Eye Candy for Today: Ramon Casas’ Plein air

Plein air, Ramon Casas
Plein air, Ramon Casas

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

Casas was a Catalan Spanish painter active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, known primarily for his portraits. I believe the “plein air” of the title of this piece refers not to the method of panting, but to the subject of the young woman dining outdoors, “en plein air”.

The artist gives us an intriguing composition in which a woman sits by herself at one of only two tables that occupy a large space, her attention apparently focused on a well-dressed man across the courtyard, his own gaze pointed away and out of the entrance.

We are left with only suggestions of what their relationship might be.

Muted lights, hazy atmospherics and soft edges add to the sense of mystery, as does the strangely empty foreground of the composition.

Charles Joseph Grips

Charles Joseph Grips, Dutch interior paintings
Charles Joseph Grips was a Dutch born painter who spent much of his career in Belgium. Grips was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but his subject matter of quiet domestic interiors carries forward the flavor of Dutch genre painting of the 17th century.

Some of his compositions are particularly in the vein of De Hooch’s marvelous interiors, inviting you back into spaces beyond the foreground room.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many images of Grips’ works online, and only a few of those are reasonably large. Those that are, however, reveal that his interiors (like those of William Merritt Chase) also work beautifully as still life paintings.

Children’s Book Illustrations from British Library

Children's Book Illustrations from British Library
As part of the huge trove of public domain images being posted on Flicker — which I reported in 2013 — the British Library has assemble a large collection of children’s book illustrations.

As is often the case with these kinds of large scale image resources, best results come from a bit of patience and digging.

Some of the illustrations are not directly attributed to the artists, but reference is given to the books from which they were taken.

[Via DCAD Library and Century Past History on Twitter]

Elizabeth Rickert

Elizabeth Rickert
Elizabeth Rickert is a New Mexico based artist who paints landscapes, water gardens, florals, fruits and birds’ nests, but in particular intimate compositions of grasses and other low-to-the-ground plants.

These are rendered with sensitive detail and infused with gentle light, giving them in inviting, luminous quality.

Her paintings are larger in scale than you might assume from viewing the relatively small images on her website, and are likely quite immersive in person.

I particularly admire the way Rickert has handled the value relationships in the layered compositions of grasses. She accomplishes a challenging feat of visual organization as well as finding surprising visual charm in such humble subjects.

There is an article on Parka Blogs about her art tools.

Illuminating Tarbell

Illuminating Tarbell
Illuminating Tarbell” is the title of an exhibition of the work of the terrific American painter Edmund Charles Tarbell that is on view at Discover Portsmouth, in Portsmouth NH until June 3, 2016. It features a concurrent exhibit of contemporary painters working in the tradition of Tarbell.

There is a page with images from the show, that are nice sized when enlarged or downloaded.

There is also a book: Illuminating Tarbell: Life and Art on the Piscataqua and Legacy in Action, available online from the museum website.

There is an article about the show on InCollect.

For more, see my previous Lines and Colors posts on Edmund Tarbell.

Eye Candy for Today: Thomas Moran’s Falls at Toltec Gorge

Falls at Toltec Gorge, Thomas Moran
Falls at Toltec Gorge, Thomas Moran

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; 1000 Museums has version online that you can download here; original is in the Oklahoma City Museum (no collections online).

When Moran turns his Turner-influenced eye to the rough textures of the American landscape, the results are usually amazing. I love Hudson River school landscapes like this that incorporate strong foregrounds, making them simultaneously grand and intimate.