A cool new Poirot gift and… Sherlock Holmes??

It is very bad of me… I haven’t posted here for ages. I skipped the whole month of October! It’s been a hectic time, as Flatlands Theatre Company has just finished up their performances of Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol. I was playing the role of the Second Spirit (the Ghost of Christmas Present), as well as leading some caroling, taking a role in set movements, making cast party favors, and painting like crazy to get some artwork for the foyer together (as per request). I am only starting to recover now.  LOL  But it was a great time! A little more on the artwork below, but first…

I wanted to share with you the awesome thing that my friend Eva made for me with her vinyl-cutting craft machine! (Shown also with English toffee M&Ms!) Isn’t it cool?

If you remember the little wooden shelf with the miniature “books” that I made four years ago, Eva and her husband John were the ones who I gave plans to for the shelf, the pieces of which they cut out for me with their laser cutter.  🙂 She’s one of my Poirot-viewing buddies.

Anyway, about Sherlock Holmes, which might be of interest to some of you detective mystery fans out there… In the interests of our play, I’d finished reading through the Sherlock Holmes canon and was watching some of Jeremy Brett’s interpretation of the character. One of my Facebook friends posted a photo of him in the role and said I should paint it, so I did. (It’s a one-off; I’m not going “fan art crazy” on Holmes like I have on Poirot).  😉   The house manager of our play happened to see it and asked if I’d like to show artwork in the foyer of the concert hall while the play was on. I’d already sketched some ambigrams on the theme of the play (as is my usual wont) so I decided to paint up some finished pieces. I also did portraits of two of the cast members– our own Holmes and Watson– and some of my paper snowflake cutouts. Want to see?

Conor Adrian as Sherlock Holmes. Sorry if some of these photos are a little bit blurry!

Eric Buhr as Dr. Watson.

Here’s the painting of Jeremy Brett’s Holmes.

These are two rotational ambigrams that read “Sherlock Holmes” and “Dr. Watson.” Flip them over and the image is identical. 🙂

Since this play WAS a mashup with the Dickens story… here’s a mirror-image ambigram of “A Christmas Carol.” The painting has bilateral symmetry.

Just to get one more Christmas image in there… a rotational ambigram of “Silent Night.” 🙂

My personal favorite of the snowflake cutouts is this one of a poison bottle, which I designed way back when I was doing Poirot-themed snowflakes. 🙂 The trick to this sort of cutout is using a combination of radial and bilateral symmetry to obtain the whole image.

favor1

^^And one of the cast party favors!! 🙂

I’m so behind on blogging here– there’s the new Suchet photo book, and a Poirot Gourmet to rock your socks off. Stay tuned!

Identifying a picture in Miss Lemon’s office

Sometimes it can be difficult to get a clear view of some of the artwork in the series, particularly if your aim is to identify them. But fear not– David Hart has been at it again. 🙂  This time he’s managed to track down an image in Miss Lemon’s office. Here’s a relatively good view of the picture from the episode How Does Your Garden Grow?

The verdict? It’s a painting called “Sussex Landscape” by English Modernist, Paul Nash.

We couldn’t find much additional info about the picture, but in the interests of finding some sort of Poirot connection, it may be worth mentioning that Nash was best known as a war artist and spent a good deal of his energy and passion into documenting the horrors he saw in Belgium during WWI.

Great job, David, on spotting this!!

New art giveaway

I did promise a giveaway this week, so here we go… winner gets this brand new painting I promised.  🙂

To enter, reply on this blog post or on my related Tweet with one of your favorite random Poirot quotes. The more obscure, the better! Let’s see if we can share and bring out some that aren’t heard as often.   🙂  Winner will be drawn randomly next Friday, the 21. (Also, how in the world is it already June 14???????)

Good luck!

New Poirot sketch

I am very bad– I managed to miss May altogether for the blog! Bad Kelly!

By way of apology, here’s a new little Poirot sketch in acrylics; 5″x7″ on canvas board. Want to win it? I’ll have a new giveaway for it next week here on the blog.  🙂

Valentine’s Day giveaway!!!

I’ve been meaning to do another art giveaway for ages, but life keeps getting in the way. In fact it’s been a month or so since I’ve posted here at all– January has been hectic with Candlewick Theatre, as we’ve been rushing to get Thorton Wilder’s play “The Matchmaker” together in less than a month. As well as showing at Morden’s Kenmor Theatre, it was our Valentine’s dinner theatre production this year, wrapping up on February 10. We’re all exhausted! (Here’s me in my character of Flora Van Huysen:)

BUT ANYWAY, you’re here for the Poirot giveaway.  🙂  Comment on this blog post and you’ll be entered to win this little 8″x10″ acrylic sketch on canvas board of Poirot, Hastings, and Japp! Image is taken from the episode The Affair at the Victory Ball. I will be drawing a winner one week from now, February 21. Good luck and happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Tamara de Lempicka’s portraits in the Poirot series

Sometimes I think the art department for Agatha Christie’s Poirot must have been having so much fun… Did you know that multiple paintings in the series were basically tweaked renditions of Tamara de Lempicka’s works?

Lempicka was a celebrated Polish Art Deco artist. Her distinctive style shows influence of Cubism as well as Ingres-style portraiture. I had, some months ago, painted a tiny (reversed) copy of one of her works– a girl with gloves– for the cover of one of my miniature books.

In the Poirot episode One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, the board room of Alistair Blunt shows a portrait of himself and his wife Rebecca, done exactly in the style of Lempicka. This is historically fitting, since Lempicka painted a number of “celebrity” portraits for the wealthy and aristocratic in the ’20s and ’30s.

In fact, that painting above isn’t only in the style of Lempicka– it is basically a conglomeration of different Lempicka paintings: a portrait of Mrs Boucard and one Mr Tadeusz de Lempicki. You can see below how the face of the man has been changed to look like Alistair Blunt (Peter Blythe).   🙂



There is a similarly-styled portrait, a la Lempicka, in the episode The Underdog—  a painting which hides the safe of Sir Reuben Astwell, the murdered man.

Again, it is based almost completely off of a legit Lempicka painting, Dr. Boucard.

The “remake” includes the test tube of liquid, which in Lempicka’s original has (presumably) some medical aspect, but which seems to have been cleverly re-imagined as relating to “Astwell Chemicals.” Like the Alistair Blunt portrait, the face is reconfigured to look like Sir Reuben (Denis Lill).

Interesting, no? 🙂

Two more Picassos in Poirot’s flat

Remember that anachronistic Picasso print from Poirot’s first flat, from 1957? Well, I’ve just noticed that a bit later in the series, it was replaced with a different print. Here’s a shot from The Plymouth Express where you can see it over Hastings’ shoulder. It’s a mother and child painting.

Also, I’ve identified the picture. It is, in fact, another Picasso (Mother and Infant), one from 1922, in the artist’s much earlier neoclassical phase. Kudos to the art department for this fitting remedy.  🙂  The picture is part of the Continental influence of Poirot’s decor as well as blending in nicely with his many Japanese prints, which are similarly heavy on the linear outlining (and also very influential in turn-of-the-last-century European art). Japanese prints can be seen in various places in both of Poirot’s flats.

And if you haven’t noticed already, Poirot has a more cubist-style Picasso print (mixed media) hanging over his mantle. Violin is from around 1912.

UPDATE:

Poirot seems so fond of Picasso that I thought I’d try tracking down that second print that’s behind Poirot’s shoulder in the Plymouth Express shot. Sure enough, that is a sketch called A Thousand Travelling Acrobats— a Picasso drawing from 1905.