Hendrick Goltzius, The Resurrection

The Resurrection, from The Passion of Christ, Hendrik Goltzius, engraving

The Resurrection, from The Passion of Christ, Hendrik Goltzius, engraving (details)

The Resurrection, from The Passion of Christ, Hendrik Goltzius,

Engraving, roughly 8 x 5 inches (20 x 13 cm), in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Hendrick Goltzius was a German born Dutch printmaker, draftsman and painter active in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Among his other accomplishments was a folio of prints depicting The Passion of Christ, from which this is an instance of The Resurrection.

Like most prints, there are multiple impressions of this one, the Met itself appears to have a second version, and there is one from the collection of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art that can be viewed i more detail on the Google Art Project.

The figure of Jesus is less than prominent in the composition than the foreground figures of the soldiers guarding the tomb, the foremost of which seems almost oblivious to the events behind him. The figure looks posed, and it’s highly likely that Goltzius had a model to work from.

The artist’s engraving lines, though solidly placed on the foundation of his superb draftsmanship, have a casual quality more in common with etching or pen and ink than engraving. Goltzious was also an accomplished pen artist.

I really admire his use of line in the depiction of drapery, particularly in the figure of the angel, and the contrast with his hatching on the stone and dirt surfaces.


Mac Smith, Scurry

Mac Smith, Scurry comic

Mac Smith, Scurry comic

Mac Smith is is a concept artist and illustrator who has largely put aside his work in the gaming industry to concentrate on his own comics project.

Scurry is a post-apocalyptic survival story in which the protagonists are mice. The setting is an abandoned house and the surrounding woods, now mysteriously devoid of humans. With the disappearance of the humans has gone the availability of food their presence provided.

The mouse colony, within which Smith has developed distinct characters and political factions, is faced with the dangers of moving vs. the inevitable decline of food supplies. Scouts are sent out, facing terrifying challenges in the form of cats, wolves, birds of prey and the other dangers that real mice might encounter. These are seen largely in upshots, from the point of view of the mice.

This is the setting in which Smith unwinds his story, told with the cinematic acumen of an experienced concept artist, and beautifully drawn and rendered, with nicely textural attention to naturalistic environments. I particularly enjoy the way he handles rain, mist and similar atmospheric scenes.

Scurry can be read online as a webcomic, which Smith has been supporting through Patreon, offering, among other things, tutorials, walk-throughs and PSD files as perks for supporters.

Smith has also been offering Scurry as a series of printed graphic stories, two of which are available as both hardback and paperback. He is currently raising funds for the third book.

You can find examples of his artwork for the strip on his Artstation and deviantART galleries, and some videos and instructional material on YouTube.


Eye Candy for Today: William Hughes grapevines

William Hughes grapevines, oil on canvas

William Hughes grapevines, oil on canvas

Grapevines, White and Grapevines, Red, William Hughes

Two panels of a diptych, oil and gold paint on canvas, each roughly 40 x 17 inches (100 x 44 cm). The source for the images is an auction house, so I assume these are now in a privete collection.

Of the two panels, that of the white grapes fares better in reproduction, revealing the artist’s nicely painterly approach and his use of texture, both in the plant forms and the background.


Daniel Blimes

Daniel Blimes, oil painting

Daniel Blimes, oil paintings

Daniel Blimes is a Los Angeles based painter whose current work is a series of portraits, faces and figures rendered in oil in a fascinatingly textural approach.

Many of the works are almost monochromatic save for key passages, others are rich with subtle variations in color.

His textures combine striations, stipple and linear geometric marks in a way that gives them an appealingly graphic quality. Blimes uses directional marks to aid in the definition of the form and the flow of your eye through the composition. His brush marks also lend a feeling of unity to the surface and give his paintings a feeling of atmosphere.

His website features a images of his work that are fortunately reproduced large enough to get some feeling for the textural surface.

Daniel Blimes’ work can currently be seen in a solo show at Arcadia Contemporary in Pasadena, CA. The show is titled “Paradigm” and will be on display until April 28, 2019.


Historic paintings and drawings of Notre-Dame de Paris

Notre-Dame de Paris, Edward Deakin

When my wife and I first arrived in Paris in 2002, evening was descending as we checked into our B&B and it was dark when we went out for our first stoll in Paris. We were staying in the area of the Botanical Gardens, and it was a short walk down to the quay by that part of the Seine.

As we rounded a corner where the river bends, we were astonished and delighted with the magnificent sight of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame across the river, brightly lit against the dark of the September Paris sky.

It was a moment as indelible in my memory as any can be, tucked away for safekeeping in my mental file of “most treasured memories”.

All over the world — and of course, especially in Paris —, others are taking out similar memories of that most beautiful and iconic of Parisian structures, holding them in their mind’s eye and sadly reflecting on the loss of yesterday’s fire.

While other structures may come to mind as iconic representations of tourist Paris, it is the cathedral of Notre-Dame that is the architectural heart of that city, both figuratively and quite literally. The city was founded on the island in the middle of the Seine on which the cathedral stands.

It is a building so beautiful in its design and execution that is is without doubt a sculpture; and like all great sculpture, it modifies and enriches the experience of the space around it.

Notre-Dame de Paris, and views of it from various angles and sections of the city, have been an inspiration for generations of artists. I’ve selected a few of them to view here, — as a reminder the building in its proper glory and hopefully a glimpse of its eventual restoration. You can find more on the Google Art Project.

(Images above: Edward Deakin, Luigi Loir, Amrita Sher-Gil, Charles Meryon, Frederick Childe Hassam, Jean Francois Raffaelli, Maximilien Luce, Eugene Galien-Laloue, Edouard Cortes, Marie-Francois Firmin-Girard, Henri Le Riche)


Paulo J. Mendes

Paulo J. Mendes, urban sketching

Paulo J. Mendes, urban sketching

Paulo J. Mendes is an avid urban sketcher based in Matosinhos, Portugal.

His blog and Instagram feed have a subheading of “Stealing landscapes with a sketchbook”. I’m not sure if that’s intentional or an algorithmic translation for something more like “capturing landscapes”. (The original Portuguese reads: “A roubar paisagens com um caderno”.) [Addendum: a Portugese speaking reader has informed me that “Stealing landscapes with a sketchbook” is, in fact the title.]

He is also a member of Urban Sketchers, and was a correspondent for the 2018 symposium, USk Porto.

Mendes sketches in pen and watercolor, with a confidently loose line that rests on a foundation on solid draftsmanship, and a deft touch with watercolor.

He takes on a variety of subjects, and renders his view as he sees it — complete with grafitti on walls.

I enjoy his expressions of sunlight and shadow, and his seemingly casual depictions of complex architectural elements.