Robert Hope

Robert Hope. 19th century Scottish painter
Scottish painter Robert Hope was active in the late 19th end early 20th centuries. He studied at the Edinburgh School of Design and in Paris at the Académie Julian.

Beyond that, I can find little information and only a few sources of images.

Hope created painterly landscapes and compositions of young women in clothes of silk, satin and other interestingly textured materials, sometimes combining the two in outdoor subjects of young women working or at leisure.

His figures are often fluid and graceful, and his paint handling seems in keeping with some of the most interesting portraitists of the time — which makes the limited availability of larger images frustrating. The largest I’ve found are the zoomable images on Bonham’s (linked below).

Nelson Shanks, 1937-2015

Nelson Shanks, 1937-2015
Nelson Shanks was a highly regarded painter or portraits, still life and landscape; noted in particular for his portraits of such figures as Luciano Pavarotti, Mstislav Rostropovich, Princess Diana, Pope John Paul II and U.S. Presidents Regan and Clinton.

Nelson Shanks died yesterday, August 28, 2015 at the age of 77.

I won’t go into detail here, as I already have in three previous posts, linked below. My post Nelson Shanks (update), from 2012, contains a fairly extensive list of links. The images on his Studio Incamminati Gallery and on the Art Renewal Center are often larger than those on his own website.

Shanks leaves a legacy not only in his own work, but as an influential teacher; and as the founder and Artistic Director of Studio Incamminati, an atelier-style school — and bastion of traditional realist painting — here in Philadelphia.

Shanks’ own style simultaneously kept and broke with tradition, exploring experimental aspects of contemporary portraiture. The image above, bottom is a self-portrait.

Sam Nielson

Sam Nielson, concept and visual development art
Concept artist and illustrator Sam Nielson works in a lively, cartoony style, in which he almost seems to be rendering caricatures of his already far-out imaginary characters.

Nielson combines his springy drawing style with a digital painting approach that pays great attention to the lighting of his subjects — sometimes dramatic, other times muted and understated, but always in control of the way your eye moves through his compositions.

Nielson’s blog contains some professional work, as well as personal projects and a number of pisces related to a digital painting course he teaches in Fundamentals of Lighting through Schoolism, bringing his years of experience in the gamign industry to bear in a series of video lectures.

There is a three-part interview with him, related to Schoolism, on YouTube.

Nielson is also on the faculty at Brigham Young University, and his work is featured in a recent issue of ImagineFX magazine.

In addition to his blog, you can find a portfolio of his work on deviantART.

Phil Sandusky (update 2015)

Phil Sandusky, New Orlenas cityscape
Phil Sandusky is a plein air painter, landscape, cityscape and figurative artist based in New Orleans. I’ve written about Sandusky previously, most recently in 2014. Since then, he has unveiled a new website that showcases his work to better advantage.

Sandusky paints the streets, parks and neighborhoods of New Orleans, and several other cities that he frequently visits, with verve, confidence and a keen sense of direct observation. To my eye, there is always a touch of wildness in his work, a sense that the painter has just barely contained the energy and light of the scene.

Ten years ago, Sandusky confronted another kind of wildness, when his response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina was that of both a new Orleans resident and a painter, and he painted a series of remarkable views of the aftermath of the storm, that were eventually collected into a book, Painting Katrina. These were painted with simultaneous compassion and equanimity, partly with the eye of a painter and partly with the clear observation of a reporter.

Sandusky will be giving a slide presentation about his experiences painting those works on this Friday, August 28, 2015, one day before the 10 year anniversary of the storm, at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art.

Eye Candy for Today: Monet’s Still Life with Flowers and Fruit

Still Life with Flowers and Fruit, Claude Monet
Still Life with Flowers and Fruit, Claude Monet

In the Getty Museum, also on Google Art Project and Wikimedia Commons (also here).

The Getty page offers a downloadble version that is very high resolution (60mb).

The Getty version seems unnecessarily dark to me (I haven’t found museums to be particularly reliable when it comes to the color balance of the online presentation of works from their collections); the Google Art Project version seems unnaturally bright. I haven’t seen the original, but based on other Monets I’ve seen, I suspect the balance is somewhere inbetween, and I’ve taken the liberty of adjusting my copy of the image correspondingly.

Monet’s still life paintings can be just as much a wonder of color and texture as his landscapes, and often reveal more about his handling of darker values. I particularly love the contrast in this piece between immediately juxtaposed areas of shadow and bright, direct light.

It’s interesting to compare this and other Monet still life paintings with those of Henri Fantin-Latour.

So PineNut

So PineNut, lithographs, illustrations
So PineNut is the name given on his Behance gallery for a Japanese artist and illustrator based in Tokyo.

Beyond that I have little background information. The images on his Behance gallery are often dark, both in emotional tone and subject; and, unfortunately, in the sense that some of the photographs of the work appear to be underexposed. I have not taken the liberty of enhancing any of them.

Several of the projects show works in progress and the impressions being pulled on a series of stone lithographs, in which the artist has lavished lots of textural details. There are also color pieces and sculptural ceramics.

His Behance gallery does not offer a link to another website or blog. I came across this Weibo site, and have no idea if it is officially related or not (use at your own risk).