Archive for artist

Art I LOVE – Pierre Bonnard

Posted in ART, ART VIDEOS, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2020 by echostains

French artist and printmaker  Pierre Bonnard (1867 – 1947) was  one of the founding members of Les Nabis. 

Les Nabis were a group of avant-garde Post Impressionists who distorted colour and composition to  decorative effect. 

Bonnard was interested in unusual and unexpected angles and aerial perspectives – greatly influenced by Japanese prints. It is this which links him with Vuillard and the Nabis. 

His interest in capturing the light is very impressionistic but his expressive use of paint  and his intense close brushwork give his work expression. 

His wife Marthe features heavily in his work, often seen in the bath or eating a meal. 

Bonnard didn’t paint from life but preferred to draw his subjects first, sometimes photographing them. He always made notes of the colours.  He would then translate these colours onto canvas from his notes.

Video by  with thanks!

Read more about the Nabis here

Happy Birthday J M W Turner – Grand Master of the Elements – not all at Sea

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2020 by echostains

Today is the birthday of British Romantic Landscape, seascape, watercolourist and printmaker  Joseph Mallord William Turner(b. London 1775 – 1851).  Turner understood the elements, for example when in 1834 parliament caught fire, Turner witnessed it.  He also sketched shipwrecks, storms and other natural phenomena like fog, rain, storms and above all the light and strove to capture it .  He was fascinated by the way light acted upon the elements, giving them a sort of spiritual majesty. Turner loved the sea and it is said that he once had himself tied to a mast of a ship for a few hours to better understand storms.  A romantic tale which is  probably a myth and takes ‘method’ acting to new heights.

Turner was a master of the elements and loved the Dutch seascapes.  He  conveys emotion through his paintings, and an incredible affinity with natures elements.  The sea was in his blood.  He was brought up by the Thames and it would prove to be a great source of inspiration to his work.  In this great video, Turner’s relationship wiith the natural elements is further explained.

A past birthday post about Turner by me here

Another of my posts featuring Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire   here

Video by

Her Aeolian Harp  with thanks!
Turner’s life here and website here

Art Quotes – Monet – into the light

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART QUOTES, HISTORY with tags , , , , on March 22, 2010 by echostains
What an amazing artist French Impressionist Claude Monet was (b. 1840-1826 France).  He was obsessed with colour and light.  He lived and breathed it, as these quotes show.  Monet painted light and its effect.  He was particularly interested in how it transformed the landscape and also its reflective quality upon water.


The very term ‘impressionism’ comes from one the artist’s paintings ‘Impression, Sunrise’.  He lived in London in 1870  for a year and studied Constable and Turner.  He painted his famous painting ‘Impression, Sunrise’ in 1872.  In 1879 he became a widower.  He painted his wife on her deathbed and observed:- 

“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment. To such an extent indeed that one day, finding myself at the deathbed of a woman who had been and still was very dear to me, I caught myself in the act of focusing on her temples and automatically analyzing the succession of appropriately graded colors which death was imposing on her motionless face.”  


Camille on her deathbed

Monet believed that to understand something,  one had to observe it day after day.  That understanding something sometimes requires practise.  He was relentless in his pursuit. 

I know that to paint the sea really well, you need to look at it every hour of every day in the same place so that you can understand its way in that particular spot and that is why I am working on the same motifs over and over again, four or six times even.  


We’re having marvelous weather and I wish I could send you a little of the sunshine. I am slaving away on six paintings a day. I’m giving myself a hard time over it as I haven’t yet managed to capture the color of this landscape, there are moments when I’m appalled at the colors I’m having to use, I’m afraid what I’m doing is just dreadful and yet I really am understating it; the light is simply terrifying.” 



those lillies

The artist famous for his waterlilies and his garden at Giverny is credited with lots of quotes that contain references to nature and in particular gardening – for example ‘digging and delving’:-  

It’s on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly.”    

I like the way Monet humbles himself before nature.  He never thinks that he has conquered painting nature and the way the light affects it.  He always feels he owes a debt to nature – but it’s probably the other way around, judging by this beautiful paint



yellow iris’

“I love you because you are you, and because you taught me how to understand light. Thus you increased me. I regret I cannot give it back to you. Paint, paint ever and ever untill the canvas wears out. My eyes need your color and my heart is happy about you.”  


houses of parliment effect of sunlight in the fog

 In 1923 he had two operations on his cataracts, this may have altered his colour vision.   His colours before the operation have a reddish tone, sometimes indicative of cataracts.

 My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.
Everything I have earned has gone into these gardens. 

 He loved Giverny, which is on the right bank of the river Seine and especially his gardens of which he was the architect  and so able  to dictate his own controlled environment.   


I am following Nature without being able to grasp her…I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”  

He died aged  in 1826 at the ripe old age of 86.  He had lung cancer.  This quote is so poignant and ironic that such a man who loved nature and was drawn by the light he painted should very nearly go blind.  We still have his vision though and through his paintings, the ability to see what he saw.  A true legacy. 

“I’m working very hard and I would like to paint everything before I cannot see anymore.” 

More Monet quotes here 

and here 

Bridge painting here

Monet Lily image here 

More images here 

Lots of images and quotes here

‘How’s it going? here’s an update’



Euphoria Borealis, Acrylic on canvas aprox 3ft x 4 ft

Time for a little update.  ‘Echostains’ itself is going well, many are reading but, not many are commenting – don’t be shy come forward and show yourselves!  ‘Bookstains’ my other blog is coming along alright, its early days yet, but I am enjoying doing it.  Although I keep saying it, I really do need to put a piece of art work on here from time to time.  So here you are – I give you ‘Euphoria Borealis’ (or Belly Laugh) which was the last painting for my graduation exhibition.  I had just completed a 10,000 word Dissertation, a 5000 word one about my personal project (‘Echostains’) which included 10 large paintings and 2 x 500 word essays as well as course work.  Wouldn’t you be laughing?  Of course I have much more recent work, it’s just a case of getting around to scanning some sketchbook stuff  or photographing the bigger pieces, but I am determined to do it! 




As for my altered book which has disappeared yet again….one day I shall actually finish it!  I will have to revise the way I have documented this book.  I think the best way would be to make a gallery especially for it, so each page is linked with its own artist reference (because the project is an art project, underpinned with art history) and each pages should follow the other, like in a real book.  Lol!  I can see me making a blog just for my altered book!!!….not a bad idea 


The material for my  teapot articles are getting a bit tougher to find.  My favorite one lately is the making of the chocolate teapot.  I shall carry on though.  There’s no shortage of material for the weird and wacky design section either, so I will keep that going.  Some sections, like places are now a thing of the past, but this year we are hoping to go to new places nothing planned yet – except to see Iggy Pop in London in May, but do hope to fit a couple of exhibitions in whilst we’re there. 


Toulouse Lautrec Tracked…Maybe and Life in Sync

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, WATCHED with tags , , , , , on November 27, 2009 by echostains

Jose Ferrer still not positive he's the Toulouse Lautrec I was thinking of.....but who else is there?

Puerto Rica actor Jose Ferrer 1912 -1992 was, I think may have been the actor I was trying to remember played Toulouse-Lautrec in the 1952 film biopic  ‘Moulin Rouge’ by John Houston.  Don’t ask me where Peter Finch came from……

Moulin rouge poster1952 john Houston

It’s always frustrating when you can’t remember something for the life of you.  This happens with quizes a lot.  It just seems to depend if you are in sync with the world at that particular moment.  Sometimes everything falls into place, and the brain seems to be so sharp and ‘coincidences’ just abound.  Only they are not really coincidences, they are little clues showing you that you are in sync with the universe, I think.

I would very much like to do this indeed...Oh yes I would

Sometimes you can be reading and come to a word (in your head) and hear that word spoken at exactly the same time, but on the TV.  Or vice versa, listening to something and your eye-catching hold of the same word, sentence.  Very strange really.  Sometimes though I am definitely out of sync.  Just when I needed my printer urgently to print some programmes for tomorrow, the printer is playing up!  I got ink, I got paper…but it won’t print properly, even though I’ve cleaned the head.  Tomorrow is another day, hopefully a locupletative one!

Watched: Hollywood Diva’s; Tamara de Lempicka, BBC 4

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, WATCHED with tags , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by echostains

Tamara de Lempicka, like a film star

I watched this programme the other nights, wrote about it, then ‘lost’ the post! Art Deco artist, as she is often referred to, Tamara de Lempicka has always been a bit of a favourite of mine since I was at Uni. She has many fans, amongst them the artiste Madonna, a keen collector of her work. ‘The Baroness with a brush’ was born in Warsaw Poland (1898 – 1980) and enjoyed a privileged life as part of the St Petersburg Literati as a girl before she fled to Paris France with her first husband Tadeusz Lempicki to escape the Bolshevics.


Lempicka’s art was defined as being a kind of soft or synthetic cubism. Her images were glossy, elegant and emotionlessly chic like fashion photography in the magazines of the time; Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.

Beautiful rafaela, I love this painting!

 Lempicka’s peak as a fashionable artist came roughly between 1922 – 35. After that, she seems to have lost her way a bit, embracing a new unconvincing sentimental style that just didn’t seem to work for her. She also flirted with abstraction, which also failed. Towards the end of her life though, there was a resurgence of interest in her art.

self portrait with Bugatti car

 There has been much written about the artist’s personal life. She was a free spirit and notorious for her exploits. But she also supported herself with her art and was a very single minded independent woman too.

Kizette sleeping (the artist's daughter)

 It is not my intention to retell the artist’s life story here, though it does make interesting reading. Amongst the many books written about her, I think Stefanie Pencks’ and ‘Tamara de Lempicka’ (Pegasus) and Gilles Neret ‘Lempicka’ (Taschen) are good books.

portrait de madame Alan Bott

 Lempicka’s paintings have been featured on Madonna’s music videos ‘Open your Heart’ 1987, ‘Vogue’ 1990 and ‘Express yourself’ 1989

See my other post about Lempicka HERE

 For more Lempicka images, see HERE

 More Watched stuff ;

‘Twenty Thousand Streets under the Sky’

My 130th post:How’s it going so far? Well…….

Posted in ART, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES, MY SURFACES, TRANSCRIPTION with tags , , , , , on April 10, 2009 by echostains

the author

the author

This is my 130th post!  I’m quite proud of that!  So far, since I started on 29th November 2008, I have only missed 4 days (and one of them was a time difference when I went away).


Here's one I loved earlier shanghai_by Gursky -20000

Here's one I loved earlier shanghai_by Gursky -20000

Although primarily, my blog is about art, there’s also categories, such as holidays, and uncategorised (me, going on with myself about all sorts).   Also art I like and artists that I LOVE.  I may even introduce some new categories, like music (which influences me immensly) and books.  I am an avid reader: I can’t sleep until I’ve read something!

daddies-sauce-I'll-read-anything I will

daddies-sauce-I'll-read-anything I will


I started off, more or less with my Altered Art book.  It had been tough going, as the words I originally chose (a few years ago…) were chosen for a  vague purpose at the time: and that time had long passed.  But I am pressing on because I am coming to the last pages of this chapter (yes, this is only one chapter!).  The next, will be like a fresh slate.  Here is what I have done so far;-

To  view the altered art book pages so far

page15-one I did earlier

page15-one I did earlier

I have managed to scan quite a few pages from my Transcription of Paula Rego’s ‘Snow White and her Stepmother.  These are 2 A4 journals stuck together (and many more pages to go).

Transcription page-21

Transcription page-21

The holiday section speaks for itself, gradually getting left behind as new outings, new sights and new adventures take place (at least, I hope they do!)

I come to party in Caesars - not to praise him

I come to party in Caesars - not to praise him

My Surfaces includes journal covers (and I cover ALL my journals) and experiements with different media. 

my surfaces armageddon-journal-detail-2

my surfaces armageddon-journal-detail-2

Altered art book: page 16 Shooting at Cross Purposes

Posted in ART, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2009 by echostains
page-16-shooting-crosses with crosses unfolded

page-16-shooting-crosses with crosses unfolded

On this page I had chosen a lot more sentences then the previous pages (I can’t remember why though,because it was so long ago when I chose them!  The chosen words were:

” They’d shoot at the wooden crosses”

” The door would shake then

the window

then the door again”



“He became a regular at the empire of junk”

“More than a hundred radios”

Now why would someone shoot at wooden crosses? target practise?  Perhaps they were trying to provoke a response (and they got one), hence the windows and door rattling and shaking.  This reminds me very much of page 4 ‘A Question of Life and Death’  but the question is attempted via a ‘seance’. 

 This time the symbolism is questioned (the Cross representing God).  But there is also a kind of ‘most haunted’, ghost hunting, a ‘thrill seeking’  aspect at work.  The situation is calling out for a sign to be given: a sign for proof of the afterlife.

pages-15-and-16 complete

pages-15-and-16 complete

And what exactly IS this ’empire of junk’?  Perhaps its the carbon footprint we leave behind us? Or perhaps this junk consists of useless negative emotions and impulses which we wear as a comfort cloak, whilst they erode, sap and impede our spiritual progress.  Sometimes we need to let go: move on.

I have a few artists in mind for this page: to be continued…….