Sunday, July 17, 2016

Van Gogh’s drawings [feedly]

Van Gogh's drawings
// lines and colors

Van Gogh's drawings
As I've mentioned in my previous posts showcasing some "Not the usual Van Gogh's" (and here), we are often given the impression that an artist's oeuvre is much smaller that is really is because art publishers and even museums tend to emphasize an artist's "greatest hits" over and over, at the expense of exploring a wider range of work.

This is particularly evident in the case of Vincent van Gogh, whose famous works are so familiar as to be cultural icons, but whose more extended range of works lies largely unknown to the general public.

In particular, Van Gogh's more than 1,100 drawings, which represent over half of his known works, don't get nearly the exposure they deserve.

I remember being particularly struck by his drawings when I had a chance to see a number of them in person as part of an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art some years ago. They were larger and more accomplished than I expected from seeing them in reproductions, and I found them exceptionally captivating.

Van Gogh has been quoted as saying "Drawing is the root of everything, and the time spent on that is actually all profit." and he devoted much time and effort to drawing.

He went through numerous periods of concentrating exclusively on drawing — sometimes out of financial necessity, sometimes out of a desire to return to core principles and concentrate on the fundamentals. He seemed to find drawing a kind of artistic anchor in times of uncertainty.

Van Gogh's periods of devoting himself entirely to drawing include the beginning of his efforts to train himself as an artist. During that time, he wisely focused on learning to draw, understanding that it would be the necessary foundation on which painting would be based.

In his early drawings, which are often figures and faces as well as landscape and other subjects, you can see him struggling with the basics of proportion and perspective, relentlessly working to master the skills.

In his later period of more accomplished works, his drawings blossom into astonishing marvels of texture, created with energetic variations of line and stipple. These drawings, even monochromatic ones, have a feeling of color, in somewhat the same way as monochromatic Japanese and Chinese ink paintings.

I count Van Gogh's landscapes of farms and fields to be among my favorite drawings. Though never as accomplished as masters of draftsmanship like Rembrandt or Raphael, Van Gogh's personal vision and devotion to nature produced an approach to landscape drawing that is unique and visually entrancing.

Many of his drawings are of familiar compositions — copies after the fact of existing paintings sent home to his brother or other artists. He often added drawings to his letters, and you can see in the Van Gogh Letters site maintained by the Van Gogh Museum. You can also search through the museum's extensive online catalog of his work, filtered for "drawings".

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has an essay on his drawings, and offers a publication, Vincent Van Gogh: The Drawings, that can be read online, downloaded as a PDF or ordered as a book.

Wikimedia Commons has a section of Drawings by Van Gogh; and the online Van Gogh Gallery can be sorted to show a list of drawings, though without thumbnails. The Web Gallery of Art has three sections for Van Gogh drawings (toward the bottom of the list), arranged by period.

You can also search through individual museum website collections for Van Gogh, and filter for "drawing".

In researching this post, I came across a very nice five part series of posts on "Vincent van Gogh Drawings" on the Art and Artists blog, which gives a nice overview and goes into much more detail than I can here. (Look for links to the other posts in the series in the right hand column.)

Van Gogh's drawings are a record of his life and career, perhaps even more than his paintings. They are personal, intimate and often show a clarity of observation and artistic focus that serve as a defining example of the core principles of artistic endeavor.

Wikimedia Commons

Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Letters with sketches
Van Gogh Gallery

Vincent Van Gogh: The Drawings, PDF

Vincent Van Gogh: The Drawings, paperback

Met Museum essay

Web Gallery of Art (toward bottom of list)

Art & Artists, articles 1-5 (in right column)



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THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY - Alfred Hitchcock (1955) [feedly]

THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY - Alfred Hitchcock (1955)
// 13

Imagine a Disney movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock if you can, and you'll get a pretty good idea of how "The Trouble With Harry" comes off!

"The Trouble With Harry" is a dark comedy released in 1955! Alfred Hitchcock making a comedy like this is like The Three Stooges making a serious movie, it just doesn't work that well, for me anyway, but Alfred had a different opinion! In his interview with Francois Truffaut, Alfred stated that this was one of his favourite movies, a story that he thought was very funny, and though I will admit that I did get a few laughs at the beginning, it's actually quite droll, but then what else would you expect from the Master of Macabre! Alfred also said that he thought the movie was one big understatement, but that unto itself is an understatement!

 "The Trouble With Harry" is that he is dead, but that is not the real problem! "The Trouble With Harry" is also that it's 99 minutes long, when 30 minutes would have been just fine!

The countryside in the state of Vermont where "The Trouble With Harry" was shot is absolutely stunning and beautiful.......

.......As long as you like to watch guys hiking around with shovels!

Here's a trio of film and TV icons that's hard to beat, but that's just not enough to save this film! 
John (Bachelor Father) Forsythe, Jerry (The Beaver) Mathers, and Shirley MacLaine in her first film ever!

"The Trouble With Harry" is that it seems to go on forever and ever. Of course, all Alfred Hitchcock completionists should watch it, but for the rest of you, your life would be more productive spending some time in a "Frenzy" with "The Birds," or some "Psycho!"


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Pentagram unveils refresh of Mastercard’s brand mark and identity [feedly]

Pentagram unveils refresh of Mastercard's brand mark and identity
// It's Nice That


Pentagram has refreshed the logo and identity for Mastercard. The instantly recognisable logo has been reworked rather than replaced, and simplified in a way that suggests an effort to modernise and diversify the brand.

Read more


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Artist Inspiration - Herakut [feedly]

Artist Inspiration - Herakut
// Muddy Colors

by Vanessa Lemen
I can share with you my memories of freedom, but how to get there we all need to figure out on our own."

I've been sick for almost a week now, and I'm just now starting to feel up to doing much of anything. Though I am feeling much better, the combination of having been sick and more tragic world news just has me feeling a bit deflated and at a loss for words.

So, speaking of words and the outside world having an effect, I've decided to share another favorite artist of mine – actually, a graffiti artist duo – that goes by the name Herakut. The name is a combination of the aliases Hera (Jasmin Siddiqui) and Akut (Falk Lehmann). I am moved by their art every time I see it, even if I've seen it many times before. If I had to describe it in just one word, I think that word would be "truth". Since their art very much speaks for itself, I think I'll leave most of that to them here in my post. Enjoy.

"Every wall is a door."

"I can show you how to see a world where others see a wall."
"Monkey see, Monkey do."

"Who is to blame???"

"Another attempt to impress the high-horse-club. I cracked their backs. Will you forgive me?"
"Warrior Goddess"

"Dress for Less"

"He had a hard time explaining that not every costume we chose would help."
"Sometimes it's hard enough to stay human - almost impossible to stay graceful."

"real recognize real"

Left: "Love to my bother from another mother." Right: "Always last. But at least not a quitter."

"weak becomes hero."
"there are certain things traveling along no matter how far I run."

"You built the bomb yourself."

"I'll teach you about resilience said the rat to the tank child."
"At least thoughts are free."
"That was when I decided to never ever let anyone come close again."

"You know what the war taught me? All die alike."
"There is something better than perfection."

Lower left corner: "In our moments of need, we rely on the family of humans. I wished we remembered these bonds in our moments of strength."

"But after I had killed all the heathens and the sinners, God did not reward me.  Instead he cried and said 'Son, you've understood nothing about my Greatness!'"
"Maybe I'd regret this one day, but it just felt wrong to keep all the magic to myself when there was such a need for beauty."
"Angels come in various sizes."

"If you can change, I can change too."

"Why do we paint?  To fight loneliness.  Does it work?  Yes."

Herakut's artwork can be seen on walls in many places all over the world, and their books "The Perfect Merge" and "After the Laughter" are beautiful collections that also include sketches, words, and collages of lots of found objects and other wonderful bits and pieces. Also, going to a gallery show of theirs is similar to their books such that when you enter, you are entering a world that they exist in while creating. All worth taking in, if you get the chance. They also joined creative forces with Lucent Dossier a few years back, which was an amazing show all around. Click below for their website where you'll find a ton of amazing stuff, including wonderful drawings, paintings, sculptures, videos (be sure to watch the videos!), and other projects they've taken part in such as the Giant Storybook Project and AptART collaboration, working on different creative concepts to help brighten the days of Syrian refugee children.

Herakut's books: The Perfect Merge and After the Laughter


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Plein-Air Portraiture in International Artist [feedly]

Plein-Air Portraiture in International Artist
// Gurney Journey

The upcoming August/September issue of International Artist magazine contains my article "Painting Candid Portraits in the Wild," which recaps nine recent adventures in plein-air portraiture.

In the article I address a question that comes up often:

Is it OK to Sketch Strangers in Public?
Yes. In most public places people have no expectation of privacy, and you have a right to sketch them. However, for both ethical and practical reasons, it's better to assume otherwise. Whenever someone notices that I'm sketching them, I try to introduce myself, and I show them what I'm up to. My standard line is: "Hi, I'm just getting some practice sketching people, hope you don't mind. Keep doing what you're doing. I'll be done in five more minutes and I'll show you when I finish." Most often, they just want to take a photo for Facebook. If they look annoyed after I say that line, I'll switch to someone else. But nine times out of ten, being open will erase their worries and perhaps make a friend. Sometimes I'm sitting too far away to make such a connection, or I'm dealing with a language barrier. In that case, I hold up the sketchbook and smile. That clears the air and gives them the opportunity to decline politely. If I want to do a portrait with a lot more commitment, rather than stealth sketching, it's best to get permission and set the terms at the outset. Then I can say something like, "Hey, are you going to be around here a while? I'm an artist and I'd love to sketch your portrait while we talk."

International Artist was voted the Best Art Magazine by GJ readers. 


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Hair Colouring Tutorial by TinyTeaDrinker [feedly]

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