Tuesday, July 15, 2008

'Mama Frog' by Ambrosia, from the album with the same name

There is Jabberwocky poem inside this song (lyrics below):

The clock gets to be such a bore
What'cha livin' for
Though I can't explain, being sane's
Just a dreary chore
I'd like to go fly past mountains
See Mama Frog at her fountain
She'll be there in her golden frog
Sequined uniform
Golden chair, three trained human clowns
Who will soon perform
Balancing books with their heads
Trying to recall what they've said
Past the gate you will soon be in
A garden paradise
Don't be late there, the shining jewels
Sparkle in your eyes
All waiting there for your pleasure
What's keeping you from this treasure?
      (Narration of "Jabberwock" from "Alice In Wonderland")

     'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
     All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

     'Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
     Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!'

     He took his vorpal sword in hand:
      Long time the manxome foe he sought--
     So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
      And stood awhile in thought.

     And as in uffish thought he stood,
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
     Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!

     One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
     He left it dead, and with its head
      He went galumphing back.

     'And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
     O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
      He chortled in his joy.

     'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
     All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

The clock gets to be such a bore
What'cha livin' for
Though I can't explain, being sane's
Just a dreary chore
I'd like to go fly past mountains
See Mama Frog at her fountain

CHAPTER VI Pig and Pepper / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

... The door led right into a large kitchen, which was full of smoke from one end to the other: the Duchess was sitting on a three-legged stool in the middle, nursing a baby; the cook was leaning over the fire, stirring a large cauldron which seemed to be full of soup.

'There's certainly too much pepper in that soup!' Alice said to herself, as well as she could for sneezing.

There was certainly too much of it in the air. Even the Duchess sneezed occasionally; and as for the baby, it was sneezing and howling alternately without a moment's pause. The only things in the kitchen that did not sneeze, were the cook, and a large cat which was sitting on the hearth and grinning from ear to ear.

Friday, July 11, 2008

CHAPTER V Advice from a Caterpillar / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

'You are old,' said the youth, 'one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose--
What made you so awfully clever?'

'I have answered three questions, and that is enough,'
Said his father; 'don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs!'

CHAPTER V Advice from a Caterpillar / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

'You are old,' said the youth, 'and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak--
Pray how did you manage to do it?'

'In my youth,' said his father, 'I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.'

CHAPTER V Advice from a Caterpillar / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

'You are old,' said the youth, 'as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door--
Pray, what is the reason of that?'

'In my youth,' said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
'I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment--one shilling the box--
Allow me to sell you a couple?'

Thursday, July 10, 2008

CHAPTER V Advice from a Caterpillar / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

'You are old, Father William,' the young man said,
'And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head--
Do you think, at your age, it is right?'

'In my youth,' Father William replied to his son,
'I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.'

CHAPTER IV The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

... An enormous puppy was looking down at her with large round eyes, and feebly stretching out one paw, trying to touch her. 'Poor little thing!' said Alice, in a coaxing tone, and she tried hard to whistle to it; but she was terribly frightened all the time at the thought that it might be hungry, in which case it would be very likely to eat her up in spite of all her coaxing...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

CHAPTER IV The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

... a crowd of little animals and birds waiting outside. The poor little Lizard, Bill, was in the middle, being held up by two guinea-pigs, who were giving it something out of a bottle. They all made a rush at Alice the moment she appeared; but she ran off as hard as she could, and soon found herself safe in a thick wood...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

CHAPTER IV The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

... 'A barrowful of WHAT?' thought Alice; but she had not long to doubt, for the next moment a shower of little pebbles came rattling in at the window, and some of them hit her in the face...

CHAPTER IV The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

... Bill's got the other--Bill! fetch it here, lad!

Monday, July 7, 2008

CHAPTER III A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

... There was no 'One, two, three, and away,' but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out 'The race is over!' and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, 'But who has won?'...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

CHAPTER III A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

... First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, ('the exact shape doesn't matter,' it said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there...

CHAPTER III A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

'In that case,' said the Dodo solemnly, rising to its feet, 'I move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more energetic remedies--'

'Speak English!' said the Eaglet. 'I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and, what's more, I don't believe you do either!' And the Eaglet bent down its head to hide a smile: some of the other birds tittered audibly...

CHAPTER III A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

'Ahem!' said the Mouse with an important air, 'are you all ready? This is the driest thing I know. Silence all round, if you please! "William the Conqueror, whose cause was favoured by the pope, was soon submitted to by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late much accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria--"'...

CHAPTER III A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

They were indeed a queer-looking party that assembled on the bank--the birds with draggled feathers, the animals with their fur clinging close to them, and all dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

CHAPTER II The Pool of Tears / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

... Alice led the way, and the whole party swam to the shore...

CHAPTER II The Pool of Tears / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

... For the Mouse was swimming away from her as hard as it could go, and making quite a commotion in the pool as it went...

Friday, July 4, 2008

CHAPTER II The Pool of Tears / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

... Just then her head struck against the roof of the hall: in fact she was
now more than nine feet high...

CHAPTER I Down the Rabbit-Hole / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

... Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head through the doorway; 'and even if my head would go through,' thought poor Alice, 'it would be of very little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only know how to begin.' For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

CHAPTER I Down the Rabbit-Hole / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

... suddenly, thump! thump! down she came upon a heap of sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over.
Alice was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on to her feet in a moment:she looked up, but it was all dark overhead; before her was another long passage, and the White Rabbit was still in sight, hurrying down it...

CHAPTER I Down the Rabbit-Hole / Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

... There was nothing so VERY remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so VERY much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, 'Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!' (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually TOOK A WATCH OUT OF ITS WAISTCOAT-POCKET, and looked at it, and then hurried on...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My first Alice

I'm going to publish illustrations from my first series (black/white ink drawings) here. Those illustrations were made in 1986, after a while of sketching of characters and scenes related to Alice's Adventures... I hope they (drawings) will fit to the blog format pretty well since blog for me is a kind of a diary, so I can share my my thoughts and doubts here. I also hope it could be entertaining for you, maybe a little. Alice in these illustrations is blond, because of my daughter Olga, who was ten years old at the time and was a source of inspiration for me. She was a lot like Alice then :)

Please share your thoughts - your comments will be appreciated.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

And now - about something completely different.

Well, why then? Because... Because it is also my production (my hobby). The song "Which Way the Wind Blows" from Anthony Phillips' first post-Genesis solo album "The Geese & the Ghost" 1977. Vocal - Phil Collins who, actually, doesn't need to be introduced. Anthony Phillips is one of the founding members of Genesis... And the footage is captured directly from my balcony.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Back in Blog.

Well, seems like I was too busy and almost forgot of my blog existence. Sorry about that. I was working on a new book Humpty Dumpty and Others. Here you can see the cover (which is still the subject to change). Book is almost ready to be printed. You can see several of the illustrations at Lipchenko.com Actually I'll put some of the pictures on the blog later. The edition is planned to be not as expensive as Alice (because of the digital print vs. offset), but still limited in quantities. Who's willing to be the happy owner of the book - don't hesitate and let me know. I'm going to announce the details of the upcoming edition and to open the subscription soon.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Short film about LCSNA Spring 2008 Meeting

It was a nice and eventful weekend in Washington. The Lewis Carroll Society of North America gathered for several days to attend their Spring meeting...

... the Spring 2008 Meeting of Lewis Carroll Society Of North America fulfilled its program with success and left us all with fond memories.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

LCSNA meeting photoalbum

Here are some pictures from the LCSNA meeting:

LCSNA Spring 2008 Meeting

and one more link to the photo montage about the meeting:

Monday, April 28, 2008

LCSNA Spring 2008 Meeting.

Just a brief one - I'm back from Washington where I had an honor to talk for the LCSNA. More information in the next post.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Stinehour Press to Close

What a very sad news! The Stinehour Press, printer, which printed my "Alice in Wonderland" will shut down by the end of Spring.

"The Stinehour Press, one of the country’s best known independent printers of high-end illustrated books, will shut down by the end spring. The announcement was made Monday by CEO Warren Bingham who, with a group of investors, acquired the company in 2002 after the multinational company that bought the press from the Stinehour family in 1998 said it planned to close the printer..." read more

Monday, April 7, 2008

Unknown photo concluded

Yes, that was April 1 joke (previous post), several different pictures a bit glue (clue) and scissors and - voila! New "unknown" finding - auction ready.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Unknown photo of Lewis Carroll

I've found this photo in Toronto's City Hall Archive, section of Arts and Literature. Obviously this is just a photocopy, not original. Text is almost unreadable, but no doubts there is in caps: CHARLES LUTWIDGE DODGSON and Ms. ALICE LIDDELL. Small italic letters couldn't read just the date: 1862, but I'm not sure. Who knows more about it, or has bigger image, please let me know.

Click here to enlarge

Monday, March 17, 2008

Герцогиня, как "типичный представитель"...


      Иллюстрируя Кэрролла художник имеет право на свою трактовку того или иного персонажа. Потому, что, часто персонаж появляется, действует, а внешне не описан никак. А читателю то надо его как-то себе представить.

      Вот например - Герцогиня. Обрисована очень скупо. В первой сцене, где она появляется («Поросенок и Перец») вообще никак. Только через диалог ее можно как-то начать себе представлять. Неуживчивый характер – склочница, опытный боец – совершенно не обращает внимания ни на перец, ни на летящую в нее посуду. Свои реплики выдает с «хриплым рычанием». Это и все в этой сцене, плюс, правда, совершенно циничное отношение к ребенку. Ну и, конечно (спасибо), указано, что она - Герцогиня, т.е. костюм мы можем себе представить.

      Вторая сцена, где действует Герцогиня – крокет. Здесь ее поведение несколько другое. В разговоре с Алисой такая медоточивость, что в сочетании с тем, что мы уже о ней знаем создает портрет дамы света, интриганки, которая может разговаривать очень мило если чувствует в собеседнике силу, значение(Алиса ведь приглашена на Королевский Крокет, а это вам не фунт изюму). Вспомним как она не затрудняла себя выражаться вежливо, разговаривая с какой-то зашедшей с улицы девочкой (Алиса в «Поросенок и Перец»). Медоточивость, сладкость достигают того предела, что она уже готова обнять Алису за талию. Вот тут-то мы впервые получаем пару слов о ее наружности. Во-первых она – “Very Ugly” (Очень Ужасна), во-вторых у нее острый подбородок, чуть далее – маленький острый подбородок. Да, еще – подбородок упирается в Алисино плечо, т.е. Герцогиня наша росточком-то невысока. Ну вот и все описание.

      Следует заметить, что Герцогиня у Сэра Джона Тэнниела, рисованная на мотив картины Квентина Мейсиса (а следом за ним и у многих других иллюстраторов, опиравшихся на тот же образ), безобразна несомненно, но подбородок ее далек от острого. (Картинки см. ниже, в посте на ту же тему по-английски). Безобразие Герцогини у Тенниела выглядит слишком прямолинейно, причем это безобразие старости(как у Козьмы Пруткова: - Отстань беззубая, твои противны ласки...), старое морщинистое лицо, слишком просто. Часто замечаешь, что красоту от безобразия отделяют всего какие-то несколько миллиметров, какая-то незначительная черта. Характерный пример здесь – Джулия Робертс, которая красива несомненно, но иногда, то ли камера не совсем правильно поставлена, то ли гример оплошал, но только ловишь себя на мысли: Боже, до чего безобразна, ну просто ведьма!

      В общем – я ничего не изобретал и моя Герцогиня взята из жизни. Ну такой тип женщины, да вы и сами встречали таких.

Monday, March 10, 2008

For my Russian friends

Наконец собрался сделать зеркало сайта на русском. Вот уже пару страничек выложил здесь. Ну и соответственно в BLOGе буду теперь и по-русски писать. Пока что "новости" (в кавычках, потому, что уже полтора месяца новостям) такие: книга наконец увидела свет. Кто не в курсе, это "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" Льюиса Кэрролла (на языке оригинала) с моими иллюстрациями, дизайном, версткой и т.п. Более подробно здесь.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Lewis Carroll Society of Canada meeting 26.01.2008

Lewis Carroll Society of Canada meeting 26.01.2008
This picture was taken on Lewis Carroll Society of Canada meeting January 26, 2008. Meeting take place at 535 Sheppard Avenue West at Oleg Lipchenko's residence. After meeting all the participants went to Nathan Philips Square to see the street show made by street theater from Netherland. Show was pretty strange variation of the story about Alice, strange but interesting. To see how it was look like please click on the photo or HERE

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Book is here

Well, I can finally slack off freely. All the books arrived and I've begun to distribute the pre-paid ones. All sides involved showed great understanding of the imortance of the project. The Stinehour Press did great job printing the edition and Acme binding made their part as good as possible. All of my subscribers - thank all of you for your patience. Book will arrive to you soon.

Oleg Lipchenko.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Freedom and Limits: how to illustrate Carroll's stories



      Lewis Carroll doesn’t always describe details of a scene: personalities, objects and settings. But when he does, he doesn’t do so right away. As I have already explained the Duchess, in order to be able to imagine her, one has to read examine the second scene in which she’s acting. But how are we supposed to view her in the first scene? It’s good that she was called “Duchess” what gives us a hint that she’s wearing a duchess’ costume. That is why one of the main jobs of an illustrator is to show what Carroll will describe later or will not describe at all.
      Let’s talk first about the surrounding in which the action is taking place. For example: everything that’s happening to Alice, Gryphon, and Mock Turtle, is usually drawn on seashore. Why? Carroll only gives two details to describe the surrounding, but not a single word about any seashore. Whoops! Sir John Tenniel used the ‘Lobster Quadrille’ poem’s circumstances for this scene, and almost every Illustrator then followed his way. I too, followed his tradition in my first black and white series of Illustrations. I even drew the Mock Turtle in a seaman costume. However, the more logical setup would be a place that is near to the Wonderful Garden, and where the Queen can walk freely without guards and courtiers, therefore it would probably take place somewhere in the Royal Palace. Gryphon is sleeping “in the sun” and this doesn’t explain the setting to us. It could be anywhere: on a ship’s deck, in a microscopic English garden, on the seashore (why not?). Or, maybe it is on the ledge of the royal chapel? Where else can you find Chimeras, Gryphons and Gargoyles? What about the rock on which the Mock Turtle was sitting? Why wouldn’t we consider the Japanese Garden of Stones, somewhere in the Royal Palace (a gift from the Emperor of Japan, for example)? Also, we have to notice that all these places: the Wonderful Garden, the place where the Griffon lay, and the rock on which the Mock Turtle sat, have to be near each other. In the time it took Alice to get from one place to another, she was only able to exchange a couple of sentences with the Queen and then the Gryphon. Even the way back, isn’t too long – the way to Royal Courtroom (which has to be also located in the Royal Palace).
      When I say that Carroll didn’t point out or explained details, it doesn’t undermine the quality of Carroll’s texts, because the main value of the story is in the character’s interactions and dialogues. The rest (details, circumstances, settings, and descriptions) is made up by our imagination. Illustrators’s job is to illustrate the story in their own image, but at the same time to not contradict even a single detail given by Carroll.

Oleg Lipchenko

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ugly Duchess character understanding


Quentin Massys                             John Tenniel

      Ugly Duchess has quite a history in illustration. Sir John Tenniel created her image based on the portrait 'A Grotesque Old Woman' (1513), by the Flemish artist Quentin Massys. Not exactly the same, but the influence was very obvious.

      Lets look at how the Ugly Duchess is described by Carroll; in the first scene there isn't even a hint of her appearance, she is full of pretence and we can only imagine what her true character is like by looking at her actions, analyzing her dialogues and speech. Such an ignorant and unfriendly person, she is a persistent fighter - she doesn't pay attention to the pepper in the air, or the dishes thrown at her. She makes her remarks with a "sudden violence". This is all that is said about her in the first scene. Plus, of course, an absolutely cynical attitude towards the baby.

Leonardo Da Vinci "Grotesque old woman"

      Another scene where the Duchess is acting - "Queen's Qroquet-Ground". Here, her behavior is quite different, her speech when addressing Alice has now become rather somewhat sweet. We see an experienced court-lady, who can speak very sweetly if she feels an importance of the person that she speaks to (we know that Alice was invited to the Queen's Qroquet-Ground, and that means something). We remember how she treated Alice when she (Alice) was just a stranger to her. As a matter of fact, she is trying to be so sweet that she is ready to hug Alice around her waist (which she doesn't do being aware of the flamingo in Alice's hands). Here is the first time we get a few words regarding her appearance. First of all, she's very "ugly". Secondly, she has an "uncomfortably sharp chin", and lastly, "she was exactly the right height to rest her chin upon Alice's shoulder"- so she wasn't taller than Alice. And that is all that is said about her appearance.

      I wish to point out, that Sir John Tenniel's Duchess is undoubtedly ugly, but her chin is quite far from being sharp. Many illustrators followed the tradition of Tenniel's illustrations. Ugliness of the Duchess (in this tradition), is straightforward - it is an ugliness of old age; an old, wrinkly, male-shaped face. I think that this way is too cliche. From my observations, the human face's attractiveness is quite a tricky subject. It is very often that beauty and ugliness differ due to the existence of a small feature(s). The perfect example to me would be the famous movie star Ms.*, who is beautiful because of the camera, makeup, and a properly set up light. But every now and then these conditions (or one of them), fail to perform their function. It is at these moments where you look at her and realize "Oh my God, she's plain ugly!"

      Generally, when drawing my version of the Duchess, I didn't invent anything. My Duchess is taken from real life; this type of face, nose, etc... That kind of person everybody has met. By the way, the personality of this type of people is usually the same. So I'm guessing whether Lewis Carroll would have approved my version of this character. At least, Carroll didn't mean the image of the Quentin Messis's portrait when he wrote his Duchess.


      The Ugly Duchess personality was carried out into the second book, but into a different character; the Red Queen. They have a lot in common, evidentially the same prototype was used for both the characters. This is meaningless to most readers up until they start reading the second book, however to an illustrator who wants to understand the character more deeply, this relation is quite evident. They are both addicted to using hyperboles: when Alice said "... I can't quite follow it as you say it", the Duchess replied "That's nothing to what I could say if I chose", compared to Looking Glass; when Alice said "...I thought I'd try and find my way to the top of that hill", the Red Queen answered "When you say hill, I could show you hills, in comparison with which you'd call that a valley." Both of them also like to teach Alice, and seek out the moral in every situation, conversation or anything at all.

Oleg Lipchenko