James Gurney’s Living Sketchbook, Volume 3 – Court Report

James Gurney's Living Sketchbook, Volume 3 - Court Report

James Gurney's Living Sketchbook, Volume 3 - Court Report

When I first met author and artist James Gurney some years ago, I had the opportunity to leaf through one of his sketchbooks. Gurney is so accomplished that his sketchbooks often consist of page after page of beautifully realized paintings and sketches, usually in gouache or casein. My immediate thought was that he should publish them in some form, if only because I would personally like the opportunity to look through them at leisure.

I didn’t say anything at the time, but some years later, in 2017, Gurney began to do just that, publishing a few selected sketchbooks — not as a printed book or PDF file, as I might have envisioned — but as a concept he calls a “Living Sketchbook”. These are smartphone/tablet apps, developed in coordination with his son, Dan Gurney.

The Living Sketchbook apps not only allow you to flip through the sketchbook pages, but also to zoom in on the images, click to read comments, hear audio commentary, and in many cases, see short videos of Gurney working on the sketch and discussing his methods and materials. It’s about as close as you can get to sitting down with the artist and leafing through his sketchbooks while he discusses the sketches and shows you some of his techniques.

Gurney gives his actual sketchbooks names, usually based on sketches of a particular subject among those in the sketchbook, and the digital versions follow that model. I reviewed the first of the series, “Boyhood Home” when I received a Beta review copy just before it launched. After the beta expired, I bought my own copy, as well as a copy of the second in the series, “Metro North”.

I was pleased to recently receive a review copy of the third app in the series, “Court Report”, named for a few paintings of basketball players, games and announcers and that Gurney did at the invitation of the NBA. The bulk of the sketchbook, like the other two, ranges through a variety of Gurney’s subjects and approaches to sketching and painting. In this case there are a number of winter landscape scenes, as well as studies of people, houses, diners, animals, cars and other subjects.

One of the things I particularly enjoy about Gurney’s Living Sketchbook apps — in addition to the beautiful reproduction of the art and the depth of the accompanying information — is their portability. It’s like having a little packet of painting inspiration that I can enjoy anytime and anywhere, from waiting for an appointment to taking a break while plein air painting.

“Court Report” and the other two volumes in the series are available in the App Stores for both iOS an Android for $4.99 each.

You can find more information, images and video flip-throughs on Gurney’s blog.

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Eye Candy for Today: Albert Anker still life with Coffee and Potatoes

Albert Anker - Stilleben, Kaffee und Kartoffeln, Still life with Coffee and Poratoes

Albert Anker - Stilleben, Kaffee und Kartoffeln, Still life with Coffee and Poratoes (details)

Stilleben, Kaffee und Kartoffeln (Still life with Coffee and Poratoes), Albert Anker

Link is to Wikimedia Commons page with high-res image.

This domestic still life by 19th century Swiss artist Albert Anker at first looks smoothly refined, but on closer inspection reveals itself to be quite painterly.

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Eye Candy for Today: Samuel Prout pencil drawing

The Castle at Heidelberg, Samuel Prout pencil drawing

The Castle at Heidelberg, Samuel Prout pencil drawing (details)

The Castle at Heidelberg, Samuel Prout

Pencil on paper, roughly 11 x 16″ (28 x 43 cm); in the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum.

19th century artist Samuel Prout give us one of those wonderful drawings that is simultaneously loose and precise, and shows us something of the process of its creation in the more lightly rendered left side of the castle’s facade.

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Fritz Baumgarten

Fritz Baumgarten, classic illustrations

Fritz Baumgarten, classic illustrations

Fritz Baumgarten was a German children’s book illustrator active in the early to mid part of the 20th century.

He illustrated numerous books, primarily in Germany, working in a nicely finessed combination of ink and watercolor.

Baumgarten had a knack for blending the commonplace with the fantastic, putting his elf-like characters and anthropomorphized creatures into scenes of activities that might otherwise seem quite ordinary.

Many of his portrayals of the forest floor are nicely naturalistic.

I haven’t been able to find many sources for his images, but I’ve included links to a few, below. I’ll also provide a link to a Google image search, with the size filter set to “large”, and some books available on Amazon (most appear to be German language editions).

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Eye Candy for Today: Joaquim Vancells, “February”

February, Joaquim Vancells, landscape painting

February, Joaquim Vancells, landscape painting, details

February, Joaquim Vancells

Oil on canvas, roughly 40 x 60 inches (104 x 155 cm)

Link is to zoomable image on Google Art Project, downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.

Catalonian painter Joaquim Vancells invites us into a quiet forest landscape in the heart of winter. I like the way the details of sticks, leaves and undergrowth ground us in the environment, while the meandering path in center invites us farther into the misty depths of the woodland.

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin