This Week’s Art: Beksiński

I’ve been a big fan of the works of Zdzisław Beksiński for a long time. They are like dreams and, often, nightmares, come to life. Beksiński himself even said as much about his own work, and from what I’ve read about him he was a fascinating person. Especially in the many ways that I feel the same way about art as he did.

One of his great quotes about his own work fits perfectly with how I think of mine: “I cannot conceive of a sensible statement on painting.” I’ve never been able to come up with an, “artist’s statement”, because I don’t think mine would make any sense.… Read the rest

Giovanni Boldini, Newspaperman in Paris

This Week’s Art: Boldini’s Newspaperman in Paris

Some of my favorite art pieces are those that show emotion, that have an energy to them. True, most beloved pieces have an energy all their own, even if it’s subtle. But there are some pieces where that energy is something more evocative.

I’ve seen many of Giovanni Boldini’s paintings over the years, often of the women that he painted. He seemed to work in portraiture quite often, and I came across a painting of his that seemed different than his others.

Here’s Boldini’s Newspaperman in Paris (a.k.a., The Newspaper; 1878, oil on panel, 18.5 in.… Read the rest

Rime of the Ancient Mariner

This Week’s Art: Dore’s Death, Life-In-Death, and the Ancient Mariner

I read a lot of poems, and one of my very favorite poems is The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It’s a dream made for an illustrator, filled with such great visions, and it’s probably one of the reasons that it’s been a popular poem for so long. I have a Dover edition of the poem featuring Gustave Dore’s engravings, 42 of them, which I love to look at.

Of all of the great images in the book, my favorite is the scene where Death and Life-In-Death are playing a game of dice for the souls of those on board.… Read the rest

This Week’s Art: Matania’s Paulina in the Temple of Isis

When I post my “This week’s art” articles, I like to have as much information about a piece as I can get. Sometimes, like yesterday’s article, the piece is quite popular, and there’s lots of information about it. Other times, it seems like only one site has the beautiful art, but won’t put any information with it.

Today’s piece was like that, hardly any information. But it’s a gorgeous piece that I first saw on James Gurney’s blog (which you REALLY should be following), and I wanted to feature it here.… Read the rest

This Week’s Art: Cornwell’s $2,000 Reward

I love the illustrators of the early-mid 20th century. Rockwell, Wyeth, Pyle, and many more, they just have this great sense of drama and storytelling in their work. Even without knowing the stories that they went with, as is sometimes the case, the images still cause a reaction.

Case in point, this image by one of my favorite illustrators, Dean Cornwell. Cornwell had a great way of fitting in to nearly any subject, and still bringing beautiful, emotional work to the table. Here’s his painting $2,000 Reward (Oil on canvas, 1921), featured in Cosmopolitan in 1924 with a story by Alma and Paul Ellerbe:

Dean-Cornwell-2000-Reward

Cornwell sets one of my favorite ideas for pulling off a scene, the idea that we don’t know what’s about to happen, or what just happened.… Read the rest

Vasily Polenov, Birchwood Alley

This Week’s Art: Polenov’s “Birchwood Alley”

The first of my renewed “This Week’s Art” articles, where we discuss a particular piece of art, is Vasily PolenovBirchwood Alley (Oil on canvas, 1880). Here’s what it looks like, and click on it for a larger version:

Vasily Polenov, Birchwood Alley

Vasily Polenov, Birchwood Alley

19th century Russian art is something I’ve become more and more intrigued by over the years, and this image is one of the reasons for that. The Russian painters of that era just had a wonderful sense to their pieces. They could be dramatic, or mysterious, or even happy.… Read the rest

Myasoyedov

This week’s art: Myasoyedov’s The road in the rye

I think it’s important as an artist to look at various kinds of art each day. Just as it is important for graphic designers, filmmakers, authors, and anyone with a creative side, seeing the works of others can help a creative person learn more about what they do.

In that respect, I used to write long articles (here!) about different pieces of art. I learned from writing them, as much as I think others did as well when they commented on the pieces themselves. Over time, that activity was replaced with the quieter activities of resharing what others posted, or of posting to my Pinterest “Inspiration” galleries.… Read the rest

Seeing it in a museum

I think it’s important as an artist to look at a lot of art, and in fact I love nothing more than to flip through the many art books I have on the shelf. Seeing different styles, different techniques, and just appreciating what others have done is a great way to learn more about art, and to think about doing it better.

Books are great, but to really see a painting I also think it’s important to get to museums. Seeing the real art in person gives you a different look, something that books just can’t do.… Read the rest

Seeing it in real life: Church’s The Icebergs

Awhile back (and by “awhile back” I mean “over a year ago”) I wrote an art blog of Frederic Edwin Church’s beautiful painting called The Icebergs (check out the blog here… I”ll wait.)

I won’t bore you with the specs again (I’ll be boring you with other ways now), but seeing it in person I realized what the specs actually mean.

The Icebergs, it turns out, is a really, really big painting.

Not the largest I’ve seen for sure (a Rembrandt holds that record), but nevertheless this is a very large painting. … Read the rest