Archive for colour

Happy Birthday Vlaminck!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , on April 4, 2010 by echostains

Vlaminck A self portrait

Today is the birthday of Fauvist artist Maurice Vlamink.   I have written a little about him here in my ‘art quote’ section here.  He is an interesting fellow.  Jack of all trades,Vlamink (b. 1876 -1962 Paris, France) tried many styles including  Fauvism  but settled on an Expressionistic style.

Vlaminck 'potato picker' 1905

Vlamink was an instinctual artist, self-taught.  Being brought up by two musicians he was also musically inclined and even taught violin himself.  He was a larger than life man, tall, imposing with red hair, physically strong and at one time in his life even became a wrestler.

Vlaminck 'Brages on the Seine near Paris'

He liked to wear gaudy colours and dress eccentrically.  He was a professional cyclist, a mechanic and a labourer.  Later in his life he discovered that he could write and wrote some erotic novels.

Restaurant de la Machine at Bougival vlaminck

A chance meeting with fellow Fauvist Andre Derain (their train was derailed) in 1900 led to his involvement with the Fauvist movement.  Derain introduced him to the artist he shared his studio with – Matisse, and Vlamink was inspired by the artist’s bold use of colour.  When he saw the 1901  exhibition of Van Gogh’s in Paris, Vlaminck just had to take up his paints.

Vlaminck portrait of a woman 1906

Derain and Matisse encouraged Vlaminck to show his colourful enthusiastic work along with theirs at the  Salon d’Automne exhibition in 1905.   There the three received a critique  from art critic Louis Vauxcelle which was to earn them the name ‘Fauve’s’ (wild beasts)

Vlaminck-Circus 1906

Becoming a ‘wild beast’ proved quite lucrative for Vlaminck who sold everything he painted.  His work is most known for his Fauvist period, though later he became involved with more structured work and the balancing of colour which was inspired by Cezanne.

The Fauves began in 1900 and continued beyond 1910, but the movement only lasted 1905 -1907 and had three exhibitions. Vlaminck continued throughout his lifetime to produce colourful art work.   He continued to sell and his work was popular.  In addition to painting, he wrote and illustrated books, produced woodcuts, prints and lithographs.  What a varied, exciting and fulfilling career this man had!

Lots of Vlaminck paintings here

Short biography here

Paintings here

Art Quotes Vlaminck Colour loaded

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART QUOTES with tags , , , , on March 16, 2010 by echostains


The river Seine at Chatou by Vlaminck

In an effort to get more art into my blog, I have come up with the idea of these ‘art quotes’.  I don’t know where they will lead (probably all over the place) hopefully the quotes will lead into other aspects – not just art.   As with any new category you have to have a starting point – so here’s my first quote:-

I  had no wish for a change of scene. All these places that I knew so well, the Seine with its strings of barges, the tugs with their plumes of smoke, the taverns in the suburbs, the colors of the atmosphere, the sky with its great clouds and its patches of sun, these were what I wanted to paint.  Maurice de Vlaminck


Maurice de Vlaminck was a giant of man, an athelete, anarchist and novelist.  He was a self taught artist unlike Mattisse and Andre Derain.  These French artists along with  Rouault, Friesz, Marquet, van Dongen, Braque, and Dufy made up the art movement known as Fauvism (or the Wild beasts). 

It was  short lived movement (1900 -1910: the important years where it flourished were between 1905 1907/8).  With its expressionist style and use of  bold exuberant colour, the Fauvist’s work was recognised  for it’s painterly brushstrokes and strong colours rather than for pure representational qualities.

Restaurant at Marly-le-Roi by Maurice de Vlaminck

“I was poor but I knew that life is beautiful. And I had no other ambition than to discover with the help of new means those deep inner ties that linked me to the very soil.”  Maurice de Vlanminck

I like the way Vlaminck has linked  his inner being to the soil – using art as an vehicle for expression.  Like Van Gogh, who first influenced him, he painted familiar landscapes and people in unfamiliar ways.

Vlaminck was a vibrant character with a mind of his own.   He would use paint agressively straight from the tube and onto the canvas. 

He was larger than life, raced cars, played violins and  wished the Van Gogh had been his father!

Le Jardinier 1904 Vlaminck

I heightened all tones. I transposed into an orchestration of pure colors all the feelings of which I was conscious. I was a barbarian, tender and full of violence. I translated by instinct, without any method, not merely an artistic truth but above all a human one. I crushed and botched the ultramarines and vermilions though they were very expensive and I had to buy them on credit.  Maurice Vlaminck

Maurice Vlaminck – Picking Up Deadwood (1906)

I can imagine Vlaminck squeezing the paint tubes through his fingers, ‘crushing and botching them’ regardless of the expense. He is caught up in the moment and excited by his experiment – the pure colour stimulating his senses. 

It is a wonderful feeling to be inspired by sheer colour and one that I can identify, having gone through different colour preferences myself (I’m in a turquise/aqua marine phase at the moment).  It is said that colours have healing properties in them, and that the  colour that you are attracted to is the colour you need to heal you. 

Colour is all through our lives, from the nursery to the funeral.  Colour is linked both with the aura and even in the gemstones which we choose.


Quotes website here

and here

Colour therapy

Happy Birthday Franz Marc!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , on February 8, 2010 by echostains

Franz Marc

Today is the birthday of German Expressionist Franz Marc (1880 – 1916)   He was one of the founder members of the Der Blaue Reiter circle.  This group formed in Germany in 1911, lasted only until 1914 and included Wassily Kandinsky, August Macke and Lionel Feininger among others.  The concept was to spread spiritual truth through art – blue being a colour associated with spirituality.  The artist’s believed that through colour an  emotional  language could be understood – just like the keys in music.

I seek to heighten my sensitivity to the organic rhythm in all things, and to achieve a pantheistic empathy with the trembling and streaming of the blood in nature, in trees, in animals, in the air.

Der Wasserfall by Franz Marc

The artists experimented with Primitivism and Cubism and Fauvism, moving more towards Abstraction.  The Blaue Reiter ceased when Kandinsky and Marc were killed in the War and other members were sent back to Russia.  Futurist Robert Delauney was a major influence of Marc’s work, as his work became increasingly more abstract.

Tower of blue horses

Marc  is well-known for painting animals.  But something sad seemed to have happened which completely changed the way he saw them  in his later paintings. (read here). He no longer idealised them as he had once done, imbuing them with a  pure beauty.  It seems that he became disillusioned with humanity, including animals. Perhaps he had a premonition of the fate which awaited him during the war. 

The fate of the animals by Franz Marc

 More about the Blaue Reiter HERE

Franz Marc’s biography HERE

I have other artist’s birthdays in my categories

My art experiments – Pretend playing in the pretend snow

Posted in ART, ART PORTFOLIO MY PERSONAL ART, DESIGN with tags , , , , , on January 26, 2010 by echostains

nothing to see really

Time for some more art experiments: I was going through some  pics taken when the snow was about (shhhhhh,  better whisper in case it hears me and comes back …) and I thought I’d have a bit of fun with the images.  These are the pics I took – yes, nothing special to write home about, BUT…….

a miserable vista of snowy delight

It’s amazing what lurks under the surface of that snow…so I did a bit of excavation work…..


cleared a few paths…..

snow has many layers - this has three

Cropped, super imposed and filled (no fancy footwork here).  Just when I’d cleared the snow away, I decided to add some more.  But I wasn’t happy with the composition at all, so a quick crop…

I give you - 'See amid the Winters Snow 1'

And ‘See Amidst the Winter’s Snow’ was born.  Here are a couple of variations…  old comic book colours maybe – but there wasn’t anything comical about that snow! 

'See Amidst the Winter's Snow' and feel that icy blast


and finally this one which I warmed up slightly with what looks like something out of the Blitz-

Neuclear Blitz anyone?

As you can see from the original composition, the portrait formated pic didn’t really take off.  So – waste not want not, I say – I decided to merge reverse images of the same shot and go with this;-

'See Amid the Winters Snow' reversal

 I think that the last image would make an interesting  painting,  if I turned the top roofs into tall chimney pots, contrasting Victorian industry with modern day living  –  progress marching through the constancy of the weather – I might be on to something.  Some things will always be with us.

Altered art book: page 17 Junk for Sale

Posted in ART, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , , , , on February 10, 2009 by echostains


Continuing my Altered art book: page 17, the words chosen are: –




The streets smelt of simmering green vegetables and gas leaks…

stained green sofa

‘Didn’t realise it was for sale’

Everything is for sale

Inside the room was such a concentration of junk as he’d never seen before…….

Strange words eh? ‘simmering green vegetables and gas leaks’.  I can almost image the green colur.  It is one of those lines that inspire painting.  One of my Echostains painting employed the lines: –

“Where the scent of wild roses, turn the milk to cream,

Tell your mother that you walked all night on velvet green.”

What I was trying to achieve in this painting was to try to turn ‘the scent of wild roses’ into ‘velvet green’.  In a sense, trying to turn a smell into a colour through the senses (sight).  Unfortunately though, I sold ‘Velvet Green’ .  I have a copy of it somewhere that I will add when I find it.




For ‘Junk’ I used tablets, drugs as a background.  Californian artist Fred Tomaselli (b.1956) uses unusual mixed media, including prescription drugs, medicinal herbs and plants with hallucinogenic properties on wood.  Combined with other mixed media, including magazine scraps, making unusual connections between high and low culture. 




You know what they say though…that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure?  There are a lot of artists who use what would be termed as ‘junk’ to some to create art.

To be continued….

The Gates of Hell are back – but for how long?

Posted in MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2008 by echostains

These are the first pages I did...before I worked out what I was doing

These are the first pages I did...before I worked out what I was doing


Eureka!  I have found it! Again.  It was hidden in a box of papers in the cellar.  I have turned the house upside down for it.  Every time I find it and manage to do a couple of pages, it disappears again.  This time, I actually started 2 more books last week.  The first one, I soon started to realise wasn’t going to work as it wasn’t descriptive enough and the narrative was too ordinary.  The next one may or may not have turned out alright, but the pages were very thin for a hardback book.


So I have my old ‘Five Gates of Hell’ back now.  Already, I can see where I’ve gone wrong and ways of rectifying it.  One of the mistakes on the first couple of pages is that each page is a different colour and texture.  Although the narrative or the ‘story’ follows on logically (for me), the pages come across as separate entities.  Plus, a lot of information is being crammed into a relatively small space.  To rectify this, each page must consist of 2, giving a bigger page to work on.


I have been through the first dozen or so pages, marking down the sentences I am going to use.  Another mistake is to stick these sentences onto the page, before the background is done.  I have been writing in a journal which sentences I want to print out and which page they appear on.  I am using different fonts in various sizes.  This is yet another reason for preparing the background first.  When this is down, the text can be printed in a complimentary colour and appropriate size.  Very happy for now…but let’s see if it lasts or the book disappears yet again.