Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Here's some Theory Corner thoughts about the furnishing of small, artist-friendly homes. I'll start with this (above) open plan living room and kitchen. I love this layout! It's simultaneously old-fashioned and modern; cozy and stimulating.

Here's (above) an interesting idea for a small bedroom, also cozy. The unusually low ceiling is covered by a rug, but I prefer to think of it as the kind of thick cottage cheese pattern that skilled plasterers make. The floor echos the ceiling with a heavily textured rug. The wall at the head of the bed is irregular old bricks painted white and it's all set off by a wonderfully wrinkled down quilt. The overall effect is that of cozy, textured shelter for the sleeper in the middle.

BTW, the low ceiling no doubt makes a great heat trap in the winter.

Canopy covered beds are also useful in cold climates. One user I read about bragged that he got more warmth from being enclosed in the canopy than he did from his blankets.

I hate to criticize the wonderful artist who painted this (Carl Larsson) but his bed contains too many broad, flat surfaces. That's okay. Other designs are out there.

 Most interior doors should be French style. The door here isn't like that but I include it anyway because it's easy to imagine how nice a paned door would have looked in a corridor like this one.

 Above, a variation on the French door.
 Here's a nice kids room. Unfortunately, factory-stained furniture is out of fashion now. You'd have to buy nude furniture and stain it yourself.

 Ahhh...that Craftsman look.

Last but not least, here's (above) a small balcony that works great. I like the ironwork and the idea that you can sit on the shelf that supports the plants. You could argue that an overhead awning would make it better, but that would hide the tree.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2015!!!!!!!!

 Okay, one more Christmas gift idea and that's it! How about framed pictures which convey an Indiana Jones sensibility? My own taste would be for pictures of early explorers.

 How about this one of Admiral Peary, the North Pole explorer?

 Or this one of Amundsen at the South Pole?

 Here's Shackleton's ill-fated ship, the Endurance.

Or how about pictures taken by the early African explorers like Kingsley?

Kingsley was a woman. I don't know much about her. 

Who was she? There's a story in this somewhere.

How about some African fabric to set off the African pictures? 

Okay, it's Christmas Eve and I'm anxious to return to the family. I'll end with an early Christmas card showing me showing...I dunno...Christmas cheer. Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2015


This suggestion comes from Steve Worth, the esteemed web master of Animation Resources (link on the sidebar). He recommends the "T-fal OptiGrill," a device obtainable on the net that thaws and cooks meat quickly and automatically. 

The cook need only enter the type of meat by tapping a picture icon, and set a dial for rare, medium rare, medium, etc. Sensors inside the machine do the rest. Meat without bone seems to cook the best. 

The grill and fat collector come off and clean easily...it's like a George Forman grill in that respect. 

The grill-cooked pork chop I ate was tender and juicy and cooked just right. Geez, the future is here!

Sunday, December 20, 2015


Here's a few of the Christmas carols we're playing at my house this year. They've been on my playlist ever since I started this blog 9 years ago and I never get tired of them.

BTW: I just saw the Star Wars movie with a delightfully nerdy audience. 'Lots of fun!

Merry Christmas everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Most animation cartoonists who come to Theory Corner probably aren't interested in fashion illustration, I guess because animation is acting intensive and requires an emphasis on simpler color. That's understandable, but I'd argue that a study of that medium, fashion I mean, is still useful for our trade, regardless of whether what we do ends up being on the screen or not. It's simply a good training ground for a certain kind of color and line. Of course I'm a guy so I'd choose more masculine subject matter.

It's a style that encourages doodling in color, as in these Christian Lacroix sketches.

Lacroix was one of the creators of the Cindi Lauper style in the 80s. 

His sketches are reproduced in a few books.  They'd make great Christmas gifts for artists. 

Here's (above) a page from a Lacroix swatch book. I like the color combinations.

Swatch books never turn up in book stores. They're handed down from one artist to another.

I did a search for Lacroix posters but I didn't turn up anything first rate. To judge from pictures on the net, the posters he puts on his own walls are colorful prints from other media. 

That's all I have to say about Lacroix, but I'll add that my hits have diminished in the last couple of weeks, maybe because people are focused on the holiday. That's okay, so am I. I think I'll take this opportunity to post on a reduced schedule for a couple of weeks. I'll be back on a full schedule soon after Christmas. 


Monday, December 14, 2015


Hmmmm. I've decided that what I really want to live in is a converted 19th Century railroad station like the one above, but (Sigh!) what's the chance of that?

 Of course, a neo-craftsman house would be nice, too.

So would a one-of-kind artist's house like the one Carl Larsson built for himself!

Here's the same house with the color pumped up.

Wouldn't it be great to have a family room with a built in theatre like the one above? All family rooms should include a stage.

 On another subject, I take a lot of abuse from friends who don't understand why I like Ikea so much.  For them the store (above) is just a repository for cheap furniture. They're not getting the revolution that's happening there. Ikea is taking apartment design and applying it to homes. There's a youthful,  just-getting-started-in-life quality to some of the dioramas you find there, and I find them exhilarating. .

Traditional living rooms (like the blue room to the right) are meant to be fortresses against the world. They're a place of rest. The presumption is that you've had a hard day at work and just want to read the paper or watch TV. Not so the Ikea living room. Their living room is a place to work and think as well as rest. It's meant to be stimulating. That's the real revolution that's happening in architecture now, and no large company embodies that more than Ikea.

On my last trip to that store my mind was blown by the room above. Look at those greenhouse struts; you could hang anything on them! The room is so playful, so adaptable to any use you might have for it, and yet it's right next to the kitchen which is meant to be functional. In a real house you'd probably choose to have a permanent eating spot close by, but to put an anything room off to one side is pure inspiration!

Saturday, December 12, 2015


When I first discovered the funny art of ancient Mexico I found myself wondering how it ever took root there. After all, the funny people had to live side by side with violent neighbors like the Mayans (above) and the pathologically aggressive Aztecs. But I checked and my timeline was off. The funny cultures thrived in the pre-Mayan, pre-Aztec era, before the time of Christ.

In that placid era they had time to play with their pets...

...and make fun of their goofy neighbors. 

Some of the caricatures were startlingly specific.

Pocket-sized joke sculptures were all over the place.

Every physical type was lampooned.

Women too, particularly women with thick legs. 

Of course males liked to sculpt sexy women. Who knows, maybe there was a religious reason for it. 

Haw! As time went by high-minded reasons might have become secondary.

My guess is that there was a thriving business in tiny porn sculpture. Was there a Hugh Hefner of that era? Were these figures sold "under the counter" in the marketplace?

I like the flat-on-their-backs, rigor mortis-type poses in this (above) example. Two thousand years later accountants may still be doing the deed this way.

Cultures that value comedy always strike me as being on the path to liberty and progress, but Mexican humorists lived in an increasingly rough neighborhood and, well...the rest was history.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015


Marionettes are a great gift. The hand-carved ones can be pricey, though. The one above costs $1100!!!!  It's worth it if you have the money, but if you don't there's no shortage of worthy mass produced ones...or you can make one yourself out of cardboard.

 How about a John K t-shirt!?

How 'bout a John K doll?

...or a Calder-type mobile? The knock-offs aren't always designed well, but now and then a decent one pops up. If you can't find one worth buying you can make your own. There's some good YouTube instruction on the subject.

Calder also did a lot of wire sculptures (above). I made some myself using my own designs and they turned out great! I had them (sans wooden stand) in the window for years. All you need is wire, needle-nose pliers, and something to bend the wire around like a board with a nail in it.

Framed fine art prints make a good gift. Use glass or vinyl in the frame only if the picture is light-colored.

I like Mexican dioramas. I have a little one similar to this (above) on my bulletin board.

How about a framed picture of Doberman's Sister (above)?

It'll look good next to your friend's picture of Percy Dovetonsils.

Or his picture of Ben Turpin.

Or Reggie Van Gleason.

Last but not least, how about an Edith Piaff CD? Everybody likes Edith Piaf!