These drawings are by Kathleen Hale for one of her wonderful Orlando (the Marmalade Cat) books. These particular illustrations are part of the "Orlando (The Marmalade Cat): His Silver Wedding". It's the first Orlando book I ever read! It's basically a whodunnit which involves Orlando and his wife Grace deciding to have a silver wedding anniversary party which gets interrupted by Orlando disappearing and Grace and the kittens doing some detective work to find him in time for the party. It's quite gripping actually! Every time I look at one of Kathleen Hale's books, I marvel at the incredible "cat-ness" she gets into her drawings even though they are engaged in human activities and being essentially "human". How does she do that? Anyway, her Orlando books are most definitely my favourite illustrated story books.
I've been working on a GIF today made from some art deco gal drawings I did a while back. I enjoyed finding out about how to fade images into one another and re-acquainting myself with the whole GIF making process in general (which I had semi-forgotten about). To see more GIFS click here!
These paintings are by the Swedish abstract artist Hilma af Klint. I have seen the painting above before - I thought it was pretty and assumed it was quite modern, but it is actually very old - possibly even 100 years old as Hilma af Klint lived from 1862 - 1944. She was in fact the very first abstract painter and she was way before her time. I think her work is quite fantastic and extraordinary and I am very sorry I won't be in London to see her show at the Serpentine Gallery that runs from the 3rd of March to the 15th of May.
I recently saw a marvellous documentary by Australian director Gillian Armstrong called "Women He's Undressed". It was a documentary/ biography of probably one of the most famous men from Kiama you've never heard of. His name was Orry Kelly, and he grew up in the small coastal town of Kiama (just down the coast from Wollongong) famous for its blow hole. He moved to Sydney in his late teens and later on to Hollywood where he began by painting scenery and backdrops. Soon after arriving in Los Angeles, he started designing costumes for leading ladies and would go on to be nominated for four Oscars, three of which he won for his costume designs in the following films: "An American in Paris", "Les Girls" and "Some Like It Hot". He also had a relationship with Archibald Leach (who later changed his name to Cary Grant) and was responsible for the costume designs for some estimated 280 films including "Casablanca", "Now, Voyager" and "Oklahoma!" just to name but a few. Here's a terrific site dedicated to Orry-Kelly with his sketches and biography and here's a good synopsis of the documentary "Women He's Undressed".
Above (left to right) Ingrid Bergman in an Orry-Kelly designed ensemble for "Casablanca", Bette Davis with whom he had a lasting friendship, Kay Francis in a sparkly Orry-Kelly for the film "Mandalay", Lesley Caron and Gene Kelly in "An American in Paris" and Jack Lemmon and Tony Curis in "Some Like it Hot".
It is officially Autumn here in Sydney, although it is still quite hot and humid. However, the breeze is cool, so yes it is starting to feel a lot like Autumn. I say bring it on! Autumn means terrific walking weather, dappled afternoon light and the wonderful reds and oranges of deciduous trees.
I took these photos today on an afternoon stroll. Pictured above are magnolia seed pods, hibiscus flowers, a magnolia blossom, a cockatoo, tall Mexican fan palms, hoop pine trees, the purple (out of focus!) blossoms of the lasianda tree and a bracken fern.