Eye Candy for Today: Caravaggio’s Medusa

Medusa, Cagavaggio Merisi
Medusa, Cagavaggio Merisi

On the Google Art Project. Click in the lower right of the image for zoom controls.

The original is in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Students of drawing and anatomy may feel, as I do, that the mouth of the Medusa is painted as if from a head that is facing the viewer almost directly, while the head itself is turned three quarter and tilted at a different angle than would be a head associated with the position of the mouth.

Never one to shy way from drama or provocation (and a master of draftsmanship), Caravaggio has apparently deliberately twisted their relationship, subconsciously disconcerting the viewer and adding to the horror.

The work is painted on a shield, presumably representing the one on which Athena mounted the severed Gorgon’s head after receiving it from Perseus.



Linda Tracey Brandon

Linda Tracey Brandon
Linda Tracey Brandon is an Arizona based painter who works in portraiture, figurative subjects, landscape and still life.

Work on her website is divided into those sections, along with a section of oil portrait sketches.

You will also find sketches, works in progress and other related topics on Brandon’s blog.

Her figurative work has an unusually fresh, painterly approach that, combined with some of her more conceptual subjects, give her work the feeling of nicely realized narrative illustration, hinting at stories behind the images — even in her more straightforward portraits. Many of those have a relaxed, informal character and often feature room elements or even still life objects that owe their style to her work in those areas.

Brandon occasionally conducts workshops and regularly teaches at the Scottsdale Artists’ School.

She is one of the judges in this year’s RayMar Art Fine Art Competition.


Steven J. Levin

Steven J. Levin
Steven J. Levin is a contemporary American realist painter based in Minnesota.

The galleries on his website are divided into Figures & Interiors and Still Life, though within those topics he works in a variety of subjects and approaches. There are often repeated themes, however, of restaurant, museum and poolroom interiors and still life arrangements of hats, for example.

I particularly enjoy his room interiors in which he plays compositionally with pools of light, whether from lamps, windows, doors or other sources. He also creates De-Hooch like glimpses of rooms leading to rooms leading to rooms, often making each its own world of illumination.

There is also a gallery of Work in Progress that includes several composition sketches alongside the finished works.

His still life subjects, though precisely rendered with meticulous draftsmanship, are lively and often seem to have an attitude — as if there were a wink and a nod behind them.

You will also find more straightforward figurative works in the Figures and Interiors section, and on the sites of some of the galleries in which he is represented (listed below), along with other subjects.

Though it’s somewhat uncharacteristic of his still life subjects in general, the cartoonist in me was immediately drawn (if you’ll excuse the expression) to his still life of crusted Speedball pens, tacked-up comic strips, ink and white-out bottles (above, bottom).


Mike Bear

Mike Bear
Mike Bear is a concept artist, illustrator and comics artist. His clients include Rockstar Games, Hasbro, Devil’s Due Publishing, Royal Elastics, Lolapps, Inc., Popcap, and EA.

Bear’s sketchblog includes some examples of his professional work but more often works in progress, personal flights of fancy, sketches, life drawings, and other graphic meanderings — a visual grab bag that includes lots of fun stuff.

Bear also has another blog, Techno Vikings, devoted to a personal project, and contributes to the group blogs, Pop Sketch and The Plein Air Cheaters. In addition, he has a gallery on deviantART.

[Via Neatorama]


Edmund Charles Tarbell (update)

Edmund Charles Tarbell
Edmund Charles Tarbell was the primary founder of the “Boston School” of American Impressionism, one of the most important of the painters called American Impressionists, and to my mind, one of the great American painters in general.

Since I last wrote about Tarbell back in 2006, many more resources have become available for viewing his work on the web, and I’ll take advantage of this update post to list some of them, and to post more of Tarbell’s beautiful paintings.

Unfortunately, the two best books I know of about Tarbell and his work are not as directly available as they were, but you can still find them used or new from some sellers: Impressionism Transformed: The Paintings of Edmund C. Tarbell and Edmund C. Tarbell: Poet of Domesticity.

Rather that repeating my description of Tarbell, his stunning impressionist portraits and figures and his elegant Vermeer-inspired interiors, I’ll refer you to my two previous posts: Edmund Tarbell and Edmund Tarbell (revisited).

In the latter post, I mention a brief email contact I had with the stepdaughter of one of Tarbell’s three granddaughters, as she was showing her stepmother “Tarbie” how her grandfather’s work was mentioned and displayed on the web.

[Correction: One of the images originally accompanying this post was actually by Frank Benson, Not Tarbell (the result of late night editing – sigh). After several alert readers pointed it out to me, I’ve replaced it, and another that could have been in question, with other images. See this post’s comments for more.]