Golden Section art

Still Life Sunday – Golden Section Illustration

Today, it is Sunday.  I’ve consumed both a cup of orange-spice tea and a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Not only that, but yesterday marked the last official day of summer.  Mr. Weather must have had the date marked and starred in his calendar, because the orange leaves and thunderstorms appeared like clockwork.

Still lives make me think of the seasons, because so often they feature seasonal flowers, food, and drink.  As I’m finally accepting Autumn’s approach, I felt that beginning a Still Life Sunday would be the perfect addition to this blog.

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Art Lesson: Cecilia Beaux

Before I start, I would like to point out that art movements don’t always fit into neat little boxes: Rather, they fade subtly from one to the other, the new styles often retaining characteristics of the old.  Generally, the formal Impressionist activity occurred around the 1870s-1880s, but some of the artists involved continued to develop their styles in later years.  Gauguin and Cézanne are the first to come to mind, giving foundation to the new “style” or tendency called Post-Impressionism … but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Cecilia Beaux doesn’t snugly fit into the Impressionist category as most people think of it; There are no countryside landscapes or city scenes of modern life, but I saw her work in an exhibition on American Impressionism, so that’s gotta mean something.  In addition, she visited Europe numerous times for artistic training, especially Paris, which was considered the center of the art world at the time, and certainly the epicenter of Impressionism.  Certainly, the visible brushstrokes and occasional departure from rigid composition denote the famous French style, but the subject matter – portraits – is rooted in traditional, formal art of the Academy.

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Artist Studios

I decided to have a proper wander through Paris yesterday.  I started near Rue du Bac (7th arrondissement), made my way through little alleyways in Saint Germain des Près, stopped in at the Medieval Museum, and ended up on Rue de Rivoli, just a block away from the Louvre.  But more on those explorations later…

What I was NOT expecting was to find an entire building FULL to the brim with art studios.  The front door itself stands out like a neon sign on a dark night.  Painted in every imaginable color, the door wide open, beckoning curious passerby inside.  I think most people are a bit taken aback to see such a kitschy/ostentatious façade nestled among the monotonous trail of international-chain shopping stores that a huge chunk of Rue de Rivoli is (H&M, Forever 21, Zara, Mango, etc.).  I was feeling the adventurous vibe, so I went in.  Rainbow colors and open doors seem friendly enough.

I didn’t get a picture of the front door for some reason, but I did get many others from inside.

First off – the staircase was painted in a mismatched, haphazard way all the way up to the top floor.  The text below reads “follow the dragon. ”

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Artist Feature: Michelle Morin

Artist Feature: Michelle Morin

As soon as I saw Michelle Morin’s painting of some wild fennel on a coastline, I knew I had to feature her on this blog. Everything about it, from the texture, the colours, the intricacy, and the feeling of wildness captured me. Nothing is too contained, and yet despite the pattern-like composition, you still feel that you’re looking into a beach landscape.

Michelle lives on the Seacoast of New Hampshire, yet spends time travelling to places, discovering the native plant and animal life. She has spent many years working in the horticultural field, so the detail with which she depicts the natural world is no surprise.

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Found Objects of May: 5 Gorgeous Instagram Accounts

My favourite social media outlet is, without a doubt, Instagram.  Twitter can be funnier, for sure, but I definitely prefer images.  You can get an actual glimpse into someone’s life, and it encourages you to find good things in your own life to share.   It can also be very inspiring – some of instagram accounts out there are like art portfolios.

I’m constantly on the hunt for new people to follow, but I thought I’d share with you the top 5 accounts that I consistently give hearts to.  I know there’s so many other wonderful Instagrammers out there, but these are just a handful of the greatness that I’ve discovered thus far!  I tried to pick accounts that don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers already, in an attempt to distribute the love more evenly all around.

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Art History Lesson: Impressionists you’ve never heard of, Part 1

If you’ve taken any kind of art class, whether it be studio art when you were 12 years old or “Art Appreciation 101” in university, you’ve definitely, without a doubt, heard of the French Impressionists.   I don’t even want to know how many times I’ve sat through lessons about how urbanisation, industrialisation, photography, leisure time, democratization of society, Orientalism, and of course, a desire to break the traditional rules of Fine Art all came together to create probably the most widely-known art movement of all time.  Don’t get me wrong, I adore this kind of art;  In fact, these are my favorite types of paintings to see in museums and galleries; Musée D’orsay will always be my favorite.  However, sometimes it’s nice to learn something new, to see a fresh side of an otherwise over-exhausted subject.

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