Archive for August 2009
Italian illustrator, Nicoletta Ceccoli, creates dreamy dimensions inhabited by delicate creatures caught in a fantastical fresco. Her work is sublimely surreal and evokes a feeling of looking at an ethereal microcosm. In addition to her prolific painting collection, Ms. Ceccoli has illustrated several children’s books and has also been commissioned for commercial work. Whether illustrating an ad which befittingly highlights the sleeping comforts of an aircraft or collaborating on The Joy of Spooking for children, Ceccoli’s work beautifully retains her signature palette of cotton candied hues and porcelain characters.
Nicoletta Ceccoli is a three-time winner of the Award of Excellence from Communication Arts and was awarded the silver medal from the New York based Society of Illustrators in 2006.
1) Do you remember one of your first paintings or drawings as a young child?
A portrait of my favourite doll. I called her ‘Birillina’. I still have that doll on my shelf in my studio between my favourite objects and toys.
Blog hostess and vintage fashionista, Candice DeVille, showcases her love of the past with Super Kawaii Mama. This lovely blog features everything from kitschy kitchens to candy couture all with a kawaii (or uber cute) sensibility. Ms. DeVille also comes to your beauty bluster aide with her quick tips on make-up and hair. Super Kawaii Mama also offers a vintage fashion gallery which not only displays an enviable wardrobe but it also features Ms. DeVille modeling the clothes in whimsical settings. Each setting is evocative of the very genteel era of the clothing itself. Ms. DeVille recently sports a crinoline 1940’s inspired party dress while daintily smelling flowers in a garden. Super Kawaii Mama is a lovely ode to all things cute and reflective of a time period that exuded playful (and fashionable) innocence. Ms. Ruby Winkle now makes makes her own debut at the lovely Super Kawaii Mama abode.
Is reviewing a book halfway liken to being a smitten fool? Like most smitten proclamations, this is my first time. I have never been quite so taken by a book that I wholeheartedly trusted that a good ending was waiting for me based on the sheer brilliance of the writing. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is narrated by the omnipresent and illuminating commentary of Death set to a backdrop of Nazi Germany. In this story, Death is not remorseful. Death is not exacting or vengeful. Death is here to tell the tale of a young girl named Liesel Meminger. After her brother’s traumatic death, Liesel is escorted by her mother to a foster home on the ironically named Himmel Street in Molching, Germany. Himmel means Heaven. Although Himmel Street is far from heavenly, offering only beratings from her dour foster mother and a constant heaping of split pea soup, it is here that she begins to find solace in books. After a bout of nightmares, Liesel is consoled by her newly adopted Papa which leads to a bond between the two and introduces Liesel to the vorboten world of words. Papa is Hans Hubermann-a jovial accordion player, mustachioed and warm with more wit than money. Papa teaches Liesel how to read through her first stolen book, The Gravedigger’s Handbook. So begins Liesel’s fascination with books leading to a life of stealing and stolen moments. Thievery is not evil. It is an escape from Liesel’s hardsrabbled existence manifesting as criminally sweet tastes of candy, apples and learning.
Although Nazi Germany looms as large as any bully that Liesel encounters on Himmel Street, it does not dominate the story or eclipse the frail heroics of Liesel’s genuine stoicism. A bonfire in the town square is held in honor of the Führer’s birthday however its politics pale against Liesel’s heartful and illicit determination to savalage a banned and burning book from the embers. The Book Thief is shadowed by silent atrocities however it is the transformative power of books and relationships that shine leaving both Death and humans in awe of humanity. “So much good, so much evil. Just add water”.