Sara Tyson (update)

Sara Tyson, lllustration
Sara Tyson is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Ontaio, Canada, who I first profiled back in 2007. Her illustration clients include the Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, Harvard Business Review, The Globe & Mail, Road & Track, Penguin Group, McGraw-Hill Ryerson and Harcourt Publishers, among others.

Tyson works in a highly stylized and often strongly geometric style, that at times is overtly Cubist in its effects.

Her rich but controlled palette is nicely augmented with textural passages, adding extra vibrancy to both her highly styled and more naturalistic subjects.


“Giovanni Bellini: Landscapes of Faith in Renaissance Venice” at the Getty

Giovanni Bellini: Landscapes of Faith in Renaissance Venice at the Getty

When I first came across reproductions of the painting St. Francis in the Desert by Venitian master Giovanni Bellini years ago, my immediate thought was: here is an artist who is constrained by his time to painting religious subjects, but really, really wants to paint landscape.

Seeing that painting in person at the Frick Collection in New York — and again as recently as a few weeks ago — has only reinforced my impression, as has my observation of other works by Bellini.

His often intricate and highly textural landscapes make a striking contrast to his softly luminous and superbly finessed figures.

Though landscape as a subject for painting was present in Greek and Roman murals, it was subsumed into religious and history painting for centuries, not emerging again as an independent subject until the early 16th century in the Netherlands, and the 17th century in Italy and elsewhere.

In the Renaissance, it was Bellini who elevated the place of landscape in religious painting; and despite the fact that he was not a “pure” landscape painter, and that his landscapes were rich with metaphor and religious symbolism, he should be considered one of history’s greatest and most influential landscape artists.

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has mounted what promises to be a stunning show of works by Bellini that focuses attention on his landscapes. Though St. Francis in the Desert is not part of the show, there are dazzling works on loan from the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice; Galleria Corsini and Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence; the Louvre and RMN-Grand Palais, Paris; and the National Galleries of Art, London and DC, as well as other public and private collections.

Giovanni Bellini: Landscapes of Faith in Renaissance Venice is on view at the Getty Center until January 14, 2018.

There is a book accompanying the exhibition, also available on Amazon: Giovanni Bellini: Landscapes of Faith in Renaissance Venice.

There is a show checklist here. Inexplicably, the Getty’s website appears to have limited images from the show to that list and a slideshow of eight images, mostly detail crops. (Why museums don’t take better advantage of images on their websites to generate interest in exhibitions continues to boggle my mind.)

The Los Angeles Times has a review of the show with larger, more complete images.

Those of us who can’t get to the exhibition in person can take it as a jumping off point to explore images of Bellini’s work with appreciation for his landscapes in mind. A good place to start might be the zoomable images on Google Art Project.


Eye Candy for Today: Peder Mønsted woodland interior

A Woodland Stream, Peder Mork Monsted landscape painting, oil on canvas
A Woodland Stream, Peder Mørk Mønsted

Link is to Wikimedia Commons, which has a high res version of the file. The original was sold through Sotheby’s in 1987 and is presumably still in a private collection.

As far as I can tell, the majority of Mønsted’s paintings seem to be in private collections. He is one of my favorite painters, based solely on seeing images of his work; I’ve never seen an original in person.

If anyone is aware of Peder Mønsted paintings in public collections here in the U.S. (particularly on the mid-Atlantic states), I would love to know about them.


Paschalis Dougalis

Paschalis Dougalis, wildlife art, watercolors pen and ink
Originally from Greece, Paschalis Dougalis is an artist and wildlife illustrator currently based in Munich, Germany.

Douglais has a special interest in birds, and owls in particular. He works in watercolor, gouache and acrylic for his finished pieces, and often works from life in zoos and parks, capturing animals in watercolor or pen, often Bic pens.

I particularly enjoy his drawings on toned paper in which he works out from the middle ground with both ink and white gel pens.

Though there are a few images on his website, his blog is more active. Douglais’ YouTube channel includes a number of videos of him working on location.

There is a brief interview with Douglais on Birdingmurcia.


Eye Candy for Today: Jongkind Laundry Boat on the Seine

Bateau-Lavoir pres du Pont-Neuf, Paris; Johan Jongkind
Bateau-Lavoir prés du Pont-Neuf, Paris; Johan Jongkind

From our vantage point in time, we have a tendency to call paintings like this one — with its loose, painterly brushwork, depiction of everyday events, and contrasting complementary colors — “impressionistic”.

It’s another reminder that the characteristics we associate with French Impressionism were not invented out of whole cloth by Monet, Renoir, Sisley and Bazille, but were in large part a logical progression from painters who immediately preceded them.

Like similar works by Charles-François Daubigny, this was painted several years prior to Monet’s first known painting, let alone the height of the Impressionist style, which came a decade later.

Here, Johan Jongkind, a Dutch painter who worked extensively in Paris, portrays a laundry boat moored in the Siene near the Pont-Neuf.

This is hardly the romantic image we have of the Seine in the 19th century, but that was part of the point of the move toward “Realism” instigated by painters like Courbet and Corot, that the everyday activities or ordinary people were worthy of painting, not just the romanticized and idealized visions of Academic painting.

Jongkind painted at least one other interpretation of this scene — a composition in darker light, with a vantage point closer to the boat and bridge — that is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was painted perhaps earlier the same year.

The painting shown here is currently in a private collection; it was sold through Sotheby’s auctions in 2011.

Link is to Wikimedia Commons, which has a downloadable version of the image.


Odile Richer

Canadian painter Odile Richer
Canadian painter Odile Richer takes a refined realist approach to her compositions of faces and figures.

The often complex backgrounds against which she places her models, and the clothing in which she poses them, offer a dense variety of textures, shapes and value relationships that contrast with the faces of the models themselves.

Often there is an element of whimsey in her arrangements.

Richer is represented by RDJ Gallery in Bridgehampton, NY, and her work is currently on display as part of the Women Painting Women group show I recently covered.