The very first spoof of the Mona Lisa…

250px-marcel_duchamp_mona_lisa_lhooqI always thought the very first spoof of the Mona Lisa was Marcel Duchamp’s more than naughty LHOOQ but it turns out I was totally wrong. Way before his 1919 ‘appropriation’ another artist, Eugène Bataille (according to Wiki better known under the name of Arthur Sapeck but I had never heard of either until yesterday) contributed a smoking –but not so hot– version to the Arts Incohérents exhibition of 1883.170px-Sapeck-La_Joconde_fumant_la_pipe.jpg

In an ideal world… this intro would have been followed by dozens of hilarious takes on the divine Gioconda and a review of a very dull book I have read recently: Mona Lisa, A Life discovered by Dianne Hales, as my contribution to your Xmas cheer (and also to make sure you did not get for yourself or someone else this book as a stocking filler.) However, as most of us know, the world is not an ideal place, proof is, there’s some very depressing art out there…

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(Might do the spoofs next year yet so I’ll save my best ones till then but you are most welcome to contribute yours and I could throw them all together for our mutual enjoyment in a few months… email me at: As for the book, the lady has indeed done a lot of homework on women’s lives in Florence at the time of the presumed Mona Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo’s existence but to have the cheek of calling it a life “discovered” when she has discovered zilch nothing we did not know (and we know nothing) is, to me, a very annoying marketing red herring. Also, yes we’re really happy she could write off her taxes those trips to Italy but you know what? When you’ve got nothing to say…

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All right I’m in a bad mood (nearly typed “All write I’m in a bad mood”, haha, just you wait for what’s coming next.) I’m actually not happy with myself. Because it’s now March and, not only did I not do my Xmas post as planned, but another two months have gone by and this blog hasn’t progressed at all –otherwise engaged in very colourful and related projects believe me (which I will share with you in due course) but still. Also, it’s not quite true I have done NOTHING. I have changed the theme of my blog/website and really love the new presentation… it’s more revealing of the content and less of a long scroll to the next post… I hope you think so too!


For those of you who never go there because you receive the emails or just read this one post on Facebook, you might wish to hop to it and peruse posts from the last years. Just like paint, the posts have no sell by date, content is still fresh and as usable as in the newer ones. Also, if you take click on the “ABOUT” tab at the top, you will discover all my pages…

Because you see, at the back of this blog, is a structured website which reads a bit like an art supplies manual (hopefully more fun than most though!) You can scroll down the table of contents and discover more systematically which topics I’ve already dealt with in depth. It’s not all done, far from it, but there are already quite a few good and informative pages… even if I say so myself!

Personally, I’m happy with PIGMENTS

I. a) an introduction + you can read here the whole 6 articles about pigments

I. b) What is a pigment? Pigments vs Dyes; Pigment classification by characteristics; Inorganic vs Organic Pigments; Historical vs Modern Pigments

I. c) Historical pigments Prehistory; Antiquity followed by the next 15 centuries

I. d) Modern pigments

I. e) Colours and families of pigments A description of the most commonly found colours organised in broader categories: blues, greens, etc. followed by a bit about the most important families: the Cadmiums, the Earth, the Quinacridones, etc.

I. f) A little bit about binders and making your paint

I also like

II. b1) Carbon based drawing materials: Introduction + you can read here the following 3 pages




and also:

Oil sticks

Coloured pencils

III. f1) Oil paint

And finally the acrylic pages are quite comprehensive too

III. h1) Acrylic and Vinyl paint + you can read here all four pages

III. h2) Acrylic and Vinyl gessos and grounds

III. h3) Acrylic and Vinyl pastes, gels, mediums and additives

III. h4) Acrylic and Vinyl varnishes


All of these pages, published or not –some are only half baked but already in the oven– are part of a big, slow, work in progress (and yes, I do sleep sometimes too!) I’m very sorry for the pages not yet available and even more sorry for the mistakes in the other ones. I keep finding little glitches as I reread them and things I could have said better or been more clear about but, mainly, I keep finding out more stuff! It’s endless really… on good days that makes me really joyful (I’ve got a hobby for life!) On not so good days I can feel something of the plight of Monet painting his 36th version of the Rouen cathedral and Light still eluding him somewhat…

Oh well! Today’s one was not really a post but hopefully you saw something – between some older ones you might have missed and the pages up there – that caught your eye and that you’ll enjoy reading so I do hope you’ll feel nourished in some way… and I promise to be back soon with an account of a visit to another colourman (actually these are two colourwomen and here’s a little preview below of my visit to them.)


One Comment Add yours

  1. angele says:

    thank you, I always enjoy ❤ !
    stay well and dry

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