[Alternative Muses] Birthday Mashup: Pierre Bonnard/Thomas Wolfe

“Man is born to live, to suffer, and to die, and what befalls him is a tragic lot. There is no denying this in the final end. But we must deny it all along the way.”-Thomas Wolfe (born 3 October 1900)

Self-Portrait by Pierre Bonnard, circa 1889

Pierre Bonnard (born 3 October 1867): Self-Portrait, circa 1889

[Alternative Muses] Style Guide: Schokko with a Red Hat

 Schokko with a Red Hat by Alexej Jawlensky is my favourite painting. She lives at the Columbus Museum of Art: I like to visit her when I go home.

Schokko with Red Hat by Alexej Jawlensky, 1909

Schokko with a Red Hat by Alexej Jawlensky, 1909. Columbus Museum of Art.

Schokko was an artist’s model. She adored drinking hot chocolate so much that it inspired her quirky nickname. I wonder if it kept her warm during long hours of working in drafty ateliers?

Her gaze in this painting is simultaneously direct and circumspect, which nicely mirrors her unnaturally presented yet magnetic appearance. She’s a woman with something to say, but what?

Did Schokko like or care how she was presented to the world, through other people’s eyes?  Was she a fan of modern art? Was drinking cup after cup of hot chocolate, between poses, the highlight of her day?

What did she look forward to, go home to, do in her spare time? Did she even like the colour red?

*****

A MODERN GUIDE TO DRESSING LIKE SCHOKKO:

There’s more to style than what they tell you about in the pages of Vogue. Inspiration is everywhere. In this case, it shines at us from inside a picture frame. 

What does it say?

Colour is expression. Hats are relentlessly chic. Boldness is armour.

Building an unusual colour palette, deliberate and nuanced, isn’t just for paintings. Continue reading

[Our First Book Giveaway] The Lives of the Muses by Francine Prose [GIVEAWAY CLOSED]

I’ve no idea how it happened, but I own two copies of The Lives of the Muses by Francine Prose. As much as I love books, I obviously don’t need more than one copy of anything. I’ve decided to gift one lucky reader with the extra one.

The Lives of the Muses

The Lives of the Muses by Francine Prose [cover image courtesy Goodreads]

To read more about the book, go here.

How to enter: leave a comment. That is all! If you’d like to go the extra mile and like us on Facebook, that would be lovely. The contest is open internationally. The winner will be chosen on 9th September 2014. Good luck!

[Alternative Muses] Coming and Going: Edgar Degas/Margaret Fuller Mashup

Ironing Woman by Edgar Degas, 1869

1869: Ironing Woman by Edgar Degas (born on 7/19/1834)

“I am suffocated and lost when I have not the bright feeling of progression.”-Margaret Fuller (died on 7/19/1850)

Dancers Practicing at the Bar by Edgar Degas, 1877

1877: Dancers Practicing at the Bar by Edgar Degas

Characters in Art: Lady Macbeth

Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth by John Singer Sargent, 1889

Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth by John Singer Sargent, 1889

Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth by John Singer Sargent, 1889

“Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under’t.”-Lady M