The Model and the Mannequin

The Model and the Mannequin (1873) by Giovanni Boldini* has nothing to do with dead writers, reading, writing, books, film, or any of the other usual suspects found on A Small Press Life. I just dig the painting. It’s one of those images that I’d love to jump right into; life would be interesting on that side of the canvas. Look at the colours! Look at the patterns! Look at the textures! The mannequin would have to go (burn it! burn it with fire!), but the model can stay. She’d be a fun, if unpredictable, roomie.

The Model and the Mannequin by Giovanni Boldini, 1873

The Model and the Mannequin by Giovanni Boldini, 1873

*Although Giovanni Boldini is one of my favourite 19th century genre and portrait painters, every time I see his name I always think of the Erik Rhodes character from the Astaire-Rogers film Top Hat (1935): Alberto Beddini.

Alberto Beddini: “I promised my dresses that I would take them to Venice and that you would be in them!”

That’s actually a decent companion quote for this piece, isn’t it?


“Usually I circle around an idea, coming at it from many angles. In the process it seems to me as valid to move from abstraction towards realism and back again as it is for a poet to move from Lyric to Villanelle and back. The process of work being the discovery of the idea. Sometimes an idea which has been inchoate is defined. Sometimes and idea is inchoate–a song or a poem can help to define it. Or hold it in focus.”-Judith Rothschild, 1976 (Judith Rothschild: An Artist’s Search by Jack Flam)

Poetry in Art: I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth

Charles Demuth’s fabulous painting, I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold, was inspired by his friend William Carlos Williams’ poem, The Great Figure.  The artwork is full of references to the poem and poet.

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth, 1928

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth, 1928. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

It’s always nice to see artists inspiring other artists, especially when they work in different mediums.

The Great Figure by William Carlos Williams

A Brief Reading Q&A with Diana Shafer of Terrific Friends!

A Brief Reading Q&A with Diana Shafer of Terrific Friends

  1. Who are your favourite writers? Jonathan Lethem, John Steinbeck…it’s difficult to choose a favorite because I feel I haven’t read enough of one’s work for them to qualify. I once read just about all of Katherine Anne Porter’s works, but she ended up not being a favorite.
  2. What are your favourite books?
    Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
    The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
    Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
    The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  3. What is your favourite genre? Contemporary Fiction and short stories, but I enjoy taking occasional fiction breaks and reading more meditative writings on food.
  4. Name your favourite dead writer(s). Carson McCullers, Raymond Carver (and of course Steinbeck).

The Terrific Friends Edgar Allan Poe Print giveaway has ended! The winner will be announced later today!