Our Pre-Raph Gang

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Pre-Raphaelite Brother Ood



Sorry once more for having not posted new cartoons in awhile-- there are a few new ones but I've been pretty busy on other unrelated projects.

It's no secret I'm a huge Doctor Who fan and it isn't that often that I get to do mash-ups of Doctor Who and the Pre-Raphaelites, but here you go: a drawing made for my photographer friend Sandra Franklin. She's been kindly providing me with transatlantic Who goodies and we often trade services. She wanted a picture of an Ood and I suggested a PRB version. (Whovians will get the various references.)

Because David Tennant is her favorite Doctor, I had him stand in for Proserpine in Dante Gabriel Rossetti's painting.


I needed something roundish that he could hold instead of a pomegranate, so I chose an Adipose.
Hopefully soon, I'll have an inked version  of this sketch for Sandra done and I'll of course post it here.


I hope to return with more new cartoons soon...!




Saturday, July 5, 2014

Celebrating Wombat Friday


 


As you probably already know by now, the phenomenon of Wombat Friday was begun by Stephanie Piña on her wonderful Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood website. It began with a stuffed wombat named Dante who would photobomb images of books and art prints every Friday. And it also frequently included food, preferrably cake. Very quickly, others joined in on the fun, including myself.

Wombats are quite photogenic when posed next to baked goods.

It became mandatory to obtain a stuffed wombat and we had many discussions about from where. (This was serious wombat business we were on, and yes, my co-workers at the bookstore thought I was nuts when I asked where I could find a wombat in Arizona.) People in Australia, of course, had it the easiest, but we non-Aussies managed to track ours down online from all sorts of sources. I finally got mine from Ebay, shipped from a toystore in Australia. I named her Christina, after everyone's favorite canvas-smashing poetess.




The staging and setups of the Friday wombat-fest became more and more elaborate as more people joined in. There was hilarious photoshopping and costumes and... well, see for yourself at the Wombat Friday Archives. Yes, it had become a madness, and a wildly creative one at that. The purpose of it was an appreciation for Pre-Raphaelite themed art and literature, combined with end-of-the-week looniness. (In my case, I posed Christina and my book collection next to bowls of my ludicrous attempts at homemade banana ice cream, and glasses of wine, among other things... but you'll see this silliness shortly.) The celebration became widespread enough to include even the National Trust and Red House, which began the Wombat Trail in order to introduce children to the wonderful works of William  Morris and his friends. (And grown-ups liked it too. *ahem* Kirsty Walker talks about it here on her always-addictive blog, The Kissed Mouth.) Their gift shop even began to include stuffed wombats.

Where Christina the Wombat typically resides:
High atop my Pre-Raphaelite bookshelf...
...Because of certain factors.
(My dog Ashi shows too keen of an interest
in wanting to "play" with Christina.)
But who knew a stuffed wombat could be controversial? (Kirsty addressed this conundrum quite brilliantly here.) This is how it became clear that wombats and Wombat Friday had officially arrived.


Though the wombat Top (notoriously named after William Morris, who was called "Topsy" by his close friends because of his abundant hair) is most associated with Dante Gabriel Rossetti, wombats were beloved by all of his circle, especially Morris' best friend Edward Burne-Jones. He famously drew the best wombat cartoons of the bunch and some were even found underneath the faded paintings of the Oxford Union Library.

In which I pose Christina the Wombat with Burne-Jones books...
and Keatsian nectarines...
                 And finally, below are some of the photos I staged for several different Wombat Fridays:

                                      Here are the more of the food-themed ones:

Trying for an Australian theme...?


The very first Pre-Raphaelite art book I ever purchased,
from the very first bookstore I ever worked.




One of my favorite books! And God, yes, strawberries...






Chocolate almond banana ice cream
(It broke my blender).
And I recommend all of these
Pre-Raph themed novels!
Homemade butter pecan ice cream
 made out of bananas.
Surprisingly good, especially if you
use coconut milk and maple syrup...
                                                                  Special occasions:
Christina the Wombat attends the 2013 Phoenix Comic Con and reads
up on her favorite topic while waiting for a panel to begin.

 Lizzie Siddal's birthday, of course.


And a  Romantic Poets theme.
The coffee cup has Byron's quote
on it: "Laugh while you can--
it is cheap medicine."





I invite you to join in the silly fun at the Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood website, and on Twitter and Facebook. All it takes is a sense of humor, a love for art, books (and food doesn't hurt either)...

...and a wombat, of course.




Thursday, June 12, 2014

Byron and Poe (inked)




                         
                        The original post about these Pre-Raph influences can be found here!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Rossetti's Wombat (inked)




Another cartoon inked and lettered! (More to come.) To read the original post (and the pencil version of this cartoon, with a short history of Rossetti's menagerie), go here.

                                          Onward!!




Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Sisterhood Gets Inked




This is an inked variation of the birthday cartoon I drew for Stephanie Piña awhile ago. It got changed into a Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood celebration, with all the ladies wearing their official Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood t-shirts.

                      For a more recent birthday cartoon for Stephanie, I did this one last summer:




 More wombat madness to come...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Topsy and Ned Compare Sketches (inked)




Sorry for the lateness in new posts! I've been at work inking versions of the Pre-Raphernalia cartoons from my sketchbook drawings (they're all from my sketchbooks) in between other assorted projects. (See my other blog The Watcher Tree.) So my blogs have gotten a little behind as a result...

As I've said in earlier posts, I've been working on gathering the newly inked and lettered versions of the cartoons together for a book. It's not as fast a process as I'd like it to be, but I'm chugging away at it. I will keep you updated here with the latest. (If you want to see my own eccentric inking process, I talk about it here.)

Topsy and Ned Compare Sketches is probably the very first Pre-Raphernalia cartoon I ever drew in my sketchbook, just for fun and not expecting anyone would ever see it. The original post about it is here (where you can see the original sketchbook drawings), along with a quick history of these two wonderful artists.

And introducing Christina the Wombat, who makes appearances mostly on Wombat Friday.

 

 Christina the Art Director Wombat inspects
 the lettering process of Pre-Raphernalia.
"Seriously? You still use an Ames lettering guide?
 How... archaic."
                           
                         More on Wombat Friday and the Wombat Invasion in a future post!



Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, Grace! (Ned Likes Mermaids)


I drew this picture for the lovely and talented Grace Nuth for her birthday several months ago.
(Go here for this wonderful interview with Grace about Pre-Raphaelite mermaids!)  It is no secret that she is especially fond of our Nedster and of his own special fondness for mermaids. Ned may have developed a taste for aquatic ladies due to his move later in life to the seaside village of Rottingdean (also home to Ned's nephew Rudyard Kipling).  No, I've never been there but there is great Google reference of its cliffs, which I tried to show in the above drawing.

Perhaps Edward Burne-Jones is associated most with his angels (yes, it is getting to be that time of year when you will see a plethora of Burne-Jonesian angel greeting cards everywhere), but it is his mermaids which proved to be his most haunting obsession.

First of all, everything that needs to be said about  Burne-Jones and his mermaids was expressed to perfection in this wonderful post from Kirsty Stonell Walker. I can't add more.

Except for showing you some of Ned's mermaid art, right here:





Ned seemed very fond of mer-families...


 But more treacherous mermaids seemed to be on his mind as well, as shown in this small painting:

Hurling a fish at her isn't going to work, buddy.

And this is probably his most famous mermaid image
of all, as well as one of his most famous paintings:
The Depths of the Sea.
Or better known as a t-shirt called "Mermaid Hugging Man". We'll let Grace explain...


Coming up next:
Wombat Friday and why everyone needs to celebrate it.