Category Archives: Gallery and Museum Art

Miguel Angel Moya

Miguel Angel Moya
Miguel Angel Moya is a contemporary realist painter originally from Valencia, Spain.

Hi subjects include orchestras and musicians, inspired by Moya’s own time as a professional violinist, as well as cityscapes and architectural interiors.

In his most recent series, Moya has focused on enigmatic still life of biological forms — mostly sea creatures — suspended in jars as if scientific specimens. These can be of specifically identifiable animals like octopi and sharks, or less distinct forms that leave the viewer’s mind to fill in the details.

Moya’s website is in Spanish, but easy enough for non Spanish speakers to navigate. As you advance through the “Pinturas” using the numbered links at the bottom, you will in general be moving back in time to previous series.

There are also some of Moya’s paintings on Artsy, where you will find larger images.

Miguel Angel Moya’s work is the subject of a current solo show at Arcadia Contemporary in Culver City, CA that will be on display until May 18, 2017.


Eye Candy for Today: Ivan Shishkin’s Rye

Rye,  Ivan Shishkin
Rye, Ivan Shishkin

Link is to zoomable version on the Google Art Project, downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

In contrast to his scenes of thick forest groves, Russian landscape master Ivan Shishkin here stands his trees as sentinels above the expanse of a rye field. A dirt track leads us invitingly into the scene, and if we continue to follow its curve, leads our eye back to the two tiny figures that give the scene its sense of scale (at the base of the middle tree in the second detail crop, above).


Jim Woodring

Jim Woodring, surreal comics, illustrations and paintings
Jim Woodring is a comics artist and painter who delves into strange and wonderful imagery derived from dreams and a history of childhood hallucinations.

Woodring is known for his short comics stories, told wordlessly and in a stream-of-unconsciousness manner, that feature his recurring character, “Frank”.

Frank is something of an apparition in himself, a fever dream version of 1920’s anthropomorphic animal cartoon characters, who is the center of the dream and also a stand-in for the dreamer.

Woodring also does painting, in monochrome and in color. I’m not one to toss the word “surreal” around lightly — having read the Surrealist manifestos, and aware that true Surrealism is by definition drawn from the unconscious in the form of automatic drawing or dream-state imagery — but Woodring’s work is truly that: surreal.

As much as I enjoy his work in color, I find it most entrancing in the form of his black and white pen drawing. His thick repeated linear patterns and woodcut-like wavy lines create “colors” in much the way the gray inks of Chinese ink painting are said to have colors. This is wonderfully evident in his comics, which are dream-like in the telling as well as the in the imagery.

You can see previews of two of his titles in the comics section of his website.

I will be the first to suggest that Woodring’s work is something of an acquired taste and not likely to appeal to everyone. However, if you acquire that taste, you may find it irresistibly fascinating.

If you were not previously aware of Woodring’s work, and the small taste here has piqued your interest, believe me when I say the small online excerpts here and on his site don’t do justice to the way his drawings look in print.

There are several collections of his work: The Frank Book, which collects 10 years of his signature work; a follow-up: Congress of the Animals; a one-off treat for fans of 3-D comics: Frank in the 3rd Dimension; and the latest, Weathercraft, a full-length graphic novel, told — like most of Woodring’s work — wordlessly. You will also find other titles, most published by Fantagraphics Books.

There is currently an exhibit of Woodring’s work at the Frye Museum in Seattle, for which the museum commissioned a series of large scale pen drawings — drawn with a large scale dip pen created by Woodring — that is on display until April 16, 2017 (images above, bottom three).


Eye Candy for Today: Greuze Portrait

Portrait of a Lady in Turkish Fancy Dress, Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Portrait of a Lady in Turkish Fancy Dress, Jean-Baptiste Greuze

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; smaller downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the LACMA.

Greuze continues to delight the eye with his soft edges and delicate rendering, underpinned by his solid draftsmanship and understanding of the geometry of the face and figure.

This appears more likely a genre painting than an actual portrait; the model’s face looks idealized; her eyes appear unfocused, or else inwardly focused on a dream.

Greuze has lavished his attention on her garments, and the array of patterns and textures that show off his skill as a painter.


Arturo Ferrari

Arturo Ferrari, italian painter cityscapes
Arturo Ferrari was an Italian painter active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

He spent much of his career painting the streets and buildings of Milan, focusing on the older parts of the city and rendering his subjects with a wonderfully blocky, painterly quality that recalls the pioneering work of the Macchiaioli painters.

Though there isn’t much of Ferrari’s work available on line, some of the images, particularly those on Wikimedia Commons, and this one on Google Art Project, have large versions or detail crops that let you see his fascinating approach.


Edward Wilkins Waite

Edward Wilkins Waite, 19th century English landscape paintings
English landscape painter Edward Wilkins Waite was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Waite focused on landscapes, most of which were painted in his and around Surrey, where he was born. His landscapes are often painted in gentle overcast light, using an appealing muted palette and with an emphasis on texture.

His compositions often present a large foreground tree on one side, balanced out by a view in deep perspective on the other, giving the viewer an invitation to move into the scene.

I enjoy the sense of tactile definition he gives to his foreground trees, which frequently grab your initial attention and provide an entry point to the painting.