Retro Future Space Art on Dark Roasted Blend

Retro Future Space Art on Dark Roasted Blend
I just love these. Not only do I take great delight in past visions of the future, I’m particularly fond of retro space art.

The blog Dark Roasted Blend, which posts items that are odd, amusing, visually interesting — or all three, has posted a fine addition to their wonderful series of posts collecting visions of future space tech from the past, notably the 1930’s through the 1960’s.

The posts are a cornucopia of art deco streamlined spaceships, giant wheeled space stations, beautifully clunky spacesuits and rocketships with fins that would make a 1959 Cadillac turn green with envy.

Is it the future yet?

(Please see the original articles for links to the image credits.)

[Via BibliOdyssey]


LeConte Stewart

LeConte Stewart
LeConte Stewart was an American painter active in the 20th Century who spent most of his life portraying the landscape of his native state of Utah.

Stewart studied art at the University of Utah, but also traveled to the East Coast to study with established artists there, notably John Fabian Carlson.

I also see other influences in his work, of the California landscape painters like Hanson Puthuff and other American Impressionists, as well as Edward Hopper and John Sloan. Mostly, however, Stewart’s vision was his own and, a dedicated plein air painter, he spent countless hours painting in the fields, farms, deserts and small towns of his beloved Utah.

In addition to painting in oil, Stewart worked in pastel and watercolor, sketched in pencil and ink and was an accomplished etcher. Stewart joined the faculty of the Art Department of the University of Utah, and served as chair for over 20 years.

Some of his early work documents the trials of the nation and of individuals through the Great Depression, which is the theme of one of two new exhibitions on the painter.

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the LDS Church History Museum are presenting joint exhibitions, LeConte Stewart: Depression Era Art at the UMFA and LeConte Stewart: The Soul of Rural Utah at the Church History Museum. The exhibitions are on display until January 15, 2012; together they include over 200 works by the artist.

The UMFA has created an online resource for Stewart. The museum’s own holdings of Stewart’s work are extensive and the online section of their permanent collection is the best resource I’ve found. Note the arrows at bottom to subsequent pages of thumbnails, of which there are several. Most images are zoomable (the zoom controls take some getting used to, the icons don’t produce actions themselves, but change the action of your cursor).

There is a video of LeConte Stewart by Claudia Sisemore that includes a brief introduction to Stewart and his work and features footage of him working on location and audio of him discussing his approach.


Art-o-Mat (update)

Art-o-Mat: Lindsay Matthews, Paula Griffin, Lee Fenyves, Julie Armbruster, Asya Soloian, Janie Reavis-Cox, Carrie Price, Jessica Guptill
So you’re standing in front of a beautifully refurbished vending machine; you put in your golden token, make your selection, pull the selection knob, listen to the delightful “clunkity-clunk” that means your selection has arrived in the vending tray; you reach down and pick up your… art?

Yes, if the vending machine is one of the over 90 classic vending machines around the US and Canada that have been converted to Art-o-Mats, vending machines that dispense original works of art.

I first wrote about Art-o-Mat in 2006; the idea was started in 1997 by artist Clark Whittington. There are now over 400 participating artists, creating small cigarette-pack size works in various media, and selling them inexpensively (usually $5 US) in Art-o-Mats.

On the Art-o-mat website there is a list of machines by location, as well as a selection of images of various Art-o-Mat machines and a list of sample works by various artists, linked to pop-up images of some of their Art-o-Mat works.

There are also guidelines for artists who would like to participate.

For those who wish to purchase Art-o-Mat art, but can’t get to a machine, you can now order an Art-o-Carton of 10 works online for $99.

There is also now a Flickr gallery of Art-o-Mat related photos.

Hey, can I bum five bucks? I need to get a pack of art.

(Images above, below the machines: Lindsay Matthews, Paula Griffin, Lee Fenyves, Julie Armbruster, Asya Soloian, Janie Reavis-Cox, Carrie Price, Jessica Guptill)


Owen Freeman

Owen Freeman
Illustrator and designer Owen Freeman’s work blends a graphic sensibility and strongly geometric compositions with touches of texture and linear variety that gives his images a lively sense of energy.

He uses contrasting organic and architectural shapes, areas of color within almost monochromatic compositions and angular divisions of the image area to lead the eye and focus the work.

Freeman’s clients include The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, Harper Collins, The Atlantic, Scholastic Books, New York Magazine, Out, and The Boston Globe.

His website includes a section of sketches in addition to this illustration portfolio. He also has a blog in which he posts preliminary sketches and other work stages as well as images of the final work in place in the publications.

There is an interview with Freeman on The Design View.

[Via Leif Peng]


Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud
Painter Lucien Freud, a grandson of Sigmund Freud, was born in Berlin, moved to England with his parents when he was 10, and later became a British citizen.

Freud became known for his intense portraits and figures, painted in brusque strokes of thick impasto and in a manner some call uncompromising, but I think of as intentionally harsh.

In my admittedly biased view, his apparent rejection of physical beauty made him particularly acceptable as a figurative painter amid a modernist establishment that had done the same, and he became the most influential and revered figurative painter of the era.

However, I think he snuck considerable beauty past the modernists, in the surface, textures and touches of rich color amid paler tones of his faces and figures. The same characteristics that serve to make the images appear harsh, make the paint surface beautiful.

Even his famous portrayal of model Kate Moss, Naked Portrait 2002, in which he painted her pregnant, would not be interpreted by most people as at all flattering, but the paint handling is beautiful.

Freud also received some notoriety for his unflattering portrait of the Queen (above, bottom right), but his self portraits (top) and images of his family follow a similar approach.

While his portraits and figures get the attention, particularly when one of them sells for the highest price of a work by any living artist, as the reclining nude titled Benefits Supervisor Sleeping (above, second down) did when it was sold at Christie’s in Manhattan for over $33 million, if you look back into his past work you will find a wider range of subjects and more variation in approach than you might expect, including a number of studies after artists of the past like Chardin, Watteau and Cezanne.

Freud was devoted to painting and is quoted as saying that he would “paint himself to death”. He died on Wednesday at the age of 88.

The most comprehensive single online gallery of his work I can find is on Ciudad de la pintura. Next would be Museum Syndicate.

Katherine Tyrrell has assembled an extensive page of resources, listings, books and links on her Squidoo Lens Lucian Freud – Resources for Art Lovers. She also has an appreciation on her blog, Making a Mark.

There are also posts with images on Escape Into Life and Areasucia (and I’m sure others I haven’t come across), and obits with bios on Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Mail.


The Making of Gobelins Shorts

The Making of Gobelins Shorts: Fur, Who's Afraid of Mr. Greedy?
I’ve written several times in the past about the wonderful student animation coming out of Gobelins, l’école de l’image (Goeblins School of Communications) in Paris.

It seems that each example I see is another small triumph for hand drawn animation in a world dominated by increasingly formulaic computer CGI.

Writing for On Animation, Daniel Caylor has a terrific article pointing us to both a selection of Gobelins animations that he has previously posted and a post on CATSUKA of Making-of films by various contributors to several Gobelins animations.

There are often several different Making-of films for the same animation, as they are usually the work of groups rather than individuals, and we get different perspectives on the creation of the works. There are also links to the animators’ demo reels.

Absolutely wonderful.

(Images above, top two: Fur, bottom two: Who’s Afraid of Mr. Greedy?; please see films for team credits)