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As a new painter, or a painter looking for a change of direction, when you think of landscape paintings you probably think of Bob Ross – an array of wonderful meadows, valleys and talent-filled canvasses tinted with a hint of personality. His paintings instil a sense of calm and happiness, and at the heart of many landscape artists is that inner serenity in the face of chaos. Traditional landscape paintings are also without anger or hatred and are instead steeped in calmness.

A range of Landscapes

There are other forms of landscape aside from the traditional ones that we’d usually think of. Fantasy landscapes where the fields of purple contrast the skies of green, or the stormy skies that show a brewing sense of chaos, as well as the dramatic western landscapes. Whatever your preference, Mark Mitchell Paintings have a top tip on how you can make your landscape paintings that much better.

After learning about all the different shades of green, painting from photographic references, being adventurous and maybe creating a series, your paintings still aren’t perfect. Why? Well, you might be trying too hard.

Painting with Feeling

The first and foremost thing to remember is that it’s a painting, not a photograph. Yes, some artists have the uncanny ability to capture every detail and create a painting that can be mistaken for a photograph. But art is about emotion, not just about realism, so instead of focusing on capturing every little detail, you should be given the observer a sense of what it is. The objects and the overall scene should be recognisable, but the true test of a painting is the emotion behind it, so focusing on capturing the feeling of a landscape is arguably more important than making it look exactly like what it is.

Take Claude Monet as an example. Monet is widely regarded as a great landscape painter and is arguably one of the finest. Monet’s pieces aren’t what you would regard as intricate or photo-perfect, instead, they capture the feeling of summer’s or a day at the beach or a beautiful and flowery garden.

You can check out some of our landscape paintings at Mark Mitchell Paintings & Drawings, including pieces by George Weissbort and Terry Watts.

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An impressive and highly skilled style of painting and sculpture, nestled beneath the wide umbrella of contemporary art, photorealism and hyperrealism both derived from the late twentieth century when artists started to use very different techniques and styles to achieve lifelike pieces based on photographic imagery.

Many art dealers, artists, and curators muddle the two, because unlike photorealism, hyperrealism has not been given an official definition or recognised as an established movement, which is surprising as the works of both can be vastly different from one another and are valuable in their own right.

We have defined the key differences and distinct qualities of the two movements for clarification.

Photorealism

Photorealism is a replication of a photograph that is so precise and detailed that the naked eye would find it difficult to (and at times, impossible to) spot the difference between an original photograph and a photorealist painting.

Hyperrealism

Hyperrealism is used in the art world to describe those who were influenced by the photorealists. Hyperrealism was devised by a group of independent artists from Europe and the United States who took the idea of replicating photographs and began creating sculptures or paintings that resembled a photograph from a distance, but when up close, were clearly nothing of the sort.

A comparison

Hyperrealist paintings are filled with far more character, narrative, and emotion that photorealist pieces, depicting their subjects as living creatures and capturing a reality, as opposed to simply mimicking the exact look and feel of a photograph. In contrast to the photorealists, hyperrealists were less copyist than their predecessors. They would take all the precision and technical skill required in order to create an artistic replica of a photograph and then elevate it to captivate emotion, movement, and fluidity within the piece. They could not understand why one would simply want to replicate a photograph – why not better it or change it somehow?

Both movements, although based on the same principle, hold so much value in their own right. If you are interested in exploring works from either movement, we would recommend taking a look at the work of John Baeder, Robert Bechtle, Chuck Close and Don Eddy who were champions of the photorealist movement, and Alyssa Monks, Gina Heyer and Rob Hefferan who were key in defining the hyperrealist offset of the former.

Whether you are looking for something photorealist, hyperrealist, or something completely awry, we have plenty of works of art to choose from, whatever your artistic preference. Contact us to find out more or purchase one of our pieces today.

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Moving home with valuable paintings can be stressful. However, you can make sure that your treasured artworks arrive safe and undamaged by packing them correctly.

Have Your Paintings Appraised Prior to Moving

When planning your move, you should arrange to have pieces of high-value artwork appraised professionally to establish their current market and replacement values. This will enable you to take out adequate insurance cover for your artwork so that you’re protected in the event of theft or damage during transit.

It’s also a good idea to take photos of your paintings to accompany your home inventory to avoid confusion should anything go missing.

Packing Your Paintings

There are two different methods of packing artworks, depending on whether they are framed or not.

Framed paintings

An antique frame can be almost as valuable as the picture it contains. Framed paintings should therefore always be packed in special crates to prevent jarring and to shield the contents from damage by other adjacent items that may move around in transit.

You can obtain gallery-grade crates from specialist art dealers or you could obtain a custom-built wooden crate to fit the piece’s precise dimensions if you prefer. Before crating your paintings, cover the front of each piece with a sheet of acid-free glassine paper to prevent damage to the paint from moisture and dust.

Unframed paintings

Removing paintings from their frames can make them easier to transport and leaves them less open to damage.

Always wear cotton gloves when you are handling the painting so that the media remains undamaged. Lay each painting on its back on a sheet of cardboard, and then place a sheet of acid-free tissue paper over the front. Use small pieces of tape to secure the paper in place, sticking the tape to the reverse of the painting. Sandwich the painting between several more sheets of cardboard to form a sturdy foundation that won’t bend. Wrap the cardboard with tape to hold the package securely. Finish by placing the packaged picture between two sheets of corrugated cardboard and secure it with more tape.

Moving Your Paintings

Oil paint will melt in the excessive heat, so it is advisable to place valuable oils in storage until the cooler months of the year when it is safer to move them.

For more advice on how to keep your paintings safe during house moves, why not have a chat with the experts at Mark Mitchell Paintings and Drawings?

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There are far fewer examples of paintings that depict the spoken word between subjects than those which capture the moments of silence that engulf them. Perhaps this is due to the wider time frame that momentary silence offers, or the underlying drama of what remains unspoken.

Certainly, there is less obvious intimacy to be found in a painting of someone talking than in what is otherwise expressed through the eyes and body. Although pictures are not the ideal medium through which conversations are immortalised, there is a time and place where they can come alive on the artist’s canvas.

Capturing the Casual Moment

Without a doubt, the photograph, with its ability to instantly capture a moment of conversation, has an advantage over the traditional artist’s tools of the trade; however, that need not deter the artist from adding a further perspective to that moment. The paintings of modern artists such as Michele De Campo and Jack Vettriano show us how moments of physically close casual contact provide an often overlooked backdrop to daily life. In doing this, they take us into the stories behind those lives.

Although many paintings appear to exist in silence, there is clearly either the expectation or aftermath of conversation instilled in their storyline. Both De Campo and Vettriano created paintings depicting two people sitting together on a bench. There is apparent silence in these moments, but both are clearly engaged in conversations, or at least the thoughts that precede or follow them.

Deciphering the Pregnant Pause

Perhaps the greatest master of the conversation piece was Edward Hopper. Stretching the pause ahead of a line being delivered, as in his ‘Office At Night’, is a hallmark of many of his observations of human communication, or perhaps the breakdown of it.

Likewise in what is probably his best-known piece, ‘Nighthawks’, four characters are momentarily thrown together in a time and place where the suggestion of stifled conversation hangs uneasily in the air. Each has no doubt a story to tell and a destination in mind, but in that captive moment, none may find a natural way to speak of it.

Whether you want a piece that speaks to you or is centred on speaking, you can view many works of art on our website. Contact us today to find out more.

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In recent years more and more people have taken a shine to the art of sneaking around at night and painting your chosen image onto brick walls. From palaeolithic cave paintings to Banksy, the art of graffiti has been pretty popular for many years.


Parietal Art

Parietal art is also known as cave paintings and is often referred to as the original form of graffiti. This palaeolithic form of art is dated to about 40,000 years ago, and much like the graffiti of today consisted merely of images drawn onto the wall. Many different versions of this kind of art pop up often throughout history, found also in the Catacombs of Rome or at Pompeii.

Cornbread

Cornbread marks the beginning of modern graffiti and street art. It is the nickname of Darryl McCray, who is regarded as the father of modern graffiti. The story goes that Cornbread fell in love with a girl called Cynthia Custuss, and so in order to win her affections he wrote Cornbread loves Cynthia all over his local area.

Blek Le Rat and Stencils

After years of modern graffiti being centred on ‘tagging’ your name across many creative places, Xavier Prou came onto the scene. As Blek Le Rat, he created art on the streets of Paris and became known as the father of stencil graffiti. Inspired by the work of early New York graffiti, Blek Le Rat set about taking his art to the public of Paris, often using themes of social consciousness. It is of popular opinion that Banksy was heavily influenced by Blek Le Rat’s work.

Banksy

Banksy transformed street art and graffiti in the 21st century. He started as a freehand graffiti artist in the 90’s within the famous underground graffiti scene in Bristol. By 2000, he had switched to stencil art, making him one of the most talked about graffiti artists in the art and wider world. His artwork is now worth a small fortune, and demand for his work is high.
Are you interested in learning more about art, or discovering Mark Mitchell‘s collection? Contact us today.

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Whether it’s skies or shorelines, meadows or mountains, landscape art has been one of the world’s most-loved genres since Dutch realist artists got to grips with it in the 17th century.

In this blog post, we will take a look at some of history’s most famous landscape artists and how their craft became so popular.

Claude Monet

One of the world’s most famous painters, Monet is the name most associated with French Impressionist art.

Born in Paris in 1840, his signature technique was to paint a similar scene over and over again to account for the changing seasons and the impact of light.

His works portraying the River Thames (1899 onwards), Rouen Cathedral (1892 onwards) and Poplars (1891 onwards) all reflect his deep consideration of the effect of optics, and it has often been noted that the vibrancy of colour used had an influence on the development of abstract art.

John Constable

Across the Channel in Britain, Constable’s work painting landscapes has long been honoured with exhibitions in prestigious galleries like The National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Focusing on the charm of the English rural idylls near his birthplace in Suffolk, Constable once said: “I should paint my own places best… painting is but another word for feeling.” His famous works include Boatbuilding Near Flatford Mill (1815) and The Hay Wain (1821).

J.M.W. Turner

Known as the painter who sent landscape art to the same heights of prestige as history painting, Turner is one of the genre’s most revered names. His unrivalled ability to capture the influence of optics on a scene gave him the moniker “the painter of light”, while he also acted as a natural source of inspiration for Claude Monet.

Known for works like Burning of the House of Lords and Commons (1835) and the striking watercolour Dawn after the Wreck (1841), when he died aged 76 in Chelsea in 1851, he left 300 of his paintings and thousands of his watercolours and drawings to The National Gallery.

If you are interested in landscape art and want to find out more, please contact us today.

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It’s a commonly held belief that you have to be rich to own your own original artworks. It isn’t true – you can buy gorgeous original pieces of art at all price points – and an investment in an original artwork is one which could pay real dividends in the future.

Keeping Costs Down

If you’d like to own an original artwork but it feels like it’s out of your budget, take a look at some works by smaller local artists. It’s often possible to pick up works for a steal that are only likely to grow in value over the time that you own them.

You can also look for numbered prints; often cheaper than buying the original piece of art, they’re nonetheless produced in a limited, numbered run and therefore will retain their value relatively well. A print may also be easier to care for and store than, for instance, an oil painting.

Short Term Value

The biggest short-term value of a piece of art is its aesthetic value – unlike another investment which might sit in a bank account earning interest, you get to display your investment proudly for all to see.

There’s no other type of investment that you can enjoy being around every day without it losing value – jewellery or classic cars can be damaged by use, but a painting or artwork should be fine, hung on your wall.

Long Term Value

As long as you’ve invested wisely, your art will increase with value, and whether you choose to sell it in a decade or 50 years, you’ll often get much more for it than you paid. Of course, the aesthetic value might outweigh that, and you might decide to keep your original artwork for the rest of your life!

Buy Original Art

Are you looking for a piece of original art to hang in your home? Take a look at the beautiful pieces we have available by artists including Martin Swan, Stephen Rose and George Weissbort. If you’re interested in seeing a work in person or finding out more about what we do, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Paintings have been around since the days of prehistoric cave paintings by early man; it’s a way to express ourselves and tell a story in a way that words just can’t express. Throughout the history of painting as an art form, there have been several revolutionary paintings that sparked new art movements or invoked a new way of thinking about the world. We’ve compiled five of these revolutionary works of art for you.

Paul Cézanne – Mont Sainte-Victoire (1902)

At the infancy of the 20th-century, this masterpiece of complexity mirroring innovation was created by the famous painter Cézanne. A beautiful mountain with each brush stroke tells its own story as it sits with the greatest intellectual revolutions of the time to mirror true innovation in beauty, picking apart the process of simply looking and revealing a whole new world of complexities laid out in experience.

Pablo Picasso – Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907)

Picasso is known for his beautiful paintings, but Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is an endlessly provocative masterpiece based on the ‘primitive’ paintings he was inspired by while painting. Erupting flesh from blue crystal cavern and masks as faces, the shapes are bursting out of the normal confines of space, while the jagged edges and seemingly endless flow translate into a sort of divine madness bursting with surrealism before there was a surrealism movement.

Henri Matisse – The Dance (1909-1910)

The Dance is the painting of a revolution. Never seen before, this abstract blaze of figure painting from primitive passions becomes a timeless classic of sophistication masked with wildness. A whole new way of painting, this timeless masterpiece is a revolution to the abstract movement and a tribute to all of art history.

Georges Braque – Man With a Guitar (1911-1912)

Man With a Guitar was created back when Braque and Picasso were exploring a whole new universe of art, creating something never seen before – cubism. Cubism is anarchy at its finest, the rejection of conventional art and even of the expectations that art should portray the visible surfaces of our world and life. Cubism portrays perceptions rather than reality, giving it a wonderful and rich history.

Kazimir Malevich – Black Square (1915)

Incredibly simple and with an extreme sense of bafflement and wonderment married together, the Black Square portrays exactly what its title suggests. An unforgettable icon of its time, the black square symbolised some unnamed revolution of a somewhat religious vision.

Here at Mark Mitchell Paintings there are many 20th-century works available.

All paintings are revolutionary, in a way. They show you someone’s feelings, desires and innermost thoughts. Step into the wonderful world of art with Mark Mitchell Paintings and contact us today.

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In art as in life, the 20th Century was one in which things moved quickly; the world of modern art exploded and art became a much greater part of the average person’s life.

We’ve taken a look at three of the 20th Century’s biggest art movements d what they were all about:

Modernism

Modernism actually began towards the end of the 19th Century, but it blossomed in the 20th. Fauvism in France and Die Brucke in Germany championed the use of non-representational colour, figurative painting and emotional expressionism, leading on from the impressionism of the 19th Century, in which the ‘impression’ of the subject was prioritised over exact realism.

Eventually, modernism broke up into many different movements, including Cubism (practised by Picasso) which introduced multiple viewpoints into a two-dimensional image.

Surrealism

Based on the psychology of Sigmund Freud, surrealism explored the hidden subtexts of dreams and the subconscious through the medium of art. It quickly became one of the most memorable art movements of the century thanks to the wacky subject matter and installations it spawned. They were instantly recognisable.

One of the biggest names in surrealism was Salvador Dali, who remains one of the last century’s most famous artists to this day.

Pop Art

Inspired by the brashness of commercial imagery and the growing consumerism of the developed world, Pop Art sprung onto the scene in the 1960s. Andy Warhol was one of the original artists involved in the Pop Art movement and became one of the first bonafide celebrity artists at the same time, as famous for his nightlife and girlfriends as he was for what he produced.

Warhol also moved the focus of art away from its production in some ways, often employing assistants to help create his works and for the first time, employing methods such as silk-screening which meant that art was easy to reproduce, and not necessarily by the original artist.

If you’re interested in purchasing original artwork for your home, contact us to find out more about the paintings and drawings that we have on offer right now.

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While we’re often taught it’s what’s on the inside that counts, the relationship between a frame and the picture resting inside of it is a great deal more nuanced than that. The adage, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ also springs to mind, however for most of us, passing this sort of judgement is almost unavoidable. And so it can be for picture frames too, which often are relegated to the realm of the tattered or tacky dust jacket, concealing an uninspired text. Instead they should be thought of in terms of the elegant bookcase, proudly displaying the fine works within them.

A carefully chosen and customised frame will elevate even the most generic print. A good framer will consider personal style, the picture’s intended location and the materials that will best enhance the original image. The works collected by Mark have benefited from sharing gallery space with Mark’s father, Paul Mitchell, an expert in antique and reproduction frames. Each picture has therefore been framed with the utmost care and attention to each work’s aesthetic, alongside its historical context.

The Classic Frame

The ornate china ginger jar, and the rich autumnal colours of the slightly overripe fruit featured in Bale’s still life lend a sense of wealth and fullness to the scene. The water gilded frame is a replica of an original French 19th century frame, and complements the lush golden tones of the pears and the rim of the Chinese jar. The complete work has a sense of opulence and historic dignity.

The Minimal Frame

By contrast the clean white framing of Weissbort’s depiction of downtime in his studio seems rather modest. However the delicate gilded detailing of the gessoed frame allows the subtle textures of the scene to shine through. With no bold frame to fight against, the viewer is drawn in to observe the subtle shadows and ridges of a crumpled napkin, the hint of an ice cube in a glass of Pepsi. The touches of colour on the bottles and ashtray shine out from the freshly presented scene.

The framing of a picture can be the final step in the process of acquiring a new work, and to some may come as an afterthought. However, when the nature of the artwork is understood, and the frame chosen with sensitivity and knowledge, it can emphasise the unique qualities and subtle nuances of every image. View our full range of framed works on our website or contact us directly today.

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