Eye Candy for Today: Pedro Alexandrino still life

Pedro Alexandrino still life
Grapes and Peaches, Pedro Alexandrino

On Google Art Project. Hi-res downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons. Original is in the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo.

A beautiful still life by a turn of the 20th century Brazilian artist I stumbled across on the Google Art Project. I’ll see if I can dig up more for a future post.


Kathleen Dunphy

Kathleen Dunphy
Northern California artist Kathleen Dunphy works both in the studio and on location, but even her studio landscapes have the kind of fresh immediacy often associated with painting on location.

In her pursuit of the character of light evocative of particular times of day, seasons and weather conditions, she employs a crisp, direct and painterly approach. I particularly enjoy her sensitivity to muted value contrasts in scenes of mist, fog and overcast daylight.

Dunphy studied at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where her instructors included Craig Nelson and Brian Blood, and has studied more informally with painters like Kevin MacPherson, Dan Gerhartz, Scott Christensen and T. Allen Lawson.

On her website you will find examples of her studio and location painting, as well as a selection of still life. Dunphy teaches plein air workshops both in California and out of state.

There is a podcast interview with Dunphy on Artists Helping Artists, a YouTube video with a brief bit of discussion about her plein air process, and a bit more detail on Dunphy’s blog.


Eye Candy for Today: Moran’s Green River Cliffs

Green River Cliffs, Wyoming, Thomas Moran
Green River Cliffs, Wyoming, Thomas Moran

On Wikimedia Commons. Original is in the National Gallery of Art, DC.

The most striking of Moran’s dramatic paintings of the American West —which is saying something.

For more, see my post on Thomas Moran.


Francesco Francavilla

Francesco Francavilla
Italian comics artist Francesco Francavilla is known for his cover and interior art for numerous series for the American comics market, to which he brings a wonderful pulp/flim-noir sensibility.

In addition to his cover and interior sequential art for various company-owned series, he has attracted attention with his creator-owned series Black Beetle, the visual subject matter of which, of course, is right up his alley.

Francavilla’s blog and website seem to have suffered from a lack of attention in recent months, and the latter is unfinished in places, but there still enough of his artwork there to enjoy.

[Addendum: Reader Jerry A! has written to let me know that Francavilla has moved his online attention to Twitter (@f_francavilla) and Tumblr: http://francavillarts.tumblr.com.]


Gustave Doré

Gustave Dore
When I was growing up, there were several books in the house that helped prompt my interest in art. A couple of them, in particular, impressed me with the power of drawing and printmaking.

One was a 1948 edition of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, illustrated by Gustave Doré; another was a Dover edition of Doré’s Bible illustrations that my father picked up some years later. Both of them popped my eyes out of my impressionable young head at the time, and I still have both on my bookshelves.

Louis August Gustave Doré (also known as “Paul” Gustave Doré for reasons of which I’m unsure) was French artist active in the early to mid 19th century. Though he also worked as a painter and sculptor, it is for his work as an illustrator and engraver that he is best known.

In addition to the works mentioned above, Doré illustrated new (at the time) editions of a number of classics; his illustrations for which, in turn, have made his interpretations of them classics themselves. These include an essentially definitive version of Cervante’s Don Quixote (images above, ninth down, also here), Milton’s Paradise Lost, Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and Poe’s The Raven, along with works by Shakespeare, Balzac, Rabelais and many others.

My personal favorites remain his dramatic interpretation of The Divine Comedy (images above, top eight) and his viscerally powerful illustrations of scenes from the Bible (above, bottom five).

Dover Publications has a long history of publishing inexpensive editions of collections of Doré’s illustrations. They may not be as sharp as more expensive editions, but the price brings them within reach of many.

I really like my edition of The Divine Comedy, with both the text and Doré’s illustrations. The only comparable edition I can find on Amazon is this one. I haven’t seen it, but the Amazon preview looks like the reproductions are good.

You can find numerous books with Doré’s engravings and illustrations on Amazon.com, including most of the Dover editions. As usual lately, however, you have to weed your way through all of the editions Amazon is pushing that exist only as Kindle eBooks to find the available real books.

There are extensive collections of Doré’s engravings (and some paintings) on Wikipaintings and Wikimedia Commons, as well as other sources I’ve listed below. The size and quality of the reproductions varies widely, and you have to do a bit of hunting to find the best quality images.

There is an exhibition of Doré’s work currently at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris Gustave Doré (1832–1883): Master of Imagination, that is on view until 11 May, 2014.

American painter Thomas Paquette has written to let me know that someone he knows has made available on eBay two original wood engraving blocks for illustrations from Doré’s Bible, Cain Slaying Able and Expulsion from the Garden of Eden. (The current owner came by them because his grandfather acquired them when on an excursion in Europe as a sign painter for Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show!) I’ve shown those two illustrations, and an image of one of the wood engraving blocks, in the bottom three images above.