Thursday, 11 August 2011

Thursday .... and no mouse!

Hi everybody, today I made it to the coffee maker without seeing any dead mice lurking under my kitchen table, no leaves, either! Got my first cup of coffee without problems, and sneaked back to bed with it for a quarter of an hour which somehow stretched into a good hour. That's one if the good things about being a pensioner!

Yesterday I spent the day with my friend Inge. I buy fresh rolls on the way to her place, she gets the coffee and eggs ready, and has the table nicely laid when I get there, and then we sit over breakfast for about 2 hours, solving the problems of the world - except our own! After that we play cards, then it's time for lunch, then coffee and all of a sudden it's time to go home again. Why does time go so quickly when you're having a good time?

After getting home, I had to make a decision. H******k or some creative time? If you know me a little bit, you will know that I went into my arty kitchen and started making a mess. Actually I wanted to paint, and did start, but ended up making a rather dismal collage instead. I used browns and greens and some gold for the background, and then collaged layers of torn maps and other pictures from a tourist prospect, before adding some sack linen, string, dyed flowers, lace etc. The picture in the middle is an old postcard of *L'inconnue de la Seine* - the unknown female from the Seine. In Wickipedia it tells us, *According to an often-repeated story, the body of the young woman was pulled out of the Seine River at the Quai du Louvre in Paris around the late 1880s. The body showed no signs of violence, and suicide was suspected.
A pathologist at the Paris morgue was so taken by her beauty that he had a moulder make a plaster cast death mask of her face. According to other accounts, the mask was taken from the daughter of a mask manufacturer in Germany. The identity of the girl was never discovered. The moulder who took the cast of the face was believed to be based at the Lorenzi family model-making firm. Claire Forestier, a member of the Lorenzi family, believes that the model was not dead when the cast was taken. She works in the family modelling workshop, and says that a dead body from a river would not have such clear features. She estimated the age of the model at no more than 16, given the firmness of the skin.
In the following years, numerous copies were produced. The copies quickly became a fashionable morbid fixture in Parisian Bohemian society. Albert Camus and others compared her enigmatic smile to that of the Mona Lisa, inviting numerous speculations as to what clues the eerily happy expression in her face could offer about her life, her death, and her place in society.
The popularity of the figure is also of interest to the history of artistic media, relating to its widespread reproduction. The original cast had been photographed, and new casts were created back from the film negatives. These new casts displayed details that are usually lost in bodies taken from the water, but the apparent preservation of these details in the visage of the cast seemed to only reinforce its authenticity.*

There are a lot more stories about her in the internet if anyone is interested. I always found her face and the story so intriguing.
I know this collage is rather different to what I often make, but sometimes I seem to need to do such things! The first photo shows the painted background,

Hope you all have a good day, take care, and thanks for dropping in!


  1. OOOh, Val, this is a bit creepy, but I love it! Nice story, too, about that poor girl. Have a good day, and take it easy, hugs, Sarah

  2. Hi Valerie. Sounds like you had a perfect day yesterday with Inge. What an intriguing story about the girl. Lovely work.
    Regards Florence x

  3. Your out and about day with Inga yesterday sounds wonderful. The death mask story is fascinating and I understand why you are so intrigued. The collage is amazing .. so much depth, and so many different pieces in a small area. Very interesting. Glad you are not doing H*****K. It's not what it's cracked up to be! Enjoy the rest of your day Valerie. Hugs, Donna

  4. My, oh my...
    I really like your painted background. Then the collage on top of this... wonderful artwork.
    Thank you for sharing your talents, always <3

  5. On reading the story behind the mask I can see why you were interested in it. The collage is super, the background makes you look closer at the details. That 'H' word is a no go word in my house as well. Yvonne x

  6. Interesting (if creepy) story about the mask Valerie - loving the collage.
    Sounds like a good day with Inge yesterday.
    Hugs xx
    p.s. forget the "h" word again today and be creative!lol

  7. Hope your lovely day yesterday has recharged your batteries a bit. Great collage, love the painted background and a very interesting tale. Her face does look quite 'alive' - I can imagine her opening her eyes at any moment! Have a lovely day. Suze xx

  8. Lovely collage, the BG is gorgeous. I really enjoyed the story too.

  9. Very interesting, but a bit scary too. Poor girl getting drowned so young! Hugs, Barb

  10. What an interesting story Valerie and I love how you have placed her in your very vivid background a real contrast . Thank you so much for my fantastic parcel which arrived yesterday photo' s of which can be found on my blog today. Looks like I got the better part of the swap ha ! I will treasure them , well what,s left of them as two pieces have been purloined by my artist son already, I think I may need to hide the rest lol.


  11. You are very welcome, Marie, glad they got there safely!

  12. What an interesting story! Very nice piece.

  13. Interesting story...will have to delve into that further! Your collage has definitely captured the mystery!

  14. Hi Valerie
    There is something quite haunting about this piece, which I like lots!!!

  15. This is a beautiful piece of art and I am so happy you got rid of your "mouse"! hee-heeee!

  16. Lovely collage! We got back yesterday! Hugs, T

  17. Hi Valerie, such a lovely post,, your day out with your friend sounded so peacelfu and relaxing,, The story of the death mask is very interesting what ever version is true she looks as if she is smiling to me.Thankyou for sharing such a lovely story.Oh and your work is beautiful,, I would love to see your arty messy kitchen,, sounds just my style,

  18. lovely work, I even just like your painted background, art in itself!

    I hate housework too, lol! But sounds like a lovely visit with your friend.

  19. An interesting story of a beautiful face Valerie :)
    Von x

  20. A terrific informative post Valerie and loving your canvas. x

  21. Love the painted background, Valerie. It is always a joy to learn something new when we blog. Thanks for the terrific story of the lady of Seine or should I say "the lady out of the Seine."


    PS I had lunch today with friends and I agree there is nothing more refreshing and fun than to spend time with those we care about.

  22. Love the painted background and that's an intriguing story about the mask.

  23. Just catching up!

    That's a really interesting story about the young girl from the river - I hadn't heard about her before. Sad, though, for such a young girl to lose her life, and who knows how/why etc.

    Good to hear you had a lovely day with your friend - time really does fly when you're having fun!


  24. sounda like a beautiful day with your friend...what could be better. And, i love that you take your coffee back to bed...i should do that! what an intersting story about the lady in the seine. it's a very cool piece of art...
    a big thanks for all of your continued support! xo

  25. Hi Val, sorry I didn't post a comment yesterday, blogger was down for a bit but I read your mouse story and had to laugh. I kept chuckling to myself. I have thought I had seen dead critters too only to find out odd shapes or things not even remotely close. I have even see a dead mouse in the mousetrap only to have hubby look and nothing there at all. LOL
    Sounds like you had a good breakfast with your friend, and your collage is a bit creepy but very creative. Love that background.
    Take care, hope you are keeping well.


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