Abraham Mignon

Abraham Mignon, Dutch Golden Age still life and florals
Abraham Mignon (sometimes Minjon) was a German/Dutch floral and still life painter active in the Dutch “Golden Age” (17th century).

His paintings are often elaborate tableaux of flowers, fruits, seafood and dinnerware. They can be marvels of intricate detail, with the inclusion of beautifully painted insects, snails, frogs and salamanders, arranged in a way to provide the viewer with the fascination of finding them in addition to marveling at the finessed rendering of the primary objects.

Like other still life and floral painters of the time, He also usually introduced deliberate flaws into the depiction of the otherwise beautiful fruits and flowers, a kind of memento mori — a reminder that time and life are fleeting.

Though the choice of subject matter and composition of his paintings is in keeping with his contemporaries, the way Mignon handles the color and texture of individual objects often has a remarkably contemporary feeling.

There is an article on the site of the Statens Museum for Kunst that describes the process of restoring some of this paintings, and what the process revealed about his technique.

The Rijksmuseum has six of his works online in zoomable high-resolution (downloadable if you sign up for a free Rijksstudio account). There are also two high-res images on the site of the National Gallery, DC. There are more on Google Art Project and other sites listed below.


Eye Candy for Today: Whistler’s Weary

Weary, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, drypoint eteching  /><br />
<a href=Weary, James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; there is also a downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons; the original is in the collection of the Freer/Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Museums, DC.

Drypoint, third state of six, roughly 8 x 5″ (19 x 13 cm).

This is one of James Whistler’s most famous etchings.

A master etcher, Whistler here used the process of drypoint to portray his lover and frequent model Joanna Hiffernan in a moment of repose.

Drypoint is a printmaking technique similar to etching that involves scratching lines directly into the plate rather then scratching away a lines in a resist that is then carved by immersion in acid. Drypoint leaves an even softer line than etching, and Whistler’s flurry of soft lines give the modeling of the face and hair beautifully soft edges, the printmaking equivalent of a painter’s sfumato technique.

The hatching across the face looks a bit odd in magnified view, but when viewed at normal size resolves into delicate modeling of the facial features.

Despite the obvious attention devoted to the face and upper body, the rest of the composition feels almost casual; the right hand just seems to dissolve into he gesturally indicated folds of the dress, and Whistler hasn’t attempted to fully hide the upside-down face in the lower left — that indicates he originally started a different drawing on this plate. (I’ve turned the face 180° in the images above, bottom.)

Like most etchings and drypoints there are multiple versions of the image pulled from various states of the plate. The Freer/Sackler collection includes two more of the fourth state, here and here. The Metropolitan Museum of Art also has a state 4 pull from the plate. In my brief searching, I’ve found mostly state 4 versions; there is apparently no known existing print from the sixth state of the plate.

Here is a record of the 5 other states on the University of Glasgow’s Whistler etchings catalogue raisonné.


Igor Sava

Igor Sava, watercolor cityscape Italy
Originally from Kotovsk, Russia, and now based in Rome, Igor Sava is a watercolor painter who focuses on cityscapes in his adopted country.

Sava’s approach combines deft control of edges with the visual charm of freely mixed washes. His architectural subjects carry a feeling of atmosphere and light, as well as the textures of their materials.

On his website, you will find a gallery of paintings, as well as smaller galleries of watercolor figure sketches and imaginative subjects.

There is a brief YouTube video of Sava painting at the 2016 International Watercolor Society Biennial.


Eye Candy for Today: Silvered Brook by John Fabian Carlson

Silvered Brook by John Fabian Carlson
Silvered Brook, John Fabian Carlson

Link is to file page on Wikimedia Commons; I don’t know the status of the original.

Swedish-American painter John Fabian Carlson was noted for his scenes of winter woods.

I love the way he finds so much variation of color in his tree trunks, while maintaining their coherence as an object with careful control of value.


Phillip R. Jackson

Phillip R. Jackson, still life painting
Phillip Jackson is a still life painter based in Mississippi, where he is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

Among other training, Jackson studied with painting professor Dennis Wojtkiewicz at Bowling Green State University. (See my previous posts on Dennis Wojtkiewicz.)

Some of Jackson’s paintings take a straightforward but incisive approach to the representation of still life subjects; others have a mysterious, ephemeral quality, conveyed by his use of translucent layering and reflections.

In these, he seems to suggest layers of time, as though his subjects had been changed over time and his painting captured the changes.

In both approaches, he has a keen fascination with form as revealed by light, often dramatically horizontal and casting long shadows across reflective surfaces.

There is an interview from 2016 with Jackson on Huffington Post, and another from 2007 on Artists Network.


Portfolio & Bio at University of Mississippi in Oxford

Huffington Post

Artists Network


Boris Arkadievich Diodorov

Boris Arkadievich Diodorov, childrens book illustration, Hans Christian Anderson, The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, Vinni-Pukh
Boris Diodorov is a Russian illustrator known for his popular interpretations of classics, particularly works by Hans Christian Anderson like The Snow Queen And The Little Mermaid. He is also known for his illustrations for “Vinni-Pukh”, Boris Zakhoder’s translated version of “Winnie the Pooh”.

Diodorov’s illustrations have a nice feeling reminiscent of the turn of the century “Golden Age” illustrators.

I can’t find a dedicated website for Diodorov, so I’ve linked to other articles and postings that showcase his work.