I know it’s only the end of February and we keep getting all of these warnings about cold weather on the way, but down here in Plymouth we have had the quite mild weather for the last couple of days which made me feel like doing something quite Springy.
So here she is, my little bit of spring to hopefully brighten up your day and put the winter blues behind.
Not so long ago, I was looking through some photos and I came across these images of some paintings. When I first glanced at them I had no idea that I had done the paintings because they are so different to what I am doing now and also because I had completely forgotten about them.
You see, I really can’t remember doing them. I know when I first started painting I was experimenting with different techniques and styles, but I don’t remember these. Anyway, I quite like them, so I thought I would share them and Icall them the Presley family paintings. Introducing me, my miss and my mistress and maybe a grand old wizard who helps me magic my way through life.
If you happen to like any of the paintings then good luck in finding them, because I have no idea where they are. I probably gave them to someone in the past and when I die they’ll be worth a fortune and probably sold at Sotherby’s for a ridiculous amount. LOL.
I’ve recently discovered a place where I can purchase all kinds of great books at incredibly low prices. I used to have a large collection of art books about some of my favourite artists, but due to circumstances out of my control all were lost, so I have gradually started replacing them and adding a few extra.
I recently came into possession of Picasso, by Carsten-Peter Warncke, which is an amazing book following Picasso’s journey through his different periods. To be honest, before I got this book I had only had an interest in Picasso’s Cubist art, I knew of other styles and periods but hadn’t really taken much notice. I didn’t know what I had been missing.
They are just some of the most beautiful paintings, with so much emotion, depth, and feeling, taking you inside the painting and capturing everything in the expressions and hands of the subjects.
So I have included a few here that I liked a lot and some details of hands that I could already see developing towards the cubist paintings that he later did.
I strongly recommend purchasing the book for study and inspiration.
Raymond Isidore didn’t plan on becoming an artist—let alone a sculptor who would go on to cover nearly every surface of his small home with glittering mosaics. But after a fateful stroll in 1938, when a shiny piece of broken crockery caught his eye, Isidore devoted the majority of the remainder of his life on the outskirts of Chartres, France, to the creation of one of the world’s most unique homes—an ecstatic expression of the untrained artist’s bursting imagination.
Isidore was born into a humble family in Chartres in 1900, and as a young man landed a position as the caretaker of a local cemetery. By all accounts, he led a provincial life; he married a woman roughly 10 years his senior and bought a humble plot of land not far from the famed Chartres Cathedral. There, Isidore built what began as a simple cottage, but soon transformed into his masterwork, known as La Maison Picassiette, which still stands and is accessible to the public today.
With the passion and discerning eye of a new collector, Isidore began his project by pocketing all of the broken bits of pottery and glass he could find. His sources were the fields and trash repositories around his home; he believed that “what people disdain and reject in quarries and dumps can still serve,” he once explained of his growing cache of discards.
At first, he had no objective other than to keep the eye-catching shards. “I picked them up without any specific intention, for their colors and their flicker,” he later recalled. “I sorted the good, [discarded] the bad. I piled them up in a corner of my garden.” ……. Read on
When we create we may like to do it in silence or wemay like to have some music going in the background. I have recently discovered Lana Del Rey, and the more I listen, the more I love it.
Her voice is so haunting and soothing, it’s kinde of like Twin Peaks mixed with a bit of bubble gum. I can’t really describe it, but it just goes around in my head and I really love to paint while listening to her.
Excerpts from Life Magazine, 13th May 1957. How times have changed.
In the art-filled centuries of the past, women rarely took up serious careers as painters or sculptors. Of the daring few that did, barely a handful achieved any lasting stature. I America, where during the 19th Century every well-bred young lady learned to while away idle moments painting pious scenes and sedate still lifes, art as a profession was left to men. Today the picture has changed. A sizable and remarkable group of young women is resolutely at work and their art is being sought by leading museums, galleries, and collectors.
One such young artist of the time was a graduate of Bennington College in Vermont, by the name of Helen Frankenthaler. She started by painting realistic landscapes and moved towards an abstract style to express her emotional response to nature. In her New York studio, she spread her canvas on the floor and often worked in the middle of it. Helen was a major contributor to American postwar painting and she continued to paint and exhibit throughout her life. Helen died in 2011 aged 83.
In 1950, a group of artists wrote an open letter to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. A survey exhibition was slated to open at the museum, “American Painting Today—1950,” but when the group took a look at the jury for the artist selection process, they deduced that it would almost certainly include only the more conventional art of the Met’s then-conservative tastes. The letter claimed the museum was dismissing the pioneering work done in “modern,” “advanced” modes of art that they had been practicing since the early 1940s.
Their protest would prompt a rift in American art, between the various forms of abstraction they practiced—which were supported by the Museum of Modern Art and its director Alfred H. Barr, Jr.—and the realist art that the Met curators considered the highest expression of 20th-century American painting.
This month on the Artsy Podcast, we’re translating four of our readers’ favorite art-historical stories into audio. On this episode: the dramatic story behind Jackson Pollock’s largest painting, why it’s undoubtedly exaggerated—and why that doesn’t diminished its significance in the famed Abstract Expressionist’s oeuvre.
Featured image: A Portrait and a Dream (1953) By Jackson Pollock
I was just reading an article that someone had posted about the featured image and it really got my back up. I absolutely hate it when people say “my kids could do that”, I really would like to see that. I might be being a bit biased as I love and admire the work of Jackson Pollock. I see something in it that I don’t in other works by other artists.
I would spend a lot longer looking at Summertime and being moved by it than I would if you put me in front of the Mona Lisa.
I remember the first time I saw the painting in London, I didn’t even know it was being exhibited there and the feelings of emotions sent shivers down my spine.
This method of painting is not about throwing paint at the canvas and hoping for the best, there is so much more to it than that. It’s about being one with the paint, the canvas and forming shapes, lines, and movements which are controlled into what can be a beautiful piece of art.
I know that Pollock worked on some of his paintings for months and others he did overnight, but he must have had something because there are still many people who would give anything to have an original.
It’s Christmas time once again and I would like to wish all of my followers, readers and artist lovers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This is only my second Christmas in England for 23 years and I am really looking forward to spending it with my family.
Eureka! I’ve finally discovered the secret to blogging success! The good news is that I can’t wait to share the magic potion with all of you! Whoot!
Let’s get started…
What is ‘blogging success’ at the outset? Is it something achievable? Is it quantifiable? For me, a successful blog is one that is loved by all. A blog that is pampered in its niche attracts thousands of visitors, garners hundreds of likes and is home to a never-ending string of comments. A successful blog stands out from the rest because, well, it is amazeballs. But what does it take for an amateur to get there? Did it cross your mind at some point in time that those established bloggers were starters, like you? Yeah? Good!
Passion is the key to unlock the door to blogging success. When you blog, you have to do it out of love…
For centuries, the color purple has been associated with greatness: immense power, big personalities, and artistic genius. Cleopatra and Julius Caesar swathed their palaces and their bodies with it. Impressionists like Claude Monet became so obsessed with the color, they were accused by critics of contracting “violettomania.” And then, of course, pop god Prince branded his funky, supremely iconoclastic music with deep, dewy violet—a mystical force he dubbed “purple rain.”
It’s these lofty qualities that color authority Pantone referenced Thursday when announcing its 2018 color of the year: Ultra violet. The company lauded the hue’s ability to communicate “originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future” in a press release, noting purple’s longstanding connection to “unconventionality” and “artistic brilliance.”
Indeed, nowhere is the creative and cultural influence of purple more clear than in a tour through the history of art, from ancient Roman frescoes to Pop art.
Antoine-François Callet, Louis XVI, King of France and Navarre (1754-1793), wearing his grand royal costume in 1779, 1789. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Antoine-François Callet, Louis XVI, King of France and Navarre (1754-1793), wearing his grand royal costume in 1779, 1789. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Josef AlbersPalatial1965Susan Sheehan Gallery
It begins in the first millennium B.C., when humans developed a pigment known as purpura or Tyrian purple. Sourced from a tiny shellfish called murex, it wasn’t easy to come by. More than 250,000 of the critters had to be offed in order to produce half an ounce of the color—just enough to dye a single toga.
As with most rare goods, purpura became expensive and valuable. Ancient Rome’s rich and famous, in particular—led by Julius Caesar—fell for the color. Caesar’s interest was stoked after a visit to Cleopatra’s lavish Egyptian palace, decorated with purple porphyry stone and sporting couches upholstered in purple fabric. Upon his return to Rome, Caesar declared that only he could wear togas dyed completely violet. The law became harsher under a later emperor, Nero—if someone disobeyed, they could be punished by death.
Subsequent emperors loosened their grip on purple, but the color maintained its association with power and luxury. The wall paintings and mosaics that decorated Roman villas of the era often employed the color to convey status. Byzantine rulers assumed a love of violet, too. A 547 A.D. mosaic cycle in the church of San Vitale in modern-day Ravenna, Italy, depicts emperor Justinian I draped head-to-toe in purple cloth; the courtiers that flank him wear more modest bands of the same fabric, suggesting their high rank. (It was the Byzantines who coined the term “born in the purple.”)
The Catholic church later adopted the color, and violet-robed priests began to crop up in painted portraits. The 18th-century French court followed suit: When Antoine-François Callet painted King Louis XVI in 1779, he depicted him in a deep plum coronation robe.
Everybody wants to make it as an artist when they are alive, but it’s so difficult as there are so many brilliant artists out there and everyone is looking for their own unique style.
The truth is, I paint how I do, I wasn’t influenced, I started painting like this, way before I had ever heard of Jackson Pollock. In fact, when I started painting I knew nothing about art at all. I knew names and certain pictures and had been to galleries and exhibitions, but had never heard of Jackson Pollock.
So is it a coincidence, or am I the reincarnation? Spooky, eh?
I found out about him in 2001 when I had a girlfriend from America who introduced me to the Pollock film. The way he was portrayed by Ed Harris in it had me connecting with the artist and his art straight away. But, I had started painting before I saw that film.
By the way, I have only been to America once and that was to South Dakota and while I was there I visited Wyoming, where Jackson Pollock is from, but I was nowhere near Cody, WY.
In summary, if you want to purchase art similar to Pollock then visit James Presley’s website to get it for a fraction of the price, but be careful, because if he makes it big he might be knocking Pollock’s prices out of the park. Another great thing, he is still living, so you can even ask him to do commissions. 🙂 Oh yeah, you don’t have to bid, you can buy it for the price you see.
When I post on Instagram, I will often post parts of whole paintings just because I think that when you look a the painting up clode there is a whole new painting hidden within a painting. In case you didn’t know a lot of my paintings are 2 paintings. I have basically done one painting an painted over the top, so you get 2 for the price of one.
Anyway, sometomes when I post a whole painting on Instagram followed by parts of the same painting I often tend to get more ‘likes’ on the small areas of the large painting than I do on the original. Why is that? Any ideas?
The featured image in this post is part of one of my paintings, and so are the other 2 images. Can you tell me from which posts on my blog they are in, besides this one? person who posts a comment with the right answer and link to the post will get a mini Presley painting for absolutley nothing by post.
When I think of Munch I only ever think of ‘The Scream’ and I am sure many of us think the same, that was until I read this post over at irevou.com and saw that there are many paintings by the artist that I didn’t really know about in my ignorance. I did discover that his paintings were all about emotion and if I was teaching adjectives to describe emotions to a foreigner what better artist’s artwork to bring to the classroom than Edvard Munch’s.
Norwegian painter Edvard Munch’s works can cause psychological trauma. Or are they depictions of such trauma? There’s something bizarre about them, and said works show how art is not about the outward appearance of things, but their inner complexities. What hides behind a smile? What can you figure out about a person from their body language? What is it about colors?
Notable minimalist artists were Piet Mondrian and Barnett Newman, who created large abstracts using mainly square forms and primary colours. I, myself have been known to dabble a little with minimalism. I created a whole line of paintings. I always find myself bouncing back to expressionism though, this is how I feel I best express myself.
Piet Mondrian & Barnett Newman
Minimalism Art Movement, also called ABC Art, Minimal Art, Literalist Art, Reductivism, Rejective Art, emerged in New York in the early 1960s, in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect.
Minimalism By James Presley
Is a school of abstract painting and sculpture that emphasizes extreme simplification of form, as by the use of basic shapes and monochromatic palettes of primary colors, objectivity and anonymity of style.
Minimalism By James Presley
Use of the fewest and barest essentials or elements, as in the arts, literature or design.
In Music, a school or mode of contemporary music marked by extreme simplification of rhythms, patterns and harmonies, prolonged chordal or melodic repetitions and often a trance like effect.
Featured image: Joy of Life (Le Bonheur de Vivre) (1905-06)
“What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject-matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.” – Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse is probably considered to be one of the greatest colourists of the 20th century with regards to his innovations. His works influence me and I love to look at his beautiful paintings which inspire me an start my wrists twitching and my thoughts going ready for my own piece of work to begin.
During his Fauve years Matisse often painted landscapes in the south of France during the summer and worked up ideas developed there into larger compositions upon his return to Paris. Joy of Live, the second of his important imaginary compositions, is typical of these. He used a landscape he had painted in Collioure to provide the setting for the idyll, but it is also influenced by ideas drawn from Watteau, Poussin, Japanese woodcuts, Persian miniatures, and 19th century Orientalist images of harems. The scene is made up of independent motifs arranged to form a complete composition. The massive painting and its shocking colors received mixed reviews at the Salon des Indépendants. Critics noted its new style — broad fields of color and linear figures, a clear rejection of Paul Signac’s celebrated Pointillism. Read More ...
You might think that Peruvian art is all to do with their culture, The Andes and The Amazon, but it is as diverse as their country. There are many Peruvian artists both past and present that have created beautiful artworks. Here are three that particularly caught my eye.
“This painter moves physically and emotionally between imbalance and depth. And so is his work, vivid, miserable and grandiose, not in size, but in spirit ” -Victor Humareda
Sérvulo Gutiérrez once said Teodoro Nuñez Ureta:
His strokes are feverish, dislocated, calligraphers, of a language, plastic of particular grammar, in which all the norms of logic are run over and imposed by a proper, instinctive, enlightened order.
To understand his art I will mention his appreciation of art and society “I have never believed in an art isolated from the reality that surrounds it and determines it, nor in a painting that pretends to ignore, as it is the impulse, the medium and the end of everything universal art “……. Read more
Don Quijote y Sancho acercándose a los molinos de viento
As a child he began strict artistic training in an art academy directed by his father, Germán Suárez Vértiz, who was twice the Director of the National School of Fine Arts. Throughout his career, his style was constantly evolving. Through his experimentation, Alvaro eventually created a new style, self-described as “Garabaticista”, which requires a great deal of color and brushing. His work has been published in different art magazines in Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan among other countries.
Fernando de Szyszlo is a Peruvian painter and sculpter who was an important figure in advancing abstract art in Latin America. Born in Lima, Peru in 1925, he spent many of his formative artistic years in Europe, where he met founding members of the surrealist movement like Andre Breton. He is best known for his use of pre-Columbian imagery in his red paintings. Szyszlo’s art is an attempt at reinventing Surrealist themes in a Latin American context, concerned more with feelings connected to indigenous mysticism than artistic conceit.
To read about other great Peruvian artists follow this link which is the source of some of the text.
I woke up in the night because I couldn’t sleep, as you do and I had an idea about offering my art to album cover designers. I could just see it all over the cover of a vinyl album. That’s the thing I love about vinyl records coming back in, the album art on some of them is so outstanding, that sometimes you just buy the album because of the art.
So I popped over to Canva and had a quick go at it. Maybe if there are some musicians or design companies that need some images for their latest album cover design they could contact me and I would be more than happy to release the high res. images to them for a small fee. 🙂
Look no further Sony, Polydor etc. I am here to help.
“Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made a slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.” —Mark Twain
“The problem with cats is that they get the same exact look whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer.” —Paula Poundstone (comedian)
I had to open with a couple of cat quotes just because I love cats so much. They are my favourite animal of all the creatures of the earth whatever their size.
Here is my latest painting, which I have done straight onto a piece of unstretched canvas using acrylic paint and ink. I use to paint that way all of the time, but then I didn’t have the room so I was forced to paint on small areas. Now, as luck would have it, I am fortunate enough to have a bit more space (could do with an aircraft hanger) so I got a roll of canvas.
I noticed from looking at the many beautiful Bolivian artworks that colour is a very prominent feature in their paintings, which is pretty close to my heart. I love the vibrant colours and I especially love the street art. I wish there were more of that over here in England, but unfortunately it may be classed as graffiti, which I also love. By the way, I’m Banksy. 🙂 LOL!
Read the Spanish version
Bolivian art demonstrates itself through a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture and pottery, to name a few. The diversity of the country and its people, as well as the colourfulness of everyday life in Bolivia makes for great pieces of artwork, some of which are not acknowledged as much as they should. One of the main reasons for this could be the lack of Bolivian museums in the past. Recently, however the country has seen many new art galleries and museums open up, giving Bolivian artists more opportunity to showcase their work. The city of Santa Cruz is particularly well known for its display of Bolivian art culture, including painting, architecture and artisanal products.
Bolivia is home to a unique style of art and architecture known as Mestizo Baroque, created when the traditional religious art brought by the Spaniards was combined with the styles of the indigenous Bolivian people. The colonial period was dominated by artists such as Melchor Pérez de Holguín, whereas 20th century Bolivian artists include Guzman de Rojas, Arturo Borda, Maria Luisa Pacheco, and Marina Núñez del Prado.
So, I was quite busy painting in October and November, but I’ve slowed down a bit again now. I still have plenty of ideas but there are certain other things happening which don’t allow me the time I need to do so much. I don’t like to paint as part of my daily routine, so I’d rather not include it in my groundhog day of a life that I seem to be stuck in at the moment.
I’ll pick up the paintbrush and start dancing with my canvas in days to come and in the mean time here are some recaps from the last month or so.
“If people would just look at the paintings, I don’t think they would have any trouble enjoying them. It’s like looking at a bed of flowers, you don’t tear your hair out over what it means.”
This is so true when looking at many works of art, if you like something you just like it, if you don’t get, you just don’t get. It’s like when you eat a sticky toffee pudding, you don’t know why but you’re just in heaven and then some people may not be. I don’t understand those people, but that’s the way we’re all different.
I’m really hitting the canvas lately, I have definitely found my creative mojo again. I want to do it all the time and it’s great. This is one of my latest creations and boy did I enjoy doing it, it just lets me express all my feelings in a sitting.
Anyway, I hope this spirit stays alive in me so I just keep going on.
Argentinian art is gaining international recognition this year, notably featuring at the Venice Biennale, Documenta in Kassel and Pacific Standard Time LA/LA in southern California. On the commercial front, Argentina was the guest country at the Arco fair in Madrid in February, while Art Basel is partnering with Buenos Aires on its new Art Basel Cities initiative.
The organisers of the ArteBA fair, founded 26 years ago, hope to build on this newfound visibility on the international circuit. Fair director Julia Converti says the “pulse of artistic production and the sex appeal of Buenos Aires” is part of the international pull. “Local support is multiplying, and so are new audiences who are interested in contemporary art around the world.”
Fairgoers can expect a range of works by international and Argentinian artists, including paintings by the Argentinian figurative artist Antonio Berni (Galería Sur) and photographs by the Buenos Aires-based artist Tomás Maglione (Ruth Benzacar Galería de Arte).
More than half of the galleries at ArteBA are international this year, similar to last year, with 17 countries represented. Newcomers include Steve Turner from Los Angeles, Klemm’s from Berlin, and Galería Cayón from Madrid.
Despite a flourishing art scene, Argentina has a relatively subdued art market thanks to a struggling economy. Figures from last year’s fair are cause for hope, however. The 2016 event drew 100,000 visitors—more than Frieze London or Art Basel in Basel—and 53 works were bought by 23 museums and organisations through the fair’s acquisition programme.
También las palabras caen al suelo,
como pájaros repentinamente enloquecidos
por sus propios movimientos,
como objetos que pierden de pronto su equilibrio,
como hombres que tropiezan sin que existan obstáculos,
como muñecos enajenados por su rigidez.
Entonces, desde el suelo,
las proprias palabras construyen una escala,
para ascender de nuevo al discurso del hombre,
a su balbuceo
o a su frase final.
Pero hay algunas que permanecen caídas.
Y a veces uno las encuentra
en un casi larvado mimetismo,
como si supiesen que alguien va a ir a recogerlas
para construir con ellas un nuevo lenguaje,
un lenguaje hecho solamente con palabras caídas.
With Translation by Mariolein Sabarte Belacortu
Words too fall to the ground,
like birds suddenly driven crazy
by their own movements,
like objects that suddenly lose their balance,
like men who stumble even when there’s no obstacle,
like dolls estranged by their own rigidity.
Then, the words themselves build a stairway
from the ground,
to climb up to human discourse,
to its stutter
or final sentence.
But some words remain forever fallen.
And sometimes we find such words
in an almost larval mimesis,
as if they knew someone were going to come
gather them up and build a new language,
a language made up entirely of fallen words.
This time let me
Nothing has happened to anybody,
I am nowhere special,
it happened only
that I am happy
through the four chambers
of my heart, walking,
sleeping or writing.
What can I do? I am
I am more uncountable
than the meadow
I feel my skin like a wrinkled tree
and the water below,
the birds above,
the sea like a ring
around my waist,
the Earth is made of bread and stone,
the air sings like a guitar.
You,by my side in the sand,
you are the sand,
you sing and you are a song,
today the world
is my soul:
song and sand,
today the world
is your mouth:
on your mouth, on the sand,
be happy just because, because I am breathing
and because you are breathing,
be happy, because I am touching
and it is as though I am touching
the blue skin of heaven
and its pristine air.
Today let me
and me only
with everybody or without them,
with the grass
and the sand,
with the air and the earth,
with you, with your mouth,
In Italian Maybe:
Questa volta lasciate che sia felice,
non è successo nulla a nessuno,
non sono da nessuna parte,
succede solo che sono felice
fino all’ultimo profondo angolino del cuore.
Camminando, dormendo o scrivendo,
che posso farci, sono felice.
Sono più sterminato dell’erba nelle praterie,
sento la pelle come un albero raggrinzito,
e l’acqua sotto, gli uccelli in cima,
il mare come un anello intorno alla mia vita,
fatta di pane e pietra la terra
l’aria canta come una chitarra.
Tu al mio fianco sulla sabbia, sei sabbia,
tu canti e sei canto.
Il mondo è oggi la mia anima
canto e sabbia, il mondo oggi è la tua bocca,
lasciatemi sulla tua bocca e sulla sabbia
essere felice perché sì,
perché respiro e perché respiri,
essere felice perché tocco il tuo ginocchio
ed è come se toccassi la pelle azzurra del cielo
e la sua freschezza.
Oggi lasciate che sia felice, io e basta,
con o senza tutti, essere felice con l’erba
e la sabbia essere felice con l’aria e la terra,
essere felice con te, con la tua bocca,
Here’s my latest pandemonium, which I call ‘Clarity’. I call it Clarity, because I’m clear in what I’m doing. For some it may be pandemonium, but for me it’s just pure clarity. I have done some closeups too so you can have a look and see the amazing patterns and feelings of clarity I have created.
Pandemonium – wild and noisy disorder or confusion; uproar.
Clarity – the quality of being clear, in particular.
I found this article over at The Art Story where it mentions that abstract expressionism finished in late 1960s, I would like to think it’s still going strong. I think maybe their just talking about the movement, which in my opinion was one of the best periods in art history. Although, there are many periods in the history of art which may be said to be the best. So lets just not risk the cause of a debate and say, abstract expressionism was one of MY favourite periods in the history of art. 🙂
“It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academic painting. However, there is no such thing as good painting about nothing.”
“Abstract Expressionism” was never an ideal label for the movement, which developed in New York in the 1940s and 1950s. It was somehow meant to encompass not only the work of painters who filled their canvases with fields of color and abstract forms, but also those who attacked their canvases with a vigorous gestural expressionism. Still Abstract Expressionism has become the most accepted term for a group of artists who held much in common. All were committed to art as expressions of the self, born out of profound emotion and universal themes, and most were shaped by the legacy of Surrealism, a movement that they translated into a new style fitted to the post-war mood of anxiety and trauma. In their success, these New York painters robbed Paris of its mantle as leader of modern art, and set the stage for America’s dominance of the international art world.
Political instability in Europe in the 1930s brought several leading Surrealists to New York, and many of the Abstract Expressionists were profoundly influenced by Surrealism’s focus on mining the unconscious. It encouraged their interest in myth and archetypal symbols and it shaped their understanding of painting itself as a struggle between self-expression and the chaos of the subconscious.
Most of the artists associated with Abstract Expressionism matured in the 1930s. They were influenced by the era’s leftist politics, and came to value an art grounded in personal experience. Few would maintain their earlier radical political views, but many continued to adopt the posture of outspoken avant-gardists.
Having matured as artists at a time when America suffered economically and felt culturally isolated and provincial, the Abstract Expressionists were later welcomed as the first authentically American avant-garde. Their art was championed for being emphatically American in spirit – monumental in scale, romantic in mood, and expressive of a rugged individual freedom.
Although the movement has been largely depicted throughout historical documentation as one belonging to the paint-splattered, heroic male artist, there were several important female Abstract Expressionists that arose out of New York and San Francisco during the 1940s and ’50s who now receive credit as elemental members of the canon.
Recently, I have noticed through looking at my statistics and analytics on my blog and my galleries that I am getting a lot of traffic from South America. Countries at the top are Bolivia, Paraguay and what sticks out the most is Venezuela. I can’t understand why I get so many visitors to my galleries, especially, from this country. So I thought I’d pay a little Muchas Gracias to my South American followers. 🙂
I Googled some artists and was pleased with the results that came up and there were a few that leapt out of the page at me. Street art seems to big in Venezuela and here is a little sample from an artist featured in STREETARTNEWS. It’s actually by a Brazilian artist Known as L7M, I think it’s quite amazing, especially when you zoom in and open up a world of other surprises.
I found the beautiful painting below Flowerbird by Aramis Fraino who also has beautiful digital works. Aramis lived and studied in Italy for a number of years, but now resides in Venezuela.
Jacobo Borges, I guess to me, I thought at first, is like a Venezuelan Braque in style. I immediately thought cubist when I saw this painting, but then I read a little more and had a look at some of his other works and saw that he was an open window, and not really fitting into any particular “style”, and he is a man of many talents in all areas of the arts..
Finally, I thought I’d also like to mention an artist, whose work I found most enjoyable. I just looked at it and thought, how does she do that? It is the most amazing geometric art, so colourful and when you look at it it just goes on and on. The artist’s name is Tatiana Mantilla. I could only find a link to her blog, but I think you’ll agree it’s quite fantastic work. Bravo Tatiana!
If anyone from Venezuela or anywhere, or anywhere in South America can tell me why you think my Gallery site is visited so much please tell me. But Muchas Gracias!
In 1898 a brilliant contributor to the art world was born going by the name of Peggy Guggenheim. Fortunately for her, she was born into great wealth as both her father and uncle were considerably notable and prosperous gentlemen. By the age of 20, she had already inherited a large sum of money and move to Paris, France, where she began subsidizing a considerable collection of artwork.
Now the gallery I’m talking about is the one she opened in October 1942, Art of This Century Gallery. With a collection of works, she had acquired while in Paris she showcased Surrealists and Cubists, mainly from Europe. It was after opening that she started representing American artists like Pollock, and European emigres such as Rothko and Hofman. I was too young, like minus 28 years old so I couldn’t show my work there. If she had known me, I’m sure I would have been invited. Heh heh!
The gallery only stayed open for 5 years but gave many well-known artists a start in life and a place for them to exhibit. It’s quite possible that without Peggy Guggenheim and so-called The Uptown Group, (Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Willem de Kooning) many of these artists may have been unheard of today.
Isn’t it a shame that there isn’t someone like her today, who is willing to offer artists a chance to have solo exhibitions and connect the dots for so many passionate people. Oh well, keep dreaming James. Peggy if you have an art angel please send them to my place, I could do with a break. 🙂 🙂
The answer to the question is, NO, definitely NOT. Back in 2007, I entered into an art competition just for the fun of it with the SAA (Society for All Artists). I did the usual and paid the entrance fee for a few paintings, took out a membership and then waited. A couple of months later I received a mail from the SAA asking me to send one of my paintings as it had been short-listed for the Abstract Experimental category. I was over the moon, I was thinking that I was on my way to bigger things, they had chosen me. I was told I had to have the painting framed but they would sort out shipping costs. I got it framed and it cost me a good few hundred but I thought it worth the investment.
Later, I received another mail telling me that I had won in this category and would be invited to exhibit at the Art Fair which took place near Oxford. I was delighted about that too. I thought that curators would be knocking my door down for invites. No, that didn’t happen. All that happened was I got the certificate above and a £100 shopping voucher to use on the SAA’s online shop and a subscription to their crap magazine, oh and a mention in it which you can’t even find online now, the link don’t work.
My advice is if you are going to enter an art competition and in the event, you win it, unless it’s for the Turner Prize or some big renowned organization, don’t expect too much. It was written that there were 36,000 entries for this competition, but the marquee at the event was big enough for about half a dozen people, so I’m not sure if all was legit.
When I first start to paint I didn’t really know what exactly it was that I wanted to do. So, I started by painting on paper and quickly discovered this wasn’t for me because I was putting too much paint and too much water on the paper and it was turning into paper mache. I didn’t even know where to go at first to get the right materials to paint on which led me to paint on anything. Walls, furniture, wallpaper, windows and whatever else I could. I can’t remember when I bought my first stretched canvas but what I do remember is how expensive it was.
I decided after that I would try and buy unstretched canvas because I could then have an area the size I wanted and it was more cost-effective. I started buying 10M rolls of primed canvas and then going to the DIY shop and buying wood and stretching the paintings I had done when I finished them. I didn’t do it like in the diagram above, I laid the canvas on a table and held the wood in place with some vices and stretched it over. It worked brilliantly. Sometimes I wouldn’t have the money to buy 10M rolls so I would go to the local drapery and buy rolls of cotton canvas, a lot cheaper.
Anyway, for years since then, I have been painting on stretched canvas bought from the art shop or online and it’s becoming expensive again because I am not selling any of my work and so I’m not making any money to buy new canvases. I’m going back down the unstretched canvas road, which I love anyway because it gives me more freedom and there are no boundaries. I am also running out of space to put my work so I’ll be able to roll them up.
I looked around online and it seems that there are quite a few artists like me who enjoy painting on unstretched canvas and personally I think it looks pretty awesome. Can you imagine living in a big warehouse apartment with red brick walls and a nice Presley unstretched piece hanging on your walls? I can 🙂
In my opinion, one of the greatest painters of the last century is Jackson Pollock. I don’t know what it is, but when I see a Pollock painting it just stirs all kinds of emotions in me. I remember going to the Tate Modern in London years ago and at the time I had no idea what to expect. I was just walking around in awe at some of the art on display and thinking to myself WTF at other installations. Just meaning there were some things that I just didn’t get.
Not long before I had visited the gallery I had seen the movie with Ed Harris titled ‘Pollock’, which was basically when I fell in love with abstract expressionism and foremost Pollock’s work, so you can imagine how I felt when I walked around the corner and ‘Summertime’ smacked me in the eyeballs.
I remembered the painting from the movie when Pollock posed in front of it for the picture which was included in a feature in ‘Life’ magazine. I think this was probably the first time I had ever been so amazed and moved by any painting or artwork that I had ever seen and I have seen a lot of beautiful paintings.
A second beautiful painting by Pollock is ‘Blue Poles’ when you see it in books and photos, you just don’t realise how big it is. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen this piece and I expect I will never be fortunate enough to get to Australia and see it, but you never know. Here’s a little video about it by the person who looks after the painting.
I suppose seeing ‘Blue Poles’ would be much like seeing ‘Summertime’ which is also a massive painting, with a massive statement. It was after seeing this painting that I knew I had to work on big surfaces myself to be able to express myself properly, so that’s what I do as much as possible. I don’t have space now, but I want a nice big studio one day.
The French certainly had some inspiring artists and here are some of the greatest. My personal favourite is not on the list, Basquiat.
Top 10 French Artists
Jaz de Bouffan – 1876
A list of the greatest French artists and painters:
Claude Monet (1840 – 1926) – Impressionist painter. The term impressionism stemmed from Monet’s influential work ‘Impression, Sunrise’ (Impression, soleil levant). Monet’s paintings frequently depicted nature in impressionist style.
Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) – Post impressionist painter. Began his career in the impressionist mould but developed new innovative styles, providing a bridge between Nineteenth Century art and the cubist / modern art of Twentieth Century.
Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) Post impressionist painter, who contributed to the growth of avant-garde painting. Gauguin had a temperamental relationship with Van Gogh
August Renoir (1841–1919) Impressionist painter. Renoir played a key role in the development of impressionist painter. He was attracted to depicting human beauty and scenes of human society.
Camille Pissarro (1830–1903) Impressionist and post-impressionist painter. A very influential figure for both impressionists and the new generation of post impressionist painters.
Edgar Degas (1834–1917) Considered a forerunner of impressionism. He preferred the term ‘realist’ Degas was interested in depicting movement in art.
Édouard Manet (1832–1883) Manet contributed to the schools of ‘Realism’ and ‘Impressionism’ – playing a key role in the transformation to impressionism and modern art.
Charles-François Daubigny (1817–1878) Traditional landscape painter who was also seen as an important pre-cursor to impressionism.
Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863) Romantic painter, inspired by the Venetian Renaissance painters and Rubens.
Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) Painter and sculptor associated with Dadaism.
Lived in France
Vincent Van Gogh (1853–1890) – Post impressionist painter noted for boldness and vivid paintings. Born in Netherlands, he lived many years in France.
Here are some of the videos I have uploaded to my YouTube account. If you want a more up close and personal look at my works then click on the link below which will take you to the video page on my online gallery.
It’s so hard to get true colours when you are taking photos of your paintings and I think videos give a more realistic feel of how they would look in life. Enjoy!