Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Eye Candy for Today: Homer’s Girl in a Hammock

Girl in a Hammock, Winslow Homer
Girl in a Hammock, Winslow Homer

Link is to a page from which you can access a large image on Wikimedia Commons. Original is in the collection of the Colby Museum of Art, which also has a zoomable version.

I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing the original. The Wikimedia version may be a bit light, but my instincts tell me that the museum’s version is too dark, as are many images that museums post of works in their own collections.

While not the subjects for which Homer is best known, his relaxed, seemingly casual observations of everyday life are often among my favorites.

I love the way he has used halos of light here; not only the light green of the sunlit grass against the dark of the figure and the hammock, but within that, the brighter halo of the almost white dress as it hangs off the edge of the hammock and catches the sun.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Marie-François Firmin-Girard

Marie-Francçois Firmin-Girard
Marie-François Firmin-Girard (or perhaps more correctly, François-Marie Firmin-Girard) was a French painter active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

He studied for a time with Charles Gleyre (in whose Paris studio three of the founding Impressionists would later meet), and then with academic mainstay Jean-Léon Gérôme.

After a successful debut at the Paris Salon, Firmin-Girard quickly achieved success, though his later career was impacted by the events of the Franco-Prussian war and the political turmoil that followed.

Firmin-Girard doesn’t appear to have been influenced by the Impressionist move to broken color and overt brush marks, but he did take inspiration in the influence Japanese art was having on the artists in Paris in the latter part of the 19th century.


Friday, June 30, 2017

Eye Candy for Today: Jean-Baptiste Le Prince ink and wash drawing

Imaginary Landscape with Fishermen Pulling in Their Nets, Jean-Baptiste Le Prince ink and wash drawing
Imaginary Landscape with Fishermen Pulling in Their Nets, Jean-Baptiste Le Prince

Pen and black ink with gray wash, roughly 16 x 12 inches (40 x 29 cm); in the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum, NY; use the Download or Zoom links on their page.

Though described as an imaginary landscape, both the landscape elements and the confidently rendered figures have a relaxed naturalism. I like the depth the artist has created with lighter values of wash.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Quentin Regnes

Quentin Regnes, concept art
Quentin Regnes is a freelance concept artist and illustrator based in Paris, France who works in the gaming and animation fields. Beyond that, his web presence provides little information.

In both his more finished and sketch-like digital paintings, Regnes has a nicely textural approach that gives his envronments a naturalistic feeling.

I particularly enjoy his atmospheric cloud studies.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Eye Candy for Today: Chardin’s The Scullery Maid

The Scullery Maid, Jean-Siméon Chardin
The Scullery Maid, Jean-Simeon Chardin

In the collection of the National Gallery of Art, DC. Use the Zoom or Download links to the right of the image on their page.

18th century French painter Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin was noted for his wonderful still life paintings (that I think magically hold time still in a way comparable to Vermeer), but he also painted a series of domestic interiors.

Some of these are as much still life as they are a room interior or genre piece. A case in point it this beautiful and deceptively simple scene of a maid washing kitchen utensils. For me, the copper pot — radiant with subtle reflected colors — steals the show, but the pottery piece and barrel are not far behind.

The figure, like those of De Hooch, seems more an object in the room than a person with whom we are meant to connect. As such, she is rendered with the same volumetric and textural presence as the other objects, defining space as well as existing in it.

I love the textural application of paint in her face and cap in particular, and in her clothing in general.

The control of edges throughout, as in all of Chardin’s paintings, is remarkable. Look at the softness of the edges of the barrel hoop (images above, second from bottom), and the way the edges of the crock disappear into the floor and background (images above, bottom).


Saturday, June 24, 2017

George Vicat Cole

George Vicat Cole
Victorian era painter George Vicat Cole was the middle of three generations of painters; his father, George Cole, and his son, Rex Vicat Cole, were both painters of note. His daughter, Mary Blanch Cole, was also an artist, but I’ve been unable to find any information about her online.

George Vicat Cole was noted for his English landscapes, mostly of the countryside in southeastern England, but also occasionally of London and its surrounds.

Some of his paintings with figures can feel a bit artificial, but others are more naturalistic and feel directly observed. There is a particular delight, I think, in the textures of foliage, tree trunks and rocks, and the play of light on distant hills and fields.

I’m uncertain if some of his father’s work may be mixed in with his in some of the online sources, as their styles are similar.