Archive for ART

Pre Raphaelite Delights that last longer than 15 minutes with Lashings of Ginger Beer,

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, DESIGN, exhibitions, HISTORY, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2011 by echostains

It’s been ages since I last posted (the longest yet) but I hope to make amends today by writing a longer post – a kind of round-up of posts I should have written.

Enid Blyton

The 11th August was popular children’s writer Enid Blyton’s birthday (11 August 1897 – 28 November 1968).  Here’s a  a link to another post I wrote about this author over on my Bookstains.  Eileen A Soper illustrated every one of 21   Famous Five books. 

five-have-a-wonderful-time

Eileen A Soper (b. 1905 – 1990 Hertfordshire UK)was an illustrator , print maker and a watercolourist.  She had her first exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1921 at the age of 15, making her the youngest artist ever to exhibit.  Two of her etchings were bought by Queen Mary. 

 

 

 

Her work has great nostalgic appeal and is as attractive today to adults as it was a source of delight to them when they were  children.  A gallery of this artist’s work can be found here

 

 

 

 

 

Eileen Sitting in a chair watercolour 1923

Other artists birthdays include Andy Warhol whose birthday I celebrated a while back with this post which featured one a page of my altered book  (this book is still ongoing… complete with artist research)

Andy Warhol-Self-Portrait-1986

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work by Ford Madox Brown

News of an exciting exhibition is coming to Manchester City Gallery (Saturday 24 September 2011 – Sunday 29 January 2012)  A major exhibition of Pre Raphaelite artist Ford Maddox Brown will go on show.  Over 140 paintings by the artist, including his Manchester Town Hall murals (which I have seen) will be exhibited.  The work will be divided into different themes and periods of  the artist’s life including his radical change of direction artistically.  Ford Madox Brown is particularly well-known for his narrative paintings which relate to life in the Victorian age and I think that viewing the paintings collectively will  give the viewer a clearer idea of how radical the Pre Raphaelites really were.  The 12 paintings, known as The Manchester murals depict life in the city in the Victorian age – a must for any Mancunian interested in their city.  The exhibition which will also include a rediscovered painting by the artist.  The painting The Seraph’s Watch  could prove to be a crowd puller.  Here’s a tantalising detail from it below.

Eileen A Soper Gallery (images from there)

Heather’s Blyton pages (all the book images can be found here too)

Manchester City Art Gallery 

The Enid Blyton Society

Andy Warhol image and art history here

More about Ford Madox Brown (and Work image) here

Seraph’s Watch image and an interesting article about this exhibition and Victorian art in general here

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Happy Birthday Richard Dadd!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , on August 1, 2011 by echostains

Richard Dadd

Today is the birthday of English Victorian artist Richard Dadd (b.1817 – 1886 Chatham Kent)  The supernatural held  a great fascination for Dadd and fairies and other worldly beings abound throughout this artist’s work.  His subject matter is extremely detailed and also included Oriental themes.

 

At 20 he attended The Royal Academy of Arts with Augustus Egg and William Frith amongst others.  He was considered a leadiing talent and along with Egg, Frith and Henry O’ Neilfounded the Clique.  It was during  an expedition from Europe to Greece, Turkey, Syria and Egypt in 1842 where he accompanied Sir Thomas Phillips that Frith underwent a transformation.  He became delusional and increasingly violent, believing he that the Egyptian God Osiris was influencing him.  At first it was believed that he had sunstroke.

Oberon and Titania

Unfortunately, when he returned home Dadd was diagnosed to be of unsound mind.  His family sent him to Cobham in Kent to recuperate.  Whilst there he became convinced that his father was really the Devil in disguise, so he killed him with a knife and then fled to France. 

Whilst in France, he attacked a tourist with a razor, and was arrested by the police.  On his return to England he was interred at Bethlem psychiatric hospital (Bedlam) and also Broadmoor, where he was encouraged to paint.  Many of his best paintings were created in hospital including ‘The Fairy Fellers  Master-Stroke’.

The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke

This particular painting took him a long time to paint (between 1855 – 1864)  – and he was never to finish it .  He  also painted 33 watercolour drawings as well as shipping scenes and landscapes.  Most of his work are small-scale and the attention to detail is astonishing.

Puck

Dadd spent 20 years in Bedlam before moving to Broadmoor outside London.  He remained there, painting until he died in 1886 of a disease relating to the lungs. 

the ballad monger

Dadd has influenced writers, musicians and playwrights.  British Rock band Queen were inspired to write a song based on and named ‘The Fairy Fellers Master – Stroke’  Terry Pratchet wrote ‘the Wee Free Man’ in 2003 and Robert Rankin‘s ‘The Witches of Chiswick‘ were both inspired by the same painting.

The Halt in the Desert 1845

A radio play ‘Come unto these Yellow Sands‘ by fantasy writer Angela Carter was written about the artist’s life and Richard Babley (known as Mr Dick in David Copperfield) is also said to have a connection with Richard Dadd.

More information about Dadd here and here

Dadd working from here

Puck here

Fairy Fellers Master Stroke here

Oberon and Titania here

The Ballad Monger here

More information about The Halt in the Desert

There’s a new POETRY CHALLENGE over on Bookstains – just click here

Masquerade – A celebration of Masks

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART PORTFOLIO MY PERSONAL ART, ART VIDEOS with tags , , , , , on June 3, 2011 by echostains

It’s been a while since I posted.  I have been busy  compiling another video – a  a celebration of masks from history, cultures and of course art.  The most prolific artist who featured a lot of  of masks in his work was probably James Ensor ( 1860 –  1949) and many of his mask paintings are featured in this video.  Picasso, Matisse and Watteau also appear in the video, along with masks from different cultures.  There’s even a few quirky ones (knitted) which I’ve added and a few TV characters who are famous for wearing masks.  Hope you enjoy the video (and recognise some of the paintings)

Many image credits here;-

Picasso here here here

Pietro Longhi here  and here Magritte here Banksy here   Eileen Agar here  and here Salvador Mayol

Thomas Eakins    Louis Emile Durandelle   Man Ray Brancusi  Zeng Fanzhi  Watteau Diane Dooley Natalie Holland

Green Man  Abriginal  and here  Chinese, Japanese and Greek mask here  American Indian Indian  Roman Chinese

PLUS

Another Poetry challenge over on Bookstains!  Just click and go!

Discovered and Uncovered Dani Dodge

Posted in ART, ART DISCOVERED AND UNCOVERED with tags , , , on March 29, 2011 by echostains

Tell It Slant

 Art is an accident waiting to happen – well it is in my case, as I hope to get back to actually doing some art very soon!  But, talking of accidents, I accidentally came across this artist whilst looking for something else (I love these sort of accidents).  American artist Dani Dodge (great name) only started painting in 2004, she had worked as a reporter for 20 years and was with the First Marine Expeditionary Unit in Iraq.  She won a  Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2006, where she was part of a team.  She may have  left journalism in 2008 but her storytelling carries on in art form.

Anyone who knows anything about me, my art and what I like will be able to see why I like this very mixed media type of art!  Dodge works with an eclectic mix of  media, multi layering acrylic paint, collage, ink, paper etc on to canvas.  The results are revelations of the very human condition.

Down time

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I would describe her work as Abstract narrative expressionism.  Every picture does indeed tell  a story in these colourful and meaningful pieces.  The artist explains her urge to work in this way in her statement;-

The drive to tell stories of humanity runs deep within me. I worked many years as a journalist and fulfilled that need with words. After covering the war in Iraq, it became clear to me that words were not enough – I needed something more expressive and powerful.

I discovered painting, which has consumed me ever since. Now I layer different materials to tell tales of loneliness, joy, pain and triumph – in short, of being human. I venture beyond objects and objectivity in search of the elusive truth of our individual and collective soul as I paint outside the lines.

Passion for Playing

The artist does painting demonstrations and teaches workshops.  She also has her own arts blog an arts blog for Voice of San Diego. where she write about the artists she meets.  Multi layered, painterly, expressive and original. 

I like – very much 🙂

Images from Dani Dodge website with thanks!
Read her blog here

Discovered and Uncovered Heidi Keyes

Posted in ART, ART DISCOVERED AND UNCOVERED with tags , , on March 12, 2011 by echostains

Bills First Wife

WordPress blog     Art of the Day   can always be relied upon to feature interesting art.  It also has it’s own Facebook page, which is where  I first saw this artist.  Once seen, I just had to take a further look!  Heidi Keyes is an artist who spends her time either painting or flying (she is also a flight attendant).  She divides her time  between Milwaukie, Denver when grounded, and the rest of her time is spent flying around the world.

Her wild contour paintings are full of colour energy and life –  her technique   a combination of intuition and emphasis.  Though the artist does paint realistically occasionally, she  prefers to experiment with exaggerated line.  The artist’s way of working is explained below;-

“I depict various stages and situations of the human figure in my work. These images are selected to express the incompleteness of humanity, a continuous search for truer answers. I look to the moment when one finds oneself on the precipice of a life-altering decision, reluctant to continue, but too far gone to turn back– the past and the future expressed in a single brushstoke of delicious uncertainty. I use washes to achieve this effect of impermanence, and allow them to drip freely down the canvas, embracing spontaneity in my work, as in my life.” 

Rainy Day Girl

The paintings are quite arresting and there is a sense of immediacy –  that they are of the moment.  Energy and life  spring out of these loose spontaneous paintings.  They are startlingly honest and refreshingly unrestrictive.

“The way I look at painting is the way I view my life– nothing is ever certain, and often the best results come from mistakes.”

The artist started experimenting with her technique because she became frustrated with the excruciating detail of art and she found  that her pursuit for perfection was actually impeding her artistic expression.  Her love of blind contour drawing lead her to experiment with the brush – and her art became ‘freed’!

I was pleased and surprised at the level of sophistication achieved through the use of simplistic lines and connected forms. The figures I created were uncertain, unsure, and often pensive, but my lines were confident and bold.

Crossing the Liberty Bridge Budapest Hungary

 Not only does the artist paint figuratively, she has also produced a series called ‘Fly’ which consists of paintings she has done in hotel rooms around the world.  I particularly like her use of colour in these paintings, my favorite being The Liberty Bridge Budapest Hungary from this series.

Heidi Keyes website can be found here and is well worth the visit 🙂

NEWS Did the Real Charlotte Bronte Just Stand up Debate is now on Bookstains!  Please join in!

Musings

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS with tags , , , , , on February 20, 2011 by echostains

The purpose of the artist’s Muse is manifold.  That elusive being who showers  inspiration on man and bathes in the glory of the artists recreation.  The Pre Raphaelites had an eye for these beautiful women and celebrated their beauty with paint – if not always by deed (you know who you are Mr Rossetti).  I came across this video which is accompanied by the most wonderful music, featuring Elizabeth Siddal and Jane Morris (the more well-known of the Muses).  The artists include  Burne-Jones, Millais, Rossetti and Waterhouse: timeless art.

Video by  with thanks!

My previous post about the art of the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood, featuring a poll to find the top Pre Raphaelite painting.

There’s now 4 poems in the American Gothic Poetry Challenge over on Bookstains

Art I LOVE Maggi Hambling

Posted in ART, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE with tags , , , , , on January 29, 2011 by echostains

I’ve always loved the art of Maggie Hambling.  I’m a big fan of painterly, expressionistic art – words which aptly describe this artists work. 

Maggie Hambling

Hambling studied East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing from 1960, under the tutelage of Cedric Morris and then at the Ipswich school of Art (1962 – 64).  She then went to Camberwell  (1964 -1967) graduating at the Slade School of Art in 1969.

Max Wall by Maggi Hambling

Though known mainly for her portraiture – a lot  were in the National Gallery where she became the first artist in residence in 1980 and did a series of portraits of the comedienne Max Wall.   

She  has also created sculpture including : Memorial to Oscar Wilde London and Scallop,  an interlocking steel sculpture on Alderburgh beach, dedicated to the composer Benjamin Britten  The sculpture itself was made by a local foundry and copied from a 4 inch model supplied by the artist.   The sculpture has created a lot of controversy – some say it enhances the view of the sea, others say it blocks the sea out.  The sculpture has been vandalised a few times too.  Hambling herself calls it a conversation piece – a conversation with the sea;-

“An important part of my concept is that at the centre of the sculpture, where the sound of the waves and the winds are focused, a visitor may sit and contemplate the mysterious power of the sea,”

 

 

      

  

The Scallop by Maggi Hambling

 

Hambling’s subjects include a lot of Gay people including George Melly, Stephen Fry and Quentin Crisp. 

George Melly drawing

 

From the 1980s Hambling turned mainly to landscapes and recently seascapes.  Her work has become  a lot more abstract and in 1995 she received an OBE for her services to painting and appointed a CBE in the new years Honours list in 2010.

George Hambling

 Quote from here

Information about the artist – start here

Wonderful interview which really reveals the personality of the artist here  What a character 🙂

Ghost of George Singing

Max Wall image from here  Scallop image here  Melly drawing from here George Always here, Ghost of George singing here, Archie MacDonald here  Francis Bacon image from here  Hambling photo here

Francis Bacon by Hambling

Hambling’s website  http://www.maggihambling.com/

The short video shows extracts of her work in her studio. Video by shabboleth Thanks!

Archie MacDonald 1981 Hambling