"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous." ~ Aristotle
"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous." ~ Aristotle
Homer liked to paint the way he saw things and with his own style or "voice", not being influenced by other artists' styles. He was like his student N. C. Wyeth, in that he started out as an illustrator for magazines. Interestingly Winslow didn't have much formal training in art, his mother was his first teacher, being a talented amateur painter herself. After that he was primarily self taught until, ironically, after a number of years first as an illustrator. He was eventually able to put enough money to go to paint abroad for a year in France. Winslow got some instruction but primarily did his own thing. Homer excelled at a number of media including: Oil paintings, watercolor, wood engraving, drawing and at one point painting tile for fireplaces. Winslow Homer never attained the fame or made the money that his contemporaries, such as John Singer Sargent had (even though Homer had his art displayed and sold at prestigious exhibits as well). He lived in a number of places, growing up in New England as well as visiting the Bahamas and Florida. Homer became reclusive and didn't like to talk about himself or his methods of art. He never really taught but gave future great artists some tips. One of the funny things he told one of them is: "Leave rocks for your old age - they're easy." Everywhere that he lived inspired Winslow, from his paintings of pastoral scenes of shepherdesses to his love of nautical paintings. The latter was inspired by his time living with a light keeper's family in a lighthouse. Even though he didn't make a lot of money or become super famous I think he was happier because he was able to do what he loved in the way he wished.
Joni is famous worldwide for her beautiful and inspirational art work. She has been creating art for almost 50 years. What really catapulted her interest in art was after a serious diving injury that left her paralyzed. Mrs. Tada was only 17 years old at the time. She was young, athletic and active and as it would be for anybody, she was deeply depressed after the accident. This time in her life caused her to have to come face to face with difficult questions about life and what it means. Ultimately it caused her to come closer to God. Even though she was paralyzed she was able to move her arms a little but how she creates art is truly amazing. She puts paint brush or pens or pencils in her mouth and is able to paint and draw. Her work and life has been inspiring to me since I was a child.
To hear about her life story click here!
John Singer Sargent was born in the mid 19th century. His parents were American expatriates, they moved around a lot, mostly in Europe when John was growing up. As a young boy, he struggled with his studies, this was because he didn't like to sit and wanted to move around and to be outside in nature. Something else that he enjoyed was drawing and at the age of thirteen his mother said that he was becoming very good. His early interest in drawing might have also stemmed from his parents; Sargent's father was an eye doctor who drew medical drawings and his mother Mary was a talented amateur artist. As John improved in art he learned under a couple of teachers, one who would become quite famous. Sargent would soon become famous too, at the age of 21 he painted a portrait of his childhood friend, Fanny Watts in 1877. This portrait would be the beginning of a very successful artistic career. After his initial success he had a big set back, it involved painting a portrait of a socialite Madame Pierre Gautreau, titled "Madame X". Sargent thought that this painting, displayed in the Paris Salon, would precipitate portrait commissions but because of her rumored character it only caused a scandal. This negative reaction galvanized John Singer Sargent's decision of moving from Paris to London. He had a long and prolific career in portraits, eventually commanding $5000 for each portrait ($130,000 in today's value). His career took him around the world, he traveled to America a number of times. He also traveled to North Africa, the Middle East and throughout Europe. Sargent painted nobility and two American presidents, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Toward the end of his career he stopped painting portraits on the whole, to focus on painting what he really liked, landscapes, exotic locations and characters. Sargent admitted that he didn't like doing portraits because he had to pretend to be happy even when he felt miserable. I think what we can take away from this, is that we have to ask ourselves if (whatever it is we are pursuing) do we really like it? Or will we really be satisfied with doing it day in and day out? Or maybe if possible, trying to change it up sometimes!
Mary Cassatt was born and raised in America in the mid nineteenth century. Mary was the daughter of a stock broker father and her mother came from a family of wealthy bankers. Because of her family's wealth they lived in Germany and France for a few years when she was a child. When she was 16 she started studying art.
After her initial training she moved to France for further art instruction. Mary ended up staying there for most of her life and career. She was known for her independent and at times stubborn personality. I read once that when she got angry she would pound her fist on the table. While living in France Ms. Cassatt was invited by Degas to join the artist group called the Impressionist (she was the only American artist to have her work displayed with them in Paris). One of her artist friends suggested to Mary that she should paint everyday scenes with women and children. This idea didn't appeal to her at first but she would eventually become famous for painting many pieces of this genre. At this time in history women artists weren't taken seriously but because of artist like Cassatt the art world had to admit women could be talented too.
Read more about Mary Cassatt: Click here
View her art: Click here!
Recently my sister, Ruth, bought me a Nintendo game for DS. The game is called "Art Academy". I'm not really big into digital art normally but this game is a lot of fun. It has a little character, named Vince, who walks you through different art principles. Vince teaches you to use different art tools and techniques. It's actually pretty responsive to the stylus and I think is a pretty good introduction for adults or children who are interested in art but don't have a space to practice. It's tidy, you don't have to worry about paint marks on furniture and it's inspiring. Additionally it's not too expensive either, which is good if you aren't willing to lay out a lot for art supplies right away. (Not getting paid by Nintendo to endorse this game!) If you like Nintendo games and art this is a fun place to start.
Trina Schart Hyman's illustrations for children's books were early inspirations for me. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1939. Ms. Hyman described herself as shy and scared of many things when she was growing up. She was a bookworm and liked reading fairy tales, folk tales and myths best, her artwork reflected this. She had trouble in school concentrating, saying "...I always felt like a dummy, because I didn't understand the rules that everyone else seemed to know." Later, after graduating from high school she went to art school and loved it and was introduced to the works of the early 1900s illustrators; she felt encouraged and inspired. After marrying in 1959, she traveled and learned more about art in Sweden. In 1961 she illustrated her first children's book Toffe och den lilla bilen (Toffe and the Little Car). She had one daughter, Katrina, in 1963 with whom she was very close. In 1968 she and her husband got a divorce, ending up with Trina and her daughter Katrin moving to New Hampshire. Later in 1973 she became the first art director for Cricket magazine. Trina and her daughter would collaborate on a few books, one of them was called: The Serpent Slayer and Other Stories of Strong Women, retold by Katrin (2000). Throughout her life she illustrated around 150 books. Her art is very detailed, whimsical and expressive. She said that she tried to put herself and her beliefs into her work. She also put people she knew into her work as well. Trina Schart Hyman died in 2004 at the age of 65, a relatively short life but a full one.
To view her images click here
To read more about her click here
Grandma Moses was the nickname of the famous folk painter Anna Mary Robertson Moses. This amazing woman was born in 1860 in the midst of the Civil War. She grew up in rural New York one of ten children. Hard work was nothing new to Grandma Moses, at age 12 she worked as a hired girl in a neighboring farm until she married her husband Thomas Moses. They worked a farm in Virginia and raised five children together. Later the family would move to New York and had a farm out there. After her husband died in 1927, she continued working her farm with her oldest son until it became to difficult for her and then she moved to a daughter's home in 1936. Always hard at work she didn't have a lot of time to devote to art. She liked to make worsted needlepoint pieces depicting life as it was when she was growing up but when this became too difficult she switched to painting. Her first piece was done when she was 58 years old but she didn't devote herself to art 'till she was 70. She went from having her pieces of art sold for a small amount in a drugstore, to having her art displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York to becoming a national sensation at the age of 79. She is credited to having created upwards of 1500 pieces of art. To read more about her click here.
Rembrandt van Rijn was a great 17th century Dutch artist. He was a child prodigy, begining his training at the age of 14. He became so skilled at his craft that at the age of 22 he started his own art school. Some of the students that he taught were already trained but sought to learn under Rembrant. It is said that if he liked a painting that a student made, that he signed his name on it.
Even though he was famous and successful, his personal life was marked with tragedy. His wife died after they were only married for 8 years and three of their four children died in a period of seven years.
The artist was famous for his realism, his pieces are quite remarkable in their intricate details. His art depicted: historic scenes, religious scenes (from the Bible) and mythological pieces. Probably the most famous recurring theme in his work, were his self portraits. He is credited to having more than 90 pieces of art depicting himself. At first I thought this had to do with vanity but apparently at the time it was popular to collect artists' self portraits. Early on his paintings of himself show a robust and confident young man; his later portraits show a more introspective side of him.
To read more about Rembrandt Click Here
To see where you can view and purchase his art Click Here
Newell Convers Wyeth was born in the turn of the last century. A painter and an illustrator he felt that the two were distinctly different kinds of art. His paintings of nature changed over time to be like artists that he admired. For me, his incredible illustrations for classic children's books which included Treasure Island, were his stand out pieces. Even early on when he was just 12 years old Newell's talents were apparent. He went to art school in Massachusetts Normal Art School (later to be named Massachusetts College of Art and Design) and studied under Howard Pyle. At one point Wyeth went out west to live the life of a cowboy, he did this to get authentic ideas of the western subjects that he painted. When his money was stolen, he worked as a letter carrier to earn enough money to get back home! Wyeth is credited for painting over 3000 paintings and illustrating 112 book. N. C. Wyeth had five children, most of who would contribute to the artistic world. Check out this site for a lot of beautiful pieces by this great American illustrator: www.pinterest.com/markusd/nc-wyeth-favorites
Jim Kunz is a talented artist from Oregon and friend of mine! He's primarily self taught with only a few classes in print making. Jim expresses himself through his art, employing the use of bold colors and design. The styles he uses range from stylized to impressionistic to architectural. He also uses a number of different media in his pieces. He likes making his pieces in such a way that the viewer can imagine their own stories about what the painting is about. His work is a visual treat! Check out his work at www.fallfestivalofthearts.com/jim-kunz1.html
Sarah Lowe is an avid art enthusiast. Besides creating art she loves to enjoy other artists' work. This blog is about articles, websites or other art related items she's come across and thinks that you might enjoy too!