Fred Lynch

Fred Lynch
Fred Lynch is an illustrator and gallery artist based in Massachusetts who is also a Professor of Illustration at Montserrat College of Art and a member of the Illustration Faculty at Rhode Island School of Design.

His illustration clients include Random House, Viking Penguin and the Atlantic Monthly, among others. You will find a selection of his illustration work on his website under the heading “illustrator” under “commercial art”.

In the section for “artist”, under “paintings” you can see some of his gallery art, focusing on a series of coffee cup subjects, several of which are liquified funhouse mirror interpretations of the humble cup.

In both the “illustrator” and “artist” sections you will find a section called “journalistic art”. These are a series of wonderful location sketches, apparently in pencil, ink and washes of either monochromatic watercolor or colored ink.

The versions on his site are unfortunately small, but you can see larger images, and many more of them, on Lynch’s Flicker stream and on the Urban Sketchers blog, which is where I initially encountered his work.

I particularly enjoy his evocative drawings (many of them are refined to the point it’s hard to call them “sketches”) of buildings and streets in small Italian towns. He has an architect’e eye for architectural details, but renders them with a beautifully free line and precise but lively application of washes.

I love the way he plays with light and shade in these, note the white awning in the piece at top, and in the detail, second down, as well as the highlights on the steps and sheet in the wonderfully odd building with the central staircase above, fifth down.

Lynch often travels to Italy in conjunction with the Montserrat College of Art’s Summer Italy Program. There is a blog titled Drawing Viterbo devoted to the program that showcases some of the student work from the program as well as some of Lynch’s location work.

[Addendum: Lynch has been kind enough to inform me that there is a Tumbleog of his Italy drawings, and a blog that features his illustrations and stories for Paul Revere’s Ride Revisited.]


Eye Candy for Today: Bierstadt’s Merced River

Merced River, Yosemite Valley, Albert Bierstadt
Merced River, Yosemite Valley, Albert Bierstadt.

When looking at Bierstadt’s large canvasses, I always see multiple smaller compositions within the whole. I’m also constantly delighted at how painterly Bierstadt’s works can be when viewed close up.

In the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Use Fullscreen link, then zoom or download arrow.


Daniel Merriam

Daniel Merriam
Originally from Maine, Daniel Merriam paints fantastical characters and intricate scenes of imagined architecture, as well as children’s fantasy-tinged themes of trees and moons with faces, bizarre creatures and elaborate tableaux of all of them together.

His fantasized takes on Victorian architecture are at times ornate to the point of the Baroque. He often casts his compositions in almost monochromatic ranges of color, allowing his hues variety only within a narrow range, and using value and textural contrasts to compose the image.

At times his works take on the semi-diensional character of a diorama or bas-relief, some seeming like a stage set from a dream.

On the artist’s website you will find galleries originals, latest releases, limited editions and books. In the Limited Editions section, be aware that there are several pages, accessed from small numbered links above the thumbnail area.

When you hover over images you see a larger version that can be accessed in a pop-up window by clicking on the image.

Merriam works in watercolor. I would have assumed form the look of the work in these small reproductions that he also used gouache, but in this reprinted article by Daniel Fallon from Watercolor Magic, Merriam indicates that he works in transparent watercolor.

[Suggestion courtesy of Willow’s Quiet Corner]


Eye Candy for Today: Jan van der Heyden View in Cologne

A View in Cologne, Jan van der Heyden
A View in Cologne, Jan van der Heyden (possibly with help on the figures by Adriaen van de Velde).

The structure on top of the cathedral (unfinished at the time) is a crane.

In the National Gallery, London. Use the fullscreen and zoom controls to the right of the image.

I haven’t seen the original painting, but in this photograph it looks a bit distorted to me, particularly in the lower left, as though the photo was taken from an angle below the painting.

Still, a beautiful painting, very evocative of time and place.


ArtBabble relaunch

Art Babble
Longtime Lines and Colors readers may have noticed my tendency to be cranky about art museums that are seemingly without clue in their approach to using their website to best advantage (though I take great delight in pointing out those who are using them well, as in the case of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the recent makeover of the Rijksmuseum website).

It’s sometimes not for lack of trying. Museums often put effort into producing articles, interactives, videos and other projects in various media aimed at engaging their audience and encouraging people to be more informed and involved in the appreciation of art and art related topics.

Short documentary video, in particular, is an area into which a number of art museums have put time and energy, whether accompanying particular exhibits, highlighting collections, exploring topics related to conservation and curation or simply general forays into art history.

ArtBabble, which I mentioned not long after its initial launch back in 2009, is a website produced by Indianapolis Museum of Art (whose own website I praised here) that provides a centralized source for browsing and viewing short video productions about art related subjects by a number of partner museums.

The site has just been relaunched after a major redesign, with a more efficient and elegant interface, better search features and an expanded variety of browsing paths. You can browse videos by themes, medium, period and style, location, people and more, including a list of artists.

Pages within a particular category are accompanied by an excellent set of sub-menus on the left sidebar of the other subcategories at the level you’re browsing.

I actually find the Partner Channels page, which features the growing list of participating institutions, to be one of the most fruitful sections from which to browse. I find that some museums produce materials more of interest to me personally than others.

What’s still missing is a more sophisticated search feature, with options for narrowing your search, though the current one does make provisions for filtering your results. You can also filter pages that offer browsing within topics.

Most of the videos are professionally produced to one degree or another. Many simply take the form of curators, conservators and other museum staff commenting on particular works. Others delve into the process of a particular medium, like the Museum of Modern Art’s short series “Pressure + Ink: Introduction to Printmaking“. The videos on mediums and techniques are generally overviews and not specifically instructional.

Some of the videos are aimed at engaging children in looking at art, and there is a video type “For Kids” that will let you filter for them; though I don’t see a way to filter them out of the results (which would be convenient).

Also, though most of the videos are in English, a number are in various languages (sometimes with subtitles). These are usually from particular museums (e.g. Prado, Van Gogh Museum).

A few of the features are longer, such as the series of recorded lectures “Wyeth Lecture in American Art” from the National Gallery, Washington.

How fascinating you find the kinds of videos offered will, of course, vary depending on your interests, but if you like them, the Art Babble site, particularly in it newly energized form, is a cornucopia of short documentary art videos and worth a Timesink Warning.

(Images above: Art babble interface; Dallas Museum Of Art Collection: The Seine at Lavacourt by Claude Monet – Dallas Museum Of Art; The Landscape Painter Martín Rico – Prado, Madrid; Pressure + Ink: Introduction to Printmaking – MoMA; Vincent Van Gogh In Paris: Montmartre – Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; Conserving Norman Rockwell’s “United Nations” – Norman Rockewll Museum; Wyeth Lecture In American Art: Ground Swell: Edward Hopper In 1939 – National Gallery, Washington)


Eye Candy for Today: Monet still life

Chrysanthemums, Claude Monet
Chrysanthemums, Claude Monet.

Many who are fond of Monet’s Impressionist landscapes are unfamiliar with his still life paintings. A number of these were of floral subjects.

In the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Click “Fullscreen” under image, then use zoom controls or download arrow.

Notice the colors in the table top.