William H. Hays

William H. Hays prints
William H. Hays prints

William H. Hays is a printmaker who works in linocut and woodblock color printmaking methods. These involve either multiple blocks or a reduction process, in which additional areas of the block are cut away for each successive application of color.

There is a blog post on his website that describes his process, and a short video on YouTube with a step-through of stages.

The reduction process process involves a good deal of forethought and planning, as each color must interact with those that have been laid down in previous passes through the press. He uses both high and low chroma passages to give his pieces both visual drama and reflective subtlety.

His subjects are landscapes, and his process encourages him to refine the landscape elements into discrete areas of color and tone which interlock with other areas to produce a harmonious whole.

Eye Candy for Today: JMW Turner etching and mezzotint

The Woman and Tambourine, etching and mezzotint
The Woman and Tambourine, etching and mezzotint (details)

The Woman and Tambourine (Liber Studiorum, part I, plate 3), Joseph Mallord William Turner and Charles Turner, etching and mezzotint, roughly 7 x 11″ (21 x 29 cm). In the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

This was one of the prints Turner created for a 70 plate “book of studies”, he published in the early 19th century.

It was the practice of many artists at the time to work with printmaking specialists, for whom they would create drawings or watercolors as guidelines.

In this case, JMW Turner made brown watercolors as a guide for tone, and etched the basic drawing into the plate himself, turning to frequent collaborator Charles Turner (no relation) to create the tones in mezzotint. (There is a nice short description of the mezzotint process here.)

Henry Justice Ford

Henry Justice Ford

Henry Justice Ford

Henry Justice Ford (AKA Henry J. Ford or H. J. Ford) was a popular British illustrator active in the late 19th and early 20 centuries.

Ford’s primary medium was pen and ink, but he also worked in watercolor. Though his skill in those mediums may not have been quite as refind as that of some of his contemporaries, he was nontheless imaginative and entertaining — particularly when illustrating fantasy subjects that included dragons, monsters, ogres and demons.

Eye Candy for Today: Martin Rico scene of Venice

A Venetian canal with gondolas, Santa Maria Della Salute beyond, Martín Rico y Ortega
A Venetian canal with gondolas, Santa Maria Della Salute beyond (details), Martín Rico y Ortega

A Venetian canal with gondolas, Santa Maria Della Salute beyond, Martín Rico y Ortega; oil on canvas, roughly 17 x 28 in. (43 x 70 cm). Link is to a previous auction on Christie’s (large image here). I don’t know the currnet location of the original.

One of many beautiful images of Venice by 19th century Spanish painter Martín Rico y Ortega

Alex Venezia

Alex Venezia
Alex Venezia

Alex Venezia is a contemporaty American painter based in North Carolina. His work is largely figurative, often featuring portrayals of young women in apparent states of worry or emotional distress.

What particularly strikes me about venezia’s work is his use of value. His subtle and carefully balanced value relationships remind me of 19th century painters like Jules Bastien-Lepage, Jean-Francois Millet and George Clausen. The feeling produced is one of timelessness.

Eye Candy for Today: Jan Bogaerts landscape

Bridge in the garden of Versailles, Jan Bogaerts, oil on canvas
Bridge in the garden of Versailles, Jan Bogaerts, oil on canvas
Bridge in the garden of Versailles, Jan Bogaerts, oil on canvas, roughly 16 x 24 inches (40 x 60 cm). Link is to previous sale page on Simonis & Buunk Fine Art Dealers. (Click on the image on their page for a larger view.)

A beautifully idyllic landscape by Dutch painter Jan Bogaerts.

Bogaerts, who was active in the early to mid 20th century, is better known for his wonderfully tactile and contemplative still life paintings. I find his landscapes carry a similar sense of timelessness and serenity.