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Grapevines, White and Grapevines, Red, William Hughes

Two panels of a diptych, oil and gold paint on canvas, each roughly 40 x 17 inches (100 x 44 cm). The source for the images is an auction house, so I assume these are now in a privete collection.

Of the two panels, that of the white grapes fares better in reproduction, revealing the artist’s nicely painterly approach and his use of texture, both in the plant forms and the background.

 
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Daniel Blimes is a Los Angeles based painter whose current work is a series of portraits, faces and figures rendered in oil in a fascinatingly textural approach.

Many of the works are almost monochromatic save for key passages, others are rich with subtle variations in color.

His textures combine striations, stipple and linear geometric marks in a way that gives them an appealingly graphic quality. Blimes uses directional marks to aid in the definition of the form and the flow of your eye through the composition. His brush marks also lend a feeling of unity to the surface and give his paintings a feeling of atmosphere.

His website features a images of his work that are fortunately reproduced large enough to get some feeling for the textural surface.

Daniel Blimes’ work can currently be seen in a solo show at Arcadia Contemporary in Pasadena, CA. The sho is titled “Paradigm” and will be on display until April 28, 2019.

 
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When my wife and I first arrived in Paris in 2002, evening was descending as we checked into our B&B and it was dark when we went out for our first stoll in Paris. We were staying in the area of the Botanical Gardens, and it was a short walk down to the quay by that part of the Seine.

As we rounded a corner where the river bends, we were astonished and delighted with the magnificent sight of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame across the river, brightly lit against the dark of the September Paris sky.

It was a moment as indelible in my memory as any can be, tucked away for safekeeping in my mental file of “most treasured memories”.

All over the world — and of course, especially in Paris —, others are taking out similar memories of that most beautiful and iconic of Parisian structures, holding them in their mind’s eye and sadly reflecting on the loss of yesterday’s fire.

While other structures may come to mind as iconic representations of tourist Paris, it is the cathedral of Notre-Dame that is the architectural heart of that city, both figuratively and quite literally. The city was founded on the island in the middle of the Seine on which the cathedral stands.

It is a building so beautiful in its design and execution that is is without doubt a sculpture; and like all great sculpture, it modifies and enriches the experience of the space around it.

Notre-Dame de Paris, and views of it from various angles and sections of the city, have been an inspiration for generations of artists. I’ve selected a few of them to view here, — as a reminder the building in its proper glory and hopefully a glimpse of its eventual restoration. You can find more on the Google Art Project.

(Images above: Edward Deakin, Luigi Loir, Amrita Sher-Gil, Charles Meryon, Frederick Childe Hassam, Jean Francois Raffaelli, Maximilien Luce, Eugene Galien-Laloue, Edouard Cortes, Marie-Francois Firmin-Girard, Henri Le Riche)

 
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Paulo J. Mendes is an avid urban sketcher based in Matosinhos, Portugal.

His blog and Instagram feed have a subheading of “Stealing landscapes with a sketchbook”. I’m not sure if that’s intentional or an algorithmic translation for something more like “capturing landscapes”. (The original Portuguese reads: “A roubar paisagens com um caderno”.)

He is also a member of Urban Sketchers, and was a correspondent for the 2018 symposium, USk Porto.

Mendes sketches in pen and watercolor, with a confidently loose line that rests on a foundation on solid draftsmanship, and a deft touch with watercolor.

He takes on a variety of subjects, and renders his view as he sees it — complete with grafitti on walls.

I enjoy his expressions of sunlight and shadow, and his seemingly casual depictions of complex architectural elements.

 
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Magnolias on Gold Velvet Cloth, Martin Johnson Heade

Oil on canvas, roughy 15 x 24 inches (54 x 77 cm)

Link is to Wikimedia Commons page with access to high a resolution image. There is also a zoomable version on the Google Art Project. The original is in the collection of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Though he also painted landscapes, seascapes and a variety of still life subjects, 19th century American painter Martin Johnson Heade was known in particular for his paintings of birds and flowers.

Head did a number of close up, carefully observed paintings of magnolia blossoms, of which this painting is a beautiful example.

 
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Originally from Sweden and now based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Johannes Helgeson is a concept artist and illustrator workin in the gaming industry.

in his online presence, Helgeson emphasiszes character and costume design. His style can be springy and cartoon-like, brushy and textural or highly rendered — sometimes all at once.

Many of the images on his Artstation site are accompanied by their preliminary drawings.

I particularly like his homage to one of J.C. Leyendecker’s most famous Arrow Shirt advertising illustrations (images above, bottom two).

 
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Aaron Douglas was an American painter, illustrator and muralist active in the early to mid 20th century. He was a notable artist among the group collectively identified as the Harlem Renaissance. Much of his work centered on social issues affecting African Americans and often utilized African motifs, as well as Jazz-age imagery and Cubist and Art Deco elements.

What I find particularly fascinating about his work is his use of somewhat Cubist geometric forms within his composition. He has nuanced these in value and chroma to give the appearance of overlapping translucent layers. He utilizes them to suggest beams of light, circles of radiance, stars and other patterns that fit into his narrative.

[Via Dan Dos Santos on Muddy Colors]

 
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In a Rose Garden, Lawrence Alma Tadema

Oil on panel; roughly 15 x 20 inches (37 x 50 cm). Link is to Wikimedia Commons page from which you can access a larger image. This was sold through Christies in 2012, so I assume it’s currently in a private collection.

The painter reveled in flowers and flower petals, drapery and stone in this idyllic fantasy scene. It features one of Alma Tadema’s characteristic extremely high horizons, practically at the top edge of the composition. There is just enough indication of a land form, and what appear to be tiny suggestions of ships, to break up the straight line of the sea.

 
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It’s sometimes easy to forget that painting and drawing once served the function we now assign to photography of recording places and events for reference or posterity.

Watercolor, a portable medium that could easily be used for location painting, was a favored vehicle for reportage and documentary subjects.

A recently established UK based non-profit project is building an online database of watercolors from collections around the world that document the visual world prior to 1900 and the advent of commonplace photography. The Guardian has a good article offering an overview of the project.

The Watercolor World is their growing trove of pre-1900 watercolors, primarily those depicting an identifiable place or event. Most are full-screen zoomable in high resolution. The site is treating them more as historical reference than as artworks in the usual sense, which is an interestingly different take, but doesn’t prevent viewing them for aesthetic enjoyment.

On the tab for “Watercolors“, you can use a keyword search for artist or type of subject. There are some filters, apparently a list still in development. There is a dedicated tab for “By Location”, but I didn’t find it very usable. You can browse by simply clicking “Show More” repeatedly at the bottom of the page (and being patient enough to keep going for a while).

The most fruitful way to browse may be the “Collections” page, from which you can drill down into the collections of various museums and institutions.

This is a huge trove of works you may not easily find elsewhere, so I will issue my customary Timesink Warning.

(Images above: John Anderson, Arthur Melville, William Page, William Holman Hunt, William Bree, Joseph Nash the elder, Waller Hugh Paton, Thomas Baker, Thomas Baker, Gabriel Carelli, Henry High Clifford, James Maurice Primrose, Arthur Melville)

[Thanks to Carol Roethke for the link and suggestion!]

 
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Antonio Segura Donat is a Spanish artist who often works under the pseudonym Dulk, which he adopted originally for use as a street artist and muralist.

Dulk creates images that blend aspects of magic realism and fantasy, often with themes of animals, and in particular, birds.

He works in a variety of traditional media, paint, pens, pastel and markers, sometimes over silkscreen base prints. He also works in sculpture.

His website has galleries for Art, Illustration and Street art, and there are videos of him working. He has prints and other items for sale in Big Cartel. There is a collection of his work, The dulk; I believe the text is in Spanish, but you can find it from U.S. sources. Some of his original art can be found on Thinkspace.

 
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