The Stolen Child

IMG_0049

This one took me a while to finish, with a long break when I was almost finished, needing a good breather to find my inspiration again. As I keep saying, it’s quite hard to reproduce graphite accurately with my limited camera/computer technical skills, but this’ll have to do. Click on any of the images below to see a larger version and scroll through the gallery to view the progress from start to finish. I’m now well on my way with the preparatory stages of Metro Series #5, as yet untitled.

Metro Series #4: Man with Pens This one took me a while to finish, with a long break when I was almost finished, needing a good breather to find my inspiration again.

0847842134.01._SX450_SY635_SCLZZZZZZZ_Codex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini
Source: National Library
Edition: Rizzoli (2013), Hardcover, 396 pages
Original publication date: 1981

A truly bizarre work which has often been described as the strangest book ever created, and which has to be experienced to be believed. The physical book is in itself is a work of art, presented as a large format hardcover volume with countless colour illustrations printed on a high quality, thick, ridged paper, which make the coloured pencil and ink illustrations look as though they’ve been drawn directly on the page. The overall work has the aspect and organization of an encyclopedia, with clearly formatted pages of explanatory text and diagrams in a wholly invented language, presenting exquisite though illegible calligraphy throughout; the language of the book has defied linguists for decades, but one cannot help but try to make sense of it. Many “specimens” are shown in detailed drawings, from fantastical plant forms to local costumes, mechanical devices, architecture and landscapes, which could only exist in an alternate universe, the brain of someone on LSD, or as Serafini himself explained for this recent 2013 edition, from the mind of the cat who kept him company in the late 70s as Serafini worked feverishly on this project during 30 months, with the feline perched on his shoulders and transmitting his ideas to him telepathically. He in fact credits the cat as the true creator and himself merely as the scribe. Not surprisingly, Serafini is an Italian artist, architect and designer who has, among other things worked with the famous surreal film director Federico Fellini, and his book has been compared to works by M.C. Escher and Hieronymus Bosch.

I find I cannot rate this book, for the simple reason that I was completely enchanted in the beginning, as well as astounded at the level of detail, sheer work and vivid imagination put into this huge volume, but perhaps changing moods coloured my perception as I kept turning the pages because I was at times delighted and enchanted, and on some days I felt as though I was seeing nightmarish visions. I’m glad I was able to borrow this volume from our national library system and didn’t go ahead and spend the $80 listed price on it, as I may want to pore over it again once or twice, but ultimately found it too disturbing to have in my permanent collection. But that’s just me. Others I’m sure will be delighted to own this fantastic volume, and for good reason. Click on the thumbnails below to see larger reproductions.

tumblr_lxdfgkJT9s1qgwtuco1_1280-550x449 1_t

 

 

The Strangest Book Ever Created? Codex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini Source: National Library Edition: Rizzoli (2013), Hardcover, 396 pages Original publication date: 1981…
Currently Listening To…

On audio, picked up The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir last night. No big shock that after completing the Matthew Shardlake…

Currently Listening To…

On audio, picked up The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir last night. No big shock that after completing the Matthew Shardlake…

Tabloid Mania

1478980826.01._SX450_SY635_SCLZZZZZZZ_The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J. K. Rowling) ★★★½
Series: Cormoran Strike (1 of 2)
Edition: Mulholland Books (2013), OverDrive Unabridged MP3, 15h54
Original publication date: 2013

Things aren’t going very well for Cormoran Strike. When we meet him, he’s just broken up with his long-time girlfriend and fiancée, who’s run out on him like a fury, and since they were living together and…

View On WordPress

Engrossed in 16th Century Murder Mysteries

Engrossed in 16th Century Murder Mysteries

f001035b372b141596944436967444341587343Dissolution by C. J. Samson ★★★★½
Series: Matthew Shardlake (1 of 5)
Edition: Vintage Canada (2012), Kindle eBook, 464 pages
Original publication date: 2003

When Matthew Shardlake, a lawyer at the employ of Thomas Cromwell is ordered to investigate a murder in a Benedictine monastery, he finds he is quickly enmeshed in a mystery that just keeps getting more complex, more tangled up and more…

View On WordPress

My Little Lamb

My little lamb, aka Coco went to the groomer’s today and got all shorn for spring. Couldn’t resist doing a before & after shot.

My Little Lamb

My little lamb, aka Coco went to the groomer’s today and got all shorn for spring. Couldn’t resist doing a before & after shot.

Short and Bittersweet

0393067203.01._SX450_SY635_SCLZZZZZZZ_Coventry by Helen Humphries ★★★★
Edition: W. W. Norton & Company (2009), 1st American Ed, Hardcover, 192 pages
Original publication date: 2008

I read this book in just two sittings—yes, partly because it’s short, but also because it made for compulsive reading and was very difficult to put down. It’s my first book by Helen Humphreys, and I think the others currently on my wishlist will end up on…

View On WordPress

Funny Moments in Tragedy

Funny Moments in Tragedy

KingLear_McGillivray

“Our present business
Is to general woe.”

~ King Lear, Act 5, Scene 3

For some reason, that line delivered so solemnly by the Duke of Albany in the final act of the play makes me smile every time. There are so many dead bodies piled on top of one another and the drama is so compounded of endless miseries, that his words somehow seem incredibly redundant, and make the unendurable tragedy of it…

View On WordPress

Five Stars for Tremain

Five Stars for Tremain

a79296240f2981a596941556967444341587343Restoration by Rose Tremain ★★★★★
Edition: Blackstone Audio (2013), Unabridged MP3, 13h00
Original publication date: 1989

This was my third five-star read so far this year; I don’t hand out that rating very easily, and when I do, it’s because the book has surpassed any expectation I may have had, made me want to start again right from the beginning as soon as I’d finished it, and opened up a…

View On WordPress

A Sheer Delight

1f38c32319fd21459766a766851444341587343Book #75:
Miss Buncle’s Book by D. E. Stevenson ★★★★½
Series: Miss Buncle (1 of 4)
Edition: Persephone Books (2008), Paperback, 344 pages
Original publication date: 1934

Miss Buncle was born and raised and has lived in the quaint English village of Silverstream all her life, and now in her late 30th, a frumpy old maid who dresses badly and whom no one takes seriously or pays much attention to,…

View On WordPress