Saturday, November 15, 2014

Eye Candy for Today: Adriaen Ysenbrandt’s The Magdalen in a Landscape

The Magdalen in a Landscape Adriaen Ysenbrandt
The Magdalen in a Landscape, Adriaen Ysenbrandt

In the National Gallery, London. Also on Google Art Project, downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons.

Painted in the early 16th century, this delicately rendered devotional piece features a truly strange landscape, including a scene within a scene in which Mary is shown reading in a rather bizarre little cave. There are beautiful touches in the detailed rendering of the book, jar and and flowers.

In contrast to the other background elements, the large tree is naturalistic in a way similar to the styles of later centuries.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Inga Moore

Inga Moore, illustrator Wind in the Willows, The Secret Garden
British illustrator Inga Moore moved with her family to Australia when she was eight, but a fondness for the English countryside never left her, as she grew up reading books with British illustrators. When she returned to England as an adult, and after a time working in various positions in London, she moved out to the English countryside once again to pursue her illustration career in more suitable surroundings.

As a result of that love of the land, and a long time admiration for great landscape painters as well as Golden Age illustrators, Moore produced a unique and beautiful style, richly detailed and textural in the midst of trends toward minimal children’s book illustration, and brought it to bear illustrating her own titles, like Six-Dinner Sid, and new versions of classics like The Wind in the Willows and The Secret Garden, among others.

Moore works in a multi-media approach, using pencil, ink, watercolor, colored pencil and occasionally oil (bringing to mind the multi-layered charcoal and watercolor techniques of Golden Age American illustrator Elizabeth Shippen Green).

Moore is somewhat reclusive, and as far as I can tell, does not have an official web presence, so I’ll point you to places where others have posted her work.

Andrew Wyeth’s windows

Andrew Wyeth's windows
As I’ve mentioned before, I run hot and cold on Andrew Wyeth. I’m not particularly fond of the paintings that are generally regarded to be his major works — which tend to be figurative and conceptual, with narrative implications — but I do very much like some of his simple and direct observations of his immediate surroundings in the Brandywine Valley (perhaps partially because I grew up in the area).

These, though sometimes in tempera, are done mostly in sketches and watercolor. They are often dry brush watercolor, and wonderfully textural. Like much of Wyeth’s work, they are in subdued palettes, almost monochromatic, to the point where a blue window frame or red apple comes as something of a shock.

One of the common subjects Wyeth returned to frequently was the depiction of windows, and he sketched and painted many variations on the theme.

An exhibit at the National Gallery in D.C., titled Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In explores that aspect of his work.

There is only a brief slideshow of a few works form the show on the museum’s site, so I’ll leave you with a link to a Google image search for “Andrew Wyeth” “windows”, and if you want to know if a piece is in the show, a link to the NGA press page which includes a PDF checklist (right column).

There is a book accompanying the exhibition, also titled Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In, but I haven’t seen it, so you’ll have to look for the reviews of others.

Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In is on view at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. until November 30, 2014.

For more see my previous posts on Andrew Wyeth, and here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Phil Sandusky (update)

Phil Sandusky , plein air New Orleans
Phil Sandusky is a New Orleans based painter who I have featured previously on Lines and Colors. I checked back recently to see that not only has he added recent work to his website, but a new series of prints as well.

Sandusky’s plein air paintings have an appealingly informal, sketch-like feeling, due largely I think, to his interesting approach to delineating many straights a wavering edges. In places, this also gives his sun-dappled images of New Orleans, Atlanta and Jacksonville a feeling of shimmering mid-summer heat.

I particularly find Sandusky’s approach to painting New Orleans refreshing. Where others might look for romanticized views of landmarks and tourist sights, Sandusky looks unblinkingly at the real city, in all its moods and richly varied character.

In addition to his new prints, many of Sandusky’s paintings are available in a series of books, the latest of which is New Orleans Impressionist Cityscapes.

When viewing his website, be aware that what looks like a list of plain text links toward the top of the pages is actually a pop-out menu.