Denise Ramsay

Denise Ramsay, watercolor botanical art
Denise Ramsay is a botanical artist originally from New Zealand, who now divides her time between Hong Kong and a cottage in the southwest region of France.

Ramsay paints keenly observed and intricately realized watercolors of flowers and other plants, sometimes at a fairly large scale, in watercolor.

Her paintings are bold and dynamic, apparently without compromising botanical accuracy. In one of her projects, she painted a poppy from bud (images above, third down) to full flower (top, with detail) to eventual faded bloom. There is an article on Bored Panda that follows the sequence.

In addition to the gallery of images on her website, you can find a selection of limited edition Giclee prints.

There is a video on YouTube of Ramsay being interviewed by Katherine Tyrrell.


Eye Candy for Today: Van Gogh pen & watercolor sketches

Van Gogh watercolors
Gate at the Paris Ramparts, Entrance to the Moulin de la Galette, Vincent van Gogh

Pencil, pen & ink, watercolor & gouache on paper, roughly 9 x 12″ (24 x 32 cm) and 12 x 9″ (31 x 24 cm), respectively.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts on “Not the usual Van Goghs“, in a dedicated art career that barely spanned ten years, Vincent van Gogh was prolific, leaving over 900 paintings and more than 1,000 drawings. Yet art book publishers and museum curators often feel obliged to show you the same few “greatest hits” over and over.

Not only are his wonderful drawings often passed over, Van Gogh also sketched in pen and watercolor. The two examples above are in the collection of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

They have a freshness, immediacy and feeling of location that would be the envy of many contemporary “urban sketchers”.

I think they also show the influence of the Impressionists he encountered in Paris, as well as the Japanese prints that were popular among French artists of the time, and which Van Gogh collected and sometimes emulated.


Arnold Marc Gorter

Arnold Marc Gorter, Dutch landscape painter
Arnold Marc Gorter was a Dutch landscape painter active in the late 19th and early 20 centuries.

There aren’t a large number of his works available online, but some of them are large to appreciate his approach, which seems to be influenced by both Impressionist color and Barbizon school textures.


Eye Candy for Today: Portrait of Princess Belozersky, Élisabeth Vigée-Le Brun

Portrait of Princess Belozersky, Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun
Portrait of Princess Belozersky, Élisabeth Vigée-LeBrun

In the collection of The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; full image here. There is also a zoomable version on the Google Art Project that goes a bit more high resolution.

Another beautiful portrait by the brilliant 18th century French painter Élisabeth Louise Vigée-Le Brun.

The description from the museum acknowledges that Vigée-LeBrun flattered her sitters (to my eye, often in a most delightful way), but I have to disagree with their assessment that her tendency for flattery is evident in this portrait.

Maybe they know something about the princess’s actual appearance form other portraits of which I’m unaware, but I see little evidence here of the painter’s usual tendency to maker her sitters look younger with exaggeratedly rosy cheeks, creamy complexions and super radiant vitality.

Perhaps it’s because the subject is actually young and doesn’t need to be age regressed with the virtual cosmetics of the painter’s brush, but I find this painting more straightforward and naturalistic than those of Vigée-LeBrun’s older subjects.

I love the painterly touches around the eyes, nose and lips, and the impasto highlights on the earring.


Louis Escobedo

Louis Escobedo, landscapem still life, figures
Louis Escobedo is a painter originally from Texas and now based in New Mexico. Escobedo began his career as an illustrator, and was awarded a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators, among other honors.

He transitioned into gallery art and has developed a high chroma signature style with compositions structured with strongly geometric areas of value and color.

He has exhibited in galleries across the U.S. and apparently painted in multiple locations. Though location credit is not given on his website, the painting above, top, looks to me like it was painted here in Philadelphia.

Escobedo’s website only offers a limited selection of his work; you can find some of his older work, and a broader selection of subjects, in these articles on Southwest Art and Tutt Art.

[Addendum: The artist has confirmed that the painting at top is of the location here in Philadelphia that I recognized (along the Schuylkill River), and mentioned that the painting is currently on display at the Steamboat Springs Art Museum in Colorado as part of the 27th National Juried Exhibition of Oil Painters of America.]


Eye Candy for Today:Jacob Marrel still life

Still Life With Red, Black And Green Grapes On The Vine, Together With Oranges, A Partly-Peeled Lemon And A Melon On A Draped Table-Top, Jacob Marrel
Still Life With Red, Black And Green Grapes On The Vine, Together With Oranges, A Partly-Peeled Lemon And A Melon On A Draped Table-Top, Jacob Marrel

Roughly 20 x 29 inches (51 x 74 cm), oil on panel. Link is to Sotheby’s auction (image file here). As this is the only image I can find, I assume the painting is in a private collection.

The title is a good example of how titles are assigned to so many paintings by contemporary cataloggers, and not by the artists themselves. There was apparently also confusion, deliberately created, by previous hands in an attempt to pass the work off at that of another 17th century Dutch still life painter, Jan Mortel, who was better known at the time and whose work therefore commanded higher prices.

Like many of his contemporaries, Marrel has filled his composition with fascinating detail, including insects that appear to be of specifically identifiable species.

I particularly like the delicately handled vines, some of which are barely visible as they wind into the background darkness. In that respect, it’s interesting to compare paintings like this with those of Jacob van Walscapelle (also here).