"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ DREAMING


Thanks to Stacey Merrill the prompt for this month's challenge is DREAMING. Create a piece of mixed media art using this prompt as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Elena Mary Siff is our featured artist with her wonderful interpretation of DREAMING. Thanks so much !

Image © Elena Mary Siff

"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ HOME


The prompt for this month's challenge is HOME. Create a piece of mixed media art using this prompt as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Laurel Martin is our featured artist with her wonderful interpretation of HOME. Thanks so much !

Image © Laurel Martin

"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ SPOOKY


Welcome...everyone is invited to join in the challenge. You do not have to be on the team or an Etsy seller to create a piece of art with the month's theme and show it on this blog.

The prompt for this month's challenge is SPOOKY. Create a piece of mixed media art using this prompt as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Linda Harbin Beard is our featured artist with her wonderful interpretation of SPOOKY. Thanks so much !

Image © Linda Harbin Beard

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2010


The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

I previously posted a blog series on Claude Monet and Impressionism. This new post is going to begin another series on my favorite period, the Pre-Raphaelites. The Impressionist era lasted basically from 1863 to 1886. The Pre-Raphaelite movement was founded in 1848 by English painters Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. They were soon joined by William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, Frederic George Stephens and Thomas Woolner creating the seven member Pre-Raphaelite "brotherhood".

The group's aim was to reject the mechanistic and frivolous painting style of the time and return English art back to realism and nature. They wanted to revive the abundant detail, intense colors and complex composition of the early Italian Renaissance and Flemish art. The Pre-Raphaelites were the first important movement in art although some have argued with that designation since the movement depended on historical, especially Medieval subject matter and the imitation of nature as central to their work. Many critics, among them Charles Dickens, considered the Pre-Raphaelite's fascination with medievalism as backward looking and their attention to detail as harsh and unsightly. Eventually the movement had an unofficial split with the realist side led by Hunt and Millais and the medievalist side headed by Dante Rossetti and followers Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris. Additionally, as an aspiring poet, Rossetti wished to unite both Romantic poetry and art.

Rossetti's influence on William Morris enabled him to also influence many architects and interior designers to adopt the ideals of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and their interest in Medieval designs and other crafts. This led directly to the Arts and Crafts Movement headed by William Morris. The Pre-Raphaelite Movement influenced the work of many British artists (some of whom I will profile in upcoming blog posts) well into the 20th century. In the later century art moved away from representing realism, and the work of the Pre-Raphaelites, who were passionate about attention to detail to a near photographic precision, was derided and devalued by critics. More recently there has been a resurgence of interest in the movement and their work.
                      
WilliamHolmanHunt/DanteGabrielRossetti/JohnEverettMillais

"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ HUGS AND KISSES

Welcome...everyone is invited to join in the challenge. You do not have to be on the team or an Etsy seller to create a piece of art with the month's theme and show it on this blog.

Thanks to Karen of Lemachi Designs the prompt for this month's challenge is HUGS AND KISSES. Create a piece of mixed media art using this prompt as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

6 Happy Campers and Artists from the Melange ACEO Swap

Elenamary was the hostess to a Melange mixed media ACEO swap a few weeks ago. 6 of us had a great time creating ACEO's to swap. It was an open swap, meaning we could create from whatever theme we wanted. If time would allow, I'd post all the ACEOs elenamary received but I'm going to do just a representation. Most everyone did 6 different ACEOs to trade. I would not have wanted to have been in elenamary's shoes to select who got which, I'd had to have closed my eyes to pick, they are all wonderful. What's great, is that when I got mine in the mail, I knew exactly who did which because we all have our styles and techniques and I recognized that from each person's art.








Thank you elenamary for hostessing such a fun Melange Team swap!  We need to have more, the ACEO's (or maybe Inchies) don't take a lot of time and the rewards are many!




"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ RAIN


Welcome...everyone is invited to join in the challenge. You do not have to be on the team or an Etsy seller to create a piece of art with the month's theme and show it on this blog.

Thanks to Linda Harbin Beard the prompt for this month's challenge is RAIN. Create a piece of mixed media art using this prompt as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Linda Harbin Beard is our featured artist with her wonderful interpretation of RAIN. Thanks so much !

Image © Linda Harbin Beard

Lily Elsie, le Belle Epoque Beauty no.3 in my series Beauties of le Belle Epoque


Lily Elsie had a flawless face, true perfection in my estimation. She was one of the most photographed women of le Belle Epoque. She was born Elsie Hodder on April 8, 1886 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England. On her birth certificate, her mother, Elizabeth Hodder, was listed as a dressmaker. There was no father recorded. Then in 1891 her mother married William Cotton and Elsie took the Cotton name at that time. William Cotton gave his occupation as a theatrical baggage master. By the 1901 census Elizabeth Cotton the dressmaker was listed as an actress. Elsie herself began acting as a child and soon the precocious yet painfully shy child became known as Little Elsie in the world of music hall and theatrical entertainment. She traveled from theater to theater throughout England as she grew starring in many popular shows of the period including, The Arabian Nights, Little Red Riding Hood,  King Klondike,  as Aerielle, the Spirit of the Air, McKenna's Flirtation, Dick Whittington, The Forty Thieves, Blue Beard, The Silver Slipper and the Three Little Maids. From about 1900 she adopted the name "Lily Elsie", not too different from her previous Little Elsie. Having grown into a beautiful young woman, Elsie joined a company at Daley's Theater in London as a chorus girl. Soon she was acting again appearing in fourteen musicals from 1900 to 1906.




Real success did not come to Elsie until she appeared in the starring role in The Merry Widow at the operetta's London premiere in June 1907. The hit show ran for 778 performances at Daley's Theater. The show was a triumph as was Lily Elsie. Overnight she had become a legend. Her face was soon featured on many products  and advertisements from chocolate and biscuit tins to cosmetics. Magazines produced special supplements about her. Clothing designers sold more when their garments were associated with Miss Lily Elsie. Every fashionable woman of the time wanted the plumed hats she wore in The Merry Widow so much so that they became an extraordinary fad. After The Merry Widow, Elsie appeared in 16 more shows always receiving many accolades.





Many of the most prominent, wealthy would-be suitors, mostly from the nobility of London, were met with a casual and elusive disinterest that just fueled her beguiling sense of mystery and nevertheless, did not stop them from sending her the most exquisite gifts of jewelry emblazoned in diamonds and rubies and more. Elsie was quoted as saying, "I have never been fool enough to give my heart to one of them, and so they think it must be worth having!" and "I'm always rude to men. And the ruder I am the more they like me!"




After just a few short years of fame, Elsie married Major Ian Bullough, the twenty-six year old son of a millionaire textile manufacturer in November 1911 and relished spending time out of the public eye. She did return to the stage periodically for roles inMalvourneenThe Admiral Chrichton, and Pamela. She appeared in 2 films, in 1918 a cameo in The Great Love with Lillian Gish, and in 1919 in the silent movie Comradeship. Then in 1920 she and her husband moved to a village in Gloucestershire for a number of years away from the stage enjoying social events and fox hunting. In 1927 she appeared in The Blue Train and in 1928 her last show,The Truth Game. Her health was said to have been poor throughout her life and she reportedly had several operations during her life on stage. She found the eight performances a week of The Merry Widow especially grueling and found excuses for not appearing in matinees. She was said to have become "difficult". Speculation exists about possible problems with anemia and/or an early onset menopause at age 22. Her husband had problems with alcoholism. She and her husband divorced in 1930.




In her later years she was said to have become a hypochondriac and spent much of her time in nursing homes and Swiss sanatoria. She was said to have become so quarrelsome that even her most devote supporters left her. Luckily, she had the finances to be cared for in style for the rest of her life. Her mental health seriously deteriorated to the point that she underwent brain surgery, a frontal lobotomy, a practice common at the time but since then considered barbaric. She spent the last two years of her life living at St. Andrew's Hospital in London happy in her anonymity. She died December 16, 1962 at age 76 of heart failure and bronchopneumonia.


You have now seen 3 of my Belle Epoque beauties. Does anyone have a favorite so far? Evelyn Nesbit? Lina Cavalieri? Or Lily Elsie?

"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ CHAPEAU


Welcome...everyone is invited to join in the challenge. You do not have to be on the team or an Etsy seller to create a piece of art with the month's theme and show it on this blog.

Thanks to Pat May the prompt for this month's challenge is CHAPEAU. Create a piece of mixed media art using this prompt as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Pat May is our featured artist with her wonderful interpretation of CHAPEAU. Thanks so much !

Image © Pat May

Lina Cavalieri - le Belle Epoque beauty and Italian Opera Star


Lina Cavalieri was called the most beautiful woman in the world - and she may have been.


She was born Natalina Cavalieri on Christmas Day in 1874 in Viterbo, Latium, Italy. She lost her parents at the age of 15 and became a ward of the state. She was sent to live in a Roman Catholic orphanage where the strictness of the nuns prompted her to run away at her first opportunity. Mixed reports say she ran away with a touring theatrical company, worked in a tailor shop, as a flower seller and newspaper packer in Rome and sang in Naples's street cafes. Eventually she made her way to Paris where she sang at the Folies Bergere and saved enough to begin her voice and singing studies under Mme. Marchesi with whom she worked diligently for two years. Later she went back to Italy to study some more under Mariani Masi. Some say those voice lessons in Italy were paid for by the Russian Prince Alexander Bariatinsky whom she had met in St. Petersburg, Russia where she was wildly successful singing all the leading opera roles. It is uncertain whether she was married to Bariatinsky or was his mistress. Soon she became quite successful in Milan, Monte Carlo and then Paris. She co-stared at the New York Metropolitan Opera in the Umberto Giordano opera, Fedora with the great Enrico Caruso in December 1906. She remained at the Metropolitan for two more years starring again with Caruso in Puccini's Manon Lescaut in 1907. During the 1909-1910 season she sang with Oscar Hammerstein's Manhatten Opera Company.



She became a famous beauty of le Belle Epoque and audiences flocked to see her as well as hear her. Considered the most beautiful woman in the world she was also the most photographed star of her time. She had amassed a fortune in just a few short years since her debut. Married four times, she was considered to have a classical beauty, with charm and personality free from affectation and her taste in dress was exquisite. Wherever she sang in Italy standing room was at a premium.


After retiring from the stage Lina Cavalieri ran a cosmetic salon in Paris, wrote an advice column for make-up for women, and published a book, My Secrets of Beauty in 1914 at the age of 40 which detailed over a thousand valuable recipes for beauty and bath preparations of her own. The next year she returned to Italy to make motion pictures. When Italy became involved in WWI Lina went to the United States where she made four more silent films. When WWII broke out and she was well into her 60s, she nevertheless worked as a volunteer nurse when she was killed in 1944 in an Allied bombing raid that destroyed her home on the outskirts of Florence. Her portrait was painted several times by well known artists of her day, her likeness was depicted numerously in Piero Fornasetti's designs. A movie was made in 1955 about her life starring Gina Lollobrigida and in 2004 a book was written about her life. Postcards from the many photographs taken of her have become collectible.




© Maureen Kavaney Tillman 2010 from 
Sanctuaries, Dreams and Shadows
http://maureentillman.blogspot.com/

"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ ANTIQUE



Welcome...everyone is invited to join in the challenge. You do not have to be on the team or an Etsy seller to create a piece of art with the week's theme and show it on this blog.

Thanks to Stacey Merrill the prompt for this week's challenge is ANTIQUE. Create a piece of mixed media art using this prompt as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Elena Mary Siff is our featured artist with her wonderful interpretation of ANTIQUE. Thanks so much !

Image © Elena Mary Siff

First in my series," le Belle Epoque Beauties" : Evelyn Nesbit


        Evelyn Nesbit, Supermodel of le Belle Epoque


Who was Evelyn Nesbit? If you lived at the turn of the century you wouldn't have asked that question. Everyone knew who she was! Some call her the world's first supermodel. She was a chorus girl and artist's model in New York City who was swept up in one of the era's most infamous murder cases.


                                                                                  
Evelyn was born Florence Evelyn Nesbit on Christmas day in 1884 in a small village near Pittsburgh. Her father was a struggling lawyer who died when Evelyn was just 8 years old. He left behind substantial debts and a widow with two children who were nearly destitute. By the time Evelyn reached puberty she was noted to be a breathtaking beauty which was not lost on a number of local artists. She soon found employment as an artist's model. When she was sixteen, she and her mother moved to New York City where Evelyn was introduced to several New York artists and was soon a sought after model and also worked on Broadway as a chorus girl.

Evelyn, at the age of 16, was quickly noticed on Broadway by New York architect and millionaire, Stanford White who, even though he was married, was determined to seduce her. White was 47 years old at the time and seducing young girls was not unfamiliar to him. He invited Evelyn to his luxurious apartment located above FAO Schwarz toy store under the guise of wanting to photograph her. After a few visits Evelyn was no longer a virgin and Stanford White was no longer interested.

                                                                                  
Stanford White 


Soon Evelyn became involved with Harry Kendall Thaw, the Pittsburgh son of a coal and railroad baron. He became increasingly possessive of her. Thaw was jealous of her previous affairs with John Barrymore the actor, Robert J. Collier a young magazine publisher, and James Waterbury a well known polo player; but mostly Thaw was incensed by Stanford White who he said ruined Evelyn. Thaw was  reportedly a cocaine addict who liked to sadistically whip women, including Evelyn, and occasionally young boys. But in-spite of that, Evelyn married Thaw in 1905 when she was twenty years old.




                                             Harry K. Thaw

On the evening of June 25, 1906, Nesbit and Thaw ran into Stanford White in the audience of the Madison Square Garden's rooftop theatre. During the song "I Could Love a Million Girls", Thaw shot White three times at close range in the face. Needless to say, White died. Harry Thaw was tried twice for the murder of Stanford White. The first trial ended in a deadlock, and with the second trial Thaw pleaded temporary insanity.  Harry Thaw's mother purportedly promised Nesbit a quiet divorce and one million dollars if she would testify in her son's behalf telling the jury that Stanford White had raped her (Evelyn) and that Thaw was just avenging her honor. Evelyn testified, got the divorce but never saw a penny, in fact, she was immediately cut off financially by Thaw's mother. Thaw was found insane and was incarcerated in a hospital for the criminally insane where he enjoyed almost total freedom. Nevertheless, he did escape several times but was caught, and in 1915 he was released after being judged sane.



After the second trial, Evelyn had modest success in vaudeville and silent movies. There was one more short marriage, alcoholism and cocaine addiction and multiple suicide attempts before her life turned around. She published two memoirs, and in her later years taught classes in ceramics. She died in 1967 at the age of 82.

She was reportedly the inspiration for Charles Dana Gibson's many illustrations of the "Gibson Girl"     (see top of story - the Question Mark Girl) and also the inspiration for the model for the heroine in Anne of Green Gables by author Lucy Maud Montgomery. She was technical advisor and inspiration for the 1955 movie, The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing. There were ten non-fiction accounts of her life and five fictional accounts based on her life.


Evelyn Nesbit is probably the most infamous artist's model of le Belle Epoque and certainly stunningly beautiful, but in coming weeks I will be introducing you to a few more of her contemporaries who although not as infamous, personally, I find them to be even more beautiful!

© Maureen Kavaney Tillman 2010 from 
Sanctuaries, Dreams and Shadows
http://maureentillman.blogspot.com/


Melange Team ETSY Members Blog Giveaways!


Read the comments here for Blog Giveaways sponsored by our Melange team members. Members who have giveaways on their blogs will post them here with a description of the giveaway, an end date, and an appropriate hot link to their blog. Please do not leave any other kinds of comments here, just Melange team giveaway promotions. Anyone can enter and participate!

Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com/).  You may add hot links (clickable) to your giveaway in the comments section, below is a great tutorial on how to create hot links:
How to Hot Link, click here