Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Indochina Woman #1

May 1, 2010

Indochina Woman #1 By Nguyen Quang Huy 2006

Indochina Girl #86 By Nguyen Quang Huy 2007

Nguyen Quang Huy, one of Hanoi’s finest young artists, was born in 1971 in Ha Tay, in the North of Vietnam.  Huy’s work combines silhouetted forms painted in fields of color with enigmatic writing which is used as a graphic element. His work is mysterious; he does not explicitly spell out its meaning. He consistently uses biomorphic shapes bathed in color and illegible script in his works which range from small works on rice paper to large works on canvas that measure several meters in length and width.

Indochina Girl #30 By Nguyen Quang Huy 2005

I chose these oil on canvas paintings as I when I first saw Indochina Woman #1 I thought it was a black and white photo. I am intrigued by this artist ability.Mr. Huy is a contemporary artist,  I do not understand or properly appreciate some of his more abstract art, however, his realist works are exceptionally fine!! He is a major talent and I hope to see more of his work in the future.


Ming Dynasty Porcelain

April 24, 2010

Ming dynasty, 1368-1644

The Ming Dynasty saw an extraordinary period of innovation in ceramic manufacture. Kilns investigated new techniques in design and shapes, showing a preference for color and painted design. During the Xuande (1425–35), a technical refinement was introduced in the preparation of the cobalt used for underglaze blue decoration. Prior to this the cobalt had been brilliant in color, but with a tendency to bleed in firing; by adding a manganese the color was duller, but the line crisper. Xuande porcelain is now considered among the finest of all Ming output. In addition to these decorative innovations, the late Ming period underwent a dramatic shift towards a market economy exporting porcelain around the world on an unprecedented scale.   In Yung Lo reign (1403-1424), both the potting and glazing techniques improved and wares attained a whiter body and richer blue than those of Yuan dynasty ware. The underglaze blue of the Yung Lo wares and Hsuen Te (1426-1435) wares noted or their rich blue tone. Throughout the Ming dynasty, dragon and phoenix were the most popular decorative motifs on ceramic wares.

“Dragon pattern as the nose of the bottle” China, Porcelain  Xuande (1425–1435)

Chinese style of Ming dynasty Original Size: Mouth 10cm xBottom 17.5cm xHigh 38cm

Private collection Unit Price (RMB): 6,000

The porcelains of the Ming dynasty have attained such recognition in the West that “Ming” has become almost generic for anything ceramic fabricated in China before the twentieth century. While, unhappily, many of the pieces called Ming have no possible claim to that attribution, the porcelains that were produced during the period are among the most beautiful and exciting to emerge from China’s kilns.

Cup, Ming dynasty, Chenghua mark and period (1465–1487), China, Porcelain painted in underglaze blue and over-glaze enamels

In doucai(contrasting colors) decoration, designs were completely outlined in cobalt blue on the unfired vessel, and a few areas of blue wash were painted in as well. After glazing and the usual high-temperature firing, the outlines were filled in with over-glaze red, green, yellow, and aubergine enamels that were then fired at low temperatures. 

Dish, Ming dynasty, Hongzhi mark and period (1488–1505) China Porcelain painted in underglaze blue with yellow, overglaze enamelsDiam. 10 1/4 in. (26 cm)

The technique of adding yellow enamel to previously glazed and fired porcelains and then firing the enamel at a low temperature was probably developed in China during the Xuande period (1426–35). The dish belongs to a series of rather heavily potted dishes with this five-petalled flower as the principal design that originated in the Xuande period and continued to be produced until at least the Jiajing reign (1522–66).

I chose Ming Dynasty Porcelain as it has always intrigued me, it gives me a feeling of age-old wisdom coupled with a sense of tranquility. I find it extraordinarily beautiful, the graceful curves of the decorations and the harmonious colors applied to the dishware and skillfully glazed make for an unusual piece of “pottery”, but more in my mind a fascinating art-form.

Contemporary Wildlife Art

April 15, 2010

Contemporary Art: Art from the 1960’s or 70’s up until this very minute. Contemporary art includes any art created by people since the late sixties to the present. This exhibit will deal with Contemporary Wildlife art by three undeniably talented artist. These works  are easy on the eyes and senses and gives one a feeling of being connected to our animal neighbors. The viewer gets the feeling that they could be right there with the animal, this shows great skill by the artist.

Carl Brenders’ was born in Belgium in 1937. Brenders’  insistence on anatomical perfection in his paintings stems from his philosophy that nature, itself, is perfection: “That is why I paint the way I do with so much detail and so much realism — I want to capture that perfection,” he says.The wildlife images of Brenders’ art are first drawn with pencil sketches; from these sketches his mixed media paintings of watercolor and gouache are completed with a technique he has developed during the last 25 years. His paintings,  devote equal attention to the detail of the wildlife subject and its habitat and the mood created by the light.Double Dare” By Carl Brenders 1983

Eye of the Beholder” By Carl Brenders date unknown

Bev Doolittle was born in California in 1968. Bev Doolittle’s phenomenal success has been a by-product of her desire to work hard at what she loves to do most – create art with meaning. Realistic Western art has conventionally been dominated by oil painting, and Doolittle was instrumental in bringing watercolors into the genre.

Pintos” By Bev Doolittle 1979

Bev Doolittle is one of America’s most collected artists. Her camouflage art is loved by art collectors around the world. Through dedication and sheer force of talent. Doolittle has achieved a status in the art world few contemporary artists  dream of. Crowded with visual detail, haunted by presences seen and unseen, her paintings captivate the viewer on many levels.

Caribou Country” By Bev Doolittle 1986

“I love nature,” Doolittle says. “I try to look beyond the obvious and create unique, meaningful paintings depicting our Western wilderness and its inhabitants. I start with a concept and attempt to convey it through strong design coupled with detailed realism. I want people to think when they look at my paintings…my advice to aspiring artists is simple – paint what you know, paint what you love and always paint for yourself.” For me, success followed my passion. Passion is what drives me.”

Dan Smith is one of America’s foremost wildlife artists. Smith enjoys wide acclaim for his  depictions of landscapes and wildlife as well as his conservation “stamp” artwork. An ardent supporter of wildlife conservation, Smith feels indebted to the natural world that has provided him with the sole inspiration for his award-winning career.

Still Water Crossing” By Daniel Smith 2009

“In my opinion Dan Smith is truly one of  America’s great wildlife painters.” Says John Geraghty, board member of the Autry Museum of the American West, “Viewing the art of Dan Smith I am impressed by the meticulous attention to detail, the purity of realism and conspicuous depth of knowledge in his subject matter…Dan is unique in his approach to painting. He straddles that line of photo-realism with a masterfully painterly style. He has an ability to capture the personality of his subjects at that magic moment in time.”

On Common Ground” By Daniel Smith 2008

Stuart Johnson, owner of Settlers West Gallery in Tucson claims “To take the subject matter beyond the constraints of the photo is something few can do and Dan does it better than anyone else….His animals appear to be right there for the touching. His compositions are terrific.”

Through his art, Dan Smith endorses and aids many conservation efforts.

My love of wildlife and my admiration of these  marvelous pieces of art,  are almost equal. I can only marvel at the skill these artist possess to create these wondrous lifelike paintings.


Early Modern Photography

April 6, 2010

“Migrant Mother” Series By Dorothea Lange March of 1936 in Nipomo, California.

Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-58355

Dorothea Lange (May 26, 1895 – October 11, 1965) was an influential American documentary photojournalist, best known for her Depression-era work for the Farm Security Administration. Lange’s photographs humanized the tragic consequences of the Great Depression and profoundly influenced the development of photography documentation. “Lange’s stirring images of migrant farmers and the unemployed have become universally recognized symbols of the Great Depression.”^3

“From 1935 to 1939, Lange’s work for the Resettlement Administration and Farm Security Administration brought the plight of the poor and forgotten — particularly sharecroppers, displaced farm families, and migrant workers — to public attention. Distributed free to newspapers across the country, her poignant images became icons of the era.”^1

I chose this frame of the  “Migrant Mother” series as I had seen it before many years ago, in an old magazine that my mother had. It struck a chord with me then, as it does now.  It is not that they are poor, dirty and hungry, these things are bad enough. The fact that they don’t even have 4 sides to their tent seriously moves me.  Art illicit s feelings, good ones and bad ones, and in this photo for me, sad ones.

Photography underwent huge changes in the early part of the twentieth century. This can be said of every other type of visual art, but, unique to photography is the transformed perception of the medium. It moved from being a credible documentation of  objective evidence for  science from 1850-1900. Photographers struggled for artistic recognition throughout the century. In Paris’s Universal Exposition of 1859,  photography and “art” (painting, engraving, and sculpture) were displayed together for the first time; photography then slowly transformed into an artistic practice by the 1920s

In the sciences photographs had credibility as people could document other people, places, and events. Images too rapid for the human eye to observe could be photographed, this allowed for the  enhancement, or even creation of  new forms of scientific study. As shown in Edweard Muybridge,Thoroughbred bay mare “Annie G.” galloping, Human and Animal Locomotion, plate 626, 1887

In the arts, photography was valued for its replication of exact details, and for its reproduction of artworks for publication. Since art 1s considered the product of imagination and skill, how could a photograph made with an instrument and  chemicals, not a paintbrush and canvas, ever be considered  real art?  “Elite art world figures like Alfred Stieglitz—promoted the late nineteenth-century style of “art photography,” and produced low-contrast, warm-toned images like The Terminal that highlighted the medium’s potential for originality.”^2

Photography is still documenting people, places,  and events. With  improvements to photographic instruments coupled with  education of the photographer, the art of photography cannot be denied. Photo contest for things such as originality, style and placement are everywhere. Photograph exhibits are shown in all major cities covering everything from landscapes to nudes to the stars of the universe. The subjects and styles of photography are just as varied as the visual art of coating surfaces with paint for an  artistic effect. This picture “Tuona – Thunder” is amazing in every detail. Even though it is a photograph it very much reminds me of an Impressionistic painting.

Tuona-Thunder By Cavagna Ottavio, Milano Italy 2005



3. Photography

Impressionism-Love it or Hate it?

March 26, 2010

I have a hard time stating “I love Impressionism” but I do believe after studying it I have become a lukewarm fan. Some people go totally gooey over Impressionist art while others are left totally cold, I am somewhere in between. Impressionist art varies greatly from one artist to an other, and  I can say that I have serious preferences for particular works within this era of art.

For example I love this work by Berthe Morisot. The painting is not overly detailed, and  the eye is drawn to the middle first and then, freed to take in the entire room.

Julie Manet and Her Greyhound Laerte, 1893
Oil on canvas
Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris

On the other hand I do not care for this work by  Pierre Auguste Renoir. The painting is  so jumbled and stuffed with activity that I find it difficult to focus.

Le Moulin de la Galette 1870 Musée d’Orsay

With Impressionist art, the method and technique of the painter is sometimes considered more important than the content of the painting. Impressionist artist tended to use sketchy, loose brushstrokes and lines, as well as thick applications of paint and dabs of colors. When viewed Impressionist paintings blend together the fusion of several colors to create a subject. The artist was trying to capture a fleeting moment in time. Subjects are of the here and now, not from the past, or of grand people or things. Most subjects are outdoors and reflect pleasant moments and the amusements of the middle and upper class usually outdoors. At museums a viewer can see dozens of pictures of people strolling, standing by the sea, sailing on a lake, country scenes of rolling hills, mills and other landscapes.

Art changed dramatically in the latter half of 19th century. The focus shifted away from the subject matter and more toward new and unusual techniques. Of course the very precise exacting lines and techniques required for Baroque art are probably technically, more difficult, than the hazy, simple more lovely form of Impressionism.

For example look at this Baroque ceiling painting! This is more than artwork it is a creation unto itself.  The detail is fantastic and the scope of the painting is awe-inspiring.

Fresco with Trompe l’oeuil – Andrea Pozzo -Jesuit Church Vienna,

Gloria di Sant’Ignazio, Roma, Sant’Ignazio, 1685

Truth be told, Baroque works such as this inspire me far more than any Impressionist paintings. But as most would be far to grand to have a place in my house, I will hang my walls with more modern works (or at least prints) including those from the Impressionist era.

Surprise Symphony #94

March 6, 2010

Franz Joseph Hayden Classical composer (1732-1809)

“That will make the ladies scream.”

Joseph Haydn, speaking of the ‘surprise’ in the ‘Surprise’ Symphony No.94; quoted in A Gyrowetz, Memoirs, 1848

To hear Josef Haydn, Symphony no. 94 Surprise right-click on the link above.

Haydn while in London composed this symphony in 1791. The first performance took place in  London with Haydn leading the orchestra.

Haydn’s  personality produced a somewhat droll musical humor, as in the “surprise” in the slow movement of his Symphony #94.

Franz Joseph Haydn  was a leading composer of the classical period.  Haydn was affectionately referred to as “Papa” Haydn, reflecting his influence on younger composers as well as his central role in the development of two of the most important genres of the time, the symphony and the string quartet.  Therefore Haydn was also known as the “Father of the symphony” and “Father of the string quartet”. Haydn like his music, was warm and heartfelt, extremely intelligent, and very well controlled.

The name “Franz” was not used in the composer’s lifetime; scholars, along with an increasing number of music publishers and recording companies, now use the more accurate form of his name,  “Joseph Haydn”.

A life-long resident of Austria, Haydn spent most of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Eszterházy family on their remote estate. Being isolated from other composers and trends in music until the later part of his long life, he was, as he put it, “forced to become original”.

Joseph Haydn had two brother, the first being Michael Haydn, himself a highly regarded composer, and his second brother, Johann Evangelist Haydn,was  a tenor singer.  Haydn was born in 1732 in Rohrau, Austriato to Matthias Haydn and Maria Koller. Neither parent could read music.

Haydn’s style had a  major influence on the development of European music we can  see  tension between the older  style of the Baroque and the more popular style of the late eighteenth century. Haydn was a compulsive worker, his work was known and appreciated far beyond his native Austria. His incredible musical creations included  one hundred-four symphonies,  fifty concertos, and dozens of string quartets and  masses.

Tracing Haydn’s work over the six decades in which it was produced, one sees a gradual but steady increase in complexity and musical sophistication. These changes in his  music developed as Haydn learned from his own experience and that of his colleagues. Over this 60 years of labor we can see how his music has adapted to the rise of the middle class. More complex accessible music was wanted and he definitely provided it.
An important change in Haydn’s contract permitted him to publish his compositions ” without prior authorization from his employer.” This  encouraged Haydn to rekindle his career as a composer of “pure” music. The change made itself felt most dramatically in 1781, when Haydn published the six string quartet of Opus 33. Announcing (in a letter to potential purchasers) that they were written in “a new and completely special way”.
Charles Rosen has argued that “this assertion on Haydn’s part was not just sales talk, but meant quite seriously; and he points out a number of important advances in Haydn’s compositional technique that appear in these quartets,” advances – that mark the advent of the Classical style in full bloom. These include a fluid form of phrasing, in which each motif emerges from the previous one without interruption, the practice of letting accompanying material evolve into melodic material, in which each instrumental part maintains its own integrity. These traits continue in the many quartets that Haydn wrote after Opus 33.
These changes make the music have a much broader appeal to the general population.
Rosen calls his “popular style”, a way of composition that, with unprecedented success, created music having great popular appeal but retaining a learned and rigorous musical structure. An important element of the popular style was the frequent use of folk or folk-like material. Haydn took care to use this material in appropriate locations, such as the endings of sonata expositions or the opening themes of finales.  Haydn’s popular style can be heard in virtually all of his later work, including the twelve London symphonies, the late quartets and piano trios, and the two late oratorios.

Haydn’s return to Vienna around 1795 seemed to mark the last turning point in Haydn’s career. Although his musical style appeared to  evolve little, his intentions as a composer changed. While he had been a servant, and later a busy entrepreneur, Haydn wrote his works quickly and in profusion, with frequent deadlines. As a rich man, Haydn now felt he had the privilege of taking his time and writing for posterity. This is reflected in the subject matter of The Creation and The Seasons, which address  weighty topics like the meaning of life and the purpose of humankind. change in Haydn’s approach was important in the history of music.

I chose this piece of music as I have always been an admirer of the “Surprise symphony #94”. I was much mistaken in thinking it was a composition of Beethoven’s. I was delighted to find out the composer was not only a genius, he was well thought of and considered a “father” figure. I did not actually “scream” from surprise while listening, but it does catch you by surprise and makes you jump! I love it!

The Astronomer

February 25, 2010

The Astronomer (De astronoom)

By Johannes Vermeer 1668 oil on canvas (50 x 45 cm.)

Famous Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer was born in 1632 the son of Reynier Jansson and of Dignum Balthasars. Also know as Jan Vermeer he entered into an unhappy marriage with Catharina Bolnes, fathered 13 children, was a well known artist in his time but due to the national political upheavals of the time he died broke at the young age of 43 in 1675.  Vermeer left his wife and 11 living children impoverished. Blessedly, they were all taken in by Catharina’s mother.

Vermeer captured his likeness by studying it in a mirror. Walter Liedtke, writes: “The angle of the head [of the figure on the left], the raised left (that is, right) hand, and the more arbitrary arrangement of the other arm are consistent with this reading. But more striking still is the handling of light in this area, which differs from that of the other figures and, as a result, makes it seem as if a mirror or mirror-like image has been inserted into a painting by one of Honthorst’s Amsterdam or Delft admirers.” .

Vermeer specialized in domestic interiors, portraits and city views. His entire life was spent in Delft, where rumor has it, he possibly was trained by Leonaert Bramer. Vermeer had a 6 year apprenticeship with an unknown artist in an unknown town.

The Astronomer is a nicely preserved picture from 1668-69. It is characteristic of Vermeer’s style. The Astronomer is currently housed in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.

Vermeer had a great interest in optical effects; you can see how he achieved a nice balance of colors and simple shapes. This painting is a closed interior scene, notice how the light flows from left to right highlighting the colors and shapes.  Vermeer experimented ceaselessly with specific techniques to render the effects of natural illumination; the astronomer’s profession is shown by the celestial globe. This version is believed to by Jodocus Hondius. There is a book on the table supposedly by Metius’s Institutiones Astronomicae Geographicae. The volume is open to Book III, a section advising the astronomer to seek “inspiration from God” and the painting on the wall is of Moses. Moses represents knowledge, wisdom and science. Notice the maps, globe, rich robe he is wearing and beautiful cloth covering the table. These rich interior scenes were not of Vermeer’s actual home, he could not afford the luxuries exhibited and had to borrow the props. The viewer can tell from the things in the room that this gentleman is a man of education and wealth, (interestingly the man purported to be in the painting was not wealthy or the receiver of a higher education).

Portrayals of scientists were a favorite topic in 17th century Dutch painting. Vermeer’s works included both this astronomer and later The Geographer. Both are believed to portray the same man, possibly Anton Van Leeuwenhoek. Antony van Leeuwenhoek was a tradesman of Delft, Holland. He possessed no fortune or university degree, and only spoke Dutch. This should have been enough to exclude him from the scientific community of his time completely. But with skill, curiosity and an open mind, Leeuwenhoek succeeded in making some of the most important discoveries in the history of biology. His researches opened up the world of microscopic life to the scientific community. Much of the art of the Baroque era was fashioned to coincide with the advancements of scientific knowledge. As Science found its place in the world it became more popular to exhibit famous scientists and their discoveries in all manner of art.

Galileo Galilei considered the father of Modern Astronomy

I chose The Astronomer instead of my earlier favorite The Geographer because as I was reading about Vermeer’s work I learned about multiple “missing” paintings. There was one called Jupiter, Mars, and Venus. As I like to  marvel at the stars in the universe it caught my attention and I looked closer at The Astronomer. I found it to be more appealing to me then The Geographer. I love the way the light enters the room and illuminates the interior. The painting is done beautiful muted colors, basic. It is a person dedicated to the work at hand; he appears to have time to dwell on the task before him. To me there is nothing negative, frantic or unappealing in this painting.  He is a just a man employing and enjoying the sunlight coming thru the window while he works.


The Large Turf

February 9, 2010

Dürer, Albrecht

The Large Turf
1503 (180 kB); Watercolor and gouache on paper, 41 x 32 cm; Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna
Albrecht Dürer
[German Painter and Engraver, 1471-1528]

Born: 21 May 1471, Nuernberg Married: 1494, Agnes Frey, Nuernberg Died: 6 April 1528, Nuernberg

Albrecht Dürer was one of the greatest Northern Renaissance artists.
He was known as an important painter and was widely noted for his graphic works. Many artists in Europe admired and copied his original and impressive prints.  His works included religious and mythological scenes.  He also created maps and images of exotic animals.

Mr.  Dürer’s prints  still are known for their precision. The third son of  a Hungarian goldsmith,  Albrecht was trained as a metal worker at a young age. He applied the same  exacting methods required in this delicate work to his woodcuts and engravings. His famous Apocalypse series holds a Gothic feel.

Between 1505 and 1507,  Albrecht traveled to Italy. In Venice he met the great master Giovanni Bellini and other artists, and he obtained an important commission for a painting, the Madonna of the Rose Garlands 1506,  for the German Merchants’ Foundation. Having worked with and observed some of the greatest Italian Renaissance artists of all time he was able to merge some of their techniques with his own and create some true masterpieces. Beginning as early as 1512, Dürer became portraitist to the rich and famous  including Emperor Maximilian I,  and Christian II of Denmark,  .“In The Uffizi: A Guide to the Gallery (Venice: Edizione Storti, 1980, p. 57) Umberto Fortis comments that Durer’s journeys enabled him “to fuse the Gothic traditions of the North with the achievements in perspective, volumetric and plastic handling of forms, and color of the Italians in an original synthesis which was to have great influence with the Italian Mannerists.” /

Albrecht Dürer

Mr.Dürers art is “Humanistic” His focus is on the individual.

“his observations of nature, and his awareness of his own individual potential demonstrate the intellectually inquiring spirit of the Renaissance.”

“Durer expressed his theories on proportion in The Four Books on Human Proportions, published posthumously in 1528″

This painting “The Large Turf” appeals to me for a couple of  reasons:  first, it is a relief from the portraits, nudes, and black and white copper engravings that Mr Dürer is so famous for creating.  Second, I  thoroughly enjoy outdoor scenes, especially greenery, this time of year when our world is so often in black and white.

Hello from Amy Wright

February 1, 2010

This blog is part of the requirements for my Art/Music/Theatre appreciation class.  This photo is in Hawaii the photo was taken on Jan 15th 2010. I Loved Hawaii and will go back every chance I get!

January 27, 2010

So- It took me no less then 3 hours to figure out how to “create” this blog and get something posted! I am not computer illiterate but this was an unexpected assignment and quite a  stretch for me. Well, as they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger-or maims you for life! LOL Now it is done I am looking forward to using it!