"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous." ~ Aristotle
"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous." ~ Aristotle
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.
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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 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
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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
Jon Deuschle is a young talented artists and musician, who was born and raised in Zimbabwe and currently makes his home in Florida. I like his art because it's a fresh perspective on an old subject, wild animals of Africa. In his own words he says he didn't plan on being an artist but kind of fell into it when he made a painting for a friend. He calls his style "An African Romance" and I think you'll see why when you view his pieces! www.jondeuschle.com
My love of art started at an early age. Hearing stories written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter is one of my fond memories from my childhood.
When I was little, Dad got my siblings and I little boxed sets of her stories at the gas station! These stories introduced me to watercolors and the imaginative things you could do with art. Helen Beatrix Potter was born in Kensington, England in the later half of the 19th century. She didn't go to school she was educated by her governesses. Beatrix and her brother Bertram were naturalist at heart who liked to explore their surroundings, collecting various things from the outdoors to draw and paint. They had several small pets to draw inspiration from as well, that included: Mice, hedgehog, bats and of course rabbits! Her early years inspired her stories that would ultimately make her famous. Aside from art she was also a conservationist and prize winning animal breeder. At the age of 47 she married William Heelis, they were happily married for 30 years 'till her death in 1943.
Most famous for his paintings and pastel drawings of ballet dancers (of which is numbered at about 1500 pieces) Edgar Degas' passion was showing modern living in unusual and interesting new ways. He liked to play with compositions, family portraits showed personality and emotion rather than static poses of the subjects sitting looking forward. Degas' paintings borrowed from Japanese prints cutting off (framing) his subjects in unusual ways, in doing this he worked at making the viewer feel like they were in the midst of the action. He was known to paint his friends in his pieces. In the painting called The Orchestra at the Opera, the main musician is a friend and really played the bassoon although a number of other friends are in the painting as well, depicted with instruments but they really didn't play! Degas wanted his paintings to look spontaneous and done quickly but actually he worked out his pieces with a lot of preliminary, detailed sketches and executed them in his studio. I learned these things from a book called "What Makes A Degas A Degas" written by Richard Muhlberger.
Claude Monet was a 19th century Impressionist and is most famous for paintings he did of his own lily ponds. He led the artistic movement of French Impressionism, his painting "Impression, Soleil Levant" (Impression Sunrise -painted in 1872) is where the term for these artists' style comes from. Monet painted with oils and did his paintings very quickly (he also worked with pastel). He always preferred to paint out of doors (plein air) regardless of the weather. Towards the end of his life he painted inside in a giant green house like addition to his house, thus giving the same effect of painting outside. Claude Monet's sight worsened later in life. He developed cataracts that affected his vision and the perceived color that he saw, this in turn caused the paintings he did at this time to have a red cast to them. After having two surgeries to remove his cataracts, he went back over those paintings to correct the color. Interestingly Monet also did multiple versions of his paintings, if one wasn't successful in being juried he would paint another version to submit in the future. I think he wanted to capture the intricate changes of light in his pieces. One of the scenes he did of poppies, he painted 3 canvases (that were set up side by side) consecutively to show the change of light on the same scene.
Bob Ross is a modern icon for oil painters. He specialized in scenic paintings; a lot of which was purely from his imagination. He was born and raised in Florida however after joining the US Air Force he lived in Alaska for several years. These years spent in the mountains greatly influenced his paintings. Bob Ross' artwork has inspired thousands if not millions of people. He certainly inspired me when I was growing up and watching his series on PBS called "The Joy of Painting". I have fond memories of my family watching his shows together, trying to copy his style with his "happy clouds" and "happy trees". Ross is remembered for his saying "We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents." When talking about his career in art, he said, "I started painting when I was little. I didn't know I had any talent. I believe talent is just a pursued interest. Anybody can do what I do." Some of the pieces I've painted I've done from my imagination as well, although I know I haven't done anywhere near as many as he estimated in his life, 30,000!
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!