Birthday Collections

Thursday, 4 August 2011


It's my birthday this Sunday and I feel like sharing some lovely bits and pieces in honour of my birthday, starting with a few of my favourite images from my Pinterest boards. I adore the painting above by Jakob Alt, because sometimes I think all I'd like in life is a window with a view, a table, desk and the luxury of time and fresh paper before me.

A few of my other favourite images include ...


Society of Artists' Selection Committee, Sydney, 1907/photographer Henry King

An artists' meeting on the floor you say? Why, yes please.


A boy sits amid the ruins of a London bookshop following an air raid on October 8, 1940, reading a book titled "The History of London."

There are so many things that are touching about this image, I find myself continually returning to it.


A French resistance fighter being arrested in France, July 1944.

I have such an intense emotional reaction to this photo, and I keep following the French resistance fighter's downward gaze.


James Dean

A stripe top, an open book, a glass of milk, a pensive gaze. Just about the perfect image.


Film still from Into the Wild

This moment always gets me.


Jane Eyre Print

I'd love to hang this print on my wall. I really like the way the artist has captured the landscape elements within the depiction of Jane and Rochester - it seems to evoke the moody atmosphere of the moors, as described in the novel.


W. B. Yeats by John Singer Sargent, 1908.

Who's a handsome fellow then?

sketch by me

And speaking of sketches, I re-discovered these sketches I did in high school while cleaning up my folders this week. I had a slight obsession with the Pre-Raphaelite artists when I was in high school, and I used to spend hours sketching their paintings. Looking at these sketches makes me want to go sit in the sun and draw for a while.

sketch by me

sketch by me

sketch by me


My good friend Marina, who runs the fabulous blog Shake & tumble, sent me the link to this hilarious blog called My Daguerreotype Boyfriend. Needless to say, I love everything about this blog, including the captions for some of the images. My favourite one so far is the caption for the above portrait of Fridtjof Nansen: 'This Norwegian explorer, scientist, and Nobel laureate would like to discover the hidden frontiers of your soul.' A caption worthy of that fine brooding gaze and icy blonde moustache.

note from a lovely blog reader

I've received a few early birthday presents in the mail, one of which is from a lovely blog reader of mine, Odessa, who sent me a package full of goodies. Thank you so much Odessa, you're so sweet! I think the nicest thing about the present though is the note she sent me.

mervyn peake

I received many, many books. People obviously know me all too well. One of the most fascinating books I received is called The Art of Gormenghast. I'm mesmerised by this photo of Mervyn Peake, which was taken in 1945 when he worked as a war artist.


I also bought myself a little present from one of my favourite etsy stores, Elephantine, run by Rachel. I could happily buy everything in this little shop. These gorgeous earrings are just too pretty (photo by Rachel).

Before I leave ...

: : A few articles on Desktop written by me that you may have missed.

: : My latest guest post on Leeloo.

: : I answered some more quick questions on The Iceberg, and read Anabela's own great interview.

: : And have you heard? They're making Jack Kerouac's On the Road into a film. I heard about this a while ago, and I can't wait to see it.

Have a great rest of the week and wonderful weekend. I'm taking a very small birthday blogging break till Tuesday.


aldrin said...

I hope you have a lovely birthday weekend, Hila! And thank you for the shout out.

Emily said...

Oh happy birthday for Sunday then. In Germany people are horribly superstitious about wishing someone this in advance which I find a bit silly. You have such exquisite taste, as well as artistic talent and I'm rather jealous. The picture of the boy reading in the shell of the bookshop and the portrait of Yeats are somehow the most haunting for me.

heleen said...

Oh my, you are quite a talented artist! Could it be that I recognise some Waterhouse there? Why did you ever give up on drawing? (or have you..?)

I have a birthday weekend ahead of me as well. Not mine, but my mother is turning 60 and we're throwing a surprise party. While I'm typing this, I hear my sister and my mum's boyfriend's giggles in the kitches, cutting mushrooms and salmon and mmhm! I better join them! Have a lovely birthday, Hila. Your blog is a continual inspiration and always triggers within me the enormous desire to CREATE. Thank you for that.

Tracey said...

Enjoy your small blogging break Hila, and of course I shall send you many happy returns for your birthday. I adore the images you've collected and shared ... I think I would like to live in that first painting! Oh and join an artists' meeting on the floor and just gaze upon the emotions and scenes captured in each. Your sketches are lovely ... I never was much of a drawer, but I see your talent stretches beyond the written form. xx

PS. So sorry it's taken me so long to come and pay you a return blog visit. As you know I've recently returned from a blog break, and well sometimes I seem to save the best till last. I should be around a bit more regularly again from now on.

Molly said...

¡Feliz cumpleaƱos Hila! I hope you have the loveliest birthday weekend, and thank you for sharing these images before you go! I'm so happy you shared your high school sketches— they're so impressive, better than anything I sketched in high school, hehe. Hopefully you do find some time this weekend to enjoy the outdoors and sketch/read/do nothing :)

Jane Flanagan said...

Happy birthday!

Caitlin Rose said...

Oh Hila, happy birthday. I love your collection of photographs, all of them have such intensity. And your drawings are beautiful. AND you through in James Dean, James Franco, Jane Eyre, AND John Singer Sargent, your a woman after my own heart.

I hope you have a lovely break and a lovely birthday.

andrea despot said...

happy birthday, hila! thanks for sharing so many lovely things :)

Danielle P. said...

How generous of you to share these with us on the occasion of your birthday! These images are lovely and thought-provoking... mmm, reminds me of someone!

Have a wonderful birthday!

Felix Curds said...

happy burpday for sunday dearest hila. thanks for sharing all these images. i love your sketches and am currently going through an intense phase of pre-raphelite fangirling, perhaps its something that all teen girls go through? haha:)

Thea said...

happy birthday, hila! i hope you have a magnificent time.

the photographs of the society of artists and the boy in the ruined bookshop are absolutely amazing. your sketches are also beautiful. thank you so much for sharing. x

Nancy Baric *negfilm said...

well i guess i have a date with your blog on sunday!! ;))

in the interim...thank you for being so sensitive (on a million levels) hila.

Liza said...

Happy birthday! I hope you have an especially lovely weekend.

naomemandeflores said...

Hila, your Pinterest is such a great find! Lovely, inspiring images. Have a wonderful birthday on Sunday and enjoy your birthday blogging break.

Camila Faria

Camille said...

Have a lovely birthday Hila! I cannot take my eyes off that photo of the bookstore, it just means so much, on so many different levels... Also, I'm really excited (but a little apprehensive--how is the narrative going to work?) to see On The Road, especially since it has partly been filmed in my hometown (Hull) and in the city where I currently live (Montreal). Have a fantastic birthday weekend! x

Naomi Bulger said...

I read this post last night and spent a long time looking over the dreamy images. Woke up this morning and the French resistance fighter is still haunting me. Thank you for sharing this list, and wishing you a wonderful birthday with a year to come filled with love, adventure, precious surprises and unexpected inspiration.

tywo said...

I hope you have a lovely one. These images are beautiful!


Acacia said...

Happiest of brithdays-on-Sunday!

Olga said...

You are very generous. Even on your birthday, you give us the gift of so many beautiful images. Happy birthday, dear friend! I hope you will spend the time with lots of fun!

elliottwithlove said...

Happy early birthday, Hila! I hope you have an extra splendid weekend. And thank you for sharing with us all those great images. The French resistance fighter, James Dean, and the sketch of Yeats are my favorite of the bunch. So captivating.

lola is beauty said...

Happy birthday Hila and this is the best blog post ever! I love the picture of Mervyn Peake, the boy reading in the bookshop ruins and the french resistance fighter. I also love Elephantine, got a little ring from her that I never take off.

rachel said...

hi, Hila! this was such a lovely post to read. (your sketches are wonderful.) and thank you for including the earrings – I hope you love them! wishing you a very happy birthday.

Sasha said...

Such a lovely post. It was like discovering treasure with each downward scroll. I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

steph. said...

happiest birthday lovely lady!

that jane eyre print is beautiful. and is it odd to be completely, utterly, i-want-it-NOW jealous of that boy at the bookshop's hair? sigh. i have no curls to speak of.

i'm so glad you liked the tunes/videos as well :)

much love x

Ella said...

happy early birthday!

these are some great picks you have here, that jane eyre illustration is absolutely stunning! :)

Lyndall said...

Happy early birthday Hila!

I love this post!
- The first painting is my idea of heaven!
- Love the Jane and Rochester painting, such a great style.
- I shared your love for Pre-Raphaelite art in high school too! My year 12 art project was an illustration of the myth of Narcissus, heavily inspired by lots of Waterhouse paintings :)
- And finally, 'The Art of Gormenghast' looks amazing! I loved those books, and loved the tv series. Johnathan Rhys Meyers was so perfect for the role of Steerpike.

Jazzy E (hivenn) said...

Amazing. x hivenn

L.A. PLAYLIST said...

it was my birthday yesterday!!! :) yay for august birthdays!!! :) happy early birthday!!! god bless you!! and have a great weekend!!! :)


P R I M O E Z A said...

what a lovely post hila. the top image with your commentary is just wonderful. happy birthday.

Galit said...

Happy happy birthday Hila!! And what a wonderful post!
I enjoyed going over it slowly, linger at the photos and your words. Just beautiful.
I love your sketches so much!!! You should absolutely sketch some more! (a new sketchbook as a birthday present is in order!)
Have a fabulous birthday year dear one! xx

Chiara said...

hi, I just found this post on Bryan Ferry's blog (
and I was reminded of the painting by Jakob Alt you like... I think they're very alike, don't you?
ps. your blog is really good, I'm a recent but passionate follower :)


Fabiola Gordillo said...

Thanks for the post. Wwow this is a really different blogg, amazing work, and you post a picture of the film into the wild, wow wow wow! that movie are amazing, I love it.

hila said...

Thanks for all the birthday wishes everyone!

aldrin: my pleasure!

emily; I've never heard of that superstition, it's kind of sweet though :)

heleen: happy birthday to your mother! and thank you, that's very kind of you to say. I haven't really given up on drawing, I just don't have as much time as I used to, and also, I don't really share my drawings online. I suppose I'm too shy. and yep, there is a waterhouse sketch there ... ;)

tracey: no need to apologise, I understand how life can take over. And I could live in that first painting too.

molly: I did find the time to do all these things, and it was heaven :)

jane flanagan: thank you!

caitlin rose: thanks! you're a woman after my own heart too :)

andrea: thanks and it's my pleasure.

danielle: aww, shucks, thanks! xx

felix curds: burpday was terrific :) and yes, I suspect that obsessing over the pre-raphaelites may be a teen girl's right of passage - or is that just us?

thea: they are such touching photos, aren't they? thank you sweetie!

nancy: right back at you lady! xx

liza: thank you!

camila: thanks :)

naomi: I hope it's filled with all those things too :) and that image of the french resistance fighter is particularly powerful.

tywo, acacia, olga and elliottwithlove: thank you!

lola is beauty/claire: I have that ring too - I wear it all the time. It's so pretty and delicate.

rachel: thanks for the earrings I love them - I wore them last night and got a compliment :)

sasha: thank you!

steph: you can have my curls if you like :) thanking you kindly!

ella: I want that illustration so much, sigh.

lyndall: ah, we have so much in common - I agree with every point you've made.

hivenn: thanks!

jessel: and yay for leos!

primoeza/elizabeth: thanks elizabeth, I love that first painting so much.

galit: I think i need to find more time to sketch. I love doing it, but I'm usually too busy. Thank you lovely galit!

chiara: you're right, they are similar - I just read that post the other day.

fabiola gordillo: thank you!

L.A. PLAYLIST said...

yay leos!!! :D let's be friends!! :D

hila said...

leos rule :)

Danielle P. said...

And Virgos are their secretaries ;-)

L.A. PLAYLIST said...

hahah we all rule! ;)

hila said...

secretaries? surely not ;)

Principia said...

happy belated birthday hila!

L.A. PLAYLIST said...

hahaha hila add me on facebook! :) let's be friends! :)

Jessel Violago


hila said...

principia: thanks!

jessel: I'm keeping facebook pretty private these days :)