Originally from Poland, Ada Florek is a watercolor painter based in Thoiry, France.
Though she also paints other subjects, she focuses primarily on architectural and still life subjects.
I enjoy her textural approach and use of crisp edges.
A stream in spring, Frits Thaulow, oil on panel, roughly 13 x 16 inches (32 x 40 cm)
Link is to Christie’s auction house, where the painting was sold at auction in 2011 (full size here). I don’t know the current location of the original, perhaps in a private collection.
19th century Norwegian painter Frits Thaulow is my favorite painter of small streams and rivers, and one of my favorite landscape painters in general.
I don’t think I’ve seen anyone capture the elements of surface character, reflection and objects under the water quite like Thaulow. For superb example of how he sometimes captures all three in one painting, see my Eye Candy post on Thaulow’s Water Mill.
The Public Domain Review (a fascinating site, if you’re not familiar with it) has a nice short article on the history of the graphic organization of color over time.
Many of the images are drawn from an article by Sarah Lowengard (published on Gutenberg-e): The Creation of Color in Eighteenth-Century Europe, that was also the centerpiece of my own 2008 post on the History of the Color Wheel.
Syd Mead designed the future.
Though it’s sad news I write about — that designer, concept artist and visionary futurist Syd Mead died on December 30, 2019 at the age of 86 — it’s somehow fitting that a post about him is my first for the start of a new decade.
He is best known as a concept artist responsible for the futuristic look of movies like Blade Runner, Tron, Aliens and many others, but Mead’s influence goes back further and extends well beyond his movie work and actual designs.
For example, we take the designs for the Star Wars series for granted now, but if you look at Mead’s work from the 1970’s, you can see the DNA in the designs of the tech, even though he was not directly involved in that series
Mead created a futuristic aesthetic that influenced generations of concept artists, vehicle designers and creative professionals of all kinds, and through them his designs infused much of popular culture, along with the actual design of contemporary technology.
His primary medium was gouache, also favored by other major concept artists and designers in the mid 20th century. If you do a search on YouTube for “syd mead” “gouache”, you’ll find some video previews of his course through Gnomon Workshopd. James Gurney has a nice article on his gouache technique on his blog, GurneyJourney.
Mead’s designs from 40 or more years ago still look futuristic.
His future was bright, sleek, high-tech and visually stunning. We’re lucky to have his influence in our art and culture.
It’s Syd Mead’s future, we just live in it.
As I’ve done every New Year’s Eve Since 2006, I’ll wish all Lines and Colors readers a Happy New Year with another of J.C. Leyendecker’s terrific New Year’s Baby covers for the Saturday Evening Post.
See my 2006 post for background on the origin of the Leyendecker New Years baby covers for the Saturday Evening Post.
I wish you all a new year filled with beautiful, inspiring art!
Winter 1882, Francesc Masriera
Oil on canvas, roughly 31 x 24″ (79 x 62 cm); link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, which also has a zoomable image.
Catalan painter Francesc Masriera has give us a tour de force study of soft textures — from the variation in the fur of the muff, the tufts on the hat and tassels on the muff, the fabric of the hat and wrap, and the soft curls of the young woman’s hair — contrasted with the smoother textures of her sleeve and glove.