Friday, December 9, 2011

Jacob Collins

I hate when people text me first and then don’t keep the conversation going.
Dear radio stations, instead of 40 minutes of commercial free music, how about 5 minutes of good music?
1600s: Oh Dearest Romeo, I write to inform you that I have received your letter and I’ve been left quite speechless. 2011: K


The period of the Renaissance (14th and 16th centuries) brought with it many important changes in the social and cultural position of the artist. Over the course of the period there is a steady rise in the status of the painter, sculptor, and architect and a growing sympathy expressed for the visual arts. Painters and sculptors made a concerted effort to extricate themselves from their medieval heritage and to distinguish themselves from mere craftsmen.
At the beginning of the Renaissance, painters and sculptors were still regarded as members of the artisan class, and occupied a low rung on the social ladder. A shift begins to occur in the 14th century when painting, sculpture, and architecture began to form a group separate from the mechanical arts. In the 15th century, the training of a painter was expected to include knowledge of mathematical perspective, optics, geometry, and anatomy.

A major development in the Renaissance is the new emphasis on the realistic description of figures and objects in painting and sculpture. The call to "imitate nature" involved an almost scientific examination of optical phenomena. In order to make figures and objects appear three-dimensional, forms were "modeled" employing the optical principles of light and shade. These correctly rendered three-dimensional figures and objects were placed in a three-dimensional illusionistic space created through the newly developed device of linear perspective.

The knowledge and use of scientific methods placed painting and sculpture on a new basis that was intellectual, theoretical, literary, and scientific. Painters and sculptors could now claim that their profession required intellectual ability and knowledge. This permitted the claim that they were superior to mere craftsmen, and that painting and sculpture should be recognized as liberal arts.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

3 words, 8 letters, say it and I’m yours. “I got food”
Yesterday was National Day of the Ninja and I was completely unaware of it. Well played Ninja Day… well played.
I only say, “that makes sense,” because I refuse to say, “you are right”.
I ALWAYS wonder if someone, somewhere, is doing the same exact thing as I AM.
I once had a life … then some idiot came and told me to make a Facebook!
Thanks for the retweet

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My good friend, Zeke, drops dead on his bike cycling to a meeting.  I miss his memorial service because I'm with Jess in the hospital. He'd approve.   I still miss him when I pass his old apt or the spot on the street where he collapsed.  It has weird energy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dan Gheno - National Academy

Julie's place

I'm back at my home after a great time in London! Here are just a few photos I took of Julie's studio & shop.
Not only is she talented and prolific but she is also very down to earth and super friendly.
Meeting her was a real delight!

Flea Market Treasures

A few treasures I scored
at the Sunday St. Lawrence flea market :)

The Paper Place

On top of all the wonderful memories I brought back with me from my trip to Italy, I also brought back amazing art supplies. Julie took Ann & me to visit The Paper Place on Tuscana St. I bought a whole stack of Italian 100% recycled handmade paper sheets from Saint-PAul in all sorts of lovely dark colors, beautiful japanese washi tape, inkpads, waxed linen thread, etc...
I'm already working on a new collage using a purple sheet!I also ate my first ever macaron from Nadège, across the street from The Paper Place. Thank you Julie for being such a wonderful tour guide.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mona Lisa   

If in the morning you look up
Fake a smile and you sigh
Don’t fear the future
In the years to come you’ll learn
I used to sit and watch the pouring rain
I used to wish to be back home again
I hadn’t the strength then
I hadn’t the chance to reveal it
But it’s all in your hands
When do we begin?
Although you’re so sad
Discover things never had
It makes you wonder
A life alone you’ll learn
You’ll learn
When do we begin?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What is art?

ART has not always been what we think it is today. An object regarded as Art today may not have been perceived as such when it was first made, nor was the person who made it necessarily regarded as an artist. Both the notion of "art" and the idea of the "artist" are relatively modern terms.

Many of the objects we identify as art today -- Greek painted pottery, medieval manuscript illuminations, and so on -- were made in times and places when people had no concept of "art" as we understand the term. These objects may have been appreciated in various ways and often admired, but not as "art" in the current sense.

ART lacks a satisfactory definition. It is easier to describe it as the way something is done -- "the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others" (Britannica Online) -- rather than what it is.

The idea of an object being a "work of art" emerges, together with the concept of the Artist, in the 15th and 16th centuries in Italy.

During the Renaissance, the word Art emerges as a collective term encompassing Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, a grouping given currency by the Italian artist and biographer Giorgio Vasari in the 16th century. Subsequently, this grouping was expanded to include Music and Poetry which became known in the 18th century as the 'Fine Arts'. These five Arts have formed an irreducible nucleus from which have been generally excluded the 'decorative arts' and 'crafts', such as as pottery, weaving, metalworking, and furniture making, all of which have utility as an end.

But how did Art become distinguished from the decorative arts and crafts? How and why is an artist different from a craftsperson?

In the Ancient World and Middle Ages the word we would translate as 'art' today was applied to any activity governed by rules. Painting and sculpture were included among a number of human activities, such as shoemaking and weaving, which today we would call crafts.

Isabel Bishop, painter

My ability is so small! And yet the pursuit never stops engrossing me entirely. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mona Lisa
ajay livingston and ray evans

Mona lisa, mona lisa, men have named you
You’re so like the lady with the mystic smile
Is it only ’cause you’re lonely they have blamed you?
For that mona lisa strangeness in your smile?

Do you smile to tempt a lover, mona lisa?
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there and they die there
Are you warm, are you real, mona lisa?
Or just a cold and lonely lovely work of art?

Do you smile to tempt a lover, mona lisa?
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there and they die there
Are you warm, are you real, mona lisa?
Or just a cold and lonely lovely work of art?

Mona lisa, mona lisa

The Outline

The boundaries of bodies are the least of all things. The proposition is proved to be true, because the boundary of a thing is a surface, which is not part of the body contained within that surface; nor is it part of the air surrounding that body, but is the medium interposted between the air and the body, as is proved in its place. But the lateral boundaries of these bodies is the line forming the boundary of the surface, which line is of invisible thickness. Wherefore O painter! do not surround your bodies with lines, and above all when representing objects smaller than nature; for not only will their external outlines become indistinct, but their parts will be invisible from distance.

Rembrandt’s Religious Art

Throughout his long and prolific career, Rembrandt repeatedly turned to the bible as a source of inspiration. He produced many paintings, drawings and etchings that depicted scenes and characters taken from the Old Testament and Apocrypha. He also devoted his talents towards bringing to life people and places found in the New Testament, but most particularly the faces and events that pertained directly to the life of Jesus Christ. Rembrandt was a deeply religious man, and his connection to religion was a source of comfort during the dark times of his life. The period of Rembrandt’s religious art reveals a great deal about the artist and illustrates what inspired him.

It was in the late 1650s that Rembrandt began to focus on portraits of religious figures. This was a time in his life when he and his family where subjected to great tragedy due to the death of two of his children, Hendrickje and Titus. To make matters worse, Rembrandt was forced to declare financial insolvency in 1656 and auction off his extremely valuable art collection and all of his household possessions. In an effort to find solace during these times of grief and darkness, Rembrandt began to paint religious portraits and scenes. Included in his now-famous dramatic religious art are depictions of Christ and the Virgin, the Apostles, namely James, Paul, Bartholomew and Simon, the Evangelists, Monks and Saints. Amongst all of Rembrandt’s religious art, one of his most famous pieces is his self-portrait as the Apostle Paul, dated 1657.
In Rembrandt’s religious art, the faces of Apostles and Saints alike, peer out from the darkness of dimly-lit rooms. Rembrandt painted each religious character’s face to reflect the burden of spiritual and also emotional conflicts. In ‘The Apostle Bartholomew, 1657’, Batholomew sits in a gloomy room painted with startlingly rich colors. The only light in the room falls on Bartholomew’s face, which is clearly framed in an expression of concern. Another piece that portrays the burden of worry and sorrow is the famous ‘The Virgin of Sorrows, 1661’. Again, Rembrandt makes use of vibrant colors and dim light to convey the feeling of a troubled mind and soul. Rembrandt’s religious art depicts the personality of an artist whose ability to create profound depth of expression in his characters most certainly arose from an understanding and compassion for these figures that goes beyond their iconic status. Physically, each character appears to come alive, and upon further reflection, one can observe Rembrandt’s unmatched skill to also accurately portray the state of their psychological being.
For over 80 years scholars have debated over whether Rembrandt’s religious paintings formed a larger series. And still today, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that the artist was working on a series of paintings of biblical figures. Nonetheless, Rembrandt’s religious art remains some of the most important work of his career. The biblical paintings offer new insight into his techniques, but more importantly they say something very profound about the artist, his beliefs and his unmatched ability to see into and paint the human soul.

Author: Jessie Corbett
Jessie Corbett is a modern artist, an authority about Rembrandt

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mona Lisa
by Brenda M Weber

Behind kaleidoscopic eyes
theres no mystery there that lies
Shes the one to see it all
from her position on a wall

We look for something in her smile
We stand to study her awhile
Her face of beauty that we seek
What would she say if she could speak?

Is her beauty oh so rare?
Was Mona just a maiden fair?
Is she a mirror image of me?
Is that what Im supposed to see?

Monas portrait on the wall
A combination of us all
Theres a touch of someone there
in the beauty of her hair

That hint of prism in her eyes
makes her appear to be so wise
The playful curvature of her lip
On her cheeks can dance a quip

Shes a beauty this Mona Lisa
but so is the Leaning Tower of Pisa
What is the mystery there that lies?
Behind kaleidoscopic eyes. . .

Rembrandt Impasto: A Master in the Shadows

The Baroque period is characterised by dramatic art pieces that are direct and visceral. Paintings of that era depict scenes that imply energy, tension and movement. Rembrandt, a major contributor and forerunner of this period, was a virtuoso with luminosity, as well as a master at infusing his paintings with sympathy and spirituality.

Chiaroscuro and Bold Impasto
Few Baroque artists can rival Rembrandt in his use of painting techniques such as chiaroscuro and bold impasto. Chiaroscuro, the distribution of light and shadow, was Rembrandt’s method of making his subjects appear to hover on the canvas. His numerous self-portraits serve to demonstrate his deftness with this technique. As a colorist, Rembrandt is famous for his unique talent in creating a precarious balance between painting in color and painting tonally or in shades. He would paint in layers, building from the back of the painting to the front, by using coats of glazes. Rembrandt impasto pieces consist of very thick layers of paint.
By the mid 1630’s, Rembrandt was using five strokes of paint whereas other artists would use only one. The lines in Rembrandt impasto paintings were caked on so copiously that the brushstrokes would eventually separate and paintings began morphing to the likeness of impressionistic works that could only be fully discerned and appreciated from a distance. The expression of his ultimate vision was far more important than conforming to the artistic rules of the period. Impasto paintings benefited Rembrandt in two ways: it allowed him to reflect light in a certain fashion and it added expression to the paint. Early Rembrandt impasto pieces are brilliant examples of his mastery in a technique that could so magnificently detail the numerous folds of fabric and intricate jewellery of his subjects.
A Snapshot in Time
Rembrandt baroque works are mostly comprised of portraits and biblical or historical scenes. Rembrandt was the first artist to explore the psychological side of humanity in art. He was interested in the individual, but not just as an abstract form. He subjected himself to his own meticulous scrutiny and analysis in creating his numerous self-portraits, which total approximately one hundred. Many Baroque works have a “snapshot” quality to them, and none more than those done by Rembrandt. The Rembrandt baroque piece titled “Syndics of the Cloth Guild” is an exceptional example. The six men pictured in this painting are looking poised, yet slightly startled, as if someone had just shouted their names and suddenly took a photograph as they looked up from their business. The shadowy coloring is reminiscent of a grainy photograph. Rembrandt baroque pieces involve the observer and conjure up immediacy. His paintings often appear to direct a spotlight on the action, thus the viewer is forced to pay attention and is pulled into the energy of the exchange.

Author: Jessie Corbett
Jessie Corbett is a modern artist, an authority about Rembrandt

Friday, April 29, 2011

On Painting

If the eye, when [out of doors] in the luminous atmosphere, sees a place in shadow, this will look very much darker than it really is. This happens only because the eye when out in the air contracts the pupil in proportion as the atmosphere reflected in it is more luminous. And the more the pupil contracts, the less luminous do the objects appear that it sees. But as soon as the eye enters into a shady place the darkness of the shadow suddenly seems to diminish. This occurs because the greater the darkness into which the pupil goes the more its size increases, and this increase makes the darkness seem less.

Learn How to Paint Like Rembrandt

One of the greatest artists to ever hold a brush was the Italian painter Rembrandt van Rijn, better known as Rembrandt, who revolutionized the way the art world perceived the easel. If your ambition is to learn how to paint like Rembrandt, then a brief history lesson on his artistic beginnings, his incredible creativity, and his unique style will not only inspire you, but also help you realize your goal.

Rembrandt was born in the small farming town of Leyden, Italy, but later moved to Amsterdam to work under the tutelage of Peter Lastman. Studying under a great mentor artist such as Lastman instilled into Rembrandt a growing passion for painting and a fascination for the thin-layer style, which was the typical method of color application in most of Europe during the 17th century. However, Rembrandt’s innovative nature would lead him to develop his own classical style of painting, using a particularly thick consistency of oil colors and applying several layers of paint to the canvas. This became Rembrandt’s signature, and it would set its mark upon the world of art. Learn more about

Painting like the Master
To learn how to paint like Rembrandt, one must pay meticulous attention to every detail, from the selection of earthy colors to the use of light and shadow. Over the years, the artist’s use of impasto in the light areas grew heavier and heavier, while the shadows became increasingly transparent. Rembrandt’s series of self-portraits, some of which are notated as the most influential paintings of his era, were created over decades of trial and error. A painting showing any small level of Rembrandt- like characteristics would be acknowledged as impressive artistic replication.
Painting Necessities and Substrates
To begin your training on how to paint like Rembrandt, you must purchase the proper paints and canvas. Make certain that the oil-based paints are of a thicker variety and not the thin-set that is still very popular. The substrate should be a gray-scaled version of canvas. You can easily find these supplies at any fine arts supply outlet.
Simple Steps to Follow for Portraiture:
  • Sketch the portrait on the canvas
  • Block in the transparent shadows with a thin-mix (the only time ‘thin’ is used)
  • Lightly brush warm brown hues of oil paint upon the canvas
  • Apply skin tone
  • Mix black and white into cool gray for mid-tones, between light and shadow
  • Working fast, build-up contrast between heavy opaque lights and thin transparent shadows
  • Start blending when paint becomes tacky and hard to move
  • Allow the canvas to dry thoroughly
  • For the second sitting, glaze the entire surface of the canvas with black
  • Carefully remove paint from light areas using only a piece of cloth
  • Use heavy impasto in the light areas but retain some of the glaze, creating a three-dimensional look and appearance.
Although painting like Rembrandt is a challenging endeavor, it can be done. Producing the remarkable texture that is entirely unique to his style is the key to success. Good luck!

Author: Jessie Corbett
Jessie Corbett is a modern artist, an authority about Rembrandt

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On Perspective

The eye which turns from a white object in the light of the sun and goes into a less fully lighted place will see everything as dark. And this happens either because the pupils of the eyes which have rested on this brilliantly lighted white object have contracted so much that, given at first a certain extent of surface, they will have lost more than 3/4 of their size; and, lacking in size, they are also deficient in [seeing] power. Though you might say to me: A little bird (then) coming down would see comparatively little, and from the smallness of his pupils the white might seem black! To this I should reply that here we must have regard to the proportion of the mass of that portion of the brain which is given up to the sense of sight and to nothing else. Or--to return--this pupil in Man dilates and contracts according to the brightness or darkness of (surrounding) objects; and since it takes some time to dilate and contract, it cannot see immediately on going out of the light and into the shade, nor, in the same way, out of the shade into the light, and this very thing has already deceived me in painting an eye, and from that I learnt it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Linear Perspective

We see clearly from the concluding sentence of section 49, where the author directly addresses the painter, that he must certainly have intended to include the elements of mathematics in his Book on the art of Painting. They are therefore here placed at the beginning. In section 50 the theory of the "Pyramid of Sight" is distinctly and expressly put forward as the fundamental principle of linear perspective, and sections 52 to 57 treat of it fully. This theory of sight can scarcely be traced to any author of antiquity. Such passages as occur in Euclid for instance, may, it is true, have proved suggestive to the painters of the Renaissance, but it would be rash to say any thing decisive on this point.
Leon Battista Alberti treats of the "Pyramid of Sight" at some length in his first Book of Painting; but his explanation differs widely from Leonardo's in the details. Leonardo, like Alberti, may have borrowed the broad lines of his theory from some views commonly accepted among painters at the time; but he certainly worked out its application in a perfectly original manner.
The axioms as to the perception of the pyramid of rays are followed by explanations of its origin, and proofs of its universal application (58--69). The author recurs to the subject with endless variations; it is evidently of fundamental importance in his artistic theory and practice. It is unnecessary to discuss how far this theory has any scientific value at the present day; so much as this, at any rate, seems certain: that from the artist's point of view it may still claim to be of immense practical utility.
According to Leonardo, on one hand, the laws of perspective are an inalienable condition of the existence of objects in space; on the other hand, by a natural law, the eye, whatever it sees and wherever it turns, is subjected to the perception of the pyramid of rays in the form of a minute target. Thus it sees objects in perspective independently of the will of the spectator, since the eye receives the images by means of the pyramid of rays "just as a magnet attracts iron".

Saturday, January 29, 2011

World Famous Painting Haiku - Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa

the teacher teaches the girls
how to smile

preserved with colours and canvas
a thousand year old italian smiles
Mona Lisa

a young thousand year old smile
greets my old forty year old smile
mona lisa

mona lisa
a smile that makes
a world of difference

mona lisa
the smile that makes
a world of difference

mona lisa
the joy is art
in a smile

mona lisa
a smile that makes a world
of art

mona lisa
so soft the smile
softer than my heart

so many painted
since cave days
- impressionism, realism, modernism
a woman with a simple smile
takes top spot

Natural Point

The smallest natural point is larger than all mathematical points, and this is proved because the natural point has continuity, and any thing that is continuous is infinitely divisible; but the mathematical point is indivisible because it has no size.