Tag Archives: art

M. C. Escher in Winona, Minnesota

I like Bing maps because they provide a Bird’s eye aerial view which provides a little more perspective than Google’s top-down aerial view.  I recently saw an impossible aerial view on Bing, more akin to an M.C. Escher painting than a real photo.  Buildings next to each other at impossible angles.stmarys_bing_4.PNG

Having never been there, at first I thought it was perhaps unusual slanted architecture. Closer inspection showed that it was the incorrect auto-stitching of two photos from different vantage points (clear from the unfinished building edge in the upper center.)  The entire campus (Bing maps link) seems unfazed by this physical warping of space.stmarys_bing_1.PNG

I’m still not sure of the building below.  Having not been there, I’m not sure if all the sides are vertical, or one or more are architecturally slanted.  I will have to visit some day to see for myself.stmarys_bing_5.PNG

M. C. Escher’s painting Relativity, below.p02vhq1v


New favorite: “Mountain Men” by Gerard Curtis Delano

In an obscure history museum in the small town of Craig, Colorado, I came upon the art of Gerard Curtis Delano, who painted western themes in the early 1900’s.  Delano used simple forms and rich colors, almost chromatic, especially when depicting the bright colors in traditional colors of native American colors.  The museum had several prints of his work.  I had never heard of Delano previously, and would have probably not even remembered him, had it not been for what happened next.

As I came around one display, I encountered his work, Mountain Men, depicting two mountain men riding a makeshift raft down a river.  This was an original, 30″ x 36″.   The image I have linked hardly does justice to the rich pastel colors, which make the water so cold and atmosphere so misty.   What really exited me was the action implicit in the scene, and the feeling of being there, achieved by the low angle of view.

No prints were available.  Research shows that it sold in 2013 for $74,750.  Still, it is a new favorite of mine.

Mountain Men by Gerard Curtis Delano

Still life with pitcher

Still life with a pitcher, an orange, a pear, and a spoon

Still life with a pitcher, an orange, a pear, and a spoon. First version with shadow and light divisions.

We’ve been learning more about light and color and how to see the colors the are in the lights, darks and whites. The painting class assignment was a still life, first with the lights and darks divided and then with the other detail added.
Still life with a pitcher, an orange, a pear, and a spoon

Still life with a pitcher, an orange, a pear, and a spoon. 2nd version with more detail.

Only four colors on the palette: white, ultramarine blue, cadmium red, and cadmium yellow light.
For reference, here is the actual setup.
Still life with a pitcher, an orange, a pear, and a spoon

Still life with a pitcher, an orange, a pear, and a spoon. Photo of the set up.

Art for the Aging (complete)

Assisi Heights

Assisi Heights from the southwest.

Here is the completed painting of Assisi Heights, a commissioned work for a retirement home.    Residents of the home struggle with memory and don’t see as well.   So the request was for something immediately recognizable and painted with high contrasts — bright lights and dark darks.   The colors needed to match the common memory:  blue skies, puffy clouds, green grass and trees.   That may sound strange, but when you paint you discover the sky is often not really blue, and foliage is not always green.  So, the point was, don’t get too artsy on this one.

I previously mentioned underpainting.   Here is a closeup of the trees in the lower left.  Notice the small spots of red underpainting where the paint has not completely covered.   That color registers with the eye and the brain interprets as warmth and unity.

Closeup of trees

Closeup of trees from Assisi Heights to show underpainting.

Art for the Aging (Part II)

Painting of Assisi Heights, in process.

Painting of Assisi Heights, in process. (Of course the grass won't stay yellow! That's an underpainting. It will be green-ish in the end.)

Steps 2-4 of the Assisi Heights painting.    Broad color areas.   Some of the black “lines” will need retouching.   The yellow in the grassy area is an underpainting, and will largely be covered up when the painting is done there; only small flecks of yellow will poke through.



Art class 101 – Week 1

Black and white study of a white box

Black and white study of a white box

I’m taking a class from Kami Polzin, and she is pushing us right back to fundamentals.   She wants to make sure we know them, and we’re not “cheating” or “guessing”.   She had us paint a simple study of a white box against a black background with strong shadows.  We looked for blocks of value (tone) and simplified.   We used a palette knife so that mixing remained pure.  It does produce crisp values.

Our homework was to go home and do the same thing with paper towels.  Funny, Leanne is not excited about me framing this for the wall.

Simple study of paper towels against a dark background.

Simple study of paper towels against a dark background.


How the paper towels were set up.

How the paper towels were set up. (More lights on in the image than when I painted.)

Art show in cyberspace

The "Eden" exhibition in IBM's private virtual world

The "Eden" exhibition in IBM's private virtual world. You can see three of my pieces on the left. The gardens and cathedral in the distance have over 60 of my pieces displayed.

I recently attended the opening event of a new art exhibition that has over 60 piece of my artwork in it. But you can’t get to the cathedral and gardens where they are displayed by car or plane. The exhibition is in cyberspace.
Paintings on display in the virtual cathedral

A view in the virtual cathedral. Two of my pieces are on the right. The lower one is of a temple. I was happy religious content was allowed.

Two months ago I was approached by Sagar Chandola, who is the Guildmaster of the primary virtual worlds that IBM hosts, to participate in a cyberspace exhibition. This is a private version of SecondLife, the well known virtual world. I was excited to put them on display.

Sagar and his team of volunteers built a cathedral and spacious gardens complete with fountains, canals, and creatures in the waters (sharks and squids). They then placed the art in large displays that would make any gallery envious.

More images shown in the virtual cathedral.

You can easily get to the art on the second level by flying up to it. That's my avatar hovering in the air while looking at paintings.

Interactions in a cyber world can be a mixed bag. Sometimes they feel immersive, other times they just get in the way. I was surprised how enjoyable it was to look at art in a virtual gallery. Of course, nothing is like seeing real art in person — the pigments of real paint and the textures are so vibrant in real life. Yet, the virtual gallery offers an ability to see paintings in context, to move about, and to look closely and at a distance.
It felt quite natural.

The arrangement of art in a virtual gallery can be vertical as well as horizontal. In a virtual world, you can fly and move up and around to see paintings.

I’d invite you to come, but unfortunately this cyber exhibition is only open so far to IBM. A few photos will have to suffice.

A view of the gardens.

The gardens are extensive with dozens of large paintings on display. Those are mostly my paintings. I'm the avatar on the left. Other IBMers are attending this open house.