Saturday, August 22, 2015

Artist of the Week: Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti was a Swiss sculptor, painter, draftsman, and printmaker. Giacometti was a popular artist and sculptor renowned for his complete dedication to his work. Alberto Giacometti is best known for is sculptures of the human form, stretched out with elongated limbs. 

Following a trip to Venice and Rome in 1920, during which Giacometti developed a passion for the work of Tintoretto and Giotto, Alberto Giacometti resolved to recover the innocent gaze of man's origins through primitive art and anthropology. In 1922 Alberto Giacometti moved to Paris to study under the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, an associate of Auguste Rodin. It was there that Alberto Giacomettiexperimented with cubism and surrealism. Among Alberto Giacometti's associates were Joan Miró, Max Ernst, Pablo Picasso and Balthus. It was at this point Alberto Giacometti started writing and drawing for his magazine "Le surréalisme au Service de la Révolution" and he began to establish himself as a leading sculptor of the Surrealist movement.
 In 1962, Alberto Giacometti was awarded the grand prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale, and the award brought with it worldwide fame. Giacometti's striding or standing figures find themselves in emptiness and isolation. In this intensive-subjective representation, an existential exposure and angst based on the immediacy of the moment is hinted at. To many they are a reflection of the spiritual situation of the time.

Just like his sculptures, Giacometti's drawings and paintings depict the lost human being in the emptiness of space with great intensity and sensibility. The formal characteristics are a graphic network of lines, with which Alberto Giacometti extracted volumes from areas, and an almost monochrome color scheme used in his paintings.

Even when Alberto Giacometti had achieved popularity and his work was in demand, he still reworked models, often destroying them or setting them aside to be returned to years later. In his later years Giacometti's works were shown in a number of large exhibitions throughout Europe. Riding a wave of international popularity, and despite his declining health, Alberto Giacometti traveled to the United States in 1965 for an exhibition of his works at the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Art Styles: Die Neue Sachlichkeit (The New Objectivity)

Die Neue Sachlichkeit (The New Objectivity) was a pseudo-Expressionist movement founded in Germany in the aftermath of World War I by Otto Dix  (his painting "The Skat Players" shown above) and George Grosz. It is characterized by a realistic style combined with a cynical, socially critical philosophical stance. Many of the artists were anti-war. In their paintings and drawings they vividly depicted and excoriated the corruption, frantic pleasure seeking and general demoralization of Germany following its defeat in the war and the ineffectual Weimar Republic which governed until the arrival in power of the Nazi Party in 1933. But their work also constitutes a more universal, savage satire on the human condition.

Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub, who was the director of the Kunsthalle in Mannheim, coined the term in 1923 in a letter he sent to colleagues describing an exhibition he was planning. In his subsequent article, "Introduction to 'New Objectivity': German Painting since Expressionism," Hartlaub explained, "I am interested in bringing together representative works by those artists, who over the last ten years have neither been Impressionistically vague or Expressionistically abstract, neither sensuously superficial nor constructivistically introverted. I want to show those artists who remained- or have once more become- avowedly faithful to positive, tangible reality". The exhibition took longer than expected to be organized and eventually took place between June and September of 1925.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Artist of the Week: Edvard Munch

The Norwegian painter and graphic artist Edvard Munch illustrated man's emotional life in love and death. His art was a major influence of the expressionist movement, where artists sought to give rise to emotional responses. Edvard Munch is best known for his composition, "The Scream", one of the pieces in a series titled The Frieze of Life, in which Munch explored the themes of life, love fear death and melancholy.

The Scream is Munch's most famous work and one of the most recognizable paintings in all art. It has been widely interpreted as representing the universal anxiety of modern man. Painted with broad bands of garish color and highly simplified forms, and employing a high viewpoint, the agonized figure is reduced to a garbed skull in the throes of an emotional crisis. With this painting, Munch met his stated goal of “the study of the soul, that is to say the study of my own self”.

Munch wrote of how the painting came to be:”I was walking down the road with two friends when the sun set; suddenly, the sky turned as red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence, feeling unspeakably tired. Tongues of fire and blood stretched over the bluish black fjord. My friends went on walking, while I lagged behind, shivering with fear. Then I heard the enormous, infinite scream of nature.” Edvard Munch later described the personal anguish behind the painting, “for several years I was almost mad…You know my picture, ‘’The Scream?’’ I was stretched to the limit—nature was screaming in my blood… After that I gave up hope ever of being able to love again.”
In 1889, Edvard Munch presented his first one-man show of nearly all his works to date. The recognition it received led to a two-year state scholarship to study in Paris under French painter Léon Bonnat. At that time a Post-Impressionist breakthrough was in progress along with different anti-naturalist experiments. This had a liberating effect on Munch. "The camera cannot compete with a brush and canvas," Edvard Munch wrote, "as long as it can't be used in heaven and hell." The first autumn, shortly after Munch arrived in France, he was informed that his father had died.

The loneliness and melancholy in the painting "Night" (1890) are often seen with this in mind. The dark interior with the lonely figure at the window is completely dominated by tones of blue, a painting of nuances which may be reminiscent of James McNeill Whistler's nocturnal color harmonies.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Art Styles: Dadaism

Throughout time art has taken on many styles that have been born from political views (Dada), wars (Die Neue Sachlichkeit), new understanding of how the mind and the eye works (impressionism), and new inventions (futurism). The history of the Church was also very much reflected in the history of art.  Secularism has influenced Western art since the Classical period, while most art of the last 200 years has been produced without reference to religion and often with no particular ideology at all.

Art has often been influenced by politics of one kind or another, of the state, of the patron and of the artist. Dada was a literary and artistic movement born in Europe at a time when the horror of World War I was being played out in what amounted to citizens' front yards. Due to the war, a number of artists, writers and intellectuals, notably of French and German nationality, found themselves congregating in the refuge that neutral Zurich Switzerland offered. The movement was, among other things, a protest against the barbarism of the War and what Dadaists believed was an oppressive intellectual rigidity in both art and everyday society; its works were characterized by a deliberate irrationality and the rejection of the prevailing standards of art. It influenced later movements including Surrealism.

According to the Dada ideal, the movement would not be called "Dadaism," much less designated an art-movement. According to its proponents, Dada was not art; it was anti-art. For everything that art stood for, Dada was to represent the opposite. Where art was concerned with aesthetics, Dada ignored them. If art is to have at least an implicit or latent message, Dada strives to have no meaning--interpretation of Dada is dependent entirely on the viewer. If art is to appeal to sensibilities, Dada offends. Perhaps it is then ironic that Dada is an influential movement in Modern art. Dada became a commentary on art and the world, thus becoming art itself. With the order of the world destroyed by World War I, Dada was a way to express the confusion that was felt by many people as their world was turned upside down.

Friday, July 24, 2015

"Summer Fruits and Vegetables" 2015 acrylic on wood

"Summer Fruits & Vegetables"  is my newest painting. This is an experiment in still life using the grisaille technique and overlaying thin glazes atop the tonal study in grays. The ground is 18 inches wide by 12 inches high on 3/8-thick medium density fiber board prepared with two coats of gesso between sandings for an ultra-smooth surface. I used acrylic paints from the tube mixed with a little bit of retarder. I used red, yellow and blue paint.

The "Summer Fruits & Vegetables" acrylic still life painting by award winning Citrus County Florida artist Michael Arnold makes a bold statement on any wall where it is displayed. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

"Old Barn on the Plain" 2015 acrylic on wood

This is an experiment in perspective in a landscape painting. The rolling clouds and fenceline disappear into a far off vanishing point, which creates a larger sense of infinite space. The barn is rendered in two-point perspective, which also helps create greater volume and space.
The painting is 26.5 inches wide by 12.5 inches high on 1/2-thick medium density fiber board prepared with two coats of gesso between sandings for an ultra-smooth surface. I used acryllic paints from the tube. I began with a wash of burnt sienna and gradually built up layers of blue-green, yellow ochre and red. I used white for tinting purposes.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Maribel Arnold

For the Fourth of July we had a special visitor all the way from San Fransisco  California and it made me remember the painting I had done of her a few years back. "The subject is my daughter in law, Maribel, who won a pageant in her home country of the Philippines. The photo I used as reference was of her in her costume after winning. This painting was created using only burnt sienna and a touch of pthalo blue to darken the hair. I layered the burnt sienna over and over again to build up the darker tones and create depth. The lightest colors in the painting were accomplished using a single layer and the darker tones have up to fifteen thin layers of paint. Check out the portrait painting of Maribel's ex husband here.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Artist of the Week: Peter Max

For July 4, 1976, Peter Max created a special installation and art book, Peter Max Paints America, to commemorate America's bicentennial. It was the year Max also began his annual July 4th tradition of painting the Statue of Liberty. In 1982, Max painted six Liberties on the White House lawn, and then personally helped to actualize the statue's restoration, which was completed in 1986.

Peter Max began a series of works called the Better World series, and created a painting called "I love the World," depicting an angel embracing the planet, inspired by his backstage experience at the Live Aid concert. in 1989, for the 20th anniversary of Woodstock, Max was asked to create world's largest rock-and-roll stage for the Moscow Music Peace Festival.

Soon after the festival, in October, 1989, Max unveiled his "40 Gorbys," a colorful homage to Mikhail Gorbachev. Prophetically, a few weeks later, communism fell in Eastern Europe and Peter Max was selected to receive a 7,000-pound section of the Berlin Wall, which was installed on the Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Intrepid Museum. Using a hammer and chisel, Peter Max carved a dove from within the stone and placed it on top of the wall to set it free.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Artist of the Week: Frida Kahlo

From 1926 until her death, the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo created striking, often shocking, images that reflected her turbulent life. She painted using vibrant colors in a style that was influenced by indigenous cultures of Mexico as well as by European influences that include Realism, Symbolism, and Surrealism. In 1925 Frida Kahlo was gravely hurt in a bus accident. She spent over a year in bed, recovering from fractures of her back, collarbone, and ribs, as well as a shattered pelvis and shoulder and foot injuries. Despite more than 30 subsequent operations, Frida Kahlo spent the rest of her life in constant pain. During her convalescence Frida Kahlo had begun to paint with oils. Frida's mother had a special easel made for her so she could paint in bed, and her father lent her his box of oil paints and some brushes

Her pictures, mostly self-portraits and still life's, were deliberately naive, filled with the bright colors and flattened forms of the Mexican folk art she loved. Frida Kahlo had studied art before, at the National Preparatory School, where she had met Diego Rivera when he was painting the "Creation Mural", but Frida Kahlo had never worked on paintings before. Over her bed, Frida Kahlo had a mirror so she could see herself, and this was the beginning of her focus on self more

Monday, June 15, 2015

Artist of the Week: Rene Magritte

 "My painting is visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question 'What does that mean'? It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable."- René Magritte
Rene Magritte was a groundbreaking Surrealist who combined wit and illusion. Magritte, who originally designed wallpaper, posters and ads, began painting full time after receiving a gallery contract. In Magritte’s signature style, he places ordinary objects in unexpected contexts, often blocked faces with floating objects to challenge preconceptions about the unknown.

 The Human Condition series, painted between 1933 and 1935. "The Human Condition" ("La condition humaine") refers to a number of works, of which the two most famous are both oil on canvas paintings. There are also a number of drawings of the same name. 

 The 1960s brought a great increase in public awareness of Magritte's work. One of the means by which his imagery became familiar to a wider public was through reproduction on rock album covers including,  the 1969 album Beck-Ola by the Jeff Beck group, Jackson Browne's 1974 album, Late for the Sky,  and the Firesign Theatre's album Just Folks . . . A Firesign Chat.  Styx adapted Magritte's Carte Blanche for the cover of their 1977 album The Grand Illusion, while the cover of  John Foxx's 2001 The Pleasures of Electricity, was based on Magritte's painting Le Principe du Plaisir.  Jethro Tull mentions Magritte on a 1976 album and Paul Simon's song "Rene And Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War" appears on the 1983 album Hearts and Bones. Paul McCartney, a life-long fan of Magritte, owns many of his paintings, and claims that a Magritte painting inspired him to use the name Apple for the Beatles' media corporation. Magritte is also the subject and title of a John Cale song on the 2003 album HoboSapiens.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Artist of the Week: Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer became one of the all-time leading figures in American art, known for his marine genre paintings and for his espousing of Realism, especially of American life. From the 1880s until his death in 1910, Winslow Homer's work was focused on issues of mortality and the forces of nature such as violent storms at sea. Winslow Homer was one of the most well known artists to come out of the Civil War.

Like all artists who work alone, Winslow Homer matured slowly, and as he matured, he lost interest in portrayals of the land and children. In 1883, Winslow Homer moved from New York to Maine where he set up a studio close to the wild and rocky coast and began his series of watercolors of the sea and its people, before finally losing interest in people altogether, and confining himself almost entirely to "the lonely sea and the sky." His watercolors are so powerful that it is difficult to believe that Homer was himself "a small, reserved gentleman, quiet and unostentatious." His view of nature was severe and, even in the scenes of tropical waters, brilliant in color, indicative of his belief that man himself is nothing in comparison to the vastness of the ocean

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Artist of the Week: James Whistler

The American painter, etcher, and lithographer James Whistler created a new set of principles for the fine arts, championed art for art's sake, and introduced a subtle style of painting in which atmosphere and mood were the main focus. Whistler was an American-born, British-based artist. James Whistler used a butterfly as his signature for his paintings.

The butterfly was unique in that it possessed a long stinger on it's tail. Whistler's signature fit him well for it combined both aspects of his personality. Whistler was known to have a difficult public persona, yet his artwork was often delicate like a butterfly.

In 1862 James Whistler started to work on "Symphony in White No.1: The White Girl" (shown at top of page). The model was once again his mistress, Jo. This controversial painting brought Whistler's name to the forefront in the art world. Shown in London first and then in Paris, it provoked a buzz of irrelevant interpretation. The expressionless young woman in virginal white, standing on a wolf skin with a lily in her hand (that floral emblem of the Aesthetic Movement), was declared to be a bride on the morning after her wedding night; or a fallen ex-virgin; or a victim of mesmerism - anything except what she actually was: a model posing in Whistler's studio to give him a pretext to paint shades of white with extreme virtuosity and subtlety

Although The White Girl was rejected by the Royal Academy in 1862 and the Paris Salon of 1863, it was a sensation at the Salon des Refusés, admired by artists though laughed at by the public.In 1863 Whistler leased a house in the Chelsea section of London, where he set up housekeeping with Jo. His mother arrived late that year and spent the rest of her life in England.
Whistler’s mother was both a religious and very proper woman, and her arrival in London, upset her son’s bohemian existence. As he wrote to Henri Fantin-Latour, “General upheaval!! I had to empty my house and purify it from cellar to eaves.” Whistler became a collector of blue-and-white porcelain as well as Oriental costumes, in which he posed his models for such pictures as La Princess du pays de la porcelaine (1864). By 1871, Whistler returned to portraits and soon produced his most famous painting, the nearly monochromatic full-length figure titled "Arrangement in Gray and Black: Portrait of the Artist's Mother", but usually referred to as Whistler's Mother.  According to a letter from his mother, one day after a model failed to appear, Whistler turned to his mother and suggested he do her portrait. In his typically slow and experimental way, at first he had her stand but that proved too tiring so the famous profile pose was adopted. It took dozens of sittings to complete. The austere portrait in his normally constrained palette is another Whistler exercise in tonal harmony and composition. The deceptively simple design is in fact a balancing act of differing shapes, particularly rectangles of the curtain, picture on the wall, wall and floor which stabilize the curve of her face, dress, and chair.

Again, though his mother is the subject, Whistler commented that the narrative was of little importance. In reality, however, it was a homage to his pious mother. After the initial shock of her moving in with her son, she aided him considerably by stabilizing his behavior somewhat, tending to his domestic needs, and providing an aura of conservative respectability that helped win over patrons.

Friday, May 22, 2015

War as seen by artists

With Memorial Day this week-end we can stop and take a look at how war looks through the eye of an artist.When the Revolutionary war opened, John Trumbull joined the army as adjutant. His skill as a draughtsman enabled him to make drawings of the enemy's works at Boston, and Washington appointed him one of his aides-de-camp. As a soldier in the American Revolutionary War, Trumbull was able to witness the famous Battle of Bunker Hill.

In March 1785 John Trumbull wrote to his father, Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., that "the great object of my to take up the History of Our Country, and paint the principal Events particularly of the late War." Influenced by the work of West and John Singleton Copley, Trumbull completed his first history painting, "The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill " (shown above) in March 1786.

Pablo Picasso is considered to be one of the most important artists of the twentieth century.  "Guernica" (1937) is thought to be one of Picasso's greatest works. Created during his Surrealist period, Picasso captures the horror of the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica, which killed many innocent civilians during the Spanish Civil War. By the end of World War II, Picasso had become an internationally known artist and celebrity. A highly productive artist, Pablo Picasso created a large number of works during his lifetime.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Artist of the Week: Lucien Levy-Dhurmer

Lucien Levy-Dhurmer was a master of pastels, painter of fantastical scenes, portraits and beautiful Mediterranean landscapes. He was born Lucien Lévy to a Jewish family in Algiers. From 1879 Lucien Levy attended drawing and sculpture classes at his local school in Paris. In 1886, he met Raphael Collin, who advised him in art training.

 Lucien Levy-Dhurmer's pastel and charcoal picture "Medusa" or "Waging Wave" (shown here) was completed in 1897. The artwork is an excellent example of the symbolist style. Symbolists prefer vision to sight. The art is tinged with spirituality and plunges into beliefs, myths and legends. For them woman is often a deadly creature, a poisonous, raging being, a monster of accursed beauty. The world of appearances fades away before the dream like universe; the elements come to life, take human form and become nightmarish figures. They call themselves Symbolists, these painters, draughtsman and artists who share the same goal: to make the invisible visible, to cling to fate, dreams from the subconscious and other places. Lucien Levy- praise for the academic attention to detail with which he captured figures lost in a Pre-Raphaelike haze of melancholy, contrasted with bright Impressionist coloration. His portrait of writer Georges Rodenbach is perhaps the most striking example of this strange and extraordinary synergy. Lucien Levy Dhurmer began to use pastels a great deal, this medium with its suggestive blurred effects, lending itself to the magic of symbolism; several of his contemporaries, particularly Fantin-Latour and Khnopff, were equally attracted by his pastel technique. He was influenced by the ideas both of Khnopff and the Pre-Raphaelites (this latter influence can be seen particularly in his rather languid women and his idealized figures). Levy-Dhurmer exhibited frequently at the Salon d'Automne.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Artist of the Week: Horace Pippin

Horace Pippin was an African American folk painter known for his depictions of African American life and of the horrors of war. Horace Pippin was called a folk artist because he had no formal art training. He used bright colors, flat shapes, and straight lines.

Horace Pippin did not use shading or complicated perspective. His art is also called primitive, naive, or innocent. The injustice of slavery and American segregation figure prominently in many of his works. 

In 1947 critic Alain Locke described Horace Pippin as "a real and rare genius, combining folk quality with artistic maturity so uniquely as almost to defy classification."

Although he painted only about 140 works, concentrations of his work can be found in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Artist of the Week: Elaine Fried de Kooning

 In 1938, Elaine Fried was introduced to a Dutch immigrant artist, Willem de Kooning. She soon began studying with him, and approximately five years later, on December 9, 1943, they married. While her artistic reputation was eclipsed to some degree by his fame, she was able to forge a name as an artist and as a critic They were the typical artist couple in the 1940's, struggling with serious financial hardships while producing tremendously innovative work. By the early 1950's she was producing stylized paintings based on news photographs of sports figures. Elaine Fried de Kooning was also an art critic for Artnews and wrote articles about American Modernist painters.

Elaine Fried de Kooning  had her first solo show in 1952, while subsidizing her income by working as a model. Elaine Fried de Kooning had a diverse and interesting career as an artist. Unlike most women artists of the time Elaine Fried approached art in an ambitious and competitive manner. Her intoxicating vitality made Elaine both challenging and physically fearless.
Elaine Fried de Kooning's most famous series of portraits, painted on commission from the White House, is of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Elaine Fried de Kooning followed the President, observing him from various standpoints. President Kennedy’s  young daughter, Caroline, copied de Kooning by making her her own small paintings as Elaine was painting the portraits.

Elaine Fried de Kooning traveled to West Palm Beach, Florida, to make painted sketches of Kennedy and spent much of 1963 working on a presidential portrait of him for the Truman Library. Kennedy was assassinated during the creation of this work. His murder impacted her to such a degree that she stopped painting for nearly a year. Elaine Fried de Kooning spent most of this time teaching and doing sculptures.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Artist of the Week: Georgia O'Keeffe American Painter 1887-1986

Among the great American artists of the 20th-century, Georgia O’Keeffe stands as one of the most compelling. For nearly a century, O’Keeffe’s representations of the beauty of the American landscape were a brave counterpoint to the chaotic images embraced by the art world. Her cityscapes and still life's filled the canvas with wild energy that gained her a following among the critics as well as the public. Though she has had many imitators, no one since has been able to paint with such intimacy and stark precision. With exceptionally keen powers of observation and great finesse with a paintbrush, Georgia O'Keeffe recorded subtle nuances of color, shape, and light that enlivened her paintings and attracted a wide audience.

After spending a summer in New Mexico, Georgia O'Keeffe, enthralled by the barren landscape and expansive skies of the desert, would explore the subject of animal bones in her paintings of the 1930s and 1940s. Georgia found the thin, dry air enabled her to see farther, and at times could see several approaching thunderstorms in the distance at once.

She affectionately referred to the land of northern New Mexico as "the faraway"...a place of stark beauty and infinite space. Soon after their arrival, Georgia O'Keeffe and Beck where invited to stay at Mable Dodge Luhan's ranch outside of Taos for the summer. Georgia O'Keeffe would go on many pack trips exploring the rugged mountains and deserts of the region.

On one trip Georgia O'Keeffe visited the D.H. Lawrence ranch and spent several weeks there. Just as with the flowers, Georgia O'Keeffe painted the bones magnified and captured the stillness and remoteness of them, while at the same time expressing a sense of beauty that lies within the desert.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Artist of the Week: Stuart Davis

Considered a forefather of the Pop Art movement, Stuart Davis translated the visual imagery of New York City and the jazz music of the mid-20th Century into iconographic abstract paintings of squiggly lines and flashy colors. The career of Stuart Davis has encompassed the entire span of modern art in the United States. Stuart Davis was an American cubist painter whose colorful compositions, with their internal logic and structure, often camouflaged the American flavor of his themes.

 "I have always liked hot music. There's something wrong with any American who doesn't. But I never realized that it was influencing my work until one day I put on a favorite record and listened to it while I was looking at a painting I had just finished. Then I got a funny feeling. If I looked, or if I listened, there was no shifting of attention. It seemed to amount to the same thing--like twins, a kinship. After that, for a long time, I played records while I painted"- Stuart Davis

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Artist of the Week: Gustave Caillebotte

Gustave Caillebotte was born in 1848 to Martial and Caleste Caillebotte in a popular part of Paris. He grew up in comfort and moved to a luxurious home in the upper-class part of Paris when he was 18. French painter Gustave Caillebotte was a member, and patron of the group of artists known as Impressionists, though he painted in a much more realistic manner than many other artists in the group. Gustave Caillebotte was noted for his early interest in photography as an art form. Wealthy and generous, Caillebotte financially supported his Impressionist friends by purchasing their works at inflated prices and underwriting many of the expenses incurred for the exhibitions.

 In 1875, wishing to make his public debut, Gustave Caillebotte submitted a painting to the Salon jury, which rejected it. That work was probably the "Floorscrapers", (shown at top) which Caillebotte then decided to exhibit in a more hospitable environment, that of the second Impressionist group exhibition of 1876. His work, highly acclaimed, stole the show and helped to make the second exhibition far more of a popular success than the first. Many of Gustave Caillebotte's urban paintings were quite controversial due to their exaggerated, plunging perspective. In "Man on a Balcony" (Shown above), he invites the viewer to share the balcony with his subject and join in observing the scene of the city reaching into the distance, again by using unusual perspective. Caillebotte acquired a property at Petit-Gennevilliers, on the banks of the Seine near Argenteuil, in 1881, and moved there permanently in 1888.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Artist of the Week: Leonardo da Vinci Italian Artist 1452-1519

Two of Leonardo da Vinci's works, the "Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper", are the most famous, most reproduced and most parodied portrait and religious painting of all time, respectively, their fame approached only by Michelangelo's Creation of Adam. Leonardo da Vinci's drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on everything from the Euro to text books to t-shirts. Perhaps fifteen of Leonardo da Vinci's paintings survive, the small number due to his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination. Nevertheless, these few works, together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting, comprise a contribution to later generations of artists only rivaled by that of his contemporary, Michelangelo.

A remarkable fact in the life of Leonardo da Vinci was his impeachment in 1476. At this time it was a common practice of handing out anonymous accusations in a wooden box in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. Leonardo da Vinci was charged, together with three other men, of homosexual conduct. All defendants however were acquitted because of lack of evidence. That Leonardo da Vinci was homosexual now is generally accepted though.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Artist of the Week: Grant Wood

Grant Wood was an exceptional artist from a very young age. When Grant Wood was 14, he won third prize in a national contest for a crayon drawing of oak leaves and said that winning that prize was his inspiration to become an artist. His formal art education included two summers with Ernest Batchelder at the School of Design and Handicraft in Minneapolis and three years of occasional night classes at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Grant Wood painted simple scenes of the land and people he knew best. Wood was an active painter from an extremely young age until his death, and although he is best known for his paintings, he worked in a large number of media, including lithography, ink, charcoal, ceramics, metal, wood and found objects. Grant Wood is most closely associated with the American movement of Regionalism that was primarily situated in the Midwest, and advanced figurative painting of rural American themes in an aggressive rejection of European abstraction He helped create an important, all-American style of art. Grant Wood’s paintings show the love he had for the people and customs of the Midwestern United States. Grant Wood particularly loved the farmland of Iowa.

Monday, March 9, 2015

"Big Sunflower" 2012 Acrylic on Canvas 7 X 4 Feet Triptych

"Big Sunflower" 2012 Acrylic on Canvas 7 X 4 Feet Triptych

"Big Sunflower" is an original, signed acrylic painting on a gallery-wrapped canvas by Citrus County Florida Artist Michael Arnold. "Big Sunflower" is a large painting done on three separate canvases. It is is an original, signed acrylic painting on 3 gallery-wrapped canvases by Citrus County Florida Artist Michael Arnold.Big Sunflower is a bright triptych painting in a style resembling Fernando Botero's. The over the top colors and sizes make a strong statement wherever you display it "Big Sunflower" is on three quality gallery wrapped canvases.

All sides are painted with no staples showing. The Michael Arnold original acrylic painting on canvas is ready to be hung and can be displayed with or without a frame. Each painting by award winning Citrus County Florida artist Michael Arnold is an original one of a kind signed piece of art and comes with a certificate of authenticity. The unique shaped acrylic painting is delivered on a stretched canvas. "Big Sunflower" acrylic canvas painting makes a bold statement on any wall where it is displayed.

 Purchase Big Sunflower Original Signed Acrylic Painting at Amazon

Monday, February 23, 2015

"Withlachoochee Heron" 2015 Acrylic on Canvas 36 x 18 inches

"Withlacoochee Heron"” is an original, signed acrylic painting on a gallery-wrapped canvas by Citrus County Florida artist Michael Arnold.

Withlacoochee Heron was painted in  the style of the impressionists with loose lines that allow the eye to fill in the blurred areas. This painting was not done in plein aire like the impressionists but I did visit
the spot and take multiple photographs.  

The Withlacoochee River originates in central Florida's Green Swamp, east of Polk City. It flows west, then north, and then turns northwest and finally west again before it empties into the Gulf of Mexico near Yankeetown. The river is 86 miles  long and has a drainage basin of 1,170 square miles. "Withlacoochee" probably stems from a Muskhogean dialect. It is compounded of Creek we (water) thlako (big), and chee (little), or little big water. This word combination signifies little river in the Creek language, and as we-lako or wethlako may also refer to a lake, it may signify a river of lakes, or lake river.

The area seen in the painting is near Dunnellon and was viewed while I was walking  on the Rails to Trails.
This original acrylic painting is on a quality gallery wrapped canvas. All sides are painted with no staples showing. The acrylic painting is ready to be hung and can be displayed with or without a frame.

Each Michael Arnold acrylic painting is an original one of a kind signed piece of art and comes with a certificate of authenticity. The painting is delivered on a stretched canvas.

The "Withlacoochee Heron"" acrylic impressionist landscape painting by award winning Citrus County Florida artist Michael Arnold makes a bold statement on any wall where it is displayed.

Purchase "Withlacoochee Heron on Amazon for $250

Monday, February 16, 2015

"Roses" 2015 Acrylic on canvas 36 x 18 inches

This is my newest painting. "Roses" is an original, signed acrylic painting on a gallery-wrapped canvas by Citrus County Florida artist Michael Arnold. "Roses combines realism with a modern abstract feel.  I have done several other rose paintings and this one combines the realism of "Two Roses" with the abstract  feel of "The Rose"

I enjoyed working on the painting and the work went pretty quickly with only a few changes from the original work. This is my fourth rose painting. Here's a view of my other attempts at roses:

 These are two roses from my wife’s rose bushes I sketched one morning. I then combined them into a single painting. "Two Roses" utilizes amazing detail and vivid color bring this original painting to life. 

 "Blue Rose" is an original, signed mixed media painting on canvas by Citrus County Florida artist Michael Arnold. "This painting uses texture and unusual colors to evoke emotion from the viewer. I applied strips of cloth to the canvas before painting to give the painting it's unique textured form. The impressionistic style and blue color palette add to the unique style of the artwork."

"The Rose” is an original, signed acrylic painting on a gallery-wrapped canvas by Citrus County Florida Artist Michael Arnold.

"I created this painting in my art class. One of the students had a rose and I wanted to capture the inner natural beauty of the flower. My interpretation of the flower gives it an abstract and surreal tone, but to me this is exactly how the rose looked, with it's beautiful petals!  I have shown this painting in the frame because I felt like the black frame added to the art piece".

Monday, February 9, 2015

"Polar Bear" 2015 Acrylic on canvas 24 x 24 inches

"Polar bear is one of my most recent works of art. The painting was inspired by my wife's love of bears.  Polar bears are specially adapted to the polar marine environment in which they live. Adaptations include: white coloration for camouflage; water repellent guard hairs, dense underfur, and black skin for absorbing warmth; small “suction cups” on the soles of their feet for traction on slippery ice; teeth specialized for a carnivorous rather than omnivorous diet; and the ability to store large amounts of fat when food is available and then use it later when food is unavailable. Polar bears’ primary food source are ringed seals but they also hunt bearded seals, walrus, and beluga whales, and will scavenge on beached carrion such as whale, walrus and seal carcasses found along the coast.

Polar Bear is on a quality gallery wrapped canvas. All sides are painted with no staples showing. The painting is ready to be hung and can be displayed with or without a frame. It can be purchased through Amazon by clicking this link.

Monday, February 2, 2015

"Klimt's Twinz" 2014 Original Artwork

Klimt's Twinz"” is an original, signed acrylic painting on a gallery-wrapped canvas by Citrus County Florida artist Michael Arnold.

Klimts Twinz was pained in a modern art style in celebration of the great Gustav Klimt.

This original acrylic painting is on a quality gallery wrapped canvas. All sides are painted with no staples showing. The acrylic painting is ready to be hung and can be displayed with or without a frame. 

It's been a while since I uploaded any new paintings , but i finally got six of them up on my website and now its time to share them on Facebook. This painting was a family favorite and we had a bit of a bidding war on where it was going to end up, but it is up in Gainesville right now. 

I named the painting Klimt's Twinz as a homage to Gustav Klimt. Gustav Klimt was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Art Nouveau movement. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects, many of which are on display in the Vienna Secession gallery. Gustav Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism--nowhere is this more apparent than in his numerous drawings in pencil. Gustav Klimt was a controversial figure in his time. His work was constantly criticized for being too sensual and erotic, and his symbolism too deviant. Today, they stand out as the more important paintings ever to come out of Vienna. His artwork below shows how he loved to mix the female body with lots of gold inlay.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Artist of the Week: Camille Pissarro

 Camille Pissarro was a French Impressionist painter. His importance resides not only in his visual contributions to Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, but also in his patriarchal standing among his colleagues, particularly Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin. Born July 10, 1830 in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. to Abraham Gabriel Pissarro, and Rachel Manzano-Pomié, who was from the Dominican Republic. Camille Pissarro lived in St. Thomas until age 12, when he was sent to Paris to study. As a boy, Camille Pissarro earned acclaim for his budding talent as an artist. Pissarro returned to St. Thomas where he drew in his free time.

In 1852, Camille Pissarro traveled to Venezuela with the Danish artist Fritz Melbye, but was obligated to return to St. Thomas in 1847 to help his father run his general store. In 1855, Camille Pissarro had convinced his parents to allow him to pursue his dream of becoming a painter settling in France. He arrived in time to see the great World's Fair which included a large art section. Following the advice of Corot, whose landscapes he had admired at the fair, Pissarro was soon painting and sketching in small towns and villages near Paris, along the Seine, Oise and Marne rivers. Camille Pissarro studied at the Académie Suisse and formed friendships with Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, and other future members of the Impressionist group. By the late 1860s, his powerful realist landscapes, like "View from Louveciennes" (shown) were praised by the prominent critic Emile Zola. This landscape is one of the finest extant examples of Pissarro's earlier work. It was probably painted in the spring of 1870. The previous year Pissarro had moved from Pontoise to Louveciennes, a village a few miles west of Paris, where fellow Impressionists Renoir, Monet and Sisley were then active. Louveciennes overlooks the Seine and is close to the Forest and Park of Marly-le-Roi.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Artist of the Week: Paul Cézanne French Painter 1839-1906

Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavor to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. The French painter Paul Cézanne, who exhibited little in his lifetime and pursued his interests increasingly in artistic isolation, is regarded today as one of the great forerunners of modern painting, both for the way that he evolved of putting down on canvas exactly what his eye saw in nature and for the qualities of pictorial form that he achieved through a unique treatment of space, mass, and color. Cézanne was a contemporary of the Impressionists, but he went beyond their interests in the individual brushstroke and the fall of light onto objects, to create, in his words, "something more solid and durable, like the art of the museums.''

Paul Cézanne was born in Aix-en-Provence, France, on January 19, 1839. His father, Philippe Auguste, was the cofounder of a successful banking firm, which afforded Cézanne financial security that was unavailable to most of his fellow artists. In 1852 Paul Cézanne entered the Collège Bourbon, where he met and became friends with Émile Zola. This friendship was important for both men and with youthful spirit they dreamed of successful careers in the Paris art world, Cézanne as a painter and Zola as a writer. Consequently, Cézanne began to study painting and drawing at the École des Beaux-Arts in Aix in 1856. His father was against the pursuit of an artistic career, and in 1858 he persuaded Cézanne to enter law school at the University of Aix. Although Paul Cézanne continued his law studies for several years, at the same time he was enrolled in the École des Beaux-Arts in Aix, where he remained until 1861. In 1861 Paul Cézanne finally convinced his father to allow him to go to Paris, France.

"The House of Pere Lacroix in Auvers" french impressionism painting by French artist Paul CezanneIn Paris Paul Cézanne frequented the Louvre, where he met fellow artists such as Camille Pissarro and, later on, Claude Monet, Sisley, Bazille and Pierre Renoir. In September of the same year Paul Cézanne was refused admission to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and went back to Aix, to the great relief of his father, who offered him a position in his bank. But in November 1862 Paul Cézanne went back to Paris and took up painting again. Cezanne became acquainted with the revolutionary work of Gustave Courbet and Édouard Manet. Paul Cézanne also admired the fiery romanticism of Eugène Delacroix's paintings. But he was never entirely comfortable with Parisian life and periodically returned to Aix, where he could work in relative isolation. He retreated there, for instance, during the Franco-Prussian War.

Paul Cézanne's paintings from the 1860s are peculiar, bearing little overt resemblance to the artist's mature and more important style. The subject matter is brooding and melancholy and includes fantasies, dreams, religious images, and a general preoccupation with the macabre. His technique in these early paintings is similarly romantic, often impassioned. In the "Man in a Blue Cap" pigments have been applied with a palette knife and the surface is everywhere dense with impasto. The same qualities characterize the weird "Washing of a Corpse" (1867-1869), which seems to picture the events in a morgue and to be a pietà as well.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New Van Gogh Painting?

After two years of scrutiny, art experts have finally agreed that "Sunset at Montmajour" is indeed a Vincent Van Gogh original painting. The painting is believed to have been painted in 1888, shortly before van Gogh's death. and depicts a wooded area near Arles in the south of France. A large canvas measuring about 3 feet by 2½ feet, the painting was done during the same time period as many of Van Gogh's most famous paintings including his "Sunflowers" "The Yellow House" and ‘The Bedroom,"

The Van Gogh Museum is ecstatic over being able to unveil the painting. "A discovery of this magnitude has never before occurred in the history of the Van Gogh Museum," said Axel Rüger, the museum director, in a statement. "It is already a rarity that a new painting can be added to Van Gogh's oeuvre."  The museum said that there are two letters from the artist from the summer of 1888 that directly refer to the painting, which he considered to be a failed effort.

The artwork originally belonged  to Vincent Van Gogh's brother Theo, and was later sold in 1901. At one point, the piece belonged to a Norwegian collector who stored it in an attic after being told the work wasn't an authentic Van Gogh. The painting currently belongs to private collectors who wish to remain anonymous, according to reports.

According to letter Van Gogh wrote to his brother, on July 5 1888, he was not pleased with the results of the painting.

Yesterday, at sunset, I was on a stony heath where very small, twisted oaks grow, in the background a ruin on the hill, and wheat fields in the valley. It was romantic, it couldn’t be more so, à la [Adolphe Joseph Thomas] Monticelli, the sun was pouring its very yellow rays over the bushes and the ground, absolutely a shower of gold. And all the lines were beautiful, the whole scene had a charming nobility. You wouldn’t have been at all surprised to see knights and ladies suddenly appear, returning from hunting with hawks, or to hear the voice of an old Provençal troubadour. The fields seemed purple, the distances blue. And I brought back a study of it too, but it was well below what I’d wished to do.”

Van Gogh (1853-1890) crafted some of the world's best known and most loved paintings, including "Sunflowers," "Irises" and "Starry Night," and a number of self-portraits.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Central Florida Art Festivals

Fall is almost here in Central Florida, and with it comes all the wonderful art festivals. Make sure to take some time between football games to go to some of the areas best art shows.
Here is a rundown of some of my favorites:

October 12 & 13 head to Winter park for the 40th Annual Winter Park Autumn Art Festival
The Winter Park Autumn Art Festival is the only juried art show to feature Florida artists exclusively.  Held annually on the second weekend in October, this community-oriented sidewalk show presents quality visual art, live entertainment, children's activities and more.  The festival is held in beautiful Central Park located along historic Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park.

October 19 & 20 enjoy seafood and art at the 48th annual seafood festival in Cedar Key!
This major event features well over 200 arts and crafts exhibits, and great local seafood in City Park. There will be live musical entertainment at several places around town during the days and nights, and a parade on Saturday morning.There is also an open house at the lighthouse on Seahorse Key, the big island 3 miles to the west of Cedar Key. Explore the lighthouse, look at the exhibits and wander this beautiful island. Shuttle boats are available at City Marina.

October 26 & 27 head to Ocala, for the 47th Annual Ocala Arts Festival!
Experience art at its best. There will be over 200 fine artists from all parts of the country displaying their art.. This is the place to get started on your holiday shopping, purchase for your own collection, or browse and appreciate the art.

November 2 & 3 head to Invernesss for the Festival of the Arts!
Located around the Courthouse Square in Inverness, the annual event features over 100 artists displaying a wide variety of unique creations, including fine arts and hobbies and crafts. It is the longest running juried art show in Citrus County and is produced each year as a means to promote the Arts. Also in Inverness is the Annual Cooter Festival. You may have heard of the event when it was spoofed by The Daily Show. The last full weekend of October brings Sunny Cooter out of his turtle shell for three days of non-stop fun.

November 9 & 10 head to Homosassa for the Annual Art & Seafood Festival!
Located in the historic district of Old Homosassa, the art show is judged and non-judged with exhibitors from all over the country. The food court is a well-known attraction of the festival. Vendors from the community provide their seafood and other specialties. Whether it's fried catfish, gator tail or conch fritters, you will find it all and more in the food court.

November 16 & 17 travel to Gator Country to Gainesville's  Downtown Festival & Art Show!
Celebrating its 32nd  annual return, the show  transforms downtown Gainesville into a venue for award-winning artists and draws a crowd of more than 100,000. For two days, visitors can leisurely stroll through historic downtown and marvel at works from more than 250 of the nation’s most talented artists, who display their original oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, captivating sculptures, dazzling jewelry, decorative ceramics and vivid photography. With such a diverse array of unique art displayed for sale and competition, the Downtown Festival & Art Show is a great way to purchase one-of-a-kind art for you or a friend.

Art Syles: The Bauhaus School of Art

Wassily Kandinsky abstract art painting from the bauhaus school of artGermany has a great artistic tradition. The original forms of expression of Franz Marc, Emil Nolde and Max Ernst, Ludwig Kirchner and the urban images of Max Beckmann, George Grosz and Otto Dix left their mark on the first 30 years of the last century and formed the basis of the high esteem in which German Expressionism is held around the world.

The Bauhaus School was an academy of art and design founded in Weimar, Germany in 1919 by Walter Gropius. Bauhaus is a German expression that literally means "house for building." The Bauhaus school was founded to rebuild the country after a devastating war and also form a new social order.

As a social program, the Bauhaus’s ideals were that the artist must recognize his social responsibility to the community and likewise, the community must accept and support the artist. In the artistic theory, the Bauhaus school strived to produce a new approach to architecture that incorporated artistic design, craftsmanship, and modern machine technology. Their aim was the use the principles of Classical architecture in its pure form without ornamentation. Therefore, Bauhaus architects rejected details such as cornices, eaves, and other decorative elements. The Bauhaus was founded by combining the Weimar Art Academy and the Weimar Arts and Crafts School, thus students were trained as both artist and craftsman.

The Bauhaus holds a place of its own in the culture and visual art history of 20th century. This outstanding school affirmed innovative training methods and also created a place of production and a focus of international debate. It brought together a number of the most outstanding contemporary architects and artists. The Bauhaus stood almost alone in attempt to achieve reconciliation between the aesthetics of design and the more commercial demands of industrial mass production. read more at:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Art Styles & Impressions

Claude Monet Impressionism painting "Impression Sunrise"Artists work in a variety of colors, styles and media. Painters may use acrylics, oil paints, or watercolors, and may paint on a canvas, paper, or use mixed media supplies. When we think of the the great painters we often look at the French Impressionists. Painters like Monet, Van Gogh, Matisse, and Gauguin all helped make art what it is today. As impressionists, they used color extensively, and the majority of impressionism focused on outdoor scenes. The term Impressionism derives from Caude Monet's painting "Impression: Sunrise" (shown here). A title was needed in a hurry for the catalogue of the exhibition in 1874. Monet suggested simply Impression, and the catalog editor, Renoir's brother Edouard, added an explanatory Sunrise.

Characteristics of Impressionist paintings include visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on light in its changing qualities. Impressionism often accentuates the effects of the passage of time. Using ordinary subject matter, Impressionism adds the inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception, while focusing on unusual visual angles.

Another  style of art commonly seen is pop art. Artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein changed the way we think of  and classify art. Andy Warhol was called the "Prince of pop Art", and in 1968 he famously coined the phrase  "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." From 1962 on Andy Warhol started making silkscreen prints of famous personalities like Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor. The quintessence of Andy Warhol art was to remove the difference between fine arts and the commercial arts used for magazine illustrations, comic books, record albums or advertising campaigns. Andy Warhol once expressed his philosophy in one poignant sentence: "When you think about it, department stores are kind of like museums".

Roy Lichtensteins  first painting to feature his hard edge and speech bubble style "Look Mickey" Mickey Mouse painting 1961Roy Lichtenstein became famous for his benday dots and the comic book appearance of his artwork. Adding word bubbles to his artwork was his finishing touch. Roy Lichtenstein's first work to feature the large-scale use of hard-edged figures and Benday Dots was” Look Mickey”(featured here) in 1961. This artwork design came from a challenge from one of his sons, who pointed to a Mickey Mouse comic book and said; "I bet you can't paint as good as that, eh, Dad?" That year Roy Lichtenstein began hiding images of comic strip figures (such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Bugs Bunny) in his paintings.

Lichtenstein explains his artwork this way:"Abstract Expressionists put things down on the canvas and responded to what they had done, to the color positions and sizes. My style looks completely different, but the nature of putting down lines pretty much is the same; mine just don't come out looking calligraphic, like Pollock's or Kline's."