Archive for the ‘Authors’ Category
Rembrandt van Rijn was a Dutch painter and printmaker. He was one of the greatest painters in European history. His most famous works include a group portrait called The Night Watch and his numerous self-portraits. Because he painted himself as honestly as possible, his self-portraits as a whole create a unique and intimate autobiography.
Rembrandt van Rijn was born in 1606 in what is now the Netherlands. Even in school, he was interested in painting. He was an apprentice to two successful painters before he started his own workshop where he taught students of his own. Rembrandt’s first important work was painted for the court of The Hague. The prince noticed his painting and began to commission portraits from Rembrandt. The artist used this success to move his business to the growing city of Amsterdam where he had great success as a portrait painter. Important people used to visit his studio to see how the great artist worked and to purchase pieces for their own collections.
Rembrandt met his wife, Saskia, in Amsterdam. They married and made a home in Broadway, the Jewish quarter. He often asked his Jewish neighbors to model for him when he painted scenes from the Bible. Rembrandt also placed himself, his friends, and his family into these historic paintings. Some historians think of these cameos as “a kind of diary, an account of moments in his own life.” Some important qualities of Rembrandt’s paintings are his use of high contrast light and shadow called chiaroscuro, the informality of his subjects, and a deeply felt compassion for mankind regardless of wealth and age.
Rembrandt and his wife suffered several personal tragedies including the deaths of three children. Only their fourth child, Titus, survived to adulthood. Saskia herself died soon after her son’s birth. Rembrandt’s drawings of his wife on her death bed are among his most moving work.
Rembrandt made an excellent living as a painter, but he didn’t manage his money well. He lived beyond his means, bought expensive art, prints, and rarities. To pay his debts, he was forced to sell these treasures and his own paintings. A list of those sales gave historians an idea of how Rembrandt lived. His collections include master drawings, busts from the Roman Empire, and suits of Japanese armor. After the sale, Rembrandt moved to a more modest home and started an art dealership with his son.
Rembrandt died in 1669.
In his lifetime, Rembrandt created more than seventy self-portraits. Some show the artist posing in historical costumes or making faces at himself. His oil paintings trace his maturation from an uncertain young man, to a very successful portrait painter, to his troubled but powerful old age. As a whole, the self-portraits give a remarkably clear picture of the man, his appearance and his psychology, as revealed by his richly aged face. In a letter, Rembrandt explained what he hoped to achieve through his art, “The greatest and most natural emotion.”
Rembrandt’s work can be seen today in museums in America, England, France, Germany, Russia, Sweden, and, of course, the Netherlands. The most important collection is in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. His home in Amsterdam was also preserved as the Rembrandt House Museum.
OMG, the SELFIES, you guys! When “selfie” was declared the 2013 word of the year, I read several so-so jokes about Rembrandt’s being the original. Whatevs, I didn’t appreciate that at first. After even the slightest scrutiny though, I see what the jokesters were saying. If you take a second to see past the change in fashion, you will recognize Rembrandt as a contemporary. His painting are so fresh. His drawings are so clear. His observations of himself are so beautifully honest. You can see the man. You can feel who he is. Despite the hundreds of years that separate us. That is mastery.
Portrait of Rembrandt at top drawn by yours truly, Rama Hughes. Etching and oil painting by the master himself.
Marc Chagall was named “the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century.” As a pioneer of Modernism, he was always experimenting with new ideas and new methods of expression. Some of his most famous works include The Birthday, I and the Village, and Over the Town.
He was born in 1887 to a poor Jewish family in Russia. He was the eldest of nine children. Chagall began to display his artistic talent while studying at a secular Russian school. He began studying art seriously with Leon Bakst in St. Petersburg in 1907. It was at this time that his distinct style began to emerge. His paintings were about his childhood, a focus that would interest him for the rest of his life.
In 1910, Chagall, moved to Paris. There he painted some of his most famous paintings. He used strong and bright colors to portray the Jewish village in a dreamlike state. Fantasy, nostalgia, and religion came together in Chagall’s otherworldly images.
Chagall visited Russia in 1914 and couldn’t go home because of the outbreak of World War I. He made a home in Vitebsk, Russia. He founded an art school there and, in 1918, he was appointed Commissar for Art. In 1920, Chagall moved to Moscow and designed stage sets for the State Jewish Chamber Theater.
In 1931, Chagall travelled to Israel with his wife, Bella, and his daughter, Ida. While there, Chagall began a series of illustrations to the Bible. He travelled, painted, and drew in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Safed. The country left a vivid impression on him. When he returned to Paris, the light and landscape of Israel were echoed in his work.
During World War II Chagall fled to the United States. Through art, he expressed his horror over the Nazi rise to power. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, gave him a retrospective in 1946.
Chagall settled permanently in France in 1948 but he continued to travel and exhibit his artwork around the world. In 1951 he returned to Israel and made his first sculptures. Then he travelled to Greece and Italy. During the 1960s, he created stained-glass windows for the synagogue of the Hadassah University Medical Center, Jerusalem; He painted a ceiling for the Paris Opéra; He designed a window for the United Nations building in New York; He painted murals for the Metropolitan Opera House in New York; and created windows for the cathedral in Metz, France. The Louvre in Paris exhibited his work in 1967–77 and the Philadelphia Museum of Art held a major retrospective of his art in 1985.
Chagall died on March 28, 1985, in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France.
My personal favorite of Chagall’s work is Der Spaziergang. On the simplest level, I just love the image. As a teacher though, I use it and Over the Town as examples for a very fun first grade painting project in which I introduce the students to landscapes and figure drawing.
This year, I also used Chagall as our example for Modernism. Our lessons focused on Modernism as a rejection of tradition and an exploration of new ideas. In this regard, Marc Chagall is a wonderfully inspirational and liberating artist to study. His use of color, fantasy, memory, depth, design, and a variety of media can serve as launch points for innumerable lessons.
Portrait of Marc Chagall drawn by yours truly, Rama Hughes
Mayan interpretations of Pokemon? Out of this world. See more of the artist’s work and follow her here:
I love mixed media, and just had to share these neat altered photographs by Johan Thornqvist! He takes the photos on the streets in Sweden, using his phone.
Follow more of his work here :
Posted by Jeanine
How could you not love the quirky, fresh work of illustrator Nicole LaRue? With sophisticated color, fun characters, and great design, her work has found it’s place on journals, greeting cards, packaging and a whole range of other products. She’s worked for clients including Compendium, Inc., Modern Twist, Tiny Prints, Basic Grey, Creating Keepsakes Magazine, Tallu-lah Greeting Cards, Crate Paper, Red Desert Candy Company, American Crafts and Wedding Paper Divas.
Ben Butcher used to be the creative director at Pixar’s consumer products department. Now he’s doing his own thing. He makes the beautiful collages out of mixed papers, sometimes for other people, sometimes not. I think they’re stunning. Check out more of his work here: blogspot
Posted by Jeanine
Oliver Towne is the alter-ego of illustrator Michael Mullan, an artist based out of rural Vermont. His work is textural, colorful & bold, and both distinct portfolios of this talented artist are equally impressive. I chose to share some of Oliver’s beautiful & inspiring sketchbook pages today—amazing stuff!
He’s worked with editorial, advertising & book publishing clients as well as licensed his work for wall art and products. Clients including Hallmark, Target, Trader Joe’s, HomeGoods, Bloomingdale’s, Kohl’s, Family Circle, Christianity Today, Diabetic Living and many more.
DKNG are probably one of my favorite studios out there. They make incredible work, and design geeks like me will spend hours browsing their breakdown videos. Their work is done through a combination of Illustrator, Photoshop and hand drawn techniques. Sometimes they silkscreen. Often they sell limited edition runs of their posters, but you gotta grab ‘em quick because they sell out fast.
Posted by Jeanine
I love Julia Bereciartu’s lovely watercolor girls, each with distinct personality and charm. Julia is from Spain, where she lives and works as a freelance illustrator. She’s worked for a wide range of clients all over the world, including American Girl, Nickelodeon, Simon & Schuster, Today’s Parent Magazine, Moo.com, Lürzer’s Archive, and many more.
Daniel Danger makes incredible illustrations that remind me of a crisp October night, just after Halloween. His site identifies him as ” The son of a middle school art teacher married to a professional potter, Daniel was never going to be a mathematician or claims adjuster for a top rated insurance agency.” And he’s from Boston! My city!