Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday History

Edward Hopper
Early Sunday Morning, 1930
Oil on Canvas, 35" x 60"

Edward Hopper was best known for his painting "The Nighthawks," but it's paintings like the one above that make him one of the most important painters of his time.  "Early Sunday Morning" is just one of many paintings that Hopper did during the Great Depression that capture the mood of an era in a subtle but poignant way.  Below is an excerpt from one of my favorite Art History sites,
"Edward Hopper painted American landscapes and cityscapes with a disturbing truth, expressing the world around him as a chilling, alienating, and often vacuous place. Everybody in a Hopper picture appears terribly alone. Hopper soon gained a widespread reputation as the artist who gave visual form to the loneliness and boredom of life in the big city. This was something new in art, perhaps an expression of the sense of human hopelessness that characterized the Great Depression of the 1930s."
Whether the subject matter was figure or landscape, urban or rural, Hopper (in my opinion) was a master of capturing time and place.  Enjoy the work and investigate further.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Check This Out

"Walker" 2008
20” x 36” x 12”
Reclaimed objects (mostly brown, black and clear plastic) and scrap metal
"Reclaimed" Objects Sculptor 
I like Ganz for her inventive arrangements of found objects. Her figures have enough information to read in a literal sense, but the areas she chooses to omit are what make the work interesting to me.  It's almost like viewing a cross-section in-the-round.
Read through her artist statement (below) and take some time to check her out by following the link above:
    My work process is reminiscent of my experiences growing up in several different countries, of being disconnected from the place I was born. Then, I began searching for a new community where I truly belong. I find discarded objects from peoples’ houses and give them a second life, a new home. For my sculptures I use plastic utensils, toys and metal pieces among other things. I only select objects that have been used and discarded. The human history behind these objects gives them life in my eyes.  My goal is for each object to transcend its origins by being integrated into an animal form that seems alive. This process of reclamation and regeneration is liberating to me as an artist.
    By building these sculptures I try to understand the human relationships that surround me. It is a way for me to contemplate and remind myself that even if there is conflict right now, there is a way for all the pieces to fit together. That even if some people don’t feel at home here and now, there is a place where they belong and that they will eventually find it.
 Happy Friday and as always, keep those pencils sharp and eyes open!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday History

Jacques-Louis David
The Death of Marat, 1793
Oil on Canvas, 64" x 50"

Controversy in Art
Compare this heading to your initial impressions of this piece - what might make it controversial? Investigate a little about Jacques-Louis David and consider how is ties with the French Revolution have an impact on the message of this masterwork. David is considered by most to be the greatest painters of the Neoclassical movement and had a career that sounds more like a movie script than a story from art history. 

This excerpt from Wikipedia offers a quick glance at the context of this painting:
This work refers to the assassination of radical journalist Jean-Paul Marat, killed on the 13th of July 1793 by Charlotte Corday, a French Revolutionary figure from a minor aristocratic family. Corday, who blamed Marat for the September Massacres and feared an all out civil war, claimed "I killed one man to save 100,000." 
Where do you go from here? Find out more about the background of David, who created many pieces that would crack the top 100 paintings of all time including the "Oath of the Horatii" and "Napoleon at the Saint-Bernard Pass." Enjoy these pieces and try to understand their role in not only the history of art, but of the world as well.
Happy Monday!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Check This Out

Between Cities, 12" x 16"
Acrylic on Paper
Acrylic on paper is a common approach to illustration, but Amy Casey's work is far from ordinary. The concept of urban vs. rural works well in her pieces, but the intriguing part about Amy Casey is the way she arranges her subject matter within the composition. For those of you looking for the equivalent to a professional "concentration," the work you will view on Amy's website is a great example of one. IB-1ers, don't just show me a printout of Between Cities, find other works by Amy Casey on her site and talk about the way you think she goes about creating these whimsical images.

Keep your pencils sharp and your eyes open!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Check This Out

Fall 2008, Cut Paper Sculpture
210 x 240 x 70cm
I came across Peter Callesen years ago and somehow forgot about him for some time until a student of mine suggested him to me, sharing this link (thanks Mel!).  I'm drawn to his work because of the transformation that takes place in such a seemingly simple and limited subject - white paper.  Below is an excerpt about his paper sculptures:
The paper cut sculptures explore the probable and magical transformation of the flat sheet of paper into figures that expand into the space surrounding them. The negative and absent 2 dimensional space left by the cut, points out the contrast to the 3 dimensional reality it creates, even though the figures still stick to their origin without the possibility of escaping. In that sense there is also an aspect of something tragic in many of the cuts.
Check out his website and you will see that not only is he a talented artist with unique ideas, but he is also a WORKHORSE! I had the hardest time selecting a piece to share with you due to the vast options presented on his awesome website.  I believe there is something for everyone here, from small works done using standard, A4 paper to large-scale interior installations.  
So what are you waiting for? Check this out!
Happy Friday,

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday History

Edvard Munch
The Sun, Oil on Canvas, 1911
Something to "Scream" About
Although Edvard Munch is well-known for his painting "The Scream" (which illustrates the artist's inner anxiety caused by a blood-red sky) his landscape paintings take on a different aesthetic.  His style lends itself to works that have movement, and his color palette is quite serene in the image above title "The Sun."  I've seen so many landscape paintings that bore me to tears, but Munch's style gives an organic liveliness to the scenes he chooses to depict. Check out more of Munch's work at Olga's Gallery, where you will see that he is much more than a one-trick pony.  
Keep your pencils sharp and your eyes open!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Check This Out

Planes Congregation, Oil on Canvas

Glennray Tutor is relevant to emerging artists because he has a clear vision and focus in his work.  It is evident that he is a master technical artist and his website boasts that he is a photorealist painter (don't you just love context clues?).  What are the themes that you see in his work? Why do you think he gravitates to the subject matter he works with? Consider these thoughts as you determine the value of his work to you.  

Happy Friday!

If you like Glennray Tutor, then check out Jason De Graaf as well!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Technical Tuesday

When working with acrylic paints, consider these colors as replacements for black in the shadows. Click the image above for a larger, legible version.  
Keep your pencils sharp and your eyes open!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday History

Ralph Goings
Still Life with Creamer (1982)
Oil on Canvas, 38" x 52"

Ralph Goings is one of the founding members of the Photo-Realist art movement (1960s), known for their hyper-realistic paintings of everyday life.  I chose this for his rendering of metallic objects, something that requires a heightened sense of observation to pull off.  Ask yourself this - how much "gray" is actually used in pulling off the illusion of a metallic surface?  The key is in the reflections that are distorted by the form of the object.  

Most of us can't achieve this level of realism in our work, but remember that most who value art would consider this kind of technical work unnecessary.  With that said, as a student of drawing & painting - paintings like this are the stars that you should be reaching for.  Having skill like this would permit you to break any rule that exists in the art world.

Happy New Year!