Sunday, November 11, 2012

What the Art Teacher Wore #42

Full of Hot Air Monday: Because my first graders are learning all about hot air balloons, I decided to dedicate some of my wardrobe to this theme. I was thrilled when I found these hot air balloon tights on etsy...and even happier when I discovered they were made in Nashville! top: anthro, gift from a friend; skirt: vintage, picked up in an antique shop in Germany; tights: Carousel Ink; boots: vintage, thrifted
 Greetings from Slacker-land. Apart from the loooong hike hubs and I took today (eight miles! total keister-kicker!), this week has found me doin' a whole lotta nuthin. Which I blame entirely on a book I've had my nose stuck in. Because we don't know each other that well, I'm embarrassed to tell you what I've been reading (I swear it's not 50 Shades!). What I will tell you is that I'm not allowing myself to read the next book until I complete some unfinished DIY bidness. But enough about that.

Have you met Jim Flora? I've loved his cartoon-y kitsch style of paintings, drawings and prints for some time and I thought I'd share them with you this week. I love how his work is so energized that is seems to wiggle around the canvas. I hope you enjoy seeing his work as much as I do.
The artist and a self-portrait. James "Jim" Flora is an American artist born in 1914. He's best known for the album covers he created for RCA Victor and Columbia records during the height of awesome design: the 1940's and 50's. What I find more interesting is his personal work that often had some biazzro overtones.
Florals and Balloons Tuesday: When I'm attempting to mix and match patterns, as I tried to here in the above ensemble, I hold garment after garment side by side until a sudden "ooohh, that works" happens. Later, I often think, "what in the world was I thinking?!" but today, I think I'm okay. dress and belt: sale, Anthro; sweater: Ann Taylor, thrifted; fishnets and tights: Target; boots: Frye
Mambo for Cats, 1955 I mean really. How great is this? I love the Picasso-style face one the middle cat as well as the mustaches. You can listen to this album here if you are interested. And you should be because it's fantastic. Apparently, Flora was a huge lover of music, calling it his muse, and I think this album cover shows that love.
The Panic is On, 1954 I noticed that in many of Mr. Flora's work, he'll either use a solid white or black background. No interference from the background for his imagery in the foreground. Simply awesome.
Dirty Looks Wednesday: So I'm at the bookstore buying that paperback I haven't been able to put down, when I turn around to see an older gentleman nudging his wife and pointing at me. She looks at me and makes this flinch-y face at my outfit, particularly my blue-fishnet-over-green-tights legs. By the time she finally looks up at my face, I made sure to give her the biggest I-just-caught-you-staring-at-me smile I could muster. Despite my annoyance. I mean, it's one thing to not like what someone is wearing, but do you really have to be rude about it? Me thinks not. still on our hot air balloon kick top: Anthro; tights and skirt: Target; shoes: Dolls by Nina
I can't seem to find the title of this work, but it looks very similar to one titled The Big Bank Robbery. You know my love for It's A Small World artist Mary Blair. This work reminds me of a wonky Small World. Both artists worked during the same era but it's apparent that Mr. Flora had a different wacky flair.
Manahattan. Not only did Mr. Flora design album covers, he's also the author/illustrator of 17 children's books. I'm dying to get my mitts on them. While he worked on books and album covers, he also worked on his personal art which is often described as playful, erotic and macabre. And subtle. Apparently during one of his last exhibits, his body of work had a nautical theme. Inside the tiny boat images where naughty little scenes that could only be made out by magnifying glass.
Pencil Perfect Thursday: My goal for Thursday was to have completed my DIY Hot Air Balloon dress...but that book! I couldn't stop reading! So, it still hangs in my sewing room, mocking me. So I went all pencil-y instead. sweater: Urban Outfitters, on sale now!; skirt: DIY by me here; shoes: another DIY, look here; pencil hairclip: yeah, that's by me too. As if you couldn't tell.
Would you just look at that tiny wood cut?! Amazing. I spent last weekend at an art teacher conference where we carved into linoleum blocks. And I thought mine was at least kinda sorta detailed. Mr. Flora put mine to shame. I'll share my block and what I did with it in an upcoming post.
This print reminds me of another of my favorite artists, Thomas Hart Benton. I love the crooked street lamp.
Tiger Run Friday: It was our school's third annual Tiger Run! I think I ended up going a good four miles around the track with the kids. It was the perfect day for it. tie-dyed shirt: tie-dyed in art class, DIY'ed at home with ribbons and scissors; skirt and black top: Target; tiger tights and tiger ears: amazon; shoes: Earth Shoes
Connecticut Shore, 1954. Jim Flora lived a long life that ended in 1998. His artwork seems so familiar to me mostly because of how many other artists have since been strongly influenced by his style. His style is so popular that when googling around, I found that you can even purchase Jim Flora wallpaper. Pure awesomeness.
I hope you have a wonderful week!


  1. I just love these intro to artists lessons. Terrific Tiger Girl look! Love the blouse ribbons. The tiger tights kind of echo the jaunty lines of Connecticut Shore. Way cool.

  2. Anonymous11/12/2012

    Quirky artwork I love it! Thanks for the intro.
    Aren't people rude? You should've stared at her outfit in return ;-)

    Rachell from the little room

    1. I know, it always surprises me when people are rude. Oh well, toughens the skin ;) BTW, I started on the dress pattern you sent me! Fingers crossed it turns out well :)

  3. Love all the awesomeness!! Poo on those who don't appreciate! Glad you could muster a smile, would have been tough for me.
    I really want to make some pencil shoes!! a-DORABLE!

  4. mallory11/12/2012

    OK, so how amazingly stinkin' cute are YOU in your tiger run outfit?! You make me sick! I would look like a puffy toddler if I showed up in that :) haa

    Also, I am loving this Mr. Flora dude-- must research.

    Everything else, amazing as always.
    p.s. I will punch that rude, dirty faced lady in the throat.

    1. Dear Mallory, I luvs you, you duh bestest. Thank you for punching the rude-ies in the throats-ies :) I thought you'd like Jim Flora! Now check out his modern-day version Tim Biskup! cass

  5. I love all the prints. I've never heard of Jim Flora but I find his art stunning. Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful week!

  6. Cassie, I often try to make a cute outfit using my colorful tights and boots, prints mixed...just like you do all the time...this time of year I just fail, and wind up in jeans daily;)I'll keep reading and learning and eventually maybe I'll get it...

  7. I love reading peoples thoughts on my late father in law who I absolutely adored. The man was so much fun.


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