Anything painted directly, on the spot, always has a strength, a power, a lively touch that is lost in the studio. Your first impression is the right one. Stick to it and refuse to budge.
- Eugene Boudin
Nothing makes me so happy as to observe nature and to paint what I see.
- Henri Rousseau


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ben Sack

Posted by Charley Parker at 11:40 pm

Ban Sack
Benjamin Sack creates wonderfully complex large scale drawings of imaginary cities, often in detailed, map-like projections.

There is a fascinating video on YouTube that steps through his process in filling out the drawing shown above, top (with detail).

I particularly like his fun take on Van Gogh’s The Starry Night (above, bottom, with detail).

In addition to the portfolio on his website, Sack maintains a blog, and you can also find prints on his society6 page.

There are some photos on this post by Jason Kottke — which is where I learned of Sack’s work — that show the scale of one of Sack’s drawings. Kottke points out that Sack’s work shares come characteristics with the large and detailed cityscapes of Stephen Wiltshire.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Eye Candy for Today: Roelofs’ Rainbow

Posted by Charley Parker at 8:52 pm

The Rainbow, Willem Roelofs
The Rainbow (Evening of a Rainy Autumn Day), Willem Roelofs

On Google Art Project. High-res downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons. Originai is in the Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag.

It’s difficult to paint a rainbow without succumbing to the picturesque, but 19th century Dutch painter Willem Roelofs accomplishes it brilliantly — by pushing the prismatic phenomenon into the background and emphasizing the dramatic post-storm transition from shadow to sunlight.

Posted in: Eye Candy for Today   |   Comments »

Jeremiah Goodman

Posted by Charley Parker at 2:35 pm

Jeremiah Goodman
Jeremiah Goodman is an illustrator known for his portrayals of room interiors, particularly those of the rich and famous, and/or those designed by well known interior designers.

Goodman works in gouache or casein on illustration board. His solid draftsmanship and command of interior perspective provide a firm foundation for his loose, gestural application of color.

Goodman, who signs his work simply “Jeremiah”, does not appear to have a dedicated web presence, but I’ve listed a few galleries and articles below.

This article/interview on Veranda has a slideshow of images that can be enlarged. There are also large linked images viewable on Pinterest, posted by Dean Rhys Morgan, who offer artist-approved pints of Goodman’s work.

There are videos on YouTube an ABC Local, that feature the artist and some discussion of his process.

Posted in: Illustration   |   2 Comments »

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Portraits of Mrs. Walter Rathbone Bacon: Zorn vs. Sargent

Posted by Charley Parker at 11:51 pm

Portraits of Mrs. Walter Rathbone Bacon: Anders Zorn vs. John Singer Sargent
Though I’ve never had the chance to see the original in person (it’s not always on display), I’ve admired this portrait of Mrs. Walter Rathbone Bacon (née Virginia Purdy) by Anders Zorn in the high-resolution images on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website.

The Met’s description of the painting is brief, and mentions that both John Singer Sargent and James McNeil Whistler admired the portrait at the Paris Salon, where it was displayed in 1897.

According to Greg Cook, writing for WBUR’s The Artery, there is a backstory. The sitter’s husband apparently challenged Zorn — a contemporary of Sargent who competed, to some extent, for the same well-to-do clientele — to paint a better portrait of his wife than the one done by Sargent the year before (images above, bottom).

Cook’s article indicates that, as described in Zorn’s memoirs, Sargent acknowledged that Zorn had outdone him.

Granted, the portrait by Sargent, though very nice, is not one of his more outstanding works (for other examples see my posts here and here); however, by any measure, the portrait by Zorn is striking.

(Unfortunately, though the Zorn painting is viewable in high-resolution on the Met’s website, I don’t know of a source for a large image of the Sargent painting, the original of which is in the collection of the Biltmore Estate.)

I’m not suggesting Zorn is a better painter than Sargent (as much as I like both, I hold Sargent in higher regard) — just pointing out an interesting case in which two “masters of the loaded brush” painted the same sitter.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fool-the-eye Day: trompe l’oeil by Andrea Pozzo

Posted by Charley Parker at 7:10 pm

April Fool-the-eye day, trompe l'oeil by Andrea Pozzo
Instead of a fake post, or some similar nonsense, let’s celebrate April Fool’s Day with a nice bit of “fool the eye” (trompe l’oeil) by Andrea Pozzo.

This is his false dome for the Jseuit Church in Vienna, a fresco painted on a gently curved surface on the ceiling. This is essentially a anamorphic projection, painted to look like the interior of a dome in deep, three-dimensional space when seen from a certain vantage point, in this case when standing in the entrance of the church.

You can see the image of the fresco viewed from the other direction (image above, bottom – from, where its painted distortions are obvious.

Monday, March 31, 2014

More “not the usual Van Goghs”

Posted by Charley Parker at 1:35 pm

not the usual Van Goghs
I’ve written before about how most book publishers tend to take a safe, “greatest hits” approach to publishing works by Vincent van Gogh, leaving much of the fascinating variety of his subjects unseen.

In honor of Van Gogh’s birthday, here is another modest selection of some works of his you don’t often see. Most of these were taken from the Vincent van Gogh Gallery website (see my post here), where you can find many more.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Graphite drawings from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Posted by Charley Parker at 11:44 pm

Graphite drawings from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Samuel Prout, Samuel Amsler, Carlo Ferrario, Charles R. Knight, William Trost Richards,  Alexandre Denis Abel de Pujol, John Singer Sargent
Today, March 30, is — we are told — “National Pencil Day“, marking the advent of a patent on the pencil with an attached eraser.

I’ll put aside the fact that this hardly represents the most significant event in the history of the pencil, and the inaccuracy of the linked WN article about Lipman creating the wooden pencil (he did not — see my post on the history of Pencils); and I’ll even overlook the likelihood that this is merely a marketing ploy on the part of pencil manufacturers, and instead use it as an excuse to celebrate pencil drawing, with a few nice examples from history.

To do that, I had to go no further than the mind-bogglingly deep catalogue of drawings in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, from which I’ve selected a few done in graphite.

Should you choose to do the same, here is a link to a search of the online collections for works marked with the tag “graphite”.

This will turn up many watercolors, ink and wash and other drawings in which graphite was incorporated or used as a start, but there are enough actual graphite drawings to keep an interested pencil drawing aficionado occupied for hours. Most of them are available in high-resolution versions.

This tiny selection of pencil drawings is merely (if you’ll excuse the expression) scratching the surface — so I’ll tack on a Time Sink Warning.

Images above, with details: Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Samuel Prout, Samuel Amsler, Carlo Ferrario, Charles R. Knight, William Trost Richards, Alexandre Denis Abel de Pujol, John Singer Sargent.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Eye Candy for Today: Carl Blechen interior

Posted by Charley Parker at 11:55 pm

Interior of the Palm House, Carl Blechen
Interior of the Palm House, Carl Blechen

On Google Art Project. Downloadable high-resolution version on Wikimedia Commons. Original is in the Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

I had seen reproductions of this painting before, and has assumed it was a watercolor from the translucency of the leaves and the graphic nature of some of the architectural elements, but it’s oil on paper, laid on canvas.

This is one of several paintings by Blechen of the interior of the Palm House (Pfaueninsel) in Berlin. You can see two others here and here.

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