Saturday, April 30, 2011

Virginie Demont-Breton

After the Storm
Virginie Demont-Breton (1859-1935), was a French painter known particularly for her depictions of fishermen and their families. She was the daughter of the painter Jules Breton.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Square Format

Jaume Laporta was born in Barcelona, in 1940, to a family with a long artistic tradition. He started painting when he was 14 years old.
After moving to the Costa Brava, he found himself attracted to the beauty of the Mediterranean, and decided to devote himself to capturing it's fishing and seafaring life. 
In his oil and pastel paintings, Laporta tries to maintain a realistic feel while playing with his media and brushstrokes  to avoid slavish reproduction of the real world. 

I seem to be posting a lot of square format paintings lately. I often wonder if CD covers, and the square thumbnails on Flickr etc, have increased public acceptance of square images.
An artist once told me many years ago: "Never try to sell square paintings, people don't like them." But public acceptance of square canvases seems to have increased since then, perhaps due to CD covers and the square thumbnails in Flickr etc. 
It's best to chose a format that suits the subject, but chosing a square format can help an artist to break out of cliched compositions.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Geoff Hunt

HMAS Belona
Nina and Pinta Racing Home, 1493.
I think I've posted the top image before but this one is of better quality.

A photo of UK marine artist Geoff Hunt using a mahl stick: a support for the brush hand, padded at one end so as not to damage the canvas. A mahl stick is particularly handy for detail work... and for fending off stray animals who wander into the studio. 
Here's a link to instructions for making your own mahl stick: kimcpell artblog

Geoff's work combines painstakingly accurate detail with dramatic compositions.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lisa Adams - Update

Black Sails

Lisa Adams is a self-taught Australian artist whose meticulously representational works have a disquieting element that has been described as "surreal" or "magic realist", but rises above the psychoanalytical baggage of those movements.

See more of her work at her blog:

On the Scent

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Arnold Bocklin

Left: Attack by Pirates
Below: Mermaids at Play, 1886

Arnold Bocklin (Boecklin) (Swiss 1827-1901)  has been seen as a precursor of Surrealism. At times his work can be gloomy, morose and overblown, which is perhaps why he fell from favour during the Modernist period.

Clement Greenberg wrote in 1947 that Böcklin's work "is one of the most consummate expressions of all that was now disliked about the latter half of the nineteenth century."

The seascape, often populated with mermaids, was a genre that appears to have preoccupied him.
I find him an exceptionally imaginative and skilled artist, and can see his influence in a lot of contemporary magic realist or neo-surrealist art.
His son, Carlo Bocklin, was also a talented painter.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Michael Whelan

The Seawall, 36 x 24 inches, oil on canvas

Michael Whelan is an American artist who, after a very successful carreer as an illustrator of science fiction and fantasy books, has moved into exhibiting gallery paintings based on his own personal visions.