Eye Candy for Today: Winslow Homer’s At the Window

At the Window, Winslow Homer
At the Window, Winslow Homer

Link is to zoomable file on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Princeton University Art Museum, which has background on the painting on their website.

Almost like a 17th century Dutch portrait, this much more casual image of a young woman at a window — one of four related paintings of the same model — allows the subject to gradually emerge from darkness into gentle illumination from the window.

Homer’s painterly, seemingly casual brush marks define the elements in the painting with confidence and economy. There is something especially appealing to me about the simplicity of the plants on the windowsill and the suggestion of landscape beyond.


James Crandall

James Crandall, urban landscape
James Crandall is a California based artist who transitioned from a career in concept art for advertising and film into full time gallery painting.

His subjects are often urban landscape and everyday activities. Many of the European subjects are from his visits to his grandfather’s hometown of Lucca, Italy.

Crandall renders his compositions in blocky, geometric chunks of color that appear to be applied to the canvas more thinly than one might expect from the painterly appearance. A number of the images on his website are large enough for you to get a good look at his paint surface and application.

I particularly enjoy his images of fruit vendors and small markets, as well as his muted tones in streets and landscapes in shadow.


Eye Candy for Today: Edward Poynter’s Lesbia and Her Sparrow

Lesbia and Her Sparrow, Sir Edward John Poynter
Lesbia and Her Sparrow, Sir Edward John Poynter

Link is to downloadable high-res file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in a private collection; information on the painting can be found in the Bonham’s auction page for its last sale.

The painting is a reference to accounts by the Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus of his affair with the wife of a prominent Roman statesman — for whom he uses the pseudonym “Lesbia” — and her pet sparrow, on which she lavishes affection that the poet wishes were turned to him.

There is background on Lesbia on this Wikipedia page, including other artists’ interpretations, and additional background on Lesbia and Catullus here.

I find this painting fascinating for the semi-stippled textural paint application that provides the soft edges on the face, hands and grapes in particular. The painting is in oil, but the technique reminds me of an approach often taken in Victorian watercolors.


Daud Akhriev

Daud Akhriev
Originally from the former Soviet Union, where he studied at the Repin Institute in St. Petersburg, Daud Akhriev is a painter who currently divides his time between the U.S. and Spain.

Akhriev works in a variety of mediums, primarily oil, but also watercolor and tempera, as well as working in ceramics, sculpture and mosaics.

Some of his oil paintings are large in scale; the painting shown above, top (with detail) is 10ft x 10ft (3 x 3 meters).

Akhriev’s subjects include figures, landscape, still life and interiors, for which you can find galleries in the oil gallery on his website. (Note that the section linked as “Studio Blog” in the top navigation is not very extensive; you can find more news in the Updates section, which is linked from the bottom navigation.)

I enjoy the textural qualities in much of his work, particularly in his landscapes and interiors, which carry a feeling of the age of the materials.

Daud Akhriev is married to painter Melissa Hefferlin, and is the father of painter Timur Akhriev, who I featured on Lines and Colors in 2010.


Daniel Merriam (update)

David Merriam, fantastical architectural dreamscapes
Danial Merriam is an artist I first wrote about in 2012, who is known for his fantastical architectural dreamscapes.

Merriam draws on his background in architectural and commercial illustration to inform his architecture-themed imaginings with nuanced geometric solidity, somewhat in the tradition of capriccio popular in the 18th and 19th centuries (see my posts on Piranesi).

His compositions also incorporate figures, animals and other natural forms — as well as crescent moons with faces and other children’s fantasy elements — all woven into intricate, complex scenes that are presented in a way that makes them feel a bit like stage sets from an alternate universe.

Given the fascinating details Merriam appears to incorporate into his work, it’s surprising and a bit disappointing that there aren’t larger images, or at least detail crops, on his website.

You can find more images on the sites of the galleries in which he is represented, AFA NYC and his own Bubble Street Gallery. Those on the latter are somewhat larger and more numerous (note the numbered links to subsequent pages at the bottom of the gallery pages).

Merriam’s work will be on display in shows at both galleries in December.

The Bubble Street Gallery in Sausalito, CA features Merriam’s work on a regular basis, and the AFA Gallery, NYC has a solo show “Earthly Delights and Other Side Effects of Dreaming” that is on display now through December 30, 2016, with an artist’s reception December 10, 6-8pm; and a book signing December 11, 12-2pm.

The recent collection of Merriam’s work Built on Dreams Alone is available through the AFA Gallery store.

An older volume, The Art of Daniel Merriam: The Impetus of Dreams is available used through Amazon.

[Show notice via Spectrum Fantastic Art]


Eye Candy for Today: Meléndez still life with apples

Still Life with Apples, Grapes, Melons, Bread, Jug and Bottle, Luis Melendez
Still Life with Apples, Grapes, Melons, Bread, Jug and Bottle, Luis Meléndez

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Museu Nacional D’Arte De Catalunya.

Here is another beautiful still life by 17th century Spanish master Luis Egidio Meléndez.

I’m particularly fascinated in this arrangement by the dark bottle and equally dark grapes as a counterpoint to the more prominent foreground objects. The entire composition seems to play with light against dark and dark against light, though for the most part with subtle variations in value.