Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Incredible Occult Illustrations of Alphonse Mucha [feedly]

The Incredible Occult Illustrations of Alphonse Mucha
// Ultraculture

The Incredible Occult Illustrations of Alphonse Mucha | Jason Louv | Ultraculture - Wake Up and Mutate

Art Nouveau illustrator Alphonse Mucha's beautiful occult-inspired art from the turn of the century

Ultraculture friends Century Guild are Kickstarting a coffee table book of the occult Art Nouveau illustration of Alphonse Mucha. It looks like an absolutely incredible project—and one that will definitely appeal to occult art collectors! Mucha drew on motifs from Kabbalah and turn-of-the-century occulture for his works—several of which are featured below!

Here's what Century Guild has to say about Mucha:

By December 20, 1899, Alphonse Mucha had experienced four years as the most recognizable proponent of Art Nouveau graphics and the most celebrated illustrator in Paris. The massive output of the artist in his first four years in the advertising and decorative world earned much for Mucha's publisher but very little for the artist himself.

As the end of the century grew near, Alphonse Mucha insisted upon the release of a deeply personal work, and printed 510 copies of what he for the remainder of his life considered his works-on-paper masterpiece, Le Pater.

Decidedly non-denominational, Mucha's exploration features a female deity protecting humankind and a number of sophisticated occult themes across a series of images of mystical illustrations.

Unlike the advertising art that had dominated Mucha's output since his "discovery" by Sarah Bernhardt in late 1894, Mucha described this series of images to a New York reporter as "the thing I have put my soul into." (The Sun newspaper, 5 January, 1900)

Mucha's previous artworks were lithographed on numerous mediums ranging from paper to silk, in multiple formats; Mucha's publisher Champenois saw that Mucha was the most printed artist in Paris in the late 1890s. Mucha's concern, understandably, was likely that the imagery of his spiritual work would be capitalized upon. By 1899, he had earned the right to demand that the Le Pater images would be produced in an edition of only 510 copies, and subsequently saw the plates destroyed- ensuring the work would never be reprinted for mass-market purposes.

The images from Le Pater are mentioned in numerous Mucha books as his masterpieces and are universally acknowledged alongside his massive Slav Epic paintings as his finest work. However, as a result of Mucha's forced limitation of the publication of this masterwork, the rarity of the lithographs means that most books are limited to mentioning the images in the text and leaving the reader to wonder what these "lost masterpieces" might look like.

The original promotional materials for the Le Pater series name these artworks as of "rare interest and considerable importance". Over 115 years later, the description continues to ring true.

If you'd like to see all these artworks in one book, captured in high resolution from the originals, please support our project and pre-order the book! 

Check out the Kickstarter here—there's only a day left to get a copy of the book!

Alphonse Mucha

Alphonse Mucha

Alphonse Mucha

Alphonse Mucha

Check out the Kickstarter here!

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5 Steps To Use Mind Maps to Unlock Your Creativity [feedly]

5 Steps To Use Mind Maps to Unlock Your Creativity
// Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement

You're reading 5 Steps To Use Mind Maps to Unlock Your Creativity, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


Mind mapping is gaining popularity both as a concept, and as a method of organizing thoughts and understanding ideas. While it's not necessarily a new process, it is not as widely used as many other organizational structures, like outlines or flow charts. While those tend to be very linear, mind maps are more based on groupings of ideas around a central theme, that can be further divided or arranged depending on need.

What is mind mapping?

Mind maps are diagrams used to help visually organize information. Generally, you would start with a central idea or theme, in the center of the map. Sub-sections will branch out from the center much like the branches of a tree, but will be arranged all around, instead of just going up and down. Mind mapping uses lot of color, doodles, and varying sizes of text, in order to arrange the information. Colors can help to group parts of a larger idea together, and using different sizes can help differentiate subsets of information, or more important parts of the map.

Why should I use mind mapping?

Many people find it difficult to begin using mind maps, simply because they are unused to the concept, but it's definitely worth it to learn. A 2002 study found students that used mind mapping to help them study found a 10% increase in the ability to recall information. It also speculated that if students were more familiar with the process and more motivated to use it, they might gain as much as a 15% increase. The fact that the information is organized visually and you need to invest thought into how to arrange it, makes it easier to recall. You are not just copying words down, you're thinking about what they mean and where they fit in the map. It's also important to realize it's not the map itself that helps you learn, it's the mapping. Simply studying a map that someone else has created will be no better for you than copying notes off of a board. You have to take the time to understand how the ideas should be arranged, in order to gain the benefit.

Where do I start?

The simple answer is you start in the middle of a blank page. You begin with a keyword, idea, or subject you are trying to understand or organize, and you branch out from there. Much like an actual tree, your branches closest to the center will be heavier with supporting broader topics, and as the ideas are broken down further, should turn to smaller lines. Using a different color for each main idea will help you figure out how to place new keywords or images into your map. If you like the idea but aren't convinced of your drawing abilities, you can look into software that is designed to help with the process. It will allow you to link documents, websites, images, or other digital content to your map, making it easy to gather your information or ideas in one accessible place.

Basic steps to creating a mind map

  1. Decide on a central idea and write it down
  2. Add branches
  3. Add keywords to the branches
  4. Color-code your branches and sub-groups
  5. Add images to your map to help you solidify the ideas
By the time you've finished your map, you should have a full understanding of the central idea, and how all of the sub-ideas relate to and interact with the main idea. Here are some examples of mind maps that may help you gain a better understanding of how they work. Don't be discouraged if you are worried you aren't a good enough artist. It's not about how pretty it looks; it's about using your own brain to map out the idea. No one else needs to see it, and as long as it helps you understand it, it's a great map! Sophia Beirne is a writer at Career FAQs, Australia's leading portal on online learning and career resources. She is interested in new eLearning industry trends and leadership development.

You've read 5 Steps To Use Mind Maps to Unlock Your Creativity, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


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Penleigh Boyd [feedly]

Penleigh Boyd
// lines and colors

Theodore Penleigh Boyd
Theodore Penleigh Boyd was an Australian painter active in the early 20th century. Boyd was born in England. His parents were both established artists, and he studied with them as well as at the National Gallery Art School in Victoria.

He traveled in Europe and was influenced by the painters he met in Paris to take up the practice of plein air painting, which he practiced in in Australia, drawing comparisons to Arthur Streeton.

Unfortunately, there aren't many examples of his work online. Perhaps that's partly because he isn't as well known outside of Australia as he might be, and partly because his career was not long. Boyd's life and career were cut short by a car accident at the age of 33.



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Eye Candy for Today: Edward Poynter’s Helena and Hermia [feedly]

Eye Candy for Today: Edward Poynter's Helena and Hermia
// lines and colors

Helena and Hermia, Edward John Poynter
Helena and Hermia, Edward John Poynter

Link is to a zoomable version on the Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Victorian painter Edward Poynter gives us a beautiful and sensitive portrayal of the characters from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

At once idealized and naturalistic, the sumptuous marble and tile — that form a stage of sorts for the two women — are set against lush foliage and tree bark through which we glimpse a backdrop of distant mountains across a darkened sea.



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Lighting a Model with Two Sources [feedly]

Lighting a Model with Two Sources
// Gurney Journey

Sir John Leighton, the Director-General of the Scottish National Gallery, served as both painter's model and keynote speaker at the Portrait Society's annual conference yesterday.

Sir John Leighton by James Gurney, black and white gouache, 3 x 3 inches
He was on the grand ballroom stage posing for a demo by Michael Shane Neal. I was far back in the audience watching the demo, looking at a video image projected on a big screen. Above is a 30-minute gouache sketch I did from my seat.

Mr. Neal lit him with a two-source lighting scheme inspired by Anders Zorn (Swedish, 1860-1920). The lighting scheme produces a shadow core in the center of the form and often puts the eyes in shadow.

In the case of this Zorn, those dark accents in the face float in the middle of a sea of creamy white, the reverse of the usual tonal scheme of a portrait.

Watch a 15-second video clip of my sketch in context on my Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook page.
Related posts: 
Zorn's Two-Source Lighting
Split lighting

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Class Assignment 4/18/16

Tertiary compliments from secondary colors mixed from primaries.
Show/illustrate the chain of colors via diagram, wheel, etc.
Show your progress at the end of class.

Extra: split complimentaries from secondary colors mixed from primaries.