So Niclcole Tamarin messaged me to tell me the subject on Illustration Friday was "Glasses." I have never participated in that site before today, but how could I NOT do it now for the first time?? Check it out! I posted my family portrait shown below.
This is an illustration I did after reworking an old piece I did for Soap Opera Digest years ago. The theme of the old art was that every family had at least one skeleton or slightly nutty member in the closet. In this case, it was the grandma!
What do you think? Do you think every family has at least one eccentric character? I do, but I'm not saying who that person is in my family...
Imagine waking up to the glorious morning sunshine once the weather warms, and you stroll out to your backyard with a steaming cup of coffee, breathe in the sweet scent of spring, listen to the happy chirping of the birds building their nests, and then you glance down....and see the coolest pair of glasses sitting on your lawn as though some giant came along and took off his eyewear to rub his eyes. Life is really cool, you think to yourself.
And it is. Because, when people take a concept and run with it, and make objets d'art with such irrevrence and for the fun of it, life really is cool! And who would have thought of a giant pair of glasses as backyard sculpture? Someone who has a wonderful sense of whimsy, that's who. Oh, and someone who also loves glasses!!
These creations are by an artist living in Alaska, Frances Scholz. Head on over to the web site and take a look! Then watch for a giant pair of glasses in my backyard one of these days.
I was recently interviewed by Monica Lee over at Smart Creative Women. Monica runs a great site that gives people the opportunity to hear about artistic journeys from the artists themselves. She also offers sage career advice and consultation if you are a working artist or creative person.
I was happy to share my history, even if I did reveal the extent to which I STILL have my Rockland County New York accent! I don't know about you, but I love getting to know the hows, whys, and wherefores that artists go through to get to where they end up. I truly enjoyed talking about my own winding life journey in the arts.
I am also sharing some pictures from my home as well as some new paintings. To be honest, everything in my life is pretty connected: the books, the art and the things I collect. Can't really take one thing away from the other. So go over to my other blogs, Design Rocket and Cats and Jammers Studio for more peeks into my studios and home!
Just when you thought you couldn't get enough images of eyewear in your life (or maybe I can't get enough images of eyewear in MY life) I come along and show you this.
Because if you really, really LOVED glasses, then you would just have to have this case for your iPad which is part of my Really Really Retro line of designs.
Seriously, some of my favorite designs are available at Solid Line Products and you should go on over and check them out. If glasses are not your thing, but you like retro design, then maybe you would prefer these.
Ok, so now I am totally out of the closet as the lover of eyewear that I am. After all, my book GlamorousGlasses didn't just develop out of thin air. I've lived it for 50 years!
So, imagine my total and absolute thrill to be doing the above: siging copies of the book at none other than my favorite optician's, Focal Point in Newton, MA! Neil, pictured below, and Joanne, his wife, ordered lots of copies of Glamorous Glasses to offer in their shop. They very thoughtfully suppport local authors, and often sell their signed books right there, but I think this time the book they are selling couldn't be more appropriate. Don't you agree?
Of course, signing GG in Focal Point has an enormous down side: I NEVER leave there without trying on potential new glasses for me to "need". Some gals love designer bags and others love expensive shoes. MY addiction is eyewear.
I tried on some purple cat eye frames and a pair of mottled brown glasses. Not quite right for me. In the end I actually left there with two new pairs that I had ordered my last time in the shop: one, a pair of green frames with slightly blue tinted lenses and the other pair are tortise shell frames, with purple lenses. I also not long ago got white frames with bright blue lenses.
I just did get a few other sets of frames, this time from Etsy. They are vntage and quite funky. One pair is bright yellow. I have always wanted yellow frames.....
Thanks to my good friend, Jan Koslowski, I now know that, yes, indeed, there ARE chocolate glasses. Isn't everything made into chocolate at some point? even some things we would rather not think about? But I digress...
So, now the challenge is to find a great excuse to get a bunch of these chcolate frames, because I have to order at least 20 chocolate specs to get any chocolate specs. I could shoot for the Glamorous Glasses book release party in October, but it could get a little costly. Maybe I need to offer these as prizes? Either way, I will figure something out and come up with a meaningful justification for ordering them. You can find them yourself here. And if you can figure out a reason why I simply HAVE to have them, let me know.
But, wait. Chocolate glasses aren't the only way to "absorb" the very essence of eyewear. I found these delicious looking Glamorous Glasses on Etsy:
Since these are somewhat more affordable, I DO plan on getting these for the party. Because it has to happen, you know? But, once Jan showed me that I could have chocolate glasses, in addtion to the cookie glasses, I decided there MUST be other edible eyewear items out there in the magic world of the internet. I came upon these:
Those cute glasses came from the blog "Hannah Made." Yum. But wait! There's more!
These are eyeglass cookies from "A Dozen Eggs" bake shop in Vermont. Already placed an inquiry...
Last, but not least, I found these on the blog, San Diego Cooks. Edible eyewear for Halloween? I approve.
Just so you know, I am well aware that there are those of you who prefer other sorts of assesories in your closets. Like pocketbooks. Or shoes. Or bikini bottoms on round tushies. Guess what. I found edible versions of those, as well. So have fun. And take comfort in this: You CAN eat your favorite fashion statement and have it, too!
So....last week I played hooky from ICON. What is ICON, you ask? ICON is the big Illustration conference that is held in various locations around the USA, every other year--I think. This year it was held in Providence, so the location was close and easy to get to, and I would not have to spring for airfare and hotel fees--which, BTW, is one of the reasons I have never bothered to go before. That, and the fact that I have been too darn busy for years to attend many conferences of any kind (and it is not getting any easier).
But I digress. The major reason I did not attend was the fact that my heart was not in it, even though I paid to register months ago. After a while, if you have been illustrating for as long as I have, one event blends into another and you hear the same talks over and over again. And at some pont talking heads are just that--talking heads. Plus, the longer I make art, the more selfish I get about my time and how I spend it. Hence, I stayed home. Art is one of those things: it is aways better to actually DO it than talk about doing it. I tend to get very antsy sitting and listening to people talk about how I should be making art. It makes me want to go home and make art.
But the day was not lost, because I did indulge myself by doing something I absolutely LOVE to do, even though it was not making art: take a good friend shopping for eyeglasses. And, while we were there, OF COURSE I had to try on a few pairs myself. Which means I also got new eyeglasses. Surprised at me? Of course not. You know me well.
My friend, writer and illustrator Carlyn Beccia, said she loves Cat Eye glasses, a la the 50s and 60s, but that her face was not well suited to them. Wrong! She has the perfect face for Cat Eyes and picked out the most perfect pair (although I was really hoping she would get the red ones). They were nicer and redder than these, but you get the picture.
It was wonderful being in FOCAL POINT opticians in Newton. The reason is simple: they have thousands of frames, they know I am an eyeglass fanatic, and they let me spend literally hours trying on new frames of all kinds in all colors. It is my absolute favorite place to get eyeglasses. I bring friends and family there all the time.
Here is the problem: I could do this seven days a week. And if I did, that would not leave much time for making art and writing and illustrating children's books which is what I also do every other waking moment I can (well, when I am not hunting for antiques and junk). And here is one more small problem: buying lots of new eyeglasses can be very expensive.
So, what's a gal to do? Do VIRTUAL EYEGLASS SHOPPING. Which translates into being on line....a lot. But I just discoverd that I can not only look at frames on line, I can read all about them now that I have checked out 20/20 Magazine, which is "OF, BY, FOR, and ABOUT" eyeglasses.
Here are some links to James Spina, the editor in chief of the magazine narrating some eyeglass fashion shows. Can I say that I drooled over the jewled pairs? And coveted the colors? Check out "THEY LOOK GREAT IN GLASSES" and "GenEYE" just for starts.
Here are my latest fun finds from Etsy! Sometimes I wish I had two heads so I could wear more than one pair at a time!
Planning a trip to the islands? Then surely you would want to have some cool Plam Tree glasses on your face while you sit on the beach or pool side, sipping drinks with umbrellas and listening to steel drum music! Available here.
We have the tres cutesy pair above! Do your hair a la 1940s Betty Grable, put on some seamed stockings and get an old fashioned two piece bathing suit and or channel your inner, more risque Betty, Betty Page, you are all set to go. Available here.
Finally, you could have a custom pair of glasses made form Bamboo! Here is a great pair from TAKEMOTO, availble here.
Back in the sixties, when I was living at home in good old Stony Point, NY, I used to spend a lot of time in Malloy's Pharmacy. It probably had something to do with my mother needing to pick up prescriptions, or maybe we were just hanging around, but I have vivid memories of being in the middle of the store staring into the costume jewlery counter.
It was there that I purchased an amber, beaded necklace for my mother, most likely for her birthday or Mother's Day. I also remember getting a necklace with a football pendant. That was in the middle of my cheerleading/majorette/collegiate taste era. I am certian I purchased several circle pins of assorted colors to wear on my "coordinated sweater which went over the matching wool skirt" outfits.
And then, there were things like this:
Watches with changeable colored bands and face rings! Tres Chic!!! If I got a set like any of the above (the one I remember, tho, from the mid 60s was not quite as fancy) I could match my circle pin to my watch set and also to my sweater/skirt outfit! That was my fashion fantasy supreme!
Well, even though I spent many hours looking it it in Malloy's, I never did get the watch set. To be fair, I never wore watches back then. And, I was also never on time, either, so there you go. Besides, before long, I wouldn't be caught dead in a circle pin, so it was no great fashion loss.
BUT--one can only imagine how my heart would have skipped a beat had I seen this set which you can find on Etsy right here:
Somewhere by 1964, I had managed to convince my mother that I needed reading glasses and I was able to finagle a pair out of her at E.J. Korvettes in Nanuet. MY FIRST GLASSES!!!! They looked almost exactly like these:
Remember Korvettes? That was another place that I killed a lot of time in. I distinctly remember standing in the record department staring at albums by the Everly Brothers and a very young Bob Dylan, all of whom seemed to me to be particularly hair challenged.
But I digress. Back to the main object of my affections: the glasses. So, can you imagine my delight if I had seen the set above with their changeable color accents on the frames?? Be still my heart.
However--and this is a BIG HOWEVER-- today you can now get glasses that allow you to fool around with your "look." The company that I am talking about and which I have a pair from is called DILEM and the temples are iterchangeable and the choices of colors and designs are great fun!
These are all the same glasses with different temples. The temples snap off and on very easily.
Are these cool or what? The temples also come in assorted solid colors. And the frames vary, as well.
If these had been around back in the day, I am sure I would have read the eye chart upside down in order to qualify for a pair...or pairs.
Now if only they could figure out a way to change the color of the frames themselves, along with the temples, I would be in eyeglass heaven for sure. I might even get matching circle pins.