Monday, April 25, 2016

Artist of the Week: Richard Estes Photo- Realist Painter

Richard Estes is an American painter best known for his photorealistic paintings which generally consist of reflective, clean, and inanimate city and geometric landscapes. Estes is regarded as one of the founders of the international photo-realist movement of the late 1960's, with painters such as Ralph Goings, Chuck Close, and Duane Hanson. Their work exhibits a high finish, fine details and an almost photographic fidelity to reality.

 Richard Estes, in some ways, is like an urban Andrew Wyeth. While Estes devotes his attention to newness and Wyeth emphasizes weathered use, there is a similar minuteness of attention to detail, texture and brushwork. Underlying each brilliant technique, however, is emotional content of a differing kind of somewhat aloof, stand-offishness in Estes, a melancholy sense of loss and the passing of an era in Wyeth.

Richard Estes is the best of the Photo-Realists in terms of handling paint, building forms and expressing himself in his work. There is mind and emotion at work in Estes, though he would deny the latter quality. His concern for visual observation is so acute, his awareness of symbolic or emotional content apparently so minimal, that it might be said of Estes, as it was of Monet, that "he is only an eye; but what an eye." Estes has exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide. Richard Estes's work can be found in public and private collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of Fine Art, both in New York City.

Monday, April 11, 2016

"The Kid" 2016 Acrylic painting on canvas 11.5 x 45.5 inches

"The Kid" is an original, signed acrylic painting on canvas by Citrus County Florida artist Michael Arnold.


This painting is from the publicity poster for the 1921 silent film "The Kid," written, directed and starring Charlie Chaplin. The painting is 11.5 x 45.5 on canvas primed several times with gesso and tinted with a gesso/cobalt blue as the final coat. I then used layers of Prussian blue to paint the image. I utilized a watercolor effect with liquid acrylic and water mixed with the blue.

This artwork was created using acrylic paint on a high quality wrapped canvas. Acrylic paint works very well on stretched canvas. When purchasing artwork many people aren't sure what the difference is between acrylic and oil paintings. The main difference between acrylics and oil paints is the inherent drying time. Oils allow for more time to blend colors and apply even glazes over underpaintings. This slow drying aspect of oil can be seen as an advantage for certain techniques, but in other regards it impedes the artist trying to work quickly. The fast evaporation of water from the acrylic paint film can be slowed with the use of acrylic retarders. Retarders are generally glycol or glycerin-based additives.


Oil paints tend to require the addition of a toxic solvent, such as mineral spirits or turpentine to thin the paints and clean up tools, though relatively recently water soluble oil paints have been developed for artist use. Secondly, oil paint films become increasing yellow and brittle, and will lose their flexibility in a few decades. Acrylics can be used on many surfaces without a medium- layer. They allow sharp brush-strokes but also a more delicate shading, although it is more difficult to create a smooth change between different shades. They are usually very bright. Although the permanency of acrylics is sometimes debated by conservators, they appear more stable than oil paints. 

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Monday, April 4, 2016

Paul Newman


"Paul Newman" is an original, signed acrylic painting on canvas by Citrus County Florida artist Michael Arnold. 

This painting is the first in a series of Hollywood Legends paintings I plan to work on. This is a painting of Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe in the film Howard Hawks film The Big Sleep. It is painted in acrylics using three colors - cobalt blue, burnt sienna and yellow ochre. I also used a little titanium white. I built the canvas 3-foot by 4-foot and stretched gessoed canvas over it. I prepped the canvas using gesso tinted with burnt sienna. I had a lot of fun and the painting went pretty quick. I used loose strokes, which gives the painting a lot of texture when viewed closeup. Once you step back 10-15 feet, the painting takes on a whole new look.


This original acrylic painting by award winning artist Michael Arnold is on a quality canvas. The sides are  painted and it does not need to be hung with a frame. Each Michael Arnold painting is an original one of a kind signed piece of art and comes with a certificate of authenticity.

This artwork was created using acrylic paint on a high quality wrapped canvas. Acrylic paint works very well on stretched canvas. When purchasing artwork many people aren't sure what the difference is between acrylic and oil paintings. The main difference between acrylics and oil paints is the inherent drying time. Oils allow for more time to blend colors and apply even glazes over underpaintings. This slow drying aspect of oil can be seen as an advantage for certain techniques, but in other regards it impedes the artist trying to work quickly. The fast evaporation of water from the acrylic paint film can be slowed with the use of acrylic retarders. Retarders are generally glycol or glycerin-based additives.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

"Betty Davis Eyes" 2016 Acrylic painting on canvas 48 x 36 inches

"Betty Davis Eyes" is an original, signed acrylic painting on canvas by Citrus County Florida artist Michael Arnold.


This acrylic 4-foot-by-3-foot painting is a closeup view of Bette Davis' iconic eyes. I stretched pre-gessoed canvas over homemade stretcher bars and added two additional coats of gesso tinted with burnt sienna.
Most of the painting is done in three colors - burnt sienna, ultramarine blue and yellow oxide. There is a touch of cobalt blue used to darken the shadows and mix with red for the rich deep purple used for the lips.
I mostly used large brushes, 1-2 inches, and used a 3/4 inch angle shader for the detail work. This is second in a series of Hollywood icons.

Monday, February 22, 2016

"Humphrey Bogart" Original acrylic on canvas 36 x 48 inches

"Bogart" is an original, signed acrylic painting on canvas by Citrus County Florida artist Michael Arnold.

This painting is the first in a series of Hollywood Legends paintings I plan to work on. This is a painting of Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe in the film Howard Hawks film The Big Sleep. It is painted in acrylics using three colors - cobalt blue, burnt sienna and yellow ochre. I also used a little titanium white. I built the canvas 3-foot by 4-foot and stretched gessoed canvas over it. I prepped the canvas using gesso tinted with burnt sienna. I had a lot of fun and the painting went pretty quick. I used loose strokes, which gives the painting a lot of texture when viewed closeup. Once you step back 10-15 feet, the painting takes on a whole new look.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Studies in style



Rather than start a large project, I have been doing a series of studies to hone some much needed skills.

This painting was done with acrylics on a roughly 14 x 18 inch Masonite board that I primed with gesso. The young girl sits in a sewing room cutting fabric that piles up by her feet. I wanted to try an indoor painting with a person and work on painting a figure in a space. Overall the painting was good practice and it gives me some things to work on in future studies.




This old wagon was painted using acrylics on piece of Masonite board 14 x 18 primed with gesso. I wanted to practice painting wood and this old discarded wagon provided an excellent reference to practice from.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Artist of the Week: Edward Wadsworth

Edward Wadsworth was a major figure in British art of the first half of the twentieth century. Edward Wadsworth was a painter of marines, marine still-life, landscapes and abstracts in tempera paints. He was also a draughtsman, muralist and wood engraver. A number of his mural decorations were for the ocean liner "Queen Mary". Edward Wadsworth is most famous for his close association with Vorticism and copying the styles of Pablo Picasso.

Edward Wadsworth was raised in a northern industrial environment that was to appear with great forcefulness in his Vorticist work. Like many other Vorticists, Wadsworth's interest in the machine showed itself at an early age. Under the impact of the Post-Impressionists, he turned for a while to portraiture, beach scenes and still-life's.

Edward Wadsworth's painting " The Beached Margin" (shown above) displays nautical objects assembled in bold relief against a marine background of of sea and sand. Using the difficult medium of egg tempera, which Edward Wadsworth mixed himself he is able to show amazing detail. The painting comes close to Surrealism in it's style and clarity. These imaginative geometric creations offer up an intellectual pleasure beyond that of a simple still life painting.

Edward Wadsworth exhibited first with the NEAC in 1911, becoming a member in 1921, and the Friday Club from 1912-1913. In 1913 Wadsworth's work appeared in the second Post-Impressionist Exhibition and he joined the Omega Workshops. When Wyndham Lewis broke from the Omega, Wadsworth followed him and subsequently showed in the Post-Impressionist and Futurist exhibition, Dore Galleries.

In June of 1914, Edward Wadsworth was in a group of artists, including Lewis, who jeered Marinetti's public performance of "The Battle Of Adrianople". Edward Wadsworth was a signatory of the Vorticist Manifesto published in BLAST the next month, and also supplied a review of Wassily Kandinsky's "Concerning The Spiritual In Art" and images to be reproduced in the magazine.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Art Styles: Rococo Art

Rococo is an eighteenth century art style which placed emphasis on portraying the carefree life of the aristocracy rather than on grand heroes or pious martyrs. The word Rococo is seen as a combination of the French rocaille, or stone garden (referring to arranging stones in natural forms like shells), and the Italian barocco, or Baroque style. Due to Rococo love of shell-like curves and focus on decorative arts, some critics used the term to derogatively imply that the style was frivolous or merely modish. When the term was first used in English in about 1836, it was a colloquialism meaning "old-fashioned". However, since the mid 19th century, the term has been accepted by art historians. Rococo stresses purely ornamental, light, casual, irregular design.
 The French Jean-Antoine Watteau is often referred to as the greatest of the Rococo painters. Watteau's work began to epitomize the movement with its idyllic and charming approach. He often created asymmetrical compositions. This type of aesthetic balance became not only an important part of Rococo art, but of design in general. Another artist that represented the Rococo period was Francois Boucher, who created paintings and designed tapestries for the French royalty and nobility.  His picture of the Embarkation for Cythera (shown here) demonstrates the elegance of this style. While there is still some debate about the historical significance of the style to art in general, Rococo is now widely recognized as a major period in the development of European art.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Artist of the Week: Hieronymus Bosch

Hieronymus Bosch was one of the late great medieval Dutch painters, born in 1450 as the Renaissance in Italy was starting to flower. Hieronymus Bosch mixed his version of medieval grotesques and Flemish proverbs into an intriguing allegory of man's base nature, which could run amok if not properly cared for. At the time of his death, Bosch was internationally celebrated as an eccentric painter of religious visions who dealt in particular with the torments of hell. During his lifetime Bosch's works were in the inventories of noble families of the Netherlands, Austria, and Spain, and they were imitated in a number of paintings and prints throughout the 16th century.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Artkst of the Week: Henry Tanner


The most distinguished African-American artist of the nineteenth century, Henry Ossawa Tanner was also the first artist of his race to achieve international acclaim. Tanner is often regarded as a realist painter, focusing on accurate depictions of subjects. While his early works, such as "The Banjo Lesson" were concerned with everyday life as an African American, Tanner's later paintings focused mainly on the religious subjects for which he is now best known.

 Henry's first artistic efforts were marine scenes and animals painted at the Philadelphia Zoo. In 1878 he painted several Adirondack landscapes while convalescing from an illness. In 1879, Tanner enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he joined Thomas Eakins's coterie. Tanner moved to Atlanta in 1889 in an unsuccessful attempt to support himself as an artist and instructor among prosperous middle class African-Americans.

Bishop and Mrs. Joseph C. Hartzell arranged for Tanner's first solo exhibition, the proceeds from which enabled the struggling artist to move to Paris in 1891.Henry moved to Paris France to escape the racial prejudice that was an impediment to the aspirations and ambitions of all African Americans in that era. Paris was a welcome escape for Tanner; within French art circles the issue of race mattered little. Tanner acclimated quickly to Parisian life.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Artist of the Week: Georgia O'Keeffe

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.

Georgia O'Keeffe was married to the pioneer photographer Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) in 1924. Alfred Stieglitz was 54 when Georgia arrived in New York, 23 years her senior. Educated in Berlin, he had studied engineering and photography before returning to the States at the turn of the century and opening the 291 gallery. He pioneered the art of photography, and single-handedly introduced America to the works of Picasso, Matisse, and Cezanne at the gallery, along with publishing his well respected "Camera Works" magazine. It was at Stieglitz's famed New York art gallery "291" that her charcoal drawings were first exhibited in 1916. The union lasted 22 years, until Stieglitz's death.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun

Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun was a French painter, and is recognized as the most famous woman painter of the eighteenth century. Her style is generally considered Rococo and shows interest in the subject of neoclassical painting. Marie-Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun was one of the most famous painters during her time. During her eighty seven-year life, which spanned from 1755-1842, she created well over 600 pieces of artwork. In a time period where it was uncommon to be a female artist, Marie-Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun put her best effort forth to overcome this adversity.
Elisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun is considered a role model, especially to female artists, because of her wide recognition of skills and gained admittance to academies that were closed to her sex. Her plethora of work ranges from history paintings to landscapes. But, the majority of her work were beautifully colored portraits of the most prominent aristocrats and royalty. Her unique and exceptional talent made her one of the most sought out painters of her time. Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun was blessed with a natural ability that people adored, even centuries later. During her career, according to her own account, she painted 877 pictures, including 622 portraits and about 200 landscapes.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Artist of the Week: Alphonse Mucha

Alphonse Mucha used position, sensuous curves derived from nature, refined decorative elements and natural colors. The Art Nouveau precepts were used, too, but never at the expense of his vision. Bernhardt signed Alphonse Mucha to a six year contract to design her posters and sets and costumes for her plays. Mucha was an overnight success at the age of 34, after seven years of hard work in Paris. Mucha produced a flurry of paintings, posters, advertisements, and book illustrations in what came to be known as the Art Nouveau style. Alphonse Mucha's works frequently featured beautiful healthy young women in flowing vaguely Neoclassical looking robes, often surrounded by lush flowers which sometimes formed haloes behind the women's heads.
 Alphonse Mucha shared a studio with Gauguin for a bit after his first trip to the south seas. Mucha gave impromptu art lessons in the Cremerie and helped start a traditional artists ball, Bal des Quat'z Arts. All the while Alphonse Mucha was formulating his own theories and precepts of what he wanted his art to be. On January 1, 1895, Alphonse Mucha presented his new style to the citizens of Paris. Called upon over the Christmas holidays to created a poster for Sarah Bernhardt's play, Gismonda, (shown here) he put his precepts to the test. The poster was the declaration of his new art. Spurning the bright colors and the more squarish shape of the more popular poster artists, the near life-size design was a sensation. Overnight, Mucha's name became a household word and, though his name is often used synonymously with the new movement in art, he disavowed the connection.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Art Styles: The High Renaissance

The High Renaissance is widely viewed as the greatest explosion of creative genius in history. Even relatively minor painters active during the period, such as Fra Bartolomeo and Mariotto Albertinelli, produced works remarkable for their perfect harmony and total control of the painterly mediums. Simply put, this period represented a culmination.

Since the essential characteristic of High Renaissance art was its unity, a balance achieved as a matter of intuition, beyond the reach of rational knowledge or technical skill, the High Renaissance art style was destined to break up as soon as emphasis was shifted to favor any one element in the composition. The High Renaissance art style endured for only a brief period, 1495-1520, and was created by a few artists of genius, among them Leonardo da Vinci, Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian.


Leonardo da Vinci is considered the paragon of Renaissance thinkers, engaged as he was in experiments of all kinds and having brought to his art a spirit of restless inquiry that sought to discover the laws governing diverse natural phenomena. The High Renaissance is generally held to have emerged in the late 1490s, when Leonardo da Vinci painted his Last Supper in Milan. Michelangelo has come to typify the artist endowed with inexplicable, solitary genius.