Peder Severin Krøyer

Peder Severin Kroyer
Peder Severin Krøyer (sometimes Peter or just P.S. Krøyer) was born in Norway but moved to Denmark with his foster parents at an early age.

He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Art, traveled Europe and studied in Paris, where he was introduced to the work of the French Impressionists, an influence that resonates in his open, painterly, color-filled later work.

When he returned to Denmark he spent time painting in a remote fishing village called Skagen, and began to divide his time between Skagen and a studio in Copenhagen. Kroyer became the unofficial leader of an arts colony that sprang up in Skagen, and you will find reference to the group as the Skagen Painters. The Skagens Museum is dedicated to the group.

There is currently an exhibition, Krøyer; an international perspective at the Hirschprung Collection in Copenhagen where it will be on view until 10 April, 2012. After that it moves to the Skagens Museum where it will be on view from 5 April to 2 September, 2012.

There are scattered sources for Krøyer’s work in the web. Two of the best are Michael Hirsh’s Painters I should Have Known About (004) Peter Krøyer on his always superb Articles And Texticles blog, which also has some images of Skagen; and an article on a blog titled ensuciando las paredes.

Like the painting by John Atkinson Grimshaw that I mentioned in my recent post on that artist, Krøyer’s painting Interior of a Tavern (images above, third down) is one I love to revisit when at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

[Addendum: Though I didn’t see it on the Hirschsprung site, there is a catalog for the exhibition available from the Skagens museum. (Thanks to Ron Washington)]


Steven Hughes

Steven Hughes
Originally from Ohio and now living and working in Michigan, Steven Hughes is a freelance illustrator and an Assistant professor of illustration at Northern Michigan University.

His clients include American Greetings, Ohio Magazine, Cleveland Magazine, University of Dayton and others.

His website (I love the URL: essentially opens up to his portfolio, which festures work in both traditional and digital media.

The section for Paintings includes his nicely rendered poster images of baseball players, along with more conceptual pieces like his portrayal of Ben Franklin as an electrical socket.

Note that the images are often accompanied by work in progress images, accessed from small links just above them.

Tucked away in the “Paintings” list is a selection of “Cityscapes”, which are location paintings for gallery exhibit and private commissions. Again, there are several images accessed from links at top.

The “Drawings” section includes sketchbook pages, which have a nice feeling of “draw whatever is in front of you” subject selections, along with more finished still life drawings and figure drawings.

Hughes also has a blog. Though not recently updated, it includes additional work in progress images as well as additional context for some of his portfolio images.

There is a brief interview with Hughes on The Artfuls.


Dale Nichols

Dale Nichols
As countries go, the United States is fairly large, both in population and area, and in our history of art there are often “regional” artists worthy of note that don’t receive the attention they’re due.

This seems to particularly apply to artists from those areas of the country that some of the societal elite in New York and California like to refer to as the “flyover states”.

This comes under the heading of “You don’t know what you’re missing”, and as a case in point, the Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art in David City, Nebraska has organized a traveling exhibition of work by Nebraska (and David City) favorite son Dale Nichols, titled Dale Nichols: Transcending Regionalism.

Nichols studied at The Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago, lived and worked in Chicago for a number of years and taught at the University of Illinois. He eventually travelled extensively, finally settling in Arizona.

All the while, however, he painted “remembered” scenes of his native Nebraska, resisting all pressure to bow to the modernist establishment. His paintings were based on an artistic philosophy that didn’t change much over the course of his long career. He did, however, stress the geometry of his landscapes, with flat areas of color forming sharply defined planes, and even trees having a sort of geometric “wrapper”, an effect I particularly enjoy in his work.

Nichols was noted for his snow scenes, and reportedly got his areas of flat color by applying oil color in thin layers with watercolor brushes.

Sometimes he mixed his Nebraska scenes with elements from his travels, leading to paintings in which mountains and tropical vegetation from his trips to Central America appear in a Nebraska farm scene.

Nichols was also an illustrator and printmaker, working in woodcarvings and lithographs. His lithographs of Nebraska farm scenes are strongly graphic and wonderfully evocative of light and mood.

Unfortunately, I can’t find a large repository of images of his work on the web, though I’ve listed what resources I can find below. One of the best sources is Christie’s past lots, of which many images are zoomable.

There is a book accompanying the traveling exhibition, Dale Nichols Transcending Regionalism, published by the Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art, and a Facebook page devoted to the book and exhibition.

The exhibition is currently at the Georgia Museum of Art, where it will be on view until February 27, 2011; it then moves to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts from March 17 to June 17, 2012.

[Suggestion courtesy of John Derry]


Mysterious paper scultures of Edinburgh

Mysterious paper scultures of Edinburgh
Since March of last year, a series of wonderful and whimsical paper sculptures have been anonymously left on tables and shelves in libraries in Edinburgh, Scotland.

It feels like something from a novel, and may in some way have a connection to the detective novels of Ian Rankin, but there is no indication he is involved, other than perhaps in inspiring a fan.

The sculptures are made from books and pages of books, and extol the virtues of book and libraries. They were often accompanied by notes, one of which reads in part: …” In support of Libraries, Books, Words, Ideas […] and All things ‘magic’…”

There were, over a period of months, 10 sculptures left by the mysterious artist, who on the last sculpture left a note signing off with “Cheers Edinburgh it’s been fun!

Most of the articles I’ve come across refer to images from this Flickr set of photos by Chris Scott.


Edwin Longesden Long

Edwin Longesden Long
19th century British painter Edwin Longesden Long began his career as portrait painter.

He became friends with painter John Phillip, who was noted for his portrayals of life in Spain, and accompanied him on trips there, where he painted Spanish genre scenes and was introduced to the works of Velázquez and other great Spanish painters.

Long was modestly successful as a portraitist and genre painter, but it was after trips to Egypt and Syria in 1874 that he shifted his focus, and his success and recognition came as an orientalist, painting large elaborate pictures of Biblical subjects and exotic tableaux of scenes from the Middle East like The Babylonian Marriage Market (images above, top, with detail).

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the latter painting in person, and it’s easy to see why Long’s work was in demand and at high prices. He filled these beautifully painted large canvasses not only with attractive people, particularly women in exotic costume, but with richly detailed archeological objects, recreated with great accuracy.

Long was the forerunner of a style exemplified by slightly later Victorian painters like Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Sir Edward John Poynter and Frederick Lord Leighton.


A Year of Sun with Mr. Persol (Kevin Dart)

A Year of Sun with Mr. Persol (Kevin Dart)
A Year of Sun with Mr. Persol is a beautifully realized animated ad for Persol sunglasses, directed by illustrator Kevin Dart and Stéphane Codëdel, and designed by Dart and illustrator Chris Turnham.

At first I thought it might be intended as a web only ad as the richness and variety of the illustrations gives the impression that it’s longer than it is, but at just one minute in length, it could be intended for broadcast.

There are additional credits on Dart’s site.

As an ad, it’s very understated, but that’s evidently the intention; as an animated short, it’s very nicely done.

[Via Cartoon Brew]