Archive for impasto

Goodbye Lucian Freud

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2011 by echostains

reflection

One of my favorite artists Lucian Freud died yesterday – aged 88.   Freud, grandson of the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and brother to comedian Clement was born in Berlin 1922, moved to Brittain 1933 and became a British subject in 1939 .  His paintings have two distinct styles, the earlier ones have a more smoother surface, created with thin layers of paint, whilst  the later show a more textural impastod rendition of the flesh. 

Freud’s paintings celebrate flesh – in all its lumpiness and glory.  His work is sometimes can discribed as disturbing, but Freud has never sacrificed honesty for flattery.  The Queen’s portrait which he painted in 2002 caused a lot of controversy – some said he should have been sent to the tower for it 🙂  I think it’s absolutely wonderful as it depicts the Queen as human and ageing, and definitely not in the flattering and pandering  spirit in which most court painters throughout history have painted their monarch.  The jewels on her crown look ghostly and somewhat garish a reminder of another age (and empire) and the Queen herself looks a little put out at having her portrait painted at all.

Leigh Bowery

Freud, along with Francis Bacon and Frank Auerbach explored the human condition through paint.  His thickly applied use of impasto makes the work very tactile.  Most of the people he painted were family or people he knew-

“I paint people,not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be.”

Girl with a white dog

Freud has been called the foremost figurative artist of his generation.  He painted on until the end of his life.  He continued with figurative painting even when Abstract became more popular.   Freud is believed to have used Cremnitz white for his basic flesh pigment (according to critic Robert Hughes.  Apparently it is a very heavy pigment and contains twice as much of the lead oxide than flake white and a lot less oil medium than other whites.

“I don’t want any colour to be noticeable… I don’t want it to operate in the modernist sense as colour, something independent… Full, saturated colours have an emotional significance I want to avoid.”

Woman Smiling

 
Freud died after a short illness.  He lived an interesting life, painted a LOT of art, was married several times and had a lot of children.  His art always remained constant and central and he dedicated his life to it.  This extraordinary artist will always be remembered as one of the greatest figurative painters since the Second World War.  I have written some earlier posts about Freud ‘The Painted Queen’ and ‘Bacon by Lightbulb’
 
 

More info about this here

Freud quote from here and here

Reflection (self portrait)

 

Queen image from here

Leigh Bowery

Woman Smiling and Girl with dog

PLUS

There’s a new post over on my BOOKSTAINS (about time too!)

Advertisements

A brush with Genius

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY with tags , , , , , on August 18, 2010 by echostains

O Connel lbridge

John (or ‘Jack’  Butler Yeats b. 1861 – 1957, London  was the brother of the famous Irish poet William Butler Yeats.  His romantic expressionistic art  explored the Irish way of life, horse racing and Celtic myth.  He started his artistic career  at 17 and over his lifetime he produced over a thousand works. 

He sings to the night

His early work was realistic but after 1920s onwards  his work became more expressive and went from the more graphic to the use of thickly applied impasto, which seems to have become a trademark of his. Yeats’s use of this medium, thickly applied does not translate  to screen very well, though it does give you a slight hint of the lyrical way he applies oil.  In my opinion the paintings are better seen in a gallery setting.  

Queen Maeve walked upon this Strand

 Yeats’s  later work was inspired by Austrian expressionist artist Oskar Kokoschka (b. 1886 – 1980) who was also a poet and writer and playwright  like Yeats.  I shall be doing a post about this fabulous artist whom I greatly admire at a later date

There is a wonderful website of information and images here  Morning after rain image from here, Queen Maeve here and He sings to the Night here

Art I LOVE – Jack Butler Yeats

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE with tags , , , , , on May 27, 2010 by echostains

Jack Butler Yeats

Jack  (John) Butler Yeats (b. 1871 – 1957  (London) was the brother of the Irish poet William Butler Yeats whose poem ‘He wishes for the cloths of Heaven’ I featured the other day.  Yeats started out as an illustrator usually depicting scenes of Ireland.   His style had elements of Romanticism but in 1920 his style became more Expressionistic.

jack butler-yeats Head of a man self portrait

Yeats was educated in Sligo Ireland but studied art at the Westminster school of Art under Frederick  Brown.  He worked in watercolour until 1905 when he started using oils on a regularly.   Sir Hugh Percy Lane who founded the Hugh Lane Art Gallery, Dublin commissioned Yeats to paint Distinguished Irish men.  He was very much influenced by the French Impressionists Masters in Lane’s collection.

jb yeats o connel bridge

Though not involved politically in the Irish republic movement, he began to paint urban and rural Irish life in a range of more varied colours and swapped the brush at times for other mark making tools.  His brushstrokes became swirling and free depicting vigour and freedom of expression.

Jack B Yeats The Singing Horseman

1920 was a turning point for Yeats, he turned  from illustration to symbolism in a much more Expressionistic style.   Yeats believed that the painter  must be part of the land and of the life he paints and this can be seen by his use of impasto and the vigorous swirling  strokes that he used to paint Ireland and Celtic mythology.

Death for Only One1937

He painted circus’s, horse racing, music Halls, rugged landscapes and Celtic mythology. 

High Spring Tide by Jack Butler Yeats

His painting became more nostalgic after his wife died in 1947.  He won a silver medal in 1924 for painting at the Tailteann Games. I can’t believe that some critics don’t rate Jack Butler Yeats as being relevent to Irish painting!  Luckily a retrospective of his paintings in 1971 revived his art and reputation.  He died in Dublin 1957.  He is an important artist in Irish Art’s history.

Glory to the brave singer jack butler-yeats 1950

 A short biography of the artist here

Images from here and here and here, here and here

 

Don’t forget to read my BlogSpot interview with Artistatexit0  here

Blasting the Surface: Armageddon Journal

Posted in ART, MY SURFACES with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2009 by echostains
armageddon-journal-

armageddon-journal-

 

This is the front of an A3 journal for a project I did in second year Foundation.  The project ‘Armageddon’ proved a very interesting one, exploring  destruction, survival, recycling, belief.   (I even made an ‘Armageddon cloak, made form plastic carrier bags, tobacco pouch wallets, anything that could be melted together!…even the scrapings of dried acrylic paint from my pallette!)

 

armageddon-journal-detail-1

armageddon-journal-detail-1

 

The front of the journal is made entirely of impasto medium, in which rolled up foil was embedded.  Acrylic paint, soft copper square, and foil make a surface which looks aged..

 

armageddon-journal-detail-2

armageddon-journal-detail-2

 

The technique was one where I ‘burnished’ the copper with acrylic paint, rubbing the paint in, then wiping it off: building up a patina.

Foil was rolled into balls and stuck down with PVA glue.  Then when dry layers were applied, building the surface up.  The same patina building technique applied.  The idea was to make the journal appear ancient, buried in the rubble, scorched by neuclear devestation.  I enjoyed doing this cover VERY much indeed!