Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday History

Claude Monet
Rouen Cathedral at Sunset, 1893

This is one of many paintings (over 30) that Claude Monet, Impressionism Master, created of the Rouen Cathedral in Paris between 1892 - 1895. 
When Monet painted the Rouen Cathedral series, he had long since been impressed with the way light imparts to a subject a distinctly different character at different times of the day and the year, and as atmospheric conditions change. For Monet, the effects of light on a subject became as important as the subject itself. His Series Paintings, in which he painted many views of the same subject under different lighting conditions, are an attempt to illustrate the importance of light in our perception of a subject at a given time and place. Robert Pelfrey, in Art and Mass Media (Kendall/Hunt, 1996), says: By focusing on the same subject through a whole series of paintings, Monet was able to concentrate on recording visual sensations themselves. The subjects did not change, but the visual sensations – due to changing conditions of light – changed constantly. (166) 
So when you think you've exhausted subject matter, consider working from the exact same point of view over a period of years. What was Monet's driving force? Consider this and include at least 3 more examples from the series through web investigation.

Start Here - it's an awesome flash site that shows the progression of the works through the position of the sun - then search the web for your favorite points of view!
Happy Monday and welcome back!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Check This Out

Photograph from "The Silent Evolution" Underwater Sculpture Installation

Underwater Museum of Art
Jason de Caires Taylor’s underwater sculptures create a unique, absorbing and expansive visual seascape. Highlighting natural ecological processes Taylor’s interventions explore the intricate relationships that exist between art and environment. His works become artificial reefs, attracting marine life, while offering the viewer privileged temporal encounters, as the shifting sand of the ocean floor, and the works change from moment to moment. (
As we continue to check out contemporary artists consider the parameters that they work within. In a world where it seems as if "it's all been done before" artists continue to push the envelope and extend the definition of visual art. Follow this link to check out more of Jason deCaires Taylor's work and share your thoughts in your books.
Happy Friday and enjoy the vaca!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday History

Robert Indiana (1928 - Present)
Love, (6th Avenue, Manhattan) Cor-Ten steel 1970
Where is the Love?
Many of you have seen this image before - maybe you've traveled to one of the many cities with a "Love" sculpture or have seen the print version on any number of commercial products. Robert (Clark) Indiana is one of the most recognized artists of the Pop Art movement and created a body of work that is generally cheerful with a positive message. 
As Suggested by Wikipedia:
LOVE is a sculpture by American artist Robert Indiana. It consists of the letters LO (with the O canted sideways) over the letters VE. The image was originally designed as a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art in 1964, and first exhibited as a sculpture in New York City in 1970. The original three-dimensional version of LOVE is made of COR-TEN steel and has been on exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art since 1975.[1] The LOVE design has been reproduced in a variety of formats. Likewise, the sculpture has been recreated in multiple versions and a variety of colors, and is now on display around the world.
Check out more works by Indiana and see that he is much more than a one-hit-wonder. 
Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Check This Out

"Katsuro" Sharpie on Styrofoam Cup
Far From Ordinary
Art supplies are expensive, so why not make something out of readily available (and cheap) materials? Cheeming Boey has made a career out of drawing on styrofoam cups using Sharpie markers and has amassed quite a following because of it. Below is a brief bio on Boey:

Cheeming Boey is a game designer and animator based in Newport Beach, California. He creates designs on styrofoam cup using ordinary sharpie pens.
Boey chose cups for their availability. ‘People draw on napkins, receipts, wood. I was outside a coffee shop and had the urge to sketch while people watched. I found a foam cup on top of a trash can, and it was all I had, so that was what I worked with.’
He often lapses from one art style to another. ‘ I don’t like to limit myself to a distinct drawing style. I want to be able to branch out as much as possible. I think that has worked to my advantage, because different styles appeal to different crowds,’ he explains.
Following an incredible amount of buzz on the internet and articles in American newspapers such as The Orange County Register, Boey’s cups have now been featured in galleries as well.
So check this guy out - his work is definitely interesting - it might even be "your cup of tea."
Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Technical Tuesday

Harper, 36" x 48"
Pushpins on Board
Is This Art?
There is no question that the work of Eric Daigh is impressive, but it is extremely process driven and the actual act of creating the portrait is mapped out for him by a computer. Below is a great excerpt from Wikipedia:

Eric Daigh’s artwork combines creativity along with hours of diligent application. As a process artist, his work starts with taking a series of photographs of his subject. After carefully analyzing the photos, he uses a computer and specialized software to break an image down to a very low resolution and forces the computer to make the image out of only five colors (red, blue, yellow, black and white).[3] He then uses a grid map to show where to stick the pins row by row. At first glance, Daigh’s artwork appears to be a low-resolution portrait, but upon closer inspection, onlookers can see each piece is made up of thousands of colored pins. Many of his art pieces use over 11,000 pushpins to complete a three-foot by four-foot piece and as many as 25,000 pushpins for a four-foot by six-foot piece.[4] In Summer 2010, Daigh surpassed his own world record by creating a commissioned pushpin piece for automaker Acura, which used 109,687 pushpins.[5]
So my question to you is this - if you do consider Eric Daigh's work art, what makes it that way? Is he a pure technician that came up with a great idea and ran with it - and if so - what impact does that have in judging it as art?

There are no definitive answers to this question, but I'm interested in your opinion. Check out this blog post to help inform your opinion.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday History

Eduard Manet 
A Bar at the Folies-Bergere, 1882
Eduard Manet
This is one of my favorite paintings from this time period because of the expression in the subject's face; she has an ambivalent stare that pierces the viewer.  I love the way the mirror behind her tells most of the story but does not reflect in a true to life manner - look at how the reflection of the barmaid is off-set to the right.
    About Manet as described by
(January 1832 – 30 April 1883) was a French painter. One of the first 19th-century artists to approach modern-life subjects, he was a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.
His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe) <-(Check this out!) and Olympia, engendered great controversy and served as rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism. Today, these are considered watershed paintings that mark the genesis of modern art.
IB 1 students - take some time to look carefully at the background and describe what you see as a response in your books. 

As always, keep your pencils sharp and your ideas fresh!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Check This Out

For this edition of Check This Out I have a revolutionary resource to share with you. Art Project, powered by Google is an online resource that allows you to "explore museums from around the world and discover and view hundreds of artworks at incredible zoom levels." This powerful resource lets you  explore the museum floors (similar to the way you navigate on Google Earth) or just view the artwork. New users should click here for an overview about the site and how to get started.

Check out some of the museums on the list, which are some of the best in the world!
Google will continue to add locations so check back often.

Happy Friday!