Sunday, July 27, 2014

Eye Candy for Today: Hanna Hirsch Pauli invites us for breakfast

Breakfast-Time, Hanna Hirsch Pauli
Breakfast-Time, Hanna Hirsch Pauli

There is an often overlooked sub-genre of painting that I particularly enjoy; for lack of a better term, it might be called “outdoor still life”.

I’m hard pressed to think of a better example than this stunningly beautiful painting of a 19th century breakfast table in a sun-dappled garden by Swedish artist Hanna Hirsch Pauli.

Richly painterly, with color that is at once understated and vibrant, it catches that magical difference of presenting still life subjects in the colors of sunlight.

The link is to Google Art Project. There is a high-resolution downloadable version of the file on Wikimedia Commons.

The original is in the Nationalmuseum, Sweden, but their version of the image seems over-saturated. I haven’t seen the original, but my feeling is that this is one of those examples where the Google Art Project got the color right and the museum got it wrong.

Cherngzhi Lian

Cherngzhi Lian
Cherngzhi Lian is an artist based in Singaapore who works primarily in acrylic and watercolor, as well as drawing media.

There are galleries on his website, largely of scenes from his travels in Bhutan. There is a drop-down menu for subjects, accessed from “Painting” on the left (though I found it cranky in my copy of Safari).

There are also sketches under “Drawings” and “Travels”.

Lian has a Tumblr blog, on which he posts sketches, often photographed in the context of the scene he is sketching.

Many of his recent posts are devoted to his latest project, in which he is attempting to design “The Perfect Sketchbook”.

Miranda Meeks

Miranda Meeks
Utah illustrator Miranda Meeks conveys her often dark-edged subjects with a subtle touch, and a refined sense of value and color. She works in both traditional and digital media.

Her website arranges her work in several categories (accessed from a drop-down), but unfortunately relies on you to use the browser’s back button rather than allowing some way to progressively step through the images.

You can also find galleries of her work on Behance, and she maintains a Tumblr blog, on which she posts finished pieces as well as sketches, detail crops, works in progress and process articles.

John O’Reilly

John O'Reilly
In urban scenes of walls, corridors, alleys and car parks — that most of use might pass by unnoticed — Irish artist John O’Reilly finds fascination with geometric shapes, muted color, weathered textures and patterns of light and shade.

O’Reilly’s website has example of his urban landscapes, as well as wall art and murals.

I particularly enjoy the textural patterns in his paintings of slate or shingle roofs.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Eye Candy for Today: N.C. Wyeth illustration

The Passing of Robin Hood, N.C. Wyeth
The Passing of Robin Hood, N.C. Wyeth

On Wikimedia Commons. If I’m reading the Brandywine River Museum’s N.C. Wyeth Catalogue Raisonné correctly, the original is in the New York Public Library.

The illustration is from The Adventures of Robin Hood by Paul Cheswick and N.C. Wyeth. The full edition can be found used; but you can also get the Young Readers version from the Brandywine River Museum Shop, with the illustrations printed larger than in the original.

The entire book is available on Project Gutenberg, albeit with relatively small illustrations. Look for the illustrations on The Golden Age Site.

Wyeth’s masterful control of light is what gives this moment its power.

Henri Biva

Henri Biva, 19th century french lanscapes and florals
Henri Biva was a French painter of landscapes and floral subjects active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Biva’s naturalistic but somewhat romanticized landscapes often used a theatrical framing device, inherited from Claude Lorrain: dark foreground elements provide a kind of curtain, past which lighter passages beckon the viewer to enter the picture.

Sometimes Biva’s use of this is a bit overt, to the point of being heavy-handed, but when it works, it works wonderfully. Combined with Biva’s sense of light in woodland interiors, it makes the invitation to step into his paintings irresistible.

Unfortunately, in addition to the usual vagaries to which online art images are prone — shifted color, oversaturation and so on — a number of the available image for Biva’s work are blurred or out of focus. I’ve attempted to color correct a few of the examples here.

There area few examples of his work available in high-resolution zoomable images from auction houses, listed below.