Anything painted directly, on the spot, always has a strength, a power, a lively touch that is lost in the studio. Your first impression is the right one. Stick to it and refuse to budge.
- Eugene Boudin
Nothing makes me so happy as to observe nature and to paint what I see.
- Henri Rousseau


Monday, April 21, 2014

Vladimir Gvozdeff

Posted by Charley Parker at 9:52 am

Vladimir Gvozdeff
Vladimir Gvozdeff is an artist from (if I’m not mistaken) Solvenia, who works in both two and three dimensional media, often combining them in the same work.

On his website, I found two series of particular interest. One is of mechanisms — clockwork animals drawn out as plans in various stages of finish. These are sometimes presented in elaborate frames, or even more elaborate assemblages, that combine the drawings with various mechanical and pseudo-mechanical objects, like keys, buttons, gears, wheels, calipers, slide-rules and various measuring instruments. The effect is one of viewing an alternate reality museum exhibit presenting the history of the development of these now familiar objects.

The other series I particularly enjoyed, while not a combination of two and three dimensional art, does deal with dimensionality — but in a different way. These are paintings in which open spaces within cityscapes, like harbors or plazas, take on the form or animals or other objects.

[Via Cory Doctrow on Boing Boing]

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Eye Candy for Today: Fanny Brate interior

Posted by Charley Parker at 11:46 pm

A Day of Celebration, Fanny Brate
A Day of Celebration, Fanny Brate

Original is in the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.

Grunewald’s The Resurrection, from the Isenheim Altarpiece

Posted by Charley Parker at 2:34 pm

The Resurrection, from the Isenheim Altarpiece, Matthias Grunewald
This painting, from the Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald, is one of the most striking depictions of the Resurrection in the history of art.

I don’t think I can describe it better than I did in my post on Matthias Grünewald from 2006.

The original is in the Musée Unterlinden, but the best reproductions I’ve found to date are on the Web Gallery of Art.

Bruce Crane

Posted by Charley Parker at 12:35 am

Bruce Crane
American painter Robert Bruce Crane became associated with the American Impressionists of the Old Lyme Art Colony in Connecticut. In his later career, he developed into a Tonalist — diffusing his scenes of fall and winter landscapes into misty passages of light and color.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Jan van Eyck’s The Last Judgement

Posted by Charley Parker at 11:20 pm

Jan van Eyck's The Last Judgement
This is the companion piece to Van Eyck’s Crucifixion, which I featured yesterday.

Though the Crucifixion panel is a strong and impressive painting — particularly given the small size of the panels of this diptych, each of which is only 22×7″ (56x20cm) — this panel of the Last Judgement is just astonishing.

I can’t say it gives a compelling picture of the glories of Heaven (though the angel is pretty impressive), but Van Eyck’s depiction of Hell here is a pull-out-the-stops tour-de-force of “You really don’t wanna go there!”

Not as well known as the famous vision of hell in Hieronymous Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, painted some 50 or 60 years later, this one is right up there in the scare you into towing the line department.

Given that the small size indicates that the original triptych, of which this was a part, was likely commissioned for personal devotion by an individual patron, one has to wonder about the state of mind of that individual. Or, perhaps his request for the subject of the work was more general, and he didn’t really know what he was getting until Van Eyck delivered the finished paintings.

I’ve even left out the most viscerally gruesome and horrific part of the image of hell, which is in the left portion of the panel.


Friday, April 18, 2014

A. J. Casson

Posted by Charley Parker at 4:46 pm

A. J. Casson
Alfred Joseph Casson was a member of the Group of Seven — likeminded Canadian landscape painters active in the early part of the 20th century.

Casson worked in watercolor, oil and printmaking, capturing in his landscapes both the nature of the land, and his own fascinating vision — in which the shapes of trees, rocks and other natural forms take on a muscular strength and a semi-abstracted geometric structure — sort of Thomas Hart Benton meets Cezanne.

Unfortunately, I’ve found limited resources for his work online, but I’ve listed what I could find below.

[Via One1more2time3's Weblog]

Jan van Eyck’s Crucifixion

Posted by Charley Parker at 1:54 pm

Jan van Eyck, Crucifixion
This painting by the 15th century Netherlandish master, assisted by members of his workshop, is part of a remarkable set of two panels (thought to be originally a triptych, of which the third panel is missing). Each panel is only 22 by 7 inches (56x20cm). The other panel depicts the Last Judgement (more on that in a later post).

Van Eyck, perhaps the first great master of oil painting, has imbued his image with remarkable depth, and dedicated his attention to extraordinary detail, from the individual character of the multiple faces to intricate rendering of costume and such painterly touches as the reflection of figures in the shield of one observer.

Under a sky whose clouds might be a scientific study for meteorology, the visceral telling of the story unfolds against a background that recedes through a contemporary European city and over a river, on back to the atmospherically blued mountains beyond.

Presumably, in common with Van Eyck’s other paintings, almost everything here has significance, from the horse and rider in the middle distance to the identity and role (and expressions!) of those in attendance — whether historic in the context of the moment, or contemporary in relation to the patron for whom the work was created. (It might be assumed that the small scale work was created for personal devotion rather than display in a church.)

The original is now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Skan Srisuwan

Posted by Charley Parker at 9:46 am

Skan Srisuwan
Singapore based illustrator and concept artist Skan Srisuwan has, in many of his pieces, a fascinating way building up waves of objects, mostly machine-like, that roil through the compositions like flowing, cubist shards of metal or plastic.

In Srisuwan’s digital paintings, it looks at though he has divided up his space into forms, then divided those forms again and again into smaller subsets.

These are incorporated into images in which characters play either major and minor roles, often with the swirling patterns of semi-abstract forms taking dominance.

While many of his figures are in the more common vein of comics/manga, and are often drafted with the sometimes nonsensical disregard for proportion common in the genres, Srisuwan sometimes adds interest by cloaking them in more of his three-dimensionally divided scatterings of geometric detritus.

Srisuwan is Creative Director of Studio Hive. There is a brief interview with him on ImagineFX.

[Via Concept Art World]

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