Creepy Halloween Art from ArtGallery

by Ros Rowlatt 18. October 2017 12:28

Halloween and art goes hand-in-hand from making decorations to face painting. Whether you're spooked by Francis Bacon or terrified of William Blake's turbulent seascapes, there's no denying that October 31st is as good an opportunity as any to appreciate some great art. Here are some of our favourite seasonal creations on our online gallery.

Halloween For Crows

Julie Stevenson has created a fun Halloween scene to bring a smile to any viewer's face. With creepy little spiders, a gang of crows, bats and pumpkins, there's so much to see. Not to mention the starry night sky being topped off with little stars!

Halloween For Crows by Julie Stevenson
Halloween For Crows by Julie Stevenson

The Joker: Are You Scared?

Ever feel like someone's watching you? This eerie black and white charcoal drawing of The Joker from the Batman comics really comes to life with dark, deep eyes and an energetic sketching style.

The Joker: Are You Scared? by Edward Sheldrick
The Joker: Are You Scared? by Edward Sheldrick

The Ballad Of The Sad Happy Clown (Version III)

They're either the subject of fond childhood memories or terrifying flashbacks! Clowns are always a great addition to Halloween decorations and celebrations. This surreal hand drawn piece is a bold and imaginative image that is bound to draw attention in any space.

The Ballad of the Sad Happy Clown (Version II) by Spencer   Derry
The Ballad of the Sad Happy Clown (Version II) by Spencer Derry

Ghost in the Paint

Moving away from the fun side of Halloween, we come to a more abstract and ethereal interpretation in the form of acrylic on canvas.

The texture creates so much depth that you can see an ethereal spirit but also many faces looking back at you from the background, is this the imprint of a ghost?

Ghost in the Paint by David Smith
Ghost in the Paint by David Smith

Christopher Lee

A great pencil drawing of the legend Christopher Lee. The soft pencil approach to this drawing creates a black and white film effect – it's almost like watching Lee as Dracula in one of the classics!

As we all know, lighting is an essential thing to get right with creating the scary look and there is plenty of lighting detail played about Lee's face. A great gift for anyone in to old horror classics.

Christopher Lee by clare reed
Christopher Lee by clare reed

Keep Back Dracula

John Newbold has created a more modern interpretation of black and white film stills. This dramatic pose and pop art feel creates a striking piece that would look good all year round! The popping red completes the Halloween feel for added effect.   

Keep back Dracula by John Newbold
Keep back Dracula by John Newbold

Literally Frankenstein's Monster

A clever take on a mixed media piece made from the pages of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein's monster. Channelling the black and white classic horror film theme, Frankenstein's face is cleverly shaded with layers of text to create a very realistic head and shoulder portrait – we wouldn't be surprised if his eyes followed you around the room!

Literally Frankenstein's Monster by Gary Hogben
Literally Frankenstein's Monster by Gary Hogben

Make sure to scare and share this Halloween by taking a look at our online gallery for paintings, drawings and much more by our talented community of artists.

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Artists | Buying Art

From Palette to Painting - Dani Bergson

by Aileen Mitchell 7. July 2017 09:37
Dani Bergson

Some ideas come at the most inappropriate times and I have to jot them down while they’re fresh. I always have my sketch pad sitting next to me as I work, and this way I can continuously refer to it and develop a theme before actually painting.

Next I decide on my colour palette which may come spontaneously or involve creating a mood board with pictures of various objects I cut out of magazines. I usually work on stretched canvas or board with acrylics or oil bars.

The beauty of acrylics is that they are so immediate. I can achieve a host textures by scratching and marking and finish a painting in one day. Once I have sketched the form of the painting and decided on the colour palette I treat it like an abstract piece of work to balance colours and textures. I gain a lot of pleasure in discovering new ways of adding texture to my paintings.

When I worked as a textile designer I learnt how to achieve different finishes by printing with scraps of material and using a variety of implements to scrape scratch and mark. Usually I know when a painting is finished. I do like to assess and reassess days later and make final tweaks if necessary.

I find it very hard to be fully satisfied with every piece I produce and I guess this is what keeps pushing me forward and striving to produce better work. Every new canvas is a means of developing as an artist and will hopefully bring more pleasure to those who see my art.

Flamingo Lovers by Dani Bergson
Flamingo Lovers by Dani Bergson

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Artists | Being an Artist

Ery Burns - Special Promotion

by gordonsmith 18. April 2017 09:00

There was excitement in the gallery this Friday as up-and-coming artist Ery Burns was being filmed for a new special promotion (more details coming shortly). 

Ery's style is an energetic mix of pop art/abstract and have a wonderful dreamlike quality. 

Ery Burns art

Ery Burns art

Mineral Garden by Ery Burns
Mineral Garden by Ery Burns

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Artists | Exhibitions

Stephen Williams - Creating Art with the iPad

by gordonsmith 7. April 2017 12:35
Stephen Williams

On my retirement from parish ministry the move from a vicarage to a smaller house meant that space was limited for storing all the art materials and canvases. I have always been interested in working with various media and took the opportunity to acquire an iPad when the parish presented me with a cheque. I have had the iPad for about six months and have been experimenting with various drawing and painting apps.

My initial inspiration came from David Hockney and his book 'Drawing in a printing machine'. My interest grew more and more when I saw the iPad drawings in the book of his exhibition 'A bigger picture'. There are lots of artists now producing work on the iPad and I have found it a very good tool to work with.

I began experimenting with drawing directly on to the iPad and to help me to do this I bought a rubber tipped stylus. The finger works very well after all the iPad was designed to work with the finger however the stylus gives me little more accuracy. My initial concern was that I didn't have a desk top computer to transfer my work so that it could be printed. By by doing some research I discovered that a desk top is not necessary, everything can be done from the iPad wirelessly.

I invested in a good colour printer which also scans and copies and have been able to print my drawings this way. The scanner facility on the printer also enabled me to scan all my A4 fine line pen drawings onto the iPad and with the camera I can photograph my larger pen drawings. The apps that I use for my drawings have a copy function so that I can transfer my scanned drawings from the photograph storage facility in the iPad.

It is early days yet but with time and patience and a great deal of practice some worthwhile work can be produced.

Summer in the Country by Stephen Williams
Summer in the Country by Stephen Williams

The beauty about working with the iPad is that it can be taken anywhere. I can also work without having to have a larger space in which to paint. My wife had a stroke two years ago and that together with a busy parish meant that I had no time for painting. The iPad has changed all that and I can now produce my art work while keeping my wife company. It has given me a freedom and a new medium with which to work and in some ways in greater detail than before. It is possible to use individual pixels to pick our highly detailed features in the drawings.

Gothic Towers by Stephen Williams
Gothic Towers by Stephen Williams

One concern was the printing clarity of the finished art work. Would the definition be clear? Would the pixels dominate the finished print? I need not have been worried, the A 4 prints are very sharp and distinct even printed on standard printing paper. The definition and colour is even better with glossy photo paper and I am about to try printing on high quality art paper. The definition is so good that I have produced a collage print as I call it.

I have a publisher app on the iPad which enables me to transfer my drawings, not only that but I can enlarge each drawing section by section. By doing this I have been able to produce A4 prints of enlarged sections of the drawings to produce large scale separate prints which have then been put together to produce large scale prints from an iPad drawing which measures no more than 4 inches by 6 inches on the iPad itself. The larges multiple print of A4 sheets so far is 46 inches by 35 inches made up of 24 individual A4 sheets of paper.

As I said it is early days yet and there are many artists working in this medium, but for people with limited space and time the iPad is a tool well worth considering.

Aspects of Britain by Stephen Williams
Aspects of Britain by Stephen Williams

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Artists | Being an Artist

Easter Eggs in Famous Art

by Aileen Mitchell 14. March 2017 11:10

This is for everyone who has been told to "stand back please" when examining a piece of art. This month we bring you 'Easter eggs' in famous works of art - the secret bits you may have missed. 

Easter eggs - unexpected or undocumented features in a piece of work - have appeared in artwork as far back as ancient societies and have been anything from a sneaky self-portrait to a UFO sighting! Here are some of the most well-known Easter eggs in art that you may have missed:

The Creation of Adam c. 1508-1512 by Michelangelo 

The Creation of Adam

This renowned work from Michelangelo has graced the Sistine Chapel since 1508, and has been copied, parodied and satirised many times. But how many noticed a tribute to the artist's passion for science and the human anatomy as well as his fine painting?

It appears that God floating in his crimson pod to the right of the piece, complete with seraphim, is the exact outline of the human brain. The leg of one of the cherubs is in the correct place and shape for where the spinal chord is attached, and another's foot is in the place of the pituitary gland. The floating green scarf is even in the precise location and shape for the vertebral artery. 

If that all sounds a little too much like coincidence, you may also want to know that God even extends his arm to Adam through what we now know as the prefrontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that gives humans the gift of reason and deliberation - something that sets us apart from animals. There is also a sad looking angel in the area of the brain that is activated when we experience sad emotions.

Although the discovery of the prefrontal cortex was not until the 20th century, Michelangelo had a profoundly advanced knowledge of the human anatomy due to years of dissections from the age of seventeen. But the mystery continues as dissection of the brain alone does not reveal which parts are activated for different emotions. Could this be coincidence?

With all this new information, a controversial interpretation of the art has arisen. For hundreds of years scholars believed God to be pointing at Adam as the title suggests, giving him life. After the discovery of the anatomically correct brain representation, some believe Adam is in fact pointing at God, which gives the painting an entirely different meaning. Was Michelangelo suggesting God to be a creation of the human mind? We'll never know the true answer, as none of these things were recorded by the artist. We are left to gaze and wonder...

Madonna with Saint Giovannino - Domenico Ghirlandaio

Madonna with Saint Giovannino (1449-1494)

This Italian Rennaissance artwork by Domenico Ghirlandaio is subject of much online debate. There is some speculation over who actually painted the piece, but this is not the issue that has fuelled so much debate. People are talking about the small, dark shape in the sky behind Madonna's right shoulder, which is believed by many to be a UFO. Up close, the dark shape certainly does look a little extra terrestrial and almost spaceship-like. Others have backed up this observation by adding that the lone figure in the distance and his dog are also looking up at it. 

These shapes, however, are quite common in this era of artwork and were intended to resemble a gap in the heavens where divine light would shine through onto the subject in the painting. It is very much a religious trend that was around a lot in Rennaissance art. Not alien appearances. 

 

The Mona Lisa 1503-1505 - Leonardo da Vinci

Mona Lisa

One of the most famous artworks of all time, mentioned in many conspiracy theories and books is Leondardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Art historians recently discovered the existence of another woman painted below the surface which raised even more questions and theories about the work. On close inspection we can also see that the artists has initialled "LV" in her right eye and the number 72 on the bridge in the background. There is also a theory that the lady in the painting is pregnant, as her arms are covering her stomach and she is wearing a veil commonly used by Italian women before and after childbirth.

 

The Arnolfini Portrait - Jan van Eyck

Close up of The Arnolfini Portrait Mirror

The Arnolfini Portrait

Another very famous painting from 1434 that demonstrates Jan van Eyck's meticulous brush skills in the details in the woman's dress to the right of the scene. Although it's bursting with detail for us to appreciate, there is something you may not have spotted from behind the red ropes of the National Gallery. 

Look carefully at the back wall in the painting and you'll see a mirror. There are two new people painted in the reflection of the mirror, presumably the other guests in the room that we cannot see from the position the portrait was taken from! Art scholars think that one of these people may be a sneaky self-portrait of van Eyck himself, as one of the guests in the mirror has their hand held up in a gesture of greeting. 

Take a look at our online gallery and see if you can spot an Easter egg in our own artists's paintings!

Image credits:

The Creation of Adam/ en:Image:Creation of Adam.jpg/ Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

Madonna with Saint Giovannino/ http://www.italymagazine.com/news/madonna-saint-giovannino-ufo-inspired-art/ 

The Mona Lisa/ Musée du Louvre/ Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

Tags:

Art History | Artists

Artists Inspired By Mothers

by Aileen Mitchell 27. February 2017 10:37

Mother’s Day is just around the corner (26th March – put it in your diary!). Today we look at mothers who inspired, encouraged and modelled for some of the most famous artists of all time.

Mother and Child by David Freeman
Mother and Child by David Freeman

Lucian Freud, one of the most celebrated 20th century portrait artists, had a close relationship with his mother, which we can see in his portraiture. Throughout Freud’s childhood his mother took a very keen interest in his talent, and later his career. This all stopped, however, when Freud’s father died. The death of Ernst L. Freud had a catastrophic effect on his mother, Lucie, who suffered from deep depression until she died.

It was in her long period of depression that Freud began to paint her in a collection of very intimate works. These are very detailed snapshots into a private time with mother and son that really shows the lengths of her suffering and distance from her son and the world. Works such as, ‘The Painter’s Mother Resting I, 1975-1976’ are some of Freud’s most well-known and critically acclaimed. 

It is believed that throughout his mother’s period of depression, Freud spent over 4,000 hours painting her. Art historian, Lawrence Gowing, wrote that this was the longest time in three hundred years since a painter showed so much about their relationship with their mother in art since Rembrandt.

This picture is a faithful representation of one of Rembrandt's portraits of his mother.

Rembrandt van Rijn, iconic Dutch artist, is well known for documenting his own self-portraits to show his aging process. He also used his mother as a model for many of his portraits to display similar details of aging. It was common during Rembrandt's era for artists to hone their skills by creating portrait studies of aging subjects, however Rembrandt took his portraits one step further. Using costume and lighting, he created much more theatrical interpretations of his mother that have become highly collectable. 

 

Potrait of the Artist's Mother - Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh has to have a mention here, as he is also one of the most famous artists who was directly inspired by his mother. Anna Carbentus van Gogh was an energetic, family oriented woman who always expressed great affection for her children and husband. One of her beliefs to a happy life was spending time watching flowers grow. She divided up responsibility of the family garden between all the family, which meant her son Vincent spent a lot of his time around flowers that can be seen later in his artwork. Anna was an enthusiastic amateur artist herself and loved to sketch flowers and plants. She noticed van Gogh had a keen talent for drawing and painting their garden flowers from a young age and continued to show her support when he became a full-time artist.

 

Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 by James Abbot McNeill Whistler

The Whistler's Mother, or to give it its correct title, Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 is one of the most famous paintings of an artist's mother. Originally meant to be a portrait of the much younger daughter of an MP, Maggie Graham, this convas was instead used as a study of James Abbot McNeill Whistler's mother. 

In a letter to a friend, Whistler's mother explained how Graham had not shown up for a potrait appointment, and how she had decided to stand in. Anna McNeill Whistler also detailed how her son had failed to finish a painting of Mr Graham despite several sittings, producing only half finished, unsuccessful portraits. Anna Whistler was also a very supportive mother and was even James Whistler's art agent for a time when she stayed with him in London.

Blue Iris in my Garden by Simon Knott
Blue Iris in my Garden by Simon Knott

Van Gogh’s feelings of isolation from the family increased as he got older. His unusual love life, his unorthodox views of the world and his battle with mental illness were all said to be strains on the family. Despite this, he always enjoyed sending his most prized paintings back home to his mother. These included giant irises, roses and great bouquets of flowers – all of which he knew she would love. Van Gogh’s famous portrait of his mother also captures her proud and vibrant nature in the colours chosen by the artist. Whilst painting his mother’s portrait he wrote to his brother Theo, “I am doing a portrait of Mother for myself. I cannot stand the colourless photograph, and I am trying t do one in a harmony of colour, as I see her in my memory.”

The theme of motherhood is also used by many of our own artists at artgallery.co.uk. Have a look at some of our own artists inspired by mothers…

Madonna Of The North by Stephen Davison
Madonna Of The North by Stephen Davison

Stephen Davison has taken inspiration from visit to an Inuit community and their culture of loyalty and motherhood. This rich monochrome oil painting is based on a photograph taken by Henry G. Kaiser circa 1906.

Happy Memory by Mrs Wilkes
Happy Memory by Mrs Wilkes

Mrs Wilkes’ line drawing is a great modern take on the notions of motherhood. The simple addition of red lips and the mark on the mother’s tummy draws the eye to the main theme of the drawing. 

abstract mum by Sandy Jai Hughes
abstract mum by Sandy Jai Hughes

Sandy Jai Hughes has created a portrait of a mother and three children in the famous cubist style of Pablo Picasso. She has also incorporated texture into the piece by adding papier-mâché stained with coloured ink.  

Mother Protects Her Child by Hanan Saied
Mother Protects Her Child by Hanan Saied

Hanan Saied has created a dramatic acrylic on canvas depicting a Nubian woman in traditional dress protecting her baby from the natural disasters in the wold like flooding and tsunamis.

Take a look on our online gallery to find more art from our own artists inspired by their mothers.

Image credits:

Portrait of Rembrandt's mother/ Own work photo of Horst Gerson 1968 catalog/ Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

Portrait of the Artist's Mother/ Mefusbren69 (talk | contribs) / Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 by James Abbot McNeill Whistler/ Musée d'Orsay/ Publlic Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

 

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Art History | Artists

Why Do We Draw Hearts In The Famous Shape?

by Aileen Mitchell 1. February 2017 14:03

Kaleidoscope Butterfly Heart Picture by Sara Lawson
Kaleidoscope Butterfly Heart Picture by Sara Lawson

The heart shape is a world-recognised symbol of love, romance and conversely sacrifice.  It can be seen everywhere – it's even on our emoji keyboards in multiple colours, and being trademarked by footballers. Although the heart shape bears little resemblance to the anatomical shape of the heart, it has been used and accepted as the recognised shape since the late Middle Ages and depicted this way in art history. 

Up until the Middle Ages, the heart was typically depicted as a pear – yes, a pear – or a pine cone, and then the shape seems to have been turned 180 degrees so that the point faced down with the scalloped edge at the top. There are no records that explain why this change occurred or why it then became the way to represent the heart, but from 13th and 14th century Britain the heart symbol was recognised as the same way up that we see it today.

Saint Augustine by Philippe de Champaigne

Saint Augustine by Philippe de Champaigne (1645 - 1650)

Although this shape that hasn't changed in hundreds of years and was established fairly quickly, it was not used as a symbol of romantic love until later. The heart shape during the Middle Ages still symbolised exactly what it was meant to be: the heart. This led to its use in many religious paintings, most famously works painted for Martin Luther, an important influencer in the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. The 'Sacred Heart' of Christ was often depicted with the new shape, and was supposed to remind people of Jesus' sacrifice for the good of humanity. Not only in art, but the new shape got top billing on the deck of playing cards for the heart suit during the 15th century – a design that remains the same today.

 Sacred Heart of Jesus with Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Louis Gonzaga by Jose de Paez

Sacred Heart of Jesus with Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Louis Gonzaga by Jose de Paez (1729 - 1790)

There were some variations in the design of the heart shape – particularly in religious paintings. Some painters still kept the aorta on show, but this extra detail gradually died out because the heart symbol we see today was already recognised on playing cards and many other places. 

There are various theories as to how and why the new shape came about: some say it is the shape of fig leaves, ivy leaves or the water lily – all symbols associated with fidelity. Some say that the top of the shape represents the buttocks, breasts and various other parts of the human anatomy associated with desire. These hypotheses, however, appear to have come about in the 1960s and have no real historical evidence to suggest this is the case. There doesn’t even appear to be sufficient evidence connecting the old pear shaped heart with the newer version.

 

Big Pink Heart (circa 1910)

During the 19th century, a period heavily influenced by the Romantics (late 18th century to early 19th century), the heart symbol became heavily associated with romantic love, passion and sacrifice. This was also the time when the penny post created the craze for greetings cards. St Valentine's Day cards with copious, heavily decorated heart symbols were very popular and, at the time, deeply romantic. Since then the use of the heart around St Valentine's Day has become more popular than ever.

Image from 'Keith Haring: The Political Line' exhibition by Keith Haring

In contemporary art, artists took the heart symbol and included it in some of their most famous works. Keith Haring, the American artist and social activist used hearts in his earliest work and carried this theme on throughout his entire career. At a glance, the vibrant, cartoon-like simplicity of Haring's illustrations look innocent and fun. The drawings are in fact of two men in love, which was a bold and positive statement during the time it was created in the 1980s. The positive statements were praised as helping society accept people for who they were. The bold lines around the heart are seen as large gestures of positive energy – something very characteristic of Haring. He was believed to be a real romantic and noted for believing in the best in humanity with the power of love.

Queen Kate of Hearts by Marietta Osyan
Queen Kate of Hearts by Marietta Osyan

Tracey Emin had a variety of live exhibitions of her neon signs, most famous among the locations were Times Square and The Peninsula, Hong Kong. These neon signs were messages of love, often surrounded by the heart symbol. In a world where most signs are advertising, a message of genuine love really stands out – particularly when it has a heart drawn around it. In an interview with the White Cube gallery Tracey Emin explained, "It's an eternal statement about love […] Even if it sounds over romantic or corny, at the end of the day nearly everyone must have experienced that." 

Love Heart 'embrace' Lino Print by Lauren Downes
Love Heart 'embrace' Lino Print by Lauren Downes

After much research and few answers, historians have concluded that there are a number of possibilities to explain the reason why the heart symbol is the shape it is, but none of them have been documented. Much like art itself, the answer to our title is subjective – a heart shape can be the way it is for any reason you want.

Why do you think hearts are drawn the shape they are?

Golden Heart by Kris  Mercer
Golden Heart by Kris Mercer

Image credits:

Saint Augustine by Philippe de Champaigne/ Gift of The Ahmanson Foundation/ Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

Sacred Heart of Jesus with Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Louis Gonzaga by José de Páez/ http://arttattler.com/archivelatinamerica.html/ Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

Early 20th century Valentine's Day card, showing woman holding heart shaped decoration and flowers, scanned from period card from ca. 1910 with no notice of copyright.

Keith Haring: The Political Line/ Aaron Muszalski - Flickr/ Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

Tags:

Art History | Artists

Capturing The Beauty Of The Rain In Art

by Aileen Mitchell 6. January 2017 09:00

From 'Purple Rain' to impressionism, this month we take a look at how art celebrates the beauty of some classic British weather. January isn't exactly famous for its sunny skies, so what better time to throw a positive and artistic light on our winter elements?

The impressionist painters of the 19th century were also known for celebrating wet weather in their art. A large part of impressionism is about capturing the ever-changing light and atmosphere in a painting. For example, Renoir's beautiful sunny afternoon pieces and Claude Monet's dreamy botanical landscapes. But there are some famous pieces that depict less than ideal weather conditions for painting en plein air, as the impressioists did. 

Paris Street; Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte

Paris Street; Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte

Although it may not seemlike the typical style of impressionist paintings with its almost 3D-like quality, 'Paris Street; Rainy Day' shows a very real atmosphere in the way the rain is painted, shimmering on the cobbled streets. 

Hiroshige van Gogh

Bridge in the Rain by Vincent Van Gogh (right, seen here with Hiroshige's original, left)

Vincent Van Gogh was a huge fan of Japanese art, so much so that he created his own paintings in the same style. 'Bridge in the Rain' is actually Van Gogh's painted copy of the original print by the Japanese artist, Utagawa Hiroshige. Although the dimensions were kept the same, Van Gogh has added his signature textured brush strokes and vibrant colour to the piece to make it his own. 

Jockeys in the Rain

Jockeys in the Rain by Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas, one of the founding fathers of impressionim, is famous for his equine art and portraits of ballet dancers. Here we see the jockeys and their horses in the rain but in the rain. Degas painted many scenes of jockeys and horses, but not many in the rain. Degas's classic delicate strokes and depiction of the light creates the impression of soft and heavy rain. 

Morning on the Seine

Morning on the Seine In The Rain by Claude Monet

Unlike the dreamy landscapes of river on sunny afternoons, Claude Monet's 'Morning on the Seine In The Rain' depicts the busy surface of the river as rain drops hit it. The blend of the same colours from the sky and the trees into the river create the impression of a downpour and a very wet morning. 

ArtGallery artists capturing the rain

Evening City Rain by Aisha Haider

Evening City Rain by Aisher Haider

Evening City Rain celebrates the atmposheric scene of a rainy evening. The very realistic rain drops in the forground create the illusion of looking out at the painting through a window onto the rainy street. 

Silhouettes by Stephen Casey

Silhouettes by Stephen Casey

Stephen Casey creates the feeling of falling rain in the large, vertical brush strokes that make up the background of the piece. 

After Rain by Olena Topliss

After Rain by Olena Topliss

Olena Topliss has created a very dramatic skyscape achieving photorealism with her dabbed, soft clouds. Playing with light in a way that would make any impressionist proud, this piece is very atmospheric and really captures the beauty of a rainy landscape. 

Autumn Rain by Robert Jackson

Autumn Rain by Robert Jackson

Robert Jackson's abstract is a very tangible piece portraying condensation, water droplets and the suggestion of an autumn landscape in the background.

The Walk Home  by Pippa Buist

The Walk Home by Pippa Buist

A watercolour scene reminiscent of Caillebotte, Pippa Buist has created a classic city street scene in the rain. The light reflected on the wet pavements and water of the canal really gives the viewer the beautiful impression of a very wet day. 

Fin by Yary Dluhos

Fin by Yary Dluchos

Yary Dluchos's oil painting on canvas has bold strokes and palette knife strokes that catch the constantly changing atmosphere in a scene that impressionism also captures. The drips trickling down the canvas in a background layer gives the sensation of drizzly weather, combined with downward strokes emulate falling rain.  

Raindrops On Hosta Leaves by Kate Esmarch

Raindrops On Hosta Leaves by Kate Esmarch

A subject can be beautiful to observe and paint whether it is a wide open landscape or a very small detail. 'Raindrops On Hosta Leaves' is a great photorealist acrylic painting that captures the small but beautiful detail of raindrops on a leaf. 

Londoners in the Rain by Lesley Blackburn
Londoners in the Rain by Lesley Blackburn

London is always a great muse: full of drama, interesting scenes, and a never ending opportunity to people-watch. Lesley Blackburn has captured the hustle and bustle of a busy London street in the rain wit her oil on canvas painting. The wet, reflective pavement in the foreground really catches the eye and sets the rainy scene from a firest glance. 

Find more paintings, illustrations and drawings on our gallery that either depict the rain or distract you from it on our online gallery

Image credits:

Rue de Paris, temps de pluie, Gustave Caillebotte (1848–1894) / 5wEUCOlEf-EaVQ at Google Cultural Institute / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Montage personnel de deux images : un tableau original d'Hiroshige et une copie de Van Gogh / 'Own work' / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Jockeys in the Rain, Edgar Degas 1886 / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Morning on the Seine in the Rain, Claude Monet 1897 - 1898 / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Tags:

Art History | Artists

Humph Hack's Love Of Buildings

by Aileen Mitchell 4. January 2017 10:44

When I was studying "A" level art, part of the course was the history of architecture. I had never really thought much about buildings before that. They provided shelter, warmth; a living space and in most cases that was all there was to it.

My mind was changed and my eyes were opened by the works of architects like Gaudi, Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier. In each case it was the exterior of the buildings which excited me. I determined to study architecture and spent many hours sketching the exterior of fantastic houses – many split-level in construction.

The Cathedral - Opus 2 by Humph Hack
The Cathedral - Opus 2 by Humph Hack

My parents were delighted with my career plans. I did a week of work experience in an architects’ office – and hated it. Most people spent all their time deciding on which side the doors should hinge or how deep to make the skirting boards; and everybody talked “cost reduction” all day long. The day I applied to college of art in Birmingham, my parents thought I was going to an interview at the local Architecture college but I was headed for the Fine Art Department of the College of Art. On my return in the evening, the answer to my parents’ questions about how I got on was...“There’s good news and bad news!!”

I successfully completed my degree in Fine Art and a further year to train to teach but maintained my interest in the outward appearance of buildings. After I retired from teaching I decided to use my new found freedom to travel and collect ideas for paintings of interesting architecture.

Malvern Priory From the Hills by Humph Hack
Malvern Priory From the Hills by Humph Hack

I have visited many European countries seeking out buildings which excite me. I take multiple photographs and on returning to my studio seek out those which express the nature of a particular building best and amalgamate several to form the basis of my painted composition. I hope to emphasise aspects of the texture, colour and scale of a building – ignoring or reducing the impact of irrelevant detail and concentrating on those elements which make the building unique.

I have little or no idea of how a painting will look when finished, as I attack the bare canvas! I have found that the technique works as well for domestic architecture as it does for the grand public edifice –as long as the subject matter excites me in some tangible way. I have sold steadily on the internet and through exhibitions. My work is held by collectors throughout the UK and Europe.

Little Malvern Court - Worcestershire by Humph Hack
Little Malvern Court - Worcestershire by Humph Hack

I have been particularly pleased with the ArtGallery.co.uk website which gives me a chance to exhibit my work to a wide audience – and how rewarding it is when you get the sort of response that I received from a very satisfied customer whose feedback is the latest to be posted on the ArtGallery.co.uk testimonial page.

So, where to next on my travels – well, I know little of Germany apart from Berlin and my visits to Italy are limited to Rome and Venice. There is much of Europe and Eastern Europe in particular which remains to be explored. And the UK always has surprises round the corner. I shall not run out of exciting subject matter. My wife with whom I travel shares my excitement in buildings and miraculously we are lucky enough to live in a split-level house which could have been the subject of my adolescent dreams.

Humph Hack

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Artists | Artists Corner | Being an Artist

Movember Special: The Importance of a Moustache

by Aileen Mitchell 18. November 2016 15:53

The moustache is a real statement whether its handlebar, pencil or cowboy. It also plays a key role as a statement in art as well as fashion in everyday life. Join us this Movember as we look back at the historical president of 'the tash'.

One of the first and greatest celebrations of the upper-lip adorner was the Sutton Hoo helmet. This extraordinary object is a pinnacle of Anglo-Saxon burial art. The helmet was found as part of a ship-burial from the very rich archaeological site at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, England. Look closely at the face mask and you can see that the neatly clipped moustache represents not just a moustache but the tail of a bird flying upwards. Surely one of the most recognisable tashes in art history.

When we think of medieval knights we imagine tall, handsome men astride a horse with – of course – a terrific moustache. This hairy status symbol was of such importance that in the fourteenth century Edward Prince of Wales had an effigy on his tomb showing him in full battle dress armour but with his moustache on show.

We have always looked to our monarchy and aristocracy to keep up to date with the latest vogues. Although Queen Elizabeth didn't sport a handlebar, the Elizabethan era was the start of men choosing to be very bearded. This was then further refined by King Charles I and his iconic handlebar moustache and goatee beard.

There have been many modern artists who have used the moustache as statements in their work, and in fact on people's art! Revolutionary artist Marcel Duchamp, famous for the statement urinal in the 1917 exhibition for the Society of Independent Artists, has also paid homage to the moustache. In a series of works titled 'found objects', Duchamp would take a mundane and ordinary object and alter it, making it extraordinary. L.H.O.O.Q. is a postcard print of the Mona Lisa with Duchamp's addition of a moustache and goatee.

As Duchamp demonstrated, it's not just men who have an important relationship with the moustache in art. Frida Kahlo, surrealist painter most famous for her self-portraits, often depicted herself with a moustache – or more accurately the natural layer of hair that lined her upper lip. This attention to her natural features is for a number of reasons from pride in her Mexican heritage to painting exactly what she saw, to a feminist statement about her main pleasures in life being considered as 'manly'. Putting herself under such scrutiny as she painted, it has been observed that Kahlo would make the hair on her upper lip more prominent than it really was.

Our next moustache-wearing art icon appeared in Spain at the beginning of the surrealist movement. Salvador Dali's moustache is almost as iconic as the melting clocks in his artwork. When asked in an interview whether his moustache was in fact a joke, he responded by saying it was "the most serious part".

Dali's moustache was not only a famous part of his look that we remember him by even today, but an extension of his personality and mood at the time. One day it would be tied in a bow, the next stuck in spikey straight lines, sometimes curving up like the horns of a bull. He also would sometime use his moustache to paint – either whilst it was still attached, or he would use the trimmings to make his own bristle head on a paintbrush. 

 

Van Gogh is another famous artist who had a very close bond with his moustache. Almost every self-portrait he painted includes a beard and moustache – so much so that the painting of himself simply named, Self-Portrait Without a Beard, is one of the most expensive of his paintings going for 71.5 million dollars!

It is interesting to see that in his self-portraits his brush strokes do not change from the texture of his face to the moustache and beard; the only thing that changes is the colour. Art historians consider this as Van Gogh expressing how his facial hair is very much an extension of himself rather than a grown accessory. Closer studies on this subject have also shown how little difference there is between the way he paints his landscapes and the way he paints himself. Another example of very deep levels of an artist expressing their character in their masterpieces.

There are such strong links between artists and the moustache throughout art history it would be wrong to deny its constant presence and significance. Not only is the moustache a statement on a fashion and visual level but an embodiment of an artist's emotions and opinions at that particular stage of their career.

Image credits:

User: vggallery.com/ Self-Portrait with Straw Hat / Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

User: The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei / Self-Portrait Without Beard / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

User: Karl Stas / LHOOQ (1919) / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

User: Thomas Gun / Charles I of England / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

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Art History | Artists | The Art World





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