I have been browsing through some illustration sites today- not sure how I got there though I think it came from trying to track down the name of the painter for the picture 'Hylas and the water nymphs'. It is one of my favourite pictures and my parents have a copy of it in their dining room but I couldn't for the life of me remember who had painted it. A quick Internet search provided me with many versions of that scene- I think it was a favourite among many painters due to the large number of naked young ladies they were forced to depict. Found the one I was thinking of and it's by the wonderful John William Waterhouse who did a number of other pictures that I love though I hadn't realised that they were all by him. It was one of those curious 'pull points' where all these little things I had seen and heard about all suddenly came together and converged. Most intriguing. Especially as that lead me into the whole preraphelite period and it turns out that I liked most of that too without knowing the what or who. It really made me realise how crap my art teachers were.
Anyway, so this lead me into looking up a number of things including the name of the Czech artist who did the 'swirly ladies'. Better known as Alfons Mucha. I must remember that name as the number of times I've had conversations with people about this and they insist I'm talking about Gustav Klimt (when I'm not) is just unreal. Not that I don't like Klimts work, well, some of it anyway- more the trees than the young ladies but that's not the point. The point is that I knew it wasn't his work. Okay, so moving on. I then went into the whole illustration side of things and spent some time dribbling over Harry Clarke's stuff (thank you to the best friend for that one) and found a new favourite picture of his that I must have a print of for my bedroom wall. This then led me onto a chap called Arther Rackham who's stuff I now also must have for my own. In another roundabout circular type route it turns out that he did the illustrations for Lewis Carrolls Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I think I must either be very very stupid not to have tied all these things together properly before now OR today is a nodal day in my life when all those strands and fibres that have gently been piling up one across the other, get felted together into my brain.
Hmm, quite like that analogy really especially as I have been trying out some needle felting recently. It is quite fun and surprisingly easy to create good stuff but I'm very slow as it hurts my bad arm which is bad bad bad at the moment. Anyway, here's a Arthur Rackham picture too: