Sunday, May 01, 2022

Who painted this? #63

This marks the return of "Who painted this?" after a VERY long break.

The original series of posts ran from October 2012 until May 2014. I last did a post in this very popular and very educational series (for both you and me) back in 2014 after lengthy breaks while I wrote my book. 

It struck me that a Sunday would be a good day for a post like this. Lots of time to hunt through online images and through books. So in future there will be a weekly post every Sunday. 

Below is the image and the RULES.

The twist this time is some of the images may come from my own photos of artworks I've seen in person.....

Who painted this? #63 

How to participate in "Who painted this? #63

This is about using brains not technology - so please do NOT "cheat". 

Don't forget - there are rules to how "Who painted this?" works - and these are detailed in THE RULES for participating in this challenge.

Briefly, in your comment ON THIS POST you must tell me ALL of the following:
  • the title of the artwork
  • the name of the artist who created this artwork
  • the date it was created
  • the media used
  • where it lives now
  • how you know all this eg how did you do your search
  • anything else you can find out about the artwork and/or artist
The Winner is the first identifiable person (i.e. no anonymous guesses) who, in my judgement, is the first person to get to the answer by fair means AND provides the best quality answer in terms of added details about the artwork and artist

Remember also
  • no use of Google image search or Tineye to find the image allowed - this is a traditional web search of images using words only plus "hit the books" time
  • I don't publish the comments until next week's post.
i.e. comments are being opened up again - but ONLY for this weekly post and comments will only be published once a week - on Sunday.


You can find out more about the background and the RULES on this page
Who Painted This? was a regular weekly challenge on Making A Mark, usually posted on Friday. This page contains:
  • the rules for how to participate in "Who painted this?"
  • how to enter (via a comment on the blog post)
  • what happens to comments
  • a list of the Who painted this? in order so that you or you friends can participate in the challenge even after the result has been published

Saturday, April 30, 2022

National Galleries of Scotland Art Quiz

For those who like to exercise their art recognition/knowledge braincells, I very much recommend the National Galleries of Scotland Friday Art Quiz - which occurs monthly.

National Galleries of Scotland Friday Art Quiz
National Galleries of Scotland Friday Art Quiz

It's a 10 question quiz based on artworks in the National Galleries of Scotland - which I've never visited. 

You'll enjoy it with you have a fairly decent knowledge of art history, a good memory and can recognise artists work and the era in which an artwork was created.

I got two wrong with the quiz published today. I didn't get the sculpture or an obscure painting right! However getting 8 out of 10 means they rate me as "good". 

I'm officially "good"!

I'll be trying to do better next time. The next one is on Friday 27 May 2022.

It's publicised on their Facebook Page which is 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

The Good News

After 12 weeks of not a lot of blogging - and living on one leg and a knee scooter - my tibia and talus are fusing nicely (courtesy of two titanium screws in my right ankle).

As a result, I'm out of the abominable boot and my right foot is now allowed to touch the ground properly and go back into shoes. 

This means I can now start relearning how to walk normally with a calf which is seriously atrophied and an ankle which does not move!

The tibia (leg bone) is fusing with the talus (ankle bone)
which means my ankle is now permanently at a right angle and won't flex

I've now had two days now of walking very short distances around my home very slowly. It's not without pain and it's not easy. It does get slightly easier once I get going and hanging on to a rollator also helps.

HOWEVER I think it's going to be a few weeks more before I'm walking normally again and/or any distance.

Next week we're going to try taking my normal rollator outside to see how far I can walk comfortably.

Then it's going to be a question of doing the physio exercises, pacing myself and very gradually extending the distance I walk.

I'm hopeful that I will make good progress - but there's no way of knowing when I'm going to be back in town and looking at exhibitions

The whole process is completely exhausting and consequently blogging is going to have to continue to be completely sporadic.

PS. For those thinking this is like a hip replacement or a knee replacement, those two operations are akin to "a walk in the park" compared to my ankle fusion. Essentially because with hip/knee replacements you get given a brand new joint while I have to "grow my own bone replacement" for a joint - and this carries on for the next 9 months or so....

PPS THANK YOU to all those of you who have written to me - on Facebook or via email - sending your good wishes . It's much appreciated.

Monday, April 25, 2022

How to describe art

There are various terms and phrases used to describe different approaches tp the development of artwork and working from life and subject matter. 

Below are my interpretations of what these mean.

"Working from life" 

Working from life is a practice deeply rooted in artistic traditions - before photography and projectors and other forms of technology were invented. 

It is commonly used to mean working with the subject in front of you whether it's a landscape, an interior, a still life or a person.

No photographs are involved, there is no tracing or projection of the subject. The artist has to sight size the subject and make judgements about values and colours using their eyes and the experience and skills they have developed through working from life. 

Bottom line - it's essentially about:
  • developing your skills by drawing from life a lot and 
  • then trusting your eyes and drawing and painting what is in front of you.
Practice helps enormously with developing skills. A number of artists routinely make a point of keeping sketchbooks and drawing something from life each day

Family Pets make useful subjects as they tend to sit around a lot - waiting to be drawn!
This is a very fast pen and ink sketch of my sadly departed cat Cosmo
It's informed by having drawn him many times before
- so that I know what the key lines which need to be included
(Pen and ink; Katherine Tyrrell)

"Plein Air Painting" 

"en plein air" is a French term. It's frequently used to describe painting from life in the open air and out of doors and away from the studio. Devoted plein air painters keep painting whatever the weather!

Artists Sketching in the White Mountains by Winslow Homer (1836-1910)
1868, oil on panel, 24.1 × 40.3 cm,
Portland Museum of Art

It's also sometimes used as a euphemism for painting nature and the natural world. 

It mainly developed during the nineteenth century. The practice of paintings landscapes 'on the spot' became possible as technology advanced and allowed artists to use tube paint - rather than paint in bladders.

There are 
  • numerous groups of painters devoted to plein air painting around the world - and some periodically host exhibitions.
  • individual painters who make a career and develop a reputation for painting landscapes plein air - and some even record the process on Instagram! (see below)
The sketching equivalent in towns and cities is called "Urban Sketching".

Other references:

The French term plein air means out of doors and refers to the practice of painting entire finished pictures out of doors

Working from life INDOORS

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Acrylic Painting, Art Societies and Education

There are huge numbers of artists across the world who paint in acrylic. Many of whom can do absolutely fantastic things with what I regard as a medium that presents a number of problems for working practices and can be difficult to master.

tubes of professional acrylic paints

What I find very odd is the apparent fact that 
  • so MANY acrylic painters appear to want to be seen as painters in traditional media rather than a distinctive and different non-traditional medium.
  • so FEW acrylic painters are concerned about promoting knowledge, education and best practice in the use of acrylic for artworks.
Maybe the latter can only be achieved if and when
  • acrylic painters start owning their media and 
  • stop pretending to be something else?

The acrylic painter with various hats

At present:
  • Acrylic paintings have become a major presence on the walls of exhibitions by art societies which used to be focused on the use of traditional watercolour paints (i.e. ones used for centuries).
  • While other acrylic painters appear to want to pass themselves off as painters in oils - because oil paintings are better regarded and typically sell for more money!
What is the problem about being open about the fact the media is acrylic - and that what it can do should be celebrated not hidden?

For a long time, I assumed what I have tended to regard as a bit of a 'masquerade' was because acrylic used to have a very bad reputation in the relatively past. 

This was back in the days when 
  • lack of knowledge about how it works and 
  • lack of skill in use of acrylic painting
  • RESULTED in a number of acrylic paintings cracking, peeling and flaking after a few years.
The behavior of acrylics as a painting medium and their physical and chemical properties are different from oil paint which warrants distinct guidelines for acrylic paintings' care. Some traditional conservation methods can be harmful to the acrylic paintings. The aging characteristics of acrylic paintings are just beginning to be understood. At present, preventative care seems to be the best care for acrylic paintings.

See also 

In general, very few studies of the conservation of acrylic emulsion paintings have been published. Instead, concerns tend to be communicated through informal discussion.
However, of late I've begun to wonder:
  • why we've not yet seen any change and 
  • why acrylics are now the ONLY art medium lacking a major and well recognised art society dedicated to its use. 

Art societies help educate artists 

To me, one of the benefits of an art society which embraces a particular medium is that it can also 
  • educate and promote good practices in the use of a media
  •  through associated educational and charitable activities.
To not have a leading art society doing this for acrylics is, to me, very odd. Even odder, when you think that many artists are also art teachers.....

Acrylic Art Societies

There are of course existing art societies which focus on acrylics. However, none have the same status as the older art societies associated with oil or watercolour. 

As a result, in the UK we have acrylic crossing the oil and watercolour divide - and sometimes forgetting that 
  • those on the water side should NOT look like oils and 
  • those on the oil side should NOT look like watercolours.
Maybe it's a question of acrylic painters needing to achieve a much higher profile - in terms of an art society with a very clear focus and its own membership and exhibitions?

It's always interesting to see an art society which is explicit about the fact it includes work in oils and acrylic paints.
Below is a list of art societies which are EXPLICIT about their use of Acrylic Paint.
Some of the history of how they came about is also highlighted in extract quotations from websites - and current places you can find them online.

LINKS to their websites are embedded in their names.