Archive for visual arts

The Art of Childhood

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

Childhood has featured a lot in art and many artists have captured those bygone days where the sun always shone and the school summer holidays seemed to stretch out forever.  How wonderful it must have been for the sitters of these paintings to look backwards at themselves forever young  – and how lovely it is for us the viewer to sit back and enjoy the legacies of these artists!

  Many artists work  are featured in this video, see how many you can recognise.  To start you off, here are the first few.  To see the rest please look under the video on Youtube at ‘show’ to reveal the rest.  You may be surprised 🙂

Paintings:
1.mary cassatt- little girl in a blue armchair
2.mary cassatt- the sisters
3.james jacques joseph tissot- a little nimrod
4.stephen gjertson- admiration
5.thomas gainsborough- the painter’s daughters with a cat
6.thomas eakins- baby at play
7.william michael harnett- attention company
8.sir joshua reynolds- the brown boy
9.sir thomas lawrence- the calmady children
10.mary cassatt- child in a straw hat
11. ” – children playing on the beach
12. ” – francoise in a square backed chair read (aka young girl reading, young girl in a blue dress)
13.mary cassatt- sarah in a green bonnet
14.sir thomas lawrence- children sir john julian

Video by ilkea – thanks!

Music: Albinoni-Adagio from Oboe Concerto in D minor Op.9 No.2

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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Happy Birthday Cindy Sherman!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , on January 19, 2011 by echostains

Today is the birthday of conceptual portrait photographer and film director Cindy Sherman.  Sherman was born in New Jersey USA 1954.   She received the MacArthur award in 1995 and currently lives and works in New York.  She studied visual art at Buffalo State college, abandoning  painting for photography.

“I didn’t want to make ‘high’ art, I had no interest in using paint, I wanted to find something that anyone could relate to without knowing about contemporary art. I wasn’t thinking in terms of precious prints or archival quality; I didn’t want the work to seem like a commodity.”

Although a lot Sherman’s work involve the use of stereotyping women in advertising, media  and film, she does not stereotype her work,  she does say this about her work:-

“The work is what it is and hopefully it’s seen as feminist work, or feminist-advised work, but I’m not going to go around espousing theoretical bullshit about feminist stuff.”

 
 
 
 
 

Cindy Sherman Clowns series

 

 Her work involves taking series of photographs of herself in costume.  For example in 2003 her series consisted of photographs of herself as clown.  In 1981 an early series ‘Centrefolds’ considered women’s roles in film magazine and television;-

“In content I wanted a man opening up the magazine suddenly look at it with an expectation of something lascivious and then feel like the violator that they would be. Looking at this woman who is perhaps a victim. I didn’t think of them as victims at the time… But I suppose… Obviously I’m trying to make someone feel bad for having a certain expectation”

 
 
 
 
 

Centrefolds

 

Sherman’s narrative work always has dark or sad undertones within it.  She always maintains that her photographs are not self portraits, even though the pictures are all of herself.  Sherman always plays a ‘type’ – a fictional type;- a housewife, socialite, – B movie actresses.  She  both hides herself within her work, yet reveals herself at the same time.  It is a game of hide and seek where she sometimes disappears:-

“I feel I’m anonymous in my work. When I look at the pictures, I never see myself; they aren’t self-portraits. Sometimes I disappear”

 
 
 
 
 

Cindy Sherman 1990

 

Her work is both thought-provoking and evocative.  As well as directing and modeling, she has also collaborated on advertisements with designer Marc Jacobs and designed album covers for the band American Babes in Toyland.

If I knew what the picture was going to be like I wouldn’t make it. It was almost like it was made already.. the challenge is more about trying to make what you can’t think of.”  

Cindy Sherman

Information about Sherman and her work can be found here and on her website here

images are from here, here here and here

video by innertubevideo with thanks!

Also born on this day Paul Cezannne – read my post here

Don’t forget the Hepworth Echo Poetry challenge which is still going strong over on my Bookstains!

And

Poll: -Who do you LOVE?

Posted in ART, ART DISCOVERED AND UNCOVERED, ART VIDEOS, POLLS, SCULPTURE with tags , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2010 by echostains

 I’ve now completed 622 posts!  In all those posts I have never yet tried the poll application out.  That is about to be remedied!  Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that I have featured some rather unusual artists.  But which artist have you enjoyed the most?  These aren’t really famous artists (like Freud, Hirst etc).  they are artists who have chosen either unusual media to present their art or just have an unusual way of looking at the world.  As with most things in life – Art is subjective and everyone has their own personal taste. This poll is just for fun and just because some artists may not receive any or many votes – it doesn’t mean that their art is undermined.  It just means that not many people are reading this or voting:)

Please feel free to make leave a comment about why you like the art of one particular artist:)

 I’ll start with half a dozen artists, but I will create some more of these polls if this one  is successful!

If you are unfamiliar with the art of these artists just click on the images of their work to read the posts I have done about them.

Kathy Waggoner 'The Taster'

Berlinde de Bruyckere sculpture

Zena Holloway underwater artist

Lui Bolin is somewhere in this image

Emma Hack camouflage artist making people look like paintingsProjected art - watch the short movie to see the happening

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Projected art - watch the short movie to see the happening

Art Discovered and Recovered – Morwenna Catt

Posted in ART, ART DISCOVERED AND UNCOVERED with tags , , , , , on September 9, 2010 by echostains

Morwenna Catt

Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog has probably guessed that a lot of my posts are spontaneous and that the subject can be prompted sometimes by anything and everything.   Sometimes it can be the date of an artist’s birthday, or the subject of a poem or something I’ve seen or heard in the media and want to investigate.  Sometimes (like todays post) it is influenced by a comment someone has made.  The comment was made on artistatexit0’s great blog.  The post was about found objects – a lot of them being toys.  This brought back a childhood memory of the artist’s lost toy and I began to rifle through my mind for an artist whose work I either saw or studied a while ago, who used stuffed toys in her work which she x rayed.

Phrenology 111 Morwenna Catt

Further investigation revealed that the artist was Morwenna Catt.   She is an artist whose work confronts the emotional scars of childhood through a storytelling narrative via stuffed toys.  The toys are found objects which the artist has opened up – secreted with a ‘message’. sewn back up and then x rayed.  The results are startling and sometimes a bit disturbing.  Catt invokes a lot of childhood memories anxieties and trauma in these pieces using  the dog eared beloved soft toy  to convey this.

Morwenna Catt horse

Messages lie within these mute childhood toys – like the  horse which hides a key and padlock in its belly:- the message ‘betrayal’ is revealed in this x-ray photo on light box.  As well as the textile work, (the artist hand stitches these animals) Catt also works in 3D installation, paintings,  drawings and with light boxes.

Heel

The ‘wounded textile heads in her ‘Phrenology‘ pieces are based around drawings.  They show vulnerability and dysfunction, yet have a disturbing pathos.  this is what the artist has to say about her work:-

Childhood is a recurring theme in my work, I try to dispel Fairy Tale mythologies, stripping back to the bare bones of experience and uncovering some kind of underlying truth using personal narratives alongside subverted imagery. I use the familiar and the nostalgic as a trigger, but disrupt the reading. In recent works the family unit is transformed into animals, either drawn, painted or constructed as 3D textiles; malformed, battered and bruised to evoke the darker side of family life. I am preoccupied with our relationships to trigger objects, memory, nostalgia and psychosis.

 collective memory. The type from my old battered type-writer reminds me of discovering my mothers secret poems. The pattern of simple animal shapes on the Phrenology III head is taken from a 1970s toy pattern book and has that bitter sweet nostalgic quality. Modern life requires that everything is clean and shiny and safe, kitemarked and numbered, my work is the antithesis of this – its slightly grubby, pitiful in its hand-made grotesqueness, the threads hang loose and needles project dangerously from stitched mouths.” peoplesMy work is very ‘hand-made’ – it can look laborious and clumsy, scrawled with hand written text and the faded words from an old ribbon typewriter. I want the work to have a wounded ‘authenticity’ and try to use evocative image and text/process to tap into

Shot painting Morwenna Catt

There is  much, much more to this artist and her work.   She has undertaken many interesting  projects and is always coming up with new and creative ideas.  I’m so glad to have finally found her again!

Morwenna Catt website and gallery here I  Artist statement  excerpt from here.   Images from here and here
Interesting interview here

 

PS.  THE  VAN GOGH POETRY CHALLENGE IS STILL GOING STRONG!  TO SEE THE POEMS AND TO PERHAPS ENTER YOUR OWN PLEASE CLICK VINCENT!

Echostains – what exactly is it’

Posted in ART, ART PORTFOLIO MY PERSONAL ART, exhibitions, MY SURFACES with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2010 by echostains

echo stain

 People are always asking me how I came up with such unusual name like ‘Echostains’ for a blog. Echostains began was a project I did at University. That project has now seen many changes, but it is still alive and kicking. I am still exploring communication through art, though now the communication is through the written word and in cyberspace. Here’s an explanation of the original concept;-

'Watcher'

‘EchoStains’ is a personal project that I completed in the second year of my Visual Arts BA Hons Degree. (1Ith August 2002). I have split the project into three parts because the process was ongoing and progressive and each part inevitably merged seamlessly into the other, culminating in the final piece – the large painting ‘Echo Stain’. The work is about communication – on all different levels.

'Meeting Place'

Echostains

In this first part of the project, the process is as important as the eventual image, in the sense that ‘recipes’ (see ‘My Surfaces’ category) and media components that have been explored in an earlier project, are now being applied in an almost ritualistic manner; i.e. pouring, splashing, scraping back, and finally painting. So, a dichotomy of measured and automatic response has merged to make the stain tangible. The ‘echo’ is the way that the piece communicates with the viewer – it is a first contact. Dialogue is established through the use of colour conversations. Solid matter versus the metaphysical and slight tensions between the representational and abstract start to emerge.

'House on the Borderland'

Another example is ‘House on the Borderland’ a book by William Hope Hodgson which was made iwth various inks overrunning each other, manually mnipulated to created ‘prisms’ crossing over each other.

'Alan Turing'

Shadow Maps

In this part of the project although the language is still personal, a kind of code is starting to come through. The Shadow Map’ is a form of communication: a visual narrative. Although there seems to be a gradual shifting away from the more nebulous ‘Echo Stains’, the ‘Shadow Maps’ are only an extension of the Echostains’ concept.

'Blue Animation'

Communication is continued by the use of colour relationships and special considerations makes themselves known. This is sometimes explored by painting in more gestural movements: sometimes motivated by lines of poetry – a measured response. The use of certain colour relationships denote mood. Repetition has been employed in some instances to convey a sense of rhythm and immediacy. The Shadow Maps try to give some semblance of coherence to the ‘dialogue’. The ensuing result is that they start to develop into a sort of communicative ‘code’ that is not yet deciphered – still in shadow.

'1066'

The Yellow Wallpaper

The monumental works of the artist Wlodzimierz Ksiazek are both public and personal. He has developed a kind of dialogue that communicates to the viewer. This can be summed up by the quote mentioned in the review by Merleau-Ponty, who wrote of Cezanne’s work how each element contributed to: “an emerging order of an object in the art of appearing, organises itself before our eyes.” It is this kind of ‘dialogue’ that I have used in the third part of my project, inspired by the short story by the American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman called ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’. The story can be read online.

'Creeping Woman'

Although these paintings do not ‘illustrate’ the story literally: it is the highly personal narrative that is the chief objective. The use of repetition and occasional nuance that starts to communicate on some level with the viewer.

So now you know what the ‘Echostains’ concept is about. Each gallery holds about  a dozen paintings. I shall be putting more on, as well as new work.

 PS