Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Honore Daumier

Daumier (1808-79). French caricaturist, painter and sculptor. During his lifetime he was known chiefly as a political and social satirist, but since his death he has been increasingly recognized as a painter. In 1830, after learning the still fairly new process of lithography, he began to contribute political cartoons to the newly launched anti-monarchist weekly, La Caricature. It's said he produced more than 4,000 lithographs, wishing at the time that the one he had just made could be his last. His paintings were probably done for the most part fairly late in his career. As a caricaturist Daumier stands above all others of the 19th century. The essence of his satire lay in his power to interpret mental states in terms of physical absurdity, but in his directness of vision and lack of sentimentality he has affinities with the realism of Courbet. Although he never mad a commercial success of his art, he was appreciated by the discriminating, his friends and admirers including Baudelaire, Degas, Delacroix, and Forain. In his final years he was almost blind and was saved from destitution by Corot. (Ian Chilvers)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Susan Rothenberg

Maggie's Cartwheel 1981-82. Oil on canvas, 25 x 30"
Mondrian Dancing 1984-85. Oil on canvas, 78 x 91"

Pontiac 1979. Acrylic and flashe on canvas. 88 x 61"

"Some of the pictures are truly mysterious to me... which is why I so often say publicly that I don't know or don't care what they're really about. And yet I can say that the paintings are prayers... that they have to do with whatever it is that makes you want more than what daily life affords." - Susan Rothenberg.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"The Only Rule is Work " - Corita

One of my all time favorite artists, Sister Corita Kent (1918-1986) made up this list of rules for the art college in which she worked. No. 7 is the best rule ever... it's my mantra!
'Admired by Charles and Ray Eames, Buckminster Fuller and Saul Bass, Sister Corita was one of the most innovative and unusual pop artists of the 1960s, battling the political and religious establishments, revolutionizing graphic design and encouraging the creativity of thousands of people - all while living and practicing as a Catholic nun in California.

Mixing advertising slogans and poetry in her prints and commandeering nuns and students to help make ambitions installations, processions and banners, Sister Corita's work is now recognized as some of the most striking - and joyful- American art of the 60s. But, at the end of the decade and at the height of her fame and prodigious work rate, she let the convent where she had spent her adult life. '
- (Julie Ault.)
**From the book, Come Alive! The Spirited Art of Sister Corita by Julie Ault. Published by Four Corners Books, 2006.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

To Clam Island

Just a note to say hello and hope you all are enjoying summer! Our boat has set sail and I probably won't be back blogging more regularly 'til school starts. Until then, enjoy and see you soon :)
This painting is acrylic on canvas... by me. It's at one of my favorite 'secret beaches' in my hometown.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Konrad Witz

Konrad Witz, The Miraculous Drought of Fish, from the Altarpiece of St. Peter, 1444. Tempera on wood, approx 51"x61". Musee d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva.

German-born Swiss painter whose sharply observed realism suggests that he was familiar with the work of contemporary Flemish artist such as Jan van Eyck. Lake Geneva is the setting for a biblical story in his best-known work, The Miraculous Drought of Fishes 1444, representing one of the earliest recognizable landscapes in European art. (Brockhampton)

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Storm is Coming

Woodcut by Antonio Frasconi. Emigrated from Uruguay, Frasconi is a master graphic and woodcut artist. He's one of my personal faves... I did a previous post (December 2008) with some of his Christmas and winter scenes.
"Coupled with technical virtuosity is a rich, meaningful content. Frasconi has taken the popular art of the woodcut and clothed it in visually exciting color. " (sorry there were only black and white photographs available!) (Jules Heller)

Monday, June 8, 2009


Scratchboard is a lovely way to draw and it looks a lot like an etching or wood engraving but is much easier. It only requires the scratchboard and a few scratching knifes and tools. It is available on a panel or thick, rigid bristol board like paper. It's made by coating paper or board with a thin layer of clay and a layer of India ink on the surface. After scratching out the image, it can be colored or painted. Cool stuff!

Images from an enchanting children's book called The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson. Pictures by Beth Krommes. (Houghton Mifflin Co. 2008)
PS. I've been experiencing a family crisis which is why I haven't been posting on this blog much in the past few months... it's a bit time consuming to post because I do research things. Please bear with me. I love sharing art history with you all and have greatly enjoyed and appreciate your comments and visits. (I've no intention of shutting down Artslice.) Hopefully things will improve and I can get back on track.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


V had been, in early roman Times, both vowel and consonant. Its vowel value was eventually supplanted by 'U' and 'W.' As a Roman numeral it stands for 5, variously explained as half of 'X' (10) or five fingers of the hand held in a 'V' shape. (Rose Folsum)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Lucien Pissarro

Femme au bois, 1891
Gardeuse d'Oies, 1923

Liseuse, 1891

from The Queen of the Fishes, 1894

Born in Paris in 1863, died in 1944 in Epping, England. Lucien Pissarro was the son of painter, Camille Pissarro. He grew up surrounded by his father's great artist friends: Gauguin, Seurat, Signac and Felix Feneon. As a young man Lucien was inspired by the work of Kate Greenaway; one can see the influence in his designs and illustrations of children's stories. In 1886 Lucien exhibited his paintings, drawings, and prints in the 8th and final Impressionist Exhibition, then turned almost exclusively to making prints. Soon after, he moved to England permanently.
Lucien arrived in London just as the Arts and Crafts movement was gaining momentum. William Morris had just established his Kelmscott Press. Lucien saw the opportunity to combine his love of book making and illustration and founded the Eragny Press. It ran for 20 years from 1894-1914 and published 32 titles (including works of Flaubert, Francis Bacon, Christina Rossetti and Keats) with more than 300 wood-engraved illustrations, borders, and fancy capitals. The press closed when WWI broke out but its legacy is a beautiful combination of the French Impressionistic interest in color and light and the English aesthetic of Arts and Crafts design. (Lora Urbanelli)

**from The Book Art of Lucien Pissarro by Lora Urbanelli, 1997. Published by Moyer Bell.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Vintage Advertising


Just for fun, check out these old Cigarette Advertisements... with the Doctors smoking! These range from the 1920's , 30's (these are the first 2 images and are illustrated). The late 40's-early 1950's have photography in them.
Sorry for the blur today!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


F from early Greek times until about 200BC this sign looked something like a backward "F." and had the wound of a modern "W." The Latins gave it the form and phonetic value that we use today. (Rose Folsum)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hopper's Ledgers

A sketch from my favorite Hopper painting - above.

"What I wanted to do was to paint sunlight on the side of a house."
- Edward Hopper
Here's a small glimpse of Edward Hopper's sketchbook. So fascinating! He planned the colors, even sometimes the brand of paint. Sometimes he drew from newspaper photographs. He seemed to be quite a planner of his paintings... not terribly spontaneous... rather calculated.
Hopper also wrote about to whom a painting was sold, the check number, and the breakdown of the gallery percentage of the sale. (this info was usually penciled in at the end of an entry.) Sometimes he wrote who had come to see certain paintings. Fascinating to see his own personal handwriting and dealings.
From the book, Edward Hopper: A Journal of His Work. By Deborah Lyons. Whitney Museum of American Art, NY and W.W. Norton & Co. NY. 1997.
PS click on image if you want to read his entries! Fun stuff!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Red Canna

Red Canna, 1920. Georgia O'Keeffe. Watercolor on paper, 19 x 13". Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven CT.

"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to see a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not." - Georgia O'Keeffe.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Glassmaking at Jamestown

Captain John Smith

Some examples of vessels they made.

These are drawings from a historical book, The Tryal of Glasse - The Story of Glassmaking at Jamestown about the Virginia Colonists during the presidency of Captain John Smith.

Glassmaking in America began at Jamestown, Virginia in 1608, where a glass factory was operating in the nearby forest just a little more than a year after the first colonists arrived from England. The 'tryal of glass' sent back to England that year was the first glass make by Englishmen in the New World, and the manufacture of glass, therefore, can justly lay claim to being the first factory industry in England's American colonies. (J.C. Harrington)

Monday, April 27, 2009


Georges Rouault, French. Born 1871. Grimacing Man from Flowers of Evil. Aquatint.
The top narrow rectangle is an enlarged cross-section showing particles of resin on a plate surface.

1. Stopped out* before biting
2. One-minute bite - then stopped out.
3. 4 minute bite- then stopped out.
4. 16 minute bite, then stopped out.

Intaglio process. A tonal medium which permits 'grainlike' values in the print ranging from silvery grey to intense black. A porous ground of resin or other substances in applied to the plate, heated, then etched a number of times to produce the required values. (Jules Heller)

* Stopping out: Preventing certain lines or areas of a plate from biting, by brushing on an acid-proof material.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sabra Field

Fields and Mountains
Dandelion Galaxies

Windows of Light on the Snow

Deer in the Orchard
"The pastoral image... is a model for man to shape his environment with care, to make the natural world more beautiful, more whole. ...The pastoral image poses an answer to the question, 'How are we to live with our planet?' " - Sabra Field
Her prints hang in imposing corporate boardrooms and in rustic New England fishing camps. Her 1991 Vermont Bicentennial commemorative stamp depicting yellow farm fields, a red barn and blue mountains quickly became of the the USPS's best selling issues, with more than 60 million copies purchased. Sabra Field is that rare contemporary artist whose work has found a large falling well outside the traditional realm of collectors and art experts. At her home and studio set in the Vermont countryside, she meticulously carves and hand-inks the wood blocks with which she creates her magical prints, one color at a time. (Tom Slayton)
** From the book, Sabra Field - The Art of Place. by Tom Slayton. University press of New England.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Indicum or Indigo Blue

In antiquity indigo was imported as indicum in flat, dried bricks, and Roman writers such as Pliny did not know that it was made from a plant. He described it in the Natural History as 'a certain silt that forms in frothy water and attaches itself to reds. This color seems to be black when ground, and yet when diluted it makes a certain very rich purplish blue.' (Delamare and Guineau)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Paulus Berenson

This is a different kind of post... but it's what I love about writing this blog - discovering new artists and learning more about them) I've been drawn to the artwork on the cover of Red Bird by Mary Oliver ever since I bought the book last summer on a visit to Portland, OR. So, I thought I'd do a post on the artist but came up with only nebulous information about him. No bio could be found on the web... just a book he wrote in 1997, Finding One's Way with Clay: Creating Pinched Pottery and working with Colored Clays. (available at amazon if you're interested)
I think this looks like a woven or quilted piece... but it could also be a 2-D relief clay sculpture. What do you think? Anyone who knows more about Mr. Berenson... please feel free to leave a comment. I'm very curious now!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Winslow Homer

Afterglow, 1883. * (half of the painting... other half below.) Watercolor on paper, 14 x 21 ". Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Taking Wet Provisions, 1903. Watercolor and graphite on white wove paper, 14 x 21". (MOMA, New York)
* see above
Prout's Neck Breakers, 1883. Watercolor 14 x 21". Art Institute of Chicago.
1836-1910. US painter and lithographer, known for his vivid seascapes, in both oil and watercolor, which date from the 1880s-1890s.
Born in Boston, Homer made his reputation as a Realist painter with Prisoners from the Front 1866 (MOMA, New York), recording the miseries of the American Civil War. After a visit to Paris he turned to lighter subjects such as studies of country life, Which reflect early Impressionist influence. (Brockhampton)