Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Online journals

A big thank you to Will at art and weird literature blog A Journey Round My Skull for his kind post about Adventures in the Print Trade, which has resulted in a huge increase in readers. Yesterday 753 people visited this blog, as opposed to 320 a week ago. So welcome to all my readers, new and old. I appreciate your comments, additions, and corrections.

Albert Haueisen (German, 1872-1954)
Woodcut, 1904

I began blogging in October 2007, as a means—as it says on the masthead—of sharing my excitement and discoveries in the world of prints. Unless otherwise stated, all the images I post are from original prints that are physically in my possession—the fruits of an obsessive collecting instinct that has led me to become a part-time print dealer, over at my website Idbury Prints.

Joan Galle (Flemish, 1600-1676) after Marten de Vos (Flemish, 1532-1603)
Has ducunt choreas...
Engraving, re-strike 1869

Despite its title (a nod to Dylan Thomas’s Adventures in the Skin Trade), this blog is not about the commercial side of the print world, but about the pleasure of discovery. Because I don’t have an art history background, each new print I acquire sends me on a fresh adventure. Researching the artists and their work is something I find endlessly stimulating.

Georg Jahn (German, 1869-1941)
Engraving, 1904

I began with the idea of confining myself to French prints 1870-1970. “from Impressionism to Pop Art”. But just as categories such as Impressionism and Pop Art have proved porous and unstable, so too I have found myself extending the range of prints I acquire and write about; the images in this post are just a few recent acquisitions. The rate of posting can be sporadic, but I try to make each post accurate, informative, and interesting.

Raoul Dufy (French, 1877-1953)
Le Dauphin
Woodcut, 1911

“Blog” must be about the ugliest word in the English language, but blogging as a phenomenon fascinates me. In the right hands, the blog is developing into a new art form, and one that is surprisingly resistant to being converted into existing forms, such as the book.

Lucien Pissarro (French/British, 1863-1944)
Little May
Woodcut, c.1890

Anyway, as a nod of thanks to supporters of this blog such as Will at A Journey Round My Skull and PK at the mighty Bibliodyssey (the first person ever to link to me), here’s a list of six of my favourite blogs:

Stefan Filipkiewicz (Polish, 1879-1944)
Woodcut, 1908

Clive’s Art and the Aesthete may be the only blog out there by someone even more obsessed with prints and printmakers than I am.

Richard Lux (German, 1877-1939)
Strasse in Stein a. d. Donau
Etching, 1914

Jane Librizzi has been a friend of this blog from the start. She sheds the highly-sensitive light of her Blue Lantern onto a wide range of forgotten and overlooked artists.

Norman Janes (English, 1892-1980)
Coke Ovens
Wood engraving, 1935

Philip Wilkinson’s fascinating English Buildings inspired me to start this blog. It’s not just about architecture, but history and landscape, and the quirky details that bring all three of these subjects to life.

Andreas Gering (German, 1874-1956)
Lithograph, 1916

What can I say about Roxana’s Floating Bridge of Dreams, except that it lives up to its beautiful title? Roxana has the uncanny ability to seemingly photograph spacetime, or to strip away everything from an image but the fading pulse of an emotion.

Joseph Crawhall (English, 1821-1896)
I'll not resolve one thing or other, until I've first consulted Mother
Woodcut, 1889

Spitalfields Life by the gentle author is my latest discovery—an utterly addictive daily slice of East End cultural and social history, and its vibrant contemporary life.

Ludwig Michalek (Austrian, 1859-1942)
Bildnis des Schriftsellers Karl M. Kuzmany
Etching, 1912

And last but not least, of all the literature blogs I have come across, I think the best is Wuthering Expectations, from that inspired title through to the daft challenges that Amateur Reader sets himself and his readers.


Philip Wilkinson said...

Thank you so much for mentioning English Buildings. It is inspiring to be in such good company – and in the company of that terrific Coke Ovens print.

It's very unusual that you post an image that's actually familiar to me, but the Dufy Dolphin woodcut is an old favourite of mine, along with the others he did for Guillaume Apollinaire's Bestiary. Thanks for such a wealth of imagery and informed comment.

Neil said...

I hoped you'd like the Coke Ovens. Norman Janes is almost the only British wood engraver to have tackled industrial subjects. Even when taking a modernist approach, most wood engravers seem to have stuck to rural or domestic subject matter. I have a post coming up on Clare Leighton's A Farmer's Year which will illustrate this well - Vorticist aesthetics and pre-industrial motifs.

Jane Librizzi said...

I've been hoarding a"painting" by Lucien Pissarro for when the crocuses bloom and it looks like the same little girl as in your print. Who is she? The daughter of the artist perhaps? You have such a variety of treasures in this post.

Neil said...

Jane, I don't who little girl in the Pissarro is. A daughter is an obvious guess, but I think a little more research is needed! It's a lovely image, though. And Lucien Pissarro himself is an incredibly interesting conduit between French Impressionism and English art - not just because of his paternity, but also his individual influence on English wood engravers.

Amateur Reader (Tom) said...

Thanks - a Philip said, what company!

It was a kick seeing you over at Journey Round My Skull - look, I thought, all the best stuff in one place.

Neil said...

I was hoping Karl M. Kuzmany would turn out to a writer of great interest (that brooding face looked promising), but Karol Kuzmany turns out to have been a theologian!

Roxana said...

it's both a great joy and an honour - and a complete surprise, Neil, i don't know what to say... i'm overwhelmed -

thank you.

Neil said...

It's my privilege, Roxana, to be able to direct readers to your magical blog.