is abnormally large compared to the other letters.  This is known as a “go-to-hell K” because it shows a fiery, defiant spirit.  This was a man who wouldn’t suffer fools gladly.  Nobody could tell him what to do and he wouldn’t back down from a fight.

Clyff’s signature is consistent with the rest of his writing and shows that he did not wear a social mask; what you saw with him was pretty much what you got.

Clyfford Still signature

Clyfford Still signature

As with the rest of his writing:  great speed, penetrating intellect,  strong personality and much confidence is shown here.


Every week we like to show you a new image of Still and/or his work.  Today’s featured work comes to us via sapiroart and still_museum on Twitter.

ph-960, 1960

Contemplating Clyff at the Still Museum: ph-960, 1960

Thanks for joining us.

Come back next week at 7am (GMT) for more Sundays with Clyfford Still.

If you enjoyed this piece, please let me know in the comments box below. If you have any interesting tidbits or images about Clyff that you’d like to see featured, post a link to them in the comments (or tweet them to me with the hashtag #clyffordlove)  and I’ll see what I can do.

Palettes of famous painters

Vincent Van Gogh's palette

Vincent Van Gogh's palette

Over at Retronaut they have a photo feature about the palettes of famous artists.  You can see the actual palettes used by Delacroix, Renoir, Degas, SeuratMoreau, Gauguin, and this one by Van Gogh.

The palettes themselves are interesting little works of abstract art, with random their swirls of color.  It is amusing how even Seurat’s palette looks pontillist: he’s laid out his colors in neat little dots.

Next time I’m scraping the dried paint off my palette with a knife and cursing myself for letting it get that way, I’ll remember how many other artists, even famous ones, didn’t clean their palettes either.  Maybe this is the universe’s way of saying it has big plans for me.

Got something to say?  Say it in the comments box below.

Armory Show Artwork of the Day: Albert Pinkham Ryder

Moonlit Cove, oil by Albert Pinkham Ryder, circa 1900

Moonlit Cove, oil by Albert Pinkham Ryder, circa 1900

This seascape by Albert Pinkham Ryder was part of the historic Armory Show exhibition in 1913, America’s first introduction to modern art.  Ryder was already an eccentric recluse by that time and he died only five years later.

Handwriting analysis: the key to my painting issues?

scrap of paper from my desk

Exhibit A: handwriting sample from self

A scrap of paper from my desk, upon which I attempted to describe the problems I have had lately with expressing ideas in painting.

Somewhere between imagination and reality, I start to lose things

I have an idea shimmering in my head, but when I try to force it out into the world, it becomes a mangled mess.  I get frustrated and look for something else to distract myself for a while.

It’s interesting to look at people’s handwriting, isn’t it?  Especially now that letter-writing is practically a lost art.

I used to do handwriting analysis.  My own writing says that I’m a quick thinker, introspective, artistic,  slightly anxious, and like research and investigation.

Want a quick handwriting analysis for free?  Take a photo of something you wrote and post a link to it below.   I like doing this kind of thing.

Announcing Sundays with Clyfford Still

Everybody loves color field painter Clyfford Still.   As a new blog feature, every Sunday I will feature a different image from Still along with any snippets of information I may have gleaned during my wanderings on the web.

Clyfford Still at the Albright Knox museum, July 2010.

Clyfford Still at the Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY in July 2010.

Thanks to Cecilia Chang for the photo.

The Clyfford Still museum’s  website has this to say:

Described by many as the most anti-traditional of the Abstract Expressionists, Still is credited with laying the groundwork for the movement. Still’s shift from representational painting to abstraction occurred between 1938 and 1942, earlier than his colleagues, who continued to paint in figurative-surrealist styles well into the 1940s.