Saturday, May 31, 2008

Elizabeth Peyton

Keith (from Gimme Shelter), 2004
Lady with Ermine, 1489-90 (after Leonardo da Vinci), 2003

Flower Ben, 2002

Sharon (Berlin), 1996

Marc Jacobs, 2004

Liam, 1996

Is it OK to make paintings from mass media photographs? Is it wrong? Illegal? Trashy? Looked down upon as not original? Elizabeth Peyton has made many paintings from Newsweek photos, Rolling Stone, newspapers, and art history books. She is a great figure and portrait artist capturing the essence-or what the public thinks is the essence. These are just a few of her paintings. She's painted several movie stars, rock stars, designers, royalty - not knowing any of them. She also has painted several of her friends.

She was born in 1965 in Danbury CT and now lives in NYC. She earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in NYC, 1984-87 and has been steadily exhibiting since 1988.

"Known for her intimate figurative portraits of youthful, romantic individuals, her work is intensely personal. They are stylish in a timeless way and are at moments in their lives when they stand for their own ideals of independence, beauty, and artistry. " (Matthew Higgs)

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Girl at Sewing Machine, 1921- Fundacion Coleccion Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Compartment C, Car 293, 1938. IBM Corporation, Armonk, NY.

"More of me comes out when I improvise." - Edward Hopper

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Matisse's Bedroom

When he was 80, French painter Henri Matisse was bed ridden. His creative spirit was in full tact and he painted and sketched from his bed with long 'pointer sticks' with charcoal affixed to the end. This way, he could sketch on paper hung on his bedroom walls. His house was outside of Nice in the south of France. Around this time, he was commissioned to decorate the Vence Chapel. For a look at the chapel click here:
"Today," Matisse says, "I sense that all my work over the past 60 years has had no other profound meaning than to lead me to this chapel. Now that it is almost finished, I am at peace. My bags are packed. I have only to wait for the last train to depart." (from an interview with Edmonde Charles-Roux, Academie Goncourt). **Images from the book: Encounters with Great Painters by Therond**

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


St. John the Evangelist and St. Martin of Tours, from the Sta. Maria Maggiore triptych. Circa 1423 by Masolino.

Cope: A semicircular cloak or cape worn by ecclesiastics in processions and on other solemn ceremonial occasions. (Fredrick Hart)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mary Azarian Prints

Apple - from the book, A Farmer's Alphabet, 1981 - woodblock print
G from A Farmer's Alphabet by Mary Azarian- woodblock print

"All you need to be happy is a library and a garden" - Cicero
***click on Mary's name below to read more about her!***
**check out my etsy shop for new items and a nice little sale!**

Friday, May 23, 2008


Swirls by Clarence Block

The use of an idea or motif more than once. Variety is achieved by altering the magnitude, guise, and relation of the motif repeated. (Ralph L. Wickiser)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Henri Fantin-Latour

White Cup and Saucer, 1864. Oil on canvas, 19x 28 cm. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England.

Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) French painter who was most famous for his flower paintings and still life work. He also did many group portraits of his fellow artists like Monet, Manet, Whistler etc. While those painters were more 'cutting edge' at the time, Henri was more of a salon painter; a traditionalist. He was influenced by the Symbolists. As his career progressed he grew to love lithography and produced many prints in his later years. He died of Lyme Disease in 1904 and is buried in the famous Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Surface design place mat from Ikea, 2008.
Rhythmic Paper Sculpture by Emily Feth, 1947.

Fluid movement in varied periods or measures. A recurrence of featured elements or objects in the composition which recalls the main idea by repeating it in various ways. (Ralph L. Wickiser)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Also babewynnery. Derived from the Italian babuino (monkey). 14th-c. term for figures drawn in margins as decoration. (Rose Folsum)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Carl Larsson

Woman Lying on a Bench, 1913. Louvre, Paris.
When the Children Have Gone to Bed, 1895. Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.

Cozy Corner from 'A Home' series, 1895. Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.

1853-1919. Carl Larsson was a Swedish painter, engraver, and illustrator. His watercolors of domestic life, subtly colored and full of detail, were painted for his book Ett Hem /A Home, 1899. (Brockhampton)

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Crowning of the Virgin, 1460

Complete triptych - oil on wood.
Detail of the weighing of the souls.

This painting is in the Hotel-Dieu in the town of Carpentras in the Vacluse region of Provence, France. This painting is on wood - from 1460 - and sits beside the altar in the Hotel-Dieu. This was originally housed in the cathedral of Saint-Siffrein, and saved from destruction during the French Revolution. The painter is unknown but could be Pierre Parrocel or Nicolas Mignard . "This painting depicts the crowing of the Virgin, St. Siffrein delivering a woman possessed, and St. Michael weighing souls." (Helena Attlee)

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Painting, 1946 by Francis Bacon. Oil and pastel on linen. 6'5" x 4'4". MOMA , New York.

"The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery. " Francis Bacon

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Here's an example of art during the era of Early Medieval Art.
The Scribe Ezra Rewriting the Sacred Records, from the codex Amiainus, Jarrow, early 8th century. Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, Florence.

In ancient and medieval society, the class which had been freed from servitude as opposed to having been born free. (Gardner)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mary Frank

Experience Oil and acrylic on panel, 1999. Triptych, closed: 40 x 24 in. , open: 40 x 48 in. Private collection.
Experience triptych (continued)

Presence-Absence Oil, acrylic and collage on board, 1991-92. 48 x 96 in. Collection of Edward G. Shufro

Red Ship, oil and acrylic on board 1995. 24 x 30 in. Linda Lee Alter collection of Art by Women

Mary Frank in her studio, NYC, 1989

Known for her intensity of feeling and eloquence of expression, Mary Frank's work speaks to our deepest and broadest emotions. Having established her reputation in the late 1960s and 70s as a figurative sculptor in clay, the artist has increasingly turned to painting as her primary medium. The large-scale triptychs are reminiscent of the classic Christian altarpiece. For the past 30 years, Frank's work has had many lyrical and mythical figures, manifestations of the natural world and ambiguous spaces. (Linda Nochlin)
Mary Frank was born in London in 1933 - her mother was a painter and father was a musicologist. (Eleanor and Edward Lockspeiser) In 1940, she moved to the US (Brooklyn) with her mother. In the mid- 1940's she studied dance with Martha Graham. She studied drawing with Max Beckmann at the American Art School in NYC. She has been a prolific painter and exhibitor in the US. I joyfully discovered her art on a trip to the San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art several years back.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Antonio Canaletto, Basin of San Marco from San Giorgio Maggiore, 1740. Oil on canvas, Wallace Collection, London.

Well-to-do British tourists were flooding Venice during this time and looking for souvenirs to take home. Scenes of the Grand Canal were especially popular and these paintings usually began as plein air sketches and finished in his studio. He was known for his beautiful detail as well as expert light and shadow.

A type of naturalistic landscape and cityscape painting popular in 18th century Venice. Literally, 'view' painting. (Gardner)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Cecil Beaton

Irving Berlin and Mrs. Berlin by Beaton
Vanity Fair photograph with the caption: Marilyn Miller and Clifton Webb could have been seen any day this summer baking in the un-winking sun that beats on the Cap d'Antibes.

Gary Cooper by Beaton

Kathrine Hepburn by Beaton

1920's Vanity Fair photograph of champagne dinner in Antibes, France

Cecil Beaton: 1904-1980. English photographer whose elegant and sophisticated fashion pictures and society portraits often employed exotic props and settings. He adopted a more simple style for his wartime photographs of bomb-damaged London. He also worked as a stage and film designer, notably for the musicals Gigi 1959 and My Fair Lady 1965. (Brockhampton)
What a fabulous era of style!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Lettres Frizees

Humorous way of writing affected by some writers and engravers, especially in the16th and 17th centuries. (Rose Folsum)

New Blog: I've been invited to join a new blog that brings together the printmakers of Etsy. Each printmaker has an Etsy shop and their own art blog. There's a great list of artists on there, check it out at: Thanks to Viza at www.VIZArt.etsy for letting me know about this wonderful blog.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Beaux Arts

The Ball by James Tissot, 1879. Oil on canvas 35 x 19 in. Musee D'Orsay, Paris. (This painting is shown as an example for the definition of beaux arts)
(Or fine art) Art that exists primarily to create beauty, as opposed to the decorative or applied arts, which exist primarily for day-to-day use. They include painting, sculpture, some graphic art, and despite its function, architecture. Music and poetry are sometimes called fine arts. (Brockhampton)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Black and Red Figure Amphoras

Corinthian black-figure amphora with animal friezes, from Rhodes 625-600 B.C. British Museum, London.
Ankokides Painter, Ajax and Achilles playing a game (Attic bilingual amphora) from Orvieto, c. 525-520 B.C. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Black-figure side

Red-figure side

Black-Figure Technique: In early Greek pottery, the silhouetting of dark figures against a light background of natural, reddish clay.

Red-Figure Technique: In later Greek pottery, the silhouetting of red figures against a black background; the reverse of the black-figure technique. (Gardner)
These images and techniques are great inspiration for printmaking and even embroidery and even fiber art work (ie sashiko in my musings blog). Martha Miller had a nice example of Blackwork and lino cutting on her blog at (look for her blackwork post.)
(sorry the photographs are a little fuzzy today)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Quote by Dorothea Lange

Kitchen Sink

"One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you'd be stricken blind," said Dorothea Lange. "To live a visual life is an enormous undertaking. I have only touched it, just touched it."
***I'll be gone for a few days but back on Monday, happy weekend!***