Lots of chatter recently about this painting “Equals Pi”. If you want to see what I mean, read this, Tiffany’s Wants You to Think It Inspired a Blue Basquiat Painting, or this, Tiffany solicits help of Beyoncé and Jay-Z to draw younger buyers – will it backfire? | Fashion | The Guardian.
As for me, I am not sure what effect it will have. I do know the owners of Tiffany have a ton of money to acquire this picture and I am glad it is getting some display. I always love seeing the work of Basquiat and I especially like this one.
For more on who previously owned it, see this: Austin Kleon — Jean-Michel Basquiat, Equals Pi, 1982 2021: Some…
Recently I came across this story about the new Vermeer painting and like him it is blowing my mind a bit. It takes restoration to a whole new level. It seems restoration work is getting bolder these days. I remember some of the controversy regarding the Sistine Chapel restoration and how some thought the people restoring it had crossed the line by making the colours so bold. This Vermeer restoration takes things to a whole other level by changing the image and its composition. I’ll be curious to see if we see more boldness like this in the future.
For more on this, see this piece: A Restored Vermeer Painting Reveals a Hidden Cupid Artwork Hanging in the Background.
David Hockey keeps going and going and I love that about him. Now he’s using Apple devices to make more works of art, and they are wonderful. To see what I mean, go read this at artnet.com: David Hockney Has Made Beautiful (and Rarely Seen) iPad Drawings of the View From His Bedroom Window. Enjoy Them Here.
If that gets you excited, in theory you could order the book. However at a price of $2000, it is more a work of art than a simple book: David Hockney. My Window (Limited Edition) – TASCHEN Books
I hope he continues to make art in one form or another. Based on this on Austin Kleon’s site, it’s likely he will.
P.S. I love that drawing above. The raindrops are especially good.
P.S.S. I recommend that Kleon post too. Or anything Hockney says about art.
(Image link from article on artnet.com)
When you don’t know what to create, record what you know. I was reminded of that rule when admiring the paintings of Rachel Campbell, here: Colorful Oil Paintings Depict Give a Glimpse into the Life of the Artist.
If you are trying to write or draw or paint, you may be stuck with two problems: being able to make things look “nice” and not knowing what to make. Recording what you know solves those two problems. You know what you are going to make: a recording of what is in front of you. And even if you don’t make a good recording (i.e. it isn’t “nice”), I can assure you years from now you will look at it and say “oh that! I forgot all about that, but I am glad I have a recording of it now!”
Here’s another tip: ask yourself what is something you know that you Love or think is Beautiful. Whether it’s a place or a person or a thing or even a time of day, record that. When you see it, you won’t think the lines aren’t great or the colour is wonky: you will see the Thing you Love or think is Beautiful. Others will think it too.
Here’s a final tip: record something of your era. Include something fashionable, or technology, or anything that is not long lasting. Years from now it will be fascinating to your or others. “Look at that old phone”, they’ll say. Or “look how cheap everything is”, or “look at that dress”. You get the idea.
Sure you can take a photo, and it may be a good photo. But put some creative thought and effort into it. Your art will get better, and the work you produce will be better.
(Image is a link to the article in My Modern Met.)
This is interesting and something I’d like to see more of: the final works of famous artists. At Artnet.com they have at least seven of them: the Poetic, Heartbreaking Final Paintings of 7 Famous Artists, From Salvador Dalí to Marcel Duchamp.(They kinda gush a bit in that title. :))
Here is the last one from Dali:
That is interesting in itself. (Dali is always interesting.) But what makes it more interesting to me, as someone interested in the form of mathematics known as catastrophe theory, was that Dali was interested in and and inspired by it too. As artnet explaiins:
During the last years of his life, Dalí became obsessed with the mathematical catastrophe theory developed by French mathematician René Thom, who suggested that there are seven “elementary catastrophes” that occur: fold, cusp, swallowtail, butterfly, hyperbolic umbilic, elliptic umbilic, and parabolic umbilic. This painting, with its generous curves and sharp edges, mimics these catastrophic events in black lines painted atop what appears to be a crinkled white sheet of paper. The organic curves of a cello appear to one side along with, perhaps as a reference to his own famous facial feature, a handlebar mustache…
The David Zwirner gallery has an exhibit on the late works of Paul Klee, here.
A good analysis of Klee and his work then can be read here.
His work is darker in this time period, as befitting of what was going on. Still beautiful and still uniquely Klee, though.
Posted in art
Tagged art, Europe, klee, painting
Last week I wrote about white paint. Now for something completely different: bright colours! This piece is a great guide for how to use colour in your home, which is especially good for people shy about using bolder colours: Complementary Colors & How to Decorate With Them | Apartment Therapy
In a nutshell: “Complementary colors, when used together in color schemes, are especially dynamic and pleasing to the eye.” So find your favorite colour, find its complement on the colour wheel, and use that as your guide.
My small tip: if you love a certain colour (e.g. orange), then look to use the complementary colour in the background (e.g. blue sofa, blue wall colour). Then you can fill the foreground with objects in your favourite colour.
Another tip: use artworks containing both colours. Obviously you should love the art first, but if you have many pieces you can hang or display, aim to use those that fit in with the overall colour scheme of the room. (See the image above for examples of this. It’s a good example of how blue and orange go together.)
One of my favorite artists is Emily Bickell, largely for her paintings of water, which I think are sublime. You can get affordable print versions of them here: Traces Art Print by emilybickell | Society6.
Better still, you can get affordable original versions of them here: Art Interiors.
Some good links on the art of the 1980s, of which Basquiat and Haring played a big part, here and here.
Most of the time the links I post are mostly because I want other people to know about them. Links that talk about my youth are mainly for me. 🙂 But fans of either painter or art of that time should click through.
Painting above by Haring in tribute to Basquiat. May they both RIP.
…is a fantastic story you can read about here: Princeton University portraits lacked diversity, so artist Mario Moore painted blue-collar workers who ‘really run things’ – The Washington Post.
His painting is fine, and the subject matter he has chosen especially so. Check out the story: it has many of his works on display too.
It’s debatable for sure, but there are a number of people who think he did. This piece (from a few years ago) titled The Mirrors Behind Rembrandt’s Self-Portraits in The New York Times looks into one paper that argues so
In a paper published Wednesday in the Journal of Optics, Mr. O’Neill lays out a theory that Rembrandt set up flat and concave mirrors to project his subjects — including himself — onto surfaces before painting or etching them.
By tracing these projections, the 17th-century painter would have been able to achieve a higher degree of precision, Mr. O’Neill said. His research suggests that some of Rembrandt’s most prominent work may not have been done purely freehand, as many art historians believe.
He is not the first to suggest that old master painters used optics for their famous portraits.
In 2001, David Hockney, a renowned British painter, and Charles Falco, an optical sciences professor at the University of Arizona, published a book in which they argued that master painters secretly used mirrors and lenses to create hyperrealistic paintings, starting in the Renaissance.
Their theory, known as the Hockney-Falco thesis, generated controversy among scientists and art historians, some of whom took the findings as an implication that old master painters had “cheated” to produce their works.
I’ve read Hockney on this and he makes a strong case too. Not everyone agrees though. It’s worth reading the article and get a better picture, pardon the pun.
My thought is it’s likely all artists of the time would have used them to some extent. But Rembrandt is such a remarkable painter that it can only account for some of his greatness, if any.
What if your goal was to see all the Vermeer paintings in the world? There are not that many: you just need to travel a lot to do it. One person set out to do that. See Vermeer Goals for details.
Now, you might think: ugh, painting is alot of work. But as this piece shows, there’s some good paint jobs you can do in a weekend that still leaves you time to do other things.
For example, you can paint a door:
Or even just part of a wall, like the moulding:
The piece in Apartment Therapy is worth looking at to get ideas. If you’ve been tired of looking at the same old space and you don’t want to get new furnishings, a splash of paint can do the trick of improving the space.
Another option: do a painting (or buy a painting if shopping vs doing is your thing). This article has lots of examples, such as this:
And if you think: I suck at art, then read this piece in Hypoallergic about how making art, no matter how bad, can reduce stress.
Now head to the paint store and start your next project.
(See the articles for credits for the pictures.)
Easy! Just follow these three simple steps:
- Apply for one of the 250 permits the museum gives out each year.
- Bring your supplies and stand in front of the painting you want to copy. You can do this most days in the months of September through June from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- Start painting.
Ok, it’s not quite that easy. Even if you can perfectly reproduce the work you stand before, the staff of the Louvre take steps to insure no one mistakes your work for the original, as this NYTimes article points out. For example, in this article, they made sure that the copyists used
canvases that were one-fifth smaller or larger than the original, and that the original artists’ signatures were not reproduced on the copies. Then (the staff) stamped the backs of the canvases with a Louvre seal, added (the staff’s) own signature and escorted (the copyists) from the museum.
It’s a fine article highlighting a great tradition of the Louvre: well worth reading.
(Photo by IVAN GUILBERT / COSMOS and linked to in the article)
Whatever you think of George W. Bush as a president, most agree he is not bad painter. There are two reasons for the latter: one, he had good teachers, and two, he is a good student. How do I know he had good teachers? According to this, Art critics alarmed to discover that George W. Bush is actually a pretty good painter, Bush…
… didn’t have to sign up for classes at a local art school or the museum, of course. Instead, he took private lessons from a prominent Dallas artist named Gail Norfleet. Norfleet wrought a change in Bush’s worldview. He began to see the colors even in shadows, the subtle shifts of palette in a clear blue sky. “I was getting comfortable with the concepts of values and tones,” Bush writes in the introduction to his book. Norfleet also thoughtfully introduced the once monochromatic president to her mentor, another well-known Dallas artist named Roger Winter, and it was he who gave Bush the idea to paint world leaders. Bush also consulted a landscape painter, Jim Woodson, whose visions of the vast, untouched terrain of New Mexico are nothing like the conventional bluebonnet vistas many still associate with Texas art. It was Woodson who introduced Bush to, among other things, larger canvases and thicker paint, and guided him toward a more complex view of the world about him. (Underlying by me for emphasis).
Bush took the lessons from these teachers to heart. But he was fortunate to have access to good teachers. A lesson for us all.
I am always on the lookout for links to Gerhard Richter, one of my favorite artists. Here are two good ones:
- An oldie but goodie: images from the show, Gerhard Richter: Panorama at Tate Modern – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian.
- How to paint like Gerhard Richter ▶ How To Paint Like Gerhard Richter – YouTube.
Cartoons! Well, there’s more to it than that, as this fascinating post shows: The secret to great Renaissance art: tracing (Vox).
I knew Renaissance artists did sketches: I didn’t know that they used them as stencils. In hindsight, it makes sense: to make such great paintings, it is best to work them out in detail first and then focus on paint.
The first one is a summary of his new show in L.A.: David Hockney unveils new works on perspective created in Los Angeles | Art and design | The Guardian.
The second one is a meaty interview: David Hockney: ‘Just because I’m cheeky, doesn’t mean I’m not serious’ | Art and design | The Guardian.
I enjoyed the interview alot: it is a great review of his career, plus it talks about many other great artists of the second part of the 20th century.
Anyone interested in modern art would enjoy both of these.
Not for everyone of course, but this article shows you a novel way of turning a good idea – painting one wall of a room a different colour to make the room more interesting – and going one step further. The result is something like this:
If you are still interested, see Before & After: Maura’s $13 DIY Wall Art! | Apartment Therapy. Get the lamp, too.