Tag Archives: art publications

2009, The Year In Quilting

I’m not a quilter — despite the ridiculous number of quilting books (old and new) and boxes of fabric (vintage and modern) I own. I made one honest attempt at making my daughter a crazy quilt… But, well, I’m saving it all for that magical One Day when I’ll have the time and patience to really learn what I’m doing. Still, I love to look at quilts, especially the less traditional textile art pieces.

In 2009 there were, in my mind, two notable quilting stories — and both center on Mark Lipinski.

march-april-2009-issue-of-quilters-home-magazineFirst, as I reported in April over at Kitsch Slapped, the March/April issue of Lipinski’s Quilter’s Home magazine was “too hot” for Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts to carry — despite Lipinski having paid $2,500 to wrap each copy of the issue in plastic like a porno mag.

Why so much fuss about a quilting magazine? Because the publication dared to include Shocking Quilts, an article by Jake Finc which featured quilts on such controversial (yet culturally aware/abundant) themes as lynching and erectile dysfunction. Part of my response (where you can see some of the quilts in question & under condemnation) was:

These quilts are the very definition of art — not just something made by hand, but unique works exploring issues of our society. You remember art, don’t you? It’s one of the ways people communicate & exchange ideas, start dialogs. Well, Jo-Ann will have none of that.

Please confine your creativity to the kits provided.

The second bit of news in 2009 quilting news is also another low point.

In September, Lipinksi announced that he was stepping down as editor of Quilter’s Home magazine and breaking all ties with the publication. This was a result of New Track Media‘s July ’09 purchase of CK Media. The ol’ “creative differences.”

However, since New Track Media had also purchased Quilters News Network TV in 2007, Lipinksi also announced this meant we was discontinuing any involvement with QNNtv.com, including co-hosting Quilt Out Loud!, the internet television program.

mark-lipinski-tupli-violet-petunia-holiday-2009-last-issueWhile these two low points or lowlights in quilting 2009 seem to indicate negativity, exposing the continued blanding of art by the very commercial outfits which should be encouraging creativity, I choose to be optimistic: Thank gawd quilters, artists, and art lovers everywhere have Mark Lipinski, a man dedicated to his craft, to creativity, who won’t knuckle-under to the knuckleheads of mediocrity.

To show support of Lipinski and his values, pony up some pennies and purchase from his shop. There you can even buy back issues — including copies with the Shocking Quilts feature as well as the last issue Lipinski had a hand in. And keep an eye on his blog for more news — rumor has it, there are fabulous projects in the works!

Illustration Magazine: An Art Publication I Am Drawn To

Men may be, as we are told, visual creatures, but many women adore and collect vintage images. Pinups and those ‘trashy’ covers of pulp novels do more than just flirt with men ya know — we women like them too. And if this includes you, then girl do I have a treat for you: Illustration Magazine.

illustration-magazine-issue-13-coverCollectors of trashy vintage pulp novels, Elvgren pinups, and vintage magazines (be they men’s magazines or turn of the century copies of Collier’s) will drool. Pop culture addicts will greedily await the next issue. Art lovers, artist themselves and anyone with an eye for style will enjoy flipping through Illustration to find classical creations, stylized advertising pieces, elegant deco drawings, fine art, eccentric arrangements, and other works to ooh and ah over.

While the publishers occasionally devote an entire issue to one artist, most issues are a mix of the humorous, the sinister, the sleazy, the graceful, the surreal, the charming, and the cheeky.

It’s clear from the quality that for the publishers this is not just another job, not just a way to make some money — this is an act of love.

Printed on heavy weight, glossy paper, the high quality reproductions of of these illustrations are a joy to behold. The magazine includes articles by the artists themselves, as well as historians, professors & fans of the artists and their works; making it not only fun to read, but so informative, each issue is suitable for research.

art-of-a-leslie-rossSince the golden age of American illustration is considered to be the period of 1890 to 1960, the magazine covers more than just the girlie side of art. Inside Illustration, you’ll find the art of comic books, story illustrations, postcards, sci-fi book and magazine covers, posters and other ephemera of graphic delight.

What makes this publication unique is that it focuses on commercial illustration. Since the works were commissioned or contracted for clients approval and needs rather than “it’s own sake”, it often appeared without artist credit. These artists certainly weren’t celebrated for their commercial works, even if they had gallery success. As little was written about many of the artists, Illustration focuses on biographies of the artist themselves. Illustration celebrates and documents these masters, yes, but the biographies and articles also help to put the works in context. And I think that’s equally important in understanding their purpose and value.

illustration-magazine-issue-11For example, Issue Number 11 has 31 pages on Robert Bonfils, a prolific and gifted producer of those 1960’s trashy adult paperback covers. Not only do you have two articles (by Robert Speray and Lynn Munroe), a plethora of color cover reproductions to gaze at (including several full-page images!) from collector Bruce Brenner, but a piece by Bonfils himself. Reading all of this, one gets information on the trashy book biz, how Bonfils worked, the life of the artist, the culture of the 60’s, and even information on collecting paperbacks in this genre. Now that’s a lot of information.

And yet that’s not all that’s in the issue!

Also in #11 are “Men’s Adventure magazines in Postwar America: The Rich Oberg Collection,” “The Devil in Design: The Krampus Postcards,” “Larry Admire, Star of Pulp World,” along with book reviews and information on exhibitions and events. What more can you ask for?

50-foot-woman-reynold-brownAs a person who dabbles in collecting in these areas, I’ve learned much from my issues of Illustration. As a woman who loves to ponder the cultural components of pulp novels & pinups, I appreciate how works and artists are put into context. As a girl who just likes pretty things, it’s a feast for the eyes.

This magazine is for connoisseurs & collectors alike.

Illustration is published quarterly, and you can subscribe directly from the publisher at Illustration-Magazine.com, where you’ll also find some back issues. (Both eBay and Amazon have back issues of Illustration Magazine too.)