Saturday, September 10, 2011


The word carapace visited me yesterday. It stirred the image of a greeting card found, purchased in multiples, more than 20 years ago. I wondered if I could summon the illustration via Google. Then in another reading today, carapace, sly creature, appeared again. That the word was also used in reference to the painting, once I found it, tells me I am onto something. The only question is, what?

The blog site at which I found the carapace work, Yvette's in so many words... would keep me fascinated and linking for hours, probably days. So many favorites, such a kindred spirit. Here is her link to the Sept. 10 post, equally illuminated and illuminating. And a clue: Chinese lanterns and vintage detectives. With grateful thanks to Yvette at in so many words... Do, please visit and leave a comment.

Image by Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale from The Book of Old Songs and Ballads. The knight's armor looks like some strange carapace, doesn't it? The painting is an odd mix of the ominous and the innocent.

The British artist Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale (1872 -1945), though born a bit late, was a Pre-Raphaelite painter known for her luscious use of color. She was also, as you can see a brilliant designer. Her paintings tended towards the allegorical and the medieval in subject matter. Later in her life she also turned to working in stained glass.

Primarily I'm drawn to these paintings by the way Brickdale uses color. It's interesting to me that she manages to use such a bright spectrum yet her work though hardly subtle, somehow, remains fairly soft-spoken.

I'm fond of Victorian painting with all its rich detail, especially when it's this colorful and full of story telling.

To read more about Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale please go to these other blogs and pages:

Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood and Victorian/Edwardian Paintings.

(Painting, text, research and appropriate links courtesy of Yvette at in so many words...)


Claire Beynon said...


If sanity is to survive
the tender, shivering soul must be protected
like an amicable affair.
a fa├žade against
an outside, hostile world.

a carapace must be erected:
a marble wall to conceal thought
of social inferiority;
distorted imperfection;
inherited burden.

search for the field of light celadon green;
seek the nine daughters of Zeus.
if you capture their aura
you are surely blessed;
for they arise and evaporate
in the flicker of an eye.

search for the daughters of Memory;
accept the gifts they bestow:
imagination, creativity, dreams –
Above all, seek shelter for your soul,
For destiny has condemned mankind to deception.

Ronnie Kerrigan

Dear Marylinn - I was about to drop you an e- and to send you this poem when I logged on to my blog and saw you had posted something new. Ronnie Kerrigan's 'Carapace' poem wants to be here, I think, with the Angels Incognito at its back and the anticipation of a clearing up ahead. . . Thank you for so much more than can be written - Claire xo

Isabel Doyle said...

The word carapace - amongst many other images - takes me back to the thin layer of half-melted and refrozen snow that crusts and crackles definatly when attacked by a small boot.

Yvette said...

Marylinn, thanks for the link and the plug. Your kind words are very much appreciated. I'm energized by your enthusiasm. Thrilled that you like what I've been doing on my blog.

Yours is a revelation.

What wonderful poetry. Yes, the word 'carapace' brings forth all sorts of imagery.

This poem is especially touching on today's grim anniversary.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Claire - What a wonder to find, your gift poem, for me, for readers, for this particular day and all days. Thank you. So glad I cleared a bit of space for Ronnie Kerrigan and CARAPACE to create a nest. I'm glad they wanted to be here. Clearing ahead. That's all we need to know. Love to you, xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Isabel - Yes, I can hear the crunch. Hello to you. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Yvette - Thank you for visiting and for allowing me to borrow so much of your work to fluff up my own. The poem gives us additional fuel to run on today. Glad you have found this place and the co-authorship of readers whose comments enhance the material.

Antares Cryptos said...

Marylinn, thank you for recommending yet another blog that one can lose time in.

Not familiar with Brickdale's work, but like the image of a knight protecting a child. (At least, that is what I see).

As to carapaces; exoskeletons of our multilegged critters, the iridescence of beetles and the calling of paint brushes and colored pencils.:)

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares - Is Yvette's blog not an entire mall of the irresistible? I knew the one painting, which I interpret just as you do, but did not know the artist at all. Oh, the beautiful iridescence of beetles and their translation as scarabs and jewels. Yes, the color pencils...playing with watercolors this week made me covet is a most unbecoming way sites that offer those British pan boxes. One day. :D

Antares Cryptos said...

Which pan set might that be? One likes to look at such things.

Antares Cryptos said...

P.S. Saw a new edition of Elements of Style with Kalman illustrations.
I think I need it.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares - Here is the first one, British, I think, found last week via a blog I no longer remember:

Then here is one found today through Alisa Burke, journal artist/author who shares lots of tips:

(I'll be back with the second...have to leave page. Look for next response.)

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares - The second is:

particularly their 24 half-pan field sketch box. And here is Alisa's post about journal paraphernalia as gifts,

We really are in trouble. :D

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares - You DO need the Maira Kalman ELEMENTS OF STYLE and if you don't have it, THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

And at my friend's Lisa Hoffman's blog,
the current post is about fund-raising celebrity tee shirts. Kalman is one of the contributors/designers.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Nice to follow a link to something beautiful instead of political. Thank you.

Antares Cryptos said...

Marylinn, have Principles of Uncertainty and Pursuit. I do hope Elements of Style is not needed for my questionable on-line grammar.;)

Sigh of relief that I'm already familiar with W&N; one does not need to covet more. I have the Cotman field set, the pans are almost gouache like. I've seen the Sakura Koi, not sure how they compare to W&N.

Thank you for the links, I will have a look at them.

Art supplies are a weakness, I truly do not need more, but speaking of coveting:

Am I right? Happiness in a box.:)

Marylinn Kelly said...

Robert - My pleasure. I, for one, have already had all the politics I can bear and the election is more than a year away. And the day-to-day...let us speak of other things. Glad you enjoyed it.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares - Oh yes, the wooden box...when watercoloring was a genteel, refined hobby (not that it isn't). I have a fine W/N field box that was a gift many years ago. A friend told me she added a tube of white gouache to her field box, for the white pan is always inadequate. I'd never have thought of that...apparently some sets are marketed that way. Well. :D I need to covet less, work more.