"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

John Derian


I received this John Derian coffee table book for my birthday in December and have yet to go through it.  I have seen his work in magazines and in stores, but knew little to nothing about him.

It seems he has collected all these pictures and papers for many years. A few years ago, I painted some Victorian eye paintings, like the book cover, in gouache and put them in jewelry frames for necklaces and charms.



I too love ephemera, but never know what to do with it other than stick it in drawers, books and other dark places, occasionally framing some of it.


Wish I had thought of decoupage before he did.  Actually, I did a lot of decoupage in my younger days, but they were more childish things.  I'm looking forward to perusing this book.

28 comments:

  1. Girl, You ARE a Renaissance Woman, if ever I knew one!! And I think perhaps I've met a couple in the past, even in the family.

    You just toss out the mention "I painted these little eye paintings," and "some of my doggies" like you're handing round a Chinet napkin with coffee, and that CABINET with the country chickens---that one is a prize!

    We've commented on each others' blogs, we've corresponded after a fashion (a lovely one in fact, in the form of my NOTEBOX!!) and I think I know you well enough to say SHOW YOUR STUFF!! I wanna see more of your art and collections and things meaningful to you. Just a scan of a tabletop would be a good start. For the New Year---Please?

    r

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    1. I will Rachel. I sold most of the necklaces of eyes and think I have a couple left. I'll have to look for them. I used to paint small one inch paintings and frame them using microscope slides to go in the frame. I used semi-precious stones like tourmaline, jade and lapis and many others for the necklaces. I really enjoyed doing those and have lots of those left. Just about went blind from painting the tiny still lifes, landscapes and others. I always thought of myself as a jack of all trades/master of some. I think I'd have to google it, but those eye paintings were in remembrance of time's passing - how fleeting life is. That, or look in my eye and you better not stray!

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    2. Wow! Your creativity knows no bounds. I would imagine the eye-hand coordination at such a small scale was rough. -glad you didn't go blind. :)

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    3. The brushes are tiny. They have magnifying gadgets, but I didn't have one. You can make one teensy stroke and it changes the entire painting. Thank you Bea.

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  2. Is there any end to your talent? Echoing Rachel. More please. I so admire artists - whatever their genre.

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    1. Thank you Child. My genres are all over the place; I've tried it all I think. It would be boring for me to only do one thing, and yet, I read somewhere that the most hugely successful people are so, doing one thing. Oh well.

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  3. Oh Donna, I really do wish that we lived closer together and could often get together for chatting and some showing and telling. Today was a grey rainy day in NYC, but not enough to deter my pal Elizabeth and me from taking a walk through Central Park (where few tourists wished to walk today) over to my long ago workplace, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    The varied conversations and commenting of what we saw in the Park continued when we got to the Met, and had stowed our raincoats and umbrellas. A few photography exhibits, a few peeks into favorite rooms to see some Gauguins and Matisse paintings (and discover some "private collection" gems on loan for a while) and then a stroll down the hall to see a room of Velazquez portraits, then lunch, then back outside to walk down Fifth for a while in a lighting that belongs to Steichen, until she caught a bus and I walked back home through the Park.

    I write this rambling comment because I could easily imagine your being there with us.

    John Derian definitely caught a certain wave. I like what he puts together via decoupage, and yet always thought...hey, I know lots of folks who can do and some actually do, equally interesting connecting.

    I would love to see more of your creations, and do think that you might wish to explore Instagram. I was reluctant to enroll, but now see a friendly community over there, and lots of "small world" coincidences and even reunions.

    I'll have to have a peak at the John Derian book.

    Do you think I have gone on long enough? xo

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    1. No, not at all Frances. I would have a ball talking and walking and picking your brain. This is our virtual walk. I read several magazines that tell me the exhibits in the big museums, but how wonderful it would be to be there with someone who lives there. I've never been to NYC. Maybe someday. Everyone I've met has been there but me. Sounds like the perfect day. I don't show much of my art and I don't really know why. Just a quirk I guess. I've meant to look into Instagram and you've talked me into it. Sounds interesting. I grew up quiet and observant and now, you can't shut me up sometimes, so no, not long enough. :)

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    2. Thank you, Donna. (I did mean peek, not peak. I should be a better proofreader!) xo

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  4. I do hope you will share a bit about this book. I also love ephemera, but like you, don't do much with it.

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    1. If I were to look for all the writings and pictures etc., I'd have to dig through stacks and boxes. I am not organized enough, but I bet you are. Teachers are the best at that. I'll let you know after I go through it.

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  5. You did these paintings? They are really good, Donna.

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    1. Oh no Sandra. They are pictures from his book of collections of ephemera. They are old scraps and pictures he has collected for a long time gathered into a book.

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    2. They're wonderful, but I'm sure yours are too.

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  6. Oh Donna I wished we lived closer.
    You are a true Renaissance woman !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I wish we did too Gayle as I'd camp out there in the winter;) And, thank you.

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  7. What a thoughtful birthday gift..I am sure you will be inspired..

    Instagram..is full to the brim of fantastic..artists..photographers..stylists..cute kids and pets..I have to just tune in once in a while(LOL twice a day..) because I have things to do:) But inspiring..you'll love it.

    would love to see the necklaces etc..not even 1 left?


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    1. Great gift Monique. Instagram hear I come, if I can figure it out. Only have a couple of the eye necklaces, but many of the necklaces with miniature paintings. I'll have to go get some at the farm to show you. I called them wearable art. The prices were probably a little high depending on the stones I used and then each miniature painting was an original. They were way under $100. though, I just didn't have the right venues to sell them.

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  8. Good morning, Ms. Donna. Hope you have a great day.

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    1. Well thank you Sandra. Hope yours is a great one too.

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  9. It looks like a wonderful book, the vintage images are so appealing. I have a calendar with a very similar style. I use to decoupage little cardboard boxes using old images I had discovered in an antique scrapbook. You will get a lot of inspiration from this book. I love your idea of tiny enclosed eyes in a pendant. Wish I could have seen those.

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    1. Thank you Jeri. I keep thinking of all the things I need to do, but somehow, life gets in the way.

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  10. The painting of the lady so beautiful.. did you d that ?

    Please visit: http://from-a-girls-mind.blogspot.com

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  11. What a sweet gift. Happy Birthday - a little late! Do you still paint!

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    1. Yes, Ry, but less and less. With two moves in the last year and a sick husband and grandkids, I seem to have lost my muse. And, thank you.

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  12. A painting of the eye of someone you know can be quite disturbing, it says such a lot. Like everyone else who has left a comment I would love to take a nosey peek at all your pieces. My family all collect 'stuff.' (Some would call it junk!)

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    1. They are really pretty, but the message behind isn't as much. I'll try and find some stuff to show. I more stuff/junk than you can shake a stick at (another old saying.) I'm definitely nosey too. Maybe curious is the best word.

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