And just like this, 2022 is here. The weather veers from being as bleak as in Copenhagen to lovely spring-day-in-March kind and the week ahead promises to be both freezing and wet. Covid case numbers are through the roof and it feels as if we should just opt for blow-up protection spacesuits right away and get the in-between stages over with once and for all. Anyhow, people adapt to everything and surely this too shall pass. Until then, let’s get to opening this year’s first Crate.
Pliny the Elder wrote in his “Chapters on the History of Art” – “She was in love with a youth, and when he was leaving the country, she traced the outline of the shadow which his face cast on the wall by lamplight. Her father filled in the outline with clay and made a model; this he dried and baked with the rest of his pottery, and we hear that it was preserved in the temple of the Nymphs until Mummius overthrew Corinth.” – The lady is question here is of course the mythical inventress of painting, the Maid of Corinth, Dibutades.
2022 has arrived, it’s cold, case numbers are through the roof, so we’re getting used to frequent self-testing again, stretching our nostrils to escape the unpleasant sensation. Everything comes and goes in waves – the hope that finally everything is getting better, that the coastline of stability is within reach alternates with the chilly realization that the uncertainty of everyday life might just be the normality now. The only stability it seems, is change. However, the only steadiness we can create lies in our own rituals – which brings us to opening this week’s Crate of Curios.
“One of the reasons I paint is to catch life as it goes by, hot off the griddle.” “Painting,” Neel said, “keeps me alive.” Alice Neel’s nudes are difficult to pin down and their stories more than skin deep.
3. We usually map habitation. What if we turned it around and mapped emptiness instead?
4. Van Gogh rarely had money to pay a model. However, he had a mirror.
5. Mason Currey has spent several years collecting the habits and routines of famous creative people. His first book “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work” is a great read. His second book “Daily Rituals: Women At Work” is a great AND relatable read. I do recommend both.
6. And to finish off for this week, a little task management comic by Worry Lines.
And that’s it for this time. Happy reading and until next week! _________________________________________________________
If you want to receive the Crate to your mailbox, you can subscribe here at Substack.
And here we are with the last Crate of 2021 – the next one will already belong to a new year, 2022 – the year we openly hope will be better than the current one and secretly fear it’ll be the same or worse. However, there’s no telling these days when predictable future has sunk to a horizon of the following week – any longer-term plans seem to be a folly – too much can change within a span of a few days. But enough of the pocket philosophy – it’s time to open the last Crate of the year.
“Ladies who would be alluring to men should surround themselves with cats… I never look at men only at women–they have, each one such marvellous possibilities of beauty. But unfortunately most of them have not developed these possibilities because they have not learned the lessons cats can teach…” – Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, the artist more famous than Picasso in 1920’s Paris, loved both – women and cats.
2. Apparently it’s not that difficult to become great at something. One simply has to be good at it, repeatedly.
3. “What I envy about men, it isn’t what you think—it’s pockets. I want a makeup that you can carry in your pockets”. Way before second-wave feminism was a thing, Isabella Rossellini created a makeup line for it.
4. Christmas has already passed, but Christmas sweets are still around…
Winter is here, Christmas markets are here, freezing temperatures are here – at least they feel freezing although on the thermometer the numbers are still well above 0. I’ve had my first warm spiced wine of the season and still… yes, still haven’t heard ‘Last Christmas’ this December. The rumours are in the air about more restrictions post-holidays, but no point in thinking about this now – as now it’s time to open the next-to-last Crate of 2021.
“Men’s roles seem to give them a great deal more freedom, AND I WAS RESOLVED THAT FREEDOM WOULD BE MINE.” Niki de Saint Phalle was a notoriously uncategorizable integral part of postwar art scene in France and the author of the giant Tarot Garden in Tuscany.
Today was the glorious day, when I finally caught a glimpse of heating, touching a radiator by chance and noticing that… it was warm! If I also could change roles with my cat for a few days, staying curled up in the warm bed, when she goes to work instead, it would be simply brilliant. Alas, as it’s not likely to happen, tomorrow is a workday again, so let’s get this week’s Crate opened without further ado.
A rainy sleepy weekend is coming to a close, the Christmas lights are on in the city and Christmas is approaching in leaps and bounds. Oddly enough I haven’t heard ‘Last Christmas’ a single time so far. This weekend though there was no need for Christmas playlist yet, as one of my favourite podcasts had a slew of new episodes that I hadn’t heard. That said, let’s get to our usual business of opening this week’s Crate.
And before I know it, it’s Sunday night again and time to compose another Crate. Luckily, due to my inherent digital magpie tendencies, there is no lack of material at hand, the difficulty lies in making the choice of material. Yet also this task seems to be getting easier with practice. Hence, let us proceed to opening this week’s Crate with no further ado.
Still dreaming about heating and dry warm laundry, although the days are still mild for November, the sky is clear and blue and the breeze gentle. Birds sing, leaves fall and eateries are constructing glass or plastic-walled porches for winter visitors, as we, the guests, have gotten used to being outside-inside and want to keep the illusion of dining is fresh air. Anyhow, winter is coming. And until it gets here, let’s amuse ourselves by opening yet another Crate of Curios.
“Hilda is a creation out of my head. I had various models over the years, but some of my best Hilda paintings I’ve ever done were done without a model.When she was much younger I used to use my celebrity daughter to model for Hilda even though she was tiny and skinny. I used her as a model. An arm is an arm and a leg is a leg and all you have to do is add a little fat.” Duane Bryers about creating one of the most iconic pin-up girls that graced the pages of U.S. magazines from 1950’s till early 1980’s.
The ‘warmer outside than inside’ season is in full swing and the weather forecast promises a brief period of ‘cold outside-cold inside’ next week and then back to ‘warmer outside than inside’, which means than most likely we’re not gonna see any heating before December. On one hand, with the current gas prices it’s good news for the wallet, on the other I’m kind of over having the place constantly full of drying laundry as it simply Does.Not.Dry. Anyhow… moving on to more pleasant things – it’s time to open this week’s Crate.
“Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make.” – Meet Corita Kent, the “Pop Art Nun” whose silkscreen posters were among the defining pop art of the 1960’s and 70’s.
2. Corita Kent also created 10 rules for her Immaculate Heart College students. They are worth keeping in mind. (no affiliate connection)
As we are enjoying an unusually warm beginning of November, higher-than-usual electricity bills and rising food prices are already slowly heralding how the coming winter might look like. However, the sun is still here is the morning hours and that’ll keep us going until the Christmas lights are lit – and until that happens let’s amuse ourselves with yet another Crate of Curios.
“There is no great secret in fortune making. All you do is buy cheap and sell dear, act with thrift and shrewdness and be persistent. It is the duty of every woman, I believe, to learn to take care of her own business affairs.” Hetty Green, the ‘Witch of Wall Street,’ who amassed a fortune worth as much as $3.8 billion in today’s money during the Gilded Age, was the richest woman in America at the time.
2. Why does life seem to get more complicated as time passes? Perhaps it’s due to entropy.