Gobelins students’ animations for Annecy 2018

Gobelins students’ animations for Annecy 2018
Every year since 2006, I’ve been highlighting the brief (one minute or so) animations made by small teams of graduating students from Gobelins, l’école de l’image (Gobelins School of Communications) in Paris to be used as introductions to each of the day’s events at the Annecy International Festival of Animation.

Like last year’s group, at least one of this year’s shorts uses GCI (and suffers rom the hyperkinetic restlessness seemingly inherent in that genre). But the rest are hand drawn and as is often the case with the Gobelins’ projects, continue to bolster my faith that new generations will carry on the traditions of hand drawn animation.

This year’s theme is Brazil, which some have interpreted in reference to the rain forest, others to carnival and others to life in Brazilian cities.

Unlike previous years, there are six shorts rather than five (I don’t know if Annecy added a day of events), and there are commercial credits at the end of the videos; presumably the school has gotten sponsors to help with the effort.

You can see the shorts on YouTube. (Note: images above are just screen caps from each of the five films, not clickable embeds. Please follow the provided link to view the films.)

Eye Candy for Today: Portrait of Princess Belozersky, Élisabeth Vigée-Le Brun

Portrait of Princess Belozersky, Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun
Portrait of Princess Belozersky, Élisabeth Vigée-LeBrun

In the collection of The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; full image here. There is also a zoomable version on the Google Art Project that goes a bit more high resolution.

Another beautiful portrait by the brilliant 18th century French painter Élisabeth Louise Vigée-Le Brun.

The description from the museum acknowledges that Vigée-LeBrun flattered her sitters (to my eye, often in a most delightful way), but I have to disagree with their assessment that her tendency for flattery is evident in this portrait.

Maybe they know something about the princess’s actual appearance form other portraits of which I’m unaware, but I see little evidence here of the painter’s usual tendency to maker her sitters look younger with exaggeratedly rosy cheeks, creamy complexions and super radiant vitality.

Perhaps it’s because the subject is actually young and doesn’t need to be age regressed with the virtual cosmetics of the painter’s brush, but I find this painting more straightforward and naturalistic than those of Vigée-LeBrun’s older subjects.

I love the painterly touches around the eyes, nose and lips, and the impasto highlights on the earring.

Louis Escobedo

Louis Escobedo, landscapem still life, figures
Louis Escobedo is a painter originally from Texas and now based in New Mexico. Escobedo began his career as an illustrator, and was awarded a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators, among other honors.

He transitioned into gallery art and has developed a high chroma signature style with compositions structured with strongly geometric areas of value and color.

He has exhibited in galleries across the U.S. and apparently painted in multiple locations. Though location credit is not given on his website, the painting above, top, looks to me like it was painted here in Philadelphia.

Escobedo’s website only offers a limited selection of his work; you can find some of his older work, and a broader selection of subjects, in these articles on Southwest Art and Tutt Art.

[Addendum: The artist has confirmed that the painting at top is of the location here in Philadelphia that I recognized (along the Schuylkill River), and mentioned that the painting is currently on display at the Steamboat Springs Art Museum in Colorado as part of the 27th National Juried Exhibition of Oil Painters of America.]

Eye Candy for Today:Jacob Marrel still life

Still Life With Red, Black And Green Grapes On The Vine, Together With Oranges, A Partly-Peeled Lemon And A Melon On A Draped Table-Top, Jacob Marrel
Still Life With Red, Black And Green Grapes On The Vine, Together With Oranges, A Partly-Peeled Lemon And A Melon On A Draped Table-Top, Jacob Marrel

Roughly 20 x 29 inches (51 x 74 cm), oil on panel. Link is to Sotheby’s auction (image file here). As this is the only image I can find, I assume the painting is in a private collection.

The title is a good example of how titles are assigned to so many paintings by contemporary cataloggers, and not by the artists themselves. There was apparently also confusion, deliberately created, by previous hands in an attempt to pass the work off at that of another 17th century Dutch still life painter, Jan Mortel, who was better known at the time and whose work therefore commanded higher prices.

Like many of his contemporaries, Marrel has filled his composition with fascinating detail, including insects that appear to be of specifically identifiable species.

I particularly like the delicately handled vines, some of which are barely visible as they wind into the background darkness. In that respect, it’s interesting to compare paintings like this with those of Jacob van Walscapelle (also here).

Arthus Pilorget

Arthus Pilorget, French concept artist
Arthus Pilorget is French concept artist, illustrator and visual development artist based in Lyon.

He graduated from the remarkable Gobelins, l’école de l’image (Gobelins School of Communications) in Paris, and has been working on a nmber of animation projects since.

He has a lively, vibrant style with a nice edge of darkness and feeling of atmosphere.

You can find a variety of images on his ArtStation site, along with some short animated sequences, and a longer group project from Gobelins, titled Que Dalle (which can be translated as “Bugger All”, the subtitles contain strong language). There is also a “Making of” video on the same page.

Eye Candy for Today: George Inness, Sunset in the Woods

George Inness, Sunset in the Woods, American landscape painting, oil on canvas
Sunset in the Woods, George Inness

The link is to a page on Wikimedia Commons from which you can access a high resolution file; the original is in the National Gallery of Art, DC, which also has a zoomable and downloadable high-res image.

There are paintings that seem to transcend art and move into the realm of ineffable mystery.

Of course, for American landscape master George Inness, transcendence, and the expression of the spiritual nature of the physical world, was his goal.

Don’t take the small image and detail crops I’ve provided above as your only experience of this image. Go to one of the links I’ve provided and fill your largest available screen; relax and enjoy the experience for a few minutes. (The original painting is four feet by six feet, or roughly 122 x 184 cm.)

Don’t look for detail, it’s the absence of detail that’s important here.

With his uncanny control of muted color, carefully finessed values, suggestive texture, and oh-so-subtle edges, Inness leads us into the woods, whispers to us of the sublime within the commonplace, and then steps out of the way to let our own perceptions carry us deeper.