Saturday, March 11, 2017

Eye Candy for Today: CC Curran’s Lady with a Bouquet

Lady with a Bouquet, (Snowballs), Charles Courtney Curran
Lady with a Bouquet, (Snowballs), Charles Courtney Curran

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Birmingham Museum of Art (AL) which also has a zoomable version. Oil on panel, roughly 12 x 8 in (31 x 22 cm).

American painter Charles Courtney Curran was known for his genre paintings, often of well dressed young women in idyllic surroundings.

In this small painting, Curran’s wife poses for a delicately sensitive portrait in which her shadowed face is in the same value range as the foremost of the flowers in the bouquet she examines, both illuminated from behind by gentle sunlight from a window outside our view.

I particularly admire the rather daring way Curran has silhouetted her profile against the bright passage of one of the sunlit groups of blossoms, using the value contrast to advantage as the focus of composition, while taking the risk that it might overwhelm the delicate modeling of her face.

Throughout, the brushy paint application is so loose and confident as to appear almost casual, though Curran’s superb draftsmanship and the powerful naturalism of the scene indicate that his approach was anything but casual.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Yaroslav Zayablov

Yaroslav Zayablov, contemporary Russian landscape painter
Yaroslav Zayablov is a contemporary Russian landscape painter whose paintings evoke the feeling of his native countryside in a variety of seasons, weather and atmosphere.

His website has an English translated version (to which I have linked). There are three galleries: Landscape, Graphics (drawings) and Sketches. When looking through the his online galleries, once you are on a dedicated page for a given image, click on the image again for a larger view.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Eye Candy for Today: Jan Brueghel the Elder River Landscape

River Landscape, Jan Brueghel the Elder
River Landscape, Jan Brueghel the Elder

In the collection of the National Gallery of Art, DC, which has both zoomable and downloadable versions on their site (larger of the two downloadable versions requires a free account). There is also a zoomable version on Google Art Project and a downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons.

This work by a member of the artistic Brueghel family noted for his intricately detailed landscapes is smaller than it may seem from the reproduction — roughly 8 x 12 inches ( 21 x 32 cm) — and the character of his brushwork at this scale lends interesting textural qualities to the rendering.

Dramatic, low angled daylight cuts across the composition, revealing multiple planes of scenes in light and dark passages. The distant parts of the town and the ships far back on the river take on a ghostly, skeletal quality.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Lorenzo Lanfranconi

Lorenzo Lanfranconi, illustration and concept art
Lorenzo Lanfranconi is a freelance illustrator, concept artist and colorist based in Como, Italy.

In many of the examples on his Artstation portfolio, he take on naturalistic subjects, but renders them with an appealing blend of texture and areas of flat color.

There are usually small details that add interest and scale when you view the images larger.


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Eye Candy for Today: Le Sidaner view of London

St. Paul’s from the River: Morning Sun in Winter, Henri Le Sidaner
St. Paul’s from the River: Morning Sun in Winter, Henri Le Sidaner

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons. Google lists the original as in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, but I can’t find an image on their site.

Le Sidaner shows the influence of Monet, and I think Pissarro, in this view of London in which the intense winter sunlight simultaneously reveals and almost obscures the buildings across the river. The brilliant dots of color are so small as to suggest an approach bordering on pointillism.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Daniel Sprick

Daniel Sprick, portraits, figures, still life
Originally from Arkansas, educated in Colorado and New York and currently living in Denver, Daniel Sprick is an American painter who focuses on portraits, figures and still life, and occasionally landscape.

Sprick’s subjects are clearly observed, precisely drawn and rendered with finess, but to my eye, they always seem to carry with them an element of chaos — passages at the edges that feel rough and unfinished, a suggestion not only that this is paint on a surface, but a hint that reality itself is fuzzy at the edges, and perhaps this is a truer representation than absolute fidelity.

When you view the works in the portfolio and archives sections of his website, be sure to click the “view larger” link at the upper right of the images. The difference in size isn’t great, but Sprick’s approach is still more rewarding with an incremental increase in the size of the reproduction (leading, of course, to a wish that they were reprodied even larger).

In his still life subjects, I find a particular fascination in the way he uses texture and edges to control focus, again seeming to weave refinement and roughness into a coherent whole.

There are videos from the Denver Art Museum and the Delaware Art Museum in which Sprick briefly discusses his work, an interview on Painting Perceptions and an essay by Jane Fudge from the Denver Museum show archived on Sprick’s site.